Here are answers to some P90x questions I get fairly often. Have a question that isn’t addressed here? Ask me in the comments section below!

Have you written an eBook that does all of my meal planning for me?
Should I choose the P90x meal plan approach or the portion approach?
How do I choose my Level for P90x?
When do I switch from one Phase to the next?
I’ve lost my P90x nutrition guide, where can I get another one?
How do I know if my version of P90x is a knockoff?
Can you sort your recipes by Phase 1, 2 and 3?
How can I figure out the calories in your recipes?
Do you have a shopping list for your recipes?
What are your hubby’s final stats, and can we see some pics?
Are you gone? How often are you posting?
I emailed you and you didn’t respond. What the heck?!

Have you written an eBook that does all of my meal planning for me?
Why, yes! Thank you for asking! 😉 LOL. I’ve recently completed a Menu and Shopping List eBook for P90x Level II, Phase 1, where I planned out 28 days of P90x meals for you using the recipes on this site. Check it out!

Should I choose the P90x meal plan approach or the portion approach?
There are two ways to follow the P90x nutrition plan: the “meal plan approach” and the “portion approach.” The meal plan approach is basically a meal-by-meal weekly plan using recipes provided in the P90x nutrition guide. The benefits of this are that a nutritionist planned these meals, and thus was able to hand-craft the days and weeks. In a way, the meal-plan approach is a no-brainer. Eat exactly this, and you know you’re doing the right thing. The problems I’ve discovered with it? The recipes can get rather elaborate with uncommon ingredients (lemongrass and arrowroot, anyone?), and they don’t reuse ingredients, making shopping for it rather expensive. (That’s why I ended up designing my own version of the meal-plan approach that does a better job of this.)

However, the nutrition guide also provides guidelines for a “portion approach,” which includes a list of approved foods and allowed portions throughout the day. This is what this site is based on, and I’ve found that it 1) allows people tailor meals to their own tastes, allergies, and dietary needs 2) allows you to create new recipes 3) allows you to shop smarter (i.e. buy one chunk of turkey ham and find multiple ways to use it). So obviously, if I had to make a recommendation, I’d recommend the portion approach.

How do I choose my Level for P90x?
You can just go by the guidelines in the P90x Nutrition Guide. My personal philosophy varies from the nutrition guide a bit – I’ve written my thoughts on how to choose your P90x level on my P90x nutrition basics page.When do I switch from one Phase to the next?
There are two different philosophies on this among P90xers. Check out my super-long answer to Randy in the comments on my P90x Nutrition Plan food journal page for what those are and my personal views on the subject.

I’ve lost my P90x nutrition guide, where can I get another one? If you bought P90x from a legitimate vendor (i.e. from Beachbody directly, or from a Beachbody coach): Beachbody customer service will sell a new nutrition guide to you if they have a record of your purchase in their system. If they can find your purchase (or the purchase of the person you got the discs from) they’ll sell you a new guide for $29.99. 1 (800) 470-7870 customerservice@teambeachbody.com

If you did not purchase from Beachbody (i.e. purchased on Ebay or Craigslist, got it used from a friend, etc.):
Beachbody will not sell you a new copy.
The official P90x nutrition guide PDF is available here for download, however it is missing several key pages. This PDF will get you started, and then check out my comments in response to Cliff on the same page to help you fill in the blanks.

How do I know if my version of P90x is a knockoff?
Your first clue is tons of typos in the books, or if you got the whole program for less than $90! Check out my article about my discovery that my copy of P90x is a knockoff, and the comments of other folks who are victims of the scam. Currently we have identified at least 4 different knockoff versions out there!

Can you sort your recipes by Phase 1, 2 and 3?
I get this question fairly often. The short answer is that every recipe on the site should fit into all three phases of the program. If you want more info about this, check out my answer to Ann in the comments of my P90x Nutrition Basics page.

How can I figure out the calories in your recipes?
Since we are using the portion approach, which doesn’t particularly count calories, I don’t work calories out for my recipes. However, if you’d like to figure them out, here’s my article on how to figure out the calories in my P90x recipes.

Do you have a shopping list for your recipes?
Yes, I’ve compiled shopping lists for you in my new eBook! If you’d rather plan out your menus and shopping lists yourself, check out my super-long, detailed answer to Oscar in the comments of the P90x Meal Example and Example Menus page – that will tell you how I tackle compiling a shopping list.

What are your hubby’s final stats, and can we see some pics?
Sadly, I made the mistake of telling our friends and family about this blog. Which means that my hubby is now uncomfortable with me providing his stats and before/after pics on here! Sorry guys, guess I didn’t think that through. Suffice it to say that he saw major improvements, and expects to do additional rounds. Maybe I’ll manage to convince him after his next round, if I ask very nicely and dangle some P90x candy in his face. We’ll see!

Are you gone? How often are you posting?
No, I am not gone! This blog is a hobby for me, and now that there is a good body of 80+ recipes on the site, I’m posting a new one around once a month, or whenever I feel like it. LOL. How’s that for a cushy posting schedule?! I do try to respond in a timely manner to the comments on the site, though, so feel free to comment with your question and I’ll do my best to answer it. =)

I emailed you and you didn’t respond. What the heck?!
Sorry, I am lazy and also a perfectionist. Which means that when I read your email, I imagine the long, detailed answer I’d like to give you, then say “hmm, I’ll have to get to that later when I have time.” Then I get a bunch of new emails that also deserve that future long, detailed answer (for example, the P90x Nutrition While Traveling post was originally an answer to an email!), and yours gets lost down there in the oblivion of email inbox page 2. Sorry. :/ If you want to increase your chances of an answer 1) try commenting – I get very excited about comments, and try to answer them all if I can, and 2) try asking Matt at Liwovien.com, my P90x Nutrition Guru. 🙂 He was the one that helped me out when I was first figuring out P90x nutrition, puts a lot of time into answering a lot of people’s P90x questions, and is just a stellar guy. (So get this, after I wrote that huge P90x Traveling email, the person didn’t even respond. Isn’t that lame?! That experience is part of why I really prefer comments – then even if the person doesn’t care about my answer, at least with comments, my answers add to the body of information on the site so that other people can benefit!)

I hope some of these answers help you out. I’ll keep adding to them as the questions come in!!
– CJ =)


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  1. CJG

    Hi CJ,

    My hubby and I are embarking on P90x and we bought your shopping list and meal plan. I have noticed that there are differences in the servings between your meal plan and the recipes on your website. My husband is a Level II and I am Level I so we already have to adjust your recipes to my diet, but I don’t know which serving size we should use? i.e. Turkey, Bacon, Avacado Sand. has 2 Protein, 1/2 carb, 1/2 fat on menu guide but the recipe on your website lists 2 protein servings, 1 carb serving, 1 fat serving, 1 vegi serving



    1. CJ =)

      Hi CJG!
      Sorry for the delay in response. Thanks for purchasing the meal plan!
      Often times in the meal plan I have you make alterations to the recipe in order to make it fit into that day’s meal. So for the example you gave, on Day 2 of the meal plan I tell you to make the Turkey, Bacon, and Avocado sandwich, but using leftover chicken, and make it on a Bagel Thin instead of bread. Bagel Thins are 110 calories for the two halves, and a P90x carb serving is 200 calories. So that would mean that you’re using up only half a carb serving that day. You did catch two omissions there though – I didn’t specify that you should use only 1.5 oz of the avocado, and that you should not use veggies on the sandwich.

      I appreciate you pointing out any omissions like this that you notice – I’m fixing them as people point them out!!

  2. Tracy

    Hey CJ,
    My husband and I started P90X a week ago and the first grocery bill was insane (we’re both doing phase 1 lvl II). However, I need to adhere to a plan that someone gives me to be successful so he (my husband) found you and we bought your book. My question is, since I’m cooking for two of us (and two children), should I double the recipes or are they already geared toward two people eating? I know you said that there will be leftovers that we will be eating for different meals, but I wasn’t sure how many you were cooking for.
    If you already stated that, I’m sorry! Two kids under 4 will do wonderful things to your brain.

    1. Tracy

      I’m sorry, I just read it in big letters that it’s for one person!

    2. CJ =)

      Hey Tracy –
      Thanks so much for your book purchase! The book only accounts for feeding one person, and it does plan to use up the leftovers. So if you are feeding other people, you’ll need to double or otherwise multiply the amounts of food outlined in the book. Sometimes, though, it’ll tell you to only make a half recipe – in that case you could just make the full recipe and feed the extras to your kids. Does that make sense?
      – CJ =)

  3. courtney

    Hello, Courtney again. I’m a very slim guy, about 160ish, 5’10. My goals for p90x is to build muscle. I’ve just began (beginning week 2) and i’m level 2. i wanted to know if it’s ok to start out with the phase 3 eating plan?



    1. CJ =)

      Hey Courtney –
      I think it would be fine for you to start with the Phase 3 diet, seeing as you don’t have any Fat to Shred! The P90x Nutrition Guide specifically says that “you can follow any phase at any time based on your nutritional level.” Just keep in mind that the Phase 3 plan is an “athlete’s diet” and only should be used if you are “pushing your body to the limit.”
      Hope that helps!
      – CJ =)

  4. courtney

    Hello CJ! I just began P90x and i wanted to know if you have any recommendations for alternate protein shakes & supplements? I already have the recovery shake. Also, what are some great fishes that have great protein intake and omega ? I’ve been eating tilapia. Also, what seasonings are good to put on your food if you’re doing the portion approach?

    thanks a lot


  5. Mallory

    Yes. Day 1 this was my menu
    Breakfast :
    2 slices veggie Bacon
    1cup whole grain Cheerios 4oz skim milk

    Fruit/pre workout
    1 cup watermelon 1 scoop of whey (30g) to 4oz skim milk and ice
    Waited for it to digest

    Worked out…then did same whey drink listed above as recovery
    1 vegan burger (70 cal) …1 veggie dog (50 Cal)
    2 cups of organic salad with 2 tbsp of olive oil and pepper and a little spice no cals

    Dried fruit ..1 oz..added 3 whole natural almonds

    1 vegan burger (70 cal) and 1 veggie dog (50 Cal)
    2 cups of cabbage no seasoning

    Was only at 1142 Cal’s and tries to add another snack ..
    1 celery stalk and 1 tbsp of pnut butter …..

    Then next morning I woke up and passed out …

    So day 2and I tries to increase…I didn’t know how else to get calories so I added in fruit and Carb..healthier ones listed.

    Breakfast :
    4 slices veggie bacon 120 cal
    2 whole wheat waffles sugar free syrup 20 Cal’s

    Worked out….did good.

    Snack :
    8 oz non fat yogurt with sliced peach and 2 small pieces of watermelon
    1 scoop of whey (30g) to 4oz skim milk and ice and 1
    tbsp of pnut butter

    Was very full…
    Lunch :
    Could barely finish 2 vegan burgers

    Blackened fish 1 piece
    half baked potato…less than a teaspoon of margarine..if that…not salt..haven’t been adding thay to anything …and fresh steamed neocolonialism and small cup fresh pineapple

    Checked later…only at 1576 so I added in fruit 1and cup watermelon and did 1 cup whole grain Cheerios 4oz skim milk to finish my dairy for day…my parents insisted for me to get calories in so I feltnit was necessary to get them up …and I’ve felt better today..Idk if ill have to tweak it as a vegetarian or what?…. I need help bcz I’m stressed about it. I’m trying to do everything right…I still want to lose weight and fat in this phase…my goal is to obviously lose weight as well as tone up and be in killer shape ..I just am confused as my body feels:/

  6. Mallory

    Hey…I completed my first day of p90x classic yesterday, did the workout fine . I am a vegetarian and am in level 1, 1800 calories. I did my proper portions but my calories were really lagging…I did alot of neat substitutions and followed the nutrition very strict. I did and pre and post whey protein shake (one of the healthier ones) and drank plenty of water. But this morning I woke up and got verya nauseous passed out became weak for a while. My calories were obviously too low…only got maybe 1200 but really scheduled and did the portion plan correctly. My parents are concerned and I realize I need to up my calories but I’m so confused forbthe nutrition since it calls for one Carb and everything else is strictly written…where can I get the calories from and still have the great results???

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Mallory –
      You say that you followed the portions strictly – did you make sure to only count each food for ONE portion? For example, even if your dairy serving has protein in it, you should only count it as your dairy serving, not your protein serving. If you did the portions correctly, you’d get the full number of calories called for by the plan. Also, did you do a whey protein shake after your workout instead of a recovery drink? They’re different. Also, check out the vegan P90x plan recommended by Beachbody, it may help.
      – CJ =)

  7. Jim

    I lost my nutrition book when I remodeled my house. I found your PDF download but the pages I was really interested in are not there, Pages 6-19. Can I find those pages on your website? Or can I buy them? Thank you for your time.

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Jim!
      I don’t sell the nutrition guide here, as that is P90x’s copyrighted material, and I don’t want to undercut their sales in any way. However, on the same page I do give some ideas on how you can fill in the missing info:
      – How many portions you can have at each level are in my P90x food journal.
      – How many calories per portion are in my post about figuring out the calories in my new P90x recipes .
      – I’ve decided that I can in good conscience provide general guidelines for the servings, without providing the specific list given by Beachbody:
      # Protein: Fat-free, lean meats and soy equivalents, and egg whites. 3 oz of any protein source, or 6 egg whites = 1 protein serving
      # Dairy: Low-fat and fat free milk and cheeses. 1 oz. of any cheese, or 1 cup milk, yogurt, cottage cheese = 1 dairy.
      # Fruits : Organic or unprocessed. 1 piece of fruit = 1 fruit serving
      # Vegetables: Organic or unprocessed. 2 cups of raw leafy vegetables or 1 cup cooked vegis = 1 vegi serving.
      # Carbohydrates: Complex whole grains. Avoid simple carbohydrates – refined sugars, fruit juices, etc.
      # Snacks: Low-carb and fat, and protein bars.
      # Condiments: Low-fat sauces, fat-free dressings, pure honey and jam. 2 Tb. of any nonfat condiment = 1 condiment.
      – If you’re not sure about a particular item, look up the number of calories online, then compare that to the list of target calories for each portion.
      – Regarding a specific list of what foods count for what portions, I suppose you could look at the Categories on my site for each type of Portion and compile a list from the recipes. I know that’s not ideal, but if you wanted to spend a little time you could get a good list to work from.
      – Alternately, you can check out my P90x menu and shopping list ebook, where I’ve completed your first Phase meal plan for you.
      I hope this helps!
      – CJ =)

  8. Michelle

    Hi there,

    I don’t eat dairy and am wondering what other ways I can incorporate snacks. Usually I like to have fruit but in phase 1 I only get 1 fruit per day. I also am allergic to almonds and nearly every protein bar has them. What is the breakdown for the snacks calories I know are 100, but what are my allowances for carbs, sugars, fiber and fat so I can make some substitutions without getting messed up.

    Also, I looked at the link for the nutrition guide but that is not for the portion approach, do you have that one. My husband has the book and I would love to have a copy of my own, he takes his with him everywhere.



  9. Michelle S.

    I think this is an amazing site and I have downloaded so much helpful information, including your e-book!! Here’s my struggle: As much as I love meal based plans (at least the thought of them), too often there are foods that I don’t like. I would like to do the portion approach but am WAY confused on what means a portion. I am eating for level 1 phase 1, I saw on your sample that there was an english muffin in the morning as a half carb serving, then the rest was eaten at lunch as the other half carb serving. Can you explain a bit more on the portion approach? What exactly entails a portion? I appreciate all that you have done!!

    1. CJ =)

      If you want to be sure about portions, you can go by the calories per portion! Maybe my calories in P90x portions article will help!
      – CJ =)

      1. Michelle S.

        That’s what I needed, thanks!!

  10. Adrian

    Hey Im trying to see which video is best for losing belly fat and getting abs

  11. Pat Pytlak

    Hello: I am in my third week of the Classic program, and am hoping to lose some weight in addition to gaining general fitness; I love it so far, but I have three questions:
    #1: I really miss my fruits: I was used to eating three or more a day on Weight Watchers, but I want to follow P90x accurately. Could I sub an extra fruit for my carb serving if the calories work out the same?
    #2: After reading through your site, would you confirm that each of the snack items are IN ADDITION TO the basic foods for the day? i.e., in Phase 1, Level 1, I am supposed to add one each snack, drink, and bar? That seems like a lot…
    #3: Also, protein drinks count as a protein, but recovery drinks do not, is that right? Thank you!

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Pat!
      #1 – The nutrition plan calls for 1 serving of whole grains for your carb, so ideally you’d stick to that. However, if I were in your shoes, I think I’d feel OK about subbing in an extra fruit for the carb serving a few days a week as long as the calories come out the same.
      #2 – Yes, the snack items are in addition to the rest of the foods. So the portion approach accounts for one snack, one recovery drink after workout, and one bar per day.
      #3 – Yes, protein drinks count as protein, recovery drinks do not (even if they have protein in them). The rule is that in P90x, one food counts for ONE portion, even if it has several types of ingredients. So for example, you can eat cottage cheese, and you only count it for a snack OR a dairy serving, NOT both at the same time. So theoretically, you could eat cottage cheese once for your snack serving and then again for your dairy serving on the same day. A lot of times people try to count foods for more than one serving and then are confused as to why they aren’t coming out to the right number of calories, and that’s why. 1 food can only count for 1 portion at a time!
      Hope that helps!
      – CJ =)

  12. Jen

    Thanks CF. I’d like to purchase your nutrition plan for phase 1, but I’m following level 1. Can I still use your plan? Is there a suggested portion from each meal/snack to remove to get to the correct calorie level?

  13. Jen

    Hi – I’m just starting P90X with a friend and we’re following the “Lean” program. I didn’t notice anything in the Nutrition Plan that talked about how to alter calories if you’re following Lean versus Classic. Since there is slightly less heavy weight training days, it seems that the calorie intake and/or ratios should be different. Do you have any advice on what we should follow for nutrition guidelines for Lean?

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Jen!
      The calorie level remains the same, however the one thing you might wish to alter is whether or not you take the recovery drink, or just take less of one. The recovery drink assumes that you have damaged your muscles (created micro-tears) and they need the sugar for muscle repair, but if you don’t feel that you worked out very hard, or didn’t do much weight lifting, that damage may not have happened. If you feel that is the case, Tony’s plan suggests omitting the recovery drink.
      Hope that helps!
      – CJ =)

  14. Jessica

    I am about to start P90x today, actually. I’m excited and nervous! But I’m having a hard time understanding the portion approach. I have Phase 1, Level 1, so I consume 1800 calories/day. I went ahead and did my first 2 days of food last night. But I’m confused. The calories I have eaten for certain foods doesn’t matched the calories per serving they have stated in the guide. For example, I had the chicken scramble (didn’t eat any where near all of it), 2 slices of turkey bacon, and 8 oz of very vanilla silk milk. The turkey bacon that I ate..per slice.. was 30 calories so 60 total. But in the nutrition guide it says 2 slices = 100 calories. The silk (soy) milk is 130 per 8oz where as in the nutrition guide it says 120 per 8oz. Is there a certain brand of each of the foods in the guide that I’m suppose to be buying to get the exact calories of each item that is stated in the guide for P1L1? Or am I suppose to find a brand of each item that is those calories per serving? That is the only thing throwing me off. Hopefully I didn’t confuse you.. because it is confusing me! 🙂

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Jessica –
      Check out my P90x Nutrition Basics page – hopefully that should answer your questions. In short, yes you do need to make sure that the foods you are eating for a certain portion match the calories allotted for that portion.
      Hope that helps!
      – CJ =)

  15. John

    Ive been wondering how to have my fat serving. I assume that most of what I eat will have some fat in it so I just dont have a fat serving, I count the individual small contributions of the other food as my one fat serving. Should I be doing that or should I have the fat serving seperate from the rest? thanks!

    1. CJ =)

      Hey John –
      Good question! The P90x Fat serving could more accurately be called the “GOOD fat” serving. It’s not just about fat, but the type of fat. Some fat is necessary in a healthy diet because it helps your body absorb the good nutrients from your vegis.

      In P90x, fats are a bit tricky to plan for, because the list of P90x-approved fats is very short. Olives, avocado, olive oil, canola oil, flaxseed oil. That’s it! That’s why you’ll find that many of my recipes are cooked with olive oil even when I technically could use nonstick cooking spray, and a bunch of recipes have olives tossed in there.

      So I guess my answer is that if your food has been cooked with one of these oils, then you can count it toward your fat serving, but otherwise you don’t. With P90x, one item counts for one serving. So for example, even if your protein bar has carbs in it, it still only counts for a Double snack serving. Or even if your 3 oz. of lean mean has some fat in it (obviously), that does not count toward your “good fat” serving.
      Does that help?
      – CJ =)

  16. Masha S

    Hi CJ,
    I’m starting P90X with my boyfriend however, there is no way I should be consuming 1800 calories a day as I don’t have enough muscle mass to feed with all that food. Should I just eat smaller portions? For example, instead of considering 1 protein serving to be 100 calories I would make it 80? Another question is – in the sample recipes you provide for all three levels you seem to be using olives as your fat serving. I just never thought of olives as a “fat”, what are some other options for the fat serving?
    Thank you

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Masha!
      1800 calories a day actually doesn’t sound that unreasonable, because with P90x a LOT of those calories are protein, and you are including a 1+ hour workout in there…but I’ll trust that you’ve figured that part out. Your idea about reducing each of the categories by a small amount is a good one. Just make sure that all of the calories add up to the right amount and that the ratios stay approximately the same, and I think you’ll be good.

      Regarding olives, I know it’s a bit weird, but the P90x approved “good” fats list is pretty limited: olives, avocado, olive oil, canola oil, flaxseed oil.
      So other ways you can get your fats are to make an oil and vinegar salad dressing that you count as a fat instead of a condiment, add avocado to things, or cook with olive or canola oil instead of nonstick cooking spray. Hope that helps!
      – CJ =)

  17. Adam

    Hi CJ,
    Big fan of the site. Ive been doing p90x without the diet and now Im going to start. I have my meals for the week all planned out. I have one question though. In the guide it says to find fat free ham. When I look at the prepackaged chunk ham all of them say 97% fat free. Will this do? I cant find any completely fat free.

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Adam!! I used turkey ham as opposed to real ham, which I think was fat free. If you can’t find turkey ham, though, I think 97% fat free real ham is probably fine. =)
      – CJ =)

  18. stephen

    hi iam thinking about starting p90x on the nutrition side iam level 2 so does the portions for each group amount to the calories bit confused on this thanks

  19. brazoriagirl37

    I am a little confused. I have a “P90X” spreadsheet that took my personal data, my goals, and my fitness test results and it told me which level to start at for my nutrition (P1 Level1) and it said I should consume 2273 calories per day. However when I add up the calorie numbers for the “Portions” it tells me to eat i.e. 5 protein, 2 dairy, 1 fruit etc. the calories only come up to 1490??? How do I get the additional 783 calories in me if I am out of my portions??? I am real excited to get back in shape!!! But I am apparently easy to through off track…:( I appreciate your help!!!

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Brazoria –
      I keep reading this and I’m not sure what to tell you! Maybe the spreadsheet you got doesn’t work. The calories for the portions should add up to the total calories per day that you’re supposed to eat.
      – CJ =)

      1. BradS

        Hi CJ, I think something is wrong with Beachbody’s math, or they have failed to explain something clearly enough for me. I carefully added the number of calories in each category of food in the portion approach (from the leftmost column of the list of foods), multiplied by the number of allowed portions of each type, and I came up with a calorie count of 2,080 for Phase 1, Level II, not the 2,400 calories that Level II is supposed to have. Looking ahead, the same sort of thing happened for Phases 2 and 3. I am supposed to require 2,544 calories per day. If I follow the portion approach, I will be 22 percent short on my calorie intake and will have no more allowances in any category. This cannot be the voluntary calorie defit that they discuss as an option; it looks more like bad math. I guess I should just deviate from the plan in proper proportions until I get the 2,400 calories they say I am getting or the 2,544 that their formulas say I need? This makes it a lot harder to know what my results will be like, and it makes me wonder what brazoriagirl37 and I are missing here. Adding bars or shakes will put me over my portions. What should I do?

  20. France

    Hi CJ!

    I’m a vegan who does not eat dairy, eggs or any soy products. I am giving P90X a go but want to ensure I am eating the right foods with the right amounts of protein…Do you have any suggestions?


    1. CJ =)

      Hey France!
      Yes, check out my vegan p90x meal plan and food journal pages. It uses the information for vegans that Beachbody published in their newsletter.
      I hope that helps.
      – CJ =)

  21. Josh

    Yes this helps. Like you said, the more time I spend figuring this out, the easier it gets. The Journal is going to help keep track of what I’m making as I can cross stuff off. Thanks for the reply!

  22. Josh

    Hey CJ!

    I’m really having a hard time figuring out this portion thing. I found myself picking individual items to eat, instead of thinking about choosing items to make a full-on cooked meal. I REALLY dislike the menu provided in the nutrition guide, which leaves me torn.

    My Questions:
    Should I choose three “main” meals I want to eat, then just fill in the snacks with what portions I have left?

    Also, less time in the kitchen is good, so I’m wondering if you typically cook one meal, or more then one per day? Do you cook the day before, or the day of (kinda in the moment when its needed)?

    Ultimately I’m worried I’ll choose meals that are above my skill level, cost a lot, or result in spending too much time in the kitchen, or pick something that will prevent me from meeting my goals.

    Can you lend advice, I’m so confused, am I over-thinking this?

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Josh!
      Sorry this is confusing. It’s a lot to get your head around at first, but rest assured that it WILL get easier over time.

      Typically I planned the food for the day that morning, or the night before. I would usually decide how I wanted to used the carb serving first, since there was only one and it would affect what I made for the rest of the meals (usually I used it with dinner). So if I were you I’d choose one recipe off this site that you’d like to eat, and plug the servings into my food journal page. Then, looking at the servings you have remaining, choose another recipe and plug that in. Then usually from there I’d do what you said, and fill-in the remaining servings as lunch and snacks. Sometimes my hubby was eating a real hodgepodge of stuff to make it work.
      Does this make sense? Does it answer your question?
      Hang in there, it gets easier!
      – CJ =)

  23. Yesenia Valle


    My husband and I just started P90x. We decided to follow the nutrtion guide, but are extremely concerned because we find ourselves not being able to eat the entire portion of the meals we prepare. What exactly are our options?

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Yesenia!
      This is a great, common question – a lot of people have trouble finishing their meals at first. The consensus by Beachbody staff is that if you cannot finish your meals, it is OK. Just eat what you can and then stop. DO NOT stuff yourself. Over time, it is likely that your body will need the extra nutrients, and you’ll start being hungry for the extra food.

      One caveat, is make sure that you are both at the correct P90x level – I depart from the guide slightly on this topic, because P90x is designed for “moderately fit” people who have gone through the P90 already, so if either you or your husband are overweight and wouldn’t consider yourself moderately fit, you might have to go down a level. I talk about my philosophy on this further on the P90x nutrition basics page.
      Hope that helps!
      -CJ =)

  24. joseph

    hi just started p90x. just wondering if i can have tea or coffee on the diet.

    1. CJ =)

      There are different opinions on this. The general consensus seems to be that, while avoiding the caffiene would be better, it’s OK as long as you avoid the addins (milk, sugar), etc. Some asthmatics have even found that hot caffinated coffee can help with breathing during their workout!
      – CJ =)

  25. Holly

    I noticed that you referenced The China Study. I have also read and am currently trying to follow the alkaline diet on my doctor’s advice. I was planning on just continuing with this diet and embarking on the P90X and am JUST getting started. I took the fit test yesterday and with the exception of pull-ups (which I have NEVER been able to do even when I was a varsity athlete), I passed the minimums. I just ran across this recipe blog when I was looking for a recipe that I had seen in the nutrition for a soup that looked pretty good for the summer time. Somehow I got lost reading about recovery drinks. I now realize that I should look over the nutrition plan that I was intending to ignore. Is it imperative to follow their plan? Would it be that harmful to follow the China Study diet when doing the P90X program?

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Holly!
      The short answer to your question is no, I don’t think it’d be harmful to do the China Study diet, which is basically a vegan diet, on P90x. My one caveat to this is that P90x requires a much larger amount of protein than a normal diet, so you’ll have to keep track very carefully. I’d definitely recommend spending some time searching for vegan threads on the Beachbody forums – there is lots of conversation on how to accomplish this. Check out the vegan P90x meal plan and food journal I developed.

      Regarding whether it is imperative to follow the Beachbody eating plan, different people will give you different answers on that. On one hand, lots of people have success with P90x while modifying the food plan or following other diets. On the other hand, there are lots of people out there who do P90x and don’t follow the nutrition, don’t end up getting the results they are looking for, and end up regretting not going “all in” and doing the food aspect of it too. The nice thing about the P90x food plan is that it is a tried and true, proven thing, with no guess-work about it. People who do the whole thing almost universally see results. If it were me making the decision, I’d do the whole thing – if you are going to discipline yourself to exercise for an hour for the next 90 days, might as well commit across the board and discipline yourself to follow the nutrition too!
      Hope this helps!
      – CJ =)

  26. Melissa

    Hey CJ –

    Is there any way you could make an area for us to upload our own meal plans so that I can be super lazy and copy off others? For example, if 7 people upload one day of a meal plan, I can have my whole week done for me!

    What do you think?

    Thanks for EVERYTHING!!!!

    1. CJ =)

      Melissa, this is an AWESOME idea. Let me look into it and see what I can do!!
      – CJ =)

  27. jd

    Hi. I am 16 years old and my metabolism is faster than most. I have really nice abs and most likely no fat. I am training for a triatholon and cycling in general. I want to complete it by the end of the summer, but mainly want to look good for the ladies.
    Would the P90X be good for me?
    My second question is what would be better to use, dumbbells or the resistance bans? i have money and will take whaetever it takes to become fit, i just want to know which would be the best way of doing so. Thanks for your time.

    1. CJ =)

      Hey JD!
      First, yes, P90x would be good for you. It sounds like you are exactly what P90x is designed for – someone who is already at least moderately fit. It is a fitness program, not a weight loss program, so if you follow the nutrition plan and do the workouts, you’ll definitely see results.
      Second, I can’t give a definite answer to whether dumbells or resistance bands are better – Tony uses both in the videos, and it seems clear that you can get results from either. My hubby uses an adjustable weight set that is on a stand and you can just change from one weight to another quickly. He seems to like them because they take up less space than a full dumbbell set.
      Hope this helps!
      – CJ =)

  28. justin doty

    Would it be ok to switch day 4 (yoga) with day 6 (kempo)?

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Justin!
      Are you talking about removing one entirely, or just swapping the days you do them on? I think swapping would be OK, but I wouldn’t recommend skipping either entirely, as they each offer different benefits that are part of the success of the plan. =)
      – CJ =)

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