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Diet FAQs

Q: Can you create a Meal Plan for me?

A: No, I will not create Meal Plans for individuals. If you are interested in a customized Meal Plan, consider the Club Membership, which will create meal plans for you. It’s cheap at only $2.99 per week (billed 38.87 per quarter).  I have posted several sample diets that I used for you to look at if interested in using my diet as a template for your own (see the “Nutrition Tips / Sample Diets” tab above).

Q: It’s hard to eat healthy during work. What can I do to stay committed with the diet?

A: I HIGHLY recommend Shakeology, which has become the most popular Beachbody supplement! Beachbody is so sure that you will like the product, that they give a 30 day “bottom of the bag” money back guarantee! If you aren’t sure that Shakeology is all it’s cracked up to be, try it.  It won’t cost you anything if you are disappointed.  I was skeptical until I tried it.  I am now a total believer, and I won’t go a day without it!  To learn more about Shakeology, click here.

Q: Did you follow the Nutrition Guide?

A: I followed the Nutrition Guide as closely as possible, but there were some foods that I didn’t like, so I would substitute them with one’s that were very similar in nutritional value. I also adjusted the calorie guidelines so that I ran a bigger calorie deficit to cut more body fat (see my post regarding this).  It’s very important to get in the proper fat/carb/protein % every day. It should be 20/30/50 during Phase 1, 20/40/40 during Phase 2, and 20/50/30 during Phase 3. Those are just % of total calories. You can keep track of everything by posting what you eat every day into a website program / phone app like MyFitnessPal and you’ll have all of your nutrition information at your fingertips all day long.  Also, the Club Membership creates specific meal plans for you if you’d like to use that service.

Q: What does your diet look like?

A: I’ve posted my Nutrition Tips as well as sample diets HERE.

Q: Do you have any tips for gaining mass?

A: If you want to gain mass, you have to eat more calories and take in more carbs, which will fuel your muscles to work harder during your workouts (This will look like Phase 3 of the nutrition guide).  You may even have to take in MORE calories than the guide suggests.  Next, take in the proper supplements. 2-3 protein shakes are essential if you’re looking to gain mass! Also, I recommend the Results and Recovery formula, Creatine, and a Pre-Workout supplement for increasing muscle recovery and promoting muscle building.  When working out, do lower reps using heavier weights (8-10, push to failure).  Read my other tips for building mass HERE.

Q: I have been following the diet and workouts to a tee, but have not lost any weight (or even gained weight). Am I doing something wrong?

A: You have to remember that you are both burning fat and building muscle at the same time. You can’t base your results from what you see on the scale. Instead, you need to pay attention to the amount of inches lost and what you see in the mirror.  Also, be sure you are tracking everything you eat, and that you are being honest about portion size.  You might be consuming more calories than you think if you are just going with the “I’m trying to eat healthy” approach rather than actually tracking everything!

QIs it OK to wake up in the morning and work out, or should I eat beforehand?

A: It is not necessary to eat anything before you workout, especially if you are doing it in the morning and crunched on time. The last thing you want to happen is cramp up because you ate something and didn’t give it enough time to digest. However, if you do have time to eat, like an hour, then eat a small simple carbohydrate like an apple or a protein item like a scoop of whey. This will give you more energy during your workout. The most important time to eat would be AFTER your workout when the body demands simple carbohydrates and protein for recovery. You have about an hour span after your workout to eat or take your Recovery Formula.

Q: I’m a woman and worried about getting too muscular with P90X. Should I be worried?

A: The answer is NO!  Many women have followed the Classic version, which is a balance of both cardio and resistance workouts, and don’t get muscular at all! They just lost a lot of body fat and got very toned. Also, women don’t have anywhere close to the testosterone levels that men do, which makes it much harder for them build muscle. If you focus on 12-15 reps, you will be fine!

Q: Is it OK to drink coffee?

A: There is nothing wrong with having a cup or two of coffee throughout the day. Caffeine actually speeds up the metabolism, and has been known to have positive affects on your workouts as well. Just about all the pre-workout supplements that you see on the market today have caffeine in them! Just stay away from the cream and sugar!

Q: Is it OK to drink diet pop?

A: As a former diet pop addict, this is hard to admit, but diet pop is NOT good for you!  It doesn’t have any calories or sugar like regular pop, but it’s so full of fake stuff that if you can keep your diet pop drinking to a bare minimum (1-2 per week) it will benefit you greatly.  I did’t like to drink water when I started this healthy chapter of my life, but one thing that helped me get off my diet pop addiction was to drink flavored water.  Now I drink water all the time and love it.  I just had to break the habit.

QI am having trouble reaching my protein mark for the day. What snacks can I add to increase my protein?

A: Look to lean cuts of meats (chicken, turkey, fish) and whey protein, as well as egg whites.  For snacks, I recommend protein bars, beef jerky, low-fat cottage cheese, non-fat / sugar free yogurt, almonds, and reduced fat string cheese.

Q: Is it OK to have a cheat day or cheat meal?

A: I hate cheat meals!  If you have a cheat meal or cheat day every week, it will slow your results and you will become discouraged. It takes a lot of self-discipline to eat 100% clean, but with sacrifice comes great rewards.  Once you have reached the level of fitness you want, a cheat meal once a week doesn’t hurt you.  But if you are trying to make progress toward a goal, cheating will make it nearly impossible to get to that goal.

Q: Can I stay on the Fat Shredder diet for longer than the first phase?

A: Yes! If you want to lose body fat and weight quicker, stick with the Fat Shredder Phase as long as you want. I followed the Fat Shredder diet for the entire first 3 months of my first round of P90X. However, if you hit a plateau or start bonking during workouts while on the Fat Shredder diet, then move to the next phase or change things up to get your system jump started.

Q: How much water should I drink throughout the day?

A: At least 8 glasses per day.  If you are taking creatine, you will need even more water.  Make sure that when you urinate, it’s clear or nearly clear.

Q: I’ve lost my Nutrition Guide. Do you know where I can get another one?

A: If you purchased P90X through a Beachbody Coach or through the main Beachbody site, then you should be able to contact Beachbody Customer Service and get a new one. However, if you purchased the program through a 3rd party (like eBay or Amazon), then you won’t be able to get a new one.

QThe Nutrition Guide wants me to take in 3,000 calories per day, but I think this is too much! Should I force myself to eat this many?

A: No! It’s never good to feel stuffed after you eat. Remember, you lose body fat and weight by burning more calories than you take in. You have to find that happy medium to where you feel comfortable after every meal – not full, but not too hungry.  I was able to stay at roughly 2,000 calories during Round 1 of P90X, which allowed my body to cut 43 lbs of fat while still getting stronger.  I don’t need to cut anymore fat now, so I take in 3,000 calories per day and while I continue to build muscle and definition, I am not still losing any weight.

Q: Is it OK to use artificial sweetener?

A: You’ll hear multiple opinions on this, but I use artificial sweetener.  I use Splenda as a sweetener on strawberries, for instance.  In moderation, I feel that it’s fine.

306 comments
Byron Carrion
Byron Carrion

Hey coach. 

So I'm trying to loose body fat, and I'm cutting at 1800 calories. What approach do you think would be better?

1800 cal; 180 protein, 150 carbs, 54 fats (trying to follow the 1.0 gram/body weight of protein and .3 gram/body weight of fats)
or
1800 cal; 158 protein, 203 carbs, and 40 fats.( Basically 35%/45%20%)

P.S. I'm a 5'10 19 year old male, at 180lbs.

Trev21
Trev21

are the percentages the sam for women as they are for men as far as carbs, protein ,fats

tcas7343
tcas7343

Coach i have fallen to temptation well peer pressure i just made friends at college my first year and i ate a burger with fries my schedule is getting more packed im finding it harder to make time for excersize im just lost :O 

DaliFax
DaliFax

Hey Wayne. I'm a 20 year old male, around 5'4'' weighing around 148 pounds.  I'm starting p90x2 tomorrow, and in another thread you recommended 1500 calorie fat shredder diet for someone 5'4'' or lower.  I read your thread about doing doubles, but during the summertime I like going for runs outside, and depending on how my first few weeks of X2 go I might run 3 times a week or so.  I was wondering if I do end up doing this, on those days I was thinking of adding 200-300 calories.  Would it be better to make those additional calories carbs?  Also, I buy most of my meats frozen, should I weight the meat I'll be cooking when it's frozen or cooked?

 

girlyglenn
girlyglenn

 I'm a women, 25 yrs old, 5' tall and weigh 135 lbs (23% body fat). Starting 2 weeks ago, I eat 1200 calories per day (50% protein, 30% carbs and 20% fat). Do I need replenish the calories that I burn when working out? I burn between 300 to 600 per day depending on the exercise. I did Insanity last week as I waited for my P90X2 DVDs to come in. I just started P90X2 this Monday.

 

bjg411
bjg411

Coach Wayne, due to my crazy schedule I have days I'm up 24 hours and other days I'm only up for 6. Do I need to adjust my caloric intake on these days? #teamripped

Dustin
Dustin

Coach Wayne.  The one question that I am trying to get, you said it is okay to keep doing the Fat shredder phase in order to lose weight.  Now, what I am curious is, do you mean just eat like you are in the fat shredder phase and continue doing the full 90 days or just keep doing the first 30 until you lose the body fat?  Thanks a lot man.

Matthew
Matthew

Hey Coach Wayne, Im going to be starting P90X and I wanted to do a bulk session. I am 16 and I weight 130lbs and my height is 5ft 8in. What should I be doing to get the most out of my bulk? I have never done a bulk so I wanted to ask an expert. Also I currently supplement with whey and casein protein.

Aicha
Aicha

Hey coach. I currently study in Belgium. Shakeology isn't available in my country. Do you think I should get out of my way and find someone who is willing to ship it over here. Or is it okay if stick to whey protein, veggies and yoghurt in order to get roughly the same probiotics, protein and green nutrition Shakeology offers?

Roy
Roy

Hey Coach, I'm 5'6 144lbs and I'm starting off with the Fat Shredder at 1800 calories. I have a bit of fat on the lower part of my stomach, but I can see my top 2 abs. My question is when I complete an exercise do I also log that into MFP? Or is the 600 calories already included in the 1900 calorie deficit? Thanks for the help!

Jay
Jay

Coach, Just started P90x this week. I'm 5'10. 170lbs. I'm doing the fat shredder phase. I want that ripped look, but at the same time, my biggest fear is to drop a lot of weight. When I was younger, I was weighing 135lbs. I really don't want to get there again. Do you suggest the 2,400 calories P90X recommends?

Michael
Michael

Hey coach, you know how you said the maintenance level of calories will differ depending on person. But for someone who is 6'1 is there a minimum calorie level that this would be? You suggest starting at 3,000 and adjusting. What if i started at 2,500.. Do you think that would still fall into calorie deficit category if im 6'1? ALso yesterday i had around 1600 calories and was preparing to eat the final 300 calories for dinner but i went to chipotle and got myself a burrito(750 calories). WIth brown rice, lean steak, black beans, and mild salsa. Any thoughts about this "cheat meal". Imo, its not that bad, i guess alittle over on carbs for the day.

Michael
Michael

hey coach, I am 6'1 176 right now and currently doing fat shreddar. Im not sure what my body fat is right now, but i got 4 pack clear definition and can see the 6th pack covered by alittle bit of fat in the mirror. So im considering switching to energy booster. I read your article dialing it in, it says for someone my height i should be taking in 3,000 calories. I was just wondering if its possible to take in that many calories and still continue to drop body fat, isnt 3,000 enormous? lol

Michael
Michael

Ok Thanks!. Whats better for nutrition, Oatmeal or Cheerios, if you had to choose?

Michael
Michael

Hey coach, I have a question about cherios. The Cereal Cherios has 19 carbs per serving(total carbs). But I also see it says something like "other carbohydrates=20". What does the other carbohydrate mean, and does that mean a serving of cherios has 19 or 39 carbs? Thanks.

Michael
Michael

hey coach, Is it ok to end the day with shakeology+whey protein scoop as the final meal? Or is it bad to end it with a liquid meal? Thanks!

Kris
Kris

Hi Coach! I'm on the P90X program and I'm on my 1st week. I'm trying to stick to the eating plan as close as I can and I love 'feeling it' the next day! Makes me know I'm Brought it! Lol. Anyway my question is: it's my 30th Birthday next month...I hardly drink at all, but if I do I normally like a Jack And coke. I know coke and soda is out of the question, but am I allowed to have a drink of alcohol at all or will this set me back? Thanks for your help!

Bradley
Bradley

Hey coach, So I've been pretty much nailing the nutrition since my question the other day, but now I have a different question. The answer may be obvious, but I thought I'd ask anyway. When I come to the end of my planning for the day I usually lack about 11 or so protein, maybe 10-15 carbs, and I usually hit the fat at 0. My question is, should I get those last few protein and carbs? Or can I get really close without going over? Is it a matter of nailing it perfectly or nailing it closely?

bradley
bradley

Hopefully you haven't answered this question elsewhere, but I cant seem to find an answer to it. Sometimes, near the end of the day, I'll be lacking 30-50 grams of protein, but I'll be either near or over my limits on carbs/fat. My question is, would it be better for me to go over a little on carbs/fat to hit my protein levels or should I cut back on the protein so I don't go over the carbs/fat? Or does it really matter as long as I'm getting close? Thanks!

Danny
Danny

What if your family or partner aren't very supportive of your diet, and try to make you eat biscuits and cakes because they made them?

Marlon
Marlon

I cut the sugar in my coffee(one spoon before/twice a day) so I was doing 2 spoons of sugars. I still use coffe-mate creamer though. 2 spoons a day. It amounts to 1g of fat and 2g of carbs and 20 calories. I don't drink any other type of milk/cream with my coffee. I account for them on MFP. Am I ok doing this? Big plus on water. I drink a lot. No diet coke for me anymore :-(

brad
brad

hey wayne..when i use calorie counter with bar code scanner figured out to 1900 ...when i took grams of each, according to what tracker had figured out, p c f and did the respective math adds to 2200? what gives am i eating 1900 or 2200 cals? im 6'1" and really want to dial it in. thanks brad

Ryan
Ryan

hey coach I had a question about tracking certain things for example the nutrition facts on my baby spinach is for every 2 cups but I only sprinkle a few on my omelets..is it worth tracking.? also if I make a burger will I have to track the slice of tomato and the peice of lettuce.? they might me a couple of carbs combined..

jimmy
jimmy

coach I am on the fence about shakeology, was wondering what the benefits are and does it replace meals (i would take it in the am after my recovery shake ( amplified wheybolic)) So i was hopin you had time to let me know why its so good. If i do buy it i will go threw you so you get $$$$ Thanks

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

@Trev21  Yes, they are the same. Higher protein, moderate carbs and fat. Track it all!

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

@tcas7343 First off, a burger and fries is not the end of the world. Was it in your plan, no. Should you have been better prepared? Yes. Get over it and if you want it, make it happen. Like anyone, you need to make time if it's important for you. Get up earlier (and go to bed on time). Or get a workout in between classes. If you want it, make it happen!

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

 @DaliFax Well what is your goal? Lose BF? Add muscle? If you are going to be adding extra work, I would add the calories across protein and carbs, not just carbs. You will want the extra protein to maintain/build muscle and the carbs will be muscle sparing as well. Make sure you take in carbs after your runs. Check out: www.teamripped.com/calorie-calculator 

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

 @girlyglenn No that 1200 mark includes your workout. If you were to re-eat those calories you'd be killing your deficit. Stick to 1200 only and you will see great results. 

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

 @bjg411 No I would keep your intake the same. It will average out over the week.

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

Matthew, I would consult a doctor first before drastically changing your diet. They will have specific recommendations. Check out: www.teamripped.com/4-adults-only

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Aicha, I think you can stick to whey, veggie, fruit, and tracking your diet. I am not sure how much work that would be to get it shipped and what the cost would be. I can't imagine it would be cheap. You can still have amazing results without Shakeology. Really dial in your nutrition and don't deviate from your plan.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Roy, that average of 600 calories per workout is already figured in. You never have to add any exercise into MFP. Bring it!!

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Jay, to get ripped you have to drop the fat. If 2400 is your maintenance, then try 1800 at Fat Shredder. It will be plenty to maintain your muscle mass. If you go with a smaller deficit, just realize that your fat loss will be slower.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey Michael, you'd probably still be in a deficit at 2500. Your maintenance level depends on your metabolism and muscle mass, but it will probably be in the 2800-3000 range. The obvious way to find out is to try it and see if you gain or lose weight after a week or so. And yep, that 750 calorie, carb loaded burritto, with a 300 calorie tortilla, when you only had 300 cals allotted for dinner, is definitely a cheat meal. But you don't need me to tell you that. You already know that.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

3,000 will seem like a ton when coming off the fat shredder, but you've seen my results, right? I was on 3,000 cals by whole second round and continued to lose body fat (but not weight). Watch my youtube video if it's been a while, and see the difference between day 90 and day 180. That was on a 3,000 cal diet.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Oatmeal is better -- 1 ingredient. Fewer ingredients are always the better choice. Less processed.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Michael, are you looking at the nutrition label? It's pretty straightforward. Cheerios has 20 total carbs. 3 of those are fiber. 1 is sugar. And the other 16 are "other carbs" meaning not sugar or fiber (the complex carbs in the whole grains). That's how all nutrition labels list carbs.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey Kris, I just answered you on TBB and gave you the link to my "alcohol" article so check that out!

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Close is the key Bradley, so it's fine to come up just short as long as you are close. But don't go over on fat and carbs. Those are the things you need to limit.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey Bradley, don't go over on cals. You'll have to end the day when you hit the calorie limit. But that's definitely NOT ideal. You need to PLAN ahead so that you don't end up going over on fats and carbs next time! It takes some effort to plan ahead, but once you learn what a good nutrition day looks like, you'll get into better habits.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey Danny, that's tough, and I'd be willing to bet that 99% of us have met that same problem, including me and many others. When you make a change, others will resist you. I've written about that struggle in many of my articles, like "negative people", "changes" and others. So check those out. You changing is a scary thing for the people closest to you, even if it's a change for the better. And they will (knowingly or unknowingly) try to undermine you. You have to communicate the importance of your health to them and ask them to be supportive. If they won't support you in this effort, ask them to at least not OPPOSE you. Let them eat their cakes while you eat your protein shake. You can't make them commit to eat your way, but they shouldn't try to make you eat their way either.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey Marlon, a small amount of low cal creamer won't hurt anything if it fits into your daily totals. Keep it up!

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey Brad, are you eating a lot of processed grains and cereals? For example, Kashi cereal doesn't include fiber in it's calorie total, so it may have 40g of carbs but yet only report 100 cals (instead of 160) because it doesn't count the 15g of fiber (those #'s are correct for Kashi -- I'm just using it as an example).

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey Ryan, there is no need to track the tiny things that are less than 10 cals if you just keep a mental "margin" of 50-70 cals per day for the little stuff like a slice of tomato here, a couple leaves of spinach there.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey Travis, you can basically find anyone to say anything about what constitutes a healthy diet. You just have to decide which one you are going to go with. I personally would never expect to lose body fat by eating a lot of cheese, milk, and butter. I wouldn't even call those "healthy fats", but rather artery clogging saturated fats that are one of the biggest causes of heart disease in our over-cheesed, over-buttered culture. Humans are the ONLY thing on the planet that keeps consuming dairy beyond infancy. Anyways, go with what you think makes sense and what you see evidence for. I've seen hundreds and thousands of results from people who have done healthy, well balanced, high protein diets -- including myself. So that's what I recommend.

DaliFax
DaliFax

 @CoachWayne I want to lose BF mainly, get shredded.  I'm already in pretty good shape but I want to take it to the next level!

bjg411
bjg411

Thanks  @CoachWayne  I have been keeping the same calories daily, I just wanted to make sure I was on the right track. @bjg411  It can just be tough to get in enough calories on those short days.

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

 @DaliFax Then use about a 600 calorie deficit in that calculator I linked. That will be a great place to start. Then on run days, add your 200-300 with protein and carbs.