My 1,900 Calorie Diet
The P90X® is really a 2-part program, the workouts and the diet/nutrition. The workouts are pretty straight-forward – you just pop-in the DVDs and do the best that you can. The diet/nutrition can be a lot trickier to figure out. Many, many people have given their very best in the workouts, only to have their results fall short because they weren't able to get their diets dialed in.
The P90X® Nutrition Program recommended that someone my size (220.5 pounds on Day 1) should eat approximately 2,890 calories in order to lose (1) pound of body fat per week. Personally, in the beginning anyway, I found this to be a really high and somewhat unrealistic number. It's easy to hit 2,890 calories eating cheeseburgers and sucking down sodas, but it's actually pretty difficult when you're eating healthy stuff. Considering my weight-loss goals and the "Negative Calorie Balance" concept, I settled on 1,900 calories per day for Phase 1. I figured that number allowed me to run the highest possible negative calorie balance while simultaneously avoiding "starvation mode."
Because of my busy lifestyle (full-time job, long commute, "dad of two" responsibilities) I just didn't find it possible to accurately follow the portion plan (or any other plan for that matter). What I DID do was identify a group of about (40) "core" foods that would allow me to stay within those recommended "50/30/20" Phase 1 ratios.
I know the foods listed in the Fitday screenshot below aren't "sexy," but they got the job done and really jump-started my weight-loss. I ate every three hours, was rarely hungry and hit those ratios nearly exactly. I took the Elite 12 (a casein-based protein) before bed and supplemented my low fat intake with Omega-3 fish oil pills. Look at the foods I ate on this particular day and what their nutritional values are; then, just substitute foods with similar values from day-to-day for variety.