Once again, from the Women's P90X results thread another great post, linked over from Steve Edward's blog - a post on P90X and weight loss:
I haven't been too strict with diet over the course of the program. But since I always eat decently my results are progressing just fine. For the next two weeks, however, I'm going to get a bit stricter and force the next set of results.
The P90X is a performance diet, not a weight loss diet. While you are likely to lose weight on it that is not its priimary function. This is in contrast to every other diet we offer with our programs. It's also why if you run the calorie calculations for X compared to with our other tools you'll end up with more calories. Because X is advanced we assume that anyone going into it has a higher fitness level and percentage of fat to muscle. We have a fit test, that if you can pass, means this is true. So the average person beginning X will consume at least 500 more calories a day than someone beginning our of our regular programs because their BMR should be much higher.
When I advise people beginning X I don't emphasize a weight loss plan, even if their aim is to lose weight. Paramout in X is recovery and you must eat enough to recover if you want your performance to increase. In a more de-conditioned state, as you're more likely to begin one of our entry programs, we suggest you begin with weight loss because you're not yet fit enough to incure serious breakdown from your workouts. So we severely limit calorie consumption as your fitness builds its base.
In a beginner program as your body composition changes you need to eat more to keep results coming because you have to feed your new muscle mass, even in order to keep fat loss happening. For this reason the number one piece of advise we give our longterm members is to eat more calories once they've hit that initial plateau. In X, if you undereat you'll simply never recover and your results will stagnate from the start.
The phased diet plan in X was designed for our average X customer but isn't meant to be set in stone. Here is my post on periodizational dieting. I like this plan for most people, but I ammend it for my friends, especially athletic friends who've gotten a little our of shape, like me during this round of X.
For these types I generally recommend eating anything you want during the initial stages of X. The reason is that we need to recover above all else. The chances are, also, that we'll be doing at least some other exercise. Most of us are training for sports as well the X will always have a double element, even in its initial block. We don't recommend this in our program guide--and wouldn't even necessarily recommend it for athletes. But the reality is that athletes like playing their games and are probably going to, at least to some degree, all of the time. Btw, I'm going to post on sports-specific X routines later on.
I'll always show some restraint with my diet when training but, essentially, if I am desperately hungry I'll pig out. I'm not really a habitual eater. When I'm hungry it's usually due to body breakdown. However, I don't always fuel myself properly. During the initial stages of an exercise program (unless I'm on a very tight schedule) I'll generally fuel myself with whatever I feel like eating, even if it's junk-ish. If I want pizza and beer; that's what I have. And I don't care if this causes me to gain weight initially as long as I'm recovering well enough that I can continually improve the intensity of my training.
At some point, however, bad eating becomes simply bad eating. This is when it's time to streamline. I think I'm at that point. I feel good. My training is beginning to make big leaps along with my fitness. Yesterday I did a group ride and beat my time up Emigration canyon by about 25% from a month ago. I'm recovering with what I eat but I can tell I'm eating a little more than I need. So it's time to start ditching those extra calories. To borrow a broken English term from Arnold back in his Pumping Iron days, it's time to get my diet "to a point."
When the fitness is there it's important to note the cutting calories will have a dramatic effect, and that it could be bad. You need to feed your body and over the next two weeks I'm going to border on not feeding it enough. This helps improve fat metabolism--really important for endurance events--but can lead to chronic overtraining quickly if it's pushed too far. But as far as visible results go, this is when they happen rapidly.
At which point I won't tell you what happened when I got on the scale today :P But on the up side, one of my protege's (I don't know what else to call her;) is down 6.6lbs! In 29 days! I'm so jealous/proud!