P90X Diet: What You Need to Know

Drawbacks of the P90X Diet

Two of the three phases of the P90X Diet require you reduce your carbohydrate intakes below the minimum levels of carbs suggested by the Mayo Clinic.
Two of the three phases of the P90X Diet require you reduce your carbohydrate intakes below the minimum levels of carbs suggested by the Mayo Clinic.
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One major drawback to this diet is the cost. To receive in-depth information about the diet, you need to order the P90X workout package, which costs $120 for the 90-day program. This doesn't include the additional costs of the dietary supplements that are sold separately. A package of 12 protein bars costs almost $24 before shipping and handling fees [source: Beachbody].

Many of the dietary recommendations run contrary to those of respected organizations such as the American Heart Association and the Mayo Clinic. The P90X Diet is light on fruits and veggies, while the Mayo Clinic recommends unlimited servings [source: Mayo Clinic]. The AHA doesn't recommend high-protein diets due to health risks such as elevated ketone levels in the bloodstream.

Eliminating carbohydrates cuts water weight, one reason many low-carb diets offer quick results. Unfortunately, this weight is easily re-gained. The Mayo Clinic recommends a diet consisting of 45 to 65 percent carbohydrates, 10 to 35 percent protein, and 20 to 35 percent fat (consisting of good fats such as monounsaturated fats) [source: Mayo Clinic]. Two of the three phases of the P90X Diet prescribe carbohydrate intakes that do not meet the minimum levels of carbohydrates called for by the Mayo Clinic.

Additionally, the three phases of the diet vary quite a bit from one another, and if all three phases are incorporated during the 90-day program, the dieter will have changed their diet three times in as many months.

While there are recipes supplied by the makers of P90X, there aren't enough recipes to keep you interested for too long past the initial 90 days.

And what happens after 90 days? The designers of the P90X Diet don't have a clear suggestion for whether you should maintain one phase or the other, and some of this confusion results from the fact that the program itself is only designed to last 90 days. After that, people who've completed the program are encouraged to try other programs offered by the same company, many of which include specialized nutrition plans.

In addition to the roughly hour-long daily P90X workouts, maintaining the P90X Diet may be a pretty time-consuming pursuit for dieters. Not only will dieters track calorie intake and expenditure, but meal preparation must be in accordance with dietary guidelines that shift depending on the phase.

The P90X Diet isn't being presented by nutritionists or health care experts, but rather by a company that is bundling it together with a made-to-sell workout routine.

In the long run, it may be better to adopt a diet recommended by a reputable health care agency or not-for-profit organization.

Keep reading for lots more information about different diets.

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  • American Heart Association. "High-Protein Diets." (June 20, 2011) http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=11234
  • Beachbody. "P90X Peak Performance Supplements." (June 20, 2011) http://www.beachbody.com/category/supplements/p90x_peak_performance.do
  • Gavin, Patrick. "P90X: The congressional workout." June 14, 2011. (June 20, 2011) http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/56838.html
  • Levin-Epstein, Amy. "P90x Creator Tony Horton: My Success Secrets." June 14, 2011. (June 20, 2011) http://moneywatch.bnet.com/career-advice/blog/on-job/p90x-creator-tony-horton-my-success-secrets/924/
  • Martin, Andrew. "The Fitness Revolution Will Be Televised (After Leno)." May 28, 2011. (June 20, 2011) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/business/29exercise.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1
  • Mayo Clinic. "Healthy diet: End the guesswork with these nutrition guidelines." Feb. 22, 2011. (June 20, 2011) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/healthy-diet/NU00200
  • Mayo Clinic. "Pyramid or plate? Explore these healthy diet options." (June 20, 2011) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/healthy-diet/NU00190
  • My P90X Nutrition Plan. "Official Free P90X Nutrition Plan PDF Download." (June 20, 2011) http://myp90xnutritionplan.com/p90x-nutrition-guide/official-p90x-nutrition-guide-pdf-now-available-below/