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According to the P90X food plan, here’s how the calculations for daily intake (calorie-wise) is done. ****These calculations are based off of an intense program such as P90X.****

Weight x 10 = Y
Y x 0.2 = Z
Total Calorie intake = Y + Z + 600, where 600 is the amount of calories burned for each workout. I think this is on an average.

So, if your weight is 200 lbs,
200 x 10 = 2000
2000 x 0.2 = 400

Total Calorie Intake = 2000 + 400 + 600 = 3000.

Note that this is for maintenance. If you’re looking for fat loss, there has to be a calorie deficit. Let’s say you target a 500 calorie deficit, so you need to consume 2500 calories. For a more aggressive approach, you could go for a 1000 calorie deficit, but you need to be very very careful and make sure you’re getting high quality nutrition with every morsel/bite of food. Each and every calorie should be your fuel.

Approach #1:

Let’s say, you consume 2000 calories per day.

For a 50/30/20 ratio, your daily intake comes to 250/150/45 (p/c/f)

Make sure you get enough fiber

Approach #2:

This is a slightly different approach and does not work based off of ratios.
Let’s take a 200 lb individual whose goal is to get to 170 lbs.

Total calorie intake = (170*10*0.2) + 600 = 2600 calories. In order to maintain a deficit, let’s say the daily calorie goal is 2000 calories (600 calorie deficit)

For each lb of target body weight, consume 1g – 1.5g of protein ==> 170 g of protein ==> 680 calories
For each lb of target body weight, consume 0.5 g of fat ==> 85 g of fat ==> 765 calories
Remainder calories come from carbs ==> 2000 – (680+765) ==> 655 calories ==> 140 g of carbs

Your daily intake comes to 170/140/85 (p/c/f)

As you increase or decrease your calories, the ratios adjust automatically, considering the fact that the increase in calories comes from carbs, which is a sensible approach. This is exactly why the P90X nutrition guide has increasing carbs ratios as you move from one phase to another. Why? Because as you lose weight, your body needs more carbs to push even harder and the metabolism increases too.

Ratios can be misleading, you can over-consume protein, which is an unhealthy long term approach. Take your target body weight and do these calculations, you will have a more overall long term sustainable approach.


The difference between the two approaches is that for Approach #2, the ratios come up automatically. Once the target weight has been met, the increase in calories can be filled with carbohydrates. The increase will take care of the ratios (since more calories and same amount of protein implies lower protein ratio automatically).

Second benefit for Approach #2 is the importance of fat in your diet. Extremely low fat in diets below 20% are not good for you.

You can take either approach, but if when you go for a 40/40/20 plan in the next phase, you’ll realize it’s almost better to stick with the same protein and fat and play with carbs. This is based off of my experience and implementation.

Hope this helps everyone plan their meals.

The video below is based off of Approach #1, but I prefer Approach #2


Carb Choices for each Phase


Coach V
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Coach V

Fitness Coach / Blogger at www.FitnessYodha.Com
An Engineer by profession and a Fitness Coach / Blogger by choice. You will find posts pertaining to Fitness, Nutrition, Humor, Movie Reviews and sometimes Physics and some Philosophy as well.

I write from my heart.
I'd write even if no one was reading.

"Offending people since 1977"
Coach V
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