We are half-way through Phase 2 of P90X and I felt it is the perfect time to explain how we are coping with the new “Energy Booster” nutrition plan.
Phase 2 Nutrition
We’ve been in 2-carb per day heaven for about 2 weeks now and we are loving the new variety in our diet. Admittedly, we haven’t switch dinner up a whole lot but we are definitely seeing some big changes in the breakfast and lunch department.
Now we switch off between eating our Phase-1-friendly high protein breakfast of eggs and cottage cheese and a carb-loaded cup of oatmeal with a half banana. We eat Coaches Oats and Mike heats it on the stove for us each morning. I like to add cinnamon as well. Sometimes we throw in some blackberries. I have to admit, that I’ve always loved oatmeal but I’ve always loved Quaker’s artificial sweetener laden, 20-ingredients you can’t pronounce, maple flavored instant oatmeal. I’ve never been a huge fan of plain, stove top oats, where there is only one ingredient listed (you guessed it, oats). Well, as mentioned in a previous post, after reading Jillian Michaels’ book “Master Your Metabolism” I have tried my best to shun all things processed or non-organic (meat other than chicken is hard to find organic in bulk unfortunately), especially artificial sweeteners. So, although it’s nice to have a break from the eggs and cottage cheese, I don’t enjoy the oats quite as much as I used to. However, the bananas add a lot of sweetness and I do admit (gasp) that I add some “Sugar in the Raw” brand sugar on top sometimes. Real sugar, in moderation, is ALWAYS better than artificial.
Lunch is another time for changes. We kind of got in a rut during Phase 1 and literally ate the same 2 salads every day for lunch (besides weekend when we usually just ate a bigger breakfast). We’d have a salad with tuna and veggies with a mustard dressing or a “chef salad” with ham, turkey, cheddar cheese, veggies and sometimes avocado. Now, on the days that we go protein for breakfast, I make us either a tuna or a turkey (avocado) sandwich. It’s been a great change of pace! It’s also much easier to eat out for lunch when you can add that extra carbohydrate to the day.
Hungry Hungry Hippo!
During Phase 1, it was easier for me to stick to my 1,800ish calorie diet (which I reduced from the amount P90X recommended). However, during Phase 2 it’s hard for me to stay under 2,000. I’m starving! I recalculated Mike’s calorie intake at the end of Phase 1 and realized that he wasn’t eating enough so we bought some 1% organic milk to add to our recovery shakes in the morning. Now I have a full breakfast and oftentimes I’ll have 1 scoop of recovery (we switched to GNC brand and like it a lot more) blended with ice, 1 cup of milk, and a few frozen strawberries. It may well be the best part of my day! It’s delicious! Sometimes this massive calorie intake in the morning (250 for breakfast, 275 for the shake) can hold me over until lunch, but oftentimes I have to have a mid-morning snack.
You would think that since I’ve lost weight that I should be eating less, but my body is telling me to eat more! I think it must be all those muscles I’ve been growing – they are greedy! Also, during phase 1 I only ran a couple of times a week, and so far in Phase 3 I’ve run 3x/week. On double days, I usually eat around 2,100 calories because I also have an additional recovery shake.
Even though I’m in Level 1, which only allows for a recovery shake, a protein bar and a single serving snack, I ALWAYS have double snacks. A single snack is about 100 calories and a double is about 200. Sometimes I’ll have double snack and a single snack. It seems impossible to have just a protein bar and one single snack (ie a piece of string cheese). My favorite snack is 1 ounce (1/4 cup) of almonds. I also use my fruit serving as a snack, oftentimes eating 1.5-2 servings of fruit per day instead of the allotted 1 (1 piece of fruit seems just unfair).
Another great addition to the Phase 2 grocery list is flavored yogurt. Phase 1 only allowed plain, non-fat yogurt and I must say I’m not the biggest fan. I’d rather not eat yogurt than eat plain. In phase two I have been buying non-fat flavored greek yogurt. One 150 gram serving of greek yogurt has only 110 calories and 14 grams of protein! Unfortunately, flavored yogurt (frozen or not) does contain some artificial sweeteners so I try not to have it every day. Speaking of frozen yogurt, I am still indulging in this after dinner treat about 4 times a week and I still can’t stick to that 4 ounce portion size.
Last Saturday my cousins came to visit with a plate of brownies. I had to have one. I had been craving chocolate and it would be rude not to right? Then that Sunday I had my monthly dinner party with my girlfriends (this time it was a brunch) and I splurged a little there with a mimosa, huevos rancheros, and a small piece of lemon cake.
That night we attended an Oscar Party and brought our own backup food – mini turkey burgers and apples with peanut butter. However, I still couldn’t resist some chocolate-peanut butter covered chex mix and a little bit of anything else. At the end of the day though, I didn’t go overboard. Normally this would have been a killer weekend for me. I ran 7 miles on Sunday and I usually justify eating whatever I want because I ran. However, although I splurged a little, I did resist birthday cake on Friday at work and I didn’t dig into the 7 layer dip, cake, corndogs, and much more at the Oscar party. I splurged only with things that felt worth it to me and at the end of the day, I didn’t feel guilty for it. I felt better that I was able to control myself!
Phase 2 Results So Far
We are 1/2 way through phase 2 and I’m still seeing results. Not so much on the scale (only 1 lb more lost) but in my physical appearance and the way my body feels. This morning when I woke up (the best time to check yourself out), my stomach was so flat that I could see my new toned abs coming through. My shoulders and biceps have become very defined although my arms are much thinner than before. Overall, I have a more lean look. I’ve received many compliments on my new physique already (I love when people tell me that I didn’t have any pounds to lose when I tell them I’ve lost 9!).
One of the small (ok maybe the only) downside to getting smaller is that my pants don’t really fit right anymore! Luckily I can wear jeans to work, but one day I wore some nice slacks to work and they were on the verge of being too baggy to be professional. Jeans are little more forgiving since they have elasticity, but they tend to stretch out and by the end of the day they are hanging off me. I’m going to wait until we finish P90X to go out and buy jeans one size down, so for now, I’ll just have to wash them more often!
We are about half way through P90X and I couldn’t feel better about the results. I look better, feel better, and I run faster! Based on research I’ve done, the biggest results come in Phase 3, so I can’t wait to see what happens then!