P90X, End of Round 1

Ok, it’s been 90 days of P90X.   I’m posting my before-and-after, partly to set the bar for the next 90 days (backsliding is way too easy, especially with mom’s cooking…), and partly to inspire/challenge my friends to give it a try too.


I’m gettin’ there.  🙂  I am down 17 lbs (185 to 168) and went from a tight 34″ waist to a loose 32″.   I’ve gone from doing 3-4 pull-ups, to doing 15. I’ve gone from doing 20 push-ups to doing 40.  I feel fantastic, like I could punch a hole in a brick wall.  I am a *very* happy customer.  P90X is a very well-rounded and strenuous exercise program, and Tony Horton does a amazing job of motivating you on those days you feel like staying glued to the couch.

That said… 80% of what I’ve done is just diet and eating right.   A couple of years ago, I ran 25 miles a week every week for two straight years, ate whatever I wanted, and barely lost 10 lbs.  A few years later, two years of full-time work + full-time grad school had packed the pounds back on and then some (and then some…)   I started eating right, did no exercise more strenuous than read the newspaper in the sauna after work, and lost 50 lbs in 8 months.  So diet is the key.  Almost no amount of exercise can counteract a bad diet, and no exercise is necessary with a good diet.   But combine exercise with a good diet, and you can see good results quicker.

A diet high in lean protein (75% of your caloric intake), and a small portion of low-glycemic carbs (25% of your caloric intake) helps burn fat.   Your body burns carbs first, and only once you’ve run low will it start burning fat.  Low-glycemic carbs like brown rice and beans take your body longer to digest.   Your body needs a certain amount of energy at all times due to your metabolism plus whatever activity you’re currently engaged in, and since low-glycemic carbs digest slowly, your body will burn fat to make up the difference. You can find info on the glycemic index by clicking here, entering a food, and then looking at the “Estimated Glycemic Load” box.  The lower the better.

Simple carbs like sugar, flour, potatoes are bad for you two ways.  One, your body can digest them quickly, which means any carbs you can’t burn at that moment get stored as fat.  Two, your insulin spikes when digesting simple carbs, and when it crashes you get very hungry.  So simple carbs are a double hit.  Complex carbs and protein keep you feeling fuller longer on fewer calories.

Just as important as what you eat, is how much.  That whole “feeling fuller longer on fewer calories” the above diet gives you *REALLY* helps, because you’re going to be counting calories, and sticking to a diet is vastly easier when you feel full and sated instead of constantly on the verge of starvation. A sample of P90X’s diet plan is available by clicking here, and page 3 has a simple calculator for determining how many calories you should eat.

My weight loss plateaued about a month ago.  I hit 170.0, and started gaining a bit (got back to 173 or so).  That happens.  I have no idea why your body can plateau for several weeks, but it can’t violate the laws of thermodynamics forever, so stick to it and keep pressing play.  Historically I’ve noticed that whenever I plateau, it usually takes a month or so to break through it, and sure enough in the past week or so I’ve started losing again.  So *when* (not *if*) it happens to you, just keep your chin up and keep hustling.     Do your best, and forget the rest.

Give it a try!  And see you in 90 days.  Where are *you* going to be 90 days from now if you don’t?  🙂

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