Tony Horton Knows Best


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Tie: Tony says with diet and exercise I can lose weight and gain muscle!
Guy: I'm pretty sure everyone says that.
Tie: You are wrong, before Tony no one ever lost weight.

© Jonathan Kroupa 2011
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P 90 X Diet

posted by : Jon Kroupa on 05/08/2011

Related Comic: Tony Horton Knows Best

This week I did the p90x nutrition plan.

The Diet:

The diet allows the following portions of food, which should come out to around 1800 calories a day:

  • 5 Proteins (of roughly 3 ounces a piece)
  • 2 Dairy (1-1.5 ounces of cheese, 1 cup of cottage cheese)
  • 1 Fruit (a medium sized piece of normal fruit)
  • 2 Vegetables (1 cup of a green vegetable, or 8 ounces of low sodium v8)
  • 1 Fat (4 ounces of olives)
  • 1 Carb (1 cup of brown rice, whole wheat bagel)
  • 3 "Snacks" (extra piece of fruit, diary, or soy nuts and a p90x protein bar and p90x protein shake)
  • 1 Condiment (ketchup or bbq sauce)

The Experience:

I didn't buy the p90x bars or shakes. They are supposed to be 200 calorie items, so I used comparable protein shakes and bars, such as Special K's protein bars with 190 calories. Since I was supposed to get around 15 ounces of protein from meats I would have Vienna sausages (also known as miniature hot dogs) for lunch (5 ounces) and then a chicken breast or steak for dinner. Most days I ate fewer carbs than the recommended amount. Primarily because 1 cup of brown rice is about twice as much as I eat when combined with chicken or steak and a vegetable like broccoli. I typically cooked up two days worth of dinners at a time, so the leftover rice and broccoli carried over to the next day. I bought low sodium v8 drinks, a substance that tastes like cold tomato soup, which I used for one of my daily vegetables for most days.

The diet itself is a little strange. Most people wouldn't expect such a limitation on fruits and vegetables. Even the low carb diets let you eat some fruits (such as berries) to a greater extent than the p90x diet. The nutrition diet is supposed to be combined with the p90x videos, but since I was starting into the 100 miles goal this month it would have been far too difficult to do both.

The 100 mile goal is to complete 100 miles of any combination of walking, jogging, hiking, or any exercise you can reliably determine the distance for. I've done this every summer for the last few years with friends and family. It actually contributed significantly to the creation of this comic and blog space. Previously I have only been doing around 10-15 miles a week from jogging, cycling, and elliptical. This week I jogged 17.7 miles and elipsed 13.4 miles. I also continued to so some weight lifting Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

The Result:

Despite this significant increase in exercise I didn't lose any weight, which is pretty discouraging at times.

Thursday I ended up eating a little more than I should have, I had a white dinner roll at lunch (after weeks of having no rolls, it was delicious), and later that evening at a Cinco de Mayo party I had a few quesadilla triangles and some corn chips with homemade salsa. I justified it because I did a 5K run and 3.66 miles on the elliptical immediately afterwards. The next morning I woke up to discover I was 2.4 pounds heavier than the previous morning, a very depressing revelation. This is the first time since starting my shifting diet program that I have not had a weight loss, and I spent a portion of Friday wondering if this was as low as I could get, and that I might was well starting eating whatever I wanted again.

As the day wore on I eventually decided I must just be experiencing a weight loss plateau. I started searching the internet for suggestions on how to overcome my plateau so I could continue to enjoy improving my health. Unfortunately this didn't yield very good results.

Most of the websites offered suggestions of things I am already doing.

  1. Change up your workout routine and intensity
  2. Keep track of your calories and food intact
  3. Get rid of tempting foods in your house
  4. Beware restaurants
  5. Alter your eating habits to add or remove nutrients

This week I changed my intensity and workout routine. I also increased the amount of weight I am using for most of my weight training exercises. I've been keeping track of what I eat every day for the last 5 weeks. My house, which is already traditionally devoid of food anyways basically has nothing left to tempt me, except the occasional semi-sweet chocolate chips. Although I go to restaurants once or twice a week I am very conscious of the portions, calories, and other properties. I alter my eating habits every week.

It would be easy to say that with my increased exercise I am simply building muscle in addition to losing fat, and that muscle weighs more. I personally have a hard time believing that in the space of a week I both lost fat and gained an equal amount of pounds in muscle. I think it is much more likely that I'm at a plateau and that hopefully I'll be able to somehow break it.

Ideally whatever diet I decide for this coming week will be enough to shock my system back into letting me lose weight. Although I don't expect the dramatic results of 4+ pounds a week that I originally enjoyed I would be very receptive to the 2 pounds a week that most people expect. Particularly after this week.

Post Script: Monday morning the following week I weighted 2 pounds less from the previous Monday. This happened despite gorging myself on brownies, no bake cookies, and jello on Sunday.

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