If you’re doing P90X, you know that to maximize your results, you have to focus on your nutrition, just as much as your workouts.  If you want results, and I know you do!, then you have to watch what you eat.  However, you may have times where you just can’t get home to eat a P90X meal, or aren’t able to pack your food as you go.  It happens to all of us at some time or another.  When it happens to you, be prepared.  Here is an excellent article by Dennis Faye with Beachbody.  So from now on, no excuses.  You can stay on the P90X diet, no matter where you are!

A P90X® Restaurant Guide
By Denis Faye

You’re working late at the office. It’s time for dinner, but there’s a problem. You’re in the middle of your P90X program, and a big, greasy restaurant meal will throw your precision diet into complete chaos.

“But wait,” you think, “aren’t there restaurant meals listed in the back of the handy dandy P90X Nutrition Plan?” Yes, but you open it up and . . . d’oh! It’s all fast food! You’re with a client and you don’t want to slum it!

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Relax. You’ll be fine. I’ll talk you through this difficult situation.

The first thing you need to do is use common sense. Here’s a quick list of things that’ll help you survive any restaurant.

  1. Go for the chicken or fish.
  2. Avoid fried food.
  3. Unless it’s veggies, salad, or fruit, skip the side dish.
  4. Pasta? Avoid cream sauces and just eat half your portion.
  5. No bread, except if you’re having a sandwich. And get whole wheat.
  6. Ask for the salad dressing on the side and use it sparingly.

If you do this, you’ll probably find yourself with a remarkably stripped-down meal that’ll be easy to judge. Here’s how to do that.

  1. Piece of meat = 2 protein portions.
  2. Side of veggies or salad = 1 veggie portion per side dish.
  3. Salad dressing can count as 1 condiment portion if you limit the serving to 2 tablespoons.
  4. If you ignored my extra side dish advice, count that as 1 carb portion.
  5. If there’s any kind of sauce or marinade on your meat, add 1 condiment portion.
  6. Add 1 fat portion. Restaurants are notorious for sneaking fat and sodium into food. That’s why it tastes so good.
  7. In the event that you are 100 percent, categorically certain that there’s no hidden fat in your meal, skip step 5 and add 1 condiment portion, simply because I don’t trust those restaurant guys. I’m certain they snuck something in there. Trust me. I’m paranoid so that you don’t have to be.

So, for example, let’s take Denny’s Grilled Tilapia. Here’s how they describe it on the menu: a mild, white fish filet seasoned and grilled, then placed on a bed of savory vegetable rice pilaf. Served with your choice of two sides and dinner bread.

We have our fish, so that’s 2 protein portions. The vegetable rice pilaf is 1 carb portion and 1 veggie portion. The corn and tomato slices are 1 veggie portion each. Let’s call that 1 carb portion and 1 veggie portion. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of fat going on here, so we’ll skip the fat portion. However, the pilaf is savory, which implies a sauce, so let’s add 1 condiment portion.

Here’s where we end up.

P90X Nutrition
Fit Fare Grilled Tilapia with Rice Pilaf, Corn, and Tomato Slices

3 veggie portions
2 protein portions
1 carb portion
1 condiment portion

Calories: 600 Protein: 58 g Carbs: 66 g Fat Total: 11 g

Of course, don’t limit yourself to major chain restaurants. In fact, they usually cater to the lowest common denominator, so you’ll probably have better luck finding healthier food at an independent restaurant specializing in fresh fare for more selective customers.

Unfortunately, I haven’t spent much time in your neighborhood, so I don’t really know much about your local joints. I do, however, have access to quite a bit of information about several national chains, thanks to the Internet. Here are a few examples to get you started. You’ll note the nutrition information under the portion information. Many restaurants provide that on request. Don’t be afraid to ask.

Grilled Salmon with Garlic and Herbs (no sides)

1 fat portion
2 protein portions
1 veggie portion
0.5 carb portion
2 condiment portions

Calories: 380 Protein: 40 g Carbs: 1 g Fat Total: 25 g

Chili’s

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Fajita Pita Chicken

1 fat portion
1 protein portion
1 veggie portion
0.5 carb portion

Calories: 455 Protein: 31 g Carbs: 52 g Fat Total: 13 g

Guiltless Black Bean Burger

1 protein portion
2 carb portions
2 condiment portions

Calories: 609 Protein: 37 g Carbs: 91 g Fat Total: 11 g

Guiltless Grilled Salmon

1 fat portion
2 protein portions
2 condiment portions

Calories: 395 Protein: 51 g Carbs: 8 g Fat Total: 20 g

Denny’s

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Veggie-Cheese Omelet with Eggbeaters (no sides)

1 fat portion
1 veggie portion
1.5 protein portions
1 condiment portion

Calories: 410 Protein: 39 g Carbs: 11 g Fat Total: 22 g

Grilled Chicken Salad Deluxe

1 veggie portion
1.5 protein portions
1 condiment portion

Calories: 290 Protein: 36 g Carbs: 15 g Fat Total: 10 g

Vegetable Beef Soup

1 veggie portion
0.5 protein portion
1 condiment portion

Calories: 140 Protein: 7 g Carbs: 17 g Fat Total: 5 g

Olive Garden

Pasta e Fagioli

0.5 protein portion
0.5 carb portion

Calories: 130 Protein: 7 g Carbs: 19 g Fat Total: 2.5 g

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Linguine Alla Marinara (dinner)

1 protein portion
1 carb portion
2 veggie portions
1 condiment portion

Calories: 430 Protein: 18 g Carbs: 76 g Fat Total: 6 g

Venetian Apricot Chicken (dinner)

2 protein portions
1 fruit portion
1 condiment portion

Calories: 360 Protein: 58 g Carbs: 32 g Fat Total: 4 g

Red Lobster

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Chilled Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail

1 protein portion
1 condiment portion

Calories: 120 Protein: 19 g Carbs: 9 g Fat Total: 1 g

Manhattan Clam Chowder (Cup)

1 veggie portion

Calories: 80 Protein: 6 g Carbs: 12 g Fat Total: 1 g

Sources: Information taken from the following companies’ Web sites: Chili’s, Denny’s, Olive Garden, and Red Lobster.