Today’s Goal: Exercise and eat right! Tomorrow’s Goal: Repeat!

There are a number to people participating in our Fitness Challenge Groups that have requested help with changing their eating habits, trouble controlling their cravings and their energy levels throughout the day and during workouts. Although we have people doing P90X, P90X2, P90X3, INSANITY, Focus T25, 21-Day FIX, Brazil Butt Lift, Slim In 6, 10 Minute Trainer and Rockin Body,  you all have the same fundamental fact in common…

FACT: Your body doesn’t run on exercise. it runs on the food you put in your mouth!

My goal is to help you learn what kinds of food, how much, and when to eat so that you can lose fat, get lean, and get into incredible shape. BE ADVISED. If you want real results from your exercise program, skipping on your chosen Beachbody fitness programs  nutrition plan is NOT an option. Establishing and maintaining the right kind of meal plan is just as important to your overall success as any workout. This may be the toughest exercise for you- but it is absolutely key to achieving your best results.

Keep in mind that there are basically three types of people when it comes to following a nutrition plan:

  • Those who adhere to the guidelines and follow the plan to a tee

  • Those who follow only the basics, eliminating foods that are high in fat and sodium

  • Those who read these words and then continue to eat they way they’re accustomed to.

If this last group describes you, now is the time to make a change. Your commitment to getting in the best shape of your life depends on it. Another reason your nutrition plan matters is metabolism. A nutrient-dense, interval- based eating program keeps your metabolic rate high to burn fat at the maximum even when you are not working out. Finally, a healthy diet regulates blood sugar to balance hormonal secretions, promoting optimal fat burn and steady fuel supply. And this works together to get you into peak condition over time. I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it. Just take comfort in knowing that once you incorporate the simple principals of your nutrition plan into your life, you will quickly begin to feel better, look better, and without a doubt, perform better. Your cravings for unhealthy foods will be greatly reduced.

Measure Your Body Fat Percentage

Lowering your body fat and increasing lean muscle mass is essential to your overall success. Because of this, it is important to track your progress every 30 days throughout your program by measuring and recording your body fat percentage.

Determine Your Nutrition Level

Your nutrition level  is based on the daily amount of calories your body needs for optimal health and performance during your chosen Beachbody fitness program. To determine your nutrition level, simply complete the following 4 steps.

Calculate your resting metabolic rate (RMR). This is basically the number of calories you need to breath, pump blood, grow hair, be alive.   Calculating your RMR requires a formula involving your height weight, and age. Keep in mind that the RMR formula gives you the bare minimum caloric intake; active women will require between 200 and 400 additional calories per day.

The RMR formula uses the variables of height, weight, age and gender to calculate the RMR. This is more accurate than calculating calorie needs based on body weight alone. The only factor it omits is lean body mass and thus the ratio of muscle-to-fat a body has. Remember, leaner bodies need more calories than less leaner ones. Therefore, this equation will be very accurate in all but the very muscular (will underestimate calorie needs) and the very fat (will over-estimate calorie needs).

I like the Mufflin equation for RMR:

For men: (10 x w) + (6.25 x h) – (5 x a) + 5

For women: (10 x w) + (6.25 x h) – (5 x a) – 161

Where:   w = weight in kg

h = height in cm

a = age

1 Kilogram = 2.20462262 Pounds

For a woman who weighs 252 lbs: The conversion would be 252/2.2 = 114.6kg

1 Centimeter = 0.3937007874 Inches

For a woman who  is 5 feet 6 inches (66 inches): The conversion would be 66/.394 = 167.5 cm

RMR (woman) = (10 x 114.6) + (6.25 x 167.5) – (5 x 48) – 161

RMR = 1,146 + 1,046.9 – 240 – 161 = 1791.9 calories         

Calculate your daily activity burn, the calories required for daily movement apart from exercise.

YOUR RMR X 20% = Daily Activity Burn 1791. x ~20% = 358.4 calories

Keep in mind that all Lifestyles aren’t created equal. A construction worker will have a higher daily burn rate than a computer programmer, so this figure should be treated as a ballpark estimate. You can use this Daily Calorie Expenditure Calculator to come up with an estimate or for a less nerdy estimate go here. ;-D

Add the estimated calories required for your exercise needs. Everyone burns calories differently and at a different rate, but there are factors that can make your specific calorie burn more predictable. Men typically burn more calories than women. The taller and heavier you are, the more calories you use. Also, a fit individual will burn less calories than an unfit person while performing the same exercise. The number of calories you burn will be slightly higher or lower depending upon your intensity level and your weight and heart rate. You can purchase a Heart Rate Monitor that also calculates calories burned to get an accurate number.

P90X is an intensive home workout program designed to target every muscle in the body in daily 60-90 minute workouts. Approximately 480-600 calories are burned per hour during a P90X workout

INSANITY and TurboFire using High intensity interval training can burn up to 160 calories in ten minutes for an average weight individual. Performing steady intense cardio can burn 300-700 calories in 40 minutes for a 150lb person depending on intensity level. The recovery days can burn 255+ calories in 50 minutes.

The Slim in Six program combines cardio kickboxing, traditional aerobics, resistance exercise and power yoga in a program targeted to tone the muscles in your thighs, abs and butt. Estimate 450 calories per hour in a 155-lb. woman. Because heavier people burn more calories in all activities, a 200-lb. person would burn about 600 calories in the same workout.

While I don’t intend to downplay the level of effort involved in Brazil Butt Lift, Turbo Jam, Hip Hop Abs, Slim in 6 and other programs, they are not at the intensity level of P90X, INSANITY and TurboFire. Which means your energy amount will be less calories per day than a person doing P90X.

For example, Beachbody has calculated 600 calories per day for P90X.


Exercise expenditure = 600 calories

Energy amount = 1792 + 358 + 600 = 2750 calories per day

A calorie deficit is NOT about eating less. It’s about eating what you need, before exercising and then exercising WITHOUT eating more, therefore creating a calorie deficit and forcing your body to use your fat reserves as energy for the exercising that you’re doing.

You should never eat less than your RMR or your body will adapt and lower your metabolism and make it very hard for you to use your fat reserves. Then exercise for 3,500 calories for each pound of fat reserves that you need to lose. Always eat what you need. Then exercise and do not eat more, to lose weight and use your fat reserves…or exercise and eat more to keep in shape and maintain your muscle mass.

Experts recommend weight loss at the rate of 0.5-2 lbs/week. Remember that this estimate is based on your body weight, height, age, gender, and activity level. It may vary slightly depending on other factors.

Keep A Daily Food and Exercise Log

Research shows that one of the most powerful, ways to successfully change your eating habits is to keep a daily log. By logging your food intake and exercise, you keep yourself accountable while also creating a space to express your thoughts and feelings. You will no longer have to remember what worked and what didn’t. You can look back on your log to track your journey and fine-tune your fitness plan to your personal experience and needs. You’d be surprised how often you find that bad moods are associated with bad foods. Focusing on calorie counting will teach you about food and its energy value, whether you like it or not. When you write your food intake down and track  the calories for each meal, it makes you stop and think about choosing that double cheeseburger w/ bacon.

Now, the discipline of counting calories is not something you want to do for the rest of your life, but it’s a start in helping you focus on how foods are affecting your body and mind. When you had a doughnut and mocha for breakfast, how did your morning workout feel? When you had that bag of chips and soda on your drive home, when were you hungry again? Once you see how these poor choices manifest themselves, you’re going to start connecting them with the cues that your body gives you. If you crave sweets, it may be emotional, but it also may be your body crying out for the vitamins and minerals often accompanying naturally sweet foods, such as the vitamin C or potassium you’ll find in many fruits. So eat an apple or a banana instead. Similarly, cravings for savory foods may be a need for sodium, but I’ve often they signal a need for protein, so try some edamame or a little low-fat Greek yogurt. Over time, you’ll find yourself needing to track calories less and less because you’ll just kind of know what to do. Your taste buds and your “emotions” will change.

Toss The Junk!

Get rid of all the junk food currently in your possession. Foods high in saturated and trans fats, sodium, and sugar should be the first to be thrown out (i.e., cookies, pastries, candy, processed meats, potato chips, soda (and diet soda), high-sodium frozen foods, canned soups, etc.). You know them. You think you love them. They are the problem. Throw them away, and don’t let anyone give you more (including family and friends). Don’t be nice. Don’t take a bite. Say:“Thanks, but I’m not eating that kind of stuff for  six weeks or for 90 days.” Keep yourself accountable and take your program seriously. Just remember-if you think it’s junk food, it probably is.

Pay Attention – to everything you eat – Climb Michi’s Ladder!

What you eat has a direct effect on everything from the way your body works to your mood to the amount of fat your body burns or stores. Beachbody recommends using Michi’s Ladder to guide your food choices throughout the day. The closer you are to the top tier, the better results you will get. No matter how much you work out, if you don’t make smarter food choices, you will not see that layer of padding around your waist or thighs go away.On the other hand, if you give yourself three solid weeks of eating at the top of Michi’s Ladder, the results will startle you.

Don’t Underestimate Portion Size

The number one obstacle to success is underestimating portion size. Calories DO count in the energy equation, and small errors can add up to big disappointments. You can still eat many of the foods you love as long as you monitor your portion sizes. Love chocolate? Try to limit yourself to one small piece a day. Cheese fanatic? give yourself a little to enjoy with your meal. How much is too much? Learn proper portions with the 21 Day Fix workout program! You can eat ANYTHING you want as long as you aren’t eating too much of any one thing!

Every meal should be conservative in portion size and have a fairly even ratio of calories from carbs, proteins, and fats. In general, shoot for 40% of your calories from carbs, 30%-40% from protein, and 20%-30% from fat.

Other “Don’t s”  that can derail your success include:

  • Not planning ahead with your food choices

  • Skimping on fruits and vegetables, your natural supply of anti-aging nutrients.

  • Not drinking enough water

  • Skipping meals and eating off schedule

Follow A Regular Eating Schedule

First, it keeps your blood sugar stable instead of peaking and crashing, which can lead to cravings that can lead to overeating and a general poor feeling. Second regular meals will speed up your metabolism by challenging it to keep processing calories, rather than storing them as fat and feeding on muscle. You should be eating every few hours while you’re awake, favoring small meals and snacks. Try to finish your last snack approximately three hours before you hit the sack. This will help keep undigested carbs from being stored as fat. If you do need to break this rule, a small protein shake would be the snack of choice before bed, as it can help your recovery during sleep.  
  “Shakeology is the most important piece of the fitness puzzle to me. At one point I reached a stalling point in my weight loss and finally decided to give it a chance. In my first week I lost 12 pounds and my cravings were all gone, which in turn has helped me lose even more weight and keep it off! I never go a day without my shake.” – Lyndsey O   “Shakeology is my favorite meal of the day. I have mine for breakfast and have noticed a difference in cravings (especially my NEED for pop). It’s filling and it tastes great and I never tire of it because I make a different one every day. :D. Danielle, D.

Kevin and Esther RackKevin Rack Fitness  is a unique fitness, nutrition and accountability program focused on changing people’s health and fitness 3-12 weeks at a time using Beachbody Fitness programs. It is more than just a workout, it’s a lifestyle. Getting fit, building muscle in the right places and losing inches in others, eating clean, getting inspired and being motivated are the underlying principals of our company. If you’ve been searching for something that will motivate you to reclaim your body, boost your energy and rev your metabolism, consider becoming a part of our team! Kevin can be reached at (512) 487-1010 or email:


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I have been an International Sports Science Association Certified Personal Trainer since 2009, a Certified Boxing Fitness Trainer and I love helping women over 40 stay fit and healthy or getting their health and fitness back after spending all their time taking care of others.

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All material herein is provided for information only and may not be construed as personal medical advice. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The publisher is not a licensed medical care provider. The information is provided with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in the practice of medicine or any other health-care profession and does not enter into a health-care practitioner/patient relationship with its readers. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.