How Much Weight Should You Lose From a Month of P90X?

Watch a Power 90 Extreme, or P90X, infomercial and you'll see plenty of people who have lost significant weight and built muscle in place of fat. Of course, the results showcased in ads are not necessarily typical of the average user. But according to researchers for the American Council on Exercise, P90X meets or exceeds the fitness industry standards for losing weight. Exactly how much you lose will depend on your calorie burn.

Calories Burned

The P90X fitness plan estimates that you'll burn 600 calories from daily exercise. The actual number you burn will depend on your weight, the specific workout and your intensity level. A study commissioned by the American Council on Exercise estimated the calorie burn for 16 healthy adults aged 19 to 26 when doing four of the P90X workouts: Plyometrics, Legs and Back, Chest, Shoulders and Triceps and Cardio X. The median calorie burn for all 16 subjects was 631 for Plyometrics and 534 for Legs and Back. For Chest, Shoulders and Triceps the median calorie burn for all 16 subjects was 378 and the median was 397 for Cardio X.

Monthly Calorie Burn

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Assuming that you burn the 600 calories per day estimated by the P90X Fitness Plan you'll burn 18,000 calories in a 30-day month. This is only an estimate however. As the American Council on Exercise study shows, the actual calorie burn can deviate from this estimate. To get a personalized count, use a heart rate monitor with a calorie counting feature.

Calories to Weight Loss

It takes 3,500 calories to burn a single pound of fat. If you burn 18,000 excess calories in a month that's equal to 5.14 pounds of fat. But this assumes that you don't increase your caloric intake. For instance, if you currently eat 2,000 calories a day to maintain weight without exercising then you need to continue eating at this level to get these results. Eating more calories will reduce your weight loss. If the increase in calories is greater than the number of calories you burn from P90X, you will actually gain weight. Consult your physician or a dietitian to find out exactly how many calories you should be consuming.

Recommended Weight Loss

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The McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recommends creating a 500 to 1,000 daily calorie deficit between exercising and cutting back your calorie intake. For instance, if you burn 600 calories from P90X you'd have to cut back an additional 400 calories from your diet to achieve a 1,000 calorie a day deficit. At a 500 calorie a day deficit you can expect to lose 4.3 pounds per month while at a 1,000 calories a day you can expect to lose 8.6 pounds per month.