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TOPIC: How much calories to eat while doing Insanity?

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April 16, 2012 12:11 PM
I'm thinking about starting insanity and I was wondering how many calories I should eat.
I'm 5'6 and 155 and eating 1400 right now.
April 16, 2012 12:13 PM
I'm 5'5" and 156lbs. During month 1 I ate 1475, month 2 I am going for 1500 at least.
April 16, 2012 12:17 PM
Im 5ft 4in (172 lbs) and ive been trying to NET at least 1400. Im just starting week 3 and its worked pretty well for me so far.
April 16, 2012 1:06 PM
It's hard to know how much you need to eat, until you know how much you're burning. You can estimate it, but I strongly recommend getting a Heart Rate Monitor(HRM) with a chest strap that will give you a more accurate idea for what you're burning during Insanity.

Once you have a more accurate burn figure, you can ensure that you're maintaining a caloric deficit and that your body has the fuel it needs to perform.
April 16, 2012 1:09 PM
I am finishing Insanity now :) and I ate just around 1200 calories like normal....I lost a lot of inches, and am getting ready to start round 2!!!
April 16, 2012 2:17 PM
April 16, 2012 3:51 PM
I'm not an expert, but I do know that an Insanity workout will usually burn around 400 to 600 calories for most people, so if that's the case and you're only taking in 1400 (without subtracting the calorie burn from the workout), then that's really low. Too little calories for too long can lead to complications with your body down the road - not good; however, if you're NET Calories is about 1400 AFTER you subtract the Insanity calorie burn, then you should be okay.

The Elite Nutrition guide that came with the Insanity program will step you through what you need to do to figure out your calorie needs, but based on the information you gave and assuming you are about 30 years old (you didn't specify in your post), and assuming you are moderately active (which is where you would rank if you're doing the Insanity program), then here's where you should be:

For weight maintenance: 2322.60 calories
For weight loss: (deduct 500 calories from the above number) which = 1822.60

Your numbers will vary slightly based on your actual age and your actual lifestyle (lightly active, sedentary, extremely active, etc.)

If you want to plug your actual numbers in yourself, below I have laid out the actual scientific formula (Harris Benedict Equation) to calculate your caloric needs and how to plug them into the Insanity program:

Step 1: Plug your personal numbers into the following formula
For women: 655 + (4.35 X weight in lbs.) + (4.7 X height in inches) - (4.7 X Age in years)
For men: 66 + (6.23 X weight in lbs.) + (12.7 X height in inches) - (6.8 X Age in years)

Step 2: Take that number and multiply it by your Exercise Factor number:

1.2 = You live a mostly sedentary lifestyle; get little or no exercise each week
1.375 = You live a lightly Active lifestyle; get light exercise 1 to 3 days/week
1.55 = You live a moderately active lifestyle; get moderate exercise 3 to 5 days/week (Most people rank here if they're doing Insanity)
1.7 = You live a very active lifestyle and get hard exercise 6 to 7 days/week (Most people rank here if they're doing Insanity)
1.9 = You live an extremely active lifestyle; you do daily hard exercise and/or work a physical job

Step 3:
That number you figured out from the above two steps gives you your daily calorie requirement for general weight maintenance. If you want to lose weight, then take that number and subtract it by 500 calories. If you want to gain weight, then add 500 calories to it.

Important: Everyone's body reacts differently to exercise and proper nutrition, so if after a couple of weeks your body is gaining weight, and your goal is to lose weight, then adjust your calories accordingly. You can do this by adjusting the Exercise factor part of the formula up or down a notch. Don't adjust your calories until a week or two into the program, because it is very normal for the body's weight to fluctuate up or down a few pounds daily. Also, if you're doing strength/resistance training as well, please note that you may additionally be adding muscle weight. The Insanity program has a few resistance exercises, but nothing that will add much muscle bulk, so really you should just be seeing weight loss and increased muscle tone/definition.

Also don't forget that you can burn around 400 - 600 calories (sometimes more) in an Insanity workout, so you will still be creating a deficit in order to lose weight. Healthy weight loss is about 1/2 to 1 pound a week for most people (unless you are very overweight or obese, in which case you can safely lose a few pounds a week) Sometimes you have to eat more in order to lose weight. Sounds weird, but it does work IF you're working out intensely, eating properly, and getting at least 8 hours of sleep.

Good luck with Insanity!
April 23, 2012 6:06 PM
I agree if you are not eating enough calories you will not lose much weight doing insanity. Or better yet you will burn out so fast you won't have enough energy to sustain the workouts and your body will slowly start to shut down or go into starvation mode. I started insanity a week ago and have to eat at minimum 1991 calories to feed my body in order to lose weight. It never made much sense to me that you have to eat more to lose weight, but when you are doing a workout as tough as insanity you really do need proper eating and sleeping habits. I burn around 800 calories a workout, it all depends on how hard or intense you push yourself. All i know is that by the time I get to the stretching I am dripping in sweat. I do drink the shakeology (which you can opt to not use) I just find it so much easier to reach my calories plus get the good nutrients you need to get through this insane workout. I started with Rockin Body (another beach body product) for 30 days just to get me ready (somewhat) for insanity, Shaun T created that workout also. Its more of a dance exercise but it really does help prep you. Good Luck everyone on your weight lose and definitely with your INSANE workouts. Join to have a coach guide you or just to plug into all the great posts people add to help motivate you and or answer question you may have.
Edited by redd3305 On April 23, 2012 6:11 PM
January 5, 2013 11:23 AM
This might sound redundant but here it well into my second month of Insanity (wk7) and
I am hitting a serious plateau with my weight loss. Im 5-7 Male and currently weigh 177, my goal is
To lose 2lbs/wk so that puts me consuming 1200 calories. However, should i be consuming the calories
Ive burnt from my work out. Lets say I burn 800cal, does that mean I need to consume around 2000cal? And
And could consuming to few calories be the cause of my weight.plateau?
Please email me with help/advice! dylan_thomas31320@yahoo
January 5, 2013 11:28 AM
Didn't you get the nutrition guide with it? Follow that.

edit: Sorry, just looked back and saw that you're thinking about doing Insanity, which would indicate you don't have it. There's a nutrition guide that comes with it. Follow it, and you should see good results.
Edited by TR0berts On January 5, 2013 11:29 AM
January 5, 2013 1:21 PM

This might sound redundant but here it well into my second month of Insanity (wk7) and
I am hitting a serious plateau with my weight loss. Im 5-7 Male and currently weigh 177, my goal is
To lose 2lbs/wk so that puts me consuming 1200 calories. However, should i be consuming the calories
Ive burnt from my work out. Lets say I burn 800cal, does that mean I need to consume around 2000cal? And
And could consuming to few calories be the cause of my weight.plateau?
Please email me with help/advice! dylan_thomas31320@yahoo

for a male 1200 is especially WAYYY too low! I'm 5'7, female and least I take in is 1500 and when I'm doing Insanity, starting week 7 on Monday I take in anywhere from 1800-2200, once in a while 2400. You definitely need more calories and your body is probably plateauing from the lack of calories you're giving it. You need at least 1500-1700 just for your BMR, probably more than that. get your BMR, TDEE and take a deficit of about 1 lb/week. not sure what your goals are but 2lbs/wk may be too strenuous.

you can use
January 15, 2013 4:08 PM
can you describe what you mean by net. so you eat 1400 plus you eat what you burned?
March 1, 2013 10:19 PM
How on earth can you eat only 1400 cals while on insanity!!! I'm at 1800 at least now...I started at about 1400 and was way too hungry. I can feel myself burning calories for at least 24 hours after. Even by the equation, it says that I should be eating 1900 (giving me an overal deficit of like 500/day). (5'5,145lbs,27yrs)
September 6, 2013 3:29 AM
Guys - im about to start Insanity, to help me drop some weight for the new basketball season. I keep reading that people are eating between 1,400 and 2,000 calories but in my Benedict equation I ended up with 3,400 calories a day (3,900 - 500 for weight loss). I'm 6,3, 216 pounds and 20 years old. Have I done something wrong or is this the correct calorie intake for someone of my size/exercise factor (1.7)
April 18, 2014 8:18 AM
I'm 5"2, 121 lbs, and am eating ~1500 kcal a day. I did the calculations according to the nutrition plan that came with the program and it gave me about 1600 a day. I burn 330 kcal during an average insanity workout, so I usually end up netting 1170. is that too little? maybe I should add that I'm very sedentary. I work an office job and once I'm at home, I'm back at my desk because I'm still at college and do all my work on my computer.

I'm honestly so confused already and have no idea what to do and how much to eat. I've tried it all: I was eating 1200 for months while working out and didn't lose one single lb, then I upped to 1300, to 1400. I recently did a metabolic reset, eating between 1600 and 1800 every day. the thing is, I never gained, but I also haven't lost in months. and I think I do everything right (eat very clean, have plenty of water and sleep, etc.). I'm so desperate to lose the last 10 lbs or so, my bodyfat % (~26 - 27%) is higher than average and I wanna wear shorts again, you know what I'm saying? :)

so any advice would be greatly appreciated, I'd love to hear your experiences :)
April 18, 2014 9:16 PM
Marie, I could have written your post WORD FOR WORD! All of our numbers are exactly the same. I too am trying desperately to lose these last 10lbs. I know my problem is my diet. I have an act of eating my way out of every fitness regimen. I'm attempting insanity again. I've tried in the past put I get lazy and lose motivation. I know insanity works though. My husband has completed it twice, along with two friends and all have had outstanding results. I'm curious for someone to answer your question because I have no idea and would love to know how many calories I need. Best of luck to you!
April 19, 2014 12:35 AM
I'm now started week 3 and already I've noticed I've not been eating enough and I'm starting to burn out. Missed my first day yesterday. I eat around 1400 but net after insanity it's only roughly 1000cals, way to little for the high cardio workout. I'm going to increase my cal intake so I don't miss a day again.
July 16, 2014 2:59 PM
Your post is from Feb, now you have been through a whole round and experienced the week after where you magically can lose another 5 lbs. How did you do? I have done insanity before and been very successful, but I was not as concerned with numbers back then...just trying to fit into that magic white dress, ya know? I am a few days into month 2 now...its been a while, but I am kicking ass I think because I know I have done it before, I am burning way more calories than I did in the past according to my heart rate monitor. My husband says my shoulders, chest, back and neck look jacked (thank you 2 million push ups daily) but I have honestly only lost 2 lbs and minimal inches (maybe one from each area and gained inches in my arms). So now, what is your final review of it?


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