The meal plan included in the Insanity package, known as the Elite Nutrition Program, aims to fuel the body for the 60 days the program lasts. For those who aren’t familiar, Insanity is a popular home fitness workout program created by trainer Shaun T. The program uses zero equipment and works the entire body, relying on a form of high-intensity interval training called “max interval training” to burn off the weight.
The Insanity workout is one of the hardest full-body workouts out there and pushes participants to their limits. While people wanting to lose weight may be tempted to cut carbs or drastically reduce their calorie intake, Insanity is not the time to start an outside diet regimen. Cutting calories and eating healthier is vital for one’s overall health, but the body needs healthy fats, protein, and nutrients to function properly. You wouldn’t go on a cross-country road trip with a nearly empty gas tank, right?
Elite Nutrition Overview
The Elite Nutrition Program is designed as a guide to eating healthy, providing a variety of nutritious recipes—ranging from 300 to 500 calories per meal—that can power the great physical activity Insanity requires. The program is not a diet or detox, intended only for a short period. As the program declares: “It’s not about quick fixes or fads. It’s about eating and using food for its intended purpose. Fuel.”
The Elite Nutrition Program gives both fitness novices and experts the tools to determine what and how much they should eat for the rest of their lives. The recipes may change, but knowing the right balance of fiber, healthy fats, carbs, and protein to include in one’s diet can go a long way towards improving health and speeding up weight loss. Working out as hard as you can doesn’t matter if you’re loading up on fast food afterward.
Meal Plan Features
Most people eat three meals a day because they assume that’s when they’re supposed to eat. Elite Nutrition recommends eating five medium-sized meals per day. Frequent eating promotes a healthy metabolism and provides stamina for the Insanity workouts.
Each meal in the plan is about 40% protein, 40% carbs, and 20% fat and has a low glycemic index. The guide gives a detailed description of those three food essentials, as well as an equation to help you calculate your ideal caloric intake.
During the first month of Insanity, you’ll choose one meal from each of the five separate meal lists, totaling five meals per day. Each of the five lists contains ten different meals, making it easy to switch it up and have a variety of meals each week. Each recipe contains about 300 calories, with instructions on how to decrease or increase the calorie count based on your weight loss (or gain) goals. Added together, these five meals provide anywhere from 1,500-2,500 calories per day. The meal plan also comes with 100- or 200-calorie Food Blocks, which can be added to meals or eaten as snacks to meet your calorie requirements.
Meal One –
• Cottage cheese
• Whole grain cereal
• Mixed fruit
Meal Two –
Meal Three –
• Chicken breast
• Mixed greens
Meal Four –
• Sliced turkey
• Sliced ham
• Low fat cheese
• Sliced tomato
• Whole grain crackers
Meal Five –
• Whole grain pasta
You’ll notice when you’ve reached the second month of the program that your body now burns calories faster than it did before. Month 2 is also when the Insanity workouts increase in intensity, demanding more calories per day. Participants can choose to add 1-3 complex carbohydrates from the Elite Nutrition list to their meals in order to help fuel their bodies or continue with the meal plan from the previous month.
Examples of Complex Carbohydrates You Can Eat:
• 1 small piece of citrus
• Baked potatoes
The Elite Nutrition Program guides you through every step of your new relationship with food, helping you pick what, when, and how much to eat. The Harris Benedict Equation involves some simple math to calculate your caloric needs based on your activity level, age, height, and weight. Once you have that number, you can adjust the calories you eat to fit your fitness goals, whether it’s maintaining your current weight or gaining/losing pounds.
Elite Nutrition recommends when to eat as well, loosely structured by meals: Breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner. The program’s creators recommend eating about one hour before a workout. You choose how to divide up the calories—perhaps you want a bigger breakfast and a lighter lunch. The program is all about finding what works best for you and sticking to it.
Remember, a balanced diet is just important (if not more so) than the number of calories burned during an insane workout. Work hard in both the gym and the kitchen, and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.