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NAYPOOIE Posts: 11,600
9/4/11 4:12 P

Your reply might not be relevant to the original poster, but still possibly of interest to others.

IZZY37 SparkPoints: (90,111)
Fitness Minutes: (122,042)
Posts: 931
9/4/11 6:37 A

edit: didnt realise how old original post was. my reply no longer relevant.

Edited by: IZZY37 at: 9/4/2011 (06:40)
LAETU5 Posts: 1,405
9/2/11 6:37 P

i was using livestrong to track before I switched to spark....their system basically adds back in calories the same day you exercise but no on non-exercise days (whereas spark spreads it over the week). I had some days on livestrong where I had to eat over 2000 calories because of the exercise I was doing; and it wasn't anything nearly as intense as Insanity. I lost 20 lbs using their tracking method. I would expect the same results here once I get back into regular exercise and enter that into spark's calculations. Spark can't adjust for your increased exercise if you don't tell it how many exercise calories you anticipate burning a week because it doesn't automatically adjust based on input workout. I'm losing just as effectively here as I was using livestrong's tracker; and the community is better here.

KUNGFUPRINCESS SparkPoints: (2,809)
Fitness Minutes: (3,246)
Posts: 11
9/2/11 5:32 P

I just wanted to share with you that i have had similar problems. I have done 3 rounds of chalean extreme and a round of turbofire plus loads of other cardio with little results. I had numerous tests done by the doctor which all came back fine. In July i had a resting metabolic rate test done and a VO2 test. The resting metabolic test showed that i prodominately burn glycogen rather than fat and that i only burn fat when my heart rate is below 130. The trainer suggested that i change my fitness routine so that i was lifting weights 3 times a week and inbetween doing cardio that kept my heartrate between 120 and 130 as these are the rates i burn the most fat. He said that by doing the constant high intensity workouts i was burning myself out and my body was finding it difficult to refuel itself. For me this is mostly walking up hill or a slow jog. It has taken me some time to get into my head that I don't have to be working flat out in order to lose weight and i have struggled with this but this approach is now working for me. I love the high impact workouts and being fit and i plan to go back to these once i have lost the weight especially as i have worked so hard to be this fit. Maybe this approach may also work for you?
best wishes


RUPERTSWIFE SparkPoints: (6,434)
Fitness Minutes: (7,480)
Posts: 69
5/9/11 1:46 P

Hey! Sounds like we have similar body types. I am built more like a gymnast than a runner, which means I have large muscular thighs, wide shoulders, and wide hips. =*( Not exactly every girl's dream!

I have been doing the Insanity work out for about 2 years now, though not everyday. The first time through the program, I did get smaller, as in I lost two (so close to three I usually say three) dress sizes, but I GAINED weight. Talk about discouraging!

I stopped getting on the scale, and let my body tell me what was working. I have less aches and pains, I don't get winded as easily, and I am much stronger than I was. I also used the fit test to keep track of my progress. It was exciting to see the number of reps I was able to complete in the allotted time going up each time.

Everyone is different. I was eating over 2500 calories a day, and loosing size while gaining weight. I gain muscle very quickly. Now, not so much. My body has settled into a comfortable size/weight. It's not what I want it to be, but I feel better than I ever have in my life, and I know I'm in better shape than I ever have been.

JPHOTOZ Posts: 147
4/9/11 6:52 A

I am presently on my second round of Insanity and have not lost any pounds(on the scale) In fact I just weighed myself and have put on five. It has been a few weeks since I weighed myself since it does not tell me the true facts. I am not worried though since I am probably putting on muscle. Did you take a picture before Insanity? I find it easier to put a before and after picture nest to each other to compare. When doing this type of program there may not be any change on the scale. I also have a female friend that did not lose any weight during her first round but had improved on her fit tests. Isn't that the most important part, to be come fit. Hopefully a nice side effect would also be to lose weight on the scale. I actually had to start eating more to lose weight when I hit one of my plateaus. If you are looking for a more intense program, Insanity: The Asylum is not out.Please let me know if you have any questions.

4/8/11 10:49 P

Thanks for your advice BigGirl.. LOL. I wish I had an athlete's body! I'm certainly more muscular than petite. I did have my bloodwork done recently and my thyroid, cholesterol, anemia levels etc were perfect. Don't know about my hormones, but from what Sergeant Major was saying earlier about my low fat intake, I wouldn't be surprised at all if my hormones were askew.
I am seriously thinking of consulting a nutritionist/trainer. I would love to get this sorted.
Silvette - You can't get more cardio than Insanity! LOL. I'm thinking I probably need a little less intense cardio! My body is so stressed out right now. But maybe I need a more steady state cardio like jogging or something.
Alsebete - It's funny you should say that about Turbo Fire... while I've never done that before, the thing that struck me most out of the Insanity workouts was that I actually burnt more calories on the Interval workouts which incorporated short breaks in them than the one long endurance cardio workout without a break. It seemed I was working my butt off solidly for 45 mins straight without a break, and I burnt less calories than when I was doing circuits and seemed to be taking it slightly easier. I couldn't understand why... and it definitely made me question why I was putting myself through all that torture if I could get the same benefit (or even better benefits) by calming it down a bit!

ALSEBETE Posts: 2,345
4/8/11 9:53 P

Not sure if this helps or not, but I found that I burn more calories during Turbo Fire than I do during Insanity (based on body bugg measurements) even though Insanity seems harder. Good luck - I know how frustrating it can be when you aren't seeing the results that you want.

SILVETTE SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,835)
Posts: 266
4/8/11 9:38 P

I agree - see a doctor just to make sure you're still ok.

But - the advise I've always read is "give a program a go for a while and if it doesn't work for you then try something else"

Sounds to me like you've just plateaud out - the insanity is something your body has adjusted to. You need to change it up - you don't have to stop if you don't want to. But do something else, as well, to give your body a new boost. Get a differnet video - a completely different video with all new moves.

Maybe take up running, jogging, stationary bike - focus more on cardio.

But I agree with others - it doesn't sound as if you need to *lose weight* - you need to just *tone up* maybe?

Edited by: SILVETTE at: 4/8/2011 (21:39)
BIGGIRL2082010 Posts: 10,511
4/8/11 9:15 P

Hmmm ... I wonder - maybe you don't actually *need* to lose any weight. From what you are saying, your body is used to this level of exercise - just because Insanity helped someone else shed pounds or re-shape their body doesn't mean it'll work for you.

You sound like you're already pretty much fit, maybe not an elite athlete, but a regularly intense exerciser - you're already used to going beyond your comfort zone. That kind of person will not have the same results as a cardio-bunny or just a straight muscle-head, both of which types would be completely shocking their system when they do insanity.

For your body, it's just another variant on your normal exercise.

To really see results, you may need to do something completely different. This is when I'd seriously suggest seeing a personal trainer and discussing your exercise habits and your goals with them.

And see a doctor, too, just to rule out any biochemical imbalances or hormone issues that may be interfering.

Oh. And definitely get your body fat percentage tested - like I started out saying, you may not *need* to lose any weight! Remember that muscle is denser than fat, which means the same volume of muscle weighs more than an equivalent volume of fat ... you, lady, may have the athlete's body - for which the BMI tables are completely and utterly wrong. Body fat analysis is the only sane test that takes your body composition into consideration.

In the meantime, don't worry about the scale and the clothes. If you are healthy and happy, what more do you need?

Great work so far, too - sounds like you've really achieved a huge amount!


4/8/11 9:03 P

Naypooie - I think I am fairly muscular. I know my husband says so. (I think he's just jealous. LOL.)
I like the idea of the swimming pool test. I haven't been swimming since last summer but I do remember struggling to float while trying to teach my daughter how to do the backfloat star thing. I used to be able to do that when I was younger but this time my legs just kept sinking down!

NAYPOOIE Posts: 11,600
4/8/11 7:50 P

You sound like you're muscular rather than fat. One quick and dirty test is to get in a swimming pool, blow out all your breath, and see how fast you sink. If you don't sink, you probably have some fat to spare. Me, I bob like a cork.

I think calipers are not as reliable as an immersion test, but not that bad and definitely better than nothing. It would give you a ballpark idea of your body composition. If you can find some place that does the immersion test, even better. But you can probably find a caliper test more easily.

4/8/11 5:37 P

Naypooie - I've never had a proper body fat percentage done. I've taken measurements, but things like my thighs are actually quite muscly so measurements aren't telling the whole story.
I've heard that calipers aren't really reliable either. I'd love to get it done properly. I wouldn't know how to go about that, though.
Losingslowly - you might be right. If it wasn't for my flabby stomach I don't think people would look at me and say I'm overweight really. Yet because I WAS 145 lbs the year before last and my doctor knows it, when I last went for my checkup, he said he wants to see me back in the low 150s again. Because according to the chart, I'm technically overweight. I'm very fit, but I'm technically overweight.
I shouldn't step on the scale so much because it's so disheartening. I just want to get my diet right and not be hungry all the time. I love exercising and I know it's good for me. I just want to get the balance right!

LOSING100SLOWLY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (70)
Posts: 141
4/8/11 4:46 P

You state that at 145 pounds you didn't feel healthy, and your periods stopped.

Is there a chance that the standard BMI chart isn't applicable to you? Perhaps 160 is a very healthy weight for YOU and YOUR BODY.

If you have to do unhealthy things to yourself to lose any more weight, then perhaps you just need to live with this weight and learn to love your body as-is.

NAYPOOIE Posts: 11,600
4/8/11 3:35 P

When is the last time you checked your body fat percentage? If it isn't high, then do you really want to lose weight?

4/8/11 3:11 P

BethanyBoo and Blondiegirl - I tracked for so long on Spark the exact same foods day in and day out that I knew by heart how many cals I was consuming. And I found it so hard to increase my intake (as suggested by my BB coach) for fear of gaining that I actually found tracking made me so neurotic about things because I knew EXACTLY how many cals I had left to get to the bottom of the range, it was almost counterproductive. So I figured if I let up on myself a little bit and didn't stress over it all, and listened to my body and only ate when I was hungry (and healthy things, not junk) that it might help me out. And for a while, although I didn't lose weight, I didn't gain any weight taking that approach. I didn't feel as hungry.
However, this last couple of weeks, (coincidentally, the hardest and most intense weeks of Insanity) I've found I'm even hungrier and so have eaten more. NOW I've found my weight rise and my body feel all puffy and gross.
And the only times I will have a cheat meal, per se, are if we eat out, which is never more than once a week, and I'll order salad and dressing on the side, yada yada yada, but I'll have a dessert, like a piece of cheesecake or ice cream.
I think I've come to realize that for some reason, I can't even afford to do that anymore. Once-weekly treats seem to glue to my belly area and stay there!
Oh, and I did have my bloodwork done recently, and my thyroid was fine!

Sergeant Major - I really think you might be right about my hormones being out of whack. The ONE nutrient that I always fall under on (according to Spark) is fat. Which you would think would mean I'd be skinny as a rake, but if you saw my stomach, you'd think I ate cheesecake for breakfast, lunch and dinner! And because I know my fat intake is generally very low, if I try to increase it, then my belly just gets even larger! And apart from my weekly treat of dessert out, the only fats I eat are olive oil/avocado/almond butter/almonds/low fat cheese etc. So I just don't understand why my body holds onto it like it does.
Yet my skin is really thin. I feel the cold really easily. I never used to when I was really overweight. (I used to weigh 240 lbs.) So my body fat percentage is probably not massive, it's just all around my waistline!
Another problem is that I have a very low metabolism. When I wear a HRM for Insanity, I burn much fewer cals than the average person. This morning I did Max Plyo, which is 56 mins long - and I sweated a bucket - I only burned 420 cals. Other people on the Beachbody Web site burn over 800 for the very same workout!
And I have a desk job during the day, so I work out like crazy for an hour in the morning, then I sit on my butt for the rest of the day.. and then when I eat, literally within minutes I am hungry again! I've just finished a lunch of TJ's Healthy 8 Veggie Mix with 3oz turkey breast, 1oz light mozzarella, 6 garlic cheese croutons and quarter of an ounce of Portillo's Salad Dressing about half an hour ago, and I'm hungry, really hungry, right now! It's so hard.
Sergeant Major, are you a nutritionist, because you seem to know an awful lot about "stuff"!
I really appreciate your insight into my situation.
Thank you all so much for your kind advice and suggestions.

BOBINVA SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (80,607)
Posts: 4,521
4/8/11 2:01 P

So you had a beach-body coach and nutritionist; you were tracking your meals with Sparkpeople and doing the Insanity workout. I'd say you were under a little bit of stress just from that regimen. Try just following the insanity nutrition guide if you want the results. I have also seen some others here get some great results with their strength and conditioning workouts and a cutting diet.

4/8/11 1:54 P

Based on your stated typical diet you ratio of macro nutrients is totally skewed and out of balance.You need to consume a balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats daily to ensure proper hormone levels and metabolic function.The currently recommended ratio is 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% good fats.

By not eating egg yolks you are throwing away the most nutritional portion of the egg since the white is only protein. Fats in your diet change to a hormone which controls the appastat in the brain which controls appetite. Every hormone in your body uses fats as a precursor so excluding fats throws your metabolic system out of whack.

Subjecting your body to the stress of the Insanity workout without a proper balance of nutrients will increase your body's production of cortisol a hormone which causes you to retain weight.

I suggest you re-examine your selection of macro nutrients and strive for the 40/30/30 ratio to bring your metabolism back to a state of homeostasis.

Edited by: SERGEANTMAJOR at: 4/8/2011 (13:55)
BLONDIEGRRL Posts: 1,174
4/8/11 1:40 P

I would recommend tracking your food again. I agree, if you're doing the Insanity workout for an hour every day, you likely need considerably more calories than Sparkpeople recommends. But if you're not tracking your calories, how can you be sure how many calories you're consuming? Tracking your calories will at least give you an idea of what range you need to be shooting for.

Good luck! I'm sure it will all work itself out eventually.

BETHANYBOO Posts: 2,039
4/8/11 1:24 P

Do you have cheat meals or days that might be undoing all your hard work?

If you truly have tried eating at various calorie levels without success, I would recommend speaking to a doctor. You could have a thyroid problem or another medical condition.

4/8/11 12:07 P

Thanks for your reply, RedShoes.

It helps knowing others have faced the same struggles as me.
Your photos are amazing. Congratulations on all your hard work thus far.
I can see similarities to my situation in your photos. When I was at my lowest weight, my face looked gaunt, my neck and shoulders looked scrawny, and I was ALWAYS cold!
And at my lowest weight (which was 145 lbs) that was classed as the maximum weight someone my height should be to be considered healthy! (I'm 5ft 4") And I honestly think that weight was a bit too low for me. Actually, my periods completely stopped. I was kind of overdoing the workouts at the time.
Now that I only do 60 mins a day, (even though it's REAL high intensity) the weight has crept back on. I now am considered to be 20 lbs overweight. I wouldn't say that I look fat, in fact, my husband and daughter say this weight actually suits me, but my doctor told me that "being overweight" is unhealthy and I should try and get back down to at least 150lbs again.
But no matter what I do, I just can't lose weight anymore. If I restrict my cals to even 1700 or so, I'm ravenously hungry from morning til night. And don't lose weight. If I increase my cals to over 2000, I gain weight.
I honestly couldn't support my exercise routines if I cut cals to 1200 or so. So now I wonder, do i stop working out for a while? Work out less? Eat less and workout more?
I'm so fed up with it all!
I probably need to see a sports nutritionist or something... I wonder if they're covered on insurance? LOL. I'm getting desperate here!

REDSHOES2011 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (66,181)
Posts: 7,159
4/7/11 10:42 P

The issue sparks doesn't count strengthening is very confusing.. I refuse to use the calories sparks give me because strength training does count and so does my very physical job..
I use this calculator because it shows how to divide my calorie range over the number of workout units I do.. On a day with little or no exercise I am supposed to eat 1557 calories when I am doing my job, kms and weight training I can easy move out into the 2466 calories no problems..

It is unnerving for me to when I have to look at this article.
No two days at my job are the same as I can be sent to different ends of my city all in one day if I have workmates whom phone in ill..

I think sparks people needs to re-evaluate their BMR calculator system because I see countless people getting into trouble no knowning where their food should be..

As for the food the stomach is a muscle and like any muscle it needs to be challenged and bombed with different foods to keep working..

I still track all my food and keep on track following a independant BMR tracker- I manually enter my stats..

This has been a headache as I learned to eat myself to my new weight by plate ratios
and never counted calories in my life before coming to sparks..

How our plates look is the 80% of the journey, it is for me try, failure, sit down analysis what happened and tweak..

Also my weight slowly increased to 68-69 kgs but for the sheer fact I gained muscle mass in my upper body..
lost all my weight and returning to the gym efter a 3 month doctor enforced ban at the gym efter the largest form of tummy tuck there is which is a 2 operation process..
that dress is tight as, but I can see why I have put on weight..

Muscle and fat both can weigh 5 lbs but they are not the same density..

I wear a fitted uniform and still fit the same pants even if I have gone up so many kgs..

If I go lower my face cushioning suffers..

We put on weight as we get older to avoid broken bones- I am grateful for this fact- it saved me from a broken back and hip region when my pull up bar dislodged itself and sent me crashing to the floor..

The trauma center doctors were amazed I got off so lightly.. It is wonderful I didn't break anything but it has taken me almost 5 months to get over the impact of smashing down from half meter to the floor.
The impact jarring traveled up my spinal column..

The grind to get back to my previous form has been frustration city and the food issues don't help it any..

I am stubborn and will workout my food needs many people don't have this stubborness to keep motivation as need to see results and it is disheartening..

I wish I was a lot better at this game too BRITISHONE efter 8 years but my head is also on overload at times because the instructions sometimes are all over the place grey zone material for me too..


Edited by: REDSHOES2011 at: 4/7/2011 (22:58)
4/7/11 7:22 P

Nancy - The program is 63 days. And I quit tracking on Spark after my Beachbody coach told me to up my calories to support the program because it meant that I was going over what Spark recommended for me every day, which was rather unnerving. And to tell you the truth, I always eat the same foods every day anyway. (i.e. oatmeal/almond butter/banana/skimmed milk for breakfast, then mid morning a Clif energy bar, then lunch is either turkey salad or egg white omelet with 7 grain bread, then dinner is always a homemade WW recipe, and snacks are plain fat free greek yogurt and an apple, and skimmed milk before bed. I kind of get into a rut with the same foods day in and day out, simply because I know what fills me and I know what I like!
Losingslowly - I have worked out for years now. I used to do 90 mins a day, which is when I got to my lowest weight of 145 lbs, but once I started work full-time, I couldn't fit 90 mins in. Now I get up early and manage 60 mins, 6 days a week, but it seems that doesn't help in my effort to shift any weight to get back to the 140s anymore. I am staying around 162/163 regardless of what I eat or what exercise I do. It's really frustrating. And now that I've done what is supposed to be the hardest workout program on the market, I'm out of ideas!

LOSING100SLOWLY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (70)
Posts: 141
4/7/11 6:24 P

How did you get into this Insanity program? Were you exercising a lot beforehand, or did you just jump right in?

You might have shocked your body so much that it won't allow you to shed any fat, because it doesn't know what you're doing to yourself.

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
4/7/11 6:20 P


How long is the program? I looked over your shared food logs and see that you did not track your foods from mid-March until yesterday, could it be that you may have been overestimating, even underestimating the calories you were consuming?

Just a thought...


4/7/11 5:00 P

I'm SO disheartened. I need some advice.

I am physically very fit. Well, cardiovascularly, I'm very fit. I know that because I'm in my final week of the Insanity program, and that is extreme cardio to say the least. I just got bloodwork results back from the doc, and my cholesterol levels and everything else is great. No health probs... The problem is that I've lost NO weight, my measurements haven't changed (except for my thighs have got BIGGER because of all the plyo exercises) and my clothes don't fit any better.

I ate really well throughout the program. Low fat, (healthy fats) protein, (grilled chicken, no skin, plain greek yogurt, egg white omelets, etc,) clean carbs (fresh fruit, veggies, wholegrain bread) lots of fiber, etc. The only problem I found was that I was incredibly hungry. All the time. My Beachbody coach said I probably wasn't eating enough to support the Insanity workouts, so I upped my cals to about 2000 a day. Although I didn't feel as hungry, I didn't lose any weight. In fact, I look in the mirror now and I have a really unsightly stomach, not toned and slim like it should be. My thighs are huge, my shoulders are quite muscly - I look more like a man! (And I'm not a man!)

I just don't know where to go from here. I complete Insanity on Sunday, then what? I need a break from the high intensity for a couple of days, my body is definitely telling me that. But I feel that if Insanity can't get me into shape, what can? Will any other workouts even feel like they're doing anything for me after the intensity of Insanity?

Do I now need to drop my cals right down to a low 1200 level to try and kickstart some weight loss? Do I need to keep doing Insanity type workouts for ever to sustain that level of fitness?

Can anyone offer any advice as to where I go from here? I'd be really grateful. Thanks all.

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