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How do I know if I'm eating enough/not enough ......?
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The single most commonly asked question on these boards is some version of "how many calories do I need to eat?" Usually people are just having difficulty with math, but others have more detailed issues. Luckily, Denis Faye just wrote a great newsletter article taking the mystery out of it for you. So now we can all go back to asking why our abs aren't showing yet.

Link to Article About How Many Calories You Need

Also, the first step for ANYONE new to Beachbody programs who wants to determine your proper caloric intake should be the Beachbody Caloric Needs Calculator. Please use it before asking other people to do the math for you.
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RE: How do I know if I'm eating enough/not enough ......?
1/3/13 6:29 AM as a reply to AdStaffAndrew.
I do the Insanity Workout Dvd. I was just wondering if it would be okay for me to start taking 2 Weigh-Protein Shakes/day (high protein/low carbs) just to help me increase my muscle mass
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RE: How do I know if I'm eating enough/not enough ......?
1/3/13 9:29 AM as a reply to AdStaffAndrew.
Hey Ross,

I would definately recommend taking in more protein into your diet to increase to help increase your muscle mass. Even whole food lean protein sources are great options as well. However if your goals are to gain muscle mass or build muscle, its hard to do so with the Insanity program. If you need anything else, nutrition or meal plan tips, even workout advice let me know...also starting a small challenge group for Insanity next week on Monday for extra support, motivation, and accountability.

God Bless,

Nathan
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RE: How do I know if I'm eating enough/not enough ......?
1/4/13 3:54 PM as a reply to nargenta.
I have a question for ya. I am currently doing Insanity. I am consuming around 1800 calories before I work out. I sometimes still start to crash at the end or right after the workout. My target area for total calories is around 2500. I drink 2 scoops of Whey and eat an apple 1hr before workout. (350 calories) Should I increase calories right before workout and lessen some earlier in the day? Any info much appreciated. Thanks
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RE: How do I know if I'm eating enough/not enough ......?
1/4/13 5:49 PM as a reply to dukiller4.
dukiller4:
I have a question for ya. I am currently doing Insanity. I am consuming around 1800 calories before I work out. I sometimes still start to crash at the end or right after the workout. My target area for total calories is around 2500. I drink 2 scoops of Whey and eat an apple 1hr before workout. (350 calories) Should I increase calories right before workout and lessen some earlier in the day? Any info much appreciated. Thanks


First of all you need to tell us what your goal is. Because eating for weight loss is completely different than eating for muscle building.

Second, assuming that you are going for the weight loss, I would not recommend you eating at all before your workouts. In fact I would recommend that you do them first thing in the morning before you eat breakfast. That way you can ensure that your body is in a "glycogen depleted state" and you will have to tap into the fat stores for energy. It will be much harder to workout that way but the results would be much greater.

If you are going to the muscle building then I would suggest a little different approach - eat 4 hours before your workout and eat some complex carbs like buckwheat or wild rice, and 20-30 grams of protein (1 chicken breast) and then don't eat anything until your workout. You need to let your body digest the food and convert it into glycogen and make it available for your muscles. Also eating anything within 2 hours of your workout will lower the HGH (human growth hormone) level and decrease the results of your workout.
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RE: How do I know if I'm eating enough/not enough ......?
1/4/13 7:33 PM as a reply to AdStaffAndrew.
Awesome info - I'm a newbie. I was wondering what is the evidence for this and your credentials?
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RE: How do I know if I'm eating enough/not enough ......?
1/4/13 9:03 PM as a reply to AdStaffAndrew.
Very good stuff here! Def. can't wait to read more as people reply!!
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RE: How do I know if I'm eating enough/not enough ......?
1/5/13 3:53 PM as a reply to AlexanderGarbuz.
AlexanderGarbuz:
dukiller4:
I have a question for ya. I am currently doing Insanity. I am consuming around 1800 calories before I work out. I sometimes still start to crash at the end or right after the workout. My target area for total calories is around 2500. I drink 2 scoops of Whey and eat an apple 1hr before workout. (350 calories) Should I increase calories right before workout and lessen some earlier in the day? Any info much appreciated. Thanks


First of all you need to tell us what your goal is. Because eating for weight loss is completely different than eating for muscle building.

Second, assuming that you are going for the weight loss, I would not recommend you eating at all before your workouts. In fact I would recommend that you do them first thing in the morning before you eat breakfast. That way you can ensure that your body is in a "glycogen depleted state" and you will have to tap into the fat stores for energy. It will be much harder to workout that way but the results would be much greater.

If you are going to the muscle building then I would suggest a little different approach - eat 4 hours before your workout and eat some complex carbs like buckwheat or wild rice, and 20-30 grams of protein (1 chicken breast) and then don't eat anything until your workout. You need to let your body digest the food and convert it into glycogen and make it available for your muscles. Also eating anything within 2 hours of your workout will lower the HGH (human growth hormone) level and decrease the results of your workout.


What about juicing, like a glass of juiced veggies before a workout? Do you think this would be ok?
Thanks
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RE: How do I know if I'm eating enough/not enough ......?
1/5/13 3:29 PM as a reply to AdStaffAndrew.
I am finishing week one of p90x tomorrow. I have followed the nutrition book as a guideline. I am worried that I am not getting enough. The reason why is because I am 17 with an extremely high metabolism. Post-p90x I was eating anything and drinking anything I wanted to. I was a sugar addict; able to drink a liter of mountain dew a day, topped with loads of candy and all that crap your not supposed to have. With all the unhealthy eating habits I have always been able to maintain a healthy weight. Currently my height is 5 11' and my weight 6 days ago before p90x was 147 lbs. Currently I am 141 pounds. I just want to make sure I am getting enough because I believe I should be gaining weight with p90x.
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RE: How do I know if I'm eating enough/not enough ......?
1/5/13 4:21 PM as a reply to MikeK0416.
Mike,

If the goal is to give yourself extra fuel for the workout then yes. However, keep in mind, that you muscles need to use all of the available glycogen (simply put - liquid sugar stored in your muscles) before you will be using body fat for energy. So eating anything sugar rich before the workout will likely replenish your glycogen levels. If you are aiming to lose weight then this would be counterproductive. If you already lean and simply training to improve your athletic performance then this would definitely help.
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RE: How do I know if I'm eating enough/not enough ......?
1/5/13 4:28 PM as a reply to Tannman.
Tannman:
I am finishing week one of p90x tomorrow. I have followed the nutrition book as a guideline. I am worried that I am not getting enough. The reason why is because I am 17 with an extremely high metabolism. Post-p90x I was eating anything and drinking anything I wanted to. I was a sugar addict; able to drink a liter of mountain dew a day, topped with loads of candy and all that crap your not supposed to have. With all the unhealthy eating habits I have always been able to maintain a healthy weight. Currently my height is 5 11' and my weight 6 days ago before p90x was 147 lbs. Currently I am 141 pounds. I just want to make sure I am getting enough because I believe I should be gaining weight with p90x.


Before anybody can give you any meaningful answer you need to clearly state your goals. Because eating to weight loss is completely different than eating for muscle building.

Also, what is your evidence that suggests that you are not getting enough food? The fact that you are losing weight? Are you concerned that you are losing muscle mass?

Keep in mind that weight is probably the worst indicator of your fitness level.
Here is a little wrticle I wrote a little while ago about why you should not be worried about your weight:

Why Body Weight Is a Wrong Way to Measure Your Progress

Did you check your body fat percentage? Did it increase or decrease? Are you running calorie deficit? Tell us more about what you are doing?
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RE: How do I know if I'm eating enough/not enough ......?
1/6/13 12:18 PM as a reply to AdStaffAndrew.
Hi,
I joined this site last year but I am new to using this site... so Im not entirely sure if this is where I ask this.... But, here it goes. Im 4'11 and weigh 118lbs and I just started Insanity yesterday. My goal is to be tone and firm.. the weight number isn't perse my major goal but I do want to be lean.

I am not sure how many calories I am supposed to eat to get lean (lower body fat) and tone up? Can anyone share some insight?

Thank you
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RE: How do I know if I'm eating enough/not enough ......?
1/6/13 4:40 PM as a reply to AdStaffAndrew.
Alex,
My primary goal is to build muscle. My goal is not to lose weight since I already am skin and bones. My body fat measured before p90x was under 14%. However there is not much muscle to show with it. My nutrition plan broadly goes, Breakfast, Granola bars, Lunch, Protein Bar, Dinner. I usually will eat those frozen meals from weight watchers for lunch. Dinner I try to add carbs, pasta, bread (Whole Grain). And the snack bars I get are Nature Valley. I like the protein bars they have which are around 10g protein a piece. The reason why I was concerned is because after my workouts throughout the day it feels like I am not getting enough even after drinking a protein shake within an hour after the workout. I am constantly hungry and want to eat more. And my weight is dropping and I am concerned that I won't get good muscle building results.
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RE: How do I know if I'm eating enough/not enough ......?
1/8/13 10:03 AM as a reply to Tannman.
Ok, this is how I would recommend you calculate you calorie needs

[edited by admin. Alex, wonderful posts and great info. The Information & Education section of the boards has a policy about linking to outside URLs, particularly Coaches' business sites. Please summarize the info here in your posts instead of linking over to your site. Since your site is really helpful I hope you ARE providing a link to it from your bio page. Thanks for understanding]
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RE: How do I know if I'm eating enough/not enough ......?
1/7/13 12:55 PM as a reply to AdStaffAndrew.
Thanks, Nargenta! Much appreciated for you help, my Insanity is now done, time to repeat it with my extra bonus DVD's and send in my before and after photo's. once again, thanks a lot! emoticon God Bless, man!
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RE: How do I know if I'm eating enough/not enough ......?
1/8/13 10:05 AM as a reply to loveliladee.
loveliladee:
Hi,
I joined this site last year but I am new to using this site... so Im not entirely sure if this is where I ask this.... But, here it goes. Im 4'11 and weigh 118lbs and I just started Insanity yesterday. My goal is to be tone and firm.. the weight number isn't perse my major goal but I do want to be lean.

I am not sure how many calories I am supposed to eat to get lean (lower body fat) and tone up? Can anyone share some insight?

Thank you


The first step is to use the BB Caloric Needs Calculator to come up with a number. Be as accurate as possible in inputing your information and, especially, goals.
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RE: How do I know if I'm eating enough/not enough ......?
phase 1 caloric needs les mills pump
1/10/13 6:20 AM as a reply to AdStaffAndrew.
AdStaffAndrew:

The first step is to use the BB Caloric Needs Calculator to come up with a number. Be as accurate as possible in inputing your information and, especially, goals.


I did the Caloric Needs Calculator and it says 1161 calories to reach my goals but recommends the Low Carb Express at 1300 calories. Here is my questions, I am doing Les Mills Pump and I am starting Phase 1. The Nutrition Guide says I need to eat 2,000 calories a day. Which should I do, 1300 or 2000?
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RE: How do I know if I'm eating enough/not enough ......?
1/10/13 8:43 AM as a reply to amandab1.
Amanda, there is really no right and no wrong ways of doing this. The lower the calorie count the faster you will get to your goals. However, if you run high calorie deficit it will make it more difficult for you to sustain intense workouts. So if you want to drop a few pounds very quickly then go to low calorie diet but don't stay on it for too long. If you aiming for more of a long term fitness goal (let's say - lose targeted amount of weight by June) then you can up your calories a little.

One of the simplest and fairly effective ways to estimate your calorie intake is to use this formula:

For maintenance you need to consume about 12 calories per pound
For weight loss you need to consume about 10 calories per pound
For muscle building you need to consume about 15 calories per pound

These are the initial starting points. I would suggest that you estimate your target nutrition needs and then follow this plan for about 2-3 weeks and then see. If you are not getting the results you are looking for then start decreasing your calorie intake by 200 calories for another 2-3 weeks and see how it goes. You should be aiming to lose about a pound of body fat per weeks but sometimes it can go a little faster and some times a little slower. Do not get discouraged by the scale - pay more attention to the way your clothes fit you. I usually find that people drop a size or two before they actually start seeing serious weight changes.

Feel free to ask more questions and also feel free to send me or anyone here a private message if you don't want to share your questions with everyone.
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RE: How do I know if I'm eating enough/not enough ......?
1/11/13 10:01 AM as a reply to amandab1.
Without knowing your personal stats it's impossible to say, exactly, but the 700 calorie discrepancy between the two numbers suggests that there was a miscalculation on one. If you are a normal-height woman looking to lose some weight I'd guess the lower number is correct. Start there and adjust as needed.

amandab1:
AdStaffAndrew:

The first step is to use the BB Caloric Needs Calculator to come up with a number. Be as accurate as possible in inputing your information and, especially, goals.


I did the Caloric Needs Calculator and it says 1161 calories to reach my goals but recommends the Low Carb Express at 1300 calories. Here is my questions, I am doing Les Mills Pump and I am starting Phase 1. The Nutrition Guide says I need to eat 2,000 calories a day. Which should I do, 1300 or 2000?
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RE: How do I know if I'm eating enough/not enough ......?
1/16/13 9:27 AM as a reply to AdStaffAndrew.
Okay. So, according to the calcualtor provided here on Beachbody I need to consume 1900 calories a day. I'm on week 2 of Insanity and want to lose weight and tone. I'm 5'3" and 135. This calculator seems very broad, consideing it doesn't take into account how many calories the individual actually burns during the workout. I have a heartrate monitor and burn an average of about 375 calories with Insanity workouts. SO i've adjusted my daily calorie itake to 1400 a day. And really, sometimes that's too much cause I won't eat if I'm not hungry. I'm going to start taking whey protein post-wokout. Only an amount that works within my recommended protein needs. (More Math for ya!) Basically what I'm saying is that if you're really serious about getting your results, do the research, do the math and cater to your individual needs.
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