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not eating before insanity?
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not eating before insanity?
9/15/09 5:50 AM
My wife just started Insanity yesterday but thinks its a good idea to not eat in the morning before starting. I told her she needs to eat before Insanity so she doest crash. Or perhaps I am wrong and this is just another way to facilitate more fat loss?

What do you all think?
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RE: not eating before insanity?
9/15/09 7:51 AM as a reply to kidplayer.
Some people say you should eat a small meal before working out, but I'm not sanguine about doing that before Insanity. I'd be afraid I'd want to puke it back up.

When I did P90X first thing in the morning I didn't bother eating before it. I do Insanity in the late afternoon now, and I don't eat anything specifically before it, just whatever I ate in my afternoon snack. I do like to eat something after an Insanity workout though (typically my dinner).
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RE: not eating before insanity?
9/15/09 10:45 AM as a reply to kidplayer.
It's hard to eat before when you have to do it at 5:30AM. You would need to eat then wait a while before you worked out. I don't eat before but I have a protein shake immediately after.
I do better working out right out of bed though just drink some water and get to it. If she is feeling like she needs something I'd say some sort of protein drink should help.
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RE: not eating before insanity?
9/15/09 8:41 PM as a reply to 1266272.
That's a common tactic that is unproven, and in general it's not a bad idea, but Insanity might be too intense for that. I agree that a half serving of a protein shake or half a serving of the recovery formula would help. I'd personally lean towards the recovery formula because I think it is less likely to weigh you down and make you feel full and possibly throw up.
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RE: not eating before insanity?
10/1/09 2:12 PM as a reply to kidplayer.
I'm not a fan of eating before a morning workout, especially something like Insanity or P90X Plyometrics. If you're crashing/bonking during an early morning workout, I think I'd look more at how the nutrition was the day before. If I don't get my calories in one day, the next day is when I'm bonking.
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RE: not eating before insanity?
10/1/09 4:53 PM as a reply to spydor.
I'm with afteracup. I went through Insanity in August (had to stop for medical reasons - non Insanity related, so I'm starting over) and not having anything in your system before the workouts is not a good idea. IMHO, the program is way too intense for that.

If you can't stomach a small meal in the A.M., at least try some liquid, like a protein shake or recovery formula. At the very least. Because you will end up crashing, puking or feeling like s***.

I've spoken with people that have gone thru the program and they concur.

BTW..Insanity kicks the pants off P90X Plyo..just so you know. You do need to eat something..that said, it may take a bit of trial and error to figure out what meal works for you. I would try to stay away from anything sugary, does not settle on the stomach well. Some ppl have had good success with toast w/peanut butter, others with recovery formula. But I would NOT try to go it on empty. This is coming from a person that is used to doing all cardio on empty, but could not do it with Insanity (and I'm usually not a morning eater).
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RE: not eating before insanity?
10/6/09 1:25 PM as a reply to leeial.
I tried the fit test without eating and lifting and i felt horrible. I couldn't even finish it. I am going to try to start the program again on Sun and I am going to put something on my stomach, probably protein shake, before I do it again and delay my lifting while on the program
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RE: not eating before insanity?
10/6/09 2:27 PM as a reply to kidplayer.
i would suggest maybe a protein drink before,that's what i do,because i probably would puke up a complete breakfast, while doing insanity
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RE: not eating before insanity?
10/17/09 6:29 AM as a reply to leeial.
I've been using a protein shake before my workouts for a little over a week now. I can honestly say, I don't see a difference. I tried various time, from immediately before, up to 30 minutes before. I didn't see any noticeable improvement in how I did/felt through the workout. That's just me though. I also added a half banana a few times, but it was the same.

If I felt like I was crashing during the workout, I'd probably be inclined to take something in for the extra energy. For me, as long as I start my workouts within 5-15 minutes of waking up, and I've eaten properly the day prior, I don't need the extra food/drink before the workout.

It's been several months since I've done P90X Plyo. I just used it as a comparison since it is one of the more intense from the P90X series. And, depending how hard you push it, ranks up there with a few of the Insanity workouts. It doesn't touch Pure Insanity, but some of the others aren't as intense.
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RE: not eating before insanity?
10/18/09 10:41 PM as a reply to spydor.
Here's a great article Clarence Bass wrote on this subject. I'd suggest always having at least a little something in your system before working out.

Q. Is training in the morning on an empty stomach more effective for burning fat? Some well-known bodybuilding gurus recommend doing high-intensity aerobics in the morning on an empty stomach to burn fat. Is this supported by scientific fact, or is it bad advice?

A. That sounds logical, I know, but it’s bad advice for two basic reasons. The first is simply common sense: You will feel more like training if you eat a small snack beforehand. It’s important to enjoy your training, because you’re not likely to keep doing an activity that you find unpleasant. I usually have a cup of instant coffee, made with one-third water and two-thirds skim milk, and a teaspoon of canola oil (to slow absorption), and a Tiger’s Milk energy bar about 30 minutes before my workout. If you’d prefer not to drink coffee and don’t like energy bars, a glass of skim milk and an apple would be fine. Avoid concentrated sugars which cause a spike in your blood sugar – a candy bar or honey are no-nos – or eating so much that you feel full and uncomfortable. Eat something small in volume and easily digested; that’s why I like a Tiger’s Milk bar. I eat my main meal as soon as possible after training. I’ll explain why a little later.

The main reason for a pre-workout snack, however, is to supply your brain with the energy it requires to function properly – and to avoid cannibalizing your muscles.

All the different tissues of the body, including your muscles, use glucose, blood sugar, for energy. Your brain, however, relies on glucose for energy almost exclusively. If your blood glucose level falls, the brain cannot function properly. The result is usually inability to concentrate, lethargy and confusion, but in extreme circumstances can be blurred vision, shock, and even death. For this reason, the body is programmed to maintain your blood glucose level no matter what the cost. When you understand the mechanism by which this is accomplished, you’ll know why you should eat a small snack before you exercise.

Most of the energy for a training session, weights or aerobics, come from the glycogen stored in your muscles. The glycogen comes from what you have eaten over the last several days, not your last meal. It takes a day or two to restore the glycogen to depleted muscles. About 200 grams of glycogen can be stored in your muscles. Muscle glycogen, however, is no help to your brain. As Lawrence E. Lamb, M.D., explained some time ago in The Health Letter, muscle glycogen has to be used by your muscles for energy; it can’t get out of the muscles to raise your blood sugar. So where does the glucose for your brain come from?

First, it comes from the glucose contained in your circulating blood. This, however, is only about 20 grams and doesn’t last long. Next, it comes from the breakdown of glycogen to glucose in the liver; that’s about 70 grams. The glucose in your circulating blood and that stored in your liver, according to Dr. Lamb, is enough to tide your brain over during the night, but that’s about it. When you get up in the morning the body must look elsewhere to supply glucose to your brain. Unfortunately, if you don’t eat, the source of supply is body protein -- not the fat stored on your body.

As you probably know, extra calories from any source, carbohydrate, protein or fat, are stored as fat. "The catch," says Dr. Lamb, "is that this is a one-way street." Fat cannot be used to form glucose. Under normal circumstances, body fat can’t supply the needs of the brain. (After about two days of starvation body fat can provide energy to the brain, but that’s clearly not acceptable for our purposes.)

After blood glucose and liver glycogen are used up, the body turns not to fat tissue, but to protein to maintain the blood glucose level. The mechanism is called gluconeogenesis, the manufacture of new glucose. Your liver does the job. It strips the nitrogen from body protein to form glucose. In other words, protein from skeletal muscles and other body structures is used to maintain your blood glucose level.

Dr. Lamb summed it up like this: "In the morning, after an overnight fast, your body has already switched to converting amino acids to glucose. That is one reason why some carbohydrate to support your blood sugar level early in the morning is important. That can help conserve the cell protein, such as found in your muscles."

So, training in the morning on empty, without eating, is a bad idea. The result is exactly the opposite of that desired. Rather than encourage the burning of fat, if forces your body to burn hard-earned muscle.

To the best of my knowledge, Dr. Lamb’s comments are still state-of-the-art. I have yet to hear any authoritative opinion to the contrary. Until I do, I plan to continue eating a pre-workout snack..

I promised to tell you why I eat a full meal shortly after training. Glycogen replacement is more than twice as great if you eat soon after exercising than if you wait two hours. It’s important to take advantage of that window of opportunity to replenish the glycogen stored in your muscles. Otherwise, the calories consumed may be deposited as fat. As explained on our products page, my favorite post-workout meal is our High Protein Oatmeal. I add mixed vegetables and fruit to the oatmeal and top with skim milk or a multigrain beverage.

I’ve had many questions on this topic. I hope this clears up the confusion about eating a pre-workout snack.
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RE: not eating before insanity?
10/20/09 11:39 AM as a reply to phoenixhawk.
PhoenixHawk,

I'm on a tight timeline each day and just making time for the workout and the wind down each morning is challenging. The only thing I can think of is to set my alarm 30 minutes before I wake up for my work out and quick eat a quarter of a meal bar or something like that and then go back to sleep for the next 30 minutes. Would that work? I know you're not supposed to eat right before sleep but I can't squeeze another 30 minutes out of my day and feel good. I've been working out each morning right out of bed and eating about 30 minutes after I finish the work out. I appreciate the help.
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RE: not eating before insanity?
10/20/09 11:47 AM as a reply to pasdf.
I've read on another post that drinking Gatorade in the morning and through the work out works as well. Would this work instead?
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RE: not eating before insanity?
10/20/09 11:58 PM as a reply to pasdf.
what you need is something in your system that is already being digested prior to working out so that your body will react properly to physical activity. Eating something then sleeping another 30 minutes would work, since it would be fuel in the tank for your body to tap into, and realize it's running low, not empty.

Even 1/2 a banana would work, just enough to give your body something to burn through first.

Derek
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RE: not eating before insanity?
10/21/09 6:43 AM as a reply to phoenixhawk.
Thanks Derek. I tried that this morning and felt a little heavier right before the workout but I didn't have any problems and felt fine afterwards. I usually hit the snooze a few times before getting up so that sounds like it'll work for me. I appreciate the advice.

Andrew
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RE: not eating before insanity?
10/21/09 10:11 PM as a reply to pasdf.
glad I could help!
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RE: not eating before insanity?
6/24/11 4:38 AM as a reply to kidplayer.
I eat a tbsp of mixed nuts before, and the full breakfast right after. The workout is the first thing I'm doing in the morning, so can't wait for one hour.
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RE: not eating before insanity?
6/24/11 5:41 AM as a reply to Katemari.
The first time I ate before I did an insanity workout, I puked.
So I have not done it since.

What I *do* do, however, is immediately after the warmup, the first 45s? break, I pause the dvd. I eat a small snack bar, and drink a half bottle of water. My break usually ends up roughly about 30s longer than the rest of the people, but it makes the rest of the workout *so* much more doable.

Seems to be working for me, anyway.
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RE: not eating before insanity?
6/24/11 10:26 PM as a reply to kidplayer.
Hey guys,

If you have a question about what you're doing and that pertains to the thread, by all means post it. But if you're posting the answer to a question by someone early on in the thread, or the original post, please check the date... this question was asked in 2008, and the last post I made in it was in October of 2009.

Just a heads up, not complaining at all.. as I said, if you have a question it's totally cool to revive a thread to get it answered.

Derek
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RE: not eating before insanity?
4/1/12 1:32 PM as a reply to kidplayer.
kidplayer:
My wife just started Insanity yesterday but thinks its a good idea to not eat in the morning before starting. I told her she needs to eat before Insanity so she doest crash. Or perhaps I am wrong and this is just another way to facilitate more fat loss?

What do you all think?


Bit of a late reply from me, but I'll comment for anyone else reading this for the first time.

I've just started insanity myself and I'm doing the morning workout and you really do need SOMETHING before you train otherwise you're just not going to be working at your full potential. Yes, you'll burn some more fat, BUT, the intensity you'll lose won't make up for the extra fat burned on an empty stomach. Insanity works because with max interval training your body is releasing a TON of HGH which among other things burns fat long after your workout, so if you can't train at max intensity you aren't releasing enough HGH.

This is why people who jog for hours and hours at moderate intensity rarely lose much weight. Simply burning calories isn't the most effective way to lose weight.

So to that effect my personal recommendation for what I would consider a perfect pre-insanity workout meal would be 2-3 dates. Dates are the natural equivalent of a fast acting carb gel/drink. 2-3 dates 30 minutes before you workout and the energy will be available for your workout + you definitely won't feel 3 dates in your stomach! Fruit is also much more efficient calorie wise than crap like pasta. How nutrient dense a food is, is more important than calories. You'll feel satisfied on a 1500 calorie per day diet consisting of raw fruit/veg if you include a wide variety of greens in it, but you would feel hungry on 1500 calories per day of junk food. My point with that statement is that 2-3 dates isn't a lot of calories, but it's enough to easily fuel an entire insanity workout.


I also have a banana or 2 before bed which will give me some extra energy ready for the morning. You won't get fat eating bananas before bed, heh. If you ate a big bowl of pasta or bread each night before bed then you wouldn't be doing yourself any favors, but you just won't get fat on fruit/veg. I've seen people eat 4000 calories of raw fruit/veg per day and LOSE weight, so go ahead and stuff your face with extra bananas/pears/avocados/apples/dates for extra energy so you can work at the max intensity while doing insanity.
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RE: not eating before insanity?
4/1/12 1:39 PM as a reply to jtp1.
I also work out first thing in the morning and don't like getting up but it is when I know I can get the workout in. Because of this I decided to try a pre-workout boost formula as opposed to even a small meal. I still wait 30 min.and drink a big glass of water during that time, but don't feel heavy in the stomach. For the past 2 weeks I have used 1.m.r by bpi and find it gives me what I need to get through the workout which I follow with r&r formula or chocolate milk(whatever the budget allows for the month lol). There are several on the market and you may consider them other than a meal.Note if you decide to use 1.m.r it must be cycled 2 months on one month off because of the creatine in it. I used to drink like a pot a day of coffee but now I only need 1 scoop of the pre-workout and I am good to go.
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