Help! I’m not losing weight with P90X or Insanity

By Nancy Andrews

Help! I’m not losing weight with P90X or Insanity

Oct 12th, 2010 | By Nancy Andrews | Category: P90X FAQ

I am regularly approached by people who are not losing weight on the P90X  or Insanity programs.  Most of them are women.  And that’s not surprising because women have a harder time getting a body that’s overweight and prone to put on fat to suddenly turn around and become a fat burner.

But just because it’s harder does not mean we can’t overcome – that we can’t win.  Come on gals, you know we can.  We are the ones made of tougher stuff.  But we need to be tough with ourselves and even more importantly honest and vigilant.  If we do all those things, we will win our battle to shape up and slim down.

First things first.  If you are not seeing much weight loss but you do see your waist, hip and thigh measurements doing down, your body is burning fat and adding muscle.  That’s a good thing.  Don’t fret about that.  Look, if you weighted 200 lbs but fit in a size 4 – who cares?  We are programmed to focus too much on ‘losing weight’ rather than our body measurements.  We need to change that.  And as you do and you progress through the program, you should see some weight loss start.  If you don’t, just follow the guidelines below.

Now if you are not losing weight and not losing inches, you are suffering from one or more of the normal culprits below:

  • You are not working out with high enough intensity.  This is a tough reality for many women.  Many of us were not raised to work out hard ‘like a man’.  But for muscle to grow, we need to work it hard – to near failure.  If you are not shaking on the last few reps and your muscles are not starting to burn by the end of the workout then you are not working out hard enough.  Some women are afraid they’ll get too muscular.  That’s wrong thinking.  First, it’s near impossible to get too muscular because women don’t have the testosterone hormone levels that men do.  It’s the testosterone that permits men to get big and super muscular.  Besides that, it’s not like you’d suddenly wake up one morning and gasp at the super huge muscles you’ve gotten.  Muscle build up is slow for anyone and especially women.  Just workout will all your might and you will see improvements.
  • You are eating too many calories.  I find the P90X guidelines tend to have women eating too many calories.  If you are not seeing results, go with a simple formula of the greater of 1500 calories or 10x your body weight in pounds.  This will create a calorie deficit that will translate into weight loss.
  • You are eating too many carbs.  Keep your diet to 40% protein/40% carbs/20% fats as far as calories go.  To save you some computations, at 1500 calories that’s 150 grams of protein, 150 grams of carbs and about 33 grams of fats.  To hit your protein requirements you will almost have to supplement with whey protein so get some now if you don’t have that handy in your home.  I buy the Body Fortress Super Advanced brand at Walmart – it’s cheap and tasty and easy to mix with water.  You have to keep your eyes on the fats.  It’s too easy to blow through your 33 gram limit.  That’s why some of your protein should be whey protein because that’s nearly fat and carb free.
  • You are not drinking enough water.  This sounds like it can’t be a significant issue with weight loss but it is.  You need to drink a half ounce of water for every pound you weigh.  If you weigh 150 lbs, you need to drink 75 ounces of water.  When you are working out really hard, you can get dehydrated.  That puts a real strain on your kidneys and your liver which should be breaking down fats has to stop and pitch in and help your kidneys out.  Moreover, the break down of fats produces metablites (waste particles) that need to get flushed out of your system.
  • You are too stressed.  When you are highly stressed your body produces a lot of the hormone cortisol.  Your really don’t want that.  Excess cortisol can wrek havoc on your body as it is linked to muscle loss and increased abdominal fat.  To combat excess cortisol make sure you take several breaks a day to just breathe slowly and deeply.  This will not only bring down your stress levels which will stop your body’s production of excess cortisol, it will oxygenate your blood which will immediately improve your body’s ability to burn fat.  Also try to get at least 7 hours of sleep in each night.  Eight hours would be better but aim for at least 7.   This will help your body deal with the day’s stressors more effectively.

For many women, they’ll find more than one of these culprits are present in their lifestyles.  Take heed and make the necessary changes and the weight will come off.

Finally, I’d be remiss here if I didn’t add that P90X is actually the better program if you want signficant changes to your figure.  When done properly with right diet, P90X burns fat while building a little lean muscle.  So we add a few curves where we need them, pull up and firm up our ‘giggly’ parts and lose fat all over.  Insanity is a better pic to do after P90X or, better yet, with P90X in a P90X/Insanity hybrid workout.  Insanity is a program that makes fit people fitter.  It’s not, in my opinion, a starter program.

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  1. Simple, straight forward advice here on why women may not be shedding the pounds they want. I have always wanted to try the P90X system, but just haven’t been able to convince myself to spend the money yet. I already have the Power 90, and after the first couple weeks, it just sat on the shelf. I guess I’m just not one for workout videos. :( But I do workout on my own, lifting weights and doing some cardio. I have also added whey protein to my diet (from, drink plenty of water each day, and consume between 1300-1500 calories per day. All of these things combined have seem to be pretty effective for me. Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that every time I see a P90X commercial I want to buy it!!

  2. Hi Kelly,

    Thanks for stopping by! I do really like P90X but then I have a history of enjoying just ‘pressing play’ for my fitness. What is effective for me is the fact that someone else has planned out my fitness program. With 12 workouts, there is enough to keep me from getting bored from the constant repetition you get with many DVDs. And the fact that it’s Tony Horton who looks fantastic and is now 50 same as me (he’s a couple years younger in the DVD) makes the workout somehow more doable.

    A decade ago I did the Body for Life program which is weightlifting and cardio. It was (is) a good program in terms of shaping you up but it was up to me to chart out all my workouts in advance. It also got boring after awhile. I applaud you for sticking with your own program and as long as you continue to feel challenged, why not stick with it?

    Coach Nancy

  3. Great article on why you are not losing weight. Agree completely that drinking water is one of the most important factor why some people fail to lose weight. I myself has been trying to lose weight since months ago and since then, i have sucessfully lose 5kgs of my weight. On top of having a healthy diet, exercising is also crucial.

  4. Hi Nancy.
    Great article. There is just one more think that I would like to add, that you do not mention. That is, some women may want to lose more weight than they can lose doing P90x. Building muscle and burning fat is different. I did my first round of p90x lean. I was excited about and felt great. I was more toned and in great shape, but I did not lose as much weight as I wanted. I was eating 1300-1500 calories a day. I went from 145 to 140 at the end of the 90days. After that I started doing p90x classic. Again I noticed that I was getting more toned and after doing it for 1 month I had not lost any weight. This was very frustrating to me. And yes I was working hard, drinking lots of water and watching my carbs. What started to happen to me is that I was building lost of muscle under fat!!! I had to change my routine!! I starting running, increased cardio and then started Turbo jam. It was not until then, I started to see the results I wanted. I now weigh 130 and would like to lose 5 more lbs as well as a few more inches. I just wanted to share my experience to add it to your article. Sometimes its not one of your namely curprits.
    And by the way, I do plan on going back to do the p90x classic. I think its really for people who may have like 5 lbs to lose and really wants to be toned.

  5. Deborah,

    Thanks for sharing your story. I’m glad to hear you lost weight on Turbo Jam, I have that program and it’s nice cardio. The only comment I want to make to your story is that I disagree on the P90X being only for people who have 5 lbs to lose. I’m sorry but beyond my personal story I have a number of clients who have lost anywhere from 15 up to 40lbs doing P90X classic. I’m not sure where your execution may have been off but trust me, it can work wonders.

  6. Hi

    I have been doing P90x for 7 weeks now and have lost around 6 lbs. (I now weigh 198 at 5ft8)
    This is frustrating however my fitness has improved immensely and my body shape is changing slowly.

    I was really down about the lack of weight loss however the most of the weight I lost in the last 2 weeks.

    Also as a side issue I take medication for Bi Polar and this piles weight on you, due to me working P90X i have reduced the amount of anti depressants and also my mood stabilisers.

    I highly recommend this program for anyone who has to take this kind of med.

  7. Hi Michael,

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing! You are right that anti depressant drugs do cause weight gain so consider your progress in light of this. Even if you have been able to reduce your dosages, it can take weeks for the impact of the lowered medication to really show up in how your body responds.

    Another thing to think about is that for most people, the majority of weight loss comes in month 3. It takes time for any person’s body to adjust to the changes and really start showing the results on the outside. By the time you get to month 3, if you are ‘bringing it’ to the resistance workouts you will have built enough muscle for your metabolism to increase enough to burn calories at a higher level.

    In month 3, consider doing a week or two of doubles. If you are eating more than 2,000 calories a day, cut down to that level and then eat your calories in a 40/30/30 ratio of carbs/protein/fat. That means you need to take in 150 grams of protein a day. I find a lot of people don’t get enough quality protein in their diet. I like Gaspari’s Myofusion protein powder to provide me what I need and I really like the taste.

    Come back and let me know how you are doing. Also consider visiting our forums and participating over there.

  8. Hi – I have been utilizing Lose it for approx. 3 weeks now. My goal is to lose 12 lbs in 12 weeks. I have set my account to track this. Issue: I lost two pounds quickly, stick to my 1300 (or there abouts) calorie count for the day, usually stay in the healthy foods, but yesterday my weight went up. My issue does not appear to be too many calories, it seems to be a (hit below 1200) a starvation-slow metabolism issue or something I can’t id. I need insight please. I am also participating in the P90X program so I am getting 50 minutes (minimum) of good/hard exercise. I am conservative when I enter calories burned for P90X, but probably overstate calories eaten. Please anyone, provide me with some insight. Thanks Ever So Much – Bubbles

  9. Hi Bubbles,

    By ‘Lose it’ are you talking about the iphone app? (Just curious – it’s always helpful to be completely clear on these things.)

    Anyway you don’t tell me how much you weigh now but even not knowing I can tell you that I’m 99% sure I’d come back at you and tell you that you are not eating enough calories and probably not the right mix. Also you say you are doing P90X but you don’t say which version. If you really want to shape up, go Classic. The best transformations of women, including my own, have been using Classic.

    If you want to lose weight, set your daily caloric count to 10x your weight in pounds but eat at least 1400 while doing P90X classic. It is VERY important to eat 5 – 6 meals a day and to eat your calories in a ratio of 40/40/20 carb/protein/fat. If you are not drinking 2 low carb; high protein shakes a day, I can pretty much guarantee you are not getting enough protein and are probably eating too many carbs and fat. Also I highly encourage a cheat day once a week. This keeps your metabolism from shutting down or getting too used to a low caloric rate. It also gives you a chance to eat what you’ve been lusting for all week and get it out of your system. I encourage all my clients to view P90X and diet changes as a lifestyle change, not a short term project.

    Now the other thing you need to realize is that it’s nuts to weigh yourself daily. Pick 1 day a week and weight yourself at the same time of day. Then also consider where you are in relation to your monthly cycle. If you’ve moved into a pre-menstrual cycle, you are going to put on a couple pounds of water weight. This is completely natural and that water weight isn’t fat and will come off during or right after your period.

    What I counsel my clients to do is to focus on your measurements, not your weight. What counts (I hope) is how you look, not what you weigh. I weigh any where from 10 – 15 lbs more than women who have the exact same measurements as I do and are my height. Why? Because I have a lot more lean muscle mass. That let’s me weigh more but look just as good (frankly sometimes better) then they do. Take weekly measurements as your primary focus. And take pictures every month.


  10. I do some weightlifting at least twice a week, weightlifting is a very good exercise and it keeps the shape of my chest and shoulder muscles in very good form.~~~

  11. Hi-
    I have been doing P90X Lean for 2 months. I have lost no weight but I know I have gotten more muscle. In conversing with TeamBeachbody, they indicated I am not eating enough calories, therefore I am sending my body into hoarding/starvation mode. They said to up may calories to around 2000/day. I was eating what you recommend 1500-1700 and they said it isn’t enought to support what is spent. Are you numbers accurate? Whose numbers should I believe? I know what I am doing now isn’t working so I am going to up my calories. Is there anything else you can suggest?

  12. Hi Kerri,

    Please provide the following information:
    Age, Height, Weight, Waist in inches (measure at narrowest point), Hips (measure at widest point) and Neck (measure at widest point).

    Before you just up your calories, you should know what your lean mass is which is what we can derive if you provide the information. Eating 1500 – 1700 calories is more than enough for most women who want to lose weight – even doing Classic. The P90X nutrition guide makes no adjustments for men or women which is kind of short sighted when you consider that at the same height and weight, men will carry much more lean mass than a women do.

    Also are you really following the diet closely or are you just approximating it. The reason why I ask is that my guidelines don’t end up in a range of calories so when you quoted that, it made me wonder.

    If you really want to know what is going on, then let’s start by knowing where you are really at. If you just want to guess, then go ahead and follow what you got out of Beachbody.

  13. Kerri,

    A couple more thoughts. You don’t indicate whether you are taking your 1 cheat day a week. I am quite clear in my diet recommendations that you need to take that to prevent your metabolism from getting too efficient. Also you really need to be on top of the calories and not swing (other than cheat day) by more than 50 calories each way. You also have to eat your macro nutrients in the amounts I suggest. Focusing on calories alone is not enough. Finally I see far too many women eating too many of their carbs from starch and grain products. As I indicated in my recommendations, only 1 grain/starch a day (again except for cheat days) and the grain or starch serving has to be as unrefined as possible and contain good amounts of fiber.

    When I hear someone complaining that they are not losing weight, more times than not, they are not completely following the recommendations.

  14. Hi Nancy,

    I, like so many other women, am doing P90X to loose some weight. I began the program on Jan 3rd and now I am on week 2 of Phase 2. I originally started at 166 Ibs, I am 5’3″, and two weeks ago I was only at 164 (disappointed because I really want to loose more weight but I understand that it could be muscle weight).

    OK now here is my issue. I got on the scale today and I gained a pound. The first week that I started, my caloric intake was approximately 1550-1600. At that time I lost about a pound. I thought I wasn’t eating enough so I increased my calories to the range of 1630-1700. I then saw that I was only loosing 1/2 pound a week. I figured I would decrease my calories to 1500-1550 Ibs for the past two weeks as I have been reading that women in my weight/height bracket should be taking in this amount of calories. Boom I gained. Might I also add that up until this week, I was doing the Classic. This week I started Doubles to shed some pounds as I felt like I was not getting in enough Cardio and all the Cardio programs, with the exception of Plyometrics, did not seem to make me sweat at all.

    Below are my stats……
    Age: 39
    Weight: 165
    Height: 5’3″
    Waist: 31″
    Neck: 13 1/2″
    Hips: 44″
    I’ll also add that I am totally solid. I don’t have any loose skin except for my lower abdominal area.

    If you can please help me out, I would so greatly appreciate it. I do not want to loose my weight loss/fitness excitement.

  15. Hello Elle,

    You should not be doing doubles – not until you get fairly fit and even then, I think it’s too much. So you wanted to ‘hasten’ your results and thought you’d just double up on the exercise and cut calories and what happened was that your cortisol levels went up and that causes your body to hold onto weight (even add some for some people).

    So cut back!

    Also if you want to have me coach you specifically, you’ll need to make me your coach. I did a search on my customers and could not find a match to your email. I have instructions on how to do that at

    Good luck!


  16. OH ok I see. I will go through the instructions you have provided. Thank you very much for your assistance.

  17. I started strength training 3 days a week for an hour about 6 weeks ago. I added the insanity program about 3 weeks ago and have only lost about 4 pounds with all of this. I also try to jog at least 3 miles during the week. I recently found out that I am prediabetic and that I need to get my weight down and so I make sure to get some type of exercise in 6 days a week. At first I cut out all starches that I normally consumed: white bread, oatmeal, wheat bread, grits, rice, corn, chick fila chicken minis, as well as sweet tea and fraps from startbucks. Anything bready and/or sweet. I ate mainly veggies and meat.. I was OUT of energy. So I added back whole wheat thin bread. I also drink nothing but water. Anyway I try to keep my caloric intake around 1200-1300 because I am short and apple shaped. Most of the fat settles in my chest and love handles. Any advice u give I would appreciate. I don’t take any meds, supplements, or vitamins.
    Here are my measurements:

    Height: 4’11
    weight: 154/155 (it fluctuates)
    waist: 34
    Hips: 41 (i think that’s my hip I measured)
    neck: 12 1/2
    chest: 38-ddd

  18. Hi Denise,

    I can see why you were out of energy. You need more calories and a bit of low glycemic fruit to keep you powered. You are also overdoing the exercise. Too much high intensity exercise can keep your body at chronically high cortisol levels which means your body is going to hang onto (and even try to store more) fat – and worst yet – around your belly. Up your calories to 1300 per day and take 1 cheat day on top of that. Review your diet to be sure that you are really counting all your calories and be sure to drink 1/2 to 3/4 gallon of filtered water a day.

    Keep the 3 resistance training workouts. Then pick either a jog or an Insanity workout for two days where you are not weight training. Then if you want to do anything else, WALK! That’s it.

    I don’t see where I am your Beachbody coach. If you’d like to make me your coach, please see the instructions I have at I only work one on one with my BB customers.


  19. HELP!!! i am finishing my 90 days of p90x and i have noticed that i have put on bulk and muscle. I have not lost weight, in fact i have gained 10 pounds since i started. My starting weight was 134 and 5″7 and i just wanted to tighten up a bit and get down to 127 which i have had no problem getting down to before. Not only have I gained the weight but i have also gained an inch everywhere. I really feel that I have bulked up! I have been really watching my caloric intake and am anywhere between 1300 – 1500 calories per day. During the 2nd month i noticed that i was gaining a lot of muscle so i started doing the doubles program. My question now is that i really want to slim down so would i get better results with insanity alone or doing a hybrid insanity/p90x???? Please help as I am feeling very frustrated!!! Jen

  20. Hi Jen,

    You don’t actually give me enough to make a solid conclusion. Fact is that when done correctly, P90X will take fat off and make you smaller. So something is off. Common culprits are:

  21. You are eating more than you think you are. This is more common than you think. Unless you are reading labels, measuring and recording, you could be off by a couple hundred calories a day.
  22. You are eating the wrong foods. Even if you are hitting the daily calories you mention, if you are consuming too much carb or fat, you won’t get your body into a prime fat burning mode. One of the chronic mistakes I see women making is to take a post workout recovery drink that is chock full of sugar. First, studies have been done that show that protein utilization (uptake into muscles) does not need sugar to get the job done. Secondly, when you take a drink like that, you are shutting down your fat burning.
  23. Are you taking a cheat day once a week? Your body is designed to make due with what you feed it so limiting calories too long will causes your metabolism to lower.
  24. Adding in too much exercise can end up raising your cortisol levels chronically (elevated for too long) which puts your body in a fat storage mode and much of that storage will be around your belly.
  25. Are you doing Classic? If so you need to lift as heavy as possible (maintaining good form) hitting the 8 – 10 rep range. Doing high reps can add bulk. If you are doing Lean, you won’t get the results you would by doing Classic.
  26. The thing is that you are not addressing the root problem. Adding in more exercise (doubles) or changing your exercise (Insanity) won’t tell you where you are off. What I can tell you is that women who follow my advice lose fat.


  27. I’m confused… You say “If you are doing Lean, you won’t get the results you would by doing Classic.” P90x says do Lean for maximum weight loss. So which is it?

  28. Hi Lacie,

    Clearly I disagree with what the manual says about which program will produce better results. All the women I know who have had really good transformations have all done Classic as I have. Classic builds more muscle which raises your metabolism which then burns more calories which leads to greater loss. I not only recommend Classic, I tell my clients to lift heavy in the 8 – 10 rep range and ignore Mr. Horton when he suggests women can lift lighter in the 12 – 15 rep range. Because of our low testosterone levels (women in their 20s only have 1/16th the testosterone levels men have and then the gap widens from there) we have to work much harder than men to gain any muscle.

    Cardio burns more calories typically while you do it but the ‘afterburn’ (think time post workout where your body burns calories at an elevated rate) is much shorter than resistance training. Cardio’s post workout afterburn is at best 6 hours while resistance training can elevate your afterburn for as long as 40 hours.


  29. Hi! My name is Charla and I’m trying to come up with an effective workout and diet plan. I am 5’4 and weight roughly about 123 lbs so I’m not fat at all but my stomach is HUGE I have fat underneath muscle like a man’s beer belly I really want to put on weight and complelty lose the gut! I’ve had trainers and even consider liposuction or a mini tummy tuck. I was thinking doing PX90 lean and needed to knw how much I should it I was told about 1380 per day. Thankyou

  30. Hello Charla,

    If you’ve read any of my responses to all the questions here (and there are quite a few) you already know I’m going to tell you to skip Lean and go Classic. Lean doesn’t work as well as Classic for reshaping a body which is what you need to have happen. As far as calories go, since you are not looking for weight loss then you may eat 11x – 12x your body weight in pounds. I’d go with 1400 – 1500 calories. As for the make up of the calories, please read my article ‘My P90X diet’ which you will find a link to under my ‘Popular posts’ section in the right hand column.


  31. I’m sorry I was referring to calories and how often to work out. I do have Jillian Micheals protein shake mix as well.

  32. Thanks so much for the advice! I was reading the post and I seen that you stated only one serving of dairy and starch per day do I still follow this being I only need to loose belly fat? I am purchasing px90 classic this weekend does it explain how many days to work out I’m assusing 6.

  33. Hi Charla,

    I’d start by following my recommendations on the # of servings for dairy and grains/starches. Remember that even though you are not looking for the scale to show a lower weight, based on the description of your stomach, you need to lose significant fat while adding muscle. As far as how many days a week you work out, P90X has you working out 6 days a week.


  34. Hi Nancy,

    I have been on my weight loss journey since last June and I have lost 60 pounds this far. For the last several months, since February, I have gained and lost the same 3-4 pounds over and over despite going to the gym. Right now I am 5’5 31 192 pounds and female. When i went to gym I would lift weights 2x a week and do the arc trainer for an hour 4x a week. My calorie intake was 1200-1400 a day. To jumpstart weight loss I started taking a cardio MMA class on Saturdays (I have been doing that for a month now) and I am now in week 2 of insanity. So far I have lost about a pound on insanity. I do have issues with the level 1 drills so I improvise the best that i can. At my size the moves are hard for me to complete and hard on my knees.

    My goal is to get to 150 and then tone up. I would like to do whatever I can to make it to my goal by the fall. Additionally I have purchased a bodymedia FIT and it tells me the calories I burn. I only burn about 300-400 doing insanity daily. My daily burn reaches about 2600 on workout days and 2100 or less on non workout days.
    I am desperate to lose this weight ….plz help

  35. hey i’ve been doing insanity for 3 weeks now

    i’m 5’11, i started being 82 kg, and now im 80 kg. i feel frustrated because this much workload for something like this is not justified. im not eating alot, and nearly most of my weight is on my belly and lower belly and its still there. i may feel fitter but i can’t get why im not losing more weight.

  36. Hi Yahya,

    First, celebrate the positive – you have lost 2kg! Also, if you are not now, start taking your body measurements as these are more telling than weight. Your weight can shift on many, none fat related factors so it’s not the best measurement of fat loss. Having said that, you need to be sure your diet is clean – ditch as much unnatural, pre-made foods (baked goods in particular) and eat only clean (pesticide free, hormone free, antibiotic free) foods. Meats, if at all possible, should be pastured animals which for most people means buying from a known local source. If you’ve not read my diet recommendations for doing Insanity or P90X, please do so. You can find that under the popular post section in the upper right hand column and the article is titled ‘My P90X Diet’. This works well for Insanity as well.


  37. Hi Nancy,
    I am so glad that i found this website. I am doing Insanity right now. I want to build more muscles.I enjoy doing Insanity workout most of the time even though I get really tired afterwards, but I am gonna keep working on it. I have a questions for you. Do you think it’s OK to do Insanity workout during menstrual period? I personally think Insanity is pretty intense exercise and I was told that girls shouldn’t do intense exercises while menstrual period, but I am not positive. Could you please help me to answer this question? I would appreciate any info you can provide. Thanks very much!


  38. Hi Hebe,

    Unless you are having really, really heavy periods, there is no reason why you should not do Insanity during your period. And if you are having really heavy periods, you need to bring that up to your physician as it could be a problem you need to get checked out. But as a general rule, other than the usual minor discomforts your period brings, there is no reason why you can’t exercise intensely during your period and you may even find it improves your mood. Of course as is true at all times, if you feel any sharp pains, discontinue exercising immediately.


  39. Thanks very much Nancy. I will try it this month to see how it goes :)

  40. Hello Nancy,

    I already have a coach but am looking for some information on Insanity for someone over 50 (I’m 51). I completed 20 weeks of Turbo Fire and am just about to finish up a Turbo Fire/Chleane Extreme Hybrid. Since Jan. 2011 I’ve lost 65 pounds and have 35 left to go to meet my goal. I really want to go to Insanity next. I read your advice on
    Insanity not being a beginning a beginning program and feel I’m not a beginner. What do you think?

    Thanks! Carla

  41. Hi Carla,

    First, congrats on the wonderful weight loss – great job! As you said, you aren’t a beginner so as long as your spine, hips and knees are in decent shape, go for it!


  42. Hi Coach Nancy,

    I am currently doing a P90X/Insanity hybrid I am 33, 5’7, 220 lbs and eating around 1500 calories a day in order to lose weight. My question is this: in the process of doing my P90X and Insanity workouts I (via my heart rate monitor) burn off 1000 calories. Should I be eating those 1000 calories back? Or if I am not hungry is it ok to not eat them back. I am in my 3rd week and not losing as much weight as I thought I would. I have lost about 6 pounds – I have done both (eating them back and not eating them back) so I am not sure if one behavior or another is hindering my weight loss progress – another opinion about this would be great!


  43. On 3rd week of starting P90X doubles work out, starting to have more energy/strength, progress on workouts. What do I do if I’m not losing weight?

  44. Hi Izabel,

    I’m no fan of the gadgets that say they can calc your caloric burn during a workout. They tend to calculate caloric expenditures that are in excess (sometimes far in excess) of the actual expenditure. But more importantly, looking at your caloric burn during the workout misses the point of what you are trying to do. You want to make changes via the exertion that will lead to post exercise caloric burn AND repair processes that build lean muscle. If you want to burn fat and add a little lean muscle, then a weight loss of 2lbs a week is top end of what the human body can really pull off based on the research I’ve read. (Please ignore those ridiculous weight loss totals that the Biggest Loser shows.)

    You didn’t put on your excess weight at the rate of 2lbs per week so why do you think you can take it off so much quicker? If you really want to not only get lean but stay that way, you need to build a sustainable lifestyle. Weight loss should not be a project if you want it to last.

    That said, you really need to eat a bit more. Based on your stats, I’d have you at 1800 calories a day with a a good splurge meal once a week. If you are still consuming alcohol, cut that out except for your cheat day/meal. Also follow a meal plan that has 40% of the total calories coming from protein. Protein helps raise the metabolism as well as is needed for post exercise repair. Also eat a lot of organic raw greens (salads should be a staple in your diet), fiberous veggies and low glycemic, organic raw fruit.


  45. Hey John,

    Not losing any weight or just not as much as you’d hoped? If it’s the latter, then read my response I just posted to Izabel. Focus more on measurements (tape measurements) so you really know what’s going on with your body. I mean what’s the point of losing 4lbs in one week if it’s mostly water weight? You want to add lean muscle while burning fat – not just moving a scale down.

    If you need more personal coaching, you can always make me your coach and I’ll work with you on diet and exercise.


  46. I am 57, in my first yr of menopause and weigh 170 at 5’2. I am doing Atkins and am in my 5th wk of Insanity. I have lost 1#.I know if I quit, I will just have to do something else. I realize that I do not drink enough water. Can you help me with this 30-40 pounds?

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