Insanity Workout Diet, Revised

Those of you that have been participating in the Insanity workout with me (and those that have read my nutrition guide linked above) know that the Insanity workout diet should be fairly easy to follow. All you really have to do is have a little willpower to stay away from the worst of the junk food (in my case this means no more Coca Cola) and make sure you are eating frequently enough throughout the day.

Sounds Easy, Right? #

Insanity Nutrition Guide CoverThe first part has been easy enough for me – the end goal far outweighs the temporary satisfaction I get from a glass of soda. The second is equally easy because I already love to eat, and the meals provided in the nutrition guide really are delicious. Even so, there are a couple of things that have been conspiring against me to make sure that I have a very difficult time following the plan. Some changes need to be made on my part and I plan to outline them below. But first, the reasons behind my failure.

What Went Wrong… #

The first reason is quite simple: location. I am currently in Lima, Peru, a city that prides itself on the quality, variety and deliciousness of its cuisine. And if I may say so, Limeños are completely justified in this pride. I enjoy a good meal (and eating in general) quite a bit to begin with. Now couple that with delicious food on every street corner and you can probably see why I am finding it very difficult to say no when someone mentions pollo a la brasa (with sweet potato fries of course), peruvian hamburgers, ceviche, pisco sours and chilcanos. Add to that the fact that everyone I meet here keeps giving me food and you can see why it has been a bit difficult.

The second reason is also fairly simple: I am here for tourist reasons more than anything. This means I am often out and about so I am not at home enough to make myself five meals a day and making meals in advance and carrying them around with me is no simple task either. Add to that the fact that, in general, I am a lazy person. Despite the ridiculous simplicity of the recipes offered up in the nutrition guide, I still have to take the time to prepare meals five times a day.

My Options #

The question then becomes, what options do I have to make sure I am eating optimally to achieve my overall goals? I see two: 1) suck it up and force myself to follow the plan, or 2) modify the diet in a way that is equally healthy but more lenient so that it is simpler to follow along in my situation.

The first option is probably the better of the two in terms of the actual program, but it is also more likely that I will fail this way. If it is difficult for me to follow along with, I will likely miss a meal here and there and maybe even replace it with something of the not-so-healthy variety. And knowing myself, this will snowball into me reverting to my old eating habits (same excuse I used in the first week for skipping a couple of workouts), which is something I really want to avoid. In addition, there are a couple of things I have been wanting to experiment with in my diet, which leaves option two. In fact, I already began the redesign a couple of days ago and so far it is looking pretty good.

Structure Of My New Insanity Workout Diet #

Insanity Workout Diet
Creative Commons Image Credit: Mike Haller

So lets start with what I won’t be eating. For the most part I will be cutting all processed sugars and artificial sweeteners, which is something that I have more or less accomplished already with the Insanity diet. In addition, I will stop eating most natural sugars as well, meaning limited consumption of fruit (more on this later).

What will I be eating? Meats, vegetables, legumes and healthy oils/fats. In the meats category I am including beef, chicken, fish, eggs (i know, not really meat), and any organ meats I can find (heart, liver, etc.). Heart should be easy enough as there is a really delicious, fairly common dish here made of cow heart and I love it! The vegetable category includes any and all vegetables, however I am going to limit these based on price and availability here. What this means off the top of my head is lots of broccoli, asparagus, carrots, green beans, peas, zucchini and bok choy. I will also likely be eating a lot of avocado (although I think this is technically a fruit). For legumes, I will most likely stick with walnuts, almonds and maybe Brazil nuts, but I have been doing a lot of reading on how these are processed commercially which may lead to some changes on this front – I will keep you posted. And lastly, healthy fats will primarily include avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil and butter.

You may have noticed a significant lack of carbohydrates. I am worried this might leave me feeling a little sluggish, but so far it hasn’t been a problem. This is something I will keep an eye on.

I am also going to take this one step further by going the intermittent fasting (IF) folks. I have been reading quite a bit about this lately and it seems to show promise toward fat loss and muscle building. If you are curious about IF, this has proven itself as a great resource. Overall what this means for me is I will only allow myself to eat between the hours of 12pm to 8pm (maybe only 2pm to 8pm). I am a little unsure about this part of the new diet plan. I have been doing my workouts in the morning and this would mean that I have no real source of fuel to complete these workouts. That said, I have been following along with my new diet plan for a couple of days now with no problems. I will keep it up for now, see how it goes, and provide updates on this in the future.

A Little Bit Of Sanity #


The last part of my diet plan is in an attempt to keep me sane. While I have been enjoying my meals quite a bit, I want to leave it open to try some new Peruvian food as well as some sweets here and there. So, I plan to allow myself one day per week (most likely Sundays) to eat whatever I want (ok, not whatever I want, but whatever I want within reason). This means I will look the other way when it comes to the constant addition of rice and potatoes in peruvian food. I will likely allow myself (very dark, low sugar) chocolate. I will also let a bit of fruit back into the diet here (Peruvian fruit juices are sooooo good!).

And that about sums it up. Sometime soon I will post an example of a day with my new meal plan, but this blog post has gotten to be a bit long winded so I think I should stop here.

What do you think? Am I taking it too far? Will I have enough energy to keep going with my workouts? Overall I think it is a pretty good plan but I would love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Until next time!