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Insanity Nutrition Plan for the Vegetarian

July 21, 2011

Insanity Meal Plan Book

I really like the Insanity Elite Nutrition Plan. I’ve had positive results with it so far and lost 5 pounds almost immediately!  (I’m sure that was a combination of Insanity workouts as well as following this nutrition plan.)  With 5 meals/day, it’s definitely a change from the way P90X does theirs, but I think it’s pretty easy to modify for a vegetarian diet.   Quite a few meal options are meaty, and I’m a vegetarian / pescatarian, so I decided to provide some guidance in case you also eat like me.  Below is an example of how I create my meal plan each week.  I also have an Excel spreadsheet that I use, so I will post that once I make it more user-friendly.

To see my final Insanity results, click here for that blog post.

For more information on Insanity or Beachbody products in general, please go to my coaching website.

How much should I eat?

First things first. Calculate your total daily calories needed!
Women: 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years) = # Calories/Day w/ no exercise
Men: 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years) = # Calories/Day w/ no exercise

Then, multiply that amount by 1.55 if you’re “moderately active” which is moderate exercise 3-5 days/wk or 1.7 if you’re “very active” which is hard exercise 6-7 days/wk.  I chose 1.7 since I workout 2 times/day most days.  For weight maintenance, that is your daily calorie allotment.  If you want to lose weight, subtract 500 calories/day from that total.  If you want to gain weight, add 250-300 calories/day.  It doesn’t take much to tip the scales, so make sure you calculate carefully.  Don’t forget to include your recovery drink!

When I started Insanity, I weighed 110lbs and calculated that I need approx 2,200 calories/day to maintain my weight while doing Insanity.  That’s 300 more than I was eating on P90X!  After beginning the program, I could understand that logic.  They workouts make you sweat!  Now I’m around 105lbs but haven’t adjusted my calorie intake.  Sometimes it’s hard for me to reach 2,200 but other days I’m super hungry.

For month 2 you might want to add 100-300 calories/day since the workouts get harder and longer, and your body is burning more calories.  I’m currently in my recovery week and start month 2 next week, so I will know soon if I need to eat more.

The Meals

I won’t bore you or overwhelm you by listing all the meal choices but will share my top vegetarian meals with you instead. I eat 400 calorie meals, but there are also easy 300 and 500 cal options available.  The other 200 calories I need come from my Recovery Drink.

Meal 1: aka Breakfast – The most vegetarian meal options!

I don’t have to substitute anything here because most of the meals are already vegetarian which makes it easy.  If you don’t eat eggs and/or don’t have much time to cook, try one of the following yummy options.  These are my 2 staples that I rotate between each morning:
Shakeology with 1 TBSP almond butter, almond milk, 1 banana, ice (technically a meal 3 recipe, but I like it in the AM)
– Cereal Bowl with flax seeds, almond milk, banana (I like Kashi Go Lean)

Meal 2: aka Brunch

I’m at work for meals 2-4 so I like to keep them simple. I rotate between the following two easy, vegetarian meals.
– Warm Cereal Bowl/Oatmeal (includes 1 serving of protein powder if you do 400 calories. I like to separate my scoop and have it first thing in the morning with my Insanity workout)
– Yogurt Bowl
There are 2 meat sandwich options which I haven’t yet chosen but could easily substitute regular turkey breast for vegetarian substitute turkey.  I usually save that for meal 3, however, so that I’m not eating too many processed foods.

Meal 3: aka Late Lunch

Now is when it starts to get tricky and creativity is necessary to keep things vegetarian AND simple. My staples are:
– Black bean soup and half sandwich (vegetarian turkey)
– Whole wheat pasta with vegetables (so delicious!!)
– Lean burger (with veggie burgers)

Meal 4: aka Pre-Dinner Snack

I always look forward to a pre-dinner snack. This is also my pre-workout snack in the afternoon. I have a very simple staple because I can easily take it with me anywhere:
– Insanity Special Sandwich Nut Butter and Jelly aka pb&j! I use almond butter.

I also occasionally enjoy chili on a cooler day:
– Vegetarian Chili (make a pot Sunday night and use throughout the week for a cheap and easy option)

Meal 5: aka Dinner

While dinner has just as many calories as breakfast, I still look forward to my final meal of the day because I share it with my boyfriend, friends, and/or family.  Here are my staples:
– SIMPLE: Brown Rice Bowl (recommend Quorn frozen fake chicken in freezer section)
PESCATARIAN: Grilled Salmon with Asparagus or Pasta with Seafood Marinara
COMFORT: Dinner Omelet (when I’m craving breakfast for dinner)
CARNIVORE PLEASER: Steak with Broccoli (veggie burgers instead of steak while my bf has real meat)

Meat Swap Ideas
The back of the Insanity meal plan has a table of different proteins and what you can substitute them with. This is a handy tool for vegetarians!  Read on for some of my favorites as well as new ideas.

– 1 oz. chicken breast or turkey breast
SUBSTITUTE WITH: 1 oz of tofu, 1 egg or 3 egg whites, 1 veggie burger, 1/4 c beans, 1 cup “Quorn” Chik’n Tenders meat-free and soy-free meat substitute (at Whole Foods, Henry’s and other markets…1 cup has 80 calories.)

– 1 oz. red meat:
SUBSTITUTE WITH: 1.5 oz tofu, 1 egg or 3 egg whites, 1 veggie burger, 1/3 cup beans, 1 serving Quorn product (huge variety)


Questions?  Need more info?  Let me know!  You can also post your comments here, and I’ll respond.

Update: P90X 2 came out in December 2011 and it has a vegan meal plan!!  I’ll make sure to post on that too, but I am very pleased with those meal options.  It’s about time vegan options were given in workout plans! I eat mostly vegan now, so let me know if you have any questions on that as well.

Thanks for reading!

Insanity. Enough said.

From → Insanity, Nutrition

  1. Jeremy permalink

    I want P90X2!

  2. fitnessgetripped permalink

    I LOVE this program, lol…I still do it every day and I had great results…great recipes too!

  3. Liyah permalink

    do you have a before and after picture?
    im currently thinking of doing insanity and am the same weight as when you started.
    i just want to know what i am planning on seeing in the end.

  4. Frank permalink

    Hi! I’m about to start Insanity and am loving your blog post on the vegetarian-style meal plan. I do have one question though. How many veggie burgers do you eat when substituting the Lean Burger and the Steak With Broccoli dishes? Also, what is your favorite brand and/or style of frozen veggie burger out there? Thanks for the great guide!

    • Frank permalink

      The reason I ask is because, especially for the Steak With Broccoli dish, 5-8 veggie burgers for the 400-calorie meal seems a little overkill. 😛 Anyway, thanks in advance!

    • Hi Frank! I always try to match the number of calories and # of protein servings in the meal. For example, if I was supposed to have 4oz extra-lean ground beef, I would have 1-2 veggie burgers, depending on the nutrition facts.

      Lately I’ve enjoyed the Trader Joe’s Veggie Burger which has 230 calories/serving and is made up of wheat and veggies. Adding the whole wheat english muffin, fruit, and salad makes it a complete 400 calorie meal, so no overkill on the veggie burgers! My other favorite veggie burger is the Morning Star Tomato Basil Pizza Burger. It has more protein (10g) and is lower in calories (120), so you’d want to have 2 of those.

      Good luck with Insanity!!

  5. I always knew that i need a perfect meal plan to go with the p90x routines. thats for your insightful articles on the nutrition guides

  6. allison permalink

    You don’t know how happy I am to have found this! I’ve been wanting to go vegetarian and wasn’t sure how to do that with Insanity nutrition guide. This helps a lot! I’m on day 3 of Insanity.

    • Glad this is helpful! Please share other recipes you’ve modified. Would love to hear about them.

  7. DeeKay permalink

    Hello, i am a vegan and was wondering How could you swap the feta cheese and yogurt in the insanity workout? I know there’s vegan yogurt but where I live, we are limited on those options.

    • I’ve recently been moving towards a vegan diet, so I still have a lot to learn. I love coconut milk yogurt because it still has the active cultures you’d get from regular yogurt, but I notice it lacks the protein. As for feta, I’ve read blogs where you can make your own feta with tofu and nutritional yeast, but I haven’t tried that yet. I do love nutritional yeast because it is a complete protein with a cheesy taste. You can buy in bulk at Sprouts or order it online if it’s not available in your area. I leave cheese out of most of my meals now, and instead of substituting vegan cheese, I just get my calories from a different protein/calcium source like mushrooms, broccoli, protein powder, or tofu. How has it been going for you so far as a vegan doing Insanity?

  8. Suzelle Labelle permalink

    Hi, i was was wondering if you knew how many extra calories i should take if i’m breastfeeding? I’ve just started p90x and need to keep up with my caloric intake which seems to be harder than ever now that i’ve been trying more of a vegetarian diet + breastfeeding + working out = tired… help!

    • Hi! I honestly don’t have any experience in this area, but I commend you for sticking to your training and raising a baby! That is awesome. I’ve heard you burn approx 400 extra calories/day breastfeeding, so maybe speak with your doctor and see how many more calories you need. I felt like I was eating all the time on P90X too. Also, are you sleeping enough?

  9. Suzelle Labelle permalink

    Thanks, My sleeping pattern is pretty consistent (she wakes up twice for about 20 mins) I suppose it’s a total of 8 hours broken up. I’ll talk to my doctor about the calories even though they always say not to workout excessively… i just beleive that if I eat enough of the right things and sleep as much as I can anything is possible. Can’t forget great support system!

  10. Gwen permalink

    Thanks much for this post. I have done Insanity twice before, but I was a meat eater before. I am newly vegetarian and wanting to do this program again, so was worried about how to follow the nutrition guide. You’ve given me some great ideas to jump off from! 🙂

  11. THANK YOU THANK YOU SO MUCH its hard to keep up with the non veg diets in insanity and also the daily calorie calc thing at top will really hop this is really helpful and you really helped me and again THNK YOU SO MUCH!!!

  12. Reblogged this on Life is for Living and commented:
    Ill be starting Insanity soon and need some pointers:)

  13. Stephen permalink

    Reblogged this on SLF COOKERY and commented:
    Great website for those on a vegetarian or vegan high-protein, low-carb diet or workout and lookin for inspiration! ☺️👌🏼

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