I’m Not Losing Weight On Insanity – What Gives? (Problem & Solutions)

Weight Loss & Diets | Written by Nathan Petitpas | Updated on 22 June 2022

A woman is performing bicycle crunches while watching Shaun T's Insanity DVDs and wondering why she's not losing weight on Insanity.

Fitness expert Shaun T. has left your muscles throbbing and the floor drenched in sweat after every workout, yet the only thing more insane than the exercise itself is the fact that you are not losing weight on Insanity. How can workouts of this intensity not lead to any results on the scale? What gives?

Committing to high-intensity activity 6 days a week without seeing any weight loss is undoubtedly frustrating. But before giving up hope, find out the problems and solutions behind your delayed results.

Why Am I Not Losing Weight On Insanity?

When it comes to weight loss on insanity, what goes on during the hours spent outside of the gym are equally as important to the hours spent inside the gym. The Insanity DVD program provides participants with 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week per CDC recommendations, but not everyone sees results at first [1]. 

So before feeling demoralized and stopping the Insanity program altogether, check to make sure the following components of your daily life are in check.

Food Choices Can Stall Insanity Results

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) will undoubtedly help burn more calories each day, however, it’s still possible to overeat and consume more calories than the body requires. When trying to lose weight, the body needs to burn more calories than eaten, otherwise known as calorie deficit.

Statistics show that on average, individuals need to burn 3500 calories more than they consume in order to lose 1 pound of fat [2]. 

Divide this amount by 7 for the days of the week and it amounts to a deficit of 500 calories per day. To figure out how many calories to start with, search for online calculators that measure your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure), or keep it simple and find weight loss diets for beginners.

Solution: Track you calories and eat a wholesome diet free of processed foods.

Alcohol Can Prevent Weight Loss on Insanity

To piggyback off of proper nutrition, keep in mind that drinking too much alcohol can be a reason why you’re not losing weight on Insanity. 

Oftentimes, commercials will advertise alcohol as being low in carbs, but what they don’t promote is that the alcohol content in the drink actually contains more calories (7 calories per gram) than carbohydrates. (4 calories per gram). To make matters worse, the calories from alcohol are considered “empty calories,” as they contain little nutritional value for the body [3].

Solution: Limit alcohol consumption to just 1 drink a night, week or month depending on your goals. The less alcohol the better, but it’s important to have fun on occasion too.

Intensity of Exercises Can Limit Insanity Results

Following an exercise program half-heartedly and simply manifesting weight loss will not allow one to automatically get shredded. In order to see the anticipated results, it’s crucial to consistently follow Insanity’s 6 days per week regimen and put in consistent effort.

Insanity involves high-intensity interval training which requires short bursts of intense movement followed by moderate to light periods of active recovery. 

The workouts do not last long and some are only a brief 20 minutes. Therefore, a high intensity level needs to be maintained throughout the workout and especially during intervals where effort is supposed to be increased.

Solution: Try to push yourself even more on Insanity. Increasing intensity will burn more calories and speed up weight loss.

A Lack of Sleep is Detrimental to Weight Loss

Getting adequate sleep is one of the most essential factors for weight loss, yet it’s often the most ignored.

One study compared two groups of participants by placing them on calorie-restricted diets for two weeks and allowing one group 8.5 hours of sleep, while the other only received 5.5 hours of sleep. The group that slept for 8.5 hours per night lost 55% more body fat and experienced less hunger throughout the day due to better regulation of hunger hormones [4].

Solution: Implement a bedtime routine where you avoid screen time at least 1-2 hours before bed. Get into bed earlier than you think and strive to get 8-9 hours of sleep.

Stress Keeps The Pounds On – Even With Insane Workouts

People in today’s society live a life that is fast-paced, busy, and often stressful. In fact, research that measured the stress of middle-aged citizens indicated that participants reported 19% more stress in the year 2010 than they did in 1990 [5].

Living with high levels of stress is not only uncomfortable but can also lead to stress eating, sometimes referred to as emotional eating [6].

Fortunately, there are simple habits that can be adopted to reduce stress such as going for a walk. Not only has walking been shown to release endorphins (chemicals in the brain that elevate mood and promote relaxation), but it also is a great way to get in more movement throughout the day which leads to more calories burned [7].

For those that deeply struggle with binge eating behaviors related to stress, hiring an emotional eating coach is worth looking into.

Solution: Find ways to de-stress and cut any negativity out of your life. So go out on the lake, beach, take a hike, or what ever you prefer. Don’t be afraid to cut off toxic family members, friends, or bosses either.

How Long Does It Take To See Results From Insanity?

Results will vary from person to person depending on a variety of lifestyle and genetic factors but some people notice weight loss in just a couple of weeks. While others find they are not losing weight on Insanity until month 2.

As far as noticing physical changes in body composition, it’s commonly said that it will take 4 weeks for you to recognize a difference in your body and 8 weeks for friends and family to take notice of the work that you’ve put in. Research suggests it may take up to 12 weeks of HIIT training to see notable changes, meaning there is no need to panic if immediate results have not surfaced [8].

The best way to keep track of physical changes is by taking progress photos. Oftentimes, when the number on the scale hasn’t moved, those on weight-loss journeys will compare photos and discover noticeable changes which will keep them motivated to keep going.

What If I Can’t Lose Weight On Insanity?

If individuals have been consistently following the training program for 2 to 3 months and are still not losing weight on Insanity, it’s encouraged that they mix up components of their routine. 

These changes could include dialing in their nutrition, incorporating more movement throughout the day, or introducing different forms of exercise. Every person is unique and weight loss should not be considered a one size fits all concept. Finding the routine that works best for you will take time and it’s important to not get discouraged.

When progress plateaus, make a change and reassess every couple of weeks. After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results.

If all else fails, it’s best to see a healthcare professional to see if there’s an underlying health condition preventing weight loss, or a nutritionist can help dial in your diet even further. 

Is Insanity Even Enough To Lose Weight?

The intense body-weight circuits featured in the Insanity program will burn calories and increase resting metabolic rate [8]. If followed consistently along with having other components such as diet, sleep, and stress in check, participants can expect progressive weight loss of about 1-2 pounds per week [9]

Those that have higher fat mass when beginning exercise may lose weight more rapidly. There’s a common dispute that argues rapid weight loss is not as sustainable as weight loss that occurs slowly over time. However, research suggests that those who lose weight rapidly may actually see greater long-term weight loss results and are not more susceptible to weight regain [10].

Don’t Give Up & Keep Experimenting

It’s important that physical fitness be viewed as a life-long marathon and not a short sprint for a couple of months. If you’re not losing weight on Insanity, remember that everyone will face periods of stalled progress and this simply means it’s time to adapt and try something new.

Even fitness professionals like Shaun T constantly assess and learn about their bodies. This is what allows those on a fitness journey to keep getting stronger and leads to permanent lifestyle changes which is the ultimate goal.


[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, October 7). How much physical activity do adults need? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved February 9, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm 

[2] I want to lose a pound of weight. how many calories do I need to burn? NAL. (n.d.). Retrieved February 9, 2022, from https://www.nal.usda.gov/legacy/fnic/i-want-lose-pound-weight-how-many-calories-do-i-need-burn  

[3] U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Weight loss and alcohol: Medlineplus Medical Encyclopedia. MedlinePlus. Retrieved February 9, 2022, from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000889.htm  

[4] Chaput, J.-P., & Tremblay, A. (2012, December 11). Adequate sleep to improve the treatment of obesity. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l’Association medicale canadienne. Retrieved February 9, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3519150/  

[5] Bohn, K. (n.d.). Middle age may be much more stressful now than in the 1990s. Penn State University. Retrieved February 9, 2022, from https://www.psu.edu/news/research/story/middle-age-may-be-much-more-stressful-now-1990s/ 

[6] Harris, R. B. S. (2015, February 15). Chronic and acute effects of stress on Energy Balance: Are there appropriate animal models? American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology. Retrieved February 9, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4329465/  

[7] Walking can help relieve stress. Plone site. (n.d.). Retrieved February 9, 2022, from https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/news/newsreleases/2011/aug-8-2011/walking-can-help-relieve-stress/ 

[8] Metabolic effects of Hiit. (n.d.). Retrieved February 9, 2022, from https://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/metabolicEffectsHIIT.html  

[9] Koliaki, C., Spinos, T., Spinou, Μ., Brinia, Μ.-E., Mitsopoulou, D., & Katsilambros, N. (2018, June 28). Defining the optimal dietary approach for safe, effective and sustainable weight loss in overweight and obese adults. Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland). Retrieved February 9, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6163457/  

[10] Nackers, L. M., Ross, K. M., & Perri, M. G. (2010, September). The association between rate of initial weight loss and long-term success in obesity treatment: Does slow and steady win the race? International journal of behavioral medicine. Retrieved February 9, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3780395/  

About the Author

Nathan Petitpas

Nathan has been a fitness enthusiast for the past 12 years and jumps between several types of training such as bodybuilding, powerlifting, cycling, gymnastics, and backcountry hiking. Due to the varying caloric needs of numerous sports, he has cycled between all types of diets and currently eats a whole food diet. In addition, Nathan lives with several injuries such as hip impingement, spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis, so he underwent self-rehabilitation and no longer lives with debilitating pain.