Sarah's Slim-Down: Week 4

What isn't working

Ever wonder if a diet plan's claims are for real? We sure do — so we've decided to put health and diet plans to the test, starting with's Inferno program. Is it too good to be true?

Sarah -- Week 4

After three weeks on the Inferno program with tips from, one thing is abundantly clear: These workouts aren't for someone who isn't already at least somewhat in shape. That's been kind of a problem for me, since I was decidedly out of shape before beginning.

On the positive, I am now working out three to four times each week and that's a big improvement. However, I didn't have any weight loss this week (um, again) and I am pretty frustrated.

On eating

A lot of the rules I can totally get behind. Starting the day with two glasses of water and staying hydrated? That makes sense — and my body feels better for doing that. Drinking a protein shake for breakfast? It's actually not so bad, and can be a good start to the day. Snacking smartly and feeling the difference between craving and hunger? Also great.

But where the program has lost me a little is on the eating. Though the guidelines do address some things you should be doing with your eating, it doesn't address the meals — the other times. Or even how much you should be eating.

Maybe I should just know. Maybe letting myself feel hungry, snacking smartly and starting the day with two glasses of water and a protein shake should be enough. But it's not. Between those times, should I be going heavy on protein and light on carbs? I know eating more fiber is essential (and have been doing that), but what about other nutrients?

And do calories, fat and sodium in my diet matter here?

A few days ago, I started using an iPhone app, MyNetDiary, to track some of my meals. That's helped some. But I think in a plan, for me at least, I really need a loose guideline for what the total eating picture should look like.

Working out ... and breaking rules

Sarah's stats:

Height: 5'6"

Starting weight: 194 pounds

Current weight: 192 pounds

Total loss: 2 pounds

The first week of this Insanity-like plan was... insane. I hurt from head to toe and was nursing an unrelated injury, too. The second week I dealt with working out outside of a gym routine (a.k.a. shoveling snow). Now, in week three I tried to get to a point where things just make sense for my life.

The more intense workouts sideline me for days, so I have been doing only part of them and supplementing with other workouts. I do the lower-intensity ones in full, and those are OK.

But this week, I got tired of skipping cardio. Part of my problem with the workouts is my current lack of endurance — which I don't see how I can fix without breaking the rule that says you should skip the cardio and do weights instead. So I just did it. I hit the gym for an intense spate on the elliptical followed by some leg exercises. And I felt good.

And yes, I am going to break that rule again this week. Here's to hoping I can wrap up this program with a bigger loss.

More on health

Sarah's Slim-Down: Week one of Inferno
Red-carpet results: Denise Austin's celebrity diet and fitness tips

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