Nicole also had some powerful words to share about her goals.

“I have not ever  been this overweight in my  life –  in my early 30's due to stress I gained  about 80 lbs.  I got my  life back on track but my health has suffered  a severe blow.   I want to lose this weight so much and fit back into my  size 8's  again.  I want to be able to go skiing with my husband and   snowboarding with my friends.  I have a big singing contest in  Colorado  at the end of July – I really want to have most of this  weight off by then so  I can get a record deal!  I did a  singing gig in San Diego last  week and looked at the photos taken of  me – I'M SO FAT – and I'm done being  fat.  I'm comitted to do  whatever it takes to  get this weight off and do it in a healthy way – no  surgery.  I  want to look in the mirror and not see a fat person but the  beautiful  me I used to be staring back again.  I want myself back.”

Beginning of Program

Weight: 238.6; Body Fat: 54%

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Nicole had some very aggressive fat loss goals. Sometimes, metabolic testing and a meeting with me help to set-up a realistic idea of this will be achievable. Frankly, I was concerned when I first met with Nicole, so I called her on the phone after our meeting. Listen in to the following 5 minute conversation.

Nicole's resting metabolic rate is normal, at about 2000 calories per day. But because Nicole is burning very few calories at her maximum fat burning heart rate, she will not be utilizing “long, slow” cardio in her program. Instead, Ben will be prescribing cardiovascular interval training at heart rate of 147 or higher, based on her exercise metabolic test. Nicole burns about 475 calories per hour at this heart rate.

At the end of January, Nicole wrote the following:

I really feel like I need to be exercising a bit more.  Can I add some
more cardio somewhere?  I was REALLY proud of myself yesterday…i've
struggled with even getting through 3 sets and didn't know if I could do 4
this week, but I completely rocked it yesterday and even did 1 hour of the
slow burn cardio (124-131 HR).

So, I do know that I can push the cardio some more if it's going to be
beneficial.  I just don't know what exactly I should do! :)

Here is Ben's response:

Yes, and here is how you can do it:

A) Elongate pre-workout warm-up to 20 minutes. Currently, you're workout up to 147+ over 10 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, *maintain* 147+ for the next 10 minutes.

B) Add 60-120 seconds of hard (100% intensity) cardio after each circuit of weights.

C) Add an hour of cardio on Saturday, similar to Sunday's hour of cardio.

D) Finish both of the cardio intervals with 5-10 minutes of tempo work at 160+

On February 13, 2009, Ben and Nicole met face-to-face and discussed the following:

-Nicole has been very hungry, especially at night.

-She has very low energy for her workouts.

-She is not losing weight quickly.

Based on this discussion, Ben decided to increase Nicole's overall caloric intake, and include a protein with each carbohydrate-based snack in order to control blood sugar levels in the presence of greater calories.

During this meeting, Ben also gave Nicole over 15 new exercises to replace her current workouts and keep her body guessing!

On April 15, 2009, Ben and Nicole met in the physiology laboratory in Spokane, WA and re-tested Nicole's metabolic rate. Nicole had been “hitting a wall” after a few days of doing her workouts. They found the following:

-Nicole's overall fitness has increased by over 18% (rise in oxygen capacity).

-However, even at an exercise scale of 8-9 intensity, she is burning very little carbohydrate (under 200 calories). This indicates the possibility of carbohydrate *underfueling* – a problem because this will actually decrease Nicole's metabolism.

-Ben and Nicole made the decision to add a small amount of carbohydrate (200-250 calories), in the form of quinoa, amaranth, or millet to Nicole's evening meal.

Want to find out what happens? Will Nicole be ready for her big singing competition, and can she shed fat at the incredibly rapid rate necessary to lose 100 pounds in 1 year? Would you like to stay tuned to this story?

YES! Please send me the Ben Greenfield Fitness newsletter, where I can receive automatic alerts about this story, as well as weekly fat loss techniques, performance, nutrition and fitness tips from Ben Greenfield! I also understand that by signing up, I receive a FREE copy of the “E-Health Handbook of Diet & Fitness Secrets”, a $19.95 value!


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