The Melting Point Diet – Week Two

My friends sent back their Week One materials last night and I stayed up late creating their Week Two plan. I’m having fun with this and constantly learning new stuff. Plus – one friend lost 6 pounds in a week and a half! It’s great to see her make progress, since she’s working hard and doing the right things.  Sometimes people work hard, but they aren’t doing what works for them. It took me a long time to figure out what works for me and even longer to actually do it. Then even longer to keep doing it consistently, long enough to lose 130+ pounds. It seems like I’m a slow learner in that area!

This week’s Melting Point is about learning to Move in a way that is most efficient for YOU. There are tons of studies about ways to customize your available workout time. Working at a lower intensity for a slightly longer time burns more fat, for instance. A higher intensity workout, for a shorter time, has significant muscle building and cardio vascular benefits – you just need to be in decent shape when you start that.

Here is a sample of the week two plan I created for my friends. If you are interested in starting, download the week one materials, follow the instructions for a week and then send it back. I’ll create a plan for you. And don’t forget to send me feedback – I want to keep improving the plan.

Week Two Theme: MOVE

Welcome to Week Two!  If you are new to The Melting Point, please check out the e-book and Week One materials at As always, follow your doctor’s advice when making changes to your diet and exercise program. Remember that small changes are safer, easier to stick with and have less chance of injury.

Every week I’ll ask you to record your weight. Once a month, I’ll ask you to also take new measurements.

This week we’re going take a closer look at how much you need to move to reach your desired goal. Your goal was <insert goal from Week One here>.

I have used the info you collected last week to calculate some important numbers for you to use in creating the first part of your Melting Point Plan.

Plan: Based on your goal of losing N pounds a week, you need to create a calorie deficit of <N x 3500> calories a week. This is not as overwhelming as it may sound! Since we need to feed your body a minimum of 1200(women) or 1800 (men) calories to give you the energy you need, it does mean that you need to burn <insert calculation here> calories per day for six days. To do this, you may need to increase the number of days you are exercising, but it is highly recommended that you take one day of rest as your body needs time to heal and build muscle. If you aren’t exercising at all, you need to start slowly, and pay attention to your body. Hiring a personal trainer is a good investment in getting started, but most gyms/fitness centers should walk you through the machines at no extra charge, so you know how to use them properly.

A word about Intensity

Your THR or Target Heart Rate is xxx BPM or beats per minute. This is a range based on your age and resting heart rate. To maximize fat burning, you should be working at an intensity level around 60% of your maximum, which is a heart rate of at least yyy BPM, but not more than zzz BPM.

To improve your cardio vascular system, you need to work out at a minimum intensity of 80%, which is a heart rate of yyy BPM, but never more than zzz BPM.

As you can see, you actually need to work EASIER to burn fat, rather than HARDER. If you have one, use a heart rate monitor. If not, stop periodically and count your heart rate until you become familiar with what it feels like at 60%. Always do some fat burning work and some cardio work in your workouts.

Your maximum heart rate is xxx BPM. For your safety, you should never exceed this. Also, if you feel breathless or dizzy at a lower heart rate, stop immediately and check your heart rate. Use that new number for at least a week as your max and work at 60-80% of that number. Make small increases! Remember, this is not a race, this is your life and the goal is to keep improving. If you hurt yourself the first week, you will have an excellent excuse to stop, if that is what you are really trying to do.

Based on the exercise you did last week, here is how long it takes to burn NNN calories doing those activities:

<insert exercise notes and time calculations from week one materials>

If you are not doing any weight lifting, then this week I want you to add in at least one day of weight bearing exercise in addition to the cardio. Next week, add another one. By week four, you should be doing three days of weight bearing exercise per week. For maximum weight loss and body toning, ideally you should increase your exercise gradually until you can: warm up on the elliptical for 1 mile in 10 minutes or less, then always stretch for 15 minutes, then do weight lifting for 30 minutes. If you can, do this every other day, three days a week. On alternate days, just do cardio – preferably non-impact like the elliptical, bike or swimming if you have not been doing much exercise in the past. I know they start running on the Biggest Loser, but they have trainers plus an EMT off camera, just waiting to ice, bandage and treat all those injuries that can occur.

If you were not already working out 6 days a week, then this week, also add walking every day to your plan. If you have a pedometer, start to track how many steps you get in a day. 10,000 steps a day is 5 miles. On days when you don’t have a chance to get to the gym, park further away, take the stairs, go for a quick walk whenever you get 10 minutes free. Keeps your energy level high and helps stave off snacking.

More Choices

Here is an additional list of things you can do to burn 800 calories each day and how many minutes that you would need to do it, based on your age and weight. Find one you can do, that you enjoy and it won’t feel like exercise. This list is based on a specific age and weight. For a custom sheet, go to

Exercise Minutes Exercise Minutes
Aerobics: low impact 78 Aerobics: high impact 61
Aerobics, Step: low impact 61 Aerobics, Step: high impact 43
Aerobics: water 107 Bicycling, Stationary: moderate 61
Bicycling, Stationary: vigorous 41 Circuit Training: general 53
Rowing, Stationary: moderate 61 Rowing, Stationary: vigorous 50
Ski Machine: general 45 Stair Step Machine: general 71
Weight Lifting: general 142 Weight Lifting: vigorous 71
Basketball: playing a game 53 Basketball: wheelchair 66
Bicycling: BMX or mountain 50 Bicycling: 12-13.9 mph 53
Bicycling: 14-15.9 mph 43 Boxing: sparring 47
Football: competitive 47 Football: touch, flag, general 53
Frisbee 142 Golf: carrying clubs 78
Golf: using cart 122 Gymnastics: general 107
Handball: general 36 Hiking: cross-country 71
Horseback Riding: general 107 Ice Skating: general 61
Martial Arts: general 43 Racquetball: competitive 43
Racquetball: casual, general 61 Rock Climbing: ascending 39
Rock Climbing: rapelling 53 Rollerblade (inline) Skating 61
Rope Jumping 43 Running: 5 mph (12 min/mile) 53
Running: 5.2 mph (11.5 min/mile) 47 Running: 6 mph (10 min/mile) 43
Running: 6.7 mph (9 min/mile) 39 Running: 7.5 mph (8 min/mile) 34
Running: 8.6 mph (7 min/mile) 29 Running: 10 mph (6 min/mile) 26
Running: pushing wheelchair, marathon wheeling 53 Running: cross-country 47
Skiing: cross-country 53 Skiing: downhill 71
Snow Shoeing 53 Softball: general play 85
Swimming: general 71 Tennis: general 61
Volleyball: beach 53 Walk: 3.5 mph (17 min/mile) 107
Walk: 4 mph (15 min/mile) 95 Walk: 4.5 mph (13 min/mile) 85
Walk/Jog: jog <10 min. 71 Whitewater: rafting, kayaking 61


Next week we’ll work more on eating, but for now:

Whenever you eat: pay attention to eating, slow down. Practice mindful eating by looking at the food, smelling each bite, savoring it on your tongue and chewing it many times, very slowly. This will not only satisfy you, but make your brain realize you are full and avoid overeating. Even when you are alone, put on some music, light some candles, set the table and create an appetizing plate for yourself.

Your BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate is how many calories you burn just by being alive. It can vary based on your current health and muscle composition, but in general, you burn xxx calories at rest.  Using the Harris Benedict Equation to calculate the number of calories needed to maintain your weight and give you the energy you need to work out 6 days a week, we find that you would have to eat yyy calories to maintain your weight. You need to eat at least 1200/1800 calories each day, which creates a maximum deficit of zzz calories a day. That, combined with the calorie deficit from exercise, will get you to your target for the week.

This week I want you to start tracking what you are eating using the Daily Plate at I’ve also added a few comments from your notes from last week. Your goal is to properly feed your body the nutrition it needs so you have the energy you need to exercise. Eating is not bad, it is essential. Make it taste good, look good and you’ll FEEL good. Don’t ever feel guilty about eating – if you go off target, just track it and make a note about why you ate it. You will start to see patterns.

<Insert customized meal notes>


When life is good, there are lots of activities and opportunities to see friends. But of course, those are also opportunities to eat or drink off plan. Try to keep a no or low calorie drink in your hands at all times, even if you have to bring it with you. One I love is Kellogg’s H20 pink lemonade protein drink. It comes in single serve packets you can keep in your bag and pour into a glass of ice water and stir or into a bottle of water and shake.


Losing weight has a lot of stress associated with it and you already have more than enough! While you are pushing yourself to meet this goal, try to be kind to yourself and forgiving. The extra stress from your own head is just going to hurt, not help your progress. Pretend you are talking to one of your friends and tell yourself some of the same supportive, loving things you tell them. You deserve it!

I calculated your BMI or Body Measurement index at xxx.  We’re simply recording this so you can track it as it goes down. A good long term goal is to shoot for a BMI <30, which would mean losing yy pounds. A reasonable amount of time to do that is about nnn weeks with a proper nutrition and exercise plan. If that is more than a month, pick shorter goals to keep you motivated. The first 10 pounds. The first 20 pounds. Getting below 300 or 200 pounds. Losing the first 50. Losing the first 75. Losing half your body weight. Losing 100 pounds. Losing the last 25, 15 or 10. Set realistic goals based on progress, not TIME. Your body may respond slower or faster to change, so don’t set yourself up for dissapointment by saying “I’ll be at my goal weight by New Year’s”. Losing 1/2 to 2 pounds a week is healthy and allows you to make the lifestyle changes to keep it off.

One more note: I highly recommend finding a Weight Watchers or other weight loss support group. Visit several and if you can’t find one, see if you can start one at work or church or your neighborhood. I go to WW at Work every week and really like the convenience. You can go online to look for groups: The weekly accountability and support will have a huge impact on you. If you are super morbidly obese, like I was, I also highly recommend finding a weight loss therapist or counselor to work on the issues that are making you fat. More about that in Week Five when we make our second pass to THINK about why we struggle with our weight.

Click here to download The Melting Point Plan – Week Two in PDF format.

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