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Success Story: From 31% to 8% Body Fat in One Year

When this Iowan lost his wife to cancer, he took control of his health.

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DOMINIC CHIAVARO
Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa
Occupation: Sales/Marketing
Height: 6'1"
Weight Before: 237 Pounds at 31% body fat
Weight After: 200 Pounds at 8% body fat

When Dominic Chiavaro walked out of his doctor’s office in the fall of 2010, he knew he was at a crossroads. “My high blood pressure was at stage two, my cholesterol was right around 240-250,” Chiavaro says. “The doctor wanted to put me on meds.” The prior months were spent caring for his wife, who had passed away after a bitter battle with cancer. “My number one priority was taking care of her,” he explains. “My eating habits were not good. I was not thinking about myself at the time.” You can’t blame him for ignoring his fitness at the time, but when his own health was jeopardized, he knew he had to act. He was walking around at 237 pounds with 31% body fat. “[My rock bottom moment was when] I walked out of the doctors office,” he recalls. “I knew I was going to be in the same place [as my wife] if I didn’t care. I was scared.”

DOMINIC'S ADVICE
Stick it out

“Once you set your mind to something, you just stick with it. It's tough, but when you start to see the results you just don’t want to go back.”

While Chiavaro worked out on a regular basis (five to six days each week), he never really dialed in his diet. “Hamburgers, fries—you put the greasiest foods you wanted to in front of me, I was going to eat it,” he says. “It wasn’t uncommon for me to eat a whole pizza for dinner.” His poor eating habits manifested themselves outside of the doctor’s office, too. His sales job requires a fair amount of travel, and by the end of the day he’d be so exhausted that he would pass out by 7 PM. He constantly suffered from aches and pains in his knees and shoulders. Chiavaro is still lifting six days each week, with each session lasting no more than 45 minutes. “[My workouts] are very regimented. There is no rest between sets,” explains Chiavaro. “It gets my heart rate up.” The most important thing he changed, however, was his diet. He only eats 100% gluten-free, organic foods, and he flat-out refuses to touch the processed stuff. “I do not eat out,” he says. “If I [must], it's just a salad. I will not eat any food in a restaurant.” He centers his meals around greens, healthy nuts and protein supplements. A dinner, for example, would be a spinach salad with almonds, sunflower seeds and walnuts, with a protein bar for a snack. The strict, but effective, overhaul has done wonders for his physique. Over the course of a year he lost 37 pounds and his body fat has dropped from 31 percent to a mere eight percent. His cholesterol is no longer an issue, and he’s not having any issues with his joints. “I can stay up 'til one, two in the morning now,” he says happily. “I only need five hours of sleep.” His friends and co-workers have noticed, too. “I get comments like, ‘You look amazing’ all the time,” he says. “I can wear clothes where I feel that I look good. I’m able to ski better. I will never go back to the way I was again.”

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