Review of The Dolce Diet Part I: 3 Weeks to Shredded

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So I was reading a jiu jitsu blog one day and ran across a video of Mike Dolce, a former contestant on the UFC Ultimate fighter, now gone to helping those with nutritional needs. The video was on cooking oils and to be honest he was one of the reasons I decided to write an article about what oils to cook with. Being a nutritionist I dug deeper and started watching more videos of him and ended up at his website. Dolce has some fantastic articles and videos posted, and his enthusiasm to help change people lives is inspiring.

So I have become a fan of Dolce from a nutritionist aspect and have kept up with his recent work. Of course I have added him to twitter to keep updated. I noticed a book for sale on his website called “3 Weeks to Shredded”, and being he was a fighter I figured it was a cutting diet to make weight for events. Reading further into the website I notice some testimonials from ordinary people claiming to have lost a lot of weight with the diet as well as his twitter blowing up with great comments too. Dolce also claims this diet is for the athlete or non-athlete alike. So temptation got me to see what all this hype was about so I caved and bought the book.

So my book arrived or should I say pamphlet after a whopping $39.99 + $13 for international shipping. Inside you will find 45 pages of very large print, a lot of irrelevant photos of Dolce and some fighters photos as well. After reading a mountain of great nutritional books I thought this must be the mother of them! Well I was wrong. The book provided little to no information on dieting properly and safely. Its mainly just a bunch of tips that you can pick up from any fitness sight these days. Now if you are fighter and want to here about his weight cut from 212lbs to 170lbs in 6 weeks total (non-permanent weight-loss) and need some pages to record your goals, then this book is for you. I did like how Dolce recorded his 3 week meal plans and that is how I will show you that small changes to your diet can make a big difference.

I am here to put this diet to the test and give it my review. Being both an athlete and nutritionist it should make this very interesting. I will follow the exact diet that Dolce used to cut off an amazing 27.8lbs in just 21 days. However my minimal goal is to drop 15lbs in 21 days. I currently weigh 170lbs and do not believe cutting 27.8lbs off my body would be safe by any means, but being I am actually cutting for nationals right now I believe this is a great time to start. So I will take all the same steps to see just how much the 3W2S diet can cut from me.

First lets talk about Dolce. Using the Harris-Benedict equation (one of the most accurate), in order for Dolce to maintain weight at 197.8lbs he would need to consume 3818 calories a day and this number is only figured in with 2 training sessions per day. Dolce says he was training 3 times a day, so the numbers might possibly be higher. Now the diet Dolce used in the first 7 days of the 21 contained only around 2482 calories creating a deficit of 1336 calories. Dolce states on May 24th, 2007 (day 15 of 21) and I quote “Again, I have further reduced calories and am now operating at a calorie deficit. Not the healthiest situation, but I am being monitored by my doctor and feel good.” This would create an incredible decline in performance and leave you weak. Dolce was under a huge calorie deficit from day one. Not safe but yes very effective weight cutting technique.

As for me, I weigh 170lbs (78 kilos) exactly, and according to Durin/Womersley caliper method I am 13.49% body fat with a bicep fold of 3mm, tricep 9mm, subscapular 11mm, and suprailiac 9mm. I train 2 times a day; weight lifting in the afternoon and jiu jitsu in the night. I have been eating a diet containing around 3600 calories for the last 6 weeks prior to this review. Using the Harris-Benedict equation to calculate my caloric needs just to maintain weight I need to consume a minimum of 3431 calories. In order to lose weight (safely) I will need to consume around 2745 calories creating a 686 calorie deficit, but remember I am doing this the Dolce way! So I will need to cut my calorie intake back around 1400 calories the first week as did Dolce. So that means a meal plan that consist of 2031 calories per day. So lets get started

Using the principles Dolce has used this is what my diet looks like for days 1 through 7 (due to copyright issues I had to remove food plan but you can still see macro-nutrient content…

Meal 1 - 4 egg whites, 1/2 bell pepper, 1/2 tomato, 1/4 onion, 1 large handful of salad or spinach, 1 tbsp. olive oil, 2 slices of turkey bacon, 12 oz. orange juice, 1 apple or pear, 1 cup green tea, 32 oz. water (28g protein, 77g carbs, 19g fat – 591 calories)

Meal 2 - (29g protein, 37g carbs, 16g fat – 408 calories)

Meal 3 (post workout) -  (31g protein, 79g carbs, 3g fat – 467 calories)

Meal 4 - 4 oz. chicken breast, 2 handfuls of spinach, 1/2 tomato, 2 dill pickle slices, 1 tbsp. olive oil, 1 cup mixed berries, 1 cup of green tea, 32 oz. water (29g protein, 24g carbs, 16g fat – 356 calories)

Meal 5 - (33g protein, 42g carbs, 3g fat – 327 calories)

Total – 150g protein, 259g carbs, 57g fat – 2149 calories

My Routine For the 3 weeks looks like this… (note I train jiu jitsu 2 hours every night!)

DAY 1
Foam roll 5-10 minutes
Active / Dynamic warm-up (contact me for warm-up)

Box jumps 6x
Ball roll-outs 6x
wall slides 10x
-All this 3x in circuit fashion

Hang Clean or power snatch (5x, 4x, 3x)
Anti-rotary Landmines (12x, 12x, 12x)
External Rotation (12x, 12x, 12x)
-Exercises done in circuit fashion

Weighted Chins (6x, 5x, 4x)
Walking Lunges (12x, 12x, 10x)
Squats with same weight as lunges (5x, 5x, 5x)
Isometric Neck (20 seconds both sides)
Flat Bench or DB Press (5x, 4x, 3x) tempo 5-0-1
-Exercises done in circuit fashion

CONDITIONING

3 sets of treadmill tabatas with 2 minutes rest between sets. Always incline 15

DAY 2
Foam roll 5-10 minutes
Active / Dynamic warm-up (contact me for warm-up)

3 plyo-hurdles to a sprint
Anti-rotary 12x
Wall slides 12x
-all this 3 times

1 Arm Snatch (6x, 5x, 3x)
Ball Roll-outs (10x, 10x, 10x)
External Rotation (12x, 12x, 12x)
-Exercises done in circuit fashion

CONDITIONING

Circuit
> 30 seconds treadmill, incline 15, 8mph
> 8 burpees
> 8 med ball slams
> 8 plyo pushups
> 4 times through agility ladder
> 6 burpees
> 6 med ball slams
> 6 plyo pushups
> 1/2 mile on airdyne bike or stationary bike

3 rounds with 1 minute break between each

DAY 3
Foam roll 5-10 minutes
Active / Dynamic warm-up (contact me for warm-up)

Lateral Bounds (16x, 12x, 10x), when doing 12x and 10x hold 25lbs plate
Side Plank 40 seconds each side
Wall Slides (12x, 12x, 12x)
-Exercise done in circuit fashion

Weighted Jump Squats 50lbs (6x, 5x, 5x)
Alternating Overhead Dumbbell Press (12x, 12x, 10x)
Core Get-ups (10x, 10x, 10x)
Isometric Neck 20 seconds both sides
- Exercises done in circuit fashion

The following is all done with a weighted vest
Inverted Rows on TRX (6x, 5x, 5x) 5-0-1 Tempo
Incline Pushups (6x, 5x, 5x) 5]0]1 Tempo
Single Leg Squats (6x, 5x, 5x)
Monster Walks with elastic around the ankle
-Exercises done in circuit fashion

CONDITIONING

Sled Test
2 pushes, 5 medball slams, 5 burpees
2 pushes, 4 medball slams, 4 burpees
3 pushes, 3 medball slams, 3 burpees
2 pushes, 2 medball slams, 2 burpees
1 push, 1 medball slam, 1 burpee

Click here to see Part II

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