I’ve you’re an aspiring mixed martial artist, BJJ competitor or perhaps you’re just looking for a healthy way to lose weight, there are so many diet and nutrition programs on the market these days that it can get quite confusing.
However, there is one man that many top-flight MMA fighters ask to help with their nutrition and that is Mike Dolce. But who is Mike Dolce and why is his Dolce Diet one of the most highly considered diets in the industry? Let’s find out.
Who is Mike Dolce?
Born April 15th, 1976, Mike Dolce is a nutritionist, strength and conditioning trainer and author, who is also one of the top people in mixed martial arts when it comes to cutting weight.
As a former mixed martial artist himself, he has years of experiences getting fighters ready to weigh in. Some of his most notable clients were UFC fighters such as Ronda Rousey, Johny Hendricks and Thiago Alves.
Voted World MMA Trainer of the year from 2013 to 2016 consecutively Dolce has taken his 20 years of experiences working with some of the best athletes in the world to create, what is now known as the Dolce Diet.
The Dolce Diet
The Dolce Diet is less about an actually restricted caloric intake diet, but more about a holistic lifestyle change. “If you can control what you eat, you can control all other aspects in your life,” says Mike Dolce when asked about this lifestyle change.
Mike goes on to say that this is about having the correct balance of ingredients but also being aware of where food comes from. The theory is to eliminate the chemistry and genetics that surrounds us all.
To help you with your new “living lean” lifestyle Mike recommends that this is not about calorie counting, but instead a mindset shift to eating the right things at the right time. Mike knows that it’s impossible to eat the right food all of the time, which is why he wanted to keep it as simple as possible.
The Principles of The Dolce Diet
Outlined in the book “3 weeks to shredded”, Dolce recommends 6 key principles that you should be living your life by when it comes to your nutrition.
When you’re planning your meal every day, your main concern is eating whole foods, not processed and manufactured foods, such as bread, ready-made meals etc.
Keep focused on eating naturally grown whole foods, meats, fruits and vegetables being the most important. Consider if the food has been modified in any way, an excellent example of this is orange juice. While it’s common to have orange juice for breakfast in the morning, Dolce would recommend simply eating an orange.
Commercial orange juice has been processed to remove dietary fibre, and the cheaper brands will often be “from concentrate”, or will have added sugars or chemicals added, so improve shelf life.
Eating clean, healthy whole foods on a consistent basis is one of the key principles of this lifestyle change.
Increase Your Water Intake
In the 3 weeks to shredded book, it’s recommended that you look into increasing your daily water intake. Not only does this keep your body more hydrated, but drinking water also helps suppress your appetite and keeps your stomach fuller for longer.
If you find drinking water is simply too boring, then simply add a couple of slices of lemon, lime or other fruit into your water to give it some extra flavour without the added sugars that come with cordial or squash.
Start Your Day Right
Breakfast is considered to be the most important meal of the day for a very good reason. It kickstarts your metabolism, which will help you burn those necessary calories.
The diet recommends that you should be looking at eating breakfast at least 30 to 45 minutes after waking up.
The reason breakfast is considered to be one of your most important meals is that your body will not boost the metabolic process because you’re out and about, in fact, the opposite happens, where your body wants to keep hold onto as much energy as possible.
Portion Control is Key
As with any diet or lifestyle change, taking control of your portions is one of the most important aspects of losing weight.
Be mindful that a serving size is different from a portion. If a recommended serving size is half a cup and you ended up eating 3 cups, that’s 6 servings of that particular food item.
Being mindful of your servings and portions will keep you from overdoing it feeling guilty.
Healthy Snacks are Key
Snacks are perfect for keeping that metabolic rate nice an high, and will also stop you from over-indulging on your next meal.
The diet recommends, nuts, such as almonds and low sugar vegetables and fruits as perfect for in-between meal snacks.
While they are marketed as healthy, try to stay away from dehydrated fruits, as they have high sugar content.
Be satisfied, Not Full
Lastly, one of the most common mistakes people make is eating until they feel like they’re bursting. This is due to people not giving time to let their brain and their stomach communicate.
When you eat, try to slow your pace and listen to your body to know when you’re satisfied and not too full. Give it a few minutes so your stomach can communicate to your brain to say whether not you’ve eaten too much or not enough.
In his 3 weeks to shredded book, Mike recommends replacing food with saturated fat such as red meat, dairy, eggs, etc to foods with unsaturated fats such as fish, nuts, natural vegetable oils.
This also goes back to his first rule about eating more whole foods, as they have more dietary fibre which will help you with feeling more full than processed foods.
The Dolce Diet is northing revolutionary, but it’s a good reminder for people who are looking to live a more healthier lifestyle.
Mike Dolce does this well with books such as living lean and 3 weeks to shredded by providing simple to follow instructions as well as menus that have been tried and tested on some of the world’s best fighters.