The Dolce Diet
Mixed martial artists are some of the most shredded athletes in the world. But even after the most arduous of training camps, many fighters still have trouble cutting those last few pounds before weigh-ins. That’s where Mike Dolce comes in.
A former power lifter and fighter, Mike has worked with some of the sport’s elite athletes, including UFC veterans Michael Bisbing, Thiago Alves, Vitor Belfort, and Rampage Jackson. “The Dolce Diet” has helped pros and average Joes alike lose an insane amount of weight in as little as three weeks.
“Everybody is a normal guy,” Mike says.“ What I do for my high level athletes is no different than what I do for anybody else.” Here are some tips that can get you into fighting shape.
Everybody wants the big arms and shredded abs, the ideal image of physical fitness. “The way I get there is by focusing on expanding their life, their longevity, their vitality through whole foods,” Mike says. The emphasis of “The Dolce Diet” is on making the body as healthy as possible, adding years to people’s lives. “I want every one of my athletes to live to be 120 years old. That’s the goal. So whether it’s an athlete fighting for the world title or just some guy looking to lose 40 pounds, the goal is always the same.”
With this focus on longevity, Mike advocates eating only organic and whole foods. Look to make sure that everything, especially your meat, comes from the right places. “You have to watch where the cattle comes from, where the poultry comes from, how is it fed, how is it raised, is it genetically modified,” Mike says. “That’s what I am talking about when it comes to nutrient levels. Everything has to be as pure as God made it.”
There’s a reason that the jacked guy at the gym is carrying a gallon jug with him. No, he’s not trying to look like a tool, it’s because bodybuilders and athletes know that water is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. “The importance of hydration is everything,” says Mike. “The three necessary ingredients for human survival are oxygen, water, then its food. And food is much lower down that list.”
“Most people are so dehydrated in their daily lives,” Mike says. Even with such an easy access to water, both in our homes and at the store, people mistakenly choose to walk around with cans of Coke, cups of Starbucks, or “whatever garbage they are drinking.” Mike advocates drinking at least a gallon of water a day. Doing so will make you feel better, “mobilizing fat tissue and increasing digestive ability,” Mike explains. It will also “detox your body and keep your muscles, soft tissue, and ligaments fully hydrated.”
Lost in all the hype of monster fighters losing thirty plus pounds is the muscle building aspect of the diet. “Most people don’t realize that I am a strength coach also. I’ve spent nearly 20 years of my life as a strength coach, building muscle,” Mike clarifies. “Even the guys that are cutting weight, they are still building muscle.” Mike’s personal story is a testament to this. Starting high school as a 114 pound freshman, he graduated as a 200 pound senior. That impressive change seems like nothing when compared to his athletic career afterwards. While powerlifting, Mike was 280 pounds with a 5’9’’ frame at one point, a feat he achieved “drug free.”
“I am not an advocate of supplements, although, supplements do make their way into my program towards the very end once we made sure we have a very high level of whole, earth grown nutrients,” Mike says. The only supplements he supports are all natural ones, like fish oil or flax seed. “Any other supplements out there, sports supplements – I’m not the guy. We can get all the same nutrients and a better level of nutrients through whole foods.” If you want to get big, it’s all about “calories in versus calories out.” Mike advocates eating “mom meals” when trying to gain muscle, foods like chicken, broccoli, potatoes, steak, etc. The caveat is “you have to make sure your food source is of a very high quality.”
About Matt Juul Matt Juul is loving college life as he pursues a career in journalism and cinema. A freelance writer, his interests and expertise range from personal development and dating to fitness and the martial arts. Currently based out of Boston, Matt spends his free time training in MMA, as he hopes to get in the cage soon!