Losing 10 Pounds and Eating Dairy Queen, Part 2
I spent the last two months losing 10 pounds while eating Dairy Queen every Saturday. That’s a pretty enticing name for a workout program, isn’t it? But in Part 1 of this series, I explained how I put myself on a program to lose 10 pounds while trying to stay strong and still perform at high level – whether it be in Olympic lifting, Brazillian Jiu Jitsu, or even running with my dog. And yes – I spent my Saturday’s eating blizzards and cheesecake. Now, this isn’t the get shredded program that will allow you to see the veins in your abs and calves – but after 8 weeks I was down 10 pounds with a smaller waist and some more visible muscle.
Part 1 covered the basics of the program, diet, and recovery. Now I’ll explain why exactly this worked. If your goal is to lose weight fast – while still performing at a high level (this is key) – then this program might work for you. Keep in mind though that it was a lot of work, and you can’t skip meals during the week or stay up super late and still expect it to work. Save the Netflix binge watching for when the program is over.
With that being said, let’s talk about why this concept worked. All of this stuff is based on the theory of exercise science – I wasn’t able to prove my points by revisiting Grad school and spending time in the lab. Similar to Part 1, I’ll break things up into categories.
Training – My goal was to burn fat without losing strength. This is easier said than done. But one of the best ways to burn body fat is to elevate your body’s level of growth hormone (naturally, of course). You can do this through circuit training, and more specifically, pairing upper body with lower body exercises. This is not easy, but your body will spend the next few hours, and even days, with an elevated metabolism trying to fix all the muscle damage. A workout would look like this:
A1. Front Squat – 4 x 6-8, 3-0-1-1, rest 60 seconds
A2. Chin Up – 4 x 6-8, 3-0-1-1, rest 60 seconds
A3. Snatch Pull from Floor – 4 x 6-8, 2-0-X-1, rest 60 seconds
These reps are in the functional hypertrophy zone, so you’re tapping into muscle mass that is important to your performance. This type of training also improves your insulin sensitivity; insulin is a hormone that carries nutrients into muscle and fat cells. Improved insulin control means that your body can gobble up nutrients without storing calories as fat. This also helped with my cheat day – those blizzards were less likely to stick around my mid-section thanks to an improved insulin profile.
Nutrition – Metabolism mimics calorie consumption – so if you constantly eat low calories, expect your metabolism to be sluggish. So when I performed my circuits, I ate 330 more calories on those days. Since I ate fewer calories on conditioning days, my metabolism was never getting stagnant – it would increase with the higher calorie intake days and still remain high when I ate a little less food.
It was also important to consume a workout drink during my workouts. This consisted of a small amount of whey protein, maltodextrin, and BCAA’s. This cocktail would lower my body’s cortisol levels faster along with allowing my immune system to recover quickly after the workout was over. Less cortisol means the body can transfer into fat burning mode a lot faster.
Recovery – This is very straight forward – I needed to sleep! I wasn’t in bed any later than 10:30pm, the only exception being the weekend. Thanks to the release of Batman vs Superman (uncut) and the movie being over 3 friggin’ hours, I had one night where I seemed to stay up forever. (Tip: don’t watch a three hour movie with an 8-month pregnant woman. My poor wife had to get up every 20 minutes to go to the bathroom and I swear it took us five hours to get through the movie). But during the week I didn’t screw around with my sleep schedule because I knew that was essential to my nervous system to recover and stay fresh.
So there you have it – the “Losing 10 Pounds While Eating Dairy Queen” program. If you’re willing to work hard and make recovery a priority, you can workout at a high level while still enjoying some cheesecake. Want to enjoy cheesecake? Then make sure you do some heavy lifting, get plenty of sleep, and you’ll be eating an “Adams Peanut Butter Ripple” before you know it.