I Ate Domino’s Pizza Every Day for a Month and Lost Almost 2% Body Fat

Stack of Domino's Pizza Boxes

I ate pizza every two hours for a month and this is what happened:

I lost 4.6 pounds, 4.1 inches, and 1.8% body fat

Before you rush out to stock up on frozen pizzas, let me tell you how I did it.

FIRST, A WORD OF CAUTION, WITH LOVE

Firstly, before starting any drastic change in your nutrition or physical activity please consult with your doctor to ensure that it is appropriate for your current health condition. Please. Pretty please. Pretty please with pepperoni on top. I visit my doctor regularly and get quarterly comprehensive metabolic panels. I also track my weight + %BF + resting heart rate + blood pressure weekly. Plus, I’ve been doing experiments like this for four years now, so I’m very mindful when I try a new experiment.

Secondly, I’m not telling you that eating pizza all day, every day is a good nutritional choice. Aside from the cholesterol implications, your pizza is likely to have a lot of sodium and preservatives. I wouldn’t make a life habit out of it. So why did I do it? To make a point that if losing weight and reducing body fat can be done with a completely insane, extreme routine, then doing it with smart, balanced, healthy choices will be far easier and you won’t have to give up your indulgences.

Thirdly, I didn’t get a chance to get a blood panel done to baseline my cholesterol before starting this experiment. This is why I ask you to please consult with your doctor first before starting something this drastic. I went ahead anyway because in my last lab results my total cholesterol was under 160. But if I were to do it again, I would test before and after. Something to look forward to if I ever try this again. Okay, it’s just an excuse to have another month of pizza. πŸ˜‰

PIZZA, OH, THE GLORIOUS PIZZA

I ate a large slice of pizza every two hours. That works out to one large pizza a day. The “every two hours” is key. Don’t sit down and eat an entire large pizza then eat nothing for the rest of the day. You’ll likely trigger a strong insulin response and store a bunch of those carbs as glycogen. By limiting it to a slice every two hours, I kept my body’s furnace going all day and minimized my insulin response spikes.

I actually started the experiment five weeks ago and in the first week I was trying to be very healthy in my pizza choices. I would make them at home, load them up with veggies, lean protein, and go light on the cheese. Thin crust, of course.

Chicken Spinach Pizza

Basil and Feta Pizza

Okay, that second one wasn’t so light on the cheese. Sometimes, you just gotta’ treat yo’self. But after the first week, I decided if I was going to share my experience in an article, that kind of dedication to making healthy pizza choices was probably not realistic for a lot of folks. It takes a lot of planning to make sure you’re making smart choices and healthy, organic ingredients can be a strain on your grocery budget.

So I switched it up. I started over. I decided for the next month to order nothing but Domino’s. That’s right, Domino’s. I figured most folks in the States could find a Domino’s (or your local equivalent) and it would be within a reasonable budget.

Hey, Domino’s, can a brother get an endorsement deal?

I chose from Domino’s specialty pizzas, all large, thin crust. If you choose the right specialty pizzas, they clock in under 2000 calories.

Domino's Specialty Pizza Calories

That’s fewer calories than a moderately active male my age and size needs to consume just to maintain weight (about 2600 calories), so I was already at an advantage. Most healthy women should consume about 2000 calories, so ladies, I’ve got you covered too πŸ˜‰

Scary Stat: The average American consumes well over 3000 calories per day. Some studies peg us at more than 3700 calories per day. Yikes! So even if you ate a whole large pizza every day, you’re still eating fewer calories than most of our fellow Americans.

OTHER FOOD INTAKE

I knew that I wasn’t getting enough of my greens and veggies with this plan, so every other day I would supplement with a salad (125 cal), 16 oz of Jamba Juice Great Greens (140 cal), 16 oz of Jamba Juice Tropical Greens (210 cal), or a serving of Athletic Greens (40 cal). Please note that I went with Jamba Juice juices and not smoothies, which can carry well over 500 calories. Yes, I know this is still not enough veggies, but I really wanted to minimize outside variables from the pizza while still getting some of my greens. I usually eat well over the recommended amount of veggies per day when I’m not doing crazy pizza experiments. I promise, Mom.

#Fatterday. The stuff of legends. Yes, I still had my #Fatterday, consuming somewhere around 4000-5000 calories on Saturday. I wish I could tell you I could have done without it, and I probably could have any other time, but I had a lot of other things going on and the mental energy required for that much discipline was too much for me this month. Life intervenes. Plus, I don’t care how much you love pizza, you try eating it every day, all day, for a month, and you tell me if you don’t need a break.

Fatterday Example

If you’re concerned with all this unhealthy food, don’t worry. Normally, #Fatterday is in much better balance with my nutrition.

DAILY MOVEMENT

While eating pizza, I wanted to drop a safe 1 pound per week. I’d have to burn about a 3500 calorie deficit per week to lose a pound of fat. So:

6 x 2000 = 12,000 calories from pizza
5000 calories from #Fatterday
3500 calories for one pound loss

That’s 20,500 calories per week. Or just under 3000 calories per day. No prob.

My plan to do that was for every day:

Activity

This includes my Basal Metabolic Rate of around 2050.

Weight loss aside, I wanted to make sure I was taking care of my cardio health. Four times a week I would do 20 minutes of cardio at 85%+ my max heart rate. My daily step counts included those cardio sessions. Every third day I would do seated, chest presses (150 lbs x 50 reps, in as many sets as it took me to get to 50). Why 50 reps? That’s a subject for another discussion. πŸ˜‰ BTW, my Fitbit would not have registered the calorie burn from my weight-training so that is not included in my calorie actuals.

Now, before all my personal trainer, professional athlete, and all-around fitness buff friends jump all over me, yes, I know this was highly inefficient. I could have gotten far better results with a more efficient regimen. But this was about consistency. Every day, for a month. If I started throwing barbell complexes in with this experiment, some readers trying to make small, healthy changes might be intimidated and miss the point of this experiment. For most people, a brisk walk is less daunting.

HERE COMES THE HOTSTEPPER

How did I do it? I parked my car on the other side of my work campus. Walking to and from my car added 2200 steps. I took walking meetings whenever I could, adding another 2000-3000 steps. Returning your shopping cart to the front of the store instead of leaving it right by your car adds another 150 steps (plus, it’s good karma). Doing laundry gets me over 2000 steps. Completely rearranging your closet and heavy-duty house cleaning, 7000+. Light tidying up, about 1000. These little things add up. Are you a busy parent running errands, chasing kids around all day, and shuttling them around? You’ve got this.

Watching a 30-minute sitcom? Stand up and shuffle back and forth while watching it. You’ll get an extra 1800 steps in, easily. The NBA playoffs were a great time to do it as I was on my feet for most of the game anyway cheering the indomitable, unstoppable Warriors (#JustSayOakland). Get well soon, Steph! Your Warriors brothers-in-arms got you while you recover. Moving about the whole time while watching the game adds around 9000 steps.

I also got myself a Stamina InMotion Compact Strider so any time I was watching TV or streaming online, my feet were moving. I could do it standing or seated in a cycling movement. If a mini stepper is out of your budget, just get an aerobic step platform. It’ll be about 20 bucks.

SERGE, YOU CRAZY

Yes, I know that 7 miles a day is a lot. 60 minutes of moderate activity is three times what the CDC recommends for a moderately-active adult (e.g. brisk walking). But if a geek like me who spends most of his day in front of a computer can do it, if it’s important to you, so can you.

I also went after an exaggerated activity target to make a point. If you want to eat pizza all day, every day, then this is what you’d need to do. Please, for the love of God, don’t tell me you’re going to make a habit of eating pizza all day, every day. But what this does mean is this: You could cut my targets in half, still be within the recommended healthy goals set by the CDC, and have a couple slices of pizza for dinner 2 or 3 times a week. That was my point.

WHAT’S NEXT?

After that much pizza, I’m off to do a cleanse to recover. I’ll take a break from the gym to give my body a break but I’ll keep up my steps. In fact, my Fitbit buddies can attest, I’ve even stepped it up (more than 17,000 daily steps average). Pun intended.

APPENDIX: THE GEAR

Here’s what I used during my experiment:

What Eating Slow Carb Looks Like

Spicy ginger-sesame shrimp salad

I’ve already discussed before how I automate my meals. Folks have asked me for a bit more detail on what eating Slow Carb looks like, so I put together a few quick pics.

Here’s what one month of groceries looks like (each pic is a week).

From those groceries, I will prepare 21-24 meals each Sunday that I will eat over six days (Saturday is reserved for #Fatterday, my spike day).

You can see, I eat quite well. Newcomers to Slow Carb (and meal automation) might think you are giving up on spontaneity and variety but you’re really not. I just build in that variety when I prepare my menus for the week. As for spontaneity, I still go out when an occasion calls for it. For the other times, most people aren’t as spontaneous and varied as they might think. For the next month, take a picture of everything you eat. I bet you’ll be surprised how often you fall back on your “usual” or some slight variation of it.

Friends and fam ask me for my recipes. I have none. I do it by feel and whatever looks good at the market. What I do have are formulas.

  • frittata – 1 part filling, 3 parts egg
  • stews – 2 lbs protein, 14 oz tomatoes, 2 tbsp tomato paste, veggies on hand
  • salads – dark leafy greens, crunchy veggies or nuts for texture, contrasting veggie colors for visual appeal, 1 cup protein
  • vinaigrette – 1 part acid, 3 parts oil
  • slow-cooked protein – 2 lbs protein, 1 cup broth, cooked in slow cooker or pressure cooker
  • sides – legumes (beans, lentils), fermented veggies (kimchi, kraut), veggies tossed with acid or lightly stir-fried

To all above, herbs and spices to taste. I play with flavor palates and, honestly, just experiment and have fun with it. But if you do need a few starter recipes to get you going, check out my Slow Carb Pinterest Board. Who knew Slow Carb could be so mouth-watering, right?

Of course, everyone always wants to jump to my #Fatterday. Here you go:

I’ve had two pretty epic #Fatterday Challenges:

I’ve had a lot of folks come to me excited about trying Slow Carb. Invariably, the #Fatterday is what sells it for them. Unfortunately, it tends to be the part they focus on too much. They forget that in order to earn my epic #Fatterday I am crazy disciplined about the rest of the week. The biggest mistake I see newbies make is thinking that if they just go a little lighter on #Fatterday so they can have an occasional fast carb here and there during the week, it will be okay. It will be…sort of. You must find something that fits with your lifestyle and is a balance between your happiness and results. The importance is consistency.

However. HOW. EVER. You must then adjust your expectations accordingly. The whole point of building these behaviors is that they are consistent choices, that you are teaching your body to fall into a rhythm. When you interrupt that rhythm it’s like coming to a dead stop then having to start up again. Law of inertia (and biochemical and metabolic cascades). That bowl of pasta during the week might not seem much to you–and in the grand scheme of life, it isn’t–but as far as your momentum goes it is very disruptive. You want to know how I lost 2.5 lbs every week for an entire year? Because I didn’t waiver. Not once. I was strictly Slow Carb six days and only spike one day. No exception. Weight loss is not linear. You cannot say, well, Serge, I’m okay losing 1.5 lbs every other week, so I can drift from Slow Carb 30% of the time. It doesn’t work like that. Momentum. Biochemical and metablic cascades.

I’m not saying you must stay strictly Slow Carb. Do whatever will be the right balance for you. Just know that you’ll have to temper your expectations accordingly. Measure your progress over months, not days and weeks. Understand that your results come from your deliberate choices. That’s all.

Okay, enough doom and gloom. Slow Carb was the program I found works well for me. Maybe you’ll find you like it. Maybe something else will connect with you. Over the years, I’ve dipped my toes into Paleo and Keto. In fact, you’ll see from my pics above, slow carbs seem spare. You’re catching me in my third year so I’ve been alternating with slow and no carbs during my week. If you’re just beginning, ease yourself into it with some legumes (beans and lentils).

Buon appetito!

Dare to Live the Dream

Serge's Dream Book

β€œDare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Walking along an abandoned part of the Great Wall surrounded by a sea of yellow, wild flowers. Drinking tequila with a Mexican ambassador. Strolling along the Charles Bridge at dusk. Chatting up a Prince in an elevator. Eating scorpions and cobras. What’s all that have to do with a poor, li’l island boy? By most accounts, it would be nothing. Yet, this poor, li’l island boy has been blessed to meet exceptional people, travel to amazing places, and have transformative experiences.

How did all this happen? Sure, luck had a little bit to do with it. But to simply leave it at that would be dismissive and reductive. What am I, chopped liver? It happened because I live mindfully and with intention. Because I say “yes” more than I say “no.” But mostly because I make plans and execute.

Elite athletes, grandmaster chess players, musical prodigies, and successful CEOs tap into the power of visualization for exceptional results. Mindful meditation, daily affirmations, and vision boards put this concept into physical practice. I manifest my aspirations as a “dream book.” It’s probably one of the most valuable and rewarding tools you can have in your journey of an exceptional life. I’m going to show you how I made mine.

THE PLANNING

I’ve already written quite a bit about examining your purpose, what fulfills you, and living your life with intention. I’ll summarize it here by saying that it’s time to pull out your bucket list and start putting down some plans. I know, I know, shit just got real. The first step is the hardest but once you get going you’ll be glad you did. You’ll find it’s a lot easier than you think. Think back to those old school projects of cutting up magazines and making collages. Pinterest done made it crazy easy for you. Just start pinning away. Here’s mine.

THE CANVAS

You could keep your dream book digital on something like Pinterest, Facebook, or in a special folder of photos on your computer, but I find that having something physical that I can touch and feel and have as a constant visual reminder has been vastly more gratifying. Plus, it’s been great as a coffee table book that has inspired guests in my home and started many an interesting conversation.

Any scrapbook, photo album, notebook, or journal will do but since this is going to be a special place for your dreams and aspirations you might want to put a little effort into making it something you’ll look forward to flipping through again and again.

I went a little highfalutin and invested in a stunning, screwpost portfolio from Klo Portfolio. You can customize yours in aluminum, wood, and acrylic. You’ve also got the option for engraving, decal, or cut-out. Having the screwposts gives you the option to insert, remove, and move pages easily. Screwpost extenders can expand your dream book as needed. I got mine customized in black, matte, acrylic, engraved with my name and lion:

Serge's Dream Book

Come on now, tell me you wouldn’t want to check that out. I own it and I look for excuses to look through it every day.

THE VISUALS

You can make a collage of photos, articles, or anything else that help conjure up a vision board. Whatever inspires you and holds meaning for you will work. There’s no wrong way to go about it.

Serge's Dream Book

In my case, I choose a single image and print it as a high quality photo to serve as my visual. I mount it on Mohawk VIA Felt black 80 lb card stock to really set off the photo.

Serge's Dream Book

THE SECTIONS

I started off sectioning my dream book into three categories: to meet (people), to see (places), and to have (things). The lines started to blur for things like, “Have a personal cartoon drawn by Hugh MacLeod.” Is that to meet or to have? Plus, keeping the different sections balanced without forcing me to flip through a bunch of empty sections for things not yet complete started to be challenging. Pretty soon, things began to conflate so I simply combined them all into items to do (experiences).

First, I started my dream book with a short intro:

Serge's Dream Book

I followed it with a statement of intentions for my ideal self:

Serge's Dream Book

THE ENTRIES

Upon completing one of the items from my dream book, I do a brief write-up and post it to my blog. I’m a little behind; too busy doing to follow up with the writing. I’ll catch up eventually.

I tend to be a bit verbose so I know it would never fit in my dream book. Instead, I write a small haiku to place in my dream book with a link to the longer post. Printed on Crane & Co half sheets in ecruwhite. The extra effort and expense is worth it, trust:

Serge's Dream Book

Okay, so I’m far from being a haiku master and I’m sure I’m committing serious haiku faux pas (surippu?). But I gotta’ say, I am not entirely embarrassed by some of my attempts. I even go multi-lingual on you in a couple:

Serge's Dream Book

Serge's Dream Book

FINAL THOUGHTS

You know that imaginary, ephemeral bucket list that exists only in your head? Or maybe you’ve got it scribbled on several scraps of paper tucked somewhere in a forgotten drawer? You might be surprised how the simple act of putting it to paper steels your conviction to make it happen. After all, you just went through all that effort of putting together a dream book. You wouldn’t want that to have been for nothing, would you? Plus, having it staring back at you mockingly from your coffee table can be a powerful motivator. Friends and family can keep you accountable by pointing to it and pestering you incessantly. We don’t have to be all negative though. It really is a joyful experience leafing through and seeing the amazing things you’ve experienced in life. And if your dream book is still mostly empty? That’s okay. Mine was too, once upon a time.

I must confess, I have a bit of an additional, hidden agenda for putting together my dream book. Whenever I know I’m going to be completing something from my list, I bring my dream book along and deliberately flip through it. Imagine getting a chance to have soul food with Miss Patti LaBelle, flipping through the dream book in front of her and she sees that Miss Chaka Khan is on my list too. “Child, I’ve got Chaka on speed dial. Let’s give her a ring and check that one off too!” Yeah, right. Only in my dreams, right? Well, isn’t that the whole point of the dream book in the first place? Stranger things have happened.

Miss Patti and Miss Chaka, ready whenever you are. Any time. Any place.

Got a cool dream book? Snap a pic and share the link in the comments below.

MORE RESOURCES

For more inspiration, visit my good friend Corey Wadden’s take on the dream book. He adds in an extra bit of help organizing your thoughts into categories.