Q: “I really need your advice. I want to try using DNP. I have been reaching for information on the Internet but to no avail. I recently ordered a book from Mesomorphosis.com and the person who took my order said someone there might be able to help me. I am 39 year old female. I have been bodybuilding for 2 years. I have been eating chicken and tuna till it comes out my ears. And have tried various supplements for fat lose. To know avail. I can’t get below 13 or 14%. Maybe it’s the age thing. I have the DNP and have made up the capsules according to Dan Duchaine’s Recipe. But I don’t know how to proceed. Re: when to take, with food or without, how many times a day, for how long. Do I need to take Cytomel???? Any information would be helpful.”
A: First, it’s not the age thing. I took a 43 year old natural female bodybuiler to 7-8% bodyfat last year with diet and supplements only. You didn’t give much detail about your diet and training but I’m willing to bet that your diet is a big part of the problem. Women don’t seem to do as well with high carb/low fat diets as men do for reasons I don’t have space to discuss here. But based on the fact that you’re eating so much tuna and chicken, I imagine you’re doing the typical bodybuilder, very low fat type of diet. As you’re finding out, it doesn’t work for everyone (But does work for some people). Anyway….
The female I trained last year used the Zone diet first (30% protein, 40% carbs, 30% fat), got to about 12% bodfyat if I recall (starting at roughly 15%). Then she did what’s called a Cyclical ketogenic Diet (CKD) which is 5-6 days of zero carb, high fat eating with 1.5 days of high carb eating. That plus too much cardio took her to 7% in about 8 weeks. I say too much because she lost some muscle. So first consider that you may be eating too *little* fat. Anything less than 20% of calories as fat is too little and seems to prevent women from losing fat effectively.
One other thing, too few calories slows fat loss. A good rule of thumb is to eat 11-12 calories per pound of total bodyweight for fat loss. The bodybuilder I mentioned never went below 1400 calories during any phase of her diet (and she had one day per week, during the carb-up, to eat anything she wanted which generally included a margarita and pancakes). The other girls in her gym were starving at 900 cal/day, doing hours of cardio (one even passed out in the locker room) and weren’t losing fat because they had put their body into starvation mode.
Along these lines, if you’ve been dieting for a long period of time, the first thing you should do is take a week off of your diet at normal calories (approx. 14-15 cal/lb) and normal carbs. This seems to help reset metabolic rate. Then get back into dieting at about 12 cal/lb with a minimum of 20% fat calories, 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, and the rest carbs. If that’s not working, cut carbs back further and increase dietary fat to about 30%.
Also look at your cardio. Too much cardio can slow fat loss and increase muscle loss. Try cutting back to no more than 4-5 days per week and a maximum of 40′ per session. Then look at your weights. assuming you’re natural, you shouldn’t need more than 3-4 days per week in the weight room (the female I trained lifted weights 3 times per week during her entire diet cycle).
Finally, consider using the supplement yohimbe, it may help women lose lower body fat (which I assume is where yours is located). The recommended dose is 0.2 mg/kg but you should start with maybe 1/3rd that dose and build up gradually. That with some caffeine (but NO food) about 30′ before morning aerobics can get fat loss started. Be forewarned that some people get really weird heart rate/blood pressure responses to yohimbe (why you should taper up). So if your body freaks out on you, quit taking it.
I’d suggest trying all of those suggestions before mucking around with DNP. If they don’t work, get back to me or check the archives, there are lots of DNP questions on there. If the advice above and what’s in the archives fail to answer your questions (esp. about DNP), send me another message.