Why The Wolverine Diet Challenge? – 5,000 Calories

As you guys may or may not already know, a few months ago I wrote about how Hugh Jackman was basically doing LeanGains while preparing his body for The Wolverine.  Well, a few weeks ago I received an e-mail referring to that post where a reader shared with me a very strong disbelief that a person could eat 5,000 calories in an 8-hour period and be able to keep the calories down (i.e., not throw up).

So, to help put the reader’s suspicions to rest, I documented myself consuming +5,200 calories…IN A 2 HOUR PERIOD (pics and videos at the end of the post).

What Does + 5,000 Calories Look Like

To achieve the 5,000+ calories I took the family to Costco…yes Andrew S., to Costco…where I had to eat;

  1. 3/4th of Whole Cheese/Pepperoni Pizza (8 Slices)
  2. One hot dog (ketchup, mustard, onions, and relish on it…but didn’t count the toppings towards the final calorie count)
  3. 60 oz. of Pepsi

After Costco’s feast I was still about 1,800 or so calories short so I went home to finish the challenge with some milk + cookies.  At home I had;

  1. A Glass of Whole Milk
  2. One Entire Pack of Chips Ahoy

But, after finishing the delicious milk + cookies I thought I was a few calories short, so I topped of the evening with 4 Oreos…you know, just for good measure 🙂

So, Why Really Do This?

Well, other than to prove it to a reader, there are a number of reasons why I wanted to share this with everyone.

For starters it is to help prove that, once you’ve reached your target weight, you can really eat anything you’d like if you’re working out 5-6 days a week and following the LeanGains approach to eating.

Secondly, to prove that, once you’ve reached your target weight, if you continue to follow the LeanGains approach it will be very difficult to reach your target calorie counts.

So, what does this actually mean?

Well, it means that your calorie count will be higher than your normally used to eating so to gain weight/mass you will actually have to actively eat more than you, and/or most people are used to eating.  For example, I would have had to eat everything but the Chips Ahoy Pack of cookies just to reach my target calorie count for maintaining weight.

Thirdly, I did this because I love challenges…especially when they involve foods I love…like Costco’s Pizza, Hotdog, Milk, and Chips Ahoy!


So, How Did +5,000 Calories Feel?

Yeah, I might truly love the food I ate to reach the 5,000 calories, and, I did enjoy almost every bit of everything I ate, but to be honest I felt a tad-bit sluggish at the end of it.  As a matter of fact I felt a bit bloated for the following 48 hours.


We need to note that I ate over 5,000 calories of what most people would consider junk food…so, naturally I would feel a bit sluggish.

On the other hand, Hugh Jackman was eating 5,000 calories of “healthy” foods (i.e., boiled chicken breast and spinach with no salt added…you know, delicious stuff). So, do not quote me on the fact that 5,000 calories made me feel sluggish because the challenge I put fourth was not on eating 5,000 “healthy” calories but on just eating 5,000 calories within 8 hours…and here’s yet another point…

….Would I have felt sluggish if I would have spread the 5,000 calories throughout my regular 6 hour fed state instead of consuming it all in just 2 hours…?

I don’t know…but it does sound like another experiment for another day….but before then, Check out Part 2 to this challenge – 5,000 CALORIES IN ONE SITTING.

The 5,000 Calorie Challenge Documented

…so you can see how I look by the end of it…I think I am even slurring my words some…?


The before picture was taken in the morning around 8 am and the after around 9 pm the same day.