Slow Carb Diet – Why It’s Not for Me

brown eggs

When I started my new healthy eating journey, I wasn’t following any specific diet plan but I had heard of the slow carb diet. I’m not sure who created it or how long it has been around but it has gained a ton of popularity due to Tim Ferriss’ book The 4-Hour Body. I have been a fan of Tim’s since reading his first book, The 4-Hour Workweek.

I am currently reading The 4-Hour Body and I’m enjoying the information very much. His self-experiments and data are fascinating to me.

If you’re not familiar with his version of the diet, there are several rules to follow:

1. Avoid white carbohydrates – This would include bread, rice, cereal, potatoes, pasta, and fried food with breading. The only exception is 1.5 hours after a resistance training workout at least 20 minutes in length.

2. Eat the same meals over and over – You can basically eat as much as you want of proteins (egg whites, chicken breast or thigh, grass-fed beef, pork), legumes (lentils, pinto beans, black beans), vegetables (spinach, asparagus, peas, mixed vegetables.)

3. Don’t drink calories – Stick to water, tea, coffee (without cream), diet soda, and other no calorie/low calorie beverages. Avoid dairy, fruit juice, and normal soft drinks. However, 1 – 2 glasses of red wine per day is fine.

4. Take one day off per week – Allow one day to eat whatever you want and as much as you want. Basically no rules apply on this day. The idea is that spiking your calories at least once a week actually increases fat loss.

The idea of eating whatever I want one day a week is what makes this method of eating very appealing to me. However, even with this “free” day, I still feel the slow carb diet is a bit too restrictive for me. For example, in the book, he also states to avoid fruit during the week and save for your cheat day.


Yet, I like to eat fruit as one of my snacks because it satisfies my sweet tooth and is filling. I’m also not a big fan of eating beans all the time. The beans are used because they are calorically dense. I tried not eating beans and eating extra vegetables but I’d still be hungry afterwards.

Tim also says that there should be no reason to snack with this method of eating. That may work out great for many people but I like having my snacks (healthy of course.)

Can This Diet Work for You?

I’m sure it can if you are disciplined and do not stray from his set of rules. Many people have had great success and you can find many blogs that write specifically about using the slow carb diet.

As for myself, I rather not be that restrictive with my meals. Right now, I do avoid the white carbs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Every now and then I’ll have whole wheat toast with my breakfast or as part of my lunch for a sandwich.

What is working for me is to eat as healthy as I can during the week and give myself a treat or two on the weekend. I am not in a hurry to shed pounds so if it takes me a bit longer, that’s fine by me. Have you tried this diet? What are your thoughts?

Resources: Slow Carb Diet

photo source:

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Author: Eartha Haines

My name is Eartha and I created this blog as a motivational resource for myself to keep up with exercise and eating right. I enjoy reading, learning, and writing about all things fitness related. I hope that as well as motivating myself, others may find motivation to try fitness as well. Learn more.

9 thoughts on “Slow Carb Diet – Why It’s Not for Me”

  1. I haven’t tried this diet – actually I hadn’t even heard of it before reading your post – but I am trying to stop eating white grains in favour of whole wheat. The problem is I just like white grain products so much more!

    I’m hoping it might be a case where my taste buds shift over time – I’ve had that happen to a certain extent with salty or sugary foods, where as I cut them out of my diet, my tolerance lowers.

    And on the subject of not drinking calories, I’m also trying to shift to water instead of fruit juice – not because of the calories per se, but because of the sugar. Before I knew about that, I always thought that fruit juice was good for you. Alas! 🙂

    1. I can relate, Sylvia. I am more fond of white bread too but adjusting to eating whole grain/wheat bread. Definitely have to watch the sugar in fruit juices. It can be high.

  2. I am reading his book right now as well, not for the diet purposes, I am just curious since I heard so much about it. I know for sure, I will never ever give up fruit, it’s like giving up water for me. It’s the only thing I love to eat. I don’t really care about junk food, bread, I hate pasta or pizza. I heard somewhere that cutting down on fruit is a good idea, because supposedly it makes you store fat. I don’t think it’s true because I eat a whole watermelon per day and my body fat percentage stayed the same for years, which is 14 %, for a girl it’s not bad.

    1. Right, I cannot give up my fruit all week either. I think fruit is much better than snacking on cookies, cake, etc. The book is interesting regardless of the diet though.

      1. Yes the book is super interesting, I love that it is very unconventional approach. But diet neeh, not for me.
        How are you doing with the Turbulance Training?

  3. Im going to be putting some parts of it into my diet/lifestyle, but not all.

    For example, my wife just would NOT have me eating the same thing for dinner. She wants to cook for me, and she wont eat the same thing every day.

    So instead Im eating healthy, but not the same meal every day.

    Im also not convinced yet about the “no fruit” thing. There are some very well respected fitness professionals that say its a load of poo.

  4. I don’t think this is something that I can maintain for a long time, especially since it takes a whole of things that I normally eat. I’m planning to eat better, but by way of eating more and more vegetables and a healthier balanced diet.

  5. I really want to lose weight so I am very confident that I can go through this diet. I want to gain confidence and lose weight and also be healthier than I am right now.

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