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?