My first 6 months on the slow carb diet

July 15, 2011

Tim Ferris’ latest book, The 4 Hour Body, describes the ‘Slow Carb Diet’. I wont go over the details in depth but if you’re unaware of what they check are out the details here and here.

In summary, there are 5 general rules to the diet.

  • AVOID ‘WHITE’ CARBS
  • EAT THE SAME FEW MEALS OVER AND OVER AGAIN
  • DON’T DRINK CALORIES
  • DON’T EAT FRUIT
  • TAKE ONE DAY OFF PER WEEK

The 4 Hour Body

3 months prior to starting the ‘Slow Carb Diet’ I quit the gym, ate alot of beans and legumes. I also started doing 5km runs 3 times a week. I weighed 105kgs back then. I now weigh 80kgs. I’m 30.

Here are some of the things I’ve learnt from being on the ‘Slow Carb Diet’ which has certainly changed the way I live and eat.

Cheat days can be expensive

Sunday is my cheat day. I can eat what ever I want and I do, eat, what ever, the fuck, I want. Shopping for my cheat day is like letting a 4 year child lose in lolly shop. A point made by Tim in the book is that you should only buy portions for your cheat day that will last just for your cheat day and no more. You dont want that half tub of French Vanilla Icecream sitting in the fridge during the week potentially triggering a mid week ‘cheat night’ which is against the diet.

I buy my food vices on special and on the cheap. Biscuits, Icecream, Chocolate are the usual suspects. I find that if If I don’t shop around and buy the treats on special, I could easily spend $25 just for a single days worth of junk food which is bit too much money I’d like to part with just to pig out and make myself feel sick.

Your partner will eat and cheat with you

I cook dinner every night and eat with my girlfriend. This means she too will also have to consume legumes, eggs and spinach.

After a couple of weeks this took its toll and she needed her nightly portion of carbs in the form of pasta, rice or a baked potato. I now cook these items for a single serving which she has, whilst I stick to foods that are inline with the diet.

The diet is a winner for busy people

I have not done any real cardio exercise besides playing basketball 2 hours a week since being on the diet. The diet is excellent for people who don’t have time to exercise alot though have the discipline to stick to the right foods. Don’t get me wrong, I still exercise but I’ve reduced my exercise regime down to 3 to 4 nights doing free weights and ab exercises on the ground and on a decline bench at home.

Feeling hungry is now a different feeling

Sure I get hungry, but the feeling is alot different to when I wasnt eating so many legumes, greens and no white carbs. These days, when hunger strikes I chomp on a single carrot, stick of celery or a couple of almonds and the hunger disappears. Previously, I would hunt for dry biscuits, fruit, cereal or just anything that would provide my stomach and brain with a quick fix. My way of thinking when it comes to food and nutrition has certainly changed because of the Slow Carb Diet.

Grocery shopping becomes more systematic

The onset of the diet forced myself to think differently when it came to purchasing food. Because of the first 4 rules of the diet, I would think long and hard about what I’d eat. Grocery shopping trips would be more strategic and reading labels and nutritional information on the food products I bought would now be part of my shopping routine.

I know exactly what my meals will consist of for the next week. Legumes, greens, beans, eggs, mushrooms with pork, lamb, beef or chicken. The shopping trips for these meals becomes more systematic, less time consuming and cheaper.

Get used to beans and legumes

Borlotti beans, mushrooms, spinach and 2 eggs is breakfast. Beans, lentils, spinach and a carrot is lunch. For dinner I will have a mix of more borlotti beans and white beans with a handful of almonds for something to munch on during the night.

To get the most protein out of your meals, beans and legumes are the way to go.

My body composition certainly has changed over the last 9 months and people I havent seen for a couple of months do notice it but this is not the most important part of this diet. Changing the way I think, eat and value food has been the most rewarding part for me. I feel I can continue with the diet for another 6 months at least but will carry the life changing knowledge, experiences and habits I’ve gained till I die.

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