I haven't talked about it much here but for the past year I have been on a weight loss journey. I gained a lot of weight when I was pregnant with my daughter (who is now a year old) and soon after she was born I began using the Slow Carb Diet to lose the extra pounds.
I still have 20 pounds until I am at my goal weight but using the Slow Carb Diet I have lost 40 pounds over the last year. Sure it is slow, but it has been healthy and steady. So here is a BRIEF explanation of the diet.
The Slow Carb Diet comes from Tim Ferriss’ book, The 4-Hour Body. If you haven’t read the book but plan on doing the diet, I highly suggest you read the book. Tim goes into very extensive detail about the diet but I will outline the rules for you here.
The Slow Carb Diet, also sometimes referred to as the 4-Hour Body Diet, is for people whose main goal is fat loss. In short, there are 5 basic rules to the Slow Carb Diet.
- Avoid carbs that are or can be white. Like bread, potatoes, sugar, pasta, rice, tortillas, grains, sugar, corn syrup, etc.
- Eat the same meals over and over. Choose a protein, legumes, and non-starchy vegetables for each meal.
- Only drink water, unsweetened tea, coffee with no more than 2 tbsp of cream, and 1-2 glasses of red wine.
- No fruit.
- One day off per week to eat whatever you want!!!
- Don’t tell yourself, “I can’t have that”. Instead, tell yourself, “I can have that on my cheat day!” This is the most important thing for me. I make a list of anything I crave during the week and I usually eat everything on the list on my cheat day and it is AWESOME. My list usually consists of donuts and pizza.
- Rule #2 is the only rule I slightly disagree with. I love to cook and I love to experiment with food so I tend to not eat the same meals over and over, especially not for dinner. There are so many foods that you ARE allowed to eat on the slow carb diet and I want to eat all of them. Although I do eat the same breakfast just about every day, I try to have new and delicious meals several times a week for dinner then as leftovers for lunch.
- Weigh yourself regularly on a reliable scale and record it – I usually weigh as soon as I wake up on the morning of my cheat day, before I’ve had anything to eat. I record this as my weekly weight. You want your weight conditions to stay the same. If you weigh yourself in shorts and a t-shirt one day, don’t weight yourself in a ski suit the next day. I weigh again on Monday morning but I don’t record that as my weekly weight, I just like to know how much (if any) I gained on cheat day. You can weigh as often as you like but I would suggest weighing no less than once a week.
- Take your measurements – when you start the diet, use a body tape measure and jot down the measurements of your chest, waist, hips, arms, and legs. Sometimes weight loss doesn’t show on the scale but shows majorly in your measurements. I do my measurements every 2 weeks.
- Take progress pictures. This is tough for me because it was VERY uncomfortable for me to take the pictures in the beginning but WOW I am glad I did. Although my before pictures and all progress pictures taken since are password protected on my phone and I haven’t shown them to anyone (yet), they show a major major MAJOR difference and I’m so glad I have them.
- Why are you doing this diet? This is a big one. You have to WANT to do this. You have to have a WHY. In the book, Tim calls this the “Harajuku moment”. It is the breaking point where you realize you have to make a change in your life and get healthy and lose the weight. You have to want the positive change more than you want the pizza and donuts. I won’t go into my whole story but I will say this. At 65 pounds overweight, I looked at myself in the mirror and didn’t recognize myself and didn’t like the stranger I saw. I didn’t want to go in public, I didn’t want my husband to look at me, I didn’t want to look at myself, and I didn’t want to be in pictures that my children would someday look at.
Beans are slow carbs. Beans are basically why this diet is called the slow carb diet. They don’t make your blood sugar quickly rise like other carbs (the ones listed that you can only eat on cheat day). They give you a steady supply of glucose throughout the day. They don’t release excess insulin and your body is able to burn fat as fuel. Plus they are good for your gut bacteria.
You can experiment with the beans and legumes you eat in the diet but don’t cut them out. You need them for energy and to keep your willpower up. They will help you to not feel run down and they will keep you full until your next meal. According to Tim Ferriss, black beans are best for fat loss and garbanzo beans should be eaten in moderation. I mostly stick with black beans, red kidney beans, and butter beans.