How do you change 60 years of bad eating habits? With results, simplicity and ease of use. Thankfully The Slow Carb Diet ™ crushes all three.
Mar 3, 2016 text from Dad: “Just giving you an update on your oldest non paying client. Started at 223.4 lbs. Losing weight at an alarming rate, 210 lbs. “
Mar 12, 2016 text from Mom: “Just wanted to let you know that your father is down 2 more lbs. He’s now 208 and comfortable size 38 instead of 40. He fit in a 36 but tight in the thighs. Pretty awesome!”
Mar 30, 2016 text from Mom: “Your father bought 2 pairs of jeans size 36 waist yesterday.”
June 11, 2016 text from Mom: “I wanted to let you know that your father weighed in at 194.8 lbs. Thursday. He’s doing really well. ”
Mind you this has been all done without a gym membership or a single rep of anything being done.
So how did he do it?
Anyone that knows my dad knows this wouldn’t fly past breakfast.
It was the Slow Carb Diet ™, made famous by Tim Ferriss.
My mom has been trying for years to get my dad to eat healthy and lose weight. At his heaviest he claims he was 230lbs. at 5’9” but I think that’s a little underestimated like they say Vince Wilfork is only 325.
I came across the Slow Carb Diet ™ in the winter while reading “The Four Hour Body” and thought this is the perfect way to help my dad out and make mom happy too! Reclaiming my place as the favorite child.
I knew changing the way he’s been eating for the last 60 yrs. and his thoughts on dieting would have to be done delicately. Like most people, he associates diet with restriction and starvation neither of which is he going to jump at.
This is how I layed it out for him and some of the questions he had for me.
THE SLOW CARB DIET ™
HOW DOES THE DIET WORK?
Blind people can see that there is a serious problem with weight control in today’s world. A combination of lack of movement and high carbohydrate consumption is making the world diabetic. Couple this with the fast paced lifestyle and lack of nutrition knowledge you you have a recipe for a fat, unhealthy world. Great for the fast food industry and pharmaceutical companies but bad for humanity.
In 2013, an estimated 24.4 million people had diabetes. 22.6 million of those had Type 2, which is the cause of unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise.
In other words, we are slowly killing ourselves for pizza, candy and soda.
[Tweet “We are slowly killing ourselves for pizza, candy and soda.”]
Without giving you a biology lesson and simplifying the situation considerably, all the processed foods we love, jack up our insulin which causes us to store the food as fat when we don’t use it for energy because we are too busy watching a Kardashians marathon (God I hate that fucking show). They are broken down to simple sugars and the body’s response is to create insulin to help the sugars get to where they need to go.
The Slow Carb Diet ™ uses foods that reduce the insulin response which causes less fat to be stored. This premise is no different than the Adkin’s Diet™ or The Paleo Diet.
WHAT THE HELL IS A SLOW CARB?
A slow carb is not a carb with a mental disorder or a carb that runs slow. A slow carb is a simplistic way of grouping fiber and veggies together. Slow carbs don’t spike insulin as much as carbs that breakdown to simple sugars.
SO WHAT’S THE CATCH?
Smart man. There are a few “rules” that you need to follow to make this work:
RULE 1: AVOID “WHITE” CARBOHYDRATES.
(In our current country situation, I swear this is not a race thing. Just ironic, similar to getting a free ride when you’ve already paid. I am not proud of that Alanis Morissette reference btw.)
Avoid any carbohydrate that is, or can be, white. The following foods are prohibited, except for within 30 minutes of ﬁnishing a resistance-training workout: all bread, rice (including brown), cereal, potatoes, pasta, tortillas, and fried food with breading. This is the key.
This includes ingredients with white or “enriched” in the name.
RULE 2: EAT THE SAME FEW MEALS OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
Keep it simple.
Pick three or four meals and repeat them. You already do this anyway just make it Slow Carb approved foods and don’t think about it anymore than a 30 day streak of bologna sandwiches.
RULE 3: DON’T DRINK CALORIES.
Drink a lot of water and as much unsweetened tea, coffee (with no more than two tablespoons of cream; use cinnamon instead, it adds sweetness), or other no-calorie/low-calorie beverages as you like. Don’t drink milk (including soy milk), normal soft drinks, or fruit juice. Limit diet soft drinks to no more than a 20 oz. bottle per day if you can, as the aspartame can stimulate weight gain.
RULE 4: DON’T EAT FRUIT.
This was my dad’s Achilles’ Heel. We don’t need fruit everyday, and they certainly don’t need it year-round. Our family traces back to Northern Italy, much fruit did they eat in the winter 200 years ago, hell 100 years ago? I’m pretty sure California and Florida weren’t sending produce that way.
Just say no to fruit but mainly Fructose. Fructose is very easily converted and stored as fat compared to other carbohydrates.
Rule 5: EAT BREAKFAST
Within 30 minutes of waking up eat 30g of protein. That could come in the form of meat, eggs,bacon, or a protein shake.
RULE 6: TAKE ONE DAY OFF PER WEEK.
Take Saturdays and go H.A.M. Eat whatever you want from midnight to midnight.
Eat fruit until you get the runs if you want. Dramatically spiking caloric intake in this way once per week increases fat-loss by ensuring that your metabolic rate doesn’t acclimate itself from extended caloric restriction.
Wait until you have a week under your belt before your first cheat day so you don’t go off the rails and never come back.
I told him Saturdays because I know he likes going out to dinner with my mom. I knew this point was non-negotiable. Any one day a week is fine.
Still concerned with flying off the rails on your cheat day? Conveniently, I wrote about how to have an epic cheat day and to minimize the damage. If you plan on drinking until you pass out, I got you covered for the hangover.
SO WHAT CAN I EAT?
You can eat as much of the following foods as you want. Mix and match from the following list, constructing each meal with one pick from each of the three groups:
- Egg whites with 1–2 whole eggs for ﬂavor
- Chicken breast or thigh
- Black beans
- Beef (preferably grass-fed but not necessary)
- Pinto beans
- Red beans
Vegetables-all veggies are good
- Mixed vegetables (including broccoli, cauliﬂower, or any other cruciferous vegetables)
- Sauerkraut, kimchee
- Green beans
Caffeine is okay. Drink unsweetened coffee or tea without milk or cream. If you drink caffeinated soda, limit it to one can of diet soda a day.
Drink lots of water and drinks with zero calories. Flavored water with lemon or vegetables. Unsweetened beverages like tea are okay.
SAMPLE MEAL PLAN
Eggs with black beans and salsa
Smoothie with 30g of protein powder
Roasted chicken with mixed vegetables
Mid afternoon snack
Tuna or leftover protein with frozen veggies
Beef burger without the bun or ketchup
Pistachios (another big hit, as he is a TV snacker)
NO BREAD, FRUIT OR PASTA?
No. Even wheat bread and pasta spikes insulin. Remember more insulin = more store fat.
BUT I THOUGHT FRUIT WAS GOOD FOR YOU?
This is true. Fruits have vitamins and minerals that are beneficial. But too much of a good thing is a bad thing. People tend to think the opposite, if a little is good then all of it must be better.
If your working out, then have some right after your workout to replenish your muscles but otherwise you can get the same vitamins and minerals from veggies minus the fructose and the eventual fat gain.
For a little extra validation, here is a good article on calories are not just calories.
ARE ALL CARBS BAD?
No, don’t generalize this. Carbs have their place and that place is not everywhere. Earn your carbs and you can – almost – eat whatever you want. Veggies and legumes are terrific, everything else needs a governor to help you get and stay sexified.
DO I HAVE TO COUNT ANYTHING?
No you don’t. Eat until you are full. Veggies are less calorie dense than normal carbs so the volume of food will be more. Plus, protein and legumes add a satiety factor. They take longer to digest so therefore stay in your stomach longer.
Counting macros won’t fit into your schedule either so skip that too. Aim for 30g of protein in the morning and 20g in each meal after that. So a scoop of protein in the morning will suffice your protein needs, give you an alternative to eggs and it’s a quick thing to make in the morning. 20g is about 4 oz of chicken or beef or 3 eggs. That’s really all you have to pay attention to.
DO I NEED TO EAT 6 MEALS A DAY LIKE YOU?
Nope, I’m a beast. Eat as many meals as you can fit in without making it inconvenient. 2-3 meals or 16 meals a day, doesn’t matter as long as you eat the foods listed here.
DO I NEED TO WEIGHT MYSELF?
Yes, but don’t do it until Thursday. Reason being is that 1g of carbs holds onto 3g of water. So a weight gain of 5-10lbs after an epic cheat day is not unheard of. Don’t worry it’s just water weight. By weighing yourself on Thursday, you’ll have time to piss out the excess water.
YOUR MOTHER IS GOING TO DIVORCE ME IF I EAT ALL THESE BEANS. I’M GOING TO BE FARTING CONSTANTLY.
I know and that is a serious concern. But there are a few things you can do. If you buy dry beans, soak them in water for a few hours before you cook them. If you buy canned, just get rid of the murky colored juice in the can. This will get rid of the Oligosaccharides on the beans. Oligosaccharides are indigestible, which means that we lack the enzyme to break them down in the small intestine. Large amounts of Oligosaccharides result in bubble gut and gas.
For your marriage sake and the for the air space of everyone who comes over, soak the beans or get rid of the juice please.
Apparently that sold him and I got my salesman badge for the day.
Still not convinced with this witchcraft I’m spewing?
Then just try adding 30g of protein to your meal in the morning for a week. If there are no noticeable differences in weight or appearance, then keep going as you were and I’ll find something else for you.
If your unimaginative in the kitchen like me, here are a few sites that can help you:
QUICK AND DIRTY VERSION:
- Stick to Slow Carb Diet ™ approved foods 6 days a week: lean meat, beans, and veggies and no white foods like sugar, pasta, rice, bread, cheese.
- Eat the same few meals over and over again, especially for breakfast and lunch. You probably do this already; you’re just picking new default meals.
- Don’t drink calories.
- Start your day with protein, shooting for 30g within 30 minutes of waking.
- Don’t eat fruit. Tomatoes and avocados are allowed in moderation.
- Take one “cheat day” a week: Eat whatever you want on your cheat day
Indulge in whatever you want once a week. Ideally, your first meal should still consist of 30g of protein, but eat whatever you want after that.
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