If anyone else is like me then the impact of Christmas on the belly was pretty bad for you, the problem is I had guests straight after so I continued the trend and probably gained a good 6lbs or so from this whole thing. It was fun while it lasted but it’s time to say adios and get myself back on track.
Introducing the 4 Hour Body’s slow carb diet
I am 100% sure you have heard of the latest book from Tim Ferris. Tim is a bit mental as far as I can tell and even though I find him arrogant at times I was utterly compelled to pick up his new book the Four Hour Body. I actually picked up the Audible (abridged) edition and the Kindle edition as soon as they were released.
I’ve been needing structure to my mostly healthy vegetarian diet (well not structured or healthy for the last month) for a while now and would really love to get rid of that belly that has been haunting me despite being in decent shape. So the idea to try the slow carb diet came along at just the right time. It’s not a whole lot different to my normal diet but just cuts a few things out so I don’t think it’s going to be too tough but it wouldn’t be the first time I have been wrong!
What is the slow carb diet?
The Four Hour Body, a kind of follow up to the 4 Hour Work Week, is Tim’s compilation of 10 years of testing his body to achieve results in the littlest time possible. It covers diet, exercise, sleep, sex and more. I am focusing on the diet aspect like most people who purchased the book likely are.
The slow carb diet introduced to me by Tim is not new as far as I can tell (although he has modified it and tested it a lot) and basically revolves around cutting all processed carbs from your diet. It’s not like Atkins as you still eat a fair few carbs mainly from vegetables and beans and from my readings it seems pretty reasonable. There are a whole bunch of science facts in the book but from my reckoning it just seems you may well lose weight because of cutting out high calorie carbs and sugars and turn to eat less caloric dense foods that need more processing by the body.
The rules are simple and to summarise you simple need to:
- Not eat anything that is white or can be white, bread, rice etc
- No dairy except cottage cheese
- No fruit (don’t like this one at all!)
- At least 40g protein per meal
- Have a cheat day in every week
The cheat day is a helpful thing as it allows you to binge however you want once per week. Again science pops up and he says the cheat day actually accelerates weight loss, I am dubious of this but he may be right. My simple explanation is that if you eat just right for 6 days then 1 day shouldn’t throw you off track but I am no expert.
Do I think the slow carb diet will work?
To be honest I have no idea. This is the first time I have ever prescribed to anything considered a fad diet (although Tim tells us it’s not, ha ha) and cutting fruit out of my diet worries me. Cutting bread makes sense but not so sure about brown rice and whole wheat. I guess I can eat this stuff on cheat day though.
Being vegetarian makes the diet a little harder as it’s harder and often more calorific to get high levels of protein into a diet but recently finding out that egg whites is an almost pure source of complete protein I feel like I have a new weapon in this fight. I plan to eat egg white as a supplement to most meals to keep my protein intake up.
Getting ready for day 1
So I have been knowing I would do this diet for quite a while and delayed any dieting for the week before waiting for the perfect day to start. Friday is good for me as my cheat days will fall on a Thursday which is the most likely day I will go out drinking.
I have kind of been fattening myself up eating take out and not exercising a whole lot. You will see in the measurements (I would put my photos up if I was confident enough but you will have to wait until I am happy with them!) below that I am in less than perfect shape right this minute but I have high hopes that things will be all fine in the end.
My first round of shopping didn’t cost me too much (around $15) and included a host of beans, spinach, eggs and vegetables. I have already had to ditch the veggies I purchased sadly as I realised they include potatoes so using fresh for the minute!
My Starting Measurements (actually taken on the morning of day 2)
- Weight : 93kg (205lbs)
- Waist: 40.5″
- Neck: 16″
- Chest: 43″
- Hips: 43.5″
- Right arm: 12 3/4″
- Left arm: 12 1/8″
- Right leg: 23 3/4″
- Left leg: 22 3/4″
Following my progress
I’m going to try and write about the diet at least once a week here on the blog so please do stop by (likely thursdays or fridays, sign up to the mailing list link in the right of the header) but most importantly I am posting every meal on Flickr. You can find my Flickr album here: Forest’s Vegetarian Slow Card Diet on Flickr
I’ll also be sending tweets here and there from @FrugalZeitgeist and would love your interaction and feedback.
So this post is closing in on 1000 words now so I better bring it to a close! I am currently on Day 3 of the Slow Carb diet and have actually dropped 4lbs already which I know is all water weight but it still feels good. Energy levels are high and so far the eating has been no big problem, of course I am looking forward to cheat day though and was just eyeing up some croissants here in the cafe!
I do plan to bring my normal exercise back in so may find myself having to increase portions in a few days when I do that. I don’t want to go hungry and start hating the diet.
Overall I am enjoying the start and am excited to be testing and following something. I have no idea if it will work overall but I am willing to try.
Wish me luck and let me know if you are doing or plan on joining me on this lifestyle choice.