The Slow-Carb Diet

I first heard of the slow carb diet through author Timothy Ferriss’ blog and then in his latest book The Four Hour Body. It is similar to the paleo diet and has one feature that is notable and loved by the adherents of the diet: the cheat day.

This cheat day allows you to eat just about anything you want and in any quantity. In other words, you binge like crazy. We will talk more about this feature of the diet later. Let us first briefly outline the diet.

Ultimately the diet is pretty simple. It is broken down into a few rules that are easy to remember. There are definitely specifics to these rules and other clarifications to be made, but the simple rules are a great starting point for the diet and easy to recall.

The first rule is to avoid white colored carbohydrates. This includes food that could be white but is not necessarily at the moment. For instance, you should avoid white rice and brown rice (brown rice could be processed into white rice. The foods to avoid include rice (as previously mentioned, even brown), all bread, cereal, potatoes, pasta, breaded fried food and tortillas. Avoid other white foods not mentioned and you should be ok.

One caveat mentioned in regard to avoiding white foods, is that it is ok to have them within 30 minutes of a resistance training workout.

The second rule is to eat the same meal again and again. While this may sound boring, we tend to do this a lot anyway. How often do you eat the same breakfast, lunch or dinner? This rule takes a habit most of have just a bit further. One plus to following this rule is ease of food preparation. You can cook off large batches of food to save time down the road. You can also purchase some foods in bulk.

The third rule is a reminder to not drink your calories. Drinking a lot of water is a must (as we all should be no matter the diet), and consuming unsweetened tea, coffee or other low or no calorie drink is fine. Things like regular soda and fruit juices are not ok. Beer and white wine are banned, red wine is ok. Zero calorie soda is ok, but you should limit it to 16 ounces or less a day.

The fourth rule is to avoid fruit. Tomatoes and avocados are ok. Did you know they are fruits? They are. You should note that while tomatoes are scientifically fruit, chefs consider their flavor profile more similar to vegetables. Therefore, chefs think of them as veggies. Avocados are just awesome and deserve to be eaten every day.

The fifth and final rule is to take one day off per week. This is referred to as a cheat day. You can literally eat however much and whatever you want. Sounds nice, huh?

The purpose of this diet as outlined by Mr. Ferriss is to promote fat-loss. This diet is meant to be a lifestyle though and not a two or three month thing. This is a great way to think about diets in general. Your diet, a healthy one whatever it may be, should be a part of your long-term lifestyle. Do not think that you can diet for a few months of the year and be thin for the rest of the time without any dietary discipline. This is where so many fad diets and even traditional diets fail.

The details of the slow-carb diet are available in The Four Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss. Check it out if you want to learn more, or do a Google search on the diet and you will come up with further information.