Healthy eating and an active lifestyle are always an important and crucial factor in a lifestyle. From losing weight to sleeping better a balance of diet and exercise plays a key role in being the best version of yourself both physically and mentally. For more on mental health and maintenance see our post on meditation and how to get started.
In this post, we will take a broad look at a lifestyle diet made popular by the author of the Four Hour Work Week and Four Hour Body, Tim Ferris. Many more resources are available on his blog which can be a treasure chest of information regarding a lifestyle design change you may be interested in. Below are my notes on the Slow Carb Diet at well as some resources to help you get started.
The Five Simple Rules
RULE #1: AVOID “WHITE” CARBOHYDRATES
– Avoid any carb that is, or can be, white.
– These foods are prohibited except for within 30 minutes of finishing a resistance-training workout.
– Bread, Rice (including brown), cereal, potatoes, pasta, tortillas, and fried food with breading.
– A common trick food companies can use here is to bleach an item and then die it brown again so it appears more healthy.
– The chemicals used to bleach flour when combined with certain proteins in these foods produces Alloxan. Which is a chemical that scientists use in lab rats to actually produce diabetes.
RULE #2: EAT THE SAME FEW MEALS OVER AND OVER AGAIN
– Mix and match from the following list and then repeat the same meals over and over again.
– Eggs (Organic)
– Chicken Breasts or Thighs
– Beef (Grass Fed)
– Black, Pinto, Red, and Soybeans.
– Mixed Vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, etc…
– Green Beans
Most who go on a low carb diet complain of lack of energy. This is due to the fact that they are not consuming enough calories. Oftentimes eating more often during the day can counterbalance this but NOT with this diet. See the example schedule below that can be adjusted.
8:00 AM – Breakfast
12:00 PM – Lunch
4:30 PM – Smaller Second Lunch
6:00 – 7:30 PM – Recreation Sport or Training.
8:00 PM – Dinner
10:00 PM – Glass of Wine and TV/Reading Before Bed
Try to get a protein, beans, and veggies in at each meal. This diet will get boring, but it is made for fast results, not fun.
RULE #3: DON’T DRINK CALORIES
– Drink massive amounts of water.
– Do NOT drink milk, soft drinks, or fruit juices.
– No white wine or beer.
– NO MORE than two glasses of red wine per night.
RULE #4: DO NOT EAT FRUIT
– The only exceptions here are tomatoes and avocados.
– You can eat fruit on your cheat day however as much as you want.
RULE #5: TAKE ONE DAY OFF PER WEEK
– DGW: dieters gone wild. One day per week you can eat absolutely whatever you want.
– Paradoxically, dramatically spiking caloric intake in this way once per week increases fat loss by ensuring that your metabolic rate doesn’t downshift due to extended caloric restriction.
NOTES, TIPS, TRICKS, & COMMON MISTAKES
USE YOUR CHEAT DAY!!!
NOT EATING WITHIN ONE HOUR OF WAKING UP AND PREFERABLY WITHIN 30 MINUTES
NOT EATING ENOUGH PROTEIN (20GRAMS PER MEAL)
NOT DRINKING ENOUGH WATER
NO LOW OR NO CALORIE SWEETENERS
– While foods such as nuts, chickpeas, hummus, peanuts, and macadamias are all allowed they are easy to begin binging on and should be avoided simply for the fact that they can be hard to stop eating.
– No dairy allowed, at all, except on cheat day.
– No fruit allowed, except for avocados and tomatoes, except on cheat day.
– Spices: spices and herbs are your friend, however, nothing cream based at all.
– Coffee should be consumed black, if you want to spice it up and add some flavor a teaspoon of cinnamon is recommended.
– No sugar added salsa can be a godsend for adding additional flavor to your meals. Eggs can get old but add some salsa and you’ll find yourself with a whole new dish.
– There should be no need to snack. If you are eating proper portions and getting your recommended amount of protein you should not feel hungry or “hangry”.
– So here’s the deal with alcohol… on cheat days all is fair. However on diet days you can stick to dryer wines such as Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Also, brown liquor should be avoided as well and all alcohol in general should be consumed in moderation on all diet days.
The Lost Art of Binging – Cheat Day
Once a week, for me, Saturday, you are allowed to eat everything and anything you want… seriously!
The importance of cheat day cannot be overstated. Not only does this day psychologically give you a break and something to look forward to and thus lowering the risk you will quit. But the spike in sugar and carbs will also have a boosting effect on your metabolism. This causes a shock to your system that can actually increase your fat loss. Therefore, go ahead and splurge, and do so guilt free. Below are some tips and tricks to minimizing the temporary weight gain and how to make those calories work for you…
“In basic terms our goal is simple: to have as much of the crap ingested either go into muscle tissue or out of the body unabsorbed.”
PRINCIPLE #1: MINIMIZE THE RELEASE OF INSULIN, A STORAGE HORMONE
– Ensure that your first meal of the day IS NOT a binge meal. Make it high in protein (at least 30 grams) and insoluble fiber (legumes do the trick).
– Consume a small quantity of fructose, fruit sugar, in grapefruit juice before the second meal.
– Drink citric juices throughout the day such as lime juice squeezed into water or lemon juice on food. Citrus kombucha works too.
PRINCIPLE #2: INCREASE THE SPEED OF GASTRIC EMPTYING, OR HOW QUICKLY FOOD EXITS THE STOMACH
Binging is the rare circumstance where we want the food (or some of it) to pass through our gastrointestinal tract so quickly that its constituent parts aren’t absorbed well.
– During your binge meals drink something caffeinated such as green tea or coffee as it speeds up the process.
PRINCIPLE #3: ENGAGE IN BRIEF MUSCULAR CONTRACTION THROUGHOUT THE BINGE
– For muscular contractions, my default options are air squats, wall presses, and chest pulls with an elastic band, as all three are portable and can be done without causing muscle trauma that screws up training.
– Do 60 – 90 seconds of these exercises a few minutes before you eat and ideally again about 90 minutes afterward. This triggers the receptors in your muscles so as much of the food as possible can be absorbed by the muscles as opposed to the fat cells where it would go if the muscles were not activated.
– These can be done in a bathroom or anywhere private. If you cannot get up and do these then practice contracting your muscles while remaining still. This can have a similar result.
– You will gain a lot of weight on your cheat day. This is to be expected. However, fear not, the additional weight will be gone in a day or two and you may find your weight actually rests even lower than before once the weight from your cheat day has gone away.