- Diet & Weight Loss
Seven Secrets for Slow Carb Diet Success
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Slow carb means fast results!
The slow carb diet, as detailed in Tim Ferriss' Four Hour Body book, is an effective and straightforward route towards successful weight loss and body recomposition. But as the approach is all based on the science of body hacking – doing the least amount of effort to achieve the greated possible change – it’s worth re-visiting some basic tips, to ensure you are getting the maximum possible gain from your slow carb diet.
Simplify your kitchen
Admittedly this is tricky if you have to share space with others, but removing as many refined carbs and domino foods from your radar is a great help. Keep your cheat day treats on a special shelf somewhere or even shut up in a box, better still shop for them on the day. Stock up on ready-to-use stuff, including plenty of frozen veg, and tinned pulses – of course it’s way cheaper to soak and boil beans, and peel and trim broccoli, but if you know your planning skills make that unlikely why set yourself up to fail?
Learn to use different spices
If you are having the same basic ingredients repeatedly, you can improve your chances of slow carb dieting success by finding different ways of presenting the same stuff . Herbs and spices dramatically alter the taste of your food, without contributing significantly in nutritional terms. If you are not sure where to start, experiment with some good quality branded blends of spices – it is worth paying a little more for something you will use in many meals, and you need to check the ingredients carefully as cheaper blends may be bulked with sugar or loads of salt. Look for Ras al Hanout, a north African blend fabulous with pulses and spinach, Garam Masala, transforming lentils and vegetables into curry, and also Thai spice blends.
Tim Ferriss proved over and over that the more you measure, the more motivated you are to get results. Note your measurements, weight and body composition, record them at least every few days, and make graphs of your success in excel. Record or even photograph your meals – not only will this make you aware of your consumption, but you can compare it against your results achieved and see which meals got you the best outcomes. Above all, if you have the data, you can see where the results are going – which is great for your motivation. Some days – some weeks even – the weight loss stalls, even if you are sticking rigidly to the plan. It’s all to easy to pack it in that point in frustration, if you cannot see that your body fat percentage is diminishing daily, and you are building muscle or retaining hormonal fluids.
Stack the odds with PAGG
Don’t mess with dangerous steroids or stimulants – use the right combination of safe plant extracts instead, for proven accelerated fat loss. Policosanol, is a plant wax extract, you only need 20-25mg per day. Alpha-lipoic Acid is a powerful antioxidant that will clean-up your cells and regenerate vitamin levels. Green tea flavanols reverse mitochondrial oxidative stress and actually helps destroy fat cells, and Garlic extract (allicin) is natures own antibiotic. You can purchase individual PAGG elements and create your own dosing, or simplybuy a prepared PAGG supplement to take away the guesswork
Strategically remove dominos
‘Domino’ foods are the things you would be fine to eat in moderation, but in practice, moderation just doesn’t happen. We’ve all our own list, if we’re honest with ourselves. Be very very careful around them – Tim Ferriss says get them out of the house completely, but I’ve found artificial portion control can make it manageable. Such as buying tiny expensive deli packs of hummus, or measuring out egg-cup portions of almonds. Nut butters are one of the most dangerous dominos for me, and I will only buy them if I see tiny catering packs with little individual 25g jars. Ideally though someone would keep the catering pack in a safe for me and only issue me one jar a day… perhaps Tim is right and they are best of out of the house completely, save it for cheat day.
Eat breakfast early
Even if you don’t think of yourself as a breakfast person, make an effort to eat some kind of high protein meal or snack, within half an hour of waking. However little appetite you feel you have, force yourself at first, and in a couple of weeks it will be acquired as a habit. Just keep it simple – a couple of hard boiled eggs, a slice of green loaf, a tablespoon or two of cottage cheese. Skipping breakfast seems to trigger the body’s fasting conservation mechanism and reduce metabolic calorie burn, as well as making you more likely to overeat later. Try to see the difference it makes for you.
Sure, there are plenty of sugar-free sweeteners around, but they are artificial chemicals, that whilst they might not mess quite so much with you insulin levels, who knows what else they do in the longer term? Most ‘natural’ sweeteners are based on fructose, which is metabolically almost identical to glucose. Tim Ferriss recommends experimenting with vanilla or cinnamon instead, which is well worth a try. So is simply re-educating your taste buds, to distinguish and appreciate the wide and subtle range of flavors in natural food products, that sweetness often overwhelms and obscures.
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