Restricting carbs and eating more protein and vegetables has been an age old way to lose weight. The slow carb diet also is based on similar principle. It is one such diet for weight loss that is gaining popularity now.
What is a slow carb diet?
Timothy Ferriss had developed this diet in 2010. He has also authored the book The 4-Hour Body. But he is neither a doctor nor a dietitian and neither any health professional. Moreover he swears by this diet for quick weight loss.
This slow carb diet comprises of 6 days of the diet and 1 day off. The latter is the cheat day when the dieter can eat and drink whatever he or she wants. There are no restrictions on the type and amounts of foods during the cheat ‘off’ day.
On the first 6 ‘on’ days, you have 4 meals in a day. One can have any amount of vegetables, legumes or animal protein. But the amount of fats and spices have to be less. And there should be no fruits and no whole grains.
However, the strict rule of this diet is that the slimmer should avoid all white carbs including processed ones and also fruits. But avocado and tomatoes are okay. Fried foods are a no-no. And also milk and milk products are prohibited. But cottage cheese and whey protein powder is OK to consume.
The dieter can take water ad lib. Also unsweetened tea and coffee is allowed. 16 ounces of diet soda per day and few glasses of dry red wine daily are also OK to take. One should take breakfast within an hour of waking up. And the remaining three meals should be four hours apart.
Breakfast should have at least 30 grams of protein. And the remaining three meals should have 20 grams protein each. One can supplement with protein supplements.
Pros and cons
Pulses, vegetables, herbs and spices in this diet are healthy. Pulses give protein and the remaining are good sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Also, in this diet, there are no refined carbs or grains or added sugars. This also healthifies the diet and produces weight loss. The four meals in a day avoids snacking and overeating. This is a plus point.
But this diet has no whole grains. It also has no fruits and starchy vegetables. Hence it is a restrictive diet plan that can lead to problems in the long run. Studies have shown that whole grains and fruits can assist weight loss and should be present in weight loss diets. Excluding milk can lead to calcium deficiencies.
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The one cheat day that comes on day 7 of the diet plan has the risk of causing overindulgence and bloating and fatigability. The tiredness due to it can go over next few days. Moreover, this cheat day can lead to erratic eating and more food cravings. This can affect mental health and interfere with a healthy social life.