(Okay, right off the bat, let’s start with a quick disclaimer: you should probably have a chat with your doctor before embarking on any sort of significant dietary change. Also, results from this diet can vary, don’t be disappointed if yours don’t match Mr. Ferriss’ exactly. Good? Good.) Now, let’s get to the good stuff–that is, the slow stuff. Author/angel investor/entrepreneur/self-experimenter extraordinaire Tim Ferriss popularized the Slow Carb Diet in his bestselling book The Four Hour Body. In fear of sounding a bit too dramatic, this way of eating (The Slow-Carb Diet) can truly jumpstart your fat loss, change your relationship with food, and make a huge positive impact on your health and well-being.


Yeah, it’s that good. Read on to learn more.

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The Science of the Slow-Carb Diet

slow-carb diet

Tim Ferriss and His Book: The 4-Hour Body// Photo: Pura Video Dreams

The basic premise of slow-carb dieting is that you should eat more healthy fats, lean animal proteins, and vegetables, and eat less sugary, highly processed carbohydrates. Based on research from human physiology and biochemistry, this type of meal plan is arguably one of the healthiest ways of eating that can help people achieve virtually any wellness goal.

Here’s the deal: eating fat doesn’t make you fat.

Almost every nutritionist, researcher, and personal trainer seems to agree with the science behind this these days. It turns out that eating carbs that are highly processed and high in sugar (also called “high-glycemic”) are absorbed rapidly by your body. Not only does this raise your blood sugar too quickly (increasing your risk for diabetes, obesity, and inflammation), but it can also trigger your body to store body fat rather than use body fat for fuel–because why would it, when it has a ton of carbs and sugar in your system?

For this reason, avoiding “fast” high-glycemic carbs will help you lose body fat, decrease inflammation, relieve aches and pains, improve your complexion, and increase your energy. A “fast carb” (that is, a less healthy one) includes things like bread, pasta, rice, crackers, candy, and any foods containing added sugar.


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Slow-Carb Diet 101: The Essential Cheat Sheet

On his blog, Tim Ferriss outlines his 4 basic rules of successful slow carb dieting:
1) Avoid “white” carbs, including pasta, rice, and bread.
2) Cook and prepare a few simple meals and eat these the majority of the time.
3) Don’t drink your calories (that is, choose water over almost everything else).
4) Give yourself a break one day a week. Enjoy a few treats one on a Saturday to benefit you mentally (yay, a treat!) and physically (increased carbs helps replenish your muscles), or as Tim Ferriss fans jokingly call it, “Faturday.”

Stick to these rules the majority of the time, and within a couple of weeks you’ll be amazed at how amazing you look and feel.

So, What Does What A Slow Carb Diet Look Like?

People often think that when they cut out processed foods, their diet will look boring. In reality, your choices on a slow carb diet are nearly endless, super nutritious, and really delicious!
Keeping in mind that you should stick to simple, you can choose from a variety of foods to make up your weekly slow carb menu, including:

    • Proteins: eggs, fish, chicken, turkey, and beef
    • Fats: coconut, olive oil, avocados, and nuts (avoid too many, as they do contain a lot of carbs)
    • “Slow” carbs: green peppers, asparagus, broccoli, spinach, brussel sprouts, onions, strawberries, blueberries

Want to dine like an A-list slow carb dieter? Be sure to prep your meals ahead of time. Preparing meals ahead always gives you a good slow-carb option even in situations (e.g., late night at work or during travel) when your choices may otherwise be less than ideal.

Have any fave slow carb meals of your own? Give us the details in the comments below.




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Sara M

Author Sara M

Sara M. is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and freelance writer living and working near Boston, MA. As a former CrossFit gym owner and current fitness lover, Sara has a lot of personal and professional experience inside and outside the gym. She loves to write about various topics related to health, wellness, nutrition, human behavior, and self-mastery.

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