What is Slow-Carb Diet

Slow-Carb Diet: What Is It? All the Information You Need to Know


Slow-carb diets are not exactly a new concept. Increasing your diet of protein and veggies while decreasing your carbohydrate intake has long been a well-known weight-loss strategy. Although low-carb diets are often successful in helping people lose weight, one of their main drawbacks is that they are overly restrictive.

The Slow-Carb Diet is yet another carbohydrate-restrictive strategy. Despite not being new, it has gained appeal once again. Here is an explanation of the diet’s components, possible benefits and drawbacks, and our judgment as a qualified dietitian about its viability.

What is exactly the Slow-Carb Diet?

In 2010, Timothy Ferriss, author of the book The 4-Hour Body, developed the Slow-Carb diet. Ferriss, who is not a physician, dietician, or another member of the medical community, asserts that the diet “hacks” the body and may cause quick weight reduction and fat removal.

The diet is generally divided into six days of eating just certain things, then one “cheat” day where you may eat and drink whatever you want. For the first six days, you have four meals each day made up of foods from the following five dietary groups: spices, vegetables, legumes, animal protein, and fats. You can consume as much food from the first three food categories as you wish, and just tiny portions from the other two.

The severe guidelines of the diet include staying away from white carbohydrates, which include processed goods like bread and pasta, all fruits (except avocado and tomato), dairy (although cottage cheese and whey protein powder are OK), and fried meals. During the six days of the diet, eating the same meals is suggested. Water, unsweetened black coffee and tea, up to 16 ounces of diet soda per day, and a couple of glasses of dry red wine each day are all permitted.

The timing for each meal should be as follows: breakfast should be eaten within an hour of getting up, and the other meals should be eaten roughly four hours apart. In addition to consuming at least 30 grams of protein at breakfast and 20 grams or more of protein at each of the other meals, adherents are advised to fill up on low-carb vegetables. Even on a cheat day, the target for breakfast protein is encouraged. The diet recommends supplements, although they are not required, to help with weight reduction.

Related: Reverse Dieting: What Is It? A Dietician Explicates

Benefits of Slow-Carb Diet

What benefits does the slow-carb diet offer?

There are some benefits to the slow-carb diet, such as its focus on vegetables, usage of pulses like beans and lentils as a source of plant protein, and liberal use of spices and herbs that are high in antioxidants.

Additionally, consuming fewer refined grains and added sugars is associated with a decreased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases.

Although weight loss may also be advantageous, that is only true if it is long-lasting (see more on that below). Establishing a routine of eating four times per day may also be beneficial since it can help put a stop to unpredictable eating habits like nibbling all day or waiting too long before eating and then overindulging.

What drawbacks does the slow-carb diet have?

You’ve probably heard about the drawbacks of the slow-carb diet before. The diet is excessively restrictive and excludes starchy vegetables like potatoes, apples, and whole grains that are high in nutrients and fiber.

You should include these health-promoting items in your regular diet so that you may lose weight at the same time. In actuality, several studies have demonstrated that whole grains and fruits both contribute to weight reduction rather than gain.

A full-on cheat day in a week might also be problematic because, instead of teaching you how to mix your absolute favorite foods into any balanced day, full-on cheat days can result in overindulgence that leaves you feeling bloated and sleepy for a few days. Additionally, it may support an unhealthy “on” vs “off” eating habit, which can be detrimental to mental health and interfere with a fulfilling social life.

The Slow-Carb Diet’s key finding

This already ten-year-old diet, in our opinion, is beginning to show its age due to its straightforward guidelines, emphasis on animal protein, exclusion of plant-based food categories, acceptance of diet Coke, and “cheat” days. With methods that do away with the “on/off” diet concept and concentrate on building lifetime behaviors, weight loss has changed and is now more inclusive of overall nutrition and food satisfaction. Obesity is a personal matter. Long-term success for you should be guided by your gut feeling, feel good on a physical, emotional, and social level, and develop into a healthy routine rather than being forced upon you.