The Slow-Carb Diet was popularised in The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss, and first mentioned by him in a 2007 blog post titled "How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise". Ferriss claims to have lost about 25 lbs of fat in six weeks on the diet. The Slow-Carb Diet is based on eating foods with a low glycemic index. It can be summarized as the elimination of starches and anything sweet (including fruit and all artificial sweeteners) and a strong preference for lean protein, legumes and vegetables. The main foods are eggs, fish, grass-fed beef, lentils, beans, vegetables (like spinach, broccoli, cabbage, radish), mushrooms, fermented foods and drinks (natto, kimchi, sauerkraut), unsweetened tea or coffee and water. Calorie-dense nuts and legumes such as pecans, chickpeas, hummus, and peanuts are allowed under careful portion control. Plain coffee is allowed, but all milk products are to be avoided except cottage cheese.
These foods are consumed on the Slow-Carb Diet: eggs, meat (grass-fed beef, pork and poultry), turkey bacon, organic bacon, organic sausage, fish, seafood, beans (chickpeas in moderation), vegetables (except starches like potatoes, yams), oil (olive oil, macadamia nut oil, grapeseed oil preferred), ghee, cottage cheese, brown rice protein, hemp protein, pea protein, and unflavored whey protein isolate. Allowed condiments include hot sauce, mustard, salsa without sugar, spices & herbs, unsweetened cocoa, vanilla extract, and non-creamy non-sugar dressings. Ferriss notes that Mexican cuisine is the most compatible with eating out while on the diet, as long as rice is swapped out for vegetables.
These foods are not consumed on the Slow-Carb Diet: milk, cheese, refined soy products (Soy milk, tofu, tempeh, soy protein shake), fruit (except for sour fruits like lemons and limes, or savoury fruits such as olives,tomatoes and avacodos) potatoes (yams, yuca, any starchy vegetable), bread, rice, grains, oatmeal, quinoa, ketchup and all sauces and dressings with sugar, honey, corn syrup, maple syrup, fructose, deep-fried breaded food, corn, popcorn. No alcohol other than dry wine is allowed (Ferriss notes that he drinks a glass of red wine daily).
Ferriss has a weekly "cheat day" where he gorges on candy, breaded fried foods, sweet drinks, and all the other forbidden foods, so that the body does not go into starvation mode (as also recommended in the Body for Life diet). Although the weekly cheat day may cause a temporary weight gain due mainly to water weight, according to Ferriss it actually results in greater weight loss over time. The cheat day also has a psychological impact because the dieter knows that they must only abstain from comfort food for six days at a time rather than never consuming those foods at all while adhering to the Slow-Carb Diet.
The 4-Hour Body includes a variation of the slow-carb diet in a regime known as Occam's Protocol for those who wish to gain muscle mass and are training with weights 2-3 times per week. In Occam's Protocol, dairy is not only allowed but encouraged: a gallon of milk a day is recommended, either raw organic milk or other milk products, particularly yoghurt and kefir. Protein shakes are allowed; non-shake meals can include moderate quantities of whole grains such as brown rice and quinoa.
- USDA Nutrient Database: Cottage cheese
- "The Slow Carb Diet – My Mixed Review After 30 Days on the Diet". fitnessblackbook.com. MARCH 29, 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
- How to Lose 20 lbs of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise 2007/04/06
- Slow-carb foods allowed / not allowed Jan 18th 2011
- Ferriss, Tim. "4-Hour Body – The Slow-Carb Diet". gizmodo.com. Retrieved 2012-12-25.
- Ferriss, Tim (2012-07-12). "How to Lose 100 Pounds on The Slow-Carb Diet – Real Pics and Stories". fourhourworkweek.com/blog. Retrieved 2012-12-25.
- David Stuff, Wine Calorie Chart 04/05/2004 Accessed: December 2012
- The 4-Hour Body and Slow-Carb Diet iPhone and Android Apps for Rapid Fat Loss and Muscle Gain
- Low-carb diet burns the most calories in small study Nanci Hellmich, USA Today, 6/26/2012
- - slow carb diet adapted to danish standards - in danish (including approach to rye bread)