Diet #2: The Slow Carb Diet

The second diet of my easily-distracted dieting project is The Slow Carb Diet. This diet was invented by Tim Ferriss, of “The four hour work week” fame. In a blatant attempt to cash in on his success as a lifestyle writer, he followed up “The four hour work week” with a book called “The four hour body” (called 4HB for short, or for long “The four hour body – an uncommon guide to rapid fat loss, incredible sex and becoming superhuman“). For some reason the sex bit seems to be something people fixate on[1].


The Slow Carb Diet is one aspect of the 4 hour body, which is more of a “philosophy” of self-improvement. Ferriss spoke with experts in diet, nutrition and fitness. He also spoke with bodybuilders, steroid users, crash dieters… and came up with a food, supplement and exercise plan for rapid fat loss. Also muscle gain. And some stuff about sex, but I’ll leave that bit till later.

It’s one of those diets that’s very popular on the internet, so I thought, being a nerd, I’d give it a go. In a nutshell, the diet says…

  • No carbs or dairy (usually expressed as “no food which is white or that can be white”, so no rice, pasta, etc.)
  • No fruit
  • Don’t drink calories
  • Have one day off a week where you can eat what you want
  • Start your day with 30g of protein (preferably soon after you wake)
  • Eat the same meals again and again

I decided to ignore the last one straight off the bat. I like choosing new meals and trying new food. That’s one of the reasons I’m doing a different diet every four weeks.

I also decided to extend the food list – according to the book, meat substitutes and tofu are out, but all kinds of lean meat are in. Now I reckon tofu and quorn pieces are pretty much exactly as nutritious as some lean meat and probably better than others, so they’re in for me. I don’t mind eating meat occasionally but I’m not up for every meal.

My modified slow-carb list

Here’s my amended version of the list. Things in bold are effectively cheating according to the rules, but as far as I can tell should be OK. Some things are what Tim Ferriss calls “Domino Foods” – stuff like avocados and nuts – which are OK to have every now and then but don’t go mad and have them every day. These have an asterisk in the table below.

Proteins Veggies Beans and Legumes Nuts, seeds and oils
Lean meat,

Lean fish


Quorn pieces, quorn mince,  tofu

All green veggies. Other veggies that aren’t high in carbs

Medium carb stuff (carrots, for example) don’t have too often

Avocados* and Tomatoes

Lentils and all types of bean.


Good oils (coconut, macadamia, extra virgin olive oil)

Extra-virgin rapeseed oil

Nuts and seeds*

There is a recommendation that you eat something from each column every meal – with spices. This means a lot of lentils. I like lentils. This diet could be good.


[1]Maybe I’ll write a blog post about that bit later.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s