Friday, March 25, 2011

Moving From The Slow-Carb To A Low-Carb Diet


Over a month ago, I found that reducing the amount of carbohydrates from my diet resulted in weight loss. This revelation came after months of testing the slow-carb diet, as outlined in the 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss.

Under the slow-carb diet, I ate lean proteins, legumes, and vegetables four times per day. At night, I consumed two glasses of red wine. On Saturday, I cheated and ate whatever I wanted.

"How did I do?" you ask. Well, the diet produced positive results, although I never lost the 20 pounds Tim claimed I would lose. In fact, even after 60 days on the diet, my weight only fluctuated between 7 and 10 pounds.

On the bright side, I consistently lost inches around my waist, hips, and chest. For that, I am pleased. However, I'm interested in making some considerable changes. For me, that came with limited amounts of carbs.

Meals
For the simplicity of communicating my strategy, I've looked to the Atkins diet for guidance. Essentially, I'm eating proteins, fats, and vegetables. Below is an example of my normal day.

Meat
  • Chicken breast: I eat this at least once per day. 
  • Eggs: For breakfast, I scramble 6 whole eggs.
  • Ground Beef: When I eat ground beef, I cook 80/20.
  • Steak: I love a good steak. During the course of a week, I probably eat one or two ribeyes off the grill.
  • Fish: I really enjoy a fat salmon. If I can afford it, I need to do salmon more often.    
Vegetables
  • Broccoli: I'm eating a lot of fresh broccoli.
  • Cauliflower: When I'm not eating broccoli, I'm eating fresh cauliflower. 
Note: I am not cooking my vegetables this week. Where I have control over the way vegetables are prepared, I choose raw over microwaved. I like fresh broccoli best.

Dairy
  • Cheese: One of the biggest differences is the addition of cheese. I eat cheese with my scrambled eggs and I love it.
Beverages
  • Water: This week, I didn't do a very good job drinking a gallon per day. I probably ended up drinking about 1/2 to 3/4 gallons.
  • Red wine: I'm drinking around 2 glasses per day.
  • Coffee: I'm drinking about one mug per day.   
Supplements
  • Multi-vitamins: I have a bottle of one-a-days, which I haven't been very good about taking.
  • Fish Oil: The bottle recommends three pills per day, with meals. I probably only take about one, if I remember.
    Physical Activities
    Thanks to my job, I walk across campus for a total of 30 minutes per day.

    Statistics
    I am very pleased with the progress that I've been making these past few weeks. I have continued to lose inches around my waist, hips, stomach, and chest. Additionally, I finally broke the 250 lbs barrier. 

    Below is the complete report for my measurements. In the parentheses, I am reporting changes, followed by the total loss since I started (this week | total).

    • Weight: 249 lbs (-4 lbs | - 11 lbs)
    • Height: 6' 2"
    • Age: 36 
    • Body Fat: 15.7% (2% | -11.8% )
    • Chest: 42.75" (2.25" | -3.25")
    • Waist: 41.25" (-1.0" | -2.0")
    • Arms: 17.0" (-25" | -0.25")
    • Shoulders: 51.75" (-1" | -1.50")
    • Forearms: 14" (-0" | -0")
    • Neck: 16" (-0" | -0")
    • Hips: 44.25" (-0.75" | -2.00")
    • Thighs: 26" (-0" | -0")
    • Calves: 18" (-0" | -0")
    • Stomach: 43.25" (-0.75" | -1.75")
    Observations
    Since I moved to a low-carb diet, which is under 20 grams per day, I find the weight and inches are falling off more rapidly than when I was doing a slow-carb diet. I enjoy eating steaks, cheese, whole eggs, and chicken. While there are moments where I grow tired of meat, it never lasts long.

    Tip: Eat your veggies (fiber) and drink plenty of water. The first week on the diet, I was on the verge of constipation. Thankfully, I upped both and things have been fine ever since.

    Final Thoughts
    This week, I've done a good job staying away from carbs. Moving forward, I need to focus on cooking enough chicken the night before so I have something for lunch. Also, it is important that I drink as close to a gallon of water a day as possible.

    Feedback
    In the comment section below, I would love to hear your story. How are things going with you? Any questions? Observations? Tips?

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    Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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