You are what you eat.
So, it should no surprise that if you don’t eat very healthy that you won’t feel great.
It’s normal to feel sluggish, tired, and experience difficulty focusing when you eat a poor diet.
As a matter of fact, the average American doesn’t get adequate amounts of fruits, veggies, or healthy fats in their diet.
Let me ask you this…
When’s the last time you had chips, candy, soda, or fast food?
Do you have it on a regular basis?
I can tell you first-hand that having a clean diet gives you mental clarity, laser-sharp focus, and more energy than an entire Olympic athlete team combined!
Okay, maybe not that much, but you get the point.
That’s why legendary entrepreneur Tim Ferris has written two amazing books called The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Four Chef.
Both of these books teach entrepreneurs and everyday people how to live a healthier life through diet and exercise.
But Tim has mentioned one diet specifically that has caught peoples attention called the slow-carb diet.
It’s essentially a low carb diet with a twist.
Follow along as I dive into this diet and how you can use it yourself to become healthier and more energetic.
The 4-Hour Body diet
There are a few core principles that if followed will help you lose weight, become healthier, and have more energy.
This is what Tim Ferris recommends in his slow-carb diet…
No white carbohydrates
Carbohydrates come in two forms: simple and complex.
Simply put(no pun intended), simple carbs and easily and quickly digested by the body.
This results in both a spike in insulin and blood sugar.
On the flip side, complex carbs take longer for the body to digest and don’t have these side effects.
Furthermore, they will give you long-lasting energy to make you feel like a tiger.
Here’s a great infographic that sums up the difference between these two carbs.
But what are white carbohydrates specifically? They include:
Instead, you need to be eating complex carbohydrates which brings me to my next point.
Eat complex carbohydrates
Complex carbs will give you long-lasting energy throughout the day to get more work done.
You will avoid experiencing a crash or feelings of irritation that is common from starches and simple carbs.
Complex carbs include foods like:
- Brown rice: While white rice is a simple carb and should be avoided on this diet, brown rice has much more nutrients, antioxidants, and health benefits. You can mix up rice with beans, veggies, or serve it as a side dish.
- Vegetables: Veggies like broccoli, carrots, and brussel sprouts are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and high quality carbohydrates. Try snacking on them throughout the day or adding them to meals. You could have chicken with brown rice and broccoli for a well-rounded meal that aligns with the slow-carb diet.
- Fruit: While the next point I’m going to touch is to avoid fruit, I believe that if your goal is general health then it’s okay to eat them. Apples, bananas, pineapple, and other fruits are great for getting in more vitamins, minerals, and carbs.
Don’t eat fruit… wait, what?
I’ll be honest. I was a bit taken back when I saw that Tim recommends that you don’t fruit while the on slow-carb diet but it actually makes sense.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you want to minimize the number of carbs you consume because the body uses that as energy instead of fat.
Having less carbs within your body forces it to use fat cells and other resources.
As a matter of fact, keeping your carbs very low eventually places your body in a state of ketosis. This is where the body uses fat and ketones as the main energy source instead of carbs.
Achieving a state of ketosis or keeping carbs low in general helps you achieve a leaner physique, burn fat, and has mountains of other health benefits.
Eat the same few healthy meals consistently
I’m a bit of a health freak. I exercise seven days per week and have a strict diet I follow.
I completely agree with Tim Ferris that you should eat the same meals every day.
It makes eating healthy routine and predictable.
You know exactly what and how much food you are consuming every day.
This makes grocery shopping simpler and you can still have fun by experimenting with different seasoning.
I’ve been eating the same daily diet for years consisting of:
- One to two salads per day
- A serving of oatmeal
- Fruits, veggies, and nuts as snacks
- Plenty of water
- A cup of green tea
- Supplements like a multivitamin, fish oil, and probiotic
- A ginger and turmeric shot
This diet I’ve had has remained relatively unchanged for years. Why? Simply because it’s simple, affordable, tasty, and extremely healthy 🙂
I’ll change up things like the exact snacks, seasonings, and types of protein I buy to keep things interesting, for example.
However, once you find a diet that gets all of these checkmarks, you can stick to it for a long time.
Get in more lean protein
Protein is the building block of the body. Everything from organs to muscle and skin tissue is built through protein sources.
If you want healthier skin, hair, and wish to lose weight, it’s crucial to consume more lean protein.
Protein which is lean means that it has less fat on it which includes chicken, yogurt, beans, and peanut butter.
Here are some of the benefits you’ll experience when you eat lean beef among other protein sources.
Eat your veggies like your mom told you
Maybe you didn’t listen to your mom growing up about eating your veggies, but at least listen to Tim!
Vegetables are one of the best sources of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals on the planet.
Sure, they might not be the tastiest thing, but let me tell you something.
The feeling you get after eating healthy food is where the magic happens.
When I’m eating vegetables and similar food, I remind myself how much my body is going to benefit from them and it instantly makes me super excited.
If you want to make veggies taste better so you eat the more often, seasoning is the way to go.
Try making a stirfry of vegetables, chicken, and a sauce of your choice.
Similarly, you could try a dish like curry chicken and vegetables with a side of rice.
Limit calories from drinks
Tim Ferris recommends that if you’re following the slow-carb diet that you limit how many calories you consume through drinks.
He mentions not to drink fruit juice, soda, and limit alcohol as much as possible, too.
Alcohol, as fun as it can be, decreases testosterone, increases estrogen, and slows protein synthesis.
Anyone trying to lose weight, gain muscle, and healthier definitely needs to reduce alcohol to a single drink per day or less.
Try drinking more water and add cucumber or lemon to make it taste better.
Go easy on milk, cream, or sugar since it will go against this diet, however.
Enjoy a “metabolic spike” day
Some call it a cheat day, but Tim Ferris calls it the metabolic spike day in which you eat everything and anything.
This is a very common practice in that’s also known as carb loading where you give your body a day to have a lot of carbohydrates to make up for the prior week where they are minimized.
While it depends on your goals and individual situation, I’d suggest that you eat a ton of food but still keep it relatively clean.
I’ve always believed in the 80/20 rule and it applies to diets greatly.
What I mean by this is that if you are truly eating healthy 80% of the time, it’s okay to have some snacks and junk food on rare occasion.
Moderation is key.
Final thoughts on the Tim Ferris slow-carb diet
Diet plays a massive role in how we feel and operate every day.
If you eat like crap, don’t expect to look or feel otherwise.
That’s why Tim Ferris’ diet is amazing for any entrepreneur or individual wishing to lose weight, have more energy, and live a healthier life.
If those are benefits you’d like to reap, apply these main takeaways:
Featured image credit: Brian Solis