In the last post, I discussed insulin control.
Now it’s time for the general philosophy of these eating plans.
At root, all of these plans begin with:
“Humanity evolved over the course of roughly 100,000 years from our Neanderthal ancestors. Agriculture is a new invention from just the past 10,000 years. The human genome was not designed to cope with the huge amounts of sugar, detrimental amino acids and toxins inherent in most commercially produced crops (corn, wheat, potatoes, rice, beans, pasta). Instead, the basis of our diet should be based upon meats, vegetables, fats, and moderate amounts of fruit. This would be more in tune with our evolution derived adaptations.”
A heavy reduction in carbohydrates ->drop in blood sugar ->less insulin ->less fat storage -> weight loss
Now, the problem with this, is that we also need calories to fuel ourselves. Meats and vegetables have nowhere near the calorie density of grains and beans. When I hard swapped over, I effectively halved my calorie intake. I was slowly starving, which caused serious muscle loss as well as fat loss. It is not possible to eat enough broccoli, spinach and kale to replace a single potato.
A medium potato is roughly 160 calories, rice is 210 calories, pasta at 390….
a cup of spinach is 7. A serving of broccoli is 50.
Do the math. But if you have a budget…
A ribeye steak is 847 calories! But steak isn’t cheap.
Chicken is 300 calories for a cup, making it very economical, but you’re still eating a lot of it.
The slow carb diet takes this basic premise and adds back in some beans (lentils, black beans and pinto beans) to serve as a source of protein, dietary fiber and calories. I discovered this much later in my pursuit of health. Adding beans back into the equation, we get 41 calories… per tablespoon. Holy Moses!
They are also economical with regards to cost. Now, not just any beans. Lentils, black beans, kidney beans and chick peas pinto beans contain the least amount of sugar with a Glycemic Load under 10.
I found this approach to be a wonderful balance. My weight loss stopped.
At that point, I started eating and exercising for muscle gain. I was lifting heavy weights for single sets to failure and eating huge meals full of brown rice, pinto beans and meat.
After 3 months, I had put on 20 lbs of lean muscle. I had put on an additional 15lbs that wasn’t muscle. Sticking to the slow carb plan… the first 5 lbs came off in 2 weeks. Dropping the last 10 and getting to 12% bodyfat… that required a bit more work. I worked harder to shed that final 10 that I had worked to drop that first 20.
All of the easy weight gains were gone. Now I was going to have to work for it.
If I was going to do it all over again… Here is what I would do differently.
Follow the slow carb plan.
Rule #1: Avoid “white” starchy carbohydrates (or those that can be white). This means all bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and grains. If you have to ask, don’t eat it.
Rule #2: Eat the same few meals over and over again, especially for breakfast and lunch. You already do this; you’re just picking new default meals.
Rule #3: Don’t drink calories. Exception: 1-2 glasses of dry red wine per night is allowed.
Rule #4: Don’t eat fruit. (Fructose –> glycerol phosphate –> more bodyfat, more or less.) Avocado and tomatoes are excepted.
Rule #5: Take one day off per week and go nuts. I choose and recommend Saturday.
But… tweak as follows.
Rule #4: Fruit. If you’re going to eat it, have it in the evening. The body is much less sensitive to insulin spikes in the evening, thereby reducing the potential for fat storage. I am currently experimenting with fibrous fruit (like apples) and cholesterol balancing. When I first went onto the Primal Blueprint.. my cholesterol dropped from 230 to 147. As I moved more and more fruit off the list… my cholesterol levels jumped back above 200 and up to 270. Fibrous fruits and onions have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol. Both of which, I had been imbibing in large amounts. I will update once I get my cholesterol retested.
Rule #5: Cheat day… no. Make it a cheat meal. For me, it’s generally Saturday dinner. If I know I have a big event coming up or a party… I will postpone til that time. I was never able to do a full cheat day. It always made me feel sick to my stomach. But a big, happy cheat meal… was something to be savored.
Next up.. exercising.