Archive for July 2nd, 2012
According to a Princeton National Health and Wellness Survey, 37 percent of U.S. adults reported insomnia or sleep difficulties in the past twelve months. Between 40 percent and 60 percent of people over the age of 60 suffer from insomnia. Two million children suffer from sleep disorders. More than ten million people in America use sleep aid medication to deal with their insomnia. Fifty-five percent of all adults report having problems with insomnia in their lifetime. More than 70 million Americans suffer from various sleeping disorders and 60 percent of those 70 million report severe sleeping disorders.
What’s going on here?
For the most part what is going on is a simple, straightforward thing. Our brain is racing to deal with life, brooding about today, troubled about yesterday, worried about tomorrow, and it is still racing when we try to go to sleep. Our brain has a job to do, to protect us and to serve us, and it will continue to do that job irrespective of our wish to sleep. Our ability to think, the quality that distinguishes us from other creatures, may have been designed by nature to protect us and to serve us but, as one of nature’s many unintended consequences, our ability to think also imperils us.
While on book deadline (right now, for instance), I suffer dramatic ups and downs. In my darkest hours, I re-read reader success stories that have been sent to me. It makes the entire rollercoaster worth it.
This post will detail how readers have lost well over 100 pounds on The Slow-Carb Diet®. It was sparked by an email I received a few weeks ago:
“I just wanted to sincerely thank Tim for taking the time to research and write The 4-Hour Body. My mom, in her late 60′s, lost 45 lbs and got off her high blood pressure meds that she had been on for 20+ years. She did all this in about 3 months. This means that I get to have her around for a long time.”
Anyone can lose hope, and many people do when trying to lose weight. The Slow-Carb Diet (SCD) works almost beyond belief, and it affects much more than appearance. The basic rules are simple:
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.
Comprehensive step-by-step details, including Q&As and troubleshooting, can be found in The 4-Hour Body, but the above outline is often enough to lose 20 pounds in a month, drop two clothing sizes, or more.
The SCD works for both women and men. Maria Rider (pictured below) is over 40 years of age and a mother. As she put it to me, she’d always been “the heavy mom.” Now she’s seen differently: “I haven’t seen this weight since my college years! I just wish you’d written the book 20 years ago!”
Last we spoke, she had dropped from 247 pounds to 122 pounds, for a loss thus far of 125 pounds. Her husband has also lost 56 pounds.
The SCD is also effective for going from “normal” to very, very fit, as MP shows:
The same exact rules apply. No differences whatsoever.
Next, we’ll meet Ricardo A…. in depth. Ricardo first reached out to me via email. It began with:
I cannot put into words the great gift you have given me. “[The Slow-Carb Diet is]…intended to be effective, not fun.” As soon as I read those words, I knew I had to give the slow carb diet a try. 210 days later, I haven’t looked back. The change has been incredible. Not just my weight, but my outlook on life. I have followed your instructions to the letter…”
Below, in Ricardo’s own words, is what happens when you follow SCD to the letter.
People always ask me what moment led me to lose over 150 pounds in 9 months on the Slow Carb Diet (SCD).
I crack a smile when I get asked. Unlike some, who can pinpoint one moment in time which defined the start of their journey, I have three “moments” that immediately come to mind.
The first was months before I started the SCD in August of 2011. It was when I realized that overweight people on TV, told they would die because of their weight, weighed less than I did.
The second moment was the day I got my gym membership card. Instead of it prominently featuring my face, my whole midsection was featured, slumping over the chair.
The third moment, which happened just days before I began the SCD, was when a good friend told me that in order to effectuate positive change in your life, you need strength and guidance. You can acquire strength with discipline and will power, but guidance, well, that’s where Tim comes in.
I recall reading headlines in August that Amazon had just signed its first author for a new publishing arm. Not knowing who Tim Ferriss was, I did some research and found a Gizmodo article. I was at the grocery store that day with my shopping list and began the SCD the very next morning. During my first few days, I was pleasantly surprised to find content and support readily available online, and how much personal feedback Tim would give via his blog. He not only provided you with a plan, but was right there with you when you had any doubts. Tim provided that little push that got me going.
How far I went then was entirely up to me.
“It’s a lifestyle, not a diet.”
This is the best answer I can conjure when asked about my success on the SCD. I truly took Tim’s mantra of keeping it simple to heart. Being able to plan all of my meals ahead of time removes not only stress, but also the guilt associated with eating unhealthy foods. My previous “meal plan” consisted of eating junk food three times a day and constant snacking. Not a day would go by without having dessert, consisting of either a pint of rich ice cream or bag of cookies. Looking back, I can easy understand how I got to 410 pounds.
I have been overweight my entire life.
Whenever I managed to lose weight, I’d gain it all back. I had been open to the idea of dieting for some time but found diets too hard to follow. I would start one, and as soon as I cheated or ate incompliant foods, I would give up. This is why I knew the SCD was something I had to try. How could I pass up losing weight while not only being allowed to “cheat”, but being required to do so for an entire day out of the week?
Months after starting the SCD, I ran into an article in the UK’s Daily Mail explaining the science behind postponing eating, which further reinforced the science behind cheat day on the SCD. This, coupled with the outstanding community aspect (via blogs and personal websites), has led to my success and high compliancy rate (over 90% complaint in the past 9 months). I don’t snack, and I only drink unsweetened iced tea and black coffee. I also drink at least a gallon of water a day.
MEAL PLAN ON THE SCD — WHAT HAS WORKED FOR ME
I eat three meals a day.
– Breakfast, which I have no later than an hour after waking up.
– Lunch, which comes at least 4 hours after breakfast.
– Dinner, which is anywhere from 6-8 hours after lunch.
A typical day would look like this:
Breakfast: 8 ounces of egg whites and one whole jumbo organic egg; black beans (canned and unsalted); and steamed cauliflower.
Lunch: ½ pound of vegetarian fed tri-tip steak from trader joes; black beans (canned and unsalted); and steamed cauliflower.
Dinner: frozen chicken thighs (cooked on boiling water until thawed then fried with olive oil); black beans (canned and unsalted); and steamed cauliflower.
When I don’t have time to cook at home, I either get a chicken bowl from Chipotle (no dairy or corn) or order a carne asada (grilled steak) plate at my local burrito shop, which consists of steak, pinto beans, and a salad (no cheese).
Keeping your meals simple makes failure less likely.
Based on my experience on the SCD, the only advice I can give you is to stick with it. Your time is now. Don’t make a big fuss about it, and don’t tell it to the mountain. Keep it on the down-low for the first few weeks. This is a personal journey, and success will entirely depend on you. Tim has given you all the tools; now it’s up to you to put them to work. Keep it simple, and if you have to ask, don’t eat it. Save it for your cheat day.
I started the SCD on a Wednesday and did not have my first cheat day until the second Saturday. I invite you to take the “Wednesday Challenge” and do the same. This will give you a head start and allow you to build up will-power.
I still carry the gym membership photo in my wallet every day.
It’s constant motivation to keep at it… to continue on this wonderful, albeit challenging, journey.
I did my part, building the strength through discipline and will power to succeed on the SCD. But without Tim’s guidance, I would not be here telling you my story. Seek strength. Seek guidance.
My name is Ricardo, I am 31-years old, and I’ve lost more than 150 pounds on the SCD. Thank you, Tim.
Afterword from Tim
First of all, thank you, Ricardo. Sincere thanks to all of you who read what I write.
And congratulations to all who’ve made it happen!
Armed with a basic overview of the SCD and a supportive online community (like 4HBTalk), Ricardo lost 150 pounds. Similarly, the others above took a basic plan and put it into practice.
Now, I ask a small favor:
1. If you’re trying to lose fat, commit to testing The Slow-Carb Diet for two weeks starting this Wednesday. Read the above, perhaps considerThe 4-Hour Body, and just get started. Put it on the calendar and make it happen.
2. If you’ve lost weight on The Slow-Carb Diet, please fill out the below! It’ll take 10 seconds and help me gather valuable data. Thank you in advance:
(Not showing? Here’s the link.)
3. Last, if you know someone who needs (or wants) to lose weight, please tell them about Slow-Carb somehow.
I don’t care at all if they buy the book or not. The Gizmodo article and other blog links can do a great job. I’ve seen the tremendous difference it can make in the lives of entire families, not just individuals. Whether it’s life-or-death or just looking better in jeans, if you know someone who can benefit, please pass it on.
Thank you for reading, everyone, and have a wonderful week.
If you have any Slow-Carb stories (or before-and-after pics), I’d absolutely love to see them in the comments! They would truly make my summer, which is going to be a tough one…
- How to Lose 100 Pounds on The Slow-Carb Diet – Real Pics and Stories (fourhourworkweek.com)
- It doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing (babiesandbriefcases.com)
- The plan that started it all for me: The Slow Carb Diet. (chip-hanna.com)
- Meals that have low calories and carbohydrates (nhoxnho.typepad.com)
- Meals that have low calories and carbohydrates (foodlowcarb.wordpress.com)