So here it is, 30 days since I started my experiment with Tim Ferriss‘ Slow Carb diet and PAGG stack and it is time for the results.
As promised I am going to post before and after pics and full stats for the 30 days later in this post.
To recap the aim of this experiment, based on the claims in the book, was 20lb of weight loss in 30 days. Well I did not hit this target but I did manage 14lbs – a full Stone in weight loss – and I could not be happier with that as a result. I will go in to more detail later about why I think I may have missed the target.
Briefly the slow carb diet suggests:
- Avoid all dairy products (Cottage cheese is OK)
- Avoid white carbs – no bread, potatoes, rice, cereals, pasta etc (Except within 30 mins of a resistance training workout)
- Eat the same few meals over and over again – recommended foods include eggs, chicken, beef, fish all beans and legumes and mixed vegetables
- Don’t drink calories – no booze, except up to 2 glasses of red wine per night (Result)
- Don’t eat fruit – fructose sugars make you fat
- I love this one – take one day off a week!! And on that day go wild and eat whatever you want. EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT FOR 24 HOURS the thinking behind this is that “…Paradoxically, dramatically spiking caloric intake in this way once per week increases fat loss by ensuring that your metabolic rate (thyroid function, etc.) doesn’t downregulate from extended caloric restriction.” Awesome and it really does seem to work.
Protein intake is a big factor in the success of this diet and lots of it, 30 grams per meal so lots of egg white omelette. Breakfast for me daily has been a protein shake supplemented with egg whites.
The book advocates regular weighing, measuring and recording weight, body fat etc. on a weekly basis and taking before and after photos. So like all good geeks I made a spreadsheet to record all my data. There are a couple of rounding issues that I haven’t sorted yet but if anyone sees any glaringly obvious errors or can suggest a better method for recording this stuff then please let me know.
NOTE: Proper waist measurement is NOT your trouser size (I can get in to a 34!) it is measured around the belly button.
The photos, good bad and ugly!
I promised you some before and after shots and here they are, there’s some motivation right there in the before pics!
So why did I not hit the magic 20lb target? I am absolutely satisfied that this diet works and works really well, the claims in the book are bound to be based on best case scenarios and ultimately we are all different and two individuals following the same plan to the letter are bound to have differing results.
Additionally Ferriss uses the phrase “the devil is in the detail…” as a subject title in a section of the book relating to the effects of cold temperatures on body fat loss. There is a lot of ‘detail’ to take in and one of the things he cautions is the need, initially at least, to follow the plan to the letter. On reflection there are probably a number of areas where I have deviated slightly from the plan.
I thought I had pretty much cut sugar out but I am addicted to Trebor extra strong mints. Sugar provokes increased insulin release, which is bad and they are 165 kcal per pack with 40g of carbs. It has to stop! I am not consistently using exercises on cheat days as prescribed and I’m not sure I am drinking enough water all the time. The book recommends 4 meals per day but I am currently only managing 3 and apart from breakfast I am not sure every meal is delivering 30 grams of protein.
Although weight loss is not my primary concern I do want to lose at least another stone, I definitely want my body fat the right side of 20% and a couple more inches off the waist would be nice. Posting these pictures on the internet for all to see is a pretty painful experience for me but the hope is that it serves as continued motivation to push on with a far healthier diet and keep losing fat in to the bargain. Who knows there may even be a 6 pack lurking in there somewhere.
In conclusion I am really happy with progress so far, in the book Tim Ferriss suggests it can take between 4 and 6 weeks for the most dramatic results to occur and there is definitely some tweaking to be done with what I am eating. I will continue with the diet although I no longer see this as ‘being on a diet‘, it has become ‘my normal diet’ and I have found it surprisingly easy to incorporate in to my life. The results I think speak for themselves.
I will continue to post weekly updates here but I may focus on playing around with and modifying the ‘Geek to Freak‘ section of the book to suit my needs and blog about it, but more to come about that later.