What I learned from my Slow Carb Challenge

Late September, my bootcamp trainer mentioned we would be doing a 30 Day Challenge at the gym in October. The nutrition component was the most important and it would be centered around Slow Carbs.

I had NO idea what that meant (other than giving up a lot of good stuff) but after consuming way more sugar than I needed to over the summer, I decided I was going to go for it. Plus, let’s be honest, as I quickly approach 40, my metabolism isn’t what it used to be.

So I jumped all in.

What’s Slow Carb?
The gist of the slow carb diet

There are only a few rules to a slow carb diet, but they are BIG ones.

  • 25-30g of protein at breakfast
  • No white foods (sugar, breads, flour ….even things that can be white…so no brown rice, pasta etc)
  • No fruit
  • No dairy (although you can have a teeny bit of cream in your coffee and cottage cheese)
  • Lots of meat, veggies and beans
  • One cheat day a week

See that last one? The cheat day is key. You get one day a week to eat whatever you want. It’s supposed to trick your metabolism or something and allow for you not to fixate on what you can’t have.

I’ve never done the Whole 30. I’ve never really felt like I had food sensitivities. But I do eat way too much sugar and I carry extra weight in my abdomen. I figured I’d give this a go to see if I could tell or feel a difference. I weighed myself and took measurements just to see where we landed at the end of the month.

(Note, if you have more than 10 lbs to lose, you’ll likely see significant weight loss on this diet. When you have less to lose, you may not notice as much.)

Week 1:

– Getting started really wasn’t that bad, but by the end of the week, I could barely choke down my eggs. Eggs for breakfast EVERY. SINGLE. DAY is tough. I had to get creative and mix up both fried and scrambled. I threw in some garlic and spinach and it was SOO much better.

– I was going to bed hungry, which meant I wasn’t eating enough food during the day. My trainer’s answer? More beans. So I started eating refried beans with onion and cilantro whenever I was super hungry.

No weight lost.

Week 2:

– I tried to pay extra attention to my water intake this week, because I am terrible at it. I started drinking chamomile tea at night, just to get some extra in and to ensure I wasn’t snacking before bed.

– We went to the NC State Fair on cheat day and that was the best Egg and Cheese biscuit ever!

– Chili (any type) is your friend. Bonus: it makes a lot so you can eat off it for days.

1 lb down

Week 3:

– I’ll admit that I was getting a bit tired of it at this point. I did have oatmeal two days for breakfast, but made sure to have a protein shake a few hours later to get in more protein.

– I made the mistake of getting some nuts for a snack. SO EASY TO OVEREAT!

2 lbs down.

Week 4:

I crashed and burned.

Saturday the 21st was my cheat day. But Sunday we were invited to dinner at a friend’s so I had some carbs. Monday was my anniversary, so I allowed myself gluten-free bread with our celebration lunch and had apples on my pork at dinner. But because I’d been eating a little bit of white carbs and sugar the last few days, it made it way easier on Tuesday to just jump off the ship completely. I had cereal, bread AND Halloween candy.

Then I just never got back on. I ended up with some sort of virus and when I’m sick, I just want to eat ALL. THE. CARBS.

BUT…all was not lost. I did lose 3 lbs, so that’s something. And I now know for CERTAIN that the sugar and carbs I eat contribute to my  belly weight.

What I learned:

  • I don’t drink enough water.
  • I CAN moderate my sugar intake. Cutting back isn’t hard if you allow youself a day or two to splurge.
  • If you start moderating your intake, you will notice you don’t want as much of it when you can eat it.
  • I did not have a migraine around my cycle this month. I don’t know if it was a fluke, but I’m willing to try this again to see if eliminating most carbs and sugars affects my hormones and headaches.
  • Eating a protein-heavy breakfast makes a huge difference in my energy for the day.

While I won’t be eating Slow Carb long-term, I like knowing that I have this little trick in my back pocket.
I WILL be eating more beans and veggies moving foward and on days I know I may be eating out, I will focus on having a protein-heavy breakfast.

If you’re trying to lose weight, this is definitely worth trying for a month to see how it affects you. Obviously, everyone’s body is different, but it’s a healthy way to lose weight and you still get to have the things you love (just once a week instead of every day). If you google Slow Carb Diet and the 4 Hour Body, you’ll find a plethora of information on how to do this diet successfully.

Would you give it a go?



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  1. says

    I would, but I don’t think the cheat day would work for me if I was trying hard core. I’m going Whole30 this month and hoping that after that I can get back to choosing better foods for myself. It’s a rough go once you’re off of it, but worth it when you get back to it.

    Hope you’re feeling better! (Also, whatcha doin’ in the midlife group? I feel like you’re a wee one. ;) !!)

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