If you’re trying to lose weight and you’ve done your research, you’ve probably come across the Slow Carb Diet more than a few times. If you haven’t, well it’s not really that complicated.
Here’s a quick run-down:
- Stick to the approved foods 6 days a week: meat, vegetables, beans and no white foods like pasta, rice, bread. Also, no cheese and no sugar.
- Eat the same few meals over and over again. Tim Ferris says you probably do this already; you’re just picking new default meals. He’s largely right. I used to eat cai png with the same few dishes for lunch every day.
- Don’t drink calories. Stick to water, unsweetened coffee or tea. Limit yourself to 1 can of diet soda every day and 1-2 glasses of red wine before sleep is okay.
- Eat 30g of protein within 30 minutes of waking. This boosts success rate by 11%.
- Don’t eat fruit. Tomatoes and avocados are allowed in moderation. That’s it.
- Take one “cheat day” a week: Go crazy.
It’s a short list but you can see how restrictive it is. And in a food paradise like Singapore, a hawker centre can suddenly look like dry, barren land.
But it’s doable. I’ve been on the diet for 2 weeks now as of today and I’ve lost 3.1kg (6.8lbs) so I’m pretty stoked.
My first week, I religiously kept up my ‘eat 30g of protein within 30 minutes of waking’ thing but the next week, I decided to skip it and just have coffee. I found that I got hungry by 11am though but I stuck with it. Interestingly, I lost less weight the second week than I did the first week, so I think I’m getting back to eating breakfast again.
That said, my go-to breakfast is a Linguica sausage by Evergood and 3 scrambled eggs. The sausage has 15g of protein and each egg has about 6g so that’s well above 30g. The chorizo sausage of the same brand has 20g of protein and that’s good too. These cost about SG$10 for a pack of 4 sausages and you can find them in Cold Storage.
I look forward to lunch every day since I found Stuffd. They have outlets pretty much all over the island. Make sure you go for the Daily Bowl instead of the Burrito Bowl. The Daily Bowl lets you choose a lot more ingredients and it costs SG$7.50. I usually add guacamole as well for an extra dollar. Be sure to skip on the sauces except for the habanero sauce if you prefer it spicy. Skip everything that’s not Slow Carb friendly. My daily bowl consists of lettuce, onions, purple cabbage, cucumber, guacamole, beetroots, habanero sauce, chicken, black beans, sweet potato, lentils and broccoli. And it’s DELISH.
I admit I’m not very good with dinner. The first week, I roasted chicken and broccoli and I got bored with it pretty quick. Then I tried skipping it or having something light like an omelette when I’m really hungry. Sometimes I get a little fancy with it but I find it’s not worth the trouble afterwards.
I craved fast food the other day and got the Low Carb Thickburger at Carl’s Jr’s. You’ve gotta skip the cheese and the mayo though. But I didn’t enjoy the experience at all. Lettuce doesn’t have the same mouthfeel as a soft, crusty bun. But it’s ok. You can save burgers for your cheat day.
You’re allowed to go nuts on your cheat day so I did. I really missed sugar the first week so my first cheat day was filled with chocolate and ice cream. My second cheat day fell on the Lunar New Year weekend so my favourite places were closed. But I was missing rice so I politely asked my mother to make nasi lemak and prawn sambal and I completely devoured it.
The trick is to make a list of the foods you wanna cheat on your cheat day during the week and then go after them like a hound dog. That way, your cheat day has a purpose and you know when you’re on target to stuff yourself silly.
I’m going to make sure I don’t skip breakfast and get in an hour of gym in the morning before I head to the office from next week onwards.
The diet works coz 1) you’re cutting out sugar and 2) it’s calorie restrictive. You can’t go wrong with that. So if you’ve been on the fence about getting on the diet, do it. It’s largely psychological so you just have to find your groove. Skip lunches with your colleagues if you have to. Get up half an hour earlier to make and eat breakfast. Do what it takes!