A great question on slow carb – diet or balanced eating plan?
I got a great question today, and having written the answer, with my brain still ticking, I thought ‘that deserves a post’. So here it is.
@Komosky - i see a lot of these deserts are ‘slow carb’ it’s not really a diet but a more balanced way of eating eh? almost every diet tries to eliminate carbs completely, whats ur thought?
My thoughts (edited since original reply):
Good observation. The Four Hour Body slow carb regime is really a sustainable alternative to regular western diets, I think. I have really been trying to avoid the term ‘diet’ for that exact reason, I prefer ‘regime’.
I think all low and slow carb diets are aimed at inducing ketosis, so rather than burning glucose, you burn fat as your main energy source. Perfectly acceptable alternative that a lot of previous generations were doing, and seems to keep people’s obesity in better moderation.
I think the primary reason most diets have success, whether its slow carb, south beach, weight watchers, etc is because it turns people who eat unconsciously into people who eat with thought to their food and the effect it has on them. Tim cites an example of a guy who did nothing but track his weight loss and achieved his goal. I think this is a classic example.
So, to break down any diet, you could say it has 2 components for the diet ‘user’:
1/ conscious awareness of food (and exercise)
2/ the fine details – like food type, lifestyle, style (restricting intake/exercising/timing/supplements/cost/convenience etc).
All diets or regimes have number 1 covered. You are thinking about it, and you didn’t used to. Check.
So, the question becomes simply, is component #2 sustainable? If yes, then it’s a potential for a new regime that will be ongoing (your ‘balanced eating plan’). If no, then it is purely a ‘diet’ – a short-lived change that most likely has a goal target and once met, the user will go away from the diet plan.
Slow carb is a winner because it passes the #2 test. It’s not impractical, doesn’t have bad side effects and therefore it ticks both 1 and 2. A lot of others couldn’t be sustainable, so they fail sustainability testing in component #2, and are just ‘diets’. One could argue that due to the ‘cheat day’ mentality, slow carb is still a diet. But it’s easy to see how a very slight modification, once desired fat loss/weight is achieved could make it an ongoing lifestyle. Basically you could do a ‘cheat item’ each day, and forgo the cheat day after a while I think – but only when you are ‘maintaining’ ie not looking for a change in your body, and simply living normally.
I’m really interested to know what other readers think about the 4 Hour Body slow carb meals? Is it a ‘diet’, or is it a ‘lifestyle change’ to a balanced way of eating? Leave a comment below, or click here to tweet me.
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