Amazing Slow Carb Health Benefits

We all know that slow carb has a very clear benefit to anyone’s health: fat loss. But what other benefits are there to be gained, that might not be so obvious? Some recent experiences with our coaching clients in our 4HBC Couples Challenge has had us do a double-take as to just what is possible, and how complex the human body is.

There are plenty of examples of diseases that have an onset due to being overweight, and some examples where problems alleviate when weight is lost. It’s also true that those in the ‘at risk’ categories can reduce their risk by reducing their weight, or more specifically, their body fat.

Diabetes is one of those diseases that gets mentioned a lot with the term ‘overweight’ these days, and it’s one of the clearest links that medical science has established. Is it a coincidence that drug companies are marketing a lot of drugs and devices for diabetes and weight loss? Probably not. But that aside, it is a real problem for millions of people. Tim Ferris alludes to some studies done with more natural remedies for diabetes, which look at controlling blood sugar and insulin levels, and though I am far from being an expert on the matter, I know that for some people, these alternatives, like cinnamon, and ChromeMate are proving effective.

But that’s an example of more natural supplements doing it as well as artificial chemicals.

The health benefits that really amaze me are ones that come from food – ones that come simply because real food has nutrients beyond a calorie, or a gram of protein, or fat. Real food has millions of things that processed food doesn’t have, and we only know about some of them currently. What we definitely know is that the body prefers food in its more natural state, and that the further away from natural it gets, the less benefits it gives us. That shouldn’t shock anybody, but with today’s media culture, unfortunately that is news to a lot of people, so don’t feel bad if this is something you haven’t heard before.

Our first example: Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia, for those who aren’t familiar with it (and count yourself lucky), is a debilitating condition that leaves the sufferer with a painful catch 22: moving around a lot tends to bring a lot of pain in muscles and joints. But not moving around of course, like everybody else, leads to stiffness, and you guessed it, pain in the muscles and joints.

Fibromyalgia affects a wide range of people, and its symptoms can be very difficult to treat effectively, with many people going on for years with an adequate means of coping with it. This leads to changes in lifestyle and can have other flow-on, negative health effects like weight gain, amongst others.

There is little agreement on exactly the best ‘cure’ or ‘treatment’ for fibromyalgia, and of course there are drug companies who are working hard on tablets to help people with this condition.

Let me make a suggestion before you pop a tablet: one of our coaching clients, who has suffered with daily pain for years from fibromyalgia, has experienced an almost complete absence of pain, just a few weeks after switching her meals to slow carb. This even stunned me, however she has nothing to gain by making this up, and it came out of a barely related question (“Has anything surprised you with slow carb?”).

For anybody who deals with Fibromyalgia, I would suggest that it’s well worth considering this shift. The kicker? Her doctor was actually not even surprised, explaining that he sees fibromyalgia as an inflammatory response in the body, and that a diet with high carbohydrates and sugar (which simple carbs like bread turn into) promotes more inflammation in the body. Literally, our coaching client ate herself to less inflammation and less pain.

Watch Heather and Steve’s 4HB Video where Heather discusses her Fibromyalgia and slow carb.

Case number 2: Plantar Fasciitis

Here’s an insidious ailment that anyone who carries this problem will tell you is incredibly debilitating, and frustrating at the same time. This happens to a great range of people, and is characterized by sharp pain in the base of the foot. It can happen to athletes, and it can happen to mums. It seems to be linked to ‘overuse’, but who’s to say exactly what that is for any given person.

Once you have it, there are a few options, all of which tend of have less than great success rates, and which may involve costly repeat treatments.

For an athlete, it means months of bench time, for a busy mum, it means getting by with a painful foot every day, and perhaps giving up those sports she once enjoyed on the weekends.

This result also came from a coaching client of ours, and I was nothing short of shocked when I heard about it. With friends who have suffered from plantar fasciitis, I know just how frustrating it can be, and to think that there could be a new alternative was very exciting.

Citing countless trips to medical specialists, and various forms of treatment over the last 10 or so years, our client has found her plantar fasciitis is nothing like what it used to be like. She has made no other lifestyle changes whatsoever in this time, and the results came after a few weeks on the slow carb diet. Once again, we are considering the link between carbohydrates and inflammation being the ongoing cause, and the change to a less sugary diet being the remedy.

Watch Steven and Kat’s 4HB Video here and hear Kat talk about her Plantar Fasciitis and slow carb.

Of course, these are but two examples of some amazing health benefits that people have experienced, and in some cases, results like these would even trump great fat loss. Another client of ours has found that his acid reflux and heartburn is now so absent that he’s stopped getting up in the night, and doesn’t need to take the regular medication he was taking for this painful problem. A great example of a dietary change bringing more than a change on the scales and around the waist.

Did you have a problem that has been helped by slow carb? One that you didn’t expect would be remedied by such a change in diet? I’d love to hear your story and share it with our readers, to encourage more people to find better health through great food.

You might be interested in reading these too:

  1. Watch the videos – Couples Challenge Update Week 3 Our couples are making great progress, and this week they share some amazing health benefits they've found from being on the slow carb diet. If you have fibromyalgia or plantar fasciitis - don't...
  2. Slow carb warning – stalled fat loss We work with many people each week who have challenges with stalled fat loss, and many of them have a common problem with the slow carb diet that is the cause of their...
  3. Slow Carb Hamburgers Are you missing your favorite burger, but can't wait until cheat day? Don't despair! Here's a really simple, fast to cook and delicious slow carb version of that hamburger you love. A VERY...

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13 Responses to Amazing Slow Carb Health Benefits

  • Justin says:

    Hey Luke,

    Interesting stuff, have you read any paleo stuff? Tim had a guest post by Robb Wolf on his blog a while ago that digs into the science and reason for grains, diary and even legume being hazardous to our health. he also cites example of other diseases that were reversed. I bought the book recently and just finished it and trying to transition to full paleo now.

    I read a quote on a forum recently that put it well, it is not what we eat that makes us healthy it is what we don’t eat.

    Also saw this interesting post about legumes and lectins recently Dairy and legumes are not as bad as grains, but something I am trying to ween out of my diet.

    • Brian says:

      Justin -

      I was going to point out the same thing re: Paleo.

      It’s not a question as to what causes most of the chronic pains/problems we face: Inflammation, and within the discussion of paleo eating (and slow carb for that matter) is the removal/reduction of grains helps to reduce many cases of inflammation in the body.


      • Luke says:

        Really appreciate your comment Brian – your comment is what sparked my thinking about the millions of people that could be helped like this. All those people who are visiting their doctors, getting medications that may or may not work, and have side effects in the process, etc.. or people living with chronic problems who just aren’t aware that food could be remedy.

        All the best,

    • Luke says:

      Hey Justin, thanks for your comment and references! I had seen this article, and feel it has its merits, and is very interesting. I also feel that at one point or another, if you assembled a lot of the advanced and well informed thinking on modern food choices like slow carb and paleo, and really dissect the microbiological reasons behind food choices, that we may well find every single food has a negative by-product or affect on us. Perhaps that is the nature of ingesting foreign bodies and converting them into energy? I’m not sure anyone knows just yet. What we do know is that some choices can make us healthier and have a better quality of life, which I’m sure everyone is chasing.
      I am intrigued by the paleo diet, and will look more into it later this year, as my experiences with slow carb have been very positive so far I’m not willing to change. Fundamentally, there are millions more people out there who could have positive life benefits from adopting slow carb, or paleo, compared to their current western diet.

      My broader thoughts are that any food lifestyle choice that ends up being more mental work than the benefits it provides, either mentally or physically, is actually an overall (net) negative lifestyle habit. Despite any health benefits. Much like we could all meditate for 2 hours each day, practice dedicated slow and fast martial arts for another 3 hours per day, spend 3 hours conversing with people in our community, and spend another 3 hours with our families, this, though made up of healthy activities, would most likely have a negative impact on our lives, as we find no sources of revenue whatsoever in those activities and would soon have no where to live, or money to buy food. I realize this is a little extreme, but I’m just trying to illustrate the point. I truly desire a world in which people could do the above, myself included, however our society currently has an economic foundation in currency and exchange of time for value, not exchange of contribution.

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  • PJ says:

    Since starting slow-carb from just before the book was released (based on Tim F’s original blog posting), I have noticed the following:
    General aches and pains that made me feel less flexible than I really am–GONE
    High blood pressure — DEFEATED and confirmed by my Doctor
    Acid Reflux — UNDER CONTROL, and daily and prescription drugs are no longer needed
    And the big one…
    Migraines — well, I’m beyond month two of no migraines, but noticed these week visitations of debilitating pain diminished at first, and now seem to be at bay.

    In summary, this in turn has made me more productive and in a general better mood, despite having high pressures at work and with finances. I’ve also INCREASED the amount of fats I eat. Increased Salt and Caffeine intake which isn’t normally something worth bragging about, but it’s notable that these were not the problem in any of the above issues.

    My current theory is that wheat may be the primary culprit in these issues.

    Overall, it’s great to know that I have found a lifestyle method to controlling all these issues, and I am completely prescription drug free. All I take are supplements, carefully chosen through my own research and recommendations from The Four Hour Body. I’ve lost a lot of body fat, and am continuing to do so. Sticking to 4 hours of exercise a month is making noticeable, trackable improvements to my physique. Yes, I have a cult-like addiction to 4HB, but I think it’s warranted!

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  • Hi there! This article couldn’t be written much better! Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I’ll forward
    this post to him. Pretty sure he’s going to have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!

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