What happens when you do slow carb for 12 months?

Are you thinking about slow carb, and wondering where it leads? Get a preview into the future, and see where you might be if you follow it for 12 months. The results might surprise you!

It seems like a short time ago that I opened a can of beans for the first time, and wondered what it would be like to eat a very non-standard meal for the first time. A few weeks later, and a lot of meals later, I was enjoying the experience, though explaining it to other people seemed to be taking up half of my social time.

Fast forward a few months, and the results came, I was feeling great and noticing a lot of changes in my body – I was hooked! From there, the time flew by, and life got busy. But my habits didn’t change, and by this point, slow carb meals were such a habit that I didn’t even need to think about what I was doing. As long as I had some tuna, or some eggs, some beans and some veges nearby, I knew I was set my day. It turned out to be an absolute life-saver when it came time to do a lot of moving around, and travelling, as it was a constant that I knew I could depend on.

Between moving house, moving country, and moving again, the common element was slow carb. And the common result was the same, the whole way through – my weight was not changing, my energy levels were good, and I was able to keep up a somewhat regular gym schedule (at most twice a week), quite easily.

With more than 12 months of this lifestyle behind me, I thought for a second, the other day, about what has really changed, and I want to share some of the more interesting observations I’ve made.

1/ I notice the difference much more between eating slow carb, and eating a standard western type diet with more grains (even whole grains), cereals and other food. Whenever I’ve taken a few days off slow carb, I have a noticeable hunger that isn’t cured by eating more of this kind of food. It gets solved when I have a decent meal with protein and beans.

2/ In the times that I have had to not follow slow carb 100%, due to travel, unavailability of ingredients or inability to prepare food myself, the ‘damage’ that used to see my weight fluctuate quite a bit, hasn’t had the same impact.

3/ I seem to be more tolerant now to a bit of extra ‘grey’ foods during the week, and indeed I’ve had weeks upon weeks of eating natural yogurt, as an example, along with slow carb food, with a net result of no fat gain.

4/ Slow carb is such an easy base to experiment from that I’ve been able to effectively test intermittent fasting, carb loading in the evenings, full day fasts, rapid fat loss techniques and carb loading techniques, and then return to my regular routine with little fuss.

5/ Any issues that used to exist with digestive discomfort are a thing of the past.

6/ If I travel for a week or two, the net result is usually weight loss, not weight gain – indicating that I am feeding myself very well when at home, in my routine

7/ My body feels different – I recover quicker from workouts, my energy is simply dependable

8/ My focus and concentration are unlike anything I used to experience

9/ My body is in better condition, despite barely ever doing ‘cardio’ and only training twice per week. On a friend’s suggestion, 30 minutes before it started I joined a community 5k run that had a few steep hills and having not been for a run for over 3 months, I placed in the top 3.

10/ I feel much more relaxed about food, eating and weight. The days of thinking, and worrying over food choices are long gone. I know that if things change a little, the corrective action is so simple that my weight and managing a steady bodyweight will never be an issue again, and that’s a huge relief.

So there you have it – my experience of following slow carb for over a year. You’ll notice that I’ve mentioned times that I’ve had weeks of travel, or experimenting with other things, and most of these came after I was on slow carb for the first 12 months. Since that point, I’ve pushed the limits to learn more about how the body responds to nutrition, and exercise, and found that pairing the two together can really amplify results.

Two examples of pairing nutrition and exercise together, for different results:

1/ Pairing intermittent fasting and interval training for a week saw me drop 1% bodyfat, in 1 week.

2/ Pairing evening carb loading and full body, time-under-tension workouts (with very heavy weights) to failure resulted in a 1kg gain in bodyweight, and an average of 20% strength increase in 2 weeks.


Though it seems like a long time, think back to where you were at this time last year – does it feel like a year? 12 months? Really? Or does it seem like it was some day last month, or even just a few weeks ago? Time tends to pass more rapidly than we anticipate, so even though the idea of following something like this for a year seems incredible at first, in fact when it’s so reliable, and so dependable, the time flies by and the results flow in. It’s a very enjoyable experience.

Have you followed a lifestyle for an extended period of time? Or have you adopted a new lifestyle that you feel is now your ‘norm’ going into the future? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

You might be interested in reading these too:

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  3. Can slow carb get you below 10% bodyfat? This is a controversial question, for a few reasons. But that's not going to stop me writing this article. I am taking a very hard look at the slow carb diet, for one...

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13 Responses to What happens when you do slow carb for 12 months?

  • Hi Luke, a whole year hey? Wow. Well it’s been a long time for me too. I’ve been following slow carb for about 8 months now and I love it. Yes, I’ve lost body fat but more importantly for me, I don’t have nearly as many digestive issues either.

    I used to suffer from acid reflux every day and now – nothing. I love it. I would highly recommend this way of eating for people who want to lose weight, have more energy and get rid of digestive issues.

    One more thing, I do love the more energy thing lots too. I can finish a workout and still feel strong.

    Yes, slow carb eating is great!

    • Luke says:

      Hey Michelle, that’s awesome!! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences – hearing from people about other benefits they’ve had is just one way that I love finding new things out that I can share. It sounds like the digestive benefits might have improved your life even more than the weight loss, and of course, having more energy is always a good thing!
      All the best, and thanks again for you comment!

  • Eli says:

    Hey Luke,

    12 months for me as well, and still loving it. I have stopped doing cheat days about 6 months ago, and I have started to introduce cheats here and there. What started to be small negligible cheats began to take larger proportions… I have decided 2 weeks ago to return to 100% slow carb + cheat day.

    What about you ?

    • Luke says:

      Hey Eli,

      Congrats on the 12 months! I found that when my cheat days decreased in size, for practicality, then I did feel like having some things during the week. All in all, this doesn’t pose a big problem, but I think that it’s all about recognizing what your threshold is, in terms of weight and bodyfat percentage, so that if you hit it, you know you need to adjust your habits. So, for example, if your goal is 10% bodyfat, you might be lenient on cheats, etc, until you hit 12%, then use that as a trigger to adjust to more strict habits again. There’s always some natural oscillation, in whatever people do, because we’re not robots, and I think it’s good to understand that and work with it. But it means that you can oscillate naturally, and use a threshold so that you’re only every 2-3 weeks away from your ideal weight. I think that’s the way to do it.
      For myself, in the last 12 months I have experimented with low carb, intermittent fasting, carb depletion techniques, carb loading techniques, been down at around 9% bodyfat and also recently increased my weight by 14 lbs in one month. I’ve also varied my workouts between Occam’s, and a more traditional volume type of training, along with intervals, and less traditional 3-dimension movements, as I become more well studied in fascia and the body’s connected systems for distributing load. All in all, my results suggest that trying to gain muscle using the Occam’s Feeding prescription didn’t actually work that well for me, as it must have kept my insulin levels too low. So, eating more mid-GI foods has enhanced my ability to add muscle, which is interesting.

      All the very best!

  • Gail Roberts (RSA) says:

    Hi Luke,
    So cool to read aboit your experiences. My partner and I just started the diet and the excercises and have had immediate results. Its the silly season, so a stupid time to start, but even with a few cheats, we are seeing results in just a few days.

    One question I have is, have you experimented with alcohol other than wine? We are whiskey drinkers and miss it.

    Best for 2013,
    Gail and Russo

    • Luke says:

      Hey Gail and Russo, happy new year!

      I have experimented with vodka, and other spirits. You could try whiskey, but it’s likely it will delay your results by quite a bit. Remember though that having a couple of whiskeys on your cheat day is totally part of the fun!

      All the best,

  • Stan says:

    Hello Luke! Congrats on the accomplishments! I’m starting this journey today. I’m at 262lbs and want to get below 200lbs. My question to you is how much total weight did you lose? what were some of the obstacles you faced and what motivated you the most.


    • Luke says:

      Hey Stan,

      Thanks! How’s your journey going for you? I’ve helped people who were starting at around 300lbs, and some of the biggest obstacles are plateaus. They can be really frustrating, and they can really test you. Right when you feel like you’re doing everything right, sometimes fat loss just stops for a time. Maybe even a few weeks. But you gotta keep up the good work and not get discouraged. Personally, I lost around 20lbs and then gained that and some more back as muscle. It was a really profound experience. Also one that wasn’t too taxing on my lifestyle.
      Let me know if you have any more questions. You might be interested in the free introductory videos that are on my other website, http://www.completebodyfatcontrol.com – they’ll help you get a great start, and an understanding of how fat loss works with your body.


  • coolie says:

    Hi Luke,
    I started to use the slow carb diet and I would have a right to this diet workout. I would like to practice at home without any equipment. I care about reduce fat and strengthening the muscles. Could you advise me?


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