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Meal Ideas – Photos

The Four Hour Body diet (slow carb diet) in a nutshell! Here are some meal ideas to keep things interesting. Different spices, different vegetables and different styles of preparation!

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191 Responses to Meal Ideas – Photos

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  • BB says:

    Hey guys…how are yall cooking your Lentils they look so yummy?!!

    Thanks
    BB

    • Luke says:

      Hey BB – we’re cooking ‘red split lentils’ in water, boiling them, sometimes with a pinch of salt. I really prefer them to canned lentils – they’re totally different.
      The trick is to get them cooked just right – when you look at one up close, you will be able to make out a solid circle in the it’s center, with the outsides more opaque. To me, this is perfect, because they still have a bit of chewiness to them. Cook them any longer and they’ll just be mush, which is fairly uninvolving to eat.
      Hope that helps!

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  • Tristan says:

    Good looking food.

    Also like the old school plates (tan flowers/butterflies). I had those growing up.

    • Luke says:

      Hahah! Thankyou Tristan, we got a laugh out of your comment. Indeed, I think, these plates were probably on someone else’s table a while ago!!

  • Josephine Anker says:

    I am a beginner on this diet and your pictures have been a big help. I was unsure of quantities and types of beans. Thanks a lot Josephine. Australia

    • Luke says:

      Hi Josephine, good on you for getting started – and I know it can be overwhelming at first. I hope you’re having good experiences so far with it.
      The beans shown in the photos, generally are around 1 cup (250ml) of beans, though if you’re on the smaller side, you might want to go with 3/4 cup.
      Most of these shown are either: black beans, red beans, white beans or red split lentils.

      All the best and let us know how you’re doing!
      Luke

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  • Benjamin says:

    Hello,

    I’ve been on the slow carb diet for about 3 weeks and have had moderate success, down 6 pounds with no exercise. Take into consideration that I’m pretty fit, but at 40 the last 10 to 15 pounds between me and the best possible shape I could be in have been pounds that I’ve been trying to lose for almost a year. I used to exercise 6 days a week (P90X – 30 minute maintenance workouts) but wanted to try the diet first without exercise and see how effective it is. Needles today, I’m convinced and this week will get back into my regular exercise regiment.

    But that’s not what I’m posting about. I am a trained chef and have worked in the restaurant industry in some capacity or another for 25 years. I have a passion for food and do not simply view it as fuel so when I started out on the diet, the limitations of what ingredients I could use was a challenge. I do season, and use lots of herbs so flavor is not a problem. The bigger challenge has been cooking and preparation. You see, I travel all day for work and the only way I can stick to the diet is to pack a cooler with what I’m going to eat during the day. Cooking four kinds of legumes and 4 kinds of proteins, and a few different kings of greens every Sunday is time consuming, but it’s the only way I can be prepared for the coming week.

    So I decided to focus on technique. I’m also a fan of Top Chef on Bravo and this season on more than one occasion, a contestant has used a pressure cooker to cut cooking time by 75%. I decided to experiment and found a 6 qt. cooker on amazon for under $30. The cooker came in the mail and I had it out of the box, assembled, and washed by about 5:00 PM. By 5:03 it was on the stove with 1 cup of liquid and a seasoned whole chicken with the lid shut tight. By 5:06 the cooker was up to temperature and pressure, and I reduced the heat. I set a timer for 15 minutes and by 5:21 I removed the cooker from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes. At 5:26 I had a fully cooked chicken that was not only quick, but may have been the juiciest, most succulent chicken I’d ever eaten. If I’d roasted it in my rotisserie oven it would have taken about an hour. This method produced better results in 18 minutes cook time. It doesn’t brown the skin the same way as roasting, but I think that’s a a good thing so I’m not tempted to eat the skin and all that unwanted fat.

    There are generic recipes in the manual for 12 minute black bean soup along with quick stews and ragout’s. I’m going to play around with a few more dishes that I’ve produced in restaurants. Perhaps the world’s first slow-carb 15 minute Cassoulet? If you are looking for ways to make the slow carb menu easier to execute, I highly recommend a tool like a pressure to take the pressure off………ok, that was bad. But I’m a chef, not a comedian. :)

    • Luke says:

      Hey Benjamin,

      I’m sorry we didn’t reply – thanks so much for your comment, I think this is a fantastic recommendation. For anyone looking for a more efficient means to cooking slow carb food – check out pressure cookers! Sounds like a great option.

      Hope you’re doing well, and that slow carb worked for you!
      All the best,
      Luke

  • MikeB says:

    Hello, quick question for you two,

    I am on the 4HB plan and I am doing great! My question is can I eat peppers? I don’t see any use of jalapenos, or yellow peppers, or bell peppers… I love these peppers and they used to be a staple before starting 4HB…

    Also, do you guys use the AGG and PAGG supplements to increase weight loss, or can anybody comment on starting them?

    Thanks!
    MikeB

    • Luke says:

      Hi Mike, Thanks for your questions.

      That’s an interesting one on peppers. As far as I’m concerned, they’re fine – I don’t see them as having a high sugar content, they’re not starchy, and they taste great! Not to mention the many health benefits from eating them.. so go ahead I say!

      We’re both taking PAGG at the moment – for fat loss – and we’re using an all in one capsule. The company just released a new formula that is better quality than other options, and reduces the number of capsules taken, per day, to 4! We’re pretty excited about that. There’s been a couple of comments on here lately from people taking PAGG and having great results in a few weeks of slow carb – CP commented on our PAGG post “I have been on the slow carb for about a month with PAGG for the last two weeks, results have been pretty amazing, 10 lbs down and almost 8 total inches, lots of lean mass increase.” I’m definitely increasing in mass, doing Occam’s Protocol, and not adding any fat.

      All the best Mike!

      • Eli says:

        It is cool/interesting that you found one capsule to take for PAGG instead of the 4 pills. I bought the supplements from the recommended amazon.com shopping list, but wish I has seen this first! Have you considered making a suggested shopping list of your favorite supplements, foods, workout items? You may have one already, I’m new to the site. Thanks for starting this, it is very helpful. I just started the diet 2 days ago.

        Which supplement is recommended for females? Same or smaller doses?

        • Eli says:

          Of course you already had it, I found your link. Thank you!

        • Luke says:

          Maybe for your next round, you’ll like to try the all-in-one. Having tried both, I find I get some gastric upsets with regular Alpha Lipoic Acid, in particular, and don’t get that with the PAGG from Pareto.
          The supplement doses recommended are the same for men and women, so what you see in the book or on the site is equally applicable.
          I like your idea of a complete list! We’ll work on it.

          Thanks for your comment and all the best,
          Luke

      • Natalia says:

        HI Luke,

        Can you tell me the company you are using for PAGG? Thanks!

  • Mark says:

    Hey guys,

    Am I able to eat stuff like pate on the diet? Not really sure what else goes into it apart liver.

    Managed to drop a stone in 2 weeks, without training so far. Hoping to start the exercise regime tomorrow morning so fingers crossed for better fitting clothes!

    Mark

    • Luke says:

      Hey Mark, great results so far! 1 Stone in 2 weeks!! Awesome. Keep the exercise moderate to mild.. if you’re already losing weight, it means your body is happy and in a good state to continue losing!
      I’m not sure about pate – just double check the ingredients. My thought is that it’s quite high in fat, which isn’t a bad thing in itself, but incorporating it more often than once or twice a week may change your weight loss, compared to not having it at all.
      All the best!
      Luke

  • Adam says:

    Hey Luke,

    Thanks for the site, I found the book alone wasn’t in quite enough detail on the fineries!

    I have to ask though.. the beans we can buy here in the UK, generally need to be soaked for 12 hours, and then boiled. Its kind of a drag to organise meals for the day, particularly lunch.

    How do you guys prepare the meals? Like, a few days at once, or just day by day? And how do you cope the prep for the beans etc?

    • Luke says:

      Hi Adam,

      Thanks for your comments. It’s tough to piece together everything from the book, into a meaningful way that you can apply easily to your own life. Glad to hear that sharing our experiences has helped you out!

      With the beans, we buy canned beans – so they’re already prepared so some degree. It is possible to just open up the can, drain the liquid and eat them, however I prefer to cook them.
      I have tried starting with dried beans.. but the hassle just wasn’t worth it. Soaking overnight, then cooking for a couple of hours, as you’ve identified – a lot of hassle. So I stick to the canned variety. Do you think you could source some canned black or red (kidney) beans?

      All the best,
      Luke

    • Kevin says:

      Adam – Tesco now have a good selection of beans in cans, and also in cartons which look like small versions of OJ cartons.

  • Karina says:

    Hello,

    thanks for all these great recipes, i just have one question can I have splenda with my coffee and can I drink diet sodas? just want to make sure.

    thanks

    Kary

    • Luke says:

      Hi Karina,

      Thanks for your question. Though artificial sweeteners don’t technically have a sugar content, it’s been reported that diet drinks and other sweetener products tend to still created an insulin response in the body, which is linked to fat storage. Ideally then, if you can slowly but surely come away from using splenda, and switch from diet sodas to lemon juice in water, or cucumber in water too. Some people enjoy a drop of vanilla essence in their coffee, others still use a drop or two of coffee cream, as it is very low in lactose. Tim recommends cinnamon in coffee, as it has a positive effect on blood sugar (levels it out), however I don’t really enjoy the flavor – try it and see if you like it!
      Hope that helps.

      All the best,
      Luke

      • Anna says:

        Dear Karina and Luke,
        Just wanted to point out that in his book, 4HB, Timothy Ferriss talks about being “a Diet Coke whore.” He says that he has Diet Coke, but only 16oz a day; he found that there is no insulin spike with that much aspartame.

        • Luke says:

          Hi Anna,
          Thanks for your comment. There have been some posts on this topics around the forums and Facebook pages lately, and I think the result is that everyone most likely will react differently. Whilst 16oz is the limit Tim uses himself, this is the result of testing over time, and most likely, it will be different for different people. There has been some concern over a blood sugar effect from artificial sweeteners, so we recommend against them as a rule of thumb. This is separate to our concerns over their body-wide negative health effects, which are documented at length. There have also been some studies that show long term artificial sweeteners leads to the body being unable to gauge it’s level of hunger based on food coming in.

          All the best!
          Luke

  • Daniela says:

    Hi!
    I just started on the 4HB diet and I have a quick couple of questions.
    Are frozen peas ok to eat?
    How about corn, either frozen or out of the can?
    And what about mushrooms?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Luke says:

      Hi Daniela, thanks for your questions.
      Frozen peas are OK, but not the best vegetable. Frozen green beans are better, as is frozen spinach (see if you can buy the ‘nugget’ style to easily microwave a meal-sized amount), broccoli, cauliflower, celery.
      Corn is one of those starches that isn’t exactly potato or pasta, but it is still not allowed during the week on slow carb, because it has a very high sugar content.
      Mushrooms I think are fine – we don’t eat them, but I know some people love them!

      All the best with your 4 hour body!
      Luke

      • Daniela says:

        Luke,
        Thanks so much for getting back to me. Tomorrow is my first cheat day and I absolutely cannot wait to have something sweet. So the hard part for me on the low carb diet has not been the low carb intake but the no sugar intake. I am struggling with not having anything sweet. I am really not a pop drinker, so diet sodas are not something that would potentially satisfy this craving. Overall the first week went ok, I have to remind myself to eat 4 times a day rather than just 3, so keep my energy balanced. I am putting this program on a 2 week trial to see what the results are going to be, since I have become a healthy eater in general in the past year. I want to see if I can accomplish my goal of loosing those last 5 pounds.
        Your site is great and definitely inspirational!
        Daniela

        • Luke says:

          Hi Daniela,

          Thanks for your questions and comments.
          I think your approach is a good one. If you’re used to a lot of sweet foods, you will find it can be difficult in the first few weeks to be away from them, but over time, there are many people that reports their cravings simply go away.
          One really key thing for you to keep up, which you’re doing well now, is to maintain the 4 meals per day. Also, make sure you’re not feeling hungry at all, by including plenty of beans, protein and vegetables in every meal. Remember, it’s a slow carb lifestyle, not a low carb lifestyle. So make sure you’re getting those beans, and you should have lots of energy, and less and less cravings throughout the week. As always, cheat day is an awesome chance to enjoy those things you love the taste of, and make sure you have a cheat day every week.
          Losing the last five pounds can be challenging, but I admire your resolve and think working with slow carb is a great step towards achieving your goal.

          We’re really excited that you enjoyed our site and got some inspiration from it!
          All the best!
          Luke

  • Steph says:

    Just started the 4HB diet yesterday – my biggest concern is consuming breakfast within an hour of waking. The thought of eggs, beans and vegetable that early is tough….is it ok to just have a 30g protein shake, then another meal before lunch to include eggs, spinach and beans?

  • Tonia says:

    I like Steph would like to know if protien shakes are ok to drink in the am?????

    • Tonia says:

      I just started the 4 hour body today.

    • Luke says:

      Hi Tonia,

      Congrats on getting started. We recommend to our coaching clients that they try to find a breakfast that works for them, with a combination of beans or lentils, vegetables and protein, like eggs, or salmon. Having whole foods in the morning is ideal, because you get some carbohydrates for energy, plus you get some fibre too, with the protein. Most protein shakes, whilst they might deliver the protein required (generally with 1.5 scoops), they don’t have the carbohydrates, or the fibre, so you’re not getting as much ‘food’. This may slow your fat loss, as your metabolism won’t be in gear to start the day, and you also may feel like you don’t have a lot of energy in the morning, which could make sticking with slow carb lunches more difficult, and you may feel much more inclined to snack.

      If you have a busy schedule, you could try one of the unflavored natural protein powders, and then have beans or lentils as soon as you can in the morning. For example, I know of people taking a protein shake at 7.30am, then eating beans and veges at work, at 9.30am.

      All the best!
      Luke

  • Tara says:

    I’m concerned about portion control, I’ve been finding that 30g of protein in the morning keeps me pretty full so I typically have to force myself to eat lunch…should I be forcing myself to eat?? Breakfast is consisting of about 1/2 cup of egg whites, sometimes 1 whole egg, and one cup of turkey chili. This is a lot of food!

    • Luke says:

      Hi Tara,
      Depending on the foods you’re eating, it’s quite possible that you need to take in a larger amount to get a similar amount of energy. Especially vegetables.

      It is a good idea to maintain your eating schedule – 1 meal every 4 hours is ideal, so if you’re forcing yourself to eat, then at least take it slowly. As you get more used to those portions, your body will adapt. It’s likely that your body isn’t used to processing such an amount of food in the morning, and may therefore digest things quite slowly. You could try having a cup of hot lemon water with breakfast to see if that helps things move and so you’re not feeling like it’s a chore to eat again at lunch time.

      All the best,
      Luke

  • Adam says:

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for sharing blog and your experience with us onlookers!

    I like to eat, and it seems to be that the priority of rules in 4HB is something like (A) Only eat allowed foods and don’t eat other foods, (B) Eat as much as you want/need to to avoid being hungry or low-energy — better to overeat by a lot than undereat by a lot, (C) Ideally, don’t eat more than you need to to stay satiated and with good energy. Is that about right?

    I ask because I wonder things like:
    -I like nice big omelets in the morning. Am I hurting myself to eat a 6-8 egg/white omelet with 4 pieces of bacon (and some lentils) even though most of the time I see meal “examples” more like 4 eggs and 2 pieces?
    -Fats are allowed on the diet, so does that mean I can enjoy extra butter for cooking or sauces, eating a nice greasy hamburger, or eating chicken skin?
    -If I want to eat 2 or 3 chicken breasts instead of 1, how bad is that?
    -Is there anything wrong with eating beans or lentils once a day and just overloading on protein (eggs, meats) the rest of the day? (I know we have to eat at least some carbs lest we fall into ketosis, which I realize slow-carb does not call for…)
    -While veggies are strongly encouraged for nutritional and health reasons, are they actually necessary to obtain the fat loss benefits of the slow-carb diet?

    Thanks in advance!
    Adam

    • Luke says:

      Hey Adam,

      Thanks for your comment. Your take on the rules of 4HB are pretty spot on. Eating ‘enough’ is what it’s all about fundamentally, and sticking with the ‘allowed’ foods.

      I think your breakfast sounds great, and wouldn’t be too concerned about this being a regular staple.
      In terms of fat, it is allowed, however you’ll note that comments are made about using ‘lean protein sources’ – so this leads us to see that using a bit of fat for cooking (ie ghee or macadamia oil) is ok, but overdoing fats, that can obviously be reduced, such as that chicken skin, isn’t going to lead to your best fat loss success.
      Eating 2 or 3 chicken breasts should be fine – they’re pretty much all protein and should keep you feeling more full for longer. Remember you want to aim to eat ‘enough’.
      The beans and lentils are discussed quite a lot, as some people just don’t have a taste for them. They are the key to the ongoing energy that people experience, however, and make it much easier to keep to the allowed foods throughout the week, as there’s no energy falloff, or crash. Eating beans once a day, will most likely lead to typical low-carb symptoms such as headaches, irritability, lack of focus and low energy. If you want to test it out, you could go with beans/lentils at meals 1 and 3, and go higher protein on meals 2 and 4, however it’s not exactly what the diet prescribes, and that’s what’s suggested for optimal results.
      I believe the veggies are necessary for a few reasons. Part of why this diet works is that it marks, for a lot of people, a return to whole foods that are healthy for the body, and it is in this healthy state that the body feels it can let go of so much fat. Also, the fibre obtained from vegetables helps with digestion, etc.

      All the best,
      Luke

      • suzie says:

        Hi Luke,

        I have really enjoyed reading all of the posts. I feel like I could read and read and yet I still have more questions as Adam did above. I feel like each night I sit with my laptop and try to read up as much as I can, searching for more answers to the questions I have about the diet details. I’m only on my first week (4th day) but don’t feel like I have a good handle on it yet… breakfast has been the hardest challenge. I’m making a few organic eggs, scrambled with a fresh homemade chunky salsa of tomatoes, cilantro, onions, and jalapenos (kinda like a huevos rancheros) and then I add pinto beans, usually refried. Tim says that refried beans are fine, but I know they have lots of fat. In fact, I never really got the message from Tim that fats needed to be limited at all. However, it sounds like your feeling is that hi-fat foods (meats, avocado–and you mention like only using a sprinkling of oil) should be avoided. Why, if you don’t mind me asking…? Also, aside from my chunky salsa, I haven’t been adding any veggies to my egg scramble. Are the veggies imperative? If I’m getting full enough with beans and protein, do I really need to add them to a meal? If you could respond, I would be so appreciative. Thanks for the help!

  • Miera says:

    Hello!
    I was very thankful to find your website. I started the 4HB slow carb diet March 19th and have lost 14 lbs. and 12 inches. I love the results I’m seeing. Now my husband, son,sister,Mom and niece are going slow carb too!
    I have a few questions:
    1. Is Jennie-O ground turkey 93/7 ok to use?
    2. I have been measuring my 2 Tbs. of half and half and using a total of 1 packet of Stevia in my morning coffee. Is that allowed?
    3 We have been using turkey bacon but is regular bacon allowed? I have looked for the organic bacon and its hard to find and also pricey.

    Thanks,
    Miera

    • Luke says:

      Hi Miera,

      Thanks for your comment! Great progress so far!!
      1/ I’m not familiar with that product exactly, but most ground turkey is a great option, as long as there’s no fillers or artificial additives.
      2/ That sounds OK to me- see if you can come back to 1 tbs, and try without the stevia – try vanilla essence and/or cinnamon
      3/ Regular bacon is ok.. but you really don’t get much from it. It is very high in fat and doesn’t offer much protein because of it. Just 1 turkey bacon we found offers a decent amount of protein. Otherwise you’re eating so much of it to get anywhere. The high protein lean meats are best because you can eat less of them and still get good amounts of protein (like salmon, tuna, chicken, turkey, lean red meat).

      All the best to you, your husband, son, sister, Mom and niece!!! :)

      Luke

  • Jennifer says:

    Can you have cheese on this diet? I have noticed some people include cheese on their meals and I thought cottage cheese was the only dairy you could have.

    • Luke says:

      Hey Jennifer, realistically cottage cheese is only OK as a backup protein source – not one to rely on. The only other kind of cheese mentioned as being ok is parmesan – a very light sprinkle, but not to be used every day.
      Some people are using Feta (goat) cheese as it is different to dairy cheese, but I don’t recommend using it regularly.

      All the best,
      Luke

  • Jenny IsBusy says:

    I was flat broke when I started so peanut butter spoonfuls (15 g protein) when I first woke up was all I could manage and I felt great. Then I added beans and tried to overall increase my protein. When I reviewed my food journal 2 weeks later I can see that on the days that I start with good protein I have a much better day sugar and sodium wise, even though I am not limiting those foods, pretty exciting way to lower your sugar intake painlessly.
    The flip side is that I bought carnation instant breakfast (14 g protein prepared) and I have been crash and burn all week. So apparently quality of protein matters/ too much sugar in the am is a set up for failure mentally?
    My goal this week is to eat 30 proteins of real food in the am.

    • Luke says:

      Hey Jenny,

      Thanks for your comments. Interesting results – definitely 30 grams of protein within 1 hour of waking up is ideal. You might have crashed due to the sugar in the Carnation instant breakfast, not due to the quality of the protein. Slow carb is all about eliminating sugar intake and working with carbohydrates that digest slowly – beans and lentils. This lowers the effect on blood sugar. Any products with sugar, or simple carbohydrates will spike your blood sugar, and most likely lead to hunger, food cravings, sugar cravings, etc, later in the day.

      All the best,
      Luke

  • Jay says:

    Hi

    I have been following the diet religiously now for 2 weeks and have lost 4Kgs. Very happy and feeling great.

    I wanted to ask if it is ok to eat Quinoa as part of a meal. It comes recommended as a high protein grain with slow carb content.

    Your photos of meals are a great idea …

    br … Jay

  • Timmy says:

    Hi Luke and Kat, I have been living on the slow carb diet a few weeks now. In the beginning I followed the very strict rules the Four Hour Body sets out. But after a week or two I couldn’t eat anymore big meals for breakfast. I am used to eat fruits or yoghurt in the morning. So I sticked with fruits. But I do recon that my fat loss is less rapid. Do you have any tips in making up the in take of fructose? Or do you have any tips to get used to a breakfast with spinach?

    Thanks, love your site!

    • Luke says:

      Hi Timmy, thanks for your comment!

      Good on you for getting started on slow carb, that’s the hardest part! Breakfasts can be difficult, I hear you. Most likely your fat loss will decrease with the inclusion of fruits. I’ll try to explain it:

      The slow carb diet, at its base, is a ‘ketosis’ diet. That means that is relies on your body ‘flicking the switch’ between burning carbohydrates for fuel, over to burning fat for fuel. This doesn’t happen quickly. As in, think about getting to this point at around Wednesday each week. Then you have a few days of this, then cheat day comes and flicks the switch back to burning carbohydrates.
      So, including fruits every day, effectively means the switch never comes over to burning fat.
      If you are continuing to lose fat, most likely now, it is for a different reason – caloric restriction. This is a very different way to lose weight, where you literally have less calories in than you expend in your day. This too works, however it is very different to the slow carb way of doing things. In fact, including fruits, and continuing with beans at 3 other meals could make it tough to lose weight, as the beans do have quite a lot of calories.

      My recommendation is to get off the fruit, and yogurt. Leave it for cheat day.

      If breakfasts are a problem, and you’re used to fruit and yogurt, most likely it is a calorie issue – that is, slow carb breakfasts have a lot more than what you’re used to, and there’s a lot more work for your stomach to do too. In your situation, I would recommend getting up and having a sugar-free (and artificial sweetener-free) protein shake, to hit the magic 30g of protein. Then, let that settle, and an hour or so later, see if you can do a bean salad, with some spinach leaves, perhaps broccoli, black or white beans, and maybe a dash of olive oil and salt. If fresh spinach is an issue for you, I find cooked spinach much more palatable. Otherwise, cut the spinach and go with other veges on the ‘ok’ list.

      Alternatively, you could take a regular sized slow carb breakfast meal, and halve it, and then eat the rest 2 hours later. Either way, you need to bring less into your stomach at one time in the mornings I think.

      Have you tried red split lentils, boiled, with scrambled eggs + spinach? It can be quite tasty with tomato salsa on the side.

      All the best with it, let us know how you’re doing.
      Luke

  • Shawna says:

    I am on my 2nd week of slow-carb eating down 8 lbs no change in measurements. Here is my dilema;
    I have a hard time stomaching eggs, I feel bloated and sick after eating my breakfast
    I feel low energy and wake up at 3 am feeling hungry. No more headaches though.
    Sample meal is large salad with spinach and red leaf lettuce, white beans, tuna, diced carrot/cucucmber/celery/tomatoe (once a day or avocado), breakfast 2 egg whites/1 egg, 2 turkey bacon, refried beans (I take beano now too).
    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Love your website and thanks for allt he ideas.
    Shawna

    • Luke says:

      Hi Shawna,

      Sorry to hear you’ve been having some troubles with the slow carb diet. Congrats on your results so far!

      Eggs don’t work for some people, so you’re not alone. You could try another protein source, like tuna, or salmon.

      If you are feeling low energy, then I think you need to eat more. For someone around 140-160lbs, 4 meals, 4 hours apart, with around 3/4 a cup to 1 cup of beans, and 20-30g of protein, plus lots of leafy vegetables. With breakfast, see if you can include some vegetables, as the fiber is very good for you. Spinach is a great easy option, the frozen stuff, microwaved is quick and easy.

      Your headaches could have been caused by a few things, but it could have been not getting enough carbohydrates in. The key is to make sure you are eating enough so that you don’t feel hungry at all. If you switch to 4 meals per day, as described above, and still feel hungry overnight, then think about having 1-2 tablespoons of almond butter before bed.

      I hope that helps you make some changes to feel better. All the best, and let us know how you’re doing.

      Luke

  • Gia says:

    Hi there,

    Great website – thanks.

    I wanted to know whether ok to eat one carrot a day? (If not, how often?)

    Also, can I use soy sauce, vinegar and worcestershire sauce for seasoning? Im in the UK and plan to start this weekend.

    Excited but scared as I never last for very long on diets but really need to stick this one out.

    Regards

    • Luke says:

      Hi Gia,

      Thanks for your comment. Carrots are fine, especially one per day – they are mentioned in the book.

      Soy sauce, and worcestershire sauce are out I’m afraid – for different reasons, but both of them should be saved for cheat day. Vinegar is ok, as is a dash of olive oil, or lemon juice.

      I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with slow carb. It’s not about feeling hungry, or not eating enough, or having headaches, or feeling tired. It’s about putting great healthy food in your body, repeatedly. A lot of people have some pretty amazing health benefits come from it, as it is anti-inflammatory by nature.

      All the best!
      Luke

      • Gia says:

        Ta for the info Luke! Appreciated.

        Sorry to be a pain but if you get a chance would you be able to explain the reason we can’t use a bit of seasoning of soy sauce and worcestershire sauce. I know the principles are a bit different but I recall being able to use this for cooking mince etc when on Atkins.

        Regards

        • nickjaa says:

          I think wheat free soy sauce is ok

          • Luke says:

            Good suggestion. It’s on the borderline, but in general won’t slow down results too much. The important thing to note though is that increased sodium consumption will lead to more water retention in the body, which could affect scale-weight results.

            All the best,
            Luke

  • Meredith says:

    OMG — this page is great!!!! I have absolutely NO imagination when it comes to creating in the kitchen. I can write, I can dance, I can give nice speeches. I can ride a bike and chew gum. But I cannot think up imaginative meals and I get myself bored with food very quickly. That you followed Tim’s idea and photographed plates of food. Fabulous. I’ll be back!

    • Luke says:

      Hey Meredith! Thanks :) Glad you got a lot out of this page.

      Enjoy your slow carb meals!! We also kept notes on 2 weeks of meals in our food diary too.. check it out!

      All the best,
      Luke

  • katie says:

    Hi there, its so great reading all of these anecdotes, and very encouraging. I don’t actually have the book but am making ok assumptions (i think), based on what i’m reading. So… this is how my day pans out:
    Breakfast
    Black coffee
    Two boiled eggs

    Lunch
    Kidney beans and “normal” tinned beams with chicken, lettuce, carrots, tomato

    Dinner
    Chicken, avocado, beans, spinach

    This is what i am thinking, but obviously there will be variations. I am okay having a structured breakfast but i need a bit of variation for lunch and particularly dinner.

    Exercise consists of three/four 30 min runs/week and 3/4 weight workouts.

    THOUGHTS AND ADVICE PLEASE!!

    • Luke says:

      Hi Katie,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I would definitely recommend getting the book – either physical copy or on kindle. It’s a really great resource to refer to, and probably will answer a lot of questions.

      Your Lunch and Dinner look great as templates – basically 1/2 cup – 1 cup of beans at each meal, plus a lean protein, plus vegetables is the best.
      For Breakfast, think about adding some beans or red split lentils to those eggs, and some spinach or other vegetable too. Getting a complete breakfast is what you need to get through the day. Having just protein and eggs you will find your energy doesn’t last you until lunchtime.
      Also consider eating 4 meals per day, 4 hours apart. (Using the above meal template)

      Your exercise regime sounds a little heavy for slow carb fat loss. Most people get the most fat loss with 2-3 moderate workouts (either weights or cardio of approx 30 mins) per week. Any more, and your body may start thinking it’s too stressed to let go of the weight/ you might not be taking in enough calories to have continued fat loss success week in-week out.

      Remember to have a cheat day once a week. Start with a regular breakfast, and then go to whatever you want for lunch and dinner. Drink lots of water and include exercise that day ideally. You need this each week, just like you need beans and protein every other day – its part of what makes slow carb a successful way to lose weight.

      All the best!
      Luke

  • Belinda says:

    Hello,

    I’m about to start this diet and have been reading up and doing some research. My main concern at the moment is that I have to get up about 5.30am to go to work every morning and just don’t have the time (or the appetite) to cook a great big breakfast before I go. Any suggestions on what I can have in the mornings that is quick and easy but also filling?

    • Luke says:

      Hi Belinda,

      Thanks for your comment. I totally get your predicament, lots of people have a similar issue.

      To start with, the key is to eat something substantial within 1 hour of getting up. This is for a few reasons – one is that your body reacts differently if you don’t eat in the first few hours of the day, and may store more of the food you eat for the rest of the day, as fat, if you miss breakfast. Secondly, it is much more difficult for the rest of the day with cravings, etc, if you miss breakfast.

      The key is to get enough protein, primarily, and second to that getting some carbohydrates for energy helps you feel good and energized. Another important consideration is fibre. So, some people are using protein shakes, made with water, so that the nutrition they are getting is generally around 25 or 30g of protein, and very low carbohydrates, like 1 or 2g. Protein drinks aren’t ideal because they generally include artificial sweeteners that can spike insulin, which is a situation we want to avoid for fat loss results.

      If you are really stuck, a natural, unflavored protein powder with a dash of cinnamon for taste, mixed with water, is a good backup. What you’re missing though is the good carbs and fibre from the beans and vegetables that a lot of people have.

      If you choose to start with a protein shake around 6am, then I would recommend being prepared to eat a small beans/lentils + veges meal around 8am, and then look for your next meal at around 11am, then go for 2 meals in the pm – around 3pm and 7pm.

      I hope that helps, all the best!

      Luke

      • Belinda says:

        Brilliant, thank you. Just one more question, can you recommend a good protein shake to have? Would like to have one as a back up for the mornings that I have to run out the door before cooking.
        Thanks heaps,
        Belinda

    • Reon says:

      I am up at 330 am most days to go to a 12 hour shift so trust me I know what you mean. One of the best things I have found is gettin up and going straight to work early and having breakfast there normally I get to work around 10 to quarter past 4 so by that time the body has woken up and is ready for some food. In terms of food one thing I’m really likening at the moment is pinto beans mixed with salsa spinach mushrooms chicken breast or any protein and extra garlic powder. Over here in Australia we have a mexe beans mix that I can just toss into a pan after I’ve Cooked up my chopped up chicken breast and add the rest of the ingredients. Normally I make enough for two day of breakfast and lunch. Voila time saved then for dinner protein frozen veges and I normally eat a lot of the veges because of the low amount of calories which normally does me for the night.
      I hope this somehow helps :)

      • Luke Starbuck says:

        Hey Reon.
        You have a formidable schedule. Good on you for finding what works!! It sounds tasty.
        Thanks so much for sharing.
        Luke

  • Ashley says:

    Hi Luke,

    I am in love with your website! It has been a great resource for me as I begin the slow carb diet, especially the pictures demonstrating meal quantities and your prompt and detailed responses to posted questions.

    On that note, I have three questions for you. I began the slow carb diet two weeks ago and had no success. I am not far from my ideal weight (about 10 lbs – gained in the last year), but thought that I would see significant results immediately.

    I was diagnosed with celiac disease a few weeks ago (by the way this diet is fantastic for individuals who are gluten intolerant) and was told, by my MD, that I will begin to gain more muscle as my ability to absorb foods and process the macronutrients improves…perhaps this has something to do with the absent weight change.

    However, I reviewed the history on the first two weeks on the diet and recognized that I might be sabotaging my efforts with soy based protein shakes. Recommended by my MD as a means for increase my protein intake. Each packet contains 110 calories and 6 grams of sugar and I was directed to drink 5 a day. I am no longer drinking the shakes, as of today, and will supplement them with natural protein sources. Do you think that this was the cause for my unchanging waistline?

    Also, I have ALWAYS counted calories and continued to do so with this diet. I found that I tend to consume more calories when following this diet, in order to feel satisfied. Tim indicates that the point of the slow carb diet is not to feel hungry and not to restrict caloric intake. Am I doing the right thing by eating to feel satisfied even though the calorie count is higher or am I hindering my progress?

    Finally, when my weight did not change, I feared that I was taking in to much fat. I eat one avocado a day, walnuts (no more than 150 calories worth at a meal, as my fat source) and sometimes almond butter. I have a fat source at each meal, and aim for it to be 25% of the caloric content. Is there a limit on fats? Am I eating to much? How much is to much? I gravitate toward definitive numbers and struggle with Tim’s ambiguity in this area of his book.

    If you could answer these three questions for me, I will be beyond thrilled. Thanks!

    Ashley

    • Luke says:

      Hi Ashley,

      So glad you love our website! Thanks for your comment.

      Congrats on getting started, and what a change for you, finding out about your celiac disease. I too have this, and it’s true that right after changing your diet it will take some time for your body to heal and be able to bring in nutrients properly again.

      With regards to that, Tim recommends a loading phase of 80g of L-Glutamine per day, for around 5-10 days, to help help the intestines. This would be taken as 10g every 2 hours.

      Your soy based protein shakes definitely wouldn’t have helped your progress – that totals 30 grams of sugar per day. The slow carb diet is ketogenic, meaning after a few days you most likely start to burn fat for energy rather than sugars (carbohydrates) which is a significant shift in your body. After this switch, it continues until broken by ‘cheat day’, and then kicks in again a few days later. This is why avoiding sugar is vital to continuing success, and why for example eating a small ‘cheat’ each day means people’s progress stops.

      Look to natural, unflavored whey protein powders, mixed with water and cinnamon to taste, if you feel you can’t eat enough protein. Remember the key is 25g minimum, 4 meals per day- so around 100g+ per day. Include the protein in the beans though, as they are high in protein already, so it usually means a small portion of meat on the side.

      Counting calories can be counter productive on this diet, as people tend to want to limit themselves (due to media and online ‘information’ sources), and end up consuming a semi starvation diet. Slow carb works differently and does not rely on calorie restriction. Especially for people doing a small amount of activity, some of them end up with 2500 or more calories per day and continue to lose fat. Eat ‘enough’.. that means if you are feeling hungry, and having any other signs of hunger before the next meal, you have not eaten enough. Every time you feel hunger, your body is worried about food intake, and will react to the next lot of food differently, wanting to store more of it, than burn it.

      There isn’t a limit on fats, though the listed foods for the diet don’t really include anything that has significant fat. Avocado is fine, but I wouldn’t do one per day, a couple a week should be adequate for potassium levels. I would skip the walnuts in favor of having 4 meals per day and no snacks. It’s much easier to gauge portions like this, vs your hunger levels.

      Finally, the large results people have immediately is generally people who are significantly overweight, and flush out a lot of retained water. For losing what is effectively ‘the last 10 lbs’, slow carb is a good choice, however progress will be slow and stead, and depending on your age and other factors, could take 4-6 weeks. Make sure you are taking measurements, because body weight is no longer a good measure of progress, due to the high protein you are likely to gain muscle (shows on the scales, but not visibly because it’s more dense than fat).

      Remember too that being relaxed helps your body lose weight, and that any high stress levels, especially around food, or if you’re lacking sleep, or aren’t able to ‘unwind’ can all contribute to higher cortisol levels, all of which can stop fat loss, or slow it significantly.

      All the best,
      Luke

  • Pooja says:

    Hi Luke,

    What’s your take on baked beans

    • Luke says:

      Simply, they’re loaded with sugar. It’s crazy the stuff they put into those cans. I avoid them at all costs.. so hopefully you can too. Some in north america actually have liquid sugar added to then, others corn syrup, others fructose, etc. They will all work against fat loss on slow carb, as sugar is a carbohydrate source that spikes blood sugar.

      All the best!
      Luke

      • Terry says:

        Luke,

        I have seen a couple of questions and answers on protien shakes. I have been eating a slice of the spinach and cottage cheese quiche (no crust) (Delish) nearly every morning and supplementing it with 1 ready made EAS AdvantEDGE Carb Control protien drink (17g protien). I have read the ingredients of the EAS drink and cannot see anything in it that would seem to be a no-no. Please comment because I am drinking it every day and will stop if it is counter productive to the diet. Also are there any ready made protien bars that are best? I tried a few but then read comments that some of the ingredients such as mannitol is just as bad a sugar. How about agave nectar. My Fit Foods in Houston recomends it as a sweetner because it has a low glycemic index. I created a bar at You Bars with the nectar and will be upset if I can’t eat them. Otherwise I did lose 3 lbs the first week and I am not terribly overweight. Hope it wasn’t just a fluke.

        • Luke says:

          Hey Terry,
          The slow carb diet itself doesn’t include any kind of protein drinks, because there is so much variation in them, and they can be a source of slowed fat loss.
          The key to slow carb is eating meals – 4 of them, around 4 hours apart. Each meal should be similar, with beans, a lean protein and vegetables. When you start getting into trading these for different ingredients, it becomes less of the slow carb diet and more like a low carb, or glycemic control diet.
          The quiche I would expect is made from just eggs and spinach? In this case it’s a great option, however I’d be eating it with red split lentils, or with black/red beans, and leaving the shake behind. The key is to get 30g of protein total, and I expect with the quiche and the beans you’d be there, and you’d get quite a lot of energy from the beans to get on with your day. By not having any carbs in the morning, many people find cravings come more frequently during the day, and other side effects like lack of concentration, irritability and things can come into play that don’t when there’s some beans on the plate.
          Agave nectar is one of the newer sweeteners being suggested as an alternative to sugar, and though it’s natural, its basically all sugar. Not processed sugar, but sugar all the same. Though it has a low glycemic index, much like brown rice syrup does, it’s difficult to recommend it because realistically, there isn’t a place in the slow carb diet for something with sugar as an ingredient. Likewise, with slow carb there’s no need to snack, so it might be a better idea to save those YouBars for cheat days.

          All the best,
          Luke

  • Michelle says:

    Hi Luke,
    Just started the 4Hour Body this past Tuesday after seeing a friend of mine look amazing in a short amount of time. Love the book Tim wrote and this site makes things easier for me to understand since it is straight to the point and I dont have to keep referring back to the book. i have notes all over the place to remember things. Your binge day tips is great thanks for creating all this.
    I am looking to lose 10 lbs and attain more muscle so I think I will need to be patient on this food plan. Your photos of your food were very helpful. Gave me ideas what I can do with food to me a bit more creative. Weighing myself is what I am used to when trying to lose weight but as you suggested with another person, it will vary because of muscle. I need to measure instead.
    This diet really fills you up.
    Thanks again.

    • Luke says:

      Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for writing us, its really great to hear from you. I’m really glad that our site has helped you out, and that you’re finding it useful. You’re right about slow carb being filling! It’s surprising to a lot of people that this ‘diet’ leaves you feeling more full and satisfied than some big meals you could order at restaurants.
      Your goals sound great; losing 10lbs of fat, or losing 10lbs? If you want to gain more muscle, you could easily gain 5 lbs muscle, lose 10lbs of fat, and only see a 5lb change on the scales. But I think you understand that already, sounds like you’re on a good course.

      All the best with it!
      Luke

  • Lee says:

    Great site guys. I need a question answered about the amount of carbohydrates in beans. If the slow carb diet is about getting close to a ketogenic level then how is that possible with so many carbohydrates from beans? Thanks

    • Luke says:

      Hey Lee,

      Great question, in part it’s due to the fibre content of the beans, and it’s also due to the fibre in the vegetables. Though it’s not as likely to enter your body into ketosis, as compared to a strict low carb diet, the body still changes how it reacts to food. Most likely, if someone were to experiment with, for example 2 cups or more of beans x4 meals, the diet may not have the same effect. It’s all about the moderation of food intake, and also a natural lessening of calories due to the satisfying and filling nature of the beans and having 4 meals per day.

      Cheers,
      Luke

  • Barb says:

    Hi Luke,
    Great site!!! What a help for us newbies!
    I just started two weeks ago, lost 6 lbs, no inches last week, and don’t know yet this week until Monday, my measuring day for this week. Just got a fat monitor, so I’ll be keeping track of that also.
    I first downloaded Tim’s book from the library, but before I had finished reading it, I went and bought it from a local bookstore, I knew I would have to keep coming back to it a LOT! I love your cheat sheets, so very handy!

    • Barb says:

      Also, what bean is good cold? My 10:30am meal is at work and no microwave.
      And grapefruit juice on cheat day, how much, and with how many meals? I only see it listed on one meal on your cheat sheet?
      Thanks!

      • Luke says:

        I really like red kidney beans cold. The skin can be a little tough for some people though.
        White beans a reliably soft, and taste quite nice. I like to use some cajun spices on them – turkey breast, white beans and fresh spinach is an excellent cold, and packable slow carb meal.

        All the best!
        Luke

    • Luke says:

      Hey Barb, that’s great! It is a lot like a reference book – lots of sticky notes and folded pages! Fat monitors are good for trending, but they’re not absolutely accurate. Make sure each weigh-in is the same time of day, after a similar protocol of food and drink and bathroom. Also, weigh 3 or 5 times each time, and take the average.

      All the best!
      Luke

  • Vanessa says:

    Recipe…if you’re interested. Friend of mine lives off it with this diet. The dressing needs to be slightly modified due to the amount of sugar, perhaps half that of a sweetener such as Splenda or Stevia.

    Spicy Bean Salsa

    1 each Green, Red, Yellow, Orange pepper (finely diced)
    1/2-1/3 Red onion (finely diced)
    1/2 Cup Celery (finely diced)
    1 Jar Jalepeno peppers (drained/finely diced) DON’T DISCARD JUICE
    2 cans Black beans (drained/rinsed)
    1 can Kidney beans (drained/rinsed)
    1 can Lentils (drained/rinsed)
    1 can Corn (white kernel or niblets drained/rinsed)

    Dressing:

    1/2 cup Oil
    1 cup Vinegar
    ½ cup Sugar
    Juice from jalepenos

    Combine beans & vegetables. Combine dressing ingredients, mix until sugar is dissolved. Pour over bean mixture – stir well. Drain before serving, dressing is simply a marinade.

    Note: add chicken, eat with corn tortilla, as a lettuce wrap, or just by itself as a bean salad.

    • Luke says:

      Hi Vanessa, thanks for the recipe!

      Making it slow carb friendly is easy: simply leave out the sugar, and the corn.
      Your suggestion about lettuce wraps is a great one! A corn tortilla should only be used on cheat day.

      Thanks!
      Luke

  • Janeen says:

    Please forgivee my typos…Diligent to the prescribed KB (2-3 times a week), not Daily…

  • Barb says:

    Just wondering how important it is to have a SC breakfast on cheat day? Just would like some pancakes for a change instead of eggggggggsss. What have you all experienced? Weigh loss stop?

    • Luke says:

      Hey Barb, thanks for your question.

      Starting cheat day with a cheat meal is something some people do, however ideally starting with a good slow carb breakfast of protein, beans and veges is the ideal way to limit the damage from the rest of the cheat day indulgences. Starting this way means you’re much less likely to endlessly eat later in the day, and you have your metabolism going well once the first cheat meal (lunch) hits.

      All the best!
      Luke

  • Maurice says:

    Hey Luke and Kat,

    Thanks so so so much for all the amazing info on this blog!

    Quick question. One of the five rules in the fat-loss section of the book states that calories should not be drank.

    Is this rule non-negotiable, or would V8 vegitable juice be okay?

    Thanks again for all the awesome content!

    • Luke says:

      Hi Maurice, you’re very welcome!

      Good question – I love V8 juice myself. The problem is that juice in this form, be in vegetable or fruit, is a concentrated version of what it came from, but misses some of the important elements, such as the chewing, and the time taken to eat those calories. Also, these juices tend to have a lot of tomato juice, which means a higher sugar content. Ideally, steamed green vegetables are best with meals, and you can eat enough at each meal to avoid having to snack in between.

      All the best!
      Luke

  • Barb says:

    Luke:
    I started the 4HB three weeks ago and am down 10 pounds, 7 the first week, 2 the second, and only 1 the third week but i have also lost about 8 inches overall. I can see from your pictures that I am not eating enough food and need to up my vegetables significantly. I too have a hard time eating breakfast since I get up at 7:00 and need to be out the door by 7:20 and don’t get into the office until 8:15. At that time, I usually eat two hard boiled eggs with lentils or cottage cheese with lentils. My question is, Can I eat sweet potatoes and should I increase my food intake?

    • Luke says:

      Hi Barb,

      Congrats on getting started! That’s a great results for 3 weeks of slow carb.
      Sweet potatoes are only for cheat days, but it does sound like you feel you need to increase your food intake. It depends from person to person, however 2-3 eggs, plus lentils, plus veges in the morning is about right, as long as it is then followed by another decently-sized meal 4 hours later. If you aren’t eating for the first 1:15 after you get up, you may find your progress to be slower. Any way you can pre-prepare your breakfast and get up 15 minutes earlier? It could get your started well for the day ahead (just make sure if you’re eating at 7am that you’re eating again around 11am.. don’t wait too long between meals or you might get to a point where you load up more food than you need, in response to the extended period of time without food, which then makes an insulin spike more likely, which leads to fat loss).

      All the best!
      Luke

  • mk says:

    Hi,

    great website!!! your chat day sheets replaced my own notes for good:)

    maybe you could help me with some questions. i’ve been on the slow-carb diet for 4,5 weeks now. i don’t eat meat and don’t drink caffeinated drinks. my biggest problem is that i’m not losing any fat (weekly measurements show no difference since my 2nd week) and feel terrible after each cheat day (can’t sleep most of the night, possibly due to all that caffeine and sugar, and that ruins my day after. i’m also constipated for the whole day and another two-three days that follow). so any ideas what i’m doing wrong? also, how many (organic) eggs can i eat daily? thank you for your help.

    mk

    • Luke says:

      Hey MK,
      Thanks!
      Good questions. Sorry to hear you’re having some problems with your cheat day. I have a few suggestions:
      - If not already, start the day with a standard slow carb breakfast, including veges – the fibre will do good things.
      - Ensure you get at least 8 glasses of water through the day
      - Consider different cheat foods, less refined sugars and caffeine and maybe more fats and starches.
      - Perhaps re-read the slow carb chapters in the book, and double check food labels for any hidden ingredients that would be best avoided
      - Read our article on the right amount of exercise – http://www.fourhourbodycouple.com/2011/04/12/golden-rule-slow-carb-fat-loss-the-right-amount-of-exercise/

      As far as eggs go, different people have different opinions. Personally, I eat between 4 and 8 eggs daily. I have eaten a lot of eggs for a few years now, and my blood work was excellent when it was tested 12 months ago. I’ll be interested to see what it’s like now – as my egg intake has gone up. A guy I worked with on slow carb had his blood done and his cholesterol levels were better than they had been before eating slow carb food – and his regular day including 3-4 eggs.

      All the best,
      Luke

  • Avisha says:

    Hey Luke!

    Great website- i’ve been aiming to start the slow-carb diet for a little while now but first have been trying to plan out meals / prep the food.

    The biggest issue that i’ve been having though is that I am a vegetarian. I’ll eat fish but no meat. This has caused some problems in being able to plan out meals with enough lean protein without eating endless amounts of fish (and overloading on mercury in the process).

    I’ve thought about just using whey protein powder to keep the protein levels up, interspersed with ~1-2 cans of tuna, salmon, or equivalent fish per day, but I’m not so sure how well it would work. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks!
    Avisha

    • Luke says:

      Hey Avisha,

      Thanks for your comment. You’re right that the slow carb diet is challenging for vegetarians. Whey protein powder is one alternative that people look to, though it’s not certain whether or not it affects fat loss rates. If you go that direction, I’d suggest an unflavored powder, as many have artificial sweeteners which can result in a blood sugar change. If you go for wild fish and freshwater fish your mercury concerns may abated somewhat.
      Eggs are an option too, and egg whites in a carton are very convenient (vs whole eggs which add fat, once you get into the 3 or 4 per meal territory).
      Remember too that the beans and lentils you eat with each meal count towards the protein total of the meal, so you might find you’re pleasantly surprised at just how much fish/other lean protein you need on the plate.

      All the best!
      Luke

  • Cathy says:

    I agree that Tim’s book is a little hard to follow. Wish he’d do an edited edition. With recipes! Anyhow, I’ve been on the program for almost a month. I’ve lost inches but very slow on the weight loss. I’m one of the older ones (at least in years–don’t look it IRL :) ). I note that in the book, Tim says you can have some cream in your coffee, but no more than 2 tablespoons. Is that total per day? Or is that per cup, assuming that you aren’t swilling coffee all day long?
    Thanks.
    Cathy

    • Luke says:

      Hey Cathy thanks for your comment.

      Congrats on the progress so far! I think the cream is designed to tide you between milky coffees and black coffees.. I would aim to try to reduce it to nothing over the course of a month. Consider finding some good vanilla essence and/or good tasting cinnamon (Saigon cinnamon has actual flavor) to add to coffee, rather than a dairy product. That all said, I think a couple of coffees per day with 2tbsp each is what Tim was suggesting.

      All the best!
      Luke

  • Jenn says:

    Hi! So I have just started this diet and am so far loving it… i am having a problem with the bean.. i am not fond of beans unless they are covered with cheese LOL… In a few of your Food pictures you have what looks like maybe refried beans or lentiles?? I have no clue what to do with lentiles.. Do you have any recommendations for the bean factor of this diet??
    Thank you =)

    • Sharon says:

      There are some recipes for lentil soup. Many are really good. Another recipe that was on Tim Ferris You Tube videos was lentils with butter making fake mashed potatoes…kind of. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjSfo6MYELU)

      Good luck!

    • Luke says:

      Hey Jenn,
      Beans aren’t great for everyone. I have a couple of suggestions:
      Make sure you’re not eating canned ones without cooking them first. They soften up and are nicer to eat that way.
      White beans are especially easy to eat and use in different ways (mashed for example) – give them a try.
      We do indeed cook red split lentils – very cheap when bought dry, and different nutritional profile than canned lentils. All you need to do is measure approx 1/4 cup of them raw (up to 1/3 cup depending on your energy needs), and drop them into a pot of boiling water. Stir a little so they don’t stick to the pot, and in around 10 minutes they’ll be soft and good to eat. You can let them go all the way to mushy, or drain them before they get there, so they still have some texture (how I prefer them). I find they’re really great in the morning when black beans or red kidney beans just don’t look quite right next to eggs.

      All the best!
      Luke

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  • ana says:

    hola tengo unas dudas sobre la dieta, llevo una semana haciendola y el dia del trmposo desde el desayuno comenze comiendo sin seguir las reglas, hay algun problema en esto? y otra duda es con el horario del dayuno tengo que desayunar antes de realizar mis ejercicios diarios o puedo desayunar despues de hacer ejercicio?

    Gracias

    • Luke says:

      Hi, I wish I spoke Spanish, but here’s is Google’s translation of your question:
      hello I have a question about diet, took a week and the day of making it from breakfast trmposo began eating without following the rules, there is a problem in this? and another question is with the schedule I have to Dayuno breakfast before my workout I can eat breakfast daily or after exercise?

      I guess from that that you are wondering about breakfast before workouts. I recommend something like unflavored whey protein isolate, in water, with cinnamon, before a workout, perhaps with a few brazil nuts. Then have a regular slow carb breakfast after your workout. I hope that helps!
      Luke

      Supongo que desde que usted se está preguntando sobre el desayuno antes de los entrenamientos. Yo recomiendo algo así como la proteína de suero sin sabor aislar, en el agua, con canela, antes de un entrenamiento, quizás con algunas nueces de Brasil. A continuación, ofrece desayuno de carbohidratos lentos después de su entrenamiento. Espero que ayude!
      Lucas

  • Alicia says:

    Luke & Kat,
    This website is Awesome!!!! Very helpful with a lot of my questions. Of course I can think of more lol. So my boyfriend and I will be starting this on monday(it’s Wednesday), and the eating part will be fine, I’m confused about the working out part. Should I be following the same plan as my boyfriend for the gym and lifting? I feel like I will be huge! Lol. If there’s anything you can tell me to help me out I would be VERY appreciative, as I’m ready to lose this weight and feel better. Thank you so much!!!

    Alicia

    • Luke says:

      Hey Alicia,
      Thanks so much! Really glad we have been able to help you.
      With regards to working out -there’s a few options the book presents, and this is one area where it’s easy to get confused. You could go with the kettlebells, with other related exercises, shown in the ‘Michele Obama’s arms’ chapter, or you could check out the Occam’s Protocol weights too. You don’t need to worry about bulking up, or getting really big – though you might feel your muscles really working, and notice that they feel different, for women the usual outcome is fat loss, and some toning. Women who want to gain large amounts of muscle have to work very, very hard at it for a longer time than men, so in general, working out won’t get women large and muscly – more likely toned and athletic.
      With slow carb, if you’re focussed on losing fat, working out is in fact optional. Believe it or not, keeping activity to a moderate amount is the best idea – either challenging walks a few times a week, or a couple of workout sessions, with a walk or 2 is plenty. Don’t feel like you need to be ‘working off’ the fat. The food choices do the bulk of that work for you.

      All the best with it!! If you have more questions, you know where to find us.
      Cheers,
      Luke

  • Alicia says:

    Another important question, have you guys been taking the athletic greens? Do you think they are necessary??

    • Luke says:

      We haven’t taken the Athletic Greens – I do believe in greens products in general, however, having taken them in the past. However for the time being, due to a lot of travel, they’re not practical for us. I think they are a great foundation to a healthy diet and lifestyle, and there’s certainly nothing they can do but good. I go pretty overboard on fresh and frozen spinach, so at the moment, that’s my ‘greens’ intake.

      Cheers,
      Luke

      • Alicia says:

        Ok. The cheat sheets are amazing!!! One question, on cheat day, the very last line it says, Cal/Mag before bed. What is that referring to??

        • Luke says:

          :) Glad you like them! Cal/mag is a supplement – Calcium and Magnesium, close to a 50/50 balance. You can get these supplements in a lot of places.
          Luke

      • Stef says:

        hey luke,

        thanks for all your responses to everyone. i apologize if i’ve not done my homework but i’m on day 2 and i started a day after i bought the book so i still have a ton to learn. i’m motivated and excited but confused about the supplements. how important are they and can you outline what you take? i saw you mentioned the cal/mag before bed and i’ve seen the PAGG links you’ve provided. i just want to make sure i’m not rushing into the wrong supplements as i’ve never taken anything like these before.

        anything supplement related would be so helpful.

        thanks!

        stef

        • Luke says:

          Hey Stef,
          Thanks for your question!
          Supplements are just that – additional to the underlying principles. They can definitely help in a variety of ways, but in general most of them are not fundamental to the slow carb program. Though you do want to watch your potassium and other related levels like magnesium. The cal/mag I like to take due to getting some muscle cramps at night and the magnesium really helps. The PAGG is one that both Kat and I have taken this year, with good results. It definitely accelerated fat loss for both of us when we took it- and for me it helped limit fat gain when I was adding muscle by eating more, which was great.
          At the end of the day, it’s up to you what you’d like to take, but don’t feel panicked or pressured into taking anything.
          All the best!
          Luke

  • Tara says:

    Love your blog and seemingly endless patience answering questions. Mine is this: I thought we were supposed to do 20 grams of protein a meal? Looks like people are saying thirty.
    I am 49 have two kids and have been on this for about 4 weeks, I read somewhere it takes that long for it to kick in for women who have had children. So far I have only
    Lost 6 pounds is there really hope that it will work faster after the 4-6 week mark?

    • Luke says:

      Hey Tara,
      So glad you like our site! 20 grams of protein per meal is a minimum – you might see 30 mentioned in relation to breakfast, or waking up. That’s the amount that’s considered optimum for breakfast. At any rate, if you’re getting between 20 and 30 grams per meal, you’re doing great. Bigger guys might go a little higher than this if they’re weight training and not supplementing with a protein shake – but for most people this amount totals up to 80-120 grams/day which is fine.
      For women who have had kids, it does seem to take longer. Likewise people who are older than about 35 or 40 – it tends to take longer too. I think if you stick at it, and check your results after 10 total weeks, you’ll be in a much better position than when you started. Remember to measure too – weight isn’t everything on slow carb, because it’s common to gain some muscle (not obvious to the eye, but very obvious to the scales), while losing fat, so total weight loss might not look that high. I’ve heard of people actually maintaining their weight while they shed 10% bodyfat and gained muscle!
      All the best,
      Luke

  • Renee says:

    After reading about weightloss in women I thought that I would share my story. My husband and I started the 4hb in April 2011. We have been on the diet since then and have taken advantage of our cheat days =) However we only do that on Saturdays, other than that we eat like we are suppose to. TO DATE I HAVE LOST over 30 lbs. and down 4 pant sizes. The 4hb works great and we love it! So yes, it does work for women!

    • Luke says:

      Hi Renee, great to hear your story.
      You’ve done really well and I’ll be you couldn’t be happier with your results!! Congrats to both of you, and all the best for 2012.
      Luke

  • Neda says:

    Hey Luke,
    Your website is a great help!
    I’ve just started today and still have so many questions.
    Where do you order that PAGG from?

    Thanks for the info.

    Neda

    • Luke says:

      Hi Neda,
      Thanks very much!
      Having lots of questions is very common, we hope you find your answers on our site, if not, then feel free to drop us an email.
      You can get the PAGG we take at http://www.fourhourbodycouple.com/link/PAGG/
      All the best,
      Luke

      • Eva says:

        I’ve read all the instructions about the four hour diet. I don’t see any mention about fats.
        Can we eat our salad with dressing?
        Can we use mayonaise, or oil?
        This is very important, as I cannot eat salad or vegetables dry.
        the same with tuna
        Please let me know how to proceed
        thanks
        Eva

        • Luke says:

          Hi Eva,
          The recommendation in the book is to use a small amount (2 tbsp) of an oil like olive oil, or macadamia oil, with lemon juice as a dressing. You may also use 2tbsp when cooking occasionally. Ghee may also be used sparingly in cooking.
          I suggest using 2tbsp tomato salsa (no sugar added) with tuna, if you have a problem with regular tuna, and that you consider vegetables that don’t need things added to be tasty, like broccoli, spinach, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, green beans, asparagus.
          All the best,
          Luke

  • Ryan Phillips says:

    I’ve ordered the book and am about to start this diet. Once question I have is about the veggies. I don’t eat veggies and if I do it’s either corn or broccoli and cheese….or raw carrots. Is there anything I can replace veggies with??

    • Luke says:

      Hey Ryan,
      Stick with the broccoli – and lose the cheese. You can use a sprinkling of parmesan if you need. Raw carrots are good, just not too many (like 1 whole carrot per meal). If you start feeling more adventurous, check out spinach and other green veges like asparagus.
      All the best with it! The book is a great read.
      Luke

  • mark says:

    hey guys.

    quick question.. smokede salmon… its fine right? cant se why it shouldnt be..

    and if so.. for those of u how struggle with breakfeast: 1-2 hole eggs, exstra egg white if you like…(and scramble) a bit og salt and pepper… chopped (or cut with sciccors) chives
    and spinach…… breakfeast done!! has to be my all time favorite breakfeast..

    aaaaand the ladies seem to like it served in bed :)

    and slowly work youre way up to adding beans/lentils if u want

    i personally lost 9 kg the first 4 weeks without beans at breakfeast

    best wishes…

    • Luke says:

      Hey Mark,

      Smoked salmon should be fine. Just check the ingredients for no added sweeteners or curing agents.
      That’s a nice sounding breakfast!
      For some people though, beans will be necessary. Some people need the carbohydrates in the morning, while other people’s bodies will get energy from the eggs and spinach – different people respond differently to nutrients.

      Thanks for sharing, and congratulations on your progress!
      All the best,
      Luke

  • JR says:

    Thanks for the great slideshow with your popular go-to choices! I have been on and off the 4HB diet since the book came out, and am sick of hard boiled eggs and Green Bean Salad every day! I’m going to add the cottage cheese option in more of my meals. Thanks again.

    • Luke says:

      Hey JR, you’re welcome! Keep cottage cheese to 2 or 3 times a week, but also look at other meat, other beans and lentils too!
      All the best,
      Luke

  • Eva says:

    I learned a lot from the comments that I read, thank you all!
    1) I usually drink my coffee with 2 packs of truvia.( a brand name , like stevia, I get it in large amounts in costco) I understand that it is a natural substance, is it ok? and if not, why? I cannot drink my coffee without some kind of sweetener, and I will not use any artificial sweeteners.
    2) For the daily diet, is there portion control per meal in the proteins? in the heavier vegetables, like peas, or string beans?
    3) How about drinks, how many cups a day do we need to drink ( I don’t like to drink, and will drink the amount recommended)
    So far it’s 4 days and no weight loss. What am I doing wrong?

    • Luke says:

      Hi Eva,
      1/ Truvia seems like a better alternative to artificial sweeteners, though there is no long term study research that has been conducted on this substance. You say you won’t drink coffee without sweeteners – so its up to you – drink it with truvia, not knowing the long term effects, or switch to a different drink that you will have without sweeteners.
      2/ Portions should be dictated by your hunger and energy levels. You want to eat enough so that you’re not hungry between meals. And you want to eat 4 complete meals per day, which means no need to snack in between. For most people this means between 3-6oz lean protein (meat), or 2-4 whole eggs. For vegetables, peas should be avoided – stick with leafy greens, and those very close to them, like green beans, asparagus. Broccoli, spinach, kale, cauliflower are all excellent. Go for around 1 cup of vegetables per meal.
      3/ Water is very important – no matter with slow carb or any other day of your life – 8-10 glasses of water, a couple extra on top of that if you drink coffee. Try water with a squeeze or lemon for a change.
      You sound quite defensive and almost pre-frustrated by the diet. If you are keen for weight loss, you may need to find some methods to reduce stress, as this can contribute strongly to bodyfat gain and a difficulty in losing it.

      As you haven’t provided any details about your routine, I can’t make any suggestions on what you’re doing wrong. People experience weight loss at very different rates – from 1 week to 4 weeks it generally begins, and then continues at between 1 – 3 pounds per week.

      All the best, I hope you find that you have more energy and better health by following the slow carb method.
      Luke

  • Eva says:

    Thanks for your indepth answer and your keen sense of discovery. Yes, I am frustrated with dieting, as I’ve tried them all and I don’t lose weight. I’ve even gone to a nutritionist and the weight loss per week, after following carefully was ounces not pounds.

    I’m over 60 and I know that this is an age where losing is difficult. I’m determined to follow this in the right way, so that I can loose at least 10-20 pounds. I am only 5 ft tall and weigh around 150 pounds. I want to look better and stay healthy. Have older women been successful on this diet?

    I have a healthy appetite, and the one day a week splurg is very enticing. But I know that I have to be strict the rest of the week. I know I need to drink a lot of water, but I find that difficult. I’m usually not thirsty, and have to program my drinking or I won’t finish the quota ( or anywhere near it)

    I used to weight around 125lb, or 130lb, but I put on the weight when I gave birth to my children, so I wasn’t always overweight. I work part time , and have plenty of time to diet, and eat the correct foods.
    Thank you Luke, so much for your detailed reply, and look forward to success.
    Eva

    • Luke says:

      Hi Eva,

      It’s frustrating when things don’t work. Unfortunately a lot of the advice out there is based on misguided principles- even that of dietitians.

      Though I can’t provide exact advice specifically to you, the slow carb diet relies on sound principles that work with the body’s methods of fat storage, and fat burning.
      Keeping up water can be tough, but do so and there’s lots of health benefits.

      At your height, losing 10 or 20 pounds would probably make life easier for you, and perhaps a little healthier. It’s important to note however that weight alone is not a good indicator of health. You’ll get much more out of looking health factors like blood pressure, cholesterol, and other measurements like these, and taking action through food and exercise to help them be in safe ranges.

      You might want to consider a weights program, taken with a trainer who is experienced in programming weights programs for people over 50. Older people can definitely safely lift weights, and it’s one of the most healthy ways to improve heart disease risk factors, insulin resistance issues, osteoporosis, balance problems, and other things too. Building muscle also means it will be easier to lose fat. As we age, our muscles waste away over the years, and building muscle back up again can make the body revitalized, and ready to lose some of that excess fat.

      Sticking with a healthy diet that controls insulin and inflammation, like slow carb does, is a great step forward toward good health in the future. I would suggest looking into fish oil supplements if you haven’t already too.

      All the best,
      Luke

  • Eva says:

    I have one last question for now.
    Can the off diet day begin in the early evening and end the next day in the early evening?
    this is how it would look:
    1) begin the day off with an off diet dinner on one evening.
    2) then continue the day off on the next day, with an off diet breakfast, an off diet lunch, and an off diet second lunch.
    3) Then go back to the diet meal at the second day dinner.
    Can this work? It would help if I have a party weekend that begins friday evening.

  • M Denise says:

    This is SO informative! Thank you.

    1) Is powdered creamer ok in coffee?
    2) can we chew sugarless gum?

    • Luke says:

      Hey thanks for your questions!

      1/ Nope. Go with 1 tbsp of pure cream if you need something white. Otherwise, go for high quality black coffee
      2/ Best to avoid it – it stimulates appetite, as gastric juices get ready for food, as they are signalled by chewing, but then no food comes. Try drinking lemon juice water instead.
      All the best,
      Luke

  • M Denise says:

    Luke, thank you for responding.

    In my case, hunger and/or cravings hasn’t been an issue. I’m definitely never hungry while on this diet, so chewing sugarfree gum is my way of having dessert after a meal. If it doesn’t pose any problems in terms of stimulating appetite, is it ok to chew? I was more concerned b/c of the aspertame.

    • Luke says:

      Personally I would avoid artificial sweeteners generally speaking, with anything that’s going to be a habit (ie if I’m stuck once in a while I will deal with having them, but wouldn’t plan them to be part of a routine).
      Perhaps you would enjoy a piece of sugarfree dark chocolate instead? Have a look on Amazon at some options that are sweetened with stevia, and limit it to a very small serving, but this might be just enough to hit your sweet tooth, and most people consider Stevia to be a better option.
      All the best,
      Luke

  • Bill says:

    Luke, I just started the diet Monday and it is going fine. My concern is if I am getting enough protein at meals other than breakfast. I don’t want to stuff myself but I made this great “stew” with lentils, tomato, onion, lots of spices like Chili powder, garlic powder, salt & pepper and concentrated beef base to give great flavor, and pork tenderloin cut up into small pieces…really good! I have been eating that for lunch every day. Dinners are usually grilled chicken, vegetables, salad…but How many grams of protein does the average chicken thigh and breast have?

    Also, if I don’t get the 4th meal in, am I limiting my ability to get the full effect of the diet?

    Thanks,

    Bill

    • Luke says:

      Hi Bill,

      You’re lunch does sound delicious. I want to let you know that tomato and onion are both ‘borderline’ foods with slow carb – because they are both high in sugar. It sounds like your lunch might also be quite low in protein. You really want to aim for around 125g/day minimum, but better if it’s around 150g/day. For nutrition information, I always google the food name with ‘nutrition’ – ie ‘chicken breast nutrition’ and then choose a website that allows changing the serving size.
      You dinner sounds good. Not getting the 4th meal in means going for quite a while without eating, and this may be leading to feelings of hunger, which isn’t ideal. If it’s not causing you problems or cravings, see how you do with 3 meals, but always consider adding the extra. Generally, if you work, its around the 4 o’clock to 5 o’clock timeframe that people start going for snacks, which is indeed when the extra meal is perfectly positioned.

      All the best,
      Luke

  • Bill says:

    Luke, thanks for your previous answer! Let me ask you this, on salads I can’t take just straight Vinegar so I am using olive oil as well…where do you stand on olive oil?

    I believe I am not getting enough protein if I need 120-150g per day. I am using a protein shake in the morning with one egg to get to 30g within 30 minutes. Is it ok to use an afternoon shake to make sure I am getting enough protein?

    thanks for your help!

    Bill

    • Luke says:

      Hey Bill,

      You’re welcome!
      I think a bit of olive oil is ok. Maybe 1-2 tablespoons, if your protein portion is very low fat, like chicken breast or tuna. Once my meat is fatty, I tend to avoid adding extra fats. So if I’m having salmon, I’ll stick with plain veges like broccoli and spinach.
      If your goal is fat loss, I recommend against protein shakes. To get 125-150g of protein, divide by 4 and you get around 31-37.5g of protein per meal – not a huge amount. When you factor in a low fat protein like chicken or tuna, which could easily yield 25g in around 5oz, and add some beans, you’ll be there before you know it!
      For reference, common amounts of protein: chicken breast – 8g per oz, fish – 6g per oz, large egg – 6g, beef – 7g per oz.

      All the best,
      Luke

  • Jen says:

    I’m starting this diet tomorrow, and althoughI am excited about it, i’m also nervous too. I like the idea of a high protein/low carb diet, and though I know it will be tough not having my pasta….lol, my only concern is that I am allam allergic to beans, and nuts. Any idea where I can get the protein i am going to be missing from these? also, is cheese and milk ok?

    Thank you

    Jennifer

    • Luke says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      If you’re allergic to beans, this makes slow carb almost impossible for you. The only ‘out’ is if you’re not allergic to lentils. If you are allergic to both lentils and beans, then slow is just not for you, its impossible to do. Slow carb relies on the combined carbohydrates, protein and fiber in the beans, as well as in the low fat protein (meat) and vegetables for ongoing success.
      I would recommend you check out the Atkins diet for advice on how to achieve a healthy low carb diet, rather than just omitting beans from the slow carb diet. (You will be adding in a lot more fat with Atkins to maintain healthy calorie levels).
      Luke

  • M Denise says:

    I was wondering if hummus was ok on this “plan”. It is made of chickpeas.

    • Luke says:

      It’s a difficult one. A little here and there won’t hurt, but I definitely wouldn’t use it as a staple. Think about a meal of beans/lentils, low fat protein and green vegetables – what does hummus replace? The beans/lentils perhaps, but it has other ingredients that make it not ideal, compared with white beans, black beans, red kidney beans or lentils.
      All the best!
      Luke

  • just finished week one and cheat day. cheat day gave me an anxiety attack and a thrill all at once.

    question: should I eat whole eggs or white or a combo? What if one meal a day does not include beans? is that ok?

    what about salsa with beans? ok if it has tiny amy of corn?

    • Luke says:

      Hey Katie,
      Thanks for your comment. I know what you mean about cheat day! :)
      Tim recommends mainly egg whites, personally I eat whole eggs almost exclusively. You do get more calories from the whole eggs, because of the fat content, but you also have lots of healthy nutrients in the yolk, which I like to get. I try to eat as close to nature’s provided foods as I can.. and there aren’t many eggs around without yolks ;)
      Not having beans in one meal is fine, as long as you make up for it with extra protein and veges.
      Salsa is fine, even a little bit of corn is OK (as Tim mentions salsa with corn in the book), but I’d go without corn if you can find one.
      All the best!!
      Luke

  • veronica says:

    I Just started the 4hb diet. Being of mexican desent the beans are no problem at all. My question is” breakfast should be eaten half to one hour from waking or getting up?” I’m a light sleeper and often woken up real early and not quite ready to getting up. Secondly is home made chili a good lunch with lots of bell peppers, onions, lean meat and a varity of white, black,pinto and red beans?

    • Luke says:

      Hey Veronica,
      Sounds like you’ve got a head start! :)
      Realistically, you need to judge for yourself what will work best, but don’t get out of bed to eat breakfast if you’re going back to bed again. Really, it’s a matter of eating breakfast within the first 1/2 hr – 1hr of starting your day.
      You chili sounds great – but for the onions. High in sugar unfortunately. Without them, this would be a good meal, but go easy on the tomatoes too, as they have sugar as well. Make sure you’re getting a good ratio of meat to beans – you want around 20g protein from the meat at each meal, plus 1/3-1 cup beans.
      All the best!
      Luke

  • Craig says:

    Hi Luke!

    Just started the diet this week and i am very excited about it. My only concern is that i am always very into tastes. so normally i will be craving a taste rather than actually being hungry. the problem lies with the fact that i am not using any sauces or salt to make my meals taste better. i am currently eating spinach leaves and cut up plain chicken breast. it is so dry and i get no enjoyment out of it. is there anything i can be adding to chicken, fish, or steak to help make it a little tastier?

    thanks!

    • Luke says:

      Hey Craig thanks for your question.
      My suggestion is to get into the herbs and spices aisle at your grocery store and go crazy! Always check to make sure there’s no fillers, like corn starch or potato starch, but basically any herb or spice is fair game. If you’re buying pre mixed spices, avoid ones with MSG – they spike your appetite.
      To chicken, you might add some rosemary, or you might cook the chicken breast with a little bit of tomato salsa. You could also cook it with a little but of butter which is delicious. For fish, think lemon juice, and pepper. For steak – salt and pepper goes really well. If you have a problem with dry meat, you can always add a little water to your pan (if that’s how you’re cooking) and that can solve this problem. In some cases, with very low fat meats, like chicken breast and plain tuna, you could add some olive oil, macadamia oil or avocado oil. You might want to consider salads with meat, plus a little oil and lemon juice. Or perhaps some avocado in the salad. Spices go really well for hearty meals and I particular like hot ones like cayenne. Also try cinnamon – you might be surprised at what it can do to a dish. And think about cooking some meats with the beans, and veges, plus water and herbs/spices for a bit of a sauce.
      All the best!
      Luke

  • Chris says:

    I am starting slowvard and pagg tomorrow . . . i have my food and supplements ready to go!

    I was on my own diet + HIIT (high intensity interval training), and not cheating for a few months now, so I am confident in my ability to switch to the diet while maintaining a light workout schedule, and the pagg as well.

    With respect to the pagg, tim by name mentions these Mega Green Tea Extract pills (725 mg) from vitamin shoppe – and those are the ones I got – so am I only taking one of those at breakfast (since the daily recommended dose is 900-1000 mg in the book)? and thereby changing the AGG part to AG for lunch/dinner and to PAG for bedtime? I think my garlic is similar, and will only be taken twice a day . . .

    I have some biotin to take and R-ala before my meals, as well as policosonal for bed time.

    Has anyone typed up a time schedule for the day? It seems like a lot with: wake, drink ice water, PAGG 15 mins before eating, air squats 1 min before eating, eat (within 30 mins of waking), then in 90 mins do more air squats . . . that is only for breakfast. It really seems like a crazy schedule, and wonder how people are coping with the time and remembering everything.

    I plan to do the ice water in the morning, and ice packs at night, but forget the cold showers. I won’t have a problem with the food – i have black beans, pinto beans, red lentils, frozen spinach, frozen green beans, baby carrots, egg whites, eggs, chicken, and GFO ground beef all ready to go – and I enoy eating all of them.

    my main concern is the pagg stack, and the air squats and stuff. I assume my PAGG stack will work – it’s all from GNC, and most of it is recommended from the book. I don’t think that the one-a-day pills will have a big effect on weight loss since the active ingredients will still be in my system.

    Do we only take 23 mg of the policosanol before bed?

    Thanks

    • Luke says:

      Sounds like you’ll make the transition quite easily. Double check the book details – I think you’ll find that the pills you’re taking (though I don’t guarantee this) have an effective dosage lower than their total weight. You’re meant to take the recommended dose, 3 times per day.

      The main thing here is don’t modify anything! You don’t need to personalize or adjust this system – just follow along with it. This can be tough for people who are used to building their own lifestyle/regime, but it really is in the simplicity that this works best.

      You don’t need to do the damage control exercises every day – so you can worry less about fitting in the air squats and the wall presses. It doesn’t hurt but it definitely isn’t necessary.

      Yes, only 23mg of Policosanol once per day – before bed.

      All the best!
      Luke

  • Chris says:

    I typed up a schedule, and am confused . . . are we supposed to be eating 2 lunches? or only breakfast / lunch / dinner – the confusing part is that it says eat every 4 hours, and there are only 3 pills in your PAGG stack for before meals . . .

    If I get up at 7, and eat breakfast at 7:30, that has me eating dinner at 3:30 which doesn’t seem right . . .

    Also, my aged garlic extract comes in a 600 mg pill – should I only take one a day, or double that and take 1200?

    Thanks

    • Luke says:

      Hey Chris,

      You’re right about the schedule, and the confusion!

      Some people eat 3 meals, some people eat 4 meals. With the quantities of food I eat, I have always found that 4 hours apart is ideal for these meals. Any longer, and I’m starting to dream about nuts, and yogurt and fruit, and that means I’m quite hungry. So I aim to not hit that level of hunger – it doesn’t help accelerate fat loss, and makes life more difficult every day. So, I recommend 4 meals per day, 4 hours apart. For PAGG, I use it for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Bedtime, therefore skipping the afternoon meal.
      In your example, this means breakfast at 7.30, lunch at 11.30, afternoon meal at 3.30, dinner at 7.30.

      Double check the garlic dosage according to the book and try to get exactly the right amount.

      Cheers,
      Luke

  • Chris says:

    I just had like 6 carrots (without air squats / wall pushes) to hold me over til lunch – I bought raw beans and had to soak / cook them, so they weren’t ready for breakfast or lunch yet. I’m going to go get a can now from the store to have with lunch – will this really set me back? And can I pickup with lunch now doing my PAGG stack and exercises before eating?

    • Luke says:

      Hey Chris,

      Sounds like you haven’t eaten any beans for the morning? But did have protein? Not sure really. Either way, it sounds like a little more planning will go a long way for you, and help you avoid these scenarios. The result of this one event is much less important that adjusting habits to make this easier for you in the long run.

      All the best,
      Luke

  • tia says:

    Hi luke.

    What do you think of this recipe for people with little time in the morning, in addition to beans?

    egg and bacon cupcakes:
    line muffin tins with bacon or ham, crack an egg in and bake in 200C oven for about 10-12 minutes

    tia

    • Luke says:

      Looks pretty good Tia – if you use low fat bacon especially. You could easily throw in some fresh spinach into them, and they’d be good to go! My final suggestion would be to do an egg and bacon ‘muffin’ where you use blended, cooked red split lentils as well. You could adjust portions so 1 muffin is 1/2 a meal for example – 1.5 eggs, 1/3 cup cooked lentils, 1/2 cup fresh spinach, sliced/diced bacon. Easy to store and fast to reheat in the microwave too!

      Cheers,
      Luke

  • Ladie Kelly says:

    hi there, getting started on this in a few days, i’m glad i stumbled across your website, extremely helpful, will keep you updated on my progress and i’ll show you my end result! :)

  • Chanelle says:

    Hi, I am wanting to know how many meals to have each day? If I was to eat 6 small meals a day on this diet I would still be eating at midnight. I can tell you now that I am in bed way before 11pm on most weeknights, even weekends. So what should I do? Also are peas and beans allowed on the diet as there is so much conflicting information about this, some say yes, other’s say no! What do you think?

    Chanelle – Australia.

    • Luke says:

      Hey Chanelle,

      Good question. Most people eat 3 or 4 meals per day. I recommend 4 meals per day, 4 hours apart. This gives you 12 hours of eating meals, and 12 hours off, overnight.
      I recently wrote an article about peas – Coles brand Baby Peas in a can actually have incredibly similar nutritional information to canned 4 Bean Mix, so I feel these are an acceptable substitute, but frozen peas generally have different nutritional qualities than these canned ones. You can definitely eat green beans as your green vegetable at a meal – you might also have spinach or broccoli in place of the green beans.

      All the best!
      Luke

  • Sue says:

    Hi just started today, have the book on order, but i thought i would start with the things i have read through your site. can you advise if this is ok for my first day:
    breakfast
    2 whole eggs, handful of spinach, 1/2 cup beans

    lunch
    tuna, spinach, small amount of red onion, lemon juice, canelloni beans

    afternoon meal
    chicken, spinach, lemon juice, red kidney beans

    Dinner
    2 poached eggs, spinach, red kidney beans

    • Luke says:

      Hi Sue,

      This looks like a great sample meal! Keep up this kind of routine and you’ll probably be feeling and looking great! Adjust to your hunger levels and it’ll be a breeze.

      All the very best,
      Luke

  • John B says:

    I am going on day 5 tomorrow and have seen some really good results thus far. Being a type two diabetic, I wondered how long it would take to see a reduction in glucose levels. My answer, one day. I have had to cut back on all my Meds as sugar levels dropped dramaticaly over night. One thing though, I have not been able to do 4 meals a day since the 1st day, just not hungry and feel like I have beans coming out of my ears.

    Wish there wear a slow carb replacement for them like a protein shake but guess i am out of luck there. I will continue to shovel them down but, man its tough. 2nd day i felt sick and was dry heaving mid morning (going through detox?) that has gone away and now i find myself just trying to get creative with the bean consumption.

    • Luke says:

      Hi John,

      What an incredible result! One day.

      Congratulations on getting started, and I am really excited for you! The amount of beans can pose a problem for some people, so it’s about, like you say, being creative with flavors. Also try different kinds of beans.

      My number 1 suggestion for the beans, however, is to alternate them with red split lentils – they really a quite a different taste, and texture, and you might prefer them. Buy them dry and boil them for around 10 minutes/until moderately soft.

      All the very best, and I’d love to hear more about how you do, and what kinds of results you have with meds, etc, as a Type 2 Diabetic.

      Take care,
      Luke

  • Josh says:

    This is really great advice! I’ve been on the slow carb diet for a few months now and I’ve lost 45 pounds in all. Going from 222 to 177.2 prior to cheat day. I’m also 6’2 or so. I seem to be at a plateau right now. I’m so conscious to be at that 50lbs loss mark. I retained a lot of muscle in the process though. And I have been taking a pre workout supplement called Craze. I’ve been on it for just as long as I’ve been doing the slow carb diet (cycling on and off). But I’ve noticed that the pre workout Craze has sucralose in it, and it also says that it has ingredients from milk, bread, etc. I was just wondering if that is maybe causing me to plateau? Even though I’ve been on it nearly this whole time and still able to lose all that weight? Regardless, this diet works. I’m proud of everything I’ve accomplished so far. And thanks again for all the amazing advice and tips!

    • Luke says:

      Hey Josh,

      Congratulations to you!! That’s an impressive change. You must feel completely different!

      Your pre workout drink could be holding you back from more progress, though it sounds like you’re doing some pretty heavy lifting, so that’s probably why you were able to lose while drinking it. Everyone’s body has a certain level that it’s most comfortable at, and at 6’2″, and 177 lbs, I’d suggest you’re pretty close to it. Any more fat loss may involve some muscle loss, so keep up the workouts and protein. You might also need to look at some more advanced fat loss techniques, like more disciplined ketogenic diets (like TKD or CKD) if your goal is this important to you. But always remember, it’s our interpretation of numbers that make them important. Focus on how you’re feeling, and what you’re able to do to feel great about the progress you’ve made. I wouldn’t spend too much time hanging on to a random number like ’50′. Remember, if you happened to be born in another country, you’d be aiming for ’22.68′ (kgs) – which doesn’t seem that important compared to how different you’re feeling and looking. In that country, you might have been aiming at ’20′ as your significant number.

      All the best,
      Luke

  • Chris says:

    Thanks so much for all the info, I had lots of questions but most are answered. The one question i haven’t seen is, is this diet ok for nursing moms. my daughter lost 11 pounds the first week and loves the diet, my only concern is that her baby is getting the nourishment she needs due to no dairy in the diet.

    • Luke says:

      Hey Chris,

      I’d definitely consult your doctor about this. In general, most diets/restrictive eating plans aren’t ideal for nursing or pregnant women. That said however, any eating method that moderates your insulin levels is a very good thing.

      All the best,
      Luke

  • Lucy says:

    Hi guys,
    great website. I read the whole book but was still confused. So here are my questions.
    I have 7 lbs to lose and would like to go from 24%body fat to 21%.
    I was paying very close attention to the chapter on losing those last 5-10 lbs, but was confused on the recommendations. Can you guys clarify? What are the differences between these recommendations and the regular slow carb diet.
    Thank you.

    • Luke says:

      Hey Lucy,
      Really that chapter is for people who are pushing almost below a natural bodyfat level. So, for men pushing down to 5% or 7%, for women pushing down into the mid-low teens. My suggestion is to focus on workouts, and slow carb. Workouts will increase muscle mass, and you can look substantially different – you might lose 4 lbs fat, gain 4lbs muscle and looks 8lbs better! Weight is very misleading when you start adding muscle.

      All the best,
      Luke

  • Tim says:

    Hi Luke…
    Great blog! Question I am on the first week of a sc life style change and loving it! I am also an avid triathalete and 1/2 – full marathoner….how can I include the nutrition i need to train and race and higher training levels!

    • Luke says:

      Hey Tim,

      Thanks! For someone as active as you, you might want to read up a bit more on carb timing. You probably want to include some extra carbs the night before a race, at a minimum. Perhaps the whole day before the race. Also, for training, you might want to have supplemental carbs after training.

      All the best,
      Luke

  • Byron Friday (@akaTGIF) says:

    Love the slide show, unfortunately your didnt include the ingredients list or recipes ;(

    • Luke says:

      Hey Byron, you’re seeing lots of red split lentils, black beans, white beans, red kidney beans, cauliflower, broccoli, eggs, ham, white beans.

  • Dave Gallant says:

    Hi Luke,

    I love the site. I’m trying to make sense of something though. I noticed that in some of your photos you had ham. Doesn’t ham contain sugar? Or is it acceptable to eat on non cheat days? Also, what kind of spices do you use? Anytime I look for spices/sauce I always notice sugar as an additive/ingredient and go home empty handed.

    I’ve been following the meal plan to a “T” a few times. First time I initially lost close to 40lbs. I now started on it again and have been on it for about 4 weeks. I’m done 6lbs but it now seems like I’ve plateau’ed (I’m 258 at the moment). Any suggestions? My diet is literally beans, Meat, and veggies with no spices .

    Dave

    • Luke says:

      Hey Dave,

      Thanks for your comment, so glad you like the site!
      Ham is a tricky one. Certain brands differ, and different geographies have different styles of ham too. In general, what you’re seeing in those photos is ham without added sugar. So, if you’re careful and shop around, you might find similar near you.
      As far as spices go – spice mixes tend to be backfilled with junk like sugar, but pure spices don’t. Cayenne pepper, pepper, salt, dried onion, dried garlic, ginger, mustard powder are ones I use often. Then there are mixes that are literally just a mix of pure spices, like garam masala, yellow curry powder, mexican chilli spices. Also, you might like to try thai red curry paste, just make sugar it doesn’t have added sugar.

      As far as making progress goes, sometimes you can stall, keep up the same habits, and then start losing again. Frustratingly, fat loss isn’t always linear from week to week. You might also like to try a bit of intense exercise a couple of times per week – that can help plateaus. Also, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, and getting an adequate amount of sleep too.

      All the best!
      Luke

  • David says:

    Hey Luke. How did you make your omelet? What kind of beans/lentils have you found to taste good either for chicken, beef, or eggs? How long did you cook your lentils for that texture you talk about? Thanks so much,

    David

    • Luke Starbuck says:

      Hi David,

      My omelettes are usually 4 eggs, whipped up, sometimes with chopped/diced bell pepper.
      I like lentils with fish, black beans with beef and white beans with fish or chicken. Lentils with eggs is also a great combination.
      Cooking the red split lentils takes around 10 minutes for that texture. Too long and they turn into a big mush.

      All the best,
      Luke

  • Helder says:

    Hi luke,

    i see there are some meals with bacon, or at least it seems. I’ve never seen it on any slow-carb ingredients list, that’s why i’m asking if it’s also allowed, as well as ham…

    Helder

    • Luke Starbuck says:

      Hi Helder,

      There are some meals with turkey bacon – this isn’t optimal but is OK a few times a week. Also, natural bacon itself, perhaps 1 piece, would be OK a few times a week.

      All the best,
      Luke

  • Janelle says:

    Hi,

    So my husband and I just started this diet in hopes to both lose a few pounds before a big trip coming up in June. We are going to an all inclusive..maybe you see where I am going with this;) I fear we will gain everything back in one week of being off the diet. We will try to stick to it as much as we can but we didn’t pay all that money to not take advantage of unlimited drinks;) Will all our hard work go down the drain in one week?

    Thanks,

    Janelle

    • Luke Starbuck says:

      Hi Janelle,
      I hope you had a great trip, my apologies for the delay in answering.
      How was the trip? Did you gain much?
      Cheers,
      Luke

  • McCourt says:

    Hi Luke,

    So I just found your website through google searching for the slow carb diet. I was curious…..what do you recommend for folks struggling with digesting beans? I can do lentils but beans are an entirely different story. Thanks for any suggestions. I love your pictures of your meals. Very helpful.

    • Luke Starbuck says:

      Hey, thanks for your question.

      My suggestion is to go with red split lentils, for fast meal preparation, and other lentils when you have more time.
      I’m really glad you’ve found the pictures helpful!

      All the best,
      Luke

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