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Slow Carb diet a decent beginning for a lifter?
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stugatz Offline
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Slow Carb diet a decent beginning for a lifter?
Well, it's 2017 and I intend to start my lifting with a bang this year, since last year I only did it on-and-off...and didn't have a very strict diet.

I want to follow a simple diet for now, and only kick it into overdrive when I've become comfortable. Is the Slow Carb diet decent enough?

From Wikipedia, the rules are:

"Avoid any carbohydrate that is, or can be, white."
"Eat the same few meals over and over again."
"Don't drink calories."
"Don't eat fruit."
"Take one day off per week and go nuts."

Other than skipping all fruit, I'm comfortable with all of this. (Is skipping fruit really a good move?)
01-09-2017 08:47 PM
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Corollary Offline
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RE: Slow Carb diet a decent beginning for a lifter?
The diet is good enough.

When you first start dieting, the hard part will be sticking to any diet regardless of what food you're eating. If you can consistently follow the slow carb diet, you'll find it easy to switch to something else when your goals become more clear.

Build habits first, and worry about the details later.
01-09-2017 09:23 PM
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Steelex Offline
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RE: Slow Carb diet a decent beginning for a lifter?
No no no no no.

No.

Are you just trying to get a six pack or are you trying to build muscle? Carbs play a very fucking important role in building muscle.

You're just picking a random diet off the internet without understanding how the different elements of the diet work together to change your physique.
01-09-2017 11:52 PM
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Steelex Offline
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RE: Slow Carb diet a decent beginning for a lifter?
I'm going to add on to this, the whole bias against simple carbs is based on the fact that they can cause a quick insulin spike, and it's easy to ingest a lot of them quickly.

While this is true, you can mitigate this by
A) eating a reasonable amount of carbs
B)eating them with fat or protein to blunt the insulin spike
C) not consuming them in the form of soda, candy, ect

Getting a diet off wikipedia is like getting stock portfolio advice off of wikipedia.
01-10-2017 12:02 AM
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stugatz Offline
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RE: Slow Carb diet a decent beginning for a lifter?
(01-10-2017 12:02 AM)Steelex Wrote:  I'm going to add on to this, the whole bias against simple carbs is based on the fact that they can cause a quick insulin spike, and it's easy to ingest a lot of them quickly.

While this is true, you can mitigate this by
A) eating a reasonable amount of carbs
B)eating them with fat or protein to blunt the insulin spike
C) not consuming them in the form of soda, candy, ect

Getting a diet off wikipedia is like getting stock portfolio advice off of wikipedia.

As I don't know much about what I should eat in order to get the best results from lifting, I was using the Slow Carb diet as a building block - mainly to see if I could stick to a diet, any diet, as I got started. The fact that it's low-carb and high protein was what drew me to it.

Earlier when I used this (beginning of 2015), I *did* eat carbs on the on-days, but only complex carbs and fruit.
01-10-2017 04:12 AM
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Steelex Offline
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RE: Slow Carb diet a decent beginning for a lifter?
If you don't know much about diet and nutrition, then I suggest you really start reading everything you can get your eyes on, until you become really fucking knowledgeable about the subject.

Layman's knowledge will yield layman's results.
01-10-2017 10:55 AM
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Steelex Offline
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RE: Slow Carb diet a decent beginning for a lifter?
Oh yeah, forget about that 4 hour this, that, whatever. Go ask anybody who makes their living on fitness if they dedicate 4 hours a week toward their body. They will laugh.
01-10-2017 10:59 AM
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H1N1 Offline
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RE: Slow Carb diet a decent beginning for a lifter?
Here's something sensible that can get you started straight away, whilst you decide if you want to get more serious about this stuff. As a beginner, particularly if you don't have an especially athletic background, you probably don't know how to push yourself hard enough yet to really need a dialled in diet. Eating enough food of the right types will take you a long way whilst you research more and learn how your body responds to stimuli.

If you're looking to gain some strength and drop a little fat, then eat moderately on this diet. If you want to gain some muscle, eat a lot on this diet and ensure there are no times during the day when you are particularly hungry. If the scale doesn't move for a week when you're trying to gain some weight, then that's the time to start supplementing with drinking calories (ie milk/shakes) or the odd bit of junk food/sweets etc.


Quote:Science can make nutrition complicated. Measure the glycemic index of this, the glycemic load of that. How much omega-6's in this? What about omega-3's?

While a deeper level of nutrition knowledge can certainly be useful, what we often get through the media are little bits of information that's never paired with an overall philosophy.

It becomes especially hard when faced with nutritional science that seems to contradict itself. Eggs are a great source of protein and healthy fats. No, eggs have too much cholesterol and "bad" saturated fat. What do we do?

Enough.

Here's my philosophy: I call it the Simple Diet, because it's simple to understand and the foods you're eating will be in their simple, or basic, form.

This diet is particularly useful when you want to lean up a bit but still live a relatively normal lifestyle. If you hope to get unbelievably cut or prep for a bodybuilding show, this likely isn't for you, but if you found that your holiday bingeing has extended into spring training, then this might be your answer.

This diet assumes you're working out reasonably hard at least several days a week. If you're not doing that, start. If you don't plan on doing that, you're on the wrong website.
Builders & Energy Providers

I think of food in terms of two categories: builders and energy providers. That's how I teach the nutrition basics to my kids, who are all five and under. It's simple, and it works. You can also add a third category: stuff that keeps you healthy.

This paradigm matches nicely with the primary functions of nutrients, which are to provide energy, build and repair tissue, and regulate metabolism.
Builders

The meathead's favorite food group. The stuff that does this job is protein and fat. On this diet, you can eat as much natural, unprocessed protein and fat as you want.

Here are some examples:

Red meat
Eggs (whites or whole)
Chicken (with/without the skin)
Turkey (with/without the skin)
Fish (with/without the skin)
Butter
Coconut oil
Olive oil

You'll notice that I'm pushing unprocessed foods. Slicing turkey meat from an actual turkey breast is better than opening a package of pressed mechanically separated turkey parts. You already know this, because that turkey sandwich the day after Thanksgiving tastes a hell of a lot better than that five-dollar foot long from Subway, it's just less convenient. Get over it.

I'm a big fish fan. One of the rules of this diet is that you have to eat fish at least twice a week, and the more the merrier. However, fish from a can doesn't count – it's not off-limits, but it doesn't count toward your twice-a-week total. Non-farmed fish is ideal, but work with what you have access to.

I'm not as excited about pork. Fish and lean red meat (and wild game if you have access to it) is number one. Pigs aren't as good, in my opinion. Sneaking in some lean pork tenderloin is permitted, but no bacon or hot dogs. They're processed junk.

Avoid things like mayonnaise, peanut butter, and sour cream. Mayo is too processed and peanut butter and sour cream, while natural, are better for weight gain, and this is a weight loss program. If you find yourself losing weight too fast and aren't trying to get ultra lean, you can add those foods back in.
Energy Providers

This is where carbs fall. This is not a low-carb diet – those diets can work but can be a pain to follow, not to mention they cause intense workouts to suck. This diet will have carbs, but they'll be of the healthy sort.

Here's what you can eat:

Potatoes (any version in its natural state)
Sweet potatoes (ideal)
Rice (any version)
Oatmeal (any version but steel cut preferred)
Any fruit
Any veggie

Note: Wraps and the like may be used sparingly (once or twice a week)

You may have unlimited amounts of any of the foods from either of the above categories. Yes, unlimited. Most people don't crave natural foods, and there are far fewer reports of binging on chicken and rice than beer and wings. Natural foods are also enormously satisfying and contain more fiber, so they fill you up quicker.

Natural foods are also much harder to come by. You can get junk food at 2 AM just by hitting up the drive thru or vending machine. You're much less likely to have a post-bar binge-fest if it requires grilling up chicken and digging out the rice cooker.

Finally, natural foods tend to spoil, so you usually don't have unlimited quantities lying around, and they're expensive – so even if your head or stomach doesn't tell you to stop eating, your wallet will.

You still might find yourself a bit hungry or experiencing cravings while on this diet. That's expected, but it won't be cravings for these foods.
Rules

You will have veggies at every meal. Yes, every meal, including breakfast. You can have whatever veggies you want, but fresh or frozen is preferred over canned. Your veggies should be bright and colorful and actually have taste.

Peas, broccoli, shredded peppers, and mixed veggies are my personal favorites, but have whatever you want. This will help you feel full, give you some energy, and along with the good fats, help take care of the third category, keeping you healthy.

Avoid any processed carbs, junk food, desserts, sugar, soda, and fruit juice – all off limits. Pasta and bread are also on the avoid list.

Of course, you can eat that stuff if you must, just be aware that you're cheating if you do. There are also no diet drinks allowed – no Diet Snapple, Pepsi One, Coke Zero, etc. They're not natural things so they don't qualify (hey, it's my diet!).

Basic rule, if the food doesn't look pretty close to what came out of the ground, you can't have it.
Notes

Nuts. While healthy, nuts tend to slow down the weight loss process. If you're losing weight too fast, or trying to gain a bit of muscle, then by all means include them. But for straight fat loss, go nut-free for a month and see what happens. You can then make a decision based on the results.
Coffee. I'm not a coffee drinker, but if you're going to drink it in its relatively natural state (meaning your cup of joe doesn't resemble a 30-ounce milkshake with caramel drizzle), then it's likely okay. I also don't think a person should be addicted to anything, so if you go into caffeine withdrawal without coffee, it's time to get that under control.
Milk. I like milk and tend to include it in my diets. Start off with 16 ounces or less of whole milk (preferably organic) per day and see how you respond. If you're losing weight too fast, start to add it back in, if not keep it out. The same holds true for most dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese.
Alcohol. From a health and fitness point of view, wine is the best (although I don't drink it, much to my wife's chagrin). Try limiting wine to one or two times a week and see how you respond. I'd avoid beer or hard alcohol, although you can have them with your weekly cheat meal. My rule of addiction holds true here, too, so if it'd be hard for you to go a month without booze, then now's the time to stop and get it under control. One of my favorite quotes (from Epictetus) is, "No man is free who is not a master of himself."
Supplements. While no diet "needs" supplements, a good peri-workout protocol would be one of the first things I'd put back into a diet, especially if you're going for that "pretty lean but still big and powerful" look. Check out Plazma™ – the feedback is astounding.

Cheating

What I like about this diet is that you can follow it long term. I should point out that to me, a diet doesn't mean a plan you follow for a set time to accomplish a goal; it's simply a word to describe one's eating.

But denying yourself sucks, and we only have so much will power, so I want you to cheat on this plan. For one meal, once a week, every week, you can eat whatever you want, as much as you want. No limits.

Ideally, eat reasonably healthy for that meal; go out to a restaurant and order the fish and rice, but add that appetizer or dessert that you've been craving. In other words, it's better to do "little cheats" instead of a big cheat.

So if you're craving food not on the plan, eat a healthier choice like spaghetti with meat sauce instead of three Big Macs. Think of food as a continuum; just because you're cheating doesn't mean you have to go completely to the other side.

The leaner you are, the closer to where you want to be physique-wise, the more you can cheat. The heavier you are, the further away from your goals, the less you can cheat. You can rationalize this by saying heavier folks have already been cheating so now it's time to pay up and be strict, while leaner people have earned a bit of freedom with their diet and can enjoy themselves accordingly.
Simple Summary
What to eat

Unlimited natural, unprocessed meat (chicken, turkey, red meat, wild game)
Unlimited animal skin
Unlimited natural fat
Fish (not from a can) twice per week minimum
Veggies with every meal, no exceptions
Unlimited fruit
Unlimited potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, and oatmeal
If you follow the above rules, one meal per week eat whatever you want, as much as you want.

Note: Choose organic and/or high quality versions of the above foods whenever possible or as budgetary restrictions allow.
Maintenance

A typical 200-pound male following this plan should lose 1-2 pounds a week of mainly fat. Use the stomach/waistline as a progress guide – over time it should get smaller and noticeably leaner.

Once you've reached your goal you may modify the program a bit. You might include another cheat meal, or simply try to eat another meal on top of what you're normally consuming to prevent further weight loss. Adding in additional pre or post workout nutrients would be the best place to start. By this point you should have learned how your body responds to different foods and can make changes appropriately.
Get Simplified

What's great about this diet – apart from its efficacy – is that you can follow it for a long time, it works pretty well with "real life," and it still supplies enough energy to get through your T Nation approved workouts.

But it isn't complicated – when it comes to nutrition, simpler is often better.

https://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-loss/simple-diet
01-10-2017 11:07 AM
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ScrapperTL Offline
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RE: Slow Carb diet a decent beginning for a lifter?
I'm a natural Meso/Endo morph thats been an obsessed fitness nut for over 15+ years.
I stay lean and vascular year round (6 pack) with a simple lifestyle that I have refined over many years.

Here it is:
M-F Intermittent Fasting + Seafood, Meat, Vegetables, Nuts, Fruit

With this simple diet, I never have to Count Calories or be concerned about Portion Size.
There are days where I absolutely gorge on massive amounts of food and as long as I stick to the simple rules above, I stay ripped.

Eating Schedule:
Monday Thru Friday, 3:30pm to 8:30pm (5 hour eating window)
Amino Acids or a cup of Bone Broth first thing in the morning to prevent Catabolism
Saturday and Sunday, I eat whenever I want I skip Intermittent Fasting these days

7 days a week I eat only Seafood, Meat, Vegetables, Nuts, Fruit
The only time I break this rule is if I am out with Friends or Family
Sample Meal:
Big bowl of Watermelon, Pineapple and Blueberries
Plate of Steak, Mushrooms and Broccoli covered in Butter
Side bowl of Salad w/Sunflower Seeds, Cashews and Almonds

I'm not really concerned with Sauces, if I want BBQ sauce, Gravy, Whipped Cream or Dressing than I eat it, no big deal - this is trivial, so go for it.

If you eat like this, I can almost guarantee that as long as you don't have a medical condition, you will never have to worry about portion sizes or caloric intake.
01-10-2017 11:37 AM
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RE: Slow Carb diet a decent beginning for a lifter?
(01-10-2017 11:07 AM)H1N1 Wrote:  The leaner you are, the closer to where you want to be physique-wise, the more you can cheat. The heavier you are, the further away from your goals, the less you can cheat. You can rationalize this by saying heavier folks have already been cheating so now it's time to pay up and be strict, while leaner people have earned a bit of freedom with their diet and can enjoy themselves accordingly.

This is so true!!!
I remember on Thanksgiving I had 7 slices of Pie at my cousins spot.
That night I was looking more vascular than ever and next day I was visually way thicker muscle wise than I am normally.

Felt great but I immediately jumped back onto my healthy lifestyle the next day, because I know from experience this was not maintainable.
01-10-2017 11:43 AM
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RE: Slow Carb diet a decent beginning for a lifter?
I vouch for the slow-carb diet as an easy way to lose fat if you don't want to count calories

Lost 20-30lbs on it in a combination with fasting in 2013

If you want to actually put on size though, you're going to have to eat more carbs than you would on slow-carb

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(This post was last modified: 01-10-2017 12:14 PM by Prof. Ligate.)
01-10-2017 12:13 PM
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RE: Slow Carb diet a decent beginning for a lifter?
My way of eating is very similar to what this Slow Carb diet describes (I have one cheat day per week but try to stay reasonable on it) and I can tell you that it works. I've lost fat and gained muscle. In terms of exercise, I dedicate 20% of my energy to cardio and the rest to lifting (heavy weights, small sets to failure).

My goal is overall improvement - muscle size, strength, but also durability and decent cardio so I'm not beefed up but gas after a few stairs. Realistically, I do not see myself ever having six-pack abs (but being close enough) or deadlifting more than 400 pounds. With my business and family schedule, it's just not feasible to follow any strict dieting plan which would enable it (counting grams of this and that, tight schedule etc.). I believe that for most guys whose whole life is not dedicated to fitness, sports or bodybuilding, this Slow Carb diet is a close enough approximation of what they should be doing.
(This post was last modified: 01-11-2017 07:18 AM by NickDunne.)
01-11-2017 07:10 AM
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PUA_Rachacha Offline
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RE: Slow Carb diet a decent beginning for a lifter?
(01-09-2017 08:47 PM)stugatz Wrote:  Well, it's 2017 and I intend to start my lifting with a bang this year, since last year I only did it on-and-off...and didn't have a very strict diet.

I want to follow a simple diet for now, and only kick it into overdrive when I've become comfortable. Is the Slow Carb diet decent enough?

From Wikipedia, the rules are:

"Avoid any carbohydrate that is, or can be, white."
"Eat the same few meals over and over again."
"Don't drink calories."
"Don't eat fruit."
"Take one day off per week and go nuts."

Other than skipping all fruit, I'm comfortable with all of this. (Is skipping fruit really a good move?)

Don't listen to Wikipedia, buy the book or at least read Tim's article on the diet on his blog.

I did the slow-carb diet for over a year. It's great if you're basically lazy and want to lose a ton of fat. I got a six pack.

As other commenters stated, you should not follow this diet straight up if you're lifting to gain mass. I would suggest a bulk, and if you want to cut while maintaining most mass, then this is your diet, since it's high protein.

I tried to follow this diet while lifting heavy and felt fucking trashed very quickly. Your body needs the carbs (glycemic stores) in order to recover and refuel for the next work out. Without that, you're not going to get any gains and feel like crap.

Tim does talk about having a cheat meal after lifting heavy in his book. This makes sense since you need to replenish your glycemic muscle stores, and I would think you would lose fat while at least maintaining mass. But don't think that you're going to gain much weight or strength by adhering to this diet.

Any questions pertaining to the diet I can answer. I figured out all the pitfalls and issues with it. It does lose a ton of belly fat, and I'm thinking of going on again just to get rid of some love handles.
01-11-2017 03:20 PM
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RE: Slow Carb diet a decent beginning for a lifter?
You're overthinking things. Eat a balanced diet with whole natural foods. Create a baseline for calories and carb/fat/protein percentages and adjust depending on goals (muscle gain, fat loss, etc.). Rinse and repeat. Once you do it the first time it's actually very easy to manage. 99% of rules in these "diets" are broscience that are going to have no measurable effect on body comp. More likely to create eating disorders than to actually improve your body comp. Don't be concerned with what's optimal unless you make a living from selling your body.
(This post was last modified: 01-12-2017 04:55 AM by Razor Beast.)
01-12-2017 04:48 AM
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