“Slow Carb Diet” – Week 4

See discussion on Fructose below. Image from Dr. Mercola.

I skipped writing last week as my parents were visiting and there was a lot going on. I have found the “slow carb” diet challenging, I believe largely because the “binge” cheat day is unappealing. Also after eating fruit on Whole 30, it’s hard to go six days without having *anything* sweet. So I was eating chocolate chips on the daily last week, pairing them with peanut butter. I also had several dates during which I ate grains/gluten in the form of tortilla chips or pita bread, and this past Friday I defrosted some Paneer left over from the Indian potluck several weeks ago, and ate that with garlic Naan I picked up from Whole Foods.

Socializing on this diet is also harder than Whole 30 for me, because there’s a lot more explaining to do since people haven’t heard of it and don’t understand the tenets of the diet, especially because there are many contradictions. I also find eating so many meals kind of challenging because getting 25-30g of protein, as well as a good amount of fiber, per meal leaves you not very hungry by the time the next meal comes around. 

SCD Chat:
HBR Review – “The Four-Hour Body? Not So Much”. This HBR journalist reviews the entire book, except for Ferriss’ take on sex, saying she needs the four hours she could spend writing about that for her workouts, instead, lol. When reviewing the SCD, she interviews Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., and Director of Fellowship at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. As I have expressed myself, Dr. Low Dog makes the following observations:

  1. The SCD probably isn’t capable of all the claims in the book
  2. Concern over limited number of veggies, lack of fruit, eliminating entire food groups (grains and starches), high intake of meat
  3. Concern over how binges will actually work for the average person, and concern over food waste from the recommendation to throw away food after binge day

page 74 – “I make myself a little sick each Saturday and don’t want to look at any junk food for the rest of the week”. Ferriss suggests eating your binge meals out so that you don’t have junk food in your house to tempt you during compliant days. He says if you do have junk food in the house, throw any leftovers out after the binge. The average person, however, will probably not mind react to binges the way that Ferriss does. Many people already eat a lot of crap everyday, so tempting them with a whole day of eating crap will just cause them to crave it more during the week. 

More on the bingeing thing…  “The lost art of bingeing” (page 104) – Here is where Ferriss tells us the principles to binging:

  1. The goal is to have food go into muscle tissue or out of the body un-absorbed
  2. Minimize the release of insulin:
    1. your first meal should be a compliant meal with 30g protein and lots of fiber
    2. drink a little grapefruit juice before your second meal 
    3. use supplements to increase insulin sensitivity 
    4. consume citric juices
  3. Increase the speed of gastric emptying
    1. drink caffeine 
  4. engage in brief muscular contraction throughout the day
    1. 60-90 seconds of air squats and/or pushups before your meals, and again 90min after

If the point of binging is to get food through your system undigested, then why even binge?? Your body isn’t getting the calories from his calculated calorie intake if the food isn’t being absorbed. He has reasons, but no citations, to each of these principles but at the end of the day, it seems to be just one more big ole contradiction in my book. He also previously claims that fruit juice is the devil, then recommends you drink citric juices during your binge. 

Now let’s talk about the fructose thing…  page 74: “Fructose is converted into glycerol phosphate more efficiently than almost all other carbohydrates. Glycerol phosphate -> triglycerides (via the liver) -> fat storage.”

This is true. However, fructose coming from fruit pales in comparison to fructose coming from other sources in the average person’s diet. Here are two articles reviewing fructose, the first one from the creator of Whole30 (Dallas Hartwig) reviewing research around fructose from fruit and it’s comparison to soda, which is bonkers. The second is from Dr. Mercola, who provides a helpful recommendation that the average person limit fructose from fruit to less than 15g per day and that “clean eaters” who don’t drink much besides water/coffee/tea and don’t consume processed foods limit fructose from fruit to less than 25g per day. He provides charts detailing how much fructose is in a standard serving of various fruits (see above). This means I could eat a banana and an RX bar (2 dates per bar) and be at 22g fructose per day. 

  1. Fructose Foolishness – Author points out that you’d have to eat 5 bananas, or 9 cups of strawberries, or 90 cherries, or 3 apples to get the same amount of fructose that you get from a 20oz soda.
  2. Dr Mercola – This article focuses on high fructose corn syrup (which is 55% fructose) and also mentions the fact that HFCS is made from GMO corn, so you also have to think about glyphosate residues and all that jazz. Mercola digs a little deeper into the issues caused by a “high fructose diet”, including obesity (which leads to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes), elevated cholesterol and blood pressure, liver disease, etc. Basically, eating a whole foods diet and limiting yourself to two pieces of fruit per day is his overall recommendation. 

Weeks 2 and 3 in review:

Week 2 in actuality… not 100% compliant on any given day
Week 3 – Holiday weekend, parents visiting, dates, etc.. hard to be compliant!

Even though I wasn’t fully compliant to the diet the last two weeks, I took pictures this week for the body composition piece and have updated measurements for the beginning of June. 

1/62/33/14/15/16/1
weight146145143142139142
chest33.53332.532.53232
waist262625.525.52525
belly button2828272726.526
hips373736.5363635.5

So I’ve also been taking measurements around my belly button and around my biceps (12″ now, up from 11″ at the beginning of the year) and quads (stable at 21″). So even though my weight rebounded from Whole30, my measurements either went down in good places, went up in good places (biceps), or stayed the same.

Week 4: what’s up this week

Gonna try to be complaint with a Saturday cheat day planned. I plan to eat lots of fruit and RX bars during a crossfit competition, then we’re celebrating Pride! #loveislove

I made a roast beef that I had in my freezer, just stuffed it with garlic and rosemary then cooked it at 375 for about 30min. I figured if it was underdone, it’s getting reheated before eating anyway. The roast beef makes eight 4oz servings, so there will be two meals that I dine out. Planning one lunch and one dinner. Other than that, I’m hoping to be motivated to stay on track this week and see how this diet actually feels.

  • Breakfast – Eggs with lentils, sautéed swiss chard and onions
    • ~300kcal, 25g protein
  • Lunch – 4oz roast beef with roasted broccoli, white beans and spinach
    • ~495kcal, 37g protein
  • Snack – 2 Tbsp peanut butter with celery
    • 195kcal, 8g protein
  • Dinner – 4oz roast beef with white beans and spinach, salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, poppy seed dressing
    • ~650kcal, 37g protein
    • Totals so far ~ 1700kcal, 110g protein, 120g carbs, 80g fat
    • macros %s —— 26% protein / 29% carbs / 45% fat
  • Before bed – cottage cheese (maybe)

This is not a lot of carbs… Wish me luck 😛

Supplements: In addition to the Cal-Mag-Vit D supplement, I am taking 1/2 portion of a multivitamin (which I have been doing), and omega-3.

Daily supplements, all taken with lunch and the other calcium taken with dinner.

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