February’s 30-Day Trial: The Slow-Carb diet

The fun thing about my decision to do six 30-day trials this year — and this is no surprise, given how obvious it is — is that I get to try six new things. Pretty profound, huh?

But here’s the point: How many times have you thought, “I’d like to make [whatever change] in my life, but [list of excuses why it won’t work]“? And to be a bit less obtuse and vague, have you ever thought, “I’d like to quit drinking, but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal and it’s fun” or “I’d like to try being a vegetarian, but it’d never work because I can’t resist turkey on the holidays”?

Well, try it for 30 days. If, after 30 days, you decide you miss beer after the softball game and that the payoff of not drinking isn’t big enough, then you’re free to go back to it. If you feel weak or are craving turkey after 30 days as a vegetarian, then head to Mongolian Barbecue and go nuts. You gave it a shot.

A 30-day trial gives you a chance to try just about anything. Because… (wait for it)… you’re just trying something out, not committing to a lifelong change.

That said, I’m ready to try my second trial. For the next month, I’m going to do the “Slow Carb” diet as outlined in Tim Ferriss’s new book The Four Hour Body.

Slow carbin’

Yes, I realize how trendy this notion is, but here’s some stuff that makes me want to try it… at least for 30 days.

  1. It’s time to be totally narcissistic.
    I’m 6 feet tall and weigh around 202 pounds. This is not a lot of weight on me and I do not have a gut at all; I carry a lot of lean mass thanks to my recreational powerlifting and other crazy shit. However, I had this great set of abs in college and I’d like them back. There is no redeeming quality here. I just want to be The Shit so I can Feel Like a Big Man and Impress Slutty Chicks.
  2. I’m kind of at war with Clay Collins.
    When Clay and I were at Blogworld Expo in October, we sat down for breakfast the first morning and Clay ordered a foo-foo egg white omelette. Which was great, because I then knew that I could order my own foo-foo egg white omelette without being mocked. So because we’re both vain young men, we decided that it would be fun/hilarious to have an Internet Marketing Abs-Off. As soon as we can decide on a way to determine who wins that doesn’t involve posting beefcake shirtless photos, maybe that’ll happen.
  3. Extreme measures are required.
    Losing 10-20 pounds of fat when you’re overweight isn’t hard. You can pretty much just eat less and move more. Losing it when you’re highly trained and near your ideal weight is much harder.
  4. I’ve done it before.
    The best and most effective “cutting” diet I ever came across in the past was called the T-Dawg 2.0 Diet from a site that Yael Grauer will doubtless recognize called T-Nation.com. (Yes, I know how that sounds. Remember the “feel like a big man” part of this.) It was very similar to Ferriss’s diet: low-carb with a cheat day. The problem I had with it was that it was a bit too restrictive and not sustainable for me, but since that worked, I know this one will.
  5. I really like Tim Ferriss.
    I’ve gone as far as to call him a personal hero, actually. I have a very strong suspicion that a lot of people who know him think he’s an insufferable prick, but I don’t care. If anyone “questions the rules,” it’s Tim. He and I are on the same wavelength about a whole lot of things.

What it is

If you have no idea what I’m talking about with this diet, it has five major tenants:

  1. Don’t eat white foods.
    Or any foods that can be white. No bread, pasta, rice (including brown), sugars, flours, etc. Cauliflower is fine, as is spinach which you’ve accidentally dropped into a bucket of white paint.
  2. Don’t drink calories.
    No juices, pop/soda, milk, etc. Stick to no-cal beverages — mainly water.
  3. Eat the same meals over and over.
    The idea is that if you simplify planning, the diet is easy to follow. So you map out a few meals and just repeat them over and over. Tim gives three major categories and suggests choosing something from each category to create a meal: meats, legumes (lentils, beans, etc.), and vegetables.
  4. Don’t eat fruit.
    I know. I know. See my note after #5, below.
  5. Take one cheat day per week.
    No holds barred. On Saturdays, Tim pretends he’s in a big, gross eating contest. This isn’t a perk; it’s a requirement. I won’t explain the science, but let’s just say that I agree with the many benefits of a cheat day from both research and personal experience. I’ve annihilated buffet lines in the past during cheats and still lost a bunch of fat. It’s amazing.

There are few restrictions beyond the above. You pretty much eat until you’re full and don’t count calories. It seems to self-regulate nicely based on some meals I’ve tried… you CAN’T easily overeat because unless you’re just eating bacon grease 24/7, you just get stuffed way before overindulging.

I’m planning to follow it essentially as laid out and will refrain from second-guessing Tim’s choices because it’s only 30 days. If I decide to continue with this one (Tim says he’s done it for seven years), I’ll almost certainly modify it a bit here and there, like add some fruit back in. But for now, I’ll do it mostly as-written because there’s little point to deciding you’re going to do something and then modifying it so much that you’re doing something different.

Here are the changes I’m going to make during my trial. They’re minor.

  1. I’m going to vary my meals more than suggested.
    The reason for simplifying is allowing you to keep on the diet, but I’m definitely not going off the diet either way. I’m a creative guy and will experiment with the new foods. I have a few staples laid out, but they will vary. This isn’t really a modification of the diet in its essence.
  2. Strictly speaking, I will drink some of my calories.
    I have a cottage cheese-based shake and whip up a disgusting green drink every morning. I’ve done it forever and do it for convenience. Since cottage cheese is specifically allowed (an exception to the mostly no-dairy guideline that’s between the lines), mashing it up with a blender isn’t going to make a difference. The “don’t drink calories” rule is there to keep you from ADDING stuff like pop. What I’m doing is drinking my actual meal. So, like #1, this also isn’t really a modification.
  3. Longer cheat period.
    This one IS a modification. If I get nowhere this month, I hereby agree not to fault the diet because I’m making this change in defiance of it. Here’s why, though: We eat dinner at restaurants every Friday and Saturday night. It’s unsustainable for me to eat some ridiculous salad and beans thing every Friday. I know, I could do it just for the trial period, but I’m not going to. The T-Dawg 2.0 diet I mentioned earlier had a 36-hour carb-up refeed, and the original T-Dawg diet (i.e. before 2.0) had the full weekend. I did 36 hours when trying this before and will do it this time.
  4. I will consume a very small amount of fruit.
    Also a definite modification, but a small one. The green drink I make each morning (yes, it’s a Dr. Oz drink, mock away) contains half of an apple per serving (the recipe on that page makes 4 giant glasses. What the hell kind of blender are these people using?) Since this drink already tastes like corpse squeezings, I’m inclined to leave in that small amount of apple. Again, if this flops, I agree not to blame the diet. And besides, look at my header… I’m known for my apple.
  5. Emergency sugars allowed.
    I’m a type-1 diabetic, meaning that I don’t produce insulin. I’ve been this way since 13, and it makes low-carb diets a whore to follow strictly — especially when exercising as much as I do. Because I inject my own insulin, it’s easy to overshoot and send my blood sugar too low. And because I prefer living to following Tim’s diet exactly, I’m going to allow myself to drink juice or eat glucose tablets when I am approaching unconsciousness. I remember this being a bitch when I did a low-carb diet before, but I just handled it and it didn’t decrease effectiveness as far as I could tell.

So that’s it. I’ve been trying out “slow carb” meals (lots of beans, etc.) for a week or so to see how I like it, and it’s cool. I will say that a Chipotle Burrito Bol with guacamole and without rice (or tortilla – but that’s what “Bol” means) is absolutely amazing and incredibly filling. I know it’s got a bunch of salt, but so does everything. I’ll be going there today. Woot!

Wish me luck!

And what about biphasic sleeping?

I guess I need a wrap-up on this one, huh?

January’s trial, biphasic sleeping, was a knockout success. I’m absolutely planning to continue it. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments below, but let’s just say that I found the following:

  • I get a lot more done. I’ve told people that if I hadn’t discovered this when I did, I’d have had to drop a bunch of the stuff I’m doing. I simply have too much going on to fit in into my old awake time.
  • I’m maximizing my most productive times of day (mornings) while sleeping during my natural brain-dead downtimes (early afternoons). The latter was wasted time even if I stayed awake.
  • The sleep I still get is off-the-hook better than ever. I never, ever slept through the night before. I used to say that if fell asleep at a normal time and woke up at a normal time maybe once per year if it was an amazing year. I used to wake up and toss and turn every night around 3-4am. Now I simply get up. My new sleep periods are solid and sound. It’s like I had to get efficient, so my body hopped-to and complied.
  • It’s flexible. It’s impractical for me to nap on Mondays and I don’t want to nap on at least one of the weekend days. So I simply skip the nap and sleep a “normal” night’s sleep. Then I readjust the next night and go back to biphasic.
  • It’s an assumption-buster. Once I decided I might not need all that sleep, I found out that I was right… but it was a mental switch that had to be made, and I had to see “less sleep” in action to make that switch.
  • Zero mental or physical performance decline. I don’t need a lot of sleep to perform well mentally or physically. In addition to running a pretty demanding business (and also now, The Badass Project), I also weight train twice a week, run three times a week (a short, medium, and long run), play tennis and racquetball, cross train on a stationary bike, and do a ton of casual recreation with my kids, and none of this seems affected by getting less sleep. One note: Sometimes I need more sleep to recover after something extreme, but not before. This was a revelation. Thanks to my daughter’s shenanigans, I got about 2-3 solid hours of sleep on Friday night before getting up to run 16 miles on snowy roads. This was absolutely no problem, but I then needed a longer nap that afternoon and slept quite a bit more on Saturday night. (Only long runs do this to me, though.)

Questions? Comments? Let’s hear them below!


  1. “You can pretty much just eat less and move more.”

    That’s kind of what all the low-carb diets are saying is wrong. If you take your “regular” diet and cut out the fat, and don’t replace it with anything, you’re going to gain weight as your metabolism slows down. That’s your body trying to sustain you through the famine you’re apparently experiencing.

    You have to replace the carbs in your diet with something else: fat, protein, “slow” or “resistant” carbs. That’s what’s in legumes. They’re not processed in the upper GI tract and function more like fiber than like other carbs.

    I’m doing this too and have also been starting the cheat on Friday night, for the same reason as you. It doesn’t seem to have hurt me yet.

    • Johnny says:

      I think it’s partially wrong, partially right. A lot of people are REALLY fat. Like, a shocking number. And I’d guess that the number of people who buy any kind of diet book are disproportionately fat. And for those folks, they’ll often lose weight with one change — often a little one. Sure, going all-carb and low-fat isn’t the right way, but neither is gorging on ANYTHING long-term.

      But yeah, I agree. Fat doesn’t make you fat in and of itself, for sure.

  2. I’ve been doing this for a few weeks already and went from 189 to 170 lbs. I’m not fat-fat, but I do seem to have a small creature inserted under the skin of my stomach somehow, which needs to go.

    Paleo was WAY too restrictive but slow-carb is actually easy to live with. I love my free days. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Yael Grauer says:

    *Looking up the T-Dawg diet.*

  4. Clay Collins says:

    You’re going DOWN, Truant!!!!

    • Johnny says:

      Let’s figure out the rules of this game, bitch!

      • Speaking of beefcake shirtless photos … if I develop a six-pack at my age, I’m going to throw out all my shirts and replace them with mesh tank tops.

      • Clay Collins says:

        Totally. Let’s just go by body fat percentage. And we have 30 days. What will be the measuring instrument? Can we agree on the same device? Not body fat calipers because those leave too much room for error.

        Also, what should we wager? How about the loser gets their “before” picture randomly posted inside your weekly copyblogger roundup?

        • Johnny says:

          Let’s get DEXA scans before and after. I need to get mine immediately before I lose fat I can’t count! I’ll probably also take weight and circumference measurements, but DEXA numbers should make the determination. Agreed?

          I don’t know that I want photos involved at all. What’s your photo fetish, Collins? ๐Ÿ™‚

          Maybe the stakes could be pride and the title of Internet Marketing Abs champion?

          I’d also be willing to do our contest over 2 months as you suggested, although I might switch to another method after this month’s trial of Slow Carb depending on whether I like it or not. So the two things can be separate. Most fat lost by March 31st or something.


          • Yael Grauer says:

            I want in on this challenge! I’m doing an Xtreme diet right now for 12 weeks. But I was using before/after photos rather than Dexa scans… hmmmm

          • Johnny says:

            Well, I’m personally at war with Clay, in a grudge match, but the more the merrier in terms of presenting results!

          • Johnny says:

            Okay, DEXA scans cost $250, and we’d each need a before and after. Clay, I don’t know how you feel, but my thought is “fuck that.” I don’t care $500 worth.

            Other scans are just as expensive.

            Skinfolk calipers are shit.

            Impedance scales are shit for overall accuracy, but I think they’re usually okay for RELATIVE changes.

            I know photos are still best, but I don’t know that I really want to cross that line.

            So I think there are two ways to go:

            1. Use weight. I already train hard and am unlikely to gain a ton of lean mass, so I can correlate weight loss roughly with fat loss. Not sure about you. And hydration also matters with weight.

            2. Use one of those shitty body fat scales, but only pay attention to the differences between readings rather than the absolute number.

            For either of those, you’d weigh yourself at the same time each morning, right after waking up and after taking a leak, and ideally only once a week (for me, I’d only use Friday morning readings).

            I’m okay with either. Thoughts?

          • Yael Grauer says:

            Bodpod is only $50-60.

          • Johnny says:

            I can’t find one near me. I’m in the sticks.

          • Clay says:

            Dude, let’s just use this: http://www.amazon.com/Omron-HBF-306-Body-Fat-Analyzer/dp/B00006WNPU

            You game? I’ll just trust you not to fudge data and you do the same.

            Just take a picture and send it in?

          • Johnny says:

            Okay, I’ll buy that thingy and will try to test at the beginning of next week as my “start” value.

            When you say pictures, is this bugging me for more pics again, or do you mean to take a picture of the fat monitor’s readout?

          • Johnny says:

            Okay, I bought it. First reading on Friday, which is right before my cheat day. You got yours, chump? ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Luca says:

    Awesome! I got Tim Ferriss’ book last week and started the diet. So far lost 1.5 Kg and 2% bodyfat.

    Not sure about the mesh tank tops though…. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I’ve been doing the slow-carb thing into my 2nd week now. With regards to cheat day, I don’t mean to get all Admiral Ahkbar on you, but “It’s a Trap!” /nerd

    Junk food and other bad stuff tastes like shit and makes you feel like shit. So if you have dreams of donuts and other crap, you’re going to be disappointed. I ended up cutting it short and eating real food on my cheat day this past weekend.

    • My wife and I have noticed the same thing. There are things we think we crave, then we have them and … meh. Not so great.

      Two exceptions: Good soft pretzels from Vera’s at the West Side Market, and fresh Krispy Kremes. Although the Krispy Kreme I only wanted one. The pretzels I only had one, but I would gladly have had another.

      • Johnny says:

        I can believe it. The better I eat (not this diet, but overall), the less tolerance I have for crap. I still like it, but I’m much more aware of how it makes me feel and how erratic it makes my blood sugar. So I tend to binge, but then back off.

      • So true! Hubby and I started the slow-carb diet on Sunday, and had our first “binge” day on Saturday. I bought junk I would normally never get, and I was exhausted and bloated-feeling. I blame the Ruffles, but we’ll see what this Saturday (homemade pizza, washed down with tasty tasty beer). I’m guessing that I’ll feel much better eating things that I actually consider “food” this week.

  7. Paolo says:

    Impressing Slutty Chicks brought us out of the Dark Ages and into the world we inhabit today, for all its wonder.

    Slow-Carb was probably the best diet to work for me yet. Lost thirty pounds doing it last year. It’s deadly easy and simple to follow, and it allowed me to still eat absurdly one day a week. Best of luck to ya!

  8. I read Tim Ferriss’ book this week. I could lose a few percentage points of body fat and having been primal for a while now, his slow-carb diet requires just some tweaking. But the cheat day scares me! I fear I could easily consume ‘000s of calories!

    • Johnny says:

      You can and will. I’m new to this diet, but I did the similar one I mentioned and I actually had to make notes to myself to NOT worry about it, because the notion is so counterintuitive. I could go NUTS on that cheat day… whole pizzas, extra dessert… and still lost weight a few days into the next week.

      I’d just say to try it. If you’re the one exception who gains, just stop! But you should really try it if you’re curious because as weird as it sounds, it works. This specific diet aside, I think that planned cheats are a very good thing for any diet, and that’s after studying this stuff for years.

  9. James M says:

    I have been following a paleo diet alternative called The Primal Blueprint which has a 20% cheat allowance. I have lost around 50 pounds now since June. I’m looking to apply a lot of the principles from The 4 Hour Body to transform my body further. I’m under 200 pounds for the first time in nearly ten years but want to build more muscle now that the fat is disappearing.

    I am sure you will continue this trial for longer than 30 days. Best of luck with the Ab-Off!

  10. I have no doubt that you’ll see results. I was able to lose 14lbs with the slow carb diet in one month – and I deviated from the diet quite a bit as well. You have less weight to lose than I did, but I still think you’ll be impressed.

    • Johnny says:

      Yeah, I’m sure I can modify further but I’m going to be strict for now. It just goes to show that it’s often the deliberate attention paid rather than the specific plan itself.

  11. Kristen says:

    I’m just starting this diet with my boyfriend, and I don’t think that I have that much body fat to lose (although it never hurts to keep trimming, eh?). Is it harder for those with less body fat to lose weight/body fat?

    • Johnny says:

      In my experience, definitely. It’s for-sure true once you start looking for getting very lean, i.e. to see abs or anything. The body doesn’t want to let go, so you have to be more and more careful Good luck!

  12. Ho-ly SHIT!
    The 4 Hour Body Diet has totally helped me fall in LOVE with beans!

    Up until I got my hands on the 4 Hour Body Cookbook, I’d never cooked beans before in life. Now I’ve prepared pinto and black beans and I’ve been eating them with damn near every meal of the day. They go great with eggs, steak, chicken, hell, they EVEN go great with tuna.

    Lentils, I’m not so much in love with.

    Another thing I’ve loved about legumes is that they’re a solid, clean source of fuel that don’t leave you hungry. And if there’s one belief that fit people cultivate, it’s that food is primary place to get fuel, not pleasure.

    Hey, I wish you well on this next leg of your journey and there’s a book that I think you’d love written by Steve Siebold called “Die Fat or Get Tough: 101 Differences In Thinking Between Fat & Fit People”.

    He’s the same dude who wrote “177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class: The Thought Processes, Habits and Philosophies of the Great Ones”, which is also and OUTSTANDING book.

    The “Die Fat” book has a bunch of carry over from “177” re-purposed to apply specifically to the beliefs fat people indulge in versus the beliefs fit people indulge in. And I think both of us know, that’s where the battle is won… at the core level of our thinking which either makes it easier or harder to stay on track.

    Good luck kickin’ Clay’s ass! Hahaha! That’s kinda hard to say for me being that I wanna take Clay Collins’ info products behind the junior high and get ’em pregnant! Yes, I’m that infatuated with them. He’s fuckin’ bad ass!!!

    • Johnny says:

      Yeah, for sure. I’m giving up on lentils. I had a dinner with them today and about barfed trying to eat them but didn’t want to cook anything else. They suck. But beans? Yeah, beans are awesome. I’m doing a ton of those vegetarian refried beans, too… they’re essentially just mashed pinto beans and salt.

      And you know the Chipotle diet that he talks about? Kind of ridiculous taken literally, but I’ve gone to Chipotle a bit more recently, getting Burrito Bols with double beans, double salsas, meat, guacamole, and tons of lettuce. Holy shit is that good.

      And what you say about beans leaving you full? Also noticed that. I used to feel the need to snack, but now when I start to do it, it’s habit, not hunger.

      Food IS fuel. Every time I try a disciplined diet, I remember that… and I want to try to really remember that myself more often. Eating better foods is just a habit, so you just need to break the behavioral component.

      • BWAHAHAHA!

        Dude, you’re about a JILLION times tougher than me if you muscled lentils down your gullet with minimal prep (boil in water, apply salt & pepper).

        When I cooked them, I used that fancy pants “Leon’s Lentils” recipe straight outta the book. And even though I cooked them using Emeril’s beef broth instead of water, used copious amounts of garlic, rosemary, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper, AND THEN… poured a shit-ton of salsa on them… none of this could stifle the gag inducing effect these teensy bastards inflicted on my body.

        And yet, just like you, I choked down a whole fuckin’ bag of em because I WAS TOO DAMN LAZY TO COOK ANYTHING ELSE! ๐Ÿ™‚

        I did this diet a few years ago called the “Life Force Plan” by Dr. Jeffery McCombs (mccombsplandotcom) that’s designed to murder all the candida in your body. This is a system where you’re doing the 4 hour body diet for almost 4 months only inserting sweets, vodka and white food back into your mouth near the end.

        The supplements you take while on this diet are so effective at slaying yeast and candida and leaving their dead bodies floating in the river of your blood, that if you don’t sauna EVERYDAY so you can sweat this toxicity out, you start feeling like you’re getting the flu. Yeah, potent is kind of an understatement.

        During the 4 months of that Life Force diet, pretty much anytime I’d go out to eat, I’d do like you and mosey on over to Chipotle to get a bowl: double beans, double chicken, fajitas (the lightly sauteed onion and green peppers), one scoop of mild, two scoops of medium salsa and one fat ass $1.80 scoop of what is consistently, January to December, the best god damn made-from-scratch guacamole I’ve ever tasted.

        No lettuce though.

        Not opposed to romaine, but it’s too much of pain in the ass trying to fold all that shit in so that you get a balanced bite with the “just big enough” paper bowl they give you.

        I wish Chipotle had a loyalty rewards program.

        If they did, I’d have long ago earned the Ford Mustang that was promised on the poster to the 1st prize winner for being the dolt who was too un-imaginative/addicted to their food to exercise any other options besides their restaurant.

        The “Fresh-Taste” system they’ve mastered there is amazing. In eating at their Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Phoenix restaurants, I’ve yet to be disappointed. (You can tell I’m a fan, right?”)

        Don’t know where you are, but I’m glad these guys made it to your neck of the woods. We be a blessed couple of dudes having access to the glorious conglomeration of food that is known as a Chipotle Burrito bowl. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Johnny says:

          Oh God no. I ate the lentils in the place of pasta in a dish I make. I can’t imagine eating them anywhere near to raw.

          But it’s funny what you say about salsa and lentils. From the book directly: “Whatever you do, don’t combine the salsa and lentils in the same bowl. The mixture will make you gag like a camel coughing up a hairball.”

          • It’s funny that you bring up the word “camel”.

            Don’t know if you’re an Adam Sandler fan or not but when the subject of salsa comes up, it totally makes me think of his movie “You Don’t Mess With The Zohan”.

            If you’ve seen it, you know this already but I have to include it here just in case you haven’t. In this movie Adam plays an Israeli Special Forces bad ass, turned hair stylist.

            One of the stereo types he keeps making fun of in the movie is the Israeli’s infatuation with hummus. So all during the movie he dips his candy bars in hummus, his parents put it in their coffee, etc. etc.

            Well, that’s how I am with Salsa. I guess the Latino in me forces me to be that way. Kinda like when Dave Chappelle said in his comedy special that, “Liking chicken” must be in his genetics. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Sonia Simone says:

    Cool, er, beans!

    I’m starting Slow-Carb for serious as well, just started last week. Am already really bored with beans, but that is ok. I did a false start when I first got the book because I am not made of stone (seriously, who can read TF and not go do something immediately), but my first try made me feel physically not good. Took a few weeks on my usual 1400 calories a day, which does nothing for me any more, and decided to go back to Slow-carb.

    He has a good clarification post on his blog that’s helpful to read. Like “no dairy except for cream in your coffee,” which isn’t quite what it says in the book.

    Like you, I’m being strict. I’d love to get rid of 15 pounds, but those last fuckers are seriously stubborn. I’ll settle for about 8 — broads look good with a few curves.

    And I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed my binge day. I ate a lot of shit. Chocolate chip pancakes, cake, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It was awesome. I’m doing the grapefruit juice and short bursts of exercise thing as well because I am really working that binge. I agree that a “cheat” day makes all the difference.

    No heroic weight loss yet, about a pound, but I have much better energy.

    • Johnny says:

      I think that there’s a lot of inconsistency if you split hairs. He wanted to keep it to 5 rules, and “Don’t eat dairy” would be a sixth, so it’s a by-the-way. But he gives the example of a guy who eats at Chipotle every day and has cheese and sour cream, and he also says that cottage cheese is an exception. And the cream in the coffee thing sounds like such a reluctant conceit that I figured I shouldn’t do it… “Oh, fucking FINE. Have a bit of cream in your coffee, fatty.”

      Personally, I’ve been eating a little bit of cheese and do eat a lot of cottage cheese, but that’s about it. I’ve never been a milk drinker and haven’t been a cereal-eater for years, so that was actually pretty easy.

      I’ve found that when I plateau, it’s often eating MORE that’s required, so that’s one reason I’m looking forward to the cheats.

      The other reason should be obvious.

    • Hey Sonia,

      It’s been WAY too long since I’ve complimented you on your fun to read writing style! I think the last time was way back when you were guest posting on CB and doing more pieces for your RC baby.

      I’m WAY the fuck overdue!

      But just because I haven’t commended you openly in the comments section on the CB house that you and Brian are building, doesn’t mean I’ve not been awed by your talent.

      I’ve spent hours and hours with you and your hypnotic radio voice while listening to Freelance X Factor and the Third Tribe Course, both of which are a magnificent contributions to this “Internet Marketing For Smart People Movement” which you, Brian, and all of your awesome tribe members are brightening the scene with!

      And I don’t know who’s call it was to put Johnny on the Saturday wrap-up over at CB, but whose ever it was, NICE CALL!!!

      If I’m not sitting around here with my thumb up my ass and I’m actually working… I almost never get a chance to drop in daily to read the awesome content going up on your site. But somehow, someway, I almost always find time for Johnny’s hilarious recap of what happened on CB for the week.

      And from there, I at least get sucked into one of the most alluring pieces for me in that moment. I’ve loved this addition to your marketing strategy. Well done!

      Keep kicking that ass on your sites and keep kicking that ass on those last 15 seriously stubborn fuckers!

  14. I’ve done this diet before and liked it. I’m doing it again and went from 208 to 200 in January. Hoping to lose another 8-10 pounds this month. I found that, for me, the beans were slowing down my weight loss so I increased greens and cut out beans on about 3/4 of my meals. I’ve also stretched out the cheat day and found that those were my best weight loss weeks. It’s a small data set, but it seems to work.

    Good luck.

    PS – I dig the new look of your blog. Very clean and polished with just the right amount of JBT attitude.

    • Johnny says:

      That’s interesting… he makes a huge deal about making sure to get the legumes because otherwise your intake will be TOO low. Says it a bunch of times, too. But hey, if it’s working….

  15. Caroline Newman says:

    What sort of exercises, if any, will you be doing while on the slow-carb diet?

    • Johnny says:

      I’m actually super-active. I’m currently going to the gym for strength work / powerlifting stuff twice a week while training for a marathon. I do the running 3x/week. One day is a long run (Saturday’s will be 17 miles, or close to 3 hours for me), one is a moderate run (8-10 miles) and one is a shorter “pace” run of usually 4-6 miles. On top of that I usually play tennis or racquetball once a week and do a few sessions of Yoga.

      But that’s all stuff I was doing anyway. It’s not meant to enhance the diet or anything.

      One thing I’ve noticed so far is that I have to break the slow-carb rules during and after my runs. Because I’m diabetic, it’s simple for me to see when lack of starches and sugars causes my body to consume muscle and release ketones, and it happens after runs during and after which I don’t eat carbs. (I’d assume this happens for non-diabetics too, but I can see it happening.) Because it’s counter to what the diet is supposed to do (you end up releasing MORE insulin while you’re losing muscle and damaging your body), I’ve decided to drink Gatorade during runs and eat starches for recover immediately after, which is what I’d done before starting slow-carb.

  16. Caroline Newman says:

    Sorry for the double-post, but another question came to mind. It seems certain that you’ll lose weight while on the diet, however, how much of it are you expecting to gain once your trial is over? And will you post an update on your weight once you resume “typical” eating habits?

    • Johnny says:

      It’s a low-carb diet, so if I go back to eating a lot of starches, I’ll definitely regain water weight. But this isn’t intended to be a crash diet, where I go down and expect to then quit and hop back up. I’ve had questions about starches and grains for a while now, and I’m convinced that too many isn’t great.

      So I guess the answer is that to the degree that I re-start eating starchy carbs, I’ll gain some water weight back. But I also don’t know how many grains and starches I need to eat on a regular basis, even when this trial is over.

  17. DanielR says:

    since you’ve modified the diet a lot (maybe all that “small modifications” are not as small as you think?), you cannot say you talk about Tim Ferriss’ diet anymore

    it’s now YOUR diet you are talking about

  18. Diana says:

    I know I am late to this party having just found this post via a “slow carb” google search but I just have to say, “corpse squeezings” has got to be one of the funniest things I have ever read. I’m sure the folks on the other side of my cube wall are wondering what the hell is so funny. I laughed so hard I snorted for chrissake!

  19. Johnny says:

    I’ve noticed how well this post ranks for “slow carb” and it cracks me up. I used to rank really well for “WEBLOS” for some reason too.

  20. Jena says:

    I realise I’m extremely late in the game, but when I googled ‘Slow Carb’ your article came up.
    I’m just going into week 3 of my 30-day trial period, and I’ve found that while in the first week I lost 8cm in total around my body in the places that Tim says to measure in the 4HB, and 2kgs. This week I’ve only lost 2.5cm, but I don’t weigh myself until Wednesday.
    I’m not doing body fat measurement because I live out in Hong Kong, and it costs a ridiculous amount of money that I don’t have to buy anything that would measure body fat.
    I’m wondering if the lack of weight loss last week had something to do with the fact that I wasn’t eating enough throughout the day.
    Do you have any tips to help prevent any further decrease in weight loss?

    • Johnny says:

      Ha, well, I certainly hope nobody thinks I’m an authority on this! I’m just a guy who tried it. And ultimately didn’t stay on it because I didn’t see much in the way of results. (Not a criticism of the diet, just my own results.)

      I do know that the book has a troubleshooting section, and I seem to remember him suggesting eating more, drinking water, and being sure to eat breakfast.

      • Jena says:

        Thanks for this.
        It’s true that TF mentions all of what you have said, and I’m trying to incorporate that more into this week. I was just curious as to whether you found anything in particular that worked for you.
        Thanks for the advice, and fingers crossed it works out for me, results wise.

  21. I was wondeing if you ever thought of changing the structure of your site?

    Its veryy welkl written; I love what youve gott
    to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way
    of content so people could connect with itt
    better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures.

    Magbe you coiuld space iit out better?


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