I plan on doing some blogging on meditation and other forms of mental health exercises but I wanted to first put my main tips out there for those of you wanting to try the slow carb diet.
The gist of this “diet” is not really so much a diet but more of a food change. Once you start seeing results and figure out what works for you, it becomes pretty easy to maintain and adapt when eating out or traveling. Here is just a quick summary of the “diet”.
A protein (preferably meat), a vegetable (preferably green) and a bean / legume, every meal. You should avoid sugars and carbs- this includes dairy, potatoes, fruit and juices. Soy is not the best choice either so for vegetarians, this is a tough diet but can be done if you can load up on LOTS of vegetables and beans. Nuts are also allowed but only in moderation. You should try and eat every four hours so as not to get hungry and that is about it. No exercise needed.
After slow carbing for a month, here are 8 tips to help stick to slow carbing:
- Organize your fridge – Yes making the fridge look nice and clean, also stocked with all slow carb friendly foods really help make it not only nice to look at but easy to find food you can eat, and if things are easily accessible, the more you are willing to cook/eat your food. Yes, this is my actual fridge! And no that is not my apple juice or apple sauce- no fruits while slow carbing friends!
- Food presentation counts / make your plate pretty – Along the same lines as making the fridge look nice is making your plate of food look nice. Presentation really counts for a lot with food. In Japan, food is presented very artfully, (sushi). It is colorful and minimal. If your food looks attractive, we will appreciate it and enjoy it more.
- Enjoy your food – If you enjoy your food usually, it only goes without saying you should take time to eat, savor and enjoy your food. The book recommends taking 30 minutes per meal but as working full time and being a busy mom of two, I try and get 15-20 minutes per meal for my enjoyment.
- Be mindful – before choosing foods, be mindful of what is going into your body and be mindful of how it makes you feel during and after your consumption. I have learned that I did a lot of mindless snacking and eating prior to this diet. Grabbing a handful of candy from one of the many candy jars around the office was a habit I had, and I did it several times throughout the day, easily tacking on hundreds of unnecessary empty calories and really providing me no value. Yes it takes good for a very short time and yes the sugar does provide a burst of energy, but more times than not, that spike leads to a drop in energy and lethargy kicks in and you just end up eating even more to sustain some sort of empty energy- in slow carbing, these energy levels don’t really dip and if you do feel a bit tired at that 3 in the afternoon lull, eat some nuts.
- Don’t go by the scale (only) – it is best to have several methods of testing your weight- yes, you should use a scale, but also go by water weight increases and decreases, a tape measure to track inches and your body changes, and last but not least, the fit of your clothes.
- Stick to a plan – setting up a plan as to how you will approach the diet is a great way to stay on track. For instance, planning your meals, having some go to meals and setting aside time to prep your meals can not only cut time but it allowed you to not have to think about it and grab and go. For me, I like making enough for dinner that I have leftovers to use as lunches for the following day. I have a set breakfast during the week before work so I always know how much time it will take me and I don’t have to fuss or rush through my morning. I also like to stock up on dry beans and frozen veggies so there is always a back up in case something doesn’t work out, and marinating my meats during the week, make for easy dinner preparation after a long day at work.
- Set short term and long goals – I like to have a few goals- short term is losing another 8 lbs within a month, long term-being a size 4. But I have lots of goals outside of my weight. For instance, physically I want to be able to do more than a few pushups so increase my arm strength and get leaner more toned arms. I want to improve my mental awareness and health by reading more and meditating and overall I want to spend more quality time with my kids like keeping up with them outside.
- Stay motivated! Planning is essential to my success but also staying motivated is a requirement. Whatever works for you, do it- I like to journal my thoughts, ideas and results every day. But you can motivate by measuring your results every day, by reading other blogs and forums for support, inspiration and ideas and also reading books on not just weight loss but self help / inspiration books, as well as exercising your mind.