So my friend is on the Slow-Carb diet with his friend, and I recently ran into his girlfriend on the subway. We chatted about this and that, and eventually she said "He's miserable...all these beans! He feels like s**t!" I told her I would have a word with him about Paleo.
I contacted him, and he seems satisfied with what he's doing, saying he'd lost 10lbs. in 2 weeks. I had about the same result when I started eating Paleo. Now I'm not SUPER strict, but I DEFINITELY don't do any carbs except from starchy vegetables and potatoes occasionally, sometimes some honey as a sweetener and fruit and nuts here and there. I took a look at some of the Slow-Carb suggestions, and they're advocating a ton of beans and legumes, whole grains, etc... Seems like they're just a more restrictive version of the same old SAD.
I mean, it's a little bit better than SAD, and a step in the right direction...but not QUITE there. I know it's hard to convince people once they've decided to commit to something, but I think he would FEEL so much better eating Paleo. I guess I'll need to bone up on my studies and statistics about lectins, anti-nutrients and organ function? What should I tell him?
My answer in a nutshell: Self Education = Enlightenment.
A big pull for Tim Ferriss slow carb diet is the cheat day..
I gave his diet a run through 2 months starting Jan 1st. I even documented every meal with a photo as suggested in his book. I too was miserable.
The beans are a miserable part of the diet, it causes constant bloat I found and way too much gas.. you pretty much need to invest in beano to compensate... due to the cheat day your constantly looking forward to the next one, and the day after you feel like garbage for indulging.
Tim Ferriss even suggests drinking a keg of beer I believe if you so choose on your cheat day as your pretty much on a free for all! I found his diet more of a poor mans CKD with the legumes neccesary to ensure you feel satiated instead of adequate saturated fat stores.
For your friend is he dieting for weight loss or a total life style change? I find people who do Paleo for the majority do it not entirely for its weight loss (though its a huge bonus) but because of its overall benefits. People who do other similar diets like the Slow Carb diet are doing it for weight loss with the intention of resuming a normal diet when they reach their goals.
Me personally I would advise your friend to educate himself first on why these diets work and why he should be making the change permanent if it is not intended to be so. I find that more people are open to Paleo if they understand it.
I recommend Gary Taubes 'Good calories bad calories', though I hear he has a shorter easier to read book of a similar info set called 'Why we get fat'.
Also a huge source of information for me and increased my knowledge and determination to follow paleo was MD Kurt Harris blog http://www.paleonu.com/.
Good luck with your friend, and encourage him to find a sustainable long term diet, if he is miserable on the slow carb diet now then he must obviously realize it will eventually fail... the cheat day will become a cheat week and then... SAD.
My understanding of the difference between slowcarb and paleo is just that with slow carb you're supposed to eat beans at pretty much every meal. So, especially if the beans are disagreeing with him, you could maybe ask: why do you need the beans? If it's for the carbs, why not try to replace them with starchy veggies? If it's for cheap protein, how about more eggs?
I tried the slow carb diet for a while - my biggest issue was that I couldn't get my boyfriend to do it with me! So I called it quits.
I don't know that you can realistically hold Paleo over it though - it is a step in a better direction and Tim Ferriss got some PRETTY AMAZING results out of it. I think the key difference between his results and Paleo is that he worked really really hard, and that was my biggest problem with it.
1) he's a man so he loses weight and builds muscle a lot faster than I ever would as a woman. 2) he worked out VERY regularly, and extremely hard, which is something I can't really dedicate to.
On this diet, I like that I don't have to work out umpteen hours a day, I just have to move around a bit and do what I normally do. Everything else is just bonus.
I never saw that whole grains were ok on the slow-carb unless it was immediately following a really intense workout though. Otherwise it was just beans.
My suggestion? Show him your results - tell him how you feel. Don't try to hold the paleo diet over him as something amazing and better. Just tell him that you actually feel great. Really that's the best you can do. Otherwise it'll seem all high-and-mighty and your result might be the complete opposite of what you want.
Here goes nothin! I am the friend mentioned at the top. My fiancé spoke for me about my diet. I have been enjoying the slow carb diet and have had no problems with the beans. I don't have to eat beans with every meal they are just one of the many things that I can eat. My diet consists mostly of veggies and an assortment of meats. I have no idea why everyone feels as though I haven't educated myself about my diet! I find this insulting and absurd! I feel great and have had zero ill effects related to my diet. I like most people have made slight adjustments based on the way certain foods make me feel. Eating beans everyday would suck! I do find it entrusting that all of you need this Paleo support group to make yourselves feel good about your diet choice. I was looking for a high protein low carb diet. I don't really give a shut what it's called. I've lost 12 pounds of fat in the last 2 weeks. I have never been stinger. I plan on eating this way even after I reach my goals. I love the cheat day, it makes me appreciate all the foods in my life that I used to take for granted.
Not for slow carbers per se but this thread has some good answers of how to share paleo with people.
Also when it comes to friends I think, you feeling better/faster/stronger will have a greater effects that studies. Or maybe try finding out why did they choose the slow carb diet and go from there. Was it the studies, Tim, sexy promising abs, ...
Tell him to put more emphasis on the glycemic index of what he eats. If he already accepts that buckwheat pasta is better than white bread, then it shouldn't be a stretch to see that all paleo foods are better on that same scale (save tubers).
If you can further explain how the glycemic index relates to insulin production and its downstream effects of fat sequestration, then paleo just sounds better and better.
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