T Nation

Are Nuts Ruining My Slow Carb Diet?


Well, its been 3 weeks since I've eaten anything unhealthy. No cheat days, cheat meals, etc. (Concession: I had 1 shot of tequila for my dads b'day, and proceeded to feel like shit because it was cheep stuff). And despite my unwavering commitment to my slow-carb diet, I don't seem to be losing the fat quite the way I'd like (currently ~10% aiming for 6% by year end).

Here is what my eating basically looks like (from my journal)

Like I said in my journal, nuts are basically my default snack. At first it was all almonds, but recently I've introduced walnuts for the Omega3s & antioxidants.

The thing about nuts is they're really tasty to me and somewhat addictive. I try to control my compulsion to eat them, but I guess I'm not that good at it (as a sugar addict, I never thought I'd have an issue with nuts...). Sometimes I eat them several times a day in "moderation," and sometimes I'm just grabbing 1/2 a handful at a time from the pantry every couple of minutes.

So here is my question:
-Are the nuts the culprits and the main reason I'm not seeing the fat loss I want to?
-Since I'm already on a quite low calorie diet, what are some snacks I could substitute for the nuts? I've been avoiding greek yogurt because of the carb content and its expensive as hell. Also, on the go, like at a gas station, nuts seem like the only "safe" choice, because they don't contain any soy nor do they have the carbs that most gas station protein bars have. Even beef jerky has sugar and tons of preservatives (which is an estrogen risk from my understanding).

Am I being too afraid of saturated fats? Should I be eating more cheeses? Should I cut out the almonds altogether and just stick to walnuts for o3s?

Sorry for being a bit frazzled, but I'm really not sure what to do. If I totally cut out nuts I know I'll be undernourished and they represent a substantial portion of my diet. This is the main reason I haven't tried replacing them with celery or anything.

Ok. I'll shut up now. Please share your wisdom... :slightly_smiling:


Nuts a great, but also calorie dense, which means you may well be over-shooting on calories. You could try, cottage cheese, boiled eggs or a casein shake as alternative snacks. Also if you can get hold of it, Biltong, its the South African version of Beef Jerky and generally is just beef with spices, no added sugar.


Thanks man. Is there any risk of milk-carbs in cottage cheese?

anyone else?


Ok, two things really jump out for me.

1.) You're not counting calories. It needs to be done if you're trying to lose BF. End o' story.

2.) Your diet kind of sucks. I think you are well disciplined, but you are making some dumb choices e.g. low-fat kefir and nuts, seriously? Cilantro does NOT count as a food.

Here is my unadulterated advice.

1.) You are still fairly skinny and small. Tune your mind towards bodyBUILDING!

2.) Whenever dieting, you need to understand how your body will react to what you subject it to. I'd add more fat, and use some carbs in SMART manner to facilitate fat loss - e.g. simple carbs PWO not fruit.

I guess my overall suggestions are to eat more fat and get some carbs in at strategic times to boost your metabolism. It kind of seems like you've just put yourself into an shutdown.


you seem to be under the impression that certain foods or macronutrient make you fat. No food can "make" you fat, as you can only gain fat in a caloric surplus.

Milk carbs wont make you any fatter than carbs in other foods. They all end up as glucose in the bloodstream at one point or another. As long as you are in a caloric deficit, you won't gain fat. So just fit cottage cheese into your total daily calories (by cutting back on fat/carb calories) and you'll be fine.

make sense?


well... what you're saying is that all calories are created equal and I don't think that's true.

Endomorphs, like myself, are generally advised away from milk because of the lactose & carbs/sugars in milk. I'm on a slow-carb (low quantity, low GI) diet, so this matters to me.


Brant, thank you for the constructive criticism, I really appreciate it.

Originally, I read that on a slow carb diet you can just eye the portions, but I think that may only be for people at higher BF%. I'm ~10%, so I guess I have no choice but to count now. I really don't want to, but I'll do what I must.

One of the MAIN reasons I've avoided counting calories is because I've heard so many conflicting multipliers. 10x BW, 12x BW, 14x BW. I really don't know what to believe

I can appreciate this as well. I know cilantro isn't a food, but I'm not sure what's wrong with kefir & nuts - good protein with good fats, no?

I addressed this in my journal. This is an issue of personal preference & priority. I'm an FFB, which is why I'm "skinny." I assure you, I grew up a little bowling ball. I need to lose the fat first before I go and focuse on "building" as you say. My current goal is to achieve Oscar de la Hoya's body type (see avatar), in which he was ~147 lbs.

More fat in the form of what? Fish oil? Fish? Cheese? Steak? EVOO? I felt that I was getting quite a bit of fat from all of the nuts, nut butter, fish, etc. How would more fat benefit me? (Unless you're talking about superdosing O3s, as Thibadeau recommends, then I get it)

Also, PWO, I try to use mainly high gi carbs like Orang Juice, Mango & Cherries. Are you suggesting even simpler carbs like honey & sugar? I've read that dextrose & such isn't exactly a smart move for an FFB.

Can you please elaborate on the "strategic times?" I eat my beans in the morning & higher GI carbs post workout. This is pretty much the prevailing wisdom I've found. What other strategic times are there?

Again, thank you for your critique. I'd really appreciate it if you could some of my questions.



no...i'm saying that the small amount of sugar in cottage cheese won't magically make you fat.

Also, the last thing you need to do is add fat to your diet. Adding more calories from fat will only make the weight come off slower.

The bottom line is you need to become more exact with your caloric intake. No more eyeballing. Begin with calories at BWx12 (if you're not there already) and lower it based on whether your losing weight each week or not.

Finally, if you are a "true" 10% bf, you may have to look into something like like the Ultimate Diet 2.0 if you wish to get any leaner without a significant loss of muscle.


12xBF for me would be ~1800 calories. I guess that seems fairly reasonable. Is that a maintenance caloric load with the exercise creating the caloric deficit?

Also, should I increase this on lifting days to accommodate a high carb replenishment shake post work out?


If you want to look like Oscar de la Hoya you are not into bodybuilding. Just up the cardio to 4-5 days a week, have 2 lifting sessions and keep your calories around maintenance (the cardio will create the deficit and be good for you). I'd rather get extra food and get the exercise then purely rely on reduced calories. As a ffb you probably do too.

That body is very easy to get though so you don't need to stress about some of this stuff. Just burn most of the fat off your body and have a small amount of muscle mass. Not hard.


to maintain weight, the usual caloric estimate is 15xBW (this includes training) Therefore, to cut, you generally begin around 12xBW and assess every 1-2 weeks.

Of course this is highly dependent on the individual. some people who don't get much activity besides training may find that they maintain weight at 12xBW, so they either have to move more, or cut back to 10xBW.

the post workout shake is up to you. I like to look at average caloric intake over the week. So 3 training days at 15x bw + 4 off days at 10xbw would net an average weekly intake of ~12xBW (the extra calories on training days would mainly come from increased carb intake during my pre/post workout meals)

if you want a boxers physique I would focus mainly on conditioning workouts, and throw in 2 full body weight sessions / week. it seems like your basically doing that already though...