T Nation

Slow Carb Diet


I need some help from the pros.

My husband and I are going to Santa Fe for our 25th anniversary. I've been working toward getting a T-Vixen body to celebrate :wink: I've been on the Slow Carb Diet (Tom Ferriss) and using the Built for Show (Nate Green) workouts. I'm in the gym 3 days a week, and run windsprints or the hill in front of our house after each workout.

Offdays I do some other metabolic work like kettlebell swings, bodyweight squats and pushups, or whatever else my husband cooks up (he's been working out for 20 years and follows T-Nation for cutting edge techniques). Prior to meals I do more metabolic work, 2 sets of 10 reps each of bodyweight squats and pushups, then 25 widegrip pulls with a band.

I eat 4 meals a day. Breakfast: Eggbake (2 eggs, spinach, black beans, maybe some mushrooms) with Frank's RedHot. First lunch: 1/2 chicken breast (3-4 oz.) and a cup of kale. Second lunch: 5 can chili (black beans X2, red beans, chickpeas, tomatos). Dinner: Spicy lentil soup (lentils, tomatos, green pepper, curry).

All told, my daily caloric intake is around 740 calories. My "binge" meals on Saturday are barely that, maybe a piece of cake on top of what I normally eat during the day, plus some red wine. Sunday mornings, we have a 'big breakfast' consisting of 3 scrambled eggs with cheese, veggies, and lentils, then we get right back on our normal diet. I like this manner of eating. It's simple, healthy, and makes packing food to take to the office every week a breeze.

I drink at least 5 22oz glasses of ice water a day, sometimes with lemon and cinnamon (limmanon water). I also drink Yerba Mate and Green Tea. I do use a stevia extract (Stevita Liquid Extract) which has no sugar alcohols, -oses, or any other kind of -ols; it's just stevia in a water base. I used to drink a lot more alcohol than I do now. Now I limit myself to one martini maybe on a Thursday, and whatever I want on Saturdays (my binge day).

I've been following this regimen for about 6 months. So, after that long desultory preamble, I'm stuck. I currently weigh 134#. I started out at 145#. I want to be around 125# for Santa Fe. I started out with a waist pinch of 18mm. I'm stuck at 14mm. My waist started at 30, now I'm stuck at 28 1/2. What the hell am I doing wrong!?! Help! There is a T-Vixen body in here wanting to get out and run around the desert.


Thanks, Modok. I forgot to add that I eat a green salad with pumpkin seed oil and balsamic vinegar with dinner. More meat, fewer beans at dinner, veggies. Gotcha.

Do you think I am too calorie restricted? Overtraining?

I did have UFE surgery a few years ago, but the plumbing still works.


Have you been taking in 750 kcals for the majority of that 6 months? That seems EXTREMELY low. Even on a PSMF, that around the number of kcals you get. I am guessing your metabolic rate has taken a nose dive.

I would probably take a full diet break for 2 - 3 weeks, and try to gradually bump up your calories then go at it again.


Too few calories. Yep. What about overtraining? I'm working out 3 days a week in the gym, plus 3 more doing metabolic work. Plus metabolic work before each meal. Thoughts?


That's what we've been thinking, Mark. We may switch breakfast for dinner, and add some extra carbs midweek, like quinoa or brown rice. I already eat about as much green leafies as my rabbit, so I'm getting plenty of fiber and green stuff. Although, adding more veggies to my meals would probably not be a bad idea.


You definately need to get more protein into the mix. Take fish oil with your meals to add in more healthy fat.


Eat lots of green chili in Santa Fe...


How tall are you? Do you have a bodyfat estimate? Are you taking any exotic supps (Ferriss related, perhaps)?

It sounds like too much training for the diet. Or too much diet for the training. If you've, seriously, been eating this little for 6 months, my gut tells me to gradually move towards a "break" (again, diet or training, or both). Don't go on a crazy bulk, but gradually transition to more food and give yourself a few weeks to adjust.


Thank you all for the responses. More protein, carb-cycling, more healthy oils and fats, more green leafies, and green chillies in Santa Fe (Christmas Rancho! Have you been to SF, Spartiates?). In essence, more of the good stuff.

I'm 5'5", currently weigh 133#, my bodyfat percentage is around 24%. The heaviest I have ever been is 145#, which provided the impetus (besides Santa Fe) for working on my diet and exercise. The plumbing works, menstrual cycles a little off but have been since my UFE in 2007.

As far as exotic supplements, I have been doing Ferriss' PAGG stack on the binge days. Haven't seen a whole lot of effect. Other than that, Yerba Mate and Green Tea at the office during the day, Stevia extract (I just can't drink tea without something to sweeten it), limmonon water (yum). I'm pretty natural. We eat real food, not packaged crap, tend toward vegetarian, but give me a good bloody steak and I'm in heaven. We eat so much chicken, I'm afraid I'm going to grow feathers and cluck.

I really appreciate your help. I had begun to think I was too limited in calories. We've changed my meals around so that I'm cycling my carbs more efficiently (more carbs earlier in the day, then more protein toward the evening). I think that will help. Plus adding more healthy fats and oils (pumpkinseed, flax, olive, etc.) Fish is a great idea (thanks Yo Momma!).


I'm the husband, and Santa Fe was a gas.

We believe that we went a little over board on the legumes. When we reduced the excessive quantity of legumes and added more vegetables (and a bit more protein), she lost another five pounds in short order. My fault. I read "legumes" and went a little nuts, ending up making entire meals based on lentils.

She's still working within the bounds of a diet that consists of four meals a day:

Breakfast - 2 eggs, spinach, black beans
Lunch 1 and 2 - 3-4 ounces of chicken breast/thigh, broccoli/cauliflower, sauteed kale
Dinner - 3-4 ounces of lean protein, more vegetables

We'll let her get used to her new weight and new shape before working on that last five pounds. Even so, I owe her a new wardrobe. More than 15 total pounds lost, from 145 to 127, and none of her clothes fit.

This is a completely new woman (okay, not completely, but she is different). The old wife almost never worked out, and absolutely positively never ran. Now she hits the gym under her own initiative and I couldn't keep her from running the trails at the local park if I tried.

Thank you for the help every one who offered suggestions and advice.


glad to hear it's turning out well. She ever up that 750 calorie/day intake though?