New Environment, New Habits

I’ve been in Gran Canaria now coming up for nearly 3 weeks, I’ve got one more full week left before I head back to Birmingham and then onto San Francisco for WWDC/altWWDC.

Before setting off for Gran Canaria I decided I was going to try out the Slow Carb Diet found in Tim Ferris’ 4 Hour Body. I had read a few blog posts about it before getting the book and decided i’d give it a go.

I was that set on ensuring I was going to follow the diet, I had also gone out and purchased a set of Withings Scales, they connect to your iPhone via bluetooth and keep a nice graph of your progress day to day. Plus they fit perfectly inside my suitcase and for some reason having a gadget to use to accomplish my goal makes it more likely i’m going to stick to it.

I’ve never been one to manage to stick to a diet for very long but I was going to be in Gran Canaria by myself without the temptation of going out with friends, family and only had local food and drink to tempt me away from the Slow Carb Diet. This felt like a perfect time to make a few changes to my diet.

While flying to Gran Canaria I read through relevant sections about the Slow Carb Diet and started a shopping list in my head ready for my arrival. Shortly after arriving at my apartment I headed off to the supermarket with a small shopping list consisting of items I was allowed on my new diet.

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Tuna
  • Eggs
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach
  • Peas
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • & Lots of water

I hadn’t cooked for myself in a long time, probably before Tel Aviv last year. Wherever I was I would always opt to eat out so why would Gran Canaria be any different? Truth is, I don’t know any Spanish at all and i’ve been using that to ensure I don’t venture out to too many places to eat out every night. It’s much easier to go to the supermarket and pick up the items I need and pay than it is to get lost in translation ordering food. Bit of a silly excuse but it’s been working well and i’ve rediscovered that I love cooking which is also a bonus.

Meals using the above shopping list do end up being somewhat similar day to day, but thats not necessarily a bad thing and is actually advised in the book. I find myself using things like Garlic, Pepper, Chillis and Herbs to add more flavour to the meals especially when using Lentils (not a huge fan). I’m yet to grow bored of the same foods over and over again.

On the slow carb diet you have a cheat day, the first cheat day I had I walked around the coast of Las Palmas and found a restaurant by the beach and picked out a meal. Cheat day stops your body from going into starvation mode and actually help you lose weight over the coming week. The morning after my first cheat day and I had a head in hands moment discovering I was back to square one. I took to Google and found that it was to be expected and after a day or two you’d be back below your pre cheat day weight. Sounds obvious really.

I can safely say that coming away with the slow carb diet as a goal for my time here has worked really well. I am 100% certain that anywhere else I would have stopped shortly after starting the diet. Now that I have had a couple of weeks of progress and can see that it works I am more focused to continue it when i’m back in Birmingham and San Francisco. Although I know they won’t be easy places to keep on the straight and narrow.

Within only a couple of days I was seeing results from my scales, seeing results only motivates you to carry on as you are doing and now i’m about to start week 4 which will also be my last full week in Gran Canaria.

And i’ll finish with something a coworker Ã…sa said while we were discussing Gran Canaria and the Slow Carb Diet, “going somewhere new is awesome to switch your routine up and change some bad habits too” and I totally agree.

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