Well I hate to admit it, but neither Natalie, nor I made it the full 4 weeks on the TNT diet. The combination of an active lifestyle and complete carbohydrate restriction is simply painful(even more so for my family). Based on my research, I don’t think that our experience was unique.
I do think that I have a reasonable alternative to the TNT diet. You don’t have to completely eliminate carbohydrates but reducing total carb intake is probably a good idea for people wanting to lose weight and be healthy. I find that an AM/PM strategy works well for reducing total carbohydrate levels without feeling like you are on a starvation diet. With this strategy you are eating your carbohydrates early in the day when your energy requirements are highest and eliminating carbs late in the day when your body has lower energy demands.
Breakfast — 1 cup of oatmeal, 8oz of skim milk, banana.
Snack — Raw almonds, Apple, Cliff Bar
Lunch — grilled chicken breast, 2 cups broccoli, 1.5 cups of brown rice
Post-workout meal — 12oz of organic chocolate milk
Dinner — lean meat, large salad, unlimited vegetables.
Snack — mixed nuts, fat free sugar-free Jell-O
Here is more support in an article from Dr. Lonnie Lowery:
As we’ve seen, this kind of AM/PM approach provides adequate carbs for glycogen replenishment, which is good for fat loss as well as performance — less fatigue, better biochemistry, nitrogen sparing and even immune/stress response suppression. (3, 4) It also provides fats that in sufficient quantities can keep up Testosterone concentrations, maintain lipolytic (“fat burning”) pools and pathways, and further enhance immune modulation. (5) And let’s not forget that overall dietary variety is both healthy and compliance-facilitating.
Can’t survive on near-zero carbs until Saturday? I’ll bet you can make it until tomorrow morning, especially if you’re filling up on other foods. This moderate approach helps one meet with more dietary success, preserves sanity, and still reduces carb intake by hundreds of grams over the course of a week. This approach also gets you much closer to the 30 to 40 grams of dietary fiber recommended for adults.
I really think this is the best approach for reducing carbs and maintaining your sanity. This way, you can be lean, healthy and happy!