Reduce body fat and risk of diseases

The Tester

Recreational cyclist approaching 40, seeking to keep up with the peloton and avoid the obesity that runs in his family

The Goal

Drop 5kg and crush cravings for chips. “Eating low-carb is a proven way to reduce your body fat and consequently your risk of diseases,” says Jeff Volek, an associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut.

The prescription

(1) Start with a two-week induction, slashing your daily carb intake to 20 grams. (2) Plan every meal and snack: eat more eggs, chicken, beef, and fish, and six cups of vegetables a day. (3) After two weeks, you can raise your carb count by 5g a week – by introducing beans, nuts and berries, some dairy, and alcohol – until you stop losing weight.

The Verdict

“The first two weeks sucked: I was moody, hungry, and weak. Switching my filler from rice, pasta or potatoes to shredded greens was fairly painless, but finding suitable snacks was tougher. I learned to keep celery and cheese sticks on hand, and stashed a tub of low-carb protein powder in my office. I dropped from 194 (body fat 11%) to 189 (body fat 9%), but here’s the greater and the happier truth: I can now say no to chips.”