It’s a New Year, so who’s NOT thinking about taking off a few pounds after the holidays! Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Body book is a bit thick and intimidating in size (550 pages), but it contains in the first 150 pages, a very easy to follow weight loss plan — that even I was able to follow! I started the diet in March and, by July, I had lost 30 lbs. Quite a few people who know me have asked me about the diet, so I have decided to put together a “do – don’t do” list that will help others get started. If you decide to go for it, I hope you will let me know how it’s going, or if you get “stuck”, email me – I’d be glad to help you out.
Number one on the list below is Tim’s rule that you need to eat within 30 minutes of waking up. Tim goes into more detail on page 95 of his book in the section titled “Mistake #1: NOT EATING WITHIN ONE HOUR OF WAKING, PREFERABLY WITHIN 30 MINUTES – so you will want to check that out. I am just not a “traditional breakfast” eater (2-3 whole eggs required), so I go with specially formulated (made with cold filtered whey protein isolate from grass fed cows – no dairy) chocolate or vanilla shakes (30 grams powder mixed with ice and water) – very fast, and very easy. Supermarket and GNC protein powders won’t work because they use dairy-based protein. Get the right protein here: EnergyFirst Protein Powder.
Tim recommends a pretty complicated vitamin regiment – he calls this the “Four Horseman of Fat-Loss: PAGG.” Don’t even try to decipher all the different supplements and dosages to make up the PAGG stack. Just order yours here: Order your PAGG stack from Amazon.
If you can’t commit to measuring and recording your progress once per week, don’t bother doing the diet — really. Some weeks, you will lose pounds, other weeks you will lose inches or body fat. If you are not measuring, you will become unmotivated and quit. You need to record your weight, neck, arm, waist, leg, and body fat measurements each week on the same day and time. Doing so creates a “game worth playing” and increases the certainty that you will succeed. This is a hassle without the right tools, so get these: Caliper & Tape Measure from Amazon.
- Don’t skip breakfast.
- Don’t exercise too much – it really won’t help. (20 min per week is ok)
- Don’t drink any soda – diet or otherwise.
- Don’t eat anything white – no rice, no potatoes, no bread.
- Don’t eat any dairy – except on your cheat day.
- Don’t eat fruit – except on your cheat day.
- Don’t try to restrict portions or calories.
- Don’t drink beer, white wine, or spirits – except on your cheat day.
- Do cheat one day per week – really! You can eat anything/any quantity you want and the cheat day serves as an important metabolic reset.
- Do record your weight, measurements, and body fat every Saturday morning.
- Do eat all the salads and vegetables you want.
- Do drink lots of water – especially on your cheat day.
- Do eat at least 20 grams of protein per meal.
- Do drink unsweetened Ice Tea and Coffee, and of course, water.
- Do add cinnamon to coffee – but no cream, sugar or sweetener.
- Do Eat out at Chipotle for lunch – no rice, double beans – the perfect 4HB meal!
- Do eat beans/lentles/legumes with every meal.
- Do drink red wine – it’s permitted on the diet!
Remember, you are not eating carbs anymore, except the “slow carbs” contained in beans/lentils/legumes; so you may need to eat larger portions than you are used to. If you feel like sneaking while on this diet, you are doing something wrong — most likely, you are not eating enough food. Tim says, “Expect to eat two to three times as much volume, and assume you should (p.88).” Finally, it is worth repeating, failure to drink water inhibits weight loss; so drink more than you are used to, especially on your cheat day.
Good luck, and I hope you will create a response to this post if I left something off that you think will help the rest of us!
Before 4HB diet
Weight: 190 lbs
Body Fat: 31.4%
Waist: 39.625 inches
After 4HB diet
Weight: 157 lbs
Body Fat: 12.1%
Waist 32 inches