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TOPIC: The 4-Hour Body / Slow-Carb Diet

 
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January 9, 2011 8:49 PM
I've been on this diet for a week now. During that time I've dropped 9 pounds, lost 1% body fat, and a total of 4 inches off my stomach, arms and thighs. I'm rarely ever hungry and that cheat day was freaking awesome. I am a huge fan of Chinese takeout and I ate two bowls of orange chicken with four egg rolls and a ton of ice cream that day. That was two days ago, and I've lost a pound since then. I know that the rate of weight loss will slow as I go down in body fat percentage, but that's okay. It's nice to be on a diet that actually works. I started at 249.7 and now I'm at 240.6. I promised myself that once I hit 200 I would start the P90X program and be as fit as possible for my wedding in August. So far, this is the only diet that has given me results like this and made me feel this good while on it.
  3704108
January 10, 2011 7:52 AM
Wow, congrats on the success! smile
I have just read "The 4 hour body " and I highly reccommend this book to anyone interested in improving their health and well- being. Its refreshing to read a book where a lot of info is presented in a really straightforward fashion, unembellished and simply put smile
I am sure there will be many who don't follow everything in the book, but I have to agree with Sport98, everyone has to find what works for them- I personally believe simple is best, and this programme is VERY simple to follow.
Some may find this plan restrictive, but as Tim Ferriss says in the book, its meant to be effective, not enjoyable. As far as I have read, it ticks a lot of important boxes- eat more veggies, consume less processed 'white' foods , cut back on sugars and high fat foods. He also encourages an increase in exercise, drinking lots of water and also taking supplements to ensure potassium, magnesium and calcium levels don't drop off. He doesn't encourage counting calories per se, but it is simple enough to follow this AND track calories if you wish.

That said, you do have one day a week to enjoy foods that you do not eat during the week, such as sweets, alcohol , pizza, pasta etc. AND I really do enjoy a glass of red, and up to two glasses of red wine are allowed each day drinker

It will be interesting to hear from others who have/are following this plan and see thier short and long-term results!

Best of luck to all!
January 10, 2011 11:39 AM
I too am in the process of reading "The 4 hour body." Although I have not gotten to the 4 hour part. This first week I simply cut out all white bread or any bread type products as well as anything with sugar. I eat a lot more protein and beans. I lost 11 pounds in that first 5 days and then took my weekly day off to eat a whole large pizza and donuts and lots of other fun stuff. Only gained 2 pounds but I have already lost that 2 pounds again.

This is the first time I have ever really been motivated to lose weight and so far the only thing I miss is the massive quantities of diet soda I used to drink and the white bread type products.
January 10, 2011 11:41 AM
Well, I had my cheat day yesterday...I actually spent most of the day not veering too far off track. I had the recommended high-protein breakfast, and really didn't get down to "business" until around noon. I was watching football, and I drank a bunch of beer. I also had some potato chips and stuff like that. Not a ton of food - but stuff I can't eat during the week. For dinner, I had a hamburger. At no point during the day did I feel stuffed, so, while I knew I was cheating, it was kind of nice not to go too overboard.

Then, after dinner I hate a bunch of pretzel rods and 2 big pieces of ice cream cake. I was laying in bed last night feeling like I would puke if I moved. So, I didn't move. I just went to sleep.

Today - my weight is up 5 lbs, but that's typical for that type of binge. I consumed a lot of fluid. Like I said - lots of beer, plus, when drinking alcohol, I always drink tons of water to mitigate the effects. Couple with that with all the extra sodium, and that's a recipe for water retention.

I actually feel great this morning - the only thing I didn't do was eat right away. I just couldn't. The thought of food just turned me off...so I waited until I was hungry (about 11 am)...had some refried beans, chicken breast and raw spinach. Back in the flow.

The cheat day is really great. It really is. It's probably not that novel of a concept, but I've never been on a diet that allowed it. So, I would end up cheating here and there, and it would ultimately snowball into a string of full-blown binges coupled with an equally large string of guilt. By making the cheat day part of the program, it makes it so easy to stick to things closely during the week. After binging - I won't even think of any kind of cheat food for 2 or 3 days...but the time that's passed, I wouldn't think of cheating, because my allowed guilt-free cheat day is only a couple of days away.

I won't eat so much so late in the day next week, though. That was just uncomfortable.
  3645358
January 10, 2011 4:30 PM
I know what you mean. I am in pastry school all morning, four days a week. It takes a lot of willpower to not just dig in to the stuff around me. Especially since I have to taste things as I make them. That makes it that much harder. But I've been buying a product at the end of each day and taking it home and sticking it in my fridge for my cheat day. And you're right, the first couple of days afterward, cheat foods are just not appealing.
  3704108
January 10, 2011 8:29 PM
My partner and I just started this yesterday, so it's too soon to say if it's working. Even though TF says there's no need to track calories on it, I'm still using this site to do that.

My concern is that I'm stuffing myself on high-protein foods, going WAY over the protein recommendations here, and yet I'm having to struggle to break 1000 calories a day on this.

My foods today:
B: 2 egg whites and 1 whole egg scrambled with spinach + 1/2 can lentils with hot sauce (est. 236 calories, 24 grams protein)
L: 1/2 small can of salmon (like a tuna can), 1/2 can of black beans, 2 big handfuls of salad with a few dashes of balsamic vinegar and hot sauce (est 300 calories, 30 grams protein)
D: ~8 oz lean grass-fed top sirloin stir-fried in 1 tablespoon of olive oil with a handful of broccoli, 3 mushrooms, 1/4 a large onion, and a large handful of spinach, with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and some hot sauce (est 500 calories, 57 grams protein even without any beans!!!)

That's a total of less than 1050 calories. I popped a few almonds and a couple of cashews, but that didn't add more than about 70 more calories, and I'm 49 grams over the protein suggested here (I AM taking calcium, as TF suggests, to ward off any calcium depletion from high protein.)

I don't feel hungry at all. I definitely feel "mouth bored" as we call it, and I want a brownie something fierce (and I don't usually like sweets, LOL). But how can I get my calories over 1200 (1600 is my goal) on this diet without killing myself with protein?
January 11, 2011 11:38 AM
I'm struggling a bit like you, Marchenland! I changed my protein setting in my diary to read 30% protein daily. After an hour workout, that means 121 grams of protein! Yikes!

I had my cheat day.....AND it was not a bad cheat! BUT, I was up 3 lbs. afterwards (which is normal) and now, 48+ hours later I'm still up 2 lbs.! SO, I'm resetting my ticker to give myself some incentive to get back on track. I am also going to try a "cheat meal" this week, instead of a whole day. Gotta find what works best here without gaining! (I wouldn't mind so much if the few pounds had come off in 48 hours like the book says it will!)

That all having been said, I do love having the option to cheat once/week! I love that I can look at a treat and say, "Not today! But I can have than on Saturday!" It's a very freeing feeling.....

I have increased my protein consumption today, too. I am not sure that I've been getting enough protein. I am eating more than I was before I started the 4HB diet, but not sure that I'm really eating enough. Today, on the increased protein, I am not at all hungry and have no cravings to snack (like the book says).

Glad it's going well for all of you, too! Have a great day!
  2318653
January 11, 2011 12:15 PM
Thanks for posting your experiences, guys! I've read the book, and felt like it probably would work, but it's nice that someone else is trying it first (you guys)! Let us know if it continues to show such great results.
January 11, 2011 12:24 PM
Sporty, I think that if there's a major flaw in the research, it's that TF is a young man who was already in excellent shape, and I am not sure how many of his 200 subjects were middle-aged women. I suspect we might have some hormonal differences that may create some limit on the diet for us. I see a lot of red flags. For example, he cautions us to not eat soy because of the estrogen. Well, yes, Tim, but some of us have a lot of that in our systems! What do we do about THAT?

So I suspect your 2 lbs could be related to that. Maybe not. Keep us posted.

I'm adding some sugar-free non-creamy Asian salad dressing to my salad today, to see if they can up my calories a little. I've also ordered some macadamia nut oil. (Amazon has some on sale. I wanted a local provider, but the local place that sells it only sells it for cosmetic uises, and it's not certied for human consumption. Meh.)

I'm curious about your 1-hour workout. The book suggests that overdoing the workout is just as bad as not doing it. What are you doing? Have you tried any of the workouts he prescribes?
January 11, 2011 1:08 PM
Anyone have any thoughts on popcorn?
January 11, 2011 1:33 PM
Well, corn is an "avoid" food except in small quantities like is salsa, so I assume popcorn would be best avoided as well.
Edited by marchenland On January 11, 2011 1:34 PM
January 11, 2011 2:02 PM
Bummer.....

Thanks!
January 11, 2011 6:47 PM
Marchenland, I noticed that you didn't include many legumes in your meals during the day. The two main reasons that TF recommends them as a staple are the fiber and caloric density. He points out several times throughout the book that without the legumes, this diet would not work as intended. I have made them my main, with protein and veggies as sides, more or less.
  3704108
January 11, 2011 7:41 PM
donhanesjr, I had about 16 ounces of legumes that day - half a can of lentils for breakfast and half a can of black beans at lunch! We skipped legumes at dinner b/c my BF had bought beans without looking at the ingredients, and I noticed that there was sugar in them (grrr). My understanding from reading the book is that you want to strive for legumes at most meals, but a meal or 2 without them is not an issue, as long as you are keeping the protein up.
January 12, 2011 4:50 AM
I do workout for an hour a day using Jillian Michaels' DVDs (some are strickly cardio, and some are strength training). This is where I disagree with Ferriss. Exercise is used for more than just weight loss. It is also a great mood enhancer, stress reliever, and pick-me-up. It tones our muscles, burns some fat, and gets the blood flowing. I'm not sure how it could possibly hurt.....Although, I do think that I go over the MED (minimum effective dose), as Ferriss discusses. That is not so much a diet disturbance, as a "waste" (he says). I like to think of the extra time that I spend (over and above the necessary) as a help to myself emotionally and psychologically.

Now, today, after eating just over 1200 calories (which I never meet) and eating 100 grams of protein, my weight is up another 0.2 lbs. How frustrating! Not only did I NOT lose 2 of the pounds from my binge day, but now, my scale's just going the wrong direction! UGH!

So, I am ditching "cheat day" and opting for a "cheat meal." I am not ready to give up just yet. One thing that we haven't discussed is simply how the diet makes us feel. Eating all of this protein really helps me to feel stronger and have more energy, especially during my work out. I feel like I could just push on forever! I never felt that way working out before I focused on proteins. So, as long as it's making me feel stronger, I suppose I should keep trying! I have 10 lbs. that I want to lose. I am in a healthy weight and BMI range, so this is the hardest 10 lbs. to go.

Has anyone else had trouble after cheat day? Or weight gain on this diet?
  2318653
January 12, 2011 9:33 AM
QUOTE:

I do workout for an hour a day using Jillian Michaels' DVDs (some are strickly cardio, and some are strength training). This is where I disagree with Ferriss. Exercise is used for more than just weight loss. It is also a great mood enhancer, stress reliever, and pick-me-up. It tones our muscles, burns some fat, and gets the blood flowing. I'm not sure how it could possibly hurt.....Although, I do think that I go over the MED (minimum effective dose), as Ferriss discusses. That is not so much a diet disturbance, as a "waste" (he says). I like to think of the extra time that I spend (over and above the necessary) as a help to myself emotionally and psychologically.

Now, today, after eating just over 1200 calories (which I never meet) and eating 100 grams of protein, my weight is up another 0.2 lbs. How frustrating! Not only did I NOT lose 2 of the pounds from my binge day, but now, my scale's just going the wrong direction! UGH!

So, I am ditching "cheat day" and opting for a "cheat meal." I am not ready to give up just yet. One thing that we haven't discussed is simply how the diet makes us feel. Eating all of this protein really helps me to feel stronger and have more energy, especially during my work out. I feel like I could just push on forever! I never felt that way working out before I focused on proteins. So, as long as it's making me feel stronger, I suppose I should keep trying! I have 10 lbs. that I want to lose. I am in a healthy weight and BMI range, so this is the hardest 10 lbs. to go.

Has anyone else had trouble after cheat day? Or weight gain on this diet?


Sporty,

I too do not follow his exercise plan. For one thing - I don't have a gym membership or the equipment for the protocol he prescribes. Another reason is that I'm an avid runner. It's just something I love to do, and am not willing to give up. Typically, I have run 6-7 days per week for a total of around 35-40 miles. This year, though, since I am dedicated to building some strength, I've cut my running back to 4 days per week (about 20 miles) and 3 days per week I do the "sculpt" portion of the Power 90 series. My reasons for doing these workouts are many - some of which are similar to yours. I guess, though, maybe I should consider this "recreation" as perhaps Ferris would, as I'm doing it as much for enjoyment as for results. The strength training certainly doesn't feel like recreating, but whatever. I frankly don't care whether any of that stuff aids in my weight loss - I have other reasons for doing it, as you said.

As for trouble after cheat day, I think I'm in a similar boat. My cheat day is Sunday - on Sunday morning, I weighed in at 189 lbs. On Monday morning, I weighed in at about 194.5 lbs. On Tuesday morning (after a day of being back on the program), my weight was up again - to about 195 lbs. Today, though, it was down to 191. So - after 2 full days back on the program, I'm still up 2 lbs. However, Ferris talks about a Saturday cheat day and not worrying about the scale until Wednesday. Since my cheat day is Sunday, I'm going to reserve judgment on the full-blown cheat day until at least tomorrow. I'm having a hard time believing I'll even be back to 189 by then, but who knows? In the end, though, I won't make the final decision on cheat day until Sunday morning. If my weight is below 189, then I'll probably cut loose. If not, I may do a partial cheat day, as you're describing.

I'm not really fooling myself into thinking I'm going to be losing 5 lbs per week. With 14 lbs to lose, and as much as I like this way of eating (particularly if I continue to allow myself a full cheat day), I'd be fine losing a half a pound to a pound per week. In fact, I think if I manage to stick to this for 28 weeks (which is what a 0.5 lb per week rate of loss would require), it might just become how I do things going forward.

I'll report back here tomorrow - which is the day Ferris says my cheat day bloat should have completely subsided, and again on Sunday regarding the week's results.
Edited by mcferg On January 12, 2011 9:34 AM
  3645358
January 12, 2011 2:52 PM
bump
  2329307
January 12, 2011 3:21 PM
I haven't really read all the posts. but its my third day on the diet and i've lost 2 lbs and thts with adding dairy the first day. Its kind of amazing b/c before i was binging on pizza and pure crap and never feeling satisfied. Now i sit down to a slow carb meal and im completely satisfied! On the first day I didn't have enough legumes for caloric load, and i got a headache as a result but i've adjusted that and now i'm doing great, I do wonder about some things though...does anyone know if you can eat hummus? i love it with carrots and on salad, but im not sure. I didnt recall seeing it in the book.. Also, for the women, do you follow the exercise plan?
  2874275
January 12, 2011 3:23 PM
Hi,

It sounds very similar to the Diet Solution programme that's out there too. Same kind of principles etc. Has anyone tried it?
January 12, 2011 3:41 PM
Odd. I usually come in at around 1,200 calories each day, and that's with some pretty good portions. I've noticed if I have a diet soda or something with my lunch that I get the munchies later in the day. I've read that artificial sweeteners can cause hunger in many people.

My meals usually consist of the following, and I've lost 11 lbs so far doing it:

Breakfast - 3 hardboiled egg whites, 2 slices turkey bacon, 1 cup lentils.

Lunch - Grilled steak (on the trusty Foreman Grill), 1 cup lentils, Asian stir fry mix.

Dinner - Grilled chicken breast and steamed broccoli, carrots, and sprouts covered with 1 Tbsp Asian Wing Sauce.

I sometimes substitute scrambled for boiled eggs in the mornings, and switch the dishes around a bit or use Tilapia in place of a protein, but this is my usual diet and it has done great so far. I don't get hungry in between much, and if I do then I keep cups of sugar-free Jello in my fridge. My calories were mostly consumed through drinking, so I gave up soda save for a can of diet every now and then, and started drinking Crystal Light and straight water.
  3704108
January 12, 2011 3:42 PM
Hummus is allowed, but it's a domino food according to Ferriss. Eat it in moderation and not all the time.
  3704108
January 12, 2011 4:35 PM
My "cheat day" bloat should have been gone by today....but, I was up a bit today! I am down 1 lb. since my 3 lbs. increase after cheat day..., so I'm up 2.2 lbs. since last Saturday morning's weigh in.

It's frustrating....but I'm thinking that with only 10 lbs. to lose, maybe a cheat meal or a few extra snacks one day might be enough for me.

Any thoughts?
  2318653
January 12, 2011 7:32 PM
Im scared for my first cheat day> i dont want to gain a ton of weight and be totally shocked and then stop the diet lol. I have considered trying just a cheat meal, or perhaps two. But im not sure, In the book hes saying he eats ice cream and pizza and all tht crazy stuff
  2874275
January 13, 2011 4:10 AM
I hear ya, Cheerbabe! My cheat day was awesome (not horrible food wise) until I stepped on the scale the morning! That was last Saturday (today is Thursday). I gained 3 lbs. from the cheat, and today, I'm only down a total of 1.2 lbs.! Ferriss recommends giving yourself a few days for the bloat to subside, and that day for me was yesterday!

Now, I am going to stick with a cheat meal. I will eat one "normal" meal, (although this diet now seems quite normal to me and not that difficult to maintain), and the other two meals that day will be 4HB/Slow Carb meals.

Hope everyone is doing well! Keep us all posted!
  2318653
January 13, 2011 6:29 AM
That's what I did last week. I ate a slow-carb breakfast, then followed the rules in "Damage Control" for lunch to dinner. I didn't eat after 8 pm (I go to bed at 11) and things worked out great. I didn't go way overboard like he does in the book, but eating the things you used to in moderation shouldn't be too big a deal, scale-wise.
  3704108

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