Fat Loss via Better Science and Simplicity
It is possible to lose 20 lbs. of bodyfat in 30 days by optimizing any of three factors: exercise, diet, or drug/supplement regimen. I’ve seen the elite implementation of all three in working with professional athletes. In this post, we’ll explore what I refer to as the “slow-carb diet”.
In the last six weeks, I have cut from about 180 lbs. to 165 lbs., while adding about 10 lbs. of muscle, which means I’ve lost about 25 lbs. of fat. This is the only diet besides the rather extreme Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD) that has produced veins across my abdomen, which is the last place I lose fat (damn you, Scandinavian genetics). Here are the four simple rules I followed…
Rule #1: Avoid “white” carbohydrates
Avoid any carbohydrate that is — or can be — white. The following foods are thus prohibited, except for within 1.5 hours of finishing a resistance-training workout of at least 20 minutes in length: bread, rice, cereal, potatoes, pasta, and fried food with breading. If you avoid eating anything white, you’ll be safe.
Rule #2: Eat the same few meals over and over again
The most successful dieters, regardless of whether their goal is muscle gain or fat loss, eat the same few meals over and over again. Mix and match, constructing each meal with one from each of the three following groups:
Egg whites with one whole egg for flavor
Chicken breast or thigh
Grass-fed organic beef
Eat as much as you like of the above food items. Just remember: keep it simple. Pick three or four meals and repeat them. Almost all restaurants can give you a salad or vegetables in place of french fries or potatoes. Surprisingly, I have found Mexican food, swapping out rice for vegetables, to be one of the cuisines most conducive to the “slow carb” diet.
Most people who go on “low” carbohydrate diets complain of low energy and quit, not because such diets can’t work, but because they consume insufficient calories. A 1/2 cup of rice is 300 calories, whereas a 1/2 cup of spinach is 15 calories! Vegetables are not calorically dense, so it is critical that you add legumes for caloric load.
Some athletes eat 6-8x per day to break up caloric load and avoid fat gain. I think this is ridiculously inconvenient. I eat 4x per day:
10am – breakfast
1pm – lunch
5pm – smaller second lunch
7:30-9pm – sports training
10pm – dinner
12am – glass of wine and Discovery Channel before bed
Here are some of my meals that recur again and again:
Scrambled Eggology pourable egg whites with one whole egg, black beans, and microwaved mixed vegetables
Grass-fed organic beef, pinto beans, mixed vegetables, and extra guacamole (Mexican restaurant)
Grass-fed organic beef (from Trader Joe’s), lentils, and mixed vegetables
Rule #3: Don’t drink calories
Drink massive quantities of water and as much unsweetened iced tea, tea, diet sodas, coffee (without white cream), or other no-calorie/low-calorie beverages as you like. Do not drink milk, normal soft drinks, or fruit juice. I’m a wine fanatic and have at least one glass of wine each evening, which I believe actually aids sports recovery and fat-loss. Recent research into resveratrol supports this.
Rule #4: Take one day off per week
I recommend Saturdays as your “Dieters Gone Wild” day. I am allowed to eat whatever I want on Saturdays, and I go out of my way to eat ice cream, Snickers, Take 5, and all of my other vices in excess. I make myself a little sick and don’t want to look at any of it for the rest of the week. Paradoxically, dramatically spiking caloric intake in this way once per week increases fat loss by ensuring that your metabolic rate (thyroid function, etc.) doesn’t downregulate from extended caloric restriction. That’s right: eating pure crap can help you lose fat. Welcome to Utopia.
If you enjoyed this post, check out my latest book, The 4-Hour Body, #1 New York Times and #1 Amazon bestseller. You will learn: the finer details of the Slow Carb Diet (outlined in the above post), how I gained 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days, how to produce 15-minute female orgasms, and more.
You can also get the Expanded and Updated 4-Hour Workweek, which includes more than 50 new case studies of luxury lifestyle design, business building, reducing hours 80%+, and world travel.
Related and Recommended Posts:
Tim Ferriss interviewed by Derek Sivers
Tim Ferriss articles on Huffington Post
The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.
Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration.)
7,294 Replies to “How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise”
I’m 19 years old, I went from 320 pounds to 242 currently, and using this diet I hope to get down to 215 pounds by October 22nd (my 20th birthday). I made a promise to myself, when I turn 20 it’s another time in my life, a new beginning, I am no longer a teenager. My fat weak self is gonna be left behind with my teen status.
Good luck to everybody trying this diet, I have found it is cheap (I’m in college), and it’s very easy to follow. Get yourself a book about low glycemic index foods, and you can make variations to this diet so it won’t get boring.
I’ve been on this diet so far for 5 weeks and have lost 20 pounds, and I haven’t even been following it strictly. Granted I do an hour of cardio, and weight train almost everyday too.
Ok well, I’m going to start this diet in Summer(in a week) and I can’t wait to look awesome by the end of Summer!! When Summer is over, no one is going to recognize me, so I’m hoping that I lose it all by then!! Well, I have been reading some of the most recent posts and it looks like everyone is doing awesome!! Keep on going everyone and good luck!!!
I hope I get the same results!!!
hi im a cheerleader and im looking for a way to drop weight fast but still keep my muscle. if i follow this diet and exercise daily will i reach my goal
Dare I say it – Great minds think alike!
I have somehow gravitated to this exact diet myself through my own research. I even do the 1 day free-for-all for the exact same reason of the metabolic spike. Oh and because I’ve got to have one day of insanity after all the discipline.
I’ve lost about 60 lbs twice during the last 10 years and am about to kick off another 20 lbs. I should add that I have had to do this a few times not because I couldn’t keep the weight off. Other issues entirely. Quit drinking and drugging the first time and replaced them with food. Quit smoking to gain the second 60 lbs but started smoking after a few years. Now I’ve quite smoking again just this past January and am getting rid of the 20 lbs before it gets worse.
Anyway, I just wanted to say this diet really works! No doubt about it.
i have duodenal ulcer can i undertake this dieting. and what are some of the things i should not do because am not too fat am just ok but want to maintain my weight
Don’t foget about Bison!!! super lean, high protein, and yummm. Just make sure it’s not inbread with cow. happens often. Wild Oats gets theirs from Canada.
can i eat freezes? i know its kinda weird but i want some sugar,and i have some freezes laying around the house
I Work 3rd shift and i get off at 7 30am and go home be in bed by 8.00am and wake up at 400pm but dont have to in untill 1130pm so how should i eat and i get very hurgy at 730 am and i dont want to lat down withbeing full can you let me somthing amanda
I just got started on this plan on Sunday, June 1 and I have a question about the post work out meal. You eat a whole pizza after your workout?!!!! and is that regular dough? I don’t have a pizza my heart near me. Thanks
Male, 19 years old, In college
I HIGHLY recommend reading “The Abs Diet” by David Zinczenco! The book contains the basic elements of Tim’s diet, but with much greater detail of why it works, how to customize your meals, and how to keep the weight off. It also has exercises that burn your abs, and encourages upper body strength training.
The basic premise is that, it’s not a diet book, it’s a way to change your life style to turn you into a fat burning machine. I just loved reading it, David has a really awesome sense of humor, and under 300 pages, I read it in two days!
I’ve been following a diet like Tim’s(The AB’s diet) for 7 months now, I use to be 315 pounds size 48 waist. Now I weigh 238 pounds, with a size 35 waist!! I still have 28 pounds to go
OLD before and after, the after part in the picture is old, I am thinner than that now 🙂
Good luck everyone, I hope this inspires and motivates people
Updated before and after picture:
I’ve been doing 45 to 70 minutes of stationary bike a day. Now I lift weights 3 times a day, take whey protein a lot. I also recently got a bowflex and use that to tone my muscles.
NOTE: I cheated a lot, and I’m not ashamed really, I’m human haha. I’ve always been taking Green Tea fat burners
Don’t suggest you eat an entire pizza after your work out. Do strength training (even if it’s lifting a 10 pound weight) and your cardio. After this, your metabolism is spiked, and you can get away with eating white carbs in moderation, the spike it causes to your blood sugar will not have a drastic impact, because after working out your body will quickly consume and stabilize glucose levels before insuln is produced and the blood sugar is stored as fat.
Still I lost 70 pounds, and I don’t eat many carbs after my workout, concentrate on protein, (Whey protein, turkey, tuna, chicken) and a tiny bit of carbs, maybe put that meat(protein) on some WHOLE GRAIN bread.
is this diet for female as well?
It is, but it is more important for females to push on that cheat day than for males.
Thanks a lot for the info Mark. I have the Abs Diet book, I borrowed it from a friend a while back but never tried to get started. I will definitely start reading it again.
Dang it! I just started this diet, and without thinking about it, I ate a darn mint after a chicken and veggie lunch! Grrrrr… Just wanted to take my frustration out somewhere.
I doubt a mint after lunch will make much difference. I Tim Ferriss can eat pizzas I’m sure it’ll be fine
I think the same can be lost with juicing, while getting the nutrients and proteins through leafy green vegetables. I’ve been a vegan for a little over three weeks now, and I ‘feel’ and see what juicing and going meatless have done to my body. I have removed refined sugar and grains from my shelves and diet, along with breads and any and all dairy products, and I water it up as much as possible. It’s amazing! I don’t see myself ever eating anything with a face, again. I was 195 pounds. I’m down to 180 pounds and am still landsliding, while becoming healthy from the inside out! My energy has increased, and I feel more alive now than every before! Eeeyeah, baby!
I come back to this thread from time to time and enjoy the comments and especially the progress reports.
I thought I’d throw a quick tip out there. I often use high protein puddings to not just battle hunger but also sweet cravings. Put a little no carb whipped cream on it and it’s a real treat.. The kind I personally like is pro-pudding from vitamin shoppe, but there are many brands/favors.
Great on the go option I thought I’d share.
I’m going to start out on this diet in the next few days and I was just wondering if you can provide some easy recipes. The simplicity and repetativeness of meals is not problem for me because I’m increidibly simple when it comes to food, as long as it tastes good I can go for weeks eating the same meal.
are there any suggestions that you would have regarding age? because I’m a 17 year old guy and I weight just over 180 so any additional tips would be great.
To help you guys out, I’ve been on this diet pretty strictly for over 2 months. But for me, one cheat day is way too much because I go overboard. Then there’s the cycle where I lose weight during the week and gain it all back on one day. Keeping it to one meal may help you. It definitely helps me.
Hey!! It’s Adriana again and guess what? It’s Summer! So that means diet time!! Ok, I’ve been thinkiing about it and for lunch, I could have a chicken salad with some ranch? But I don’t know if ranch is ok? Ok, here is my diet:
Breakfast: 2 eggs(with a little salt), apples, and water.
Snack: 100 calorie pack(with no white carbohydrates), apples and water if I’m more hungry.
Lunch: Chicken Salad contains: Romaine Lettace with boiled chicken?? and a little ranch.
Snack: 100 calorie pack(with no white carbohydrates), apples and water if I’m more hungry.
Dinner: Special K Meal Bar, Special K Snack Bar, apples and water.
(If I’m hungry later, then snack bar and water.)
Is this a good diet? I will also exercise for about an hour everyday.
Thanks for all the help!!
Started it 34 days ago, went from 187 to 173.
The best part, in my opinion, is the Saturday splurge. Every time I got down on the diet and wanted to reach for that cheeseburger, I’d jus say, “Wait ’til Saturday . . .” and hit the veggies instead.
I started this diet i yesterday, but i went to a movie and got brown rice crisps. so maybe that counts as half a day, so today is going well.. im not sure if this was answered before.. but can i have soy beans and chickpeas? i love hummus, and was wondering if this is a suitable snack w/ veggies.
currently i am 182 and need to get to about 145.
I am going to weigh in each morning and track my progress! hopefully i can lose at least 15 lbs by the end of june!
I started this plan 4 weeks ago. I haven’t been following it to a “T” and haven’t been exercising, but still lost 7 pounds. I’m also a mid-30’s mom who had my second baby a few months ago, so I still have some of the baby weight left. I never feel hungry, and although it’s not the 20# I was hoping for, I realize it’s the most weight I’ve lost in a healthy way in a long time. My starting weight was 188, and now I’m at 181. My typical day looks like this:
Breakfast: Egg white omelette made with one real egg, lots of veggies, salsa (cooked without fat), and 1/2 cup of non-fat refried beans, coffee with splenda and one tablespoon real cream
Snack: 1 oz mixed nuts (low sodium, no sugar), diet soda
Lunch: large salad, grilled chicken (or canned tuna), lots of veggies, 2 tablespoons fat-free dressing with little or no sugar.
Snack: fiber one bar (140 calories, 9 grams dietary fiber)
Dinner: Steak or other lean-ish beef, salad, broccoli
As you can see, I don’t eat too many beans, but make sure I get at least one serving a day, sometimes two.
Thanks, Tim, for this plan, and for the inspiration to lose weight with a sensible, easy to follow plan. Good luck to everyone!
If I were you I wouldn’t weigh in every day, its kind of a psychological thing where if you do it every day theres such a small change if anything at all that u get discouraged
I did really well with this plan last year. I’m looking to do it again. I’d really appreciate any support that you guys can give. i’m actually changing this to my homepage to keep me on my toes 🙂
I wish you all the best.
how should i cook this stuff. boring is not a problem for me, i just don’t know how to cook it,
This lifestyle actually works really well. I’ve been doing it for 2 months and I have lost dramatic weight but the only problem now is tightening up my skin. I’m only 29 but I lost the weight so quickly that I guess workout is my only solution to that. I started a cardio and strength curriculum. But in general, after I cut back, I ‘m feeling alot more energy and a hell of alot healthier.
Just stumbled upon this blog and the plan indeed sounds intriguing… dont have time to go through ALL the posts but i was wondering how the women who have been on this diet feel? These types of diets usually work wonders for men but not so great for the women which sucks big time !!
So my question is for the women here… Have you lost substantial weight without exercise? I’m a 28 yrs. old female, 5’5 tall currently weighing 145lbs and desperately want to lose 25 pounds in about 2-3 months… Will this diet work without any exercise?
On day 4 and doing well. I’ve been cooking way more than usual and eating a ton more vegetables than ever before. No results to report yet since its too early. Just wanted to share a couple vegetable ideas, that have rendered them pretty tasty even to self-avowed veggie hater.
1. Sauté some green beans with garlic and soy sauce
2. chicken and veggies a la Robéace…named in honor of my Ivorian roommate who taught me this. cook the meat in a pot with a little olive oil. then throw in some chopped veggies (garlic, tomatoes, onions, eggplant, zucchini, carrots, squash if you want), then add some water, tomato paste and chicken bouillon spice. and if you like it spicy throw in 1 or 2 dried jalepenos, and boil for a while.
oh and i have already found that to thoroughly rinse canned beans, boil them and then rinse them again, drastically reduces the unpleasantness typically associated with them. 😉
Hopefully I will have some good results to report in the end. Good luck to all embarking on this change. And if you haven’t started yet, stop asking if this diet will work and give it its 30 days to find out. Seems like at worst you’ll be eating pretty healthy.
Many thanks to Tim for the inspiration to get started!
My wife and I both are on the diet. She has had the same results as me. We both lost 20lbs in the first month and we have both continued to lose weight, albeit at a slower rate, after the initial month. We started at the end of march and I have lost about 35 lbs. I can’t tell you how much more she has lost since she is out of town at the moment but I believe it is about the same amount.
Hey, it’s me again and I don’t know what to eat for lunch or dinner since I don’t want to eat any white carbohydrates. So for breakfast: 1 egg whites and another whole egg for flavor with some apples and water. For my snack, what should I eat? And for my lunch and dinner? I’m having problems because I don’t like any vegetables so if you can give me any recipes without ANY vegetables that would be great!! Also, we can’t eat tomatoes because they have a type of salmonella or something disease on it and they have been pulled off the markets and the shops, stores, restaraunts, etc. so everyone be careful of tomatoes(this is in the US. FL where I heard it) Please, I really need these recipes
Thanks for all the help!!
im called asia and i weigh 9stone and i think you webby is really use full please can you email me back and give me more tips and other websites xxx
I follow this diet for the most part, but I DO drink 100% lactose-free fat free milk. Is this ok for your diet? In other words, are you saying don’t drink milk only because you think there is fat in the milk? Thanks.
Get rid of the apple for breakfast. Pure sugar carbs. Granted, it isn’t Fructose or Corn Syrup. But it will force you to be hungry an hour later.
Pickup a bottle of the Diet V8 Splash for the nutrients of veggies and fruits. It’s got sucralose so fake sugar without the carbs.
I mix it with a 100% Whey Protein scoop from Sam’s Club. Costco carries the same. That with the Diet v8 splash is 130 calories, 1g of sugar, 3g total carbs and 23g of protein. Great “snack” at about 2:30 in the afternoon.
My wife hates veggies, but likes salads. So we eat cobb salads and chicken breast salads for dinners. Also, homemade Chili is a great thing for several meals because of left overs.
Taco salads are a big hit also.
Your recommendations are really interesting, I live in Sn Jose, CA and for me is really hard to lose weigth specially because I like carbs a lot!!!
What about the Ezequiel Bread??? Oatmeal?? Soy Milk?? and plain dark chocolate bars???
I need to lose 20 Lbs, I do excersice 4 times a week, walk/run 50min and some steching excersices for another 20min…
This is very interesting, congratulations on your incredible loss/gain! I am 185 and have been struggling to just get into the 170s…135-140 is very ideal for me as I’m 5’6 and 30 years old. Did you find it difficult to get started eating this way and is it best to stick strictly to those few foods in each category that you mentioned above? I will look again on your site but I was wondering what a good weight training routine would be to get into? I just started going to the gym 2 days a week for weights. thanks!
Just wanted to let you guys know that this diet is for real and works great. I started about 5 weeks ago and have gone from 223 down to 208. I wake up late everyday so I only eat three meals. My diet consists of:
Lunch(11:00-2:00): Chicken Wings with Beans and salsa
Late Lunch(3:00-6:00): Chicken Tenders with Beans guacamole and salsa
Dinner(7:00-9:00):Chili with Lean Ground Beef, Tomatoes and Kidney Beans
I know chicken wings sound like a bad choice but I only each around 5-6 of them and they extra 100-150 calories of fat is worth it to me to keep me eating this way. All the beans I eat are the no fat refried beans, they taste MUCH better than the regular beans and have the same amount of calories.
I’ve also been following Tim’s workout program and can still lift either the same or more on all exercises so I haven’t had any muscle loss.
I’m going to do the diet till I can get down to 185-190. So I’ll update again in a month or two.
I am a 25 year old male. I am a lead singer of an up and comming indie band. We just did a doc with the Discovery channel and when i saw myself in the pics and b-roll i didnt even realize how big i had got. If you see me you would not think i am overweight…or maybe you would…lol The bottom line is i got really good at hiding it. im ready to make a change. tomorrow i start ill keep you posted!
i want to applaud you for losing weight… i want to congratulate you and i agree totally about eating the same foods each day… i agree about the white carbohydrates…. for most cutting out certain foods mean they lose weight
i don’t know how you stomach lentils and meat… seeing that they both need different gastric juices to break them down.. like you shouldn’t mix carbs with protein… and fruit should be eaten alone on an empty stomach… quite simply its not a very good after feeling.. but hey if it works for you then by all means…
The title is “How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise”… but you claim to do sports training from 7:30-9pm… please explain.
out of curiosity, what is your daily caloric intake on this program?… for comparison, what is the average daily calories suggested for someone of your height & weight?
i can’t lose weight i am so obease for my age i am 10 years old and weigh 100 pounds help me please
This diet looks great. I did the worst kind of dieting lately. I fasted from food alot. But I lost 3st in just a few months. Now I have reached a weight I just can’t get past. I am currently only about 15lbs from my target weight.
I am looking forward to doing this diet. I am fine with eating little and I love what was listed as the suggested foods, my only weakness is biscuits/cookies. But if I can have one or two on one day of the week I will be fine.
Thanks for the post.
Have you guys ever seen America’s Got Talent? You should check it out Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC. How can you resist David Hasselhoff!???
Hi, I am going to try this diet. Will keep you posted:
I’ve been on this diet for nearly 5 weeks now, and have lost maybe 10 pounds. My pants have become looser fitting, but what’s weird is that my scale still shows almost the same fat percentage as before… Granted, it’s not the most advanced weight in the world, but still… Could this mean I’ve lost mostly muscle?
Is it possible to lose muscle on this diet? I though the high protein took care of that?
And I still feel that the fat loss has been slow… Could it be that I eat too little, or that I eat too much on my cheat day?
For breakfast I usually eat a chicken or ham salad (no dressing, maybe a few drops of oil).
For lunch I usually eat leftovers from yesterday’s dinner, which is usually either ground lean beef with pasta sauce (very little sugar) and beans, salmon with mixed vegetables and chicken or beef with mixed vegetables. Sometimes also lamb with mixed vegetables, which I know is a little on the fat side.
For dinner I have one of the above dishes.
If I feel peckish, I usually eat a can of tuna with water for an evening meal.
Any obvious mistakes?
I also try to work out 2-3 times a week (weights or bodyweight training) and 2 times a week Tai Chi. I also walk about 20 minutes each day, to and from work.
I would not recommend trusting a bodyfat scale, as they depend on bio-impedence and your hydration (water intake) can send the numbers all over the place. Go to a gym or rehab center and have the best bodyfat caliper user do all of your measurements, both before and after.
There is a chance that you are overtraining for your caloric intake. Consider dropping to 1-2 weightlifting workouts per week and seeing the “Geek to Freak” post for methods:
Women will not turn into He-man on this program, especially on a diet such as yours. They lack the testosterone to do so regardless.
Best of luck and thanks for posting. Keep in mind that 10 lbs. in 5 weeks is still amazing 🙂
All the best,
Hey Tim! Thanks for answering me personally! And thanks for posting this diet, you inspire me!
That’s what I suspected, that the scale was off, as water percentage varies etc.
OK, I’ll try with a caliper measurement.
Could be, I’ll try to up my intake with some fruit perhaps straight after weight training (usually don’t up my carbs after training).
Hey, I’m not a woman, I’m just Norwegian! Haha 😉 I’m a 26 year old male actually.
Thanks, yeah, and I think it might be closer to 12 lbs. actually, so it’s going good! Hope to see the last remnants of that gut and those love handles disappear soon! 🙂
Thanks (or “tusen takk” as we say in Norway) for your help and support Tim!
All the best, Espen
What do you think about beef jerky, pupkin and sunflower seeds? And is there any kind of fruit that is ok on this diet??
Any suggestions on how to deal with the sugar withdrawl symptoms in the beginning??
This is the most amazing diet I´ve ever done. It works perfectly. For the first time in my life after 2 monts of diet I´m doing 2 more holes in my belt inside, not outside.
Just a tip. Here in Namibia fresh vegis a quite expensive. I´ve substitute the beans and legumins with canned stuff. Works perfectly, maybe not as fast as possible( tomato souce).
I think it all depends how fast you want to loose weight. I love my beer and wine, and even then this diet is fast!!! 2 mothns for 15 kg is creazy. I wasn´t hungry , not even a 1 evening (being the worst time of the day)
Anyway, works perfectly.
I forgot to mention:
I´m 2m , and was 115 kgs. Now I´. hopefuly still 2m but 100KG!!!. Man that sounds good. And as the title states, without ANY exercise. Unfortunately no time here…
I tried the diet for about 3 weeks and I lost about 6 real lbs. I say real because there was no fluctuations. Usually when I go on some diet there is quite a bit of flux. But on this it came down and stayed consistent. I went down almost 2 pant sizes. FIt into my 32s. Now I’m not a big guy to begin with, but I’d like to get my body fat percentage down from 19 to about 12.
I did cheat a bit and let my carb days go from Friday dinner until Sunday lunch. I just tried to keep it from being too crazy allowing myself some pasta or rice during those times to keep family and friends from going nuts.
For breakfast, I found Trader Joe’s Refried Black Beans worked well. I also mixed 1 Tbsp of Flax Seed oil into the beans. Even though flax seed on it’s own is not that tasty, I find that the refriend beans taste funny without it now. Just goes to show what your palate can become accustomed too.
Lentils worked best for me because they kept me satisfied longer than black beans or pinto beans. The hardest thing for me on this kind of eating plan is that I remain calorie intake aware and try not to eat too much, which usually results in my eating too little and getting hungry through the day. I used salami, cheese and almonds as an afternoon snack.
How does the after workout pizza work? I’m still a bit confusd about this. I’d love to be able to scarf down an occasional pizza while trying to lose weight!
It’s been 31 days for me today and I lost 22lbs. I have been doing exactly what Tim suggests no changes. The only excercise I get is from owning a horse farm. Thanks Tim.
i have a question what kind of fruits can i eat?????!!!!
Well, I’m back after about 30 days of this. I lost 12 pounds so far and dropped a belt notch. So, from 202 to 190 or so. Since I am also skating more, I think the muscle is also masking some weight loss, as everyone who sees me notices.
I figure that now I have seen progress, I am going to start an aggressive cardio schedule again and drop all of the remaining fat, and just replace it with muscle.
I started this program to help support my husband. He needs to lose 85 lbs. and hasn’t done anything about it. He is finally on board, (Hallelujah!!) and I am going along with it to help him out. After having three children, my athletic, beauty pageant winning body needed a little attention, so this past year I have been working out REALLY hard, but I have continued eating whatever I want, especially ice cream in mass amounts. I gave birth to my third child at a whopping 242 lbs. I’m 5’10”, but come on…. 242 lbs?? Anyway, I came home from the hospital at 220 and it’s now two years later. I have exercised hard by making a goal of completing a sprint triathlon. I just completed the race last Saturday and weighed in at 183 lbs. Still a ton you may say, (everyone thinks I only weigh 150), I carry it well. I’ve been fluctuating between 175 and 183 for the past seven months. It’s time to start watching what I eat and drop the last 20 pounds. I started the program on Monday 6/16, (only two days ago). I weighed in at 183.8 on Monday morning and this morning I weighed 177.4. That’s 6.4 pounds. Sure some of it is water, but I am drinking a ton of water!!!! Not sure if I’ll last the full 30 days, but I’m going to try my best.
I am diabetic II. I am 6 ft. 264 lbs. Lift weights almost everyday. Do cardio almost everyday. I checked with Doctor and gave me the ok. I find it very hard to loose weight. Will supplements you mentioned a year ago help loose the fat?
Well i will chime in here since i have been doing this style of eating. For one i do enjoy it because i’ve always like beans. I eat mine all from a can because it’s just easier. I pop it open rinse under the water for about 30 seconds to reduce salt and then heat up for 50 seconds and eat, quick and simple. My meal plans are different but it’s still working well for me and i think the main thing is eating the same like meals so you don’t have to count calories. I don’t know if the foods have any ” magical” power to them but keeping meals almost identical should be the Number 1 thing.
My meals are as follows:
45 gram protien shake with 1 cup yogurt
chicken or turkey or eggs or burgers with vegetables and 1/4 cup of peanuts
Beans and peas with vegetables and a small peice of fruit.
Now i know you will look at it and see that it doesn’t match what is said but it works perfectly. I don’t know about anyone else buti do believe that you should weight train while doing this. Cardio should be at the bottom of the list because why work out with long boring cardio when you can eat less?
a distant and very distant 3rd cardio.
The diet will get rid of the fat and the weight training will keep the muscle on so you don’t become the horibble ” Skinny fat” that comes with “weight loss” and not fat loss.
Just a few things that i have done and works for me but all in all it’s a very simple eating plan and that is the best one of all for fast fat loss.
Hi all –
*please note that Tim mentioned a while ago that he was not going to reply to this thread any longer (yet he did in the past week or so…), so it seems to be up to the group to inform/support/share what has worked for us individually – – – I realize there are LOTS of posts in this thread, but MANY of the Q asked have been repeated (i.e. fruit, …). I’d suggest that if you’re serious about learing more about this eating style, then just read the posts…
I’m finishing up week 10 this Sunday; I’ve been pretty good @ sticking to the program as suggested – save for the random event here & there… – I’ll report back in a few days after “weigh in” – – – have also been tuning up my knowledge on nutrition in general, which I’m happy to share.
Best to all –
im only 16 years old and i am way overweight. I go to high school and sometimes im scared to walk down those halls!! im always putting myself down.
im scared to look in the mirror because i might see someone i don’t even recognize anymore.
Since im only 16, do you think this diet might work for me?
so i’ve been doing this for about 3 weeks, about 80% through (some nights I give up to pig out with some friends). here is the deal though i’m a ‘skinny fat’ guy at145 lbs, i’m only 5’7 with a small frame
i’ve definitely lost fat with this. i used to have it on the sides of my chest and its about 50% gone now (i use the mirror/pics/try on tight shirts to see the difference). i’ve been trying all kinds of crap before this and this actually worked. my tummy is also smaller. here is the funny thing though, i’m still 145lbs. i do weights twice a week (the full body thing like on tims site) and do HIT cardio 2x on an empty stomach
however here is my question…i naturally have a hard time building muscle because of my asian ethnicity. i am thinking of dumping the HIIT for a few weeks and just focusing on my weights to try and really get the muscle going
is that a good idea or is HIIT harmless (i do sprinting)? either way i have definitely seen progress with this diet, and binging once a week is great. thanks tim
oh forgot to mention, i also have a lot more energy with this and have been able to ‘think’ a little more clearly if that makes any sense
are there any substitutes for beans? i really hate beans. would it be a problem if i just ate a lot more veggies to make up for the beans?
Tim, I love what you wrote about going crazy one day each week. I have been telling people this for years!! I can personally testify that this approach works. Not only do you not burn out but you rev up your metabolism. In fact, each time I hit a plateau I would be totally bad for a day or maybe even two or three days and then go back to being good and at the next weigh in…BAM weight loss. When I tell people they are skeptical. But I am living proof. I explain to them that your body is like a furnace or a fireplace, with little fuel the fire starts to burn low and is in danger of dying altogether, hence the stalled weight loss and lack of energy (or worse, loss of muscle). What do you do to stoke the fire? Why, add fuel of course! Give it lots of calories and get the furnace burning once again.
Thanks for the great article. It was very valuable!
Hi, I just started the diet and wanted to post on here to share the results and keep myself going! This is my 6th day on the diet, I’m doing my best to do it exactly how Tim did it. I eat 3 – 4 times a day: egg whites, turkey burgers, pork chops, kidney/black/pinto beans or lentils, mixed veggies… you know the drill! I try to keep it low sodium to keep from storing too much water. I only eat breads after a workout involving at least 20 min. resistance training… I think next time I eat after a workout I will through some fruit in. I take the chromium polynicotinate, slo-niacin and resveratrol at night. This is a great diet because I can have a normal meal if I workout, which gets me to workout… and tomorrow is my cheat day woo hoo!
I am 24, 5’10, started at 173 lbs and down to about 170. Kind of a “skinny pudgy” guy. My weight plateaued for a looong time, I did nutrisystem for a month and barely made any difference. It seemed my weight would stay at around 175-180 whether I dieted or ate whatever I wanted. This “metabolism downregulate” thing makes perfect sense to me.
Looking forward to posting some results soon.
I’m glad that you feel that way about wine and I’m not surprised at the scientific data supporting it. I read somewhere that the average Frenchman consumes 2 bottles of wine per week. Besides having a longer life expectancy than Americans, I don’t think I ever remember reading anything about obesity being an epidemic problem in France (although I am sure it exists). Of course, sensible eating habits may have a lot to do with it!
Just completed day one, and I made it without a single snack o/ 🙂
Breakfast was an omlette with turkey rashers and refried beans, lunch was tuna, salad and black beans, and dinner was chicken, mixed beans and spinach.
Tomorrow I’ll switch the spinach to the breakfast and have peas with the dinner instead. I’ll keep the lunch the same, but I’ll have a lot more salad with it as I was quite hungry before dinner.
I’ve found I need to find something to add to the beans as they are a bit bland, so tomorrow I’m hitting the balsamic and lemon.
Here’s a quick heads up for those in the UK. Since the egg white in a carton is rare here, you might want to check with your local Sainsbury’s, as they are starting to carry the “Two Chicks” (http://www.twochicks.co.uk) liquid egg white cartons. In the meantime, I use powdered egg white, found in the baking ingredient aisle (near the cake mix). One sachet makes up the equivalent of 2 egg whites, and once you’ve beaten one whole egg into it you can’t tell the difference.
I’ve dieted in the past – the most successful one for me was “Lighter Life”, which consisted of 500 calories a day in the form of soups, bars and shakes. I lost a lot of weight on that, but it soon piled back on when I started to eat “normally” again. Hopefully this one will alleviate the problem of feeling “cheated” by allowing a free for all day once a week, whilst getting into the habit of sensible eating during the week.
Only downside so far is that previously I ate mostly ready meals. Nuke it, eat it with a spoon, throw away the packaging. Now I’ve got all this washing up to do… 🙂
I was wondering do you have any ideas on how I could possably lose 60 lbs. in 2months???
I’ve been reading your site(which is nice) & I see that you know alot about weightloss, and muscle gain.
Plz help me, if you can!
you can email me @
Well I just wanted to share my progress, I started this diet and do it for 5 weeks, downed from 70 kg to 64 kg (pretty happy) with totally no exercise. Now i cheat a little, more like eat pizza slices (I’m in college, there is no time to waste on meals, so pizza its a great option time speaking), since I started to cheat on the diet I STILL lose weight but slower, way slower, as its supposed to be, now I’m 62 kg. I’m going to start exercising next week and going back to the strict diet program and share progress again in a few weeks. 🙂
Guys n Girls,
I started this diet around 3 months ago. I started at 189 pounds and am now 167. And I’ve also gained about 2-3 pounds (very conservative estimate) of muscle.
Please note this diet works well for getting rid of all your fat except the last 10 pounds. To get rid of the last 10 pounds I think a different strategy is required. Which is what I’m doing now.
I’m now “healthy” but nowhere as strong or fit as I really want to be.
My 2 cents are:
1. Dont worry about being perfect with the diet. Make sure you get back on the wagon after you fall off.
2. Once you do it for 30 days in a row, you wont have to think about it as it will become a habit.
3. The best part of the diet is the unwaverying mood that it puts you in throught the day. No more slumps at 5pm or after lunch. I love that. I think its worth more than looking better!
All the best people!
Do you recommend gorging on calories on day 7 as prescribed even if you don’t do any resistance training but abiding by the rest of the diet?
I just completed day one and I feel great. My daughter went to a birthday party yesterday and got tons of yummy candy. I’ve got my candy selections on my desk, waiting for Saturday. It gives me something to look forward to. I wish you all well.
I started 1 week ago, 6’5″ 293 lbs, lift weight 2-3 times a week and run 3 miles 2-3 times a week. I’ve lost 9 lbs in the first 5 days and just had my cheat day today, curious to see how this affects me on the next weigh-in. All in all, i’m pretty pleased.
Someone wrote on here about how the diet curbs the cravings after a week, well it curbed my cravings from day one (usually get them around 5 o’clock at night).
1) is beer OK for the one “crappy food” day
2) imitation crab meat fine?
Beer? Go for it. Milk? Cheese? Cake?…have some – – – ONE day per week.
Be aware though that, especially after a couple of weeks, your body will no longer be “used” to these types of foods, possibly causing upset stomach, etc…(happened to me for a couple weeks).
Now, after 10 weeks it doesn’t happen much – BUT, I don’t go wild w/ it b/c it makes me physically feel bad – I do eat fruit, milk, warm chocolate chip cookies, slice of pizza,…
imitation crab you ask? Typically it is Pollock w/ articical coloring – – – it should be fine but why not go w/ the real thing now & again (does cost more, i understand) &/or have an untreated piece of fish instead?
just take it a day @ a time – keep it simple!
Thanks for the reply!
Vivek – what do you think is best for the last 10 lbs? I’ve got a theory that some hard cardio once or twice a week would do it, although I’m still on the last 40lbs myself.
there are so many problems with this diet…I just hope people understand and read up on what our bodies actually need. Day 7 is a huge problem for me and should be for all of you out there. When you eat sugar on Day 7, that leaves you craving it for Days 1-6. Your body goes into either Sodium or Sugar deprivation once you have gorged on those foods Day 7. The best way To Be Healthy is 30min of exercise daily and keeping your palette as neutral as possible. Less sugar, less sodium, not too many carbohydrates from white food (from fruits and vegetables is okay).
Are LO-CARB monsters off-limits or okay? 20 calories, 6 grams of sugar per 8 oz. can…
What if i’m a vegetarian and won’t eat beef or chicken?
It sounds like you are slagging the diet based on what you have read without trying it? Most people who have done it seem to find it ok.
So Tuna is an OK protein…. right ?
what about the legumes? is any kind of beans fine ?
I assume “mixed Vegtables” consists of Brocolli/Carrots/Califlower/Bean Sprouts ?
I started this February 9th weighing 215. I followed it pretty religiously for the first mont and was down to 195 and I had definately gained muscle (going to the gym every day will do that).
I notice that I have an all or nothing mentality. For example I took a trip the beginning of April and had to restrictions to what I ate. Since this “break” I’ve basically been an on-again, off-again dieter. (With a lot of off-again during the last week because of 2 weddings). Needless to say, I have retained the muscle mass and weighed in yesterday at 198.
One thing I like about this diet is that come Sunday the slate is clean and I’m going at it again.
A question: What about soups? I believe that chicken broth based soups have some carbs and chilli is ok. Can someone please comment on soups.
What book is everyone referring to? I know he recommended books in the beginning of this blog. Those books?? or did he write one about this diet, other than his famous 4HWW?
Okay, I’m 18, 5’6″ and weigh 155 lbs. I’m starting the diet in the next two days and plan on hitting the beach to swim as often as possible. Hopefully that will work for exercise, although this diet says I don’t need it.
I’ll try to keep ya’ll updated on the results as I go.
I’ve actually been on this sort of diet for a year now while i exercise several times a week – 4 times gym, 1-2 times swimming.
but the underlying fat under the skin still stays there and i’m not building up my muscles at all. i’ve got insignificant results – basically like a person who’s been training for 3 months only for the first time in his life.
what’s your advice?
i am currently in iraq serving with the u.s. army. i am going home in exactly 4 weeks and wondering if this is a good shredding diet. i got really big in 6 months but i want my wife to see my abs. do you think this diet is good for quick quick results??? i weighed 231 when i got here and i now weigh 201. i have definitly lossed body fat but i want to loose the little left around my stomach. i have seemed to level out and i just keep getting bigger but no change to the presentation in my abbs. i’m willing to try anything at this point cause i was a victim to the atkins diet and i have probably burned some muscle in the process.
So this diet is cyclical… what would happen if you change the cycle? How about switching to a 2-day cycle instead of a 7-day one… Meaning, eat normal one day, and then eat no carbs or fat the next… Would this do us ab-seekers any good?
Anyone try this sort of thing?
Hi – great article!
Just one question. On Saturday’s “Dieters Gone Wild” day, is it only okay to eat more calories, or is sodium okay? For example a McDonald’s meal? Thanks!
my update –
started this 4/15/08 (10+ weeks)
288.5 down to 260.0 (this AM) – pretty much stuck to it, added some heavy weight training a week ago & upped my protien intake dramatically (200+g/day) – still working to lean down, but believe I’ve hit plateau, as my loss over the past 4 weeks has been 5+ lbs (added muscle though) – my experience has shown that this is a 20 lb quick fix (some of which was h2o weight) in 30 days – as it was billed in the title – after that, balanced diet (removing white carbs & sugars), moderate regular exercise, & proper rest (very important) will continue one towards the result one desires. Face it, no one gains 50 (or pick any number) lbs. overnight so don’t expect to lose it overnight. Diets don’t work longterm – lifestyle changes do. I physically feel different than I did in April, as well as look different – I shop differently, basically have a new “routine”. I don’t look @ it as having to do this the REST of my life – just today. If it works today, I’ll give it a try tomorrow, & so on —
Those who come in and ask simple questions – MOST have been asked/answered above – take some time & read, you’ll learn quite a bit.
You can do it – go for it.
DOES THIS WORK FOR PPL ON THYROID MEDICATION OR NOT?
I’VE BEEN RESEARCHING FOR DAYS WITH NO SUCCESS.
I BET MY METABOLISM WON’T CHANGE WITH THIS DIET, BUT I WANT TO BE SURE.
OMG!!!!!!!!!!! I lost 121 pounds on this diet in 9 weeks; I went from 305 to 184 in no time flat!!!! THANKS TIM!!!!!! Oh and by the way, the “Junk Day” idea is awesome! It kept me going!
what does everyone eat on there 7th day =D just wondering
I still would like to know though… just what IS the permissible level of daily sodium intake when you’re on this diet?
Why not try the diet for a week or two and see? I don’t think you are going to find the answer by reading. Also it would depend on what thyroid medication etc… I’ve been on a variation of the diet for a while, it’s not much of a hardship and I’ve been losing weight steadily without hunger although at a slower rate than advertised ( about 1.5 lbs/week ).
I was just wondering if there were any forbidden spices or seasonings.
I’m not sure about your other “Rules” but your spot on when it comes to rules 3 & 4. I’ve known several people, myself included who’ve lost 20 lbs. or so from simply switching from sodas, to tea or diet drinks. I don’t think people realize that a few cans of sugar sodas is like eating a meal.
Try using tortillas as a substitute for pizza crusts….tastes great and far less carbs. Just make sure you don’t burn the crust, as it will cook quickly.
I am gonna start this program from the 6th of july… I kinda need some time before choosing the meals cause i am an indian so i am used to lotta spices so i dont know how how my tounge is gonna get used to this kinda meal…. but i need to get rid of 15 – 20 kgs so lets see…. i am also starting a 6 km walk (5 days a week)… so wish me luck coz i am low on will power