How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise

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




Black beans

Pinto beans





Mixed vegetables

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 800 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.

Leave a Reply

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.)

7,293 Replies to “How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise”

  1. Tim,

    This is a monster thread!

    Just started on the above – would porridge be ok for breakfast do you think?


  2. Hi, I read about this diet plan and am really impressed. I want to start on it from tomorrow… but hold on… tomorrow seems to be a Saturday and since Saturdays are recommended as “Dieters Gone Wild” day, I think I rather start my diet from Monday! Is that ok Tim?

  3. i was wondering how would this change if im a vegetarian cause i cant eat any meats and is there any options like veggie organic food ok too?

  4. Great article: simple to read and to take. And… FOR FREE.

    What about fruit? There is any restricition?

  5. Unknownnn:

    Are you strictly veggie? Some still eat eggs, and if you do, then eat them as “meat.” Also, tofu, veggie or black bean “burger” patties, and portobello mushrooms (actually, just the plain old white ‘shroom has the most protein), work to give you protein in your diet. And nuts; toss a handful of almonds or salt-free peanuts into your dishes–yum!

    Good luck!

  6. For those of you that are NEW and wondering…

    I started this diet In sept 2007 and yesterday I realized my goal of weighing less than 140 lb. I started at 186 lb.

    While it was a little slower than he stated, it was definitely easy and effective. It took almost a year, and a few more pounds would not hurt, but it works.

  7. Hmmm, I gained about 1-1.5 kg the morning after my cheat day. I ate a lot of high sodium foods. Should just be water retention weight right?

  8. I have a question? I notice that there was a mention of a book for this diet.. does anyone know the name. I would like to start as soon as possible I also would like to lose 40lbs. I’ve tried the low-carb diet but I’m always tired. So I stopped.. Someone help

  9. Hi People,

    I read this post about two months ago and I think I read about 1/2 way down. Thanks for all the interesting feed back and comments regarding the meals. I actually started the program and stuck to it for a week, working out at least 30-45 minutes a day. It does work! I ate way more than I usually eat but I still saw a drop in weight every day after the initial 3 days. It is possible!

    I’m 5’4, 136lbs and I have a medium frame. I have a 22% body fat right now and I’m gonna give this a go again. You know why? Because I joined one of those bootcamps(for beginners/I’m way out of shape) and the trainer gave me a diet plan EXACTLY LIKE THIS! I couldn’t believe it. AND this guy looks great! So I’m gonna give it a go again and fill you guys/ladies in on it…..


  10. Ok so I’m trying this now and being strict about it…is it okay if I season my food and all and don’t eat my veggies boiled??? I’m not adding salt but I think that if I know I’m eating the same things over and over at least cooking them different ways is a be help….I don’t really like Mexican so like I’ll just be cooking my own food….

    hopefully once a week up I can report some weight loss….

    whoever said take it 24 hours at a time…thank you

  11. I’m wanting to start some sort of diet, but I cannot seem to find one I like. I do not like to eat generally, and perhaps that is why I always seem to retain calories, but I just have no desire to eat. Would this diet work without the meat in it? I do not eat much meat, though I do like it; I just do not like to have it as a common part of my meals. I would like to lose 40 lbs myself so losing half that in 30 days may be appealing too. I may try this method out, but if it can be refined, even better.

  12. Been on this program for 8 days. I have lost 11 lbs and feel better than i have in a long time. On my “Day Off” went and had Mexican food, and Blue Bell ice cream that night. Found that the “Bad” food didn’t taste all that great anymore.

    Thanks bud

  13. Hey Tim,

    Im talking to you on behalf of my 13year old son. He is about 10 pounds overweight and he is a big time basketball player and needs to shead a few pounds for this next preseson. Is this the right diet for him?

  14. Hey all. I’ve been reading this page for about a month now. I have a friend that’s lost almost 70lbs on this diet. Which has motivated me to try it. I even got my girlfriend doing it.

    My current weight is 314lbs. My goal is to get down to 200lbs first. Then maybe go down further from there. I’m 5’8 and I’ve always been overweight. Today is day 3, and I’ve lost 4lbs. I now need to figure out how to incorporate exercise into this because I feel it will definitely help the process move along better.

    Good luck to everyone on the diet. I look forward to sharing my results in 30 days 🙂

  15. Hi All:

    I posted on 8/7, and now I’m almost 2 weeks on this new lifestyle (no saying “diet”–new way of life!), and have lost 8 lbs. now, starting at 150-155, and going to 142. Only 4 more weeks to go, and I should be down to 125 – 130. Plus, I increased cardio since unlike the Atkins Diet, this doesn’t leave you feeling hungry all the time or tired. Whenever I do start to feel hungry but it’s not a meal time yet, I munch on a hardboiled egg, homemade hummus (the key, as there’s no chemicals) and baby carrots, or a few handfuls of nuts (peanuts, almonds), and drink a big beverage, such as water, tea, or sugar and calorie-free drink (such as Crystal Light) if I’m craving taste or sweets. Stuffs you to the gills after being on this for 2 weeks. And as Greg B. stated, seriously, it’s very difficult to get yucky/bad-for-you food down anymore. I had a slice of pizza (good veggies + Canadian bacon on thin crust) yesterday post a heavy workout, and I felt like I ate a bowling ball. Bread = no good. And stay away from any fruit on your “on days”; messes up the tummy. Not even on my “off-day”. And a tip: I LOVE bean with bacon soup, so I took a salt-free hamhock and used white and navy beans (fresh) and pepper + garlic in a crockpot, and it was delish–and had enough to eat 1 meal with it for 4 days!

    Good luck to you all, and to everyone who has started, keep posting your results as the are very inspiring. And, keep the tips coming!

    *Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday, so with each day passing that you put this off, is another day you’d be steppin’ toward healthy!*

  16. So I’ve been on the diet for two weeks now, lost about 12 lbs, but keep in mind that I am a big time lifter (gym 6 days a week). Today was my cheat day, and wow, I can’t even stand the taste of a burger and shake….it is absolutely amazing, I feel like puking.

    I’m 6’1 242, but I’ve never been this lean at this weight. Thanks a lot Tim!

  17. ok i asked my sons dr. and he said that it was ok and this diet would be the right thing for my son to do for his gut. im looking forward to posting his results. starting weight 196lbs. ending weight ?????

    good luck every one

  18. hey tim, you should try my new concoction- a plate of chicken salad mixed with a whole avocado!!


    See you later

  19. hello again my son lost 1.5 lbs after the first day this diet really works!!! i have suggested this diet to many friends and family.

    thanks tim

  20. Hey everyone! Okay so I’ve been on this diet for four days now and have lost 2.5 pounds so far, which is pretty good I guess, for me! I just had a few questions.

    1. I found out that unless I have 1.5 cups of milk in the morning I get terribly irratable and crave food like crazy do you think this is ok?

    2. Are carrots ok on this diet? because I know they have some carbs…

    3. I started this on tuesday so should I still have my cheat day on saturday?

    4. Should I really go crazy on my cheat day? As in fat, calories, carbs everything? Will I gain the weight back?

    5. How many calories should I aim for for weight loss? I’m only 4′ 11″ and weigh 105-110 pounds, I’m pretty sedentary, I’m doing Jillian Michael’s 30-day Shred (it’s like 20 mins of circuit training) every day plus 90 mins of kundalini yoga. So far I’ve been eating 700 to 1,200 calories a day.

    Thanks soooo very very much to anyone who takes the time to answer my curious mind hehe

  21. Hi Tim,

    this diet sounds great. Nevertheless I had a question:

    Is there a limit for losing weight with that diet?

    I mean you write that you are eating every day the same vegetables, therefore since you started that diet more than one year ago, you must have lost a lot of pounds: more than 12 months—-> 20*12= 120 pounds lost !!??

  22. I need help.

    I know that this diet is pretty simple when you first look at it,

    but I still have a few concerns.

    first of all, dairy should be consumed sparingly, right? Well I thought the solution would be soy milk but of course if you read the label it has sugar in it.

    I can’t cut out calcium, so I’ve been drinking skim milk twice a day.

    Is that going to sabotage my diet?

    second, I’ve never had problems eating enough calories in a day… dieting or not. But now, I can barely break 1000, and my goal is 1400-1500.

    I’m not even trying to cut them out — I just am so full that I can’t eat any more.

    what”s a healthy way to increase calories?

    and I know “eat more”.. But really, I don’t know how much more I can eat…

    I know, I should just follow it based on the rules listed, but that’s a lot easier said than done I think.

  23. Ella,

    The first seven days of the diet I drank one and a half cups of skim milk a day because I found that if I didn’t have a glass of milk in the morning, I would be terribly lethargic the rest of the day. Also because, I too, need my calcium. If you don’t mind calcium supplements that’s always an option for you, but what I do is drink Silk Unsweetened (not plain but unsweetened make sure it says it on the label. It still has the same amount of calcium as regular milk. It still has 4 g of carbs per serving, but of those 1 gram is fiber. I find that it tastes like water and that’s fine, but if you wanna spruce it up a little, it tastes delicious when mixed with a packet of Splenda and some vanilla extract.

    Best of luck to you and to all you “slow” carb dieters!

  24. good news every one my son has lost a total of 4 lbs in one week!!!! thanks alot tim my son also says thanks.

    192lbs 6’2” age 13

  25. I am down to 183 pounds from the previous 190 from June. I dropped two pants sizes, and I am almost down to a third drop. I upped my cardio to a 5k, 6 days a week in addition to my lifting and hockey sessions 3 times a week each. This week, I am changing my cardio to high intensity interval training, and this should melt the rest of the remaining lower stomach fat I have.

    My diet consists mainly of black beans, steamed vegetables, lean meats (rarely beef), hard boiled eggs and iced tea/water. My Saturday cheat days are a spectacle of mass quantities of whatever I want to eat. I usually identify a craving during the week and hammer it on Saturday. The funny thing is…I get full so fast, and feel so terrible because of the sugar infusion that I can’t wait to get back to my normal schedule. However, I literally sweat that entire day because of the caloric spike.

    For the first time ever, I have changed my lifestyle and tossed away the notion of a “diet”. I believe that is the key to my success so far. I actually have abs again for the first time in 10 years, and I have almost completely transformed my body because of the hard work and diet Tim suggested. The thing to remember is that motivation, dedication and common sense are the secrets that lay right out in the open for anyone to discover…but you need to commit to it long enough to make the change into a habit.

    Unless you have some disability or other preventative condition that will not allow you to effectively exercise and eat properly, I am sad to report that there really is no excuse to not be able to succeed at this. Conquer your mind, and your body will follow.

  26. Lamisa:

    Dunno if this will be helpful, but I just finished Week 3 on the diet and am down 12 pounds (if you want some legitimacy to who’s speaking). Maybe this will help due to what I’ve learned

    Milk is NOT a good idea; you should wean yourself off of it and drink green tea or water, or even veggie juice with and between meals. We are the only mammals who drink milk past infancy, and is a negative staple to the diet, as it’s loaded with calories and fat. The best bet is soy milk, if you must have that texture, and it’s legume family, which is a large staple to the diet (beans, beans, and more beans!). And if you must have dairy, sprinkle either goat or feta cheese on dishes. They have a strong taste (yum!) and few calories.

    Carrots are very good on this diet; they are low in calories and provide a healthy, crunchy snack–esp. with homemade hummus (which rocks over chips n’ dip!). While Tim doesn’t support garbanzo beans as much (high in carbs), I find about 1/2 c. once every couple days doesn’t hurt, and fills you up–esp. if you have an office job where you’re chained to a desk. Also, carrots can be steamed and mixed with other veggies (broccoli and asparagus are still key, however).

    Your cheat day is just that: yours. Tim chose a weekend day I would assume because often that’s when people go out of town, out to dinner, etc. My cheat days are Sundays–with football coming up, gotta have beer and chili weenies!

    You need to subtract 3500 from your diet per week, which usually adds 1-2 lb. weight loss a week. Keep a food diary. Eat in “cups” (1 c. of veggies, 1 c. of beans and a meat each meal or 1 of either for a snack) to keep track, and work out at least cardio 6 days a week (need to rest muscles at least 1 day). The lbs. aren’t going to “fly off” so fast that you end up emaciated in 20 days; instead, depending upon your meal and workout sked, you will lose weight steadily, but at surprisingly rapid pace. I am still waiting for my “plateau” weight (which you will hit, too, where the weight stops coming off–but if you keep it up, the inches melt, which is a good thing–because you are now more muscle and less body fat!). Then change up the menu, your workouts (I increased cardio and went to a slow burn lift regimen that Tim did–it works!–which knocked off the last 2 lbs. Then I will switch it up again. Not only does it confuse the muscles, but it keeps you from getting bored. Another site I recommend: How to Get 6-Pack Abs, free online).

    I hope this helped, and good luck to you!

  27. I like your comments, Tim. Anyone interested in expanding his or her knowledge of the proper diet should read, The Paleo Diet. I read and adopted the dieting principles a few months ago. I have since lost some fat around my stomach and lost 98% of my acne.

  28. I have decided to go for it!!!!

    I am 47 years old and I have weighed 230-240 (5’9″) for many years.

    I just came back from vacation and decided that I need to do something.

    I will start slowly with the exercise, but I will change my eating habits immediately.

  29. well I’ve been eating garbanzo beans a lot so It’s good to know that’s not recommended.

    and Lamisa, I did switch to unsweetened soy milk. thank you for the suggestion

    happy dieting everyone! =]

  30. Garbanzo beans aren’t “bad”, just don’t sub them for meal stuffs or go overboard. The main reason is the high carbs, and you MUST make it at home–that stuff in the store is loaded with chemicals and preservatives (I have a very busy sked and if I don’t have something on hand like this, I’ll end up eating garbage).

    Here’s an easy (and delish recipe) that I made up, and is less fat because of the substitute, peanut butter):

    Red Pepper Hummus

    1 – 1.5 c. garbanzo beans

    1-1.5 c red pepper (to taste)

    1 tsp. – tblsp. garlic (don’t like garlic? Try onion)

    1 tsp. salt-free peanut butter (instead of tahini paste; try Adams’ peanut butter, all natural)

    1 tblsp. olive oil

    pinch of pepper

    pinch of salt

    pinch of paprika

    It takes seconds to make in a food processor and can travel in a zip bag or whatevs. I leave a vat of it at the office to get my officemates eating healthy as well, and they love it.

    Another crunchy snack:

    Peeled cucumbers, sliced longways (about 2-3 cukes)

    Drizzle olive oil over them

    Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika

    That’s it–and people LOVE them! (and, can eat with hummus, too)

    Good luck, guys! I’m 12 pounds and going, now on Week 4!


  31. Great thread guys. I’ve used this diet to successfully cut my weight prior to MMA fights. Just remember, that whilst you can eat white carbs post exercise, it really does have to be ‘intense’ to qualify! See for an ‘intensity’ definition. 😀

    Just thought I’d leave a word of warning to anyone following Tim’s supplement regime above… took 500mg Niacin last night at bedtime last night no problem. Then took it this morning again with my multivitamin and got a massive heat rash all over my body! I gather this is quite normal when new to the supplement, or as in this case, you overdose slightly.

    I’ll be sticking to just the night-time dose with my Gaba and ZMA now…

  32. You’re very welcome Ella!

    I feel like quitting this diet, probably because I havent seen any weight loss or inches lost in the last 8 days. I’ve already had a bowl of Mini Wheats – eek!

    Any motivation?

  33. I feel like quitting this diet, probably because I haven’t seen any pounds or inches come off in the last 8 days (since I’ve started), the weight I did lose was water weight because I gained it all back after my cheat day. I’ve already had a bowl of Mini Wheats – eek! Any motivation?

    Oh and a quick question…I did strength training yesterday and am pretty darn sore today. Should I work out again or give my muscles a break?

  34. i’m starting this tomorrow and i will stick to it for a few days….let u know who it goes…

    josh are you still doing this?

  35. i am on day 3…so far 2 lb, which seems reasonable, considering i cheated and had a tea with milk, and a bite of a muffin….i also ate cheese both days but i didnt know they were off limits….i’ll be good from now on!!

    i’m wearing a skirt that i couldnt fit in for 3 years….so yaay!!

  36. Great article, but I have to say that I think you’d definitely be better off switching from 4 meals per day to 6–it really does make a difference with your metabolism.

    Also, I’m kinda concerned that you’re not eating enough fat, this has been shown to slow down your metabolism regardless of meal frequency…Thoughts?

  37. I lost five pounds!


    took my Diet Gone Wild Day today,

    actually want to go back to normal tomorrow.

    I feel so fab and just wanted to share my sucess

  38. and Lamisa my best advice for this to work it to stick to it religiously.

    thats when it works best I think.

    and this is based on watching my whole family try it

    and to monitor calories by the number.

  39. i’m on day 4 of the diet, and have lost 2.5 lb…i need to lose 7 more…

    i’m losing it very slowlly (compared to others’ results) ….could it be becasue of the fact that i needed to lose 10 pounds to begin with.?…i wonder…

    i’ll do this at least for another 3 days and see what happens….

    thanks everyone for your positives comments…

  40. i am 13 years old, and i am overweight. i have about 20 lbs to lose to be at an acceptable weight. the thing is, my mom cannot afford organic meats and such. and i cannot stand lentils. or most beans. my mom doesnt even buy beans. so my question is:

    how am i supposed to follow your plan?

    i dont like broccoli, asparagus, spinach, or brussell sprouts. so what am i supposed to substitute those with?

    plus, how can i not eat ANY CARBS AT ALL? i usually have a sandwich at lunchtime. i eat whole wheat bread, so should i work out for 30 minutes before lunchtime?

    i really want to follow you plan, but my mom will be pissed if i ask her to buy all that organic food.

    also, i am NOT gonna be able to eat the same foods over and over again. will

    not eating carbs

    eating 4 times a day

    eating fruits and vegies

    drinking lots of water


  41. @Sydney

    Frist, which is worse for you, your extra 20 pounds or the taste of the foods on this diet for 1 month. If you can’t keep down the foods recommended on the diet then you CANNOT follow it, period.

    The only organic food mentioned on the diet is beef. So just each chicken, tuna, eggs, and pork for your protein.

    There are many vegetables to choose from besides those you mentioned. Look for a list of veggies on Google, pick some. Beans are pretty nasty if they aren’t seasoned. I tend to spice mine up quite a bit. Learn to use spices.

    I’ve been doing this diet very strictly for about 10 days and have dropped about 6 pounds. I’m not sure if I’ve gained any muscle but I have been working out. You can always exercise.

    Lastly, you are 13, that’s an awkward age for pretty much everyone. A modified diet and some exercise would be good for you.

  42. Sydney:

    Jesse has great advice for you, and at your age, getting into healthy eating habits now will only enhance any shooting up in height and naturally losing any weight/see positive changes in your body as you age.

    You do not need “organic,” necessarily; organic IS much more expensive, so regular meat and eggs work just fine. Just stay away from fatty red meat (try lean burgers and think thin cuts). Cereal, chips, soda, etc. are all expensive, too, so I’m sure even the tightest budget can be worked around.

    As far as the diet’s staples are concerned, you will need to find 1) 1-2 beans that you like; you may find that beans slow-cooked in turkey, chicken, or ham will be quite tasty, especially with spices as Jesse purports, especially pepper. The “fat flavor” from most meats are absorbed, and make for a good broth base and add taste. One cup of that = 1 meal (+ a veggie). If you like chili or refried beans, then create them out of certain beans, which are very cheap, whether canned or fresh. Do you like split pea soup? Homemade, with pork and carrots, and some salt and pepper. Do you like chili? Lean ground turkey with chili, navy, kidney beans, with tomato paste. Just keep looking over the staples and find what you want. As Jesse says, “Google”–same goes for organic recipes.

    Last, the veggies. There just HAS to be something that you like, or can handle; most people your age loathe veggies, which is natural. But sprinkling parmesean cheese on SOMETHING you like (peas? spinach? lettuce? cooked cabbage–with pork in it?) helps. And they can be fresh veggies, too (cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.), just make sure you have 1/2-1 cup serving per meal, and not skip them (they help with roughage, as just beans can cause issues, if you catch what I’m sayin’).

    Oh, and you should exercise at least 30-40 minutes a day (something to get your heart rate up), 4-6 days a week. That’s what’s really going to get it moving. At your age, the metabolism and energy level should kick in heavily in the 1st week. Really do some research, and perhaps you and your mom can cook together, as this diet REALLY WORKS if you follow it. But if you are a goner as far as what’s offered in the diet (yes, it can be a bit dull, but I find it fun; when’s the last time you ever had broccoli for breakfast? Eating out is amusing), then this one’s probably not for you.

    Otherwise, good luck! I’ve lost 12 lbs. in 3 weeks, and counting!


  43. And… Sarah Hers:

    It’s your choice not to exercise, but if you are able to get around whatsoever, it’s silly not to–especially for women. Our bones are more brittle than men’s as we age, so lifting light weights (and/or resistance exercises, such as push-ups, or using bands) is VERY helpful, especially if doing slow burn. For cardio, at least a brisk 30-minute walk or a leisurely bike ride at least 3 days a week (if only to start) does wonders for your heart and your mental state, especially if you go 2 blocks and suddenly realize that you are “winded”–if that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is. Good luck to you!


  44. it took me a week to lose five pounds

    and I look a lot more muscular.

    and to the 13 year old — if you want to lose the weight you follow the diet.

    If you want to lose weight you have to learn how to eat healthy foods, more specifically lean meat and beans and vegetables.

    otherwise there’s no point.

    You can alter it, but it works the best when you follow it strictly.

    the way I feel and look now is worth the food I can no longer eat.

  45. Ok. I started this new way of eating today. It was actually better than I thought it would be. I am also walking in the evenings.

    FunChick..I hope you keep posting. I find your comments inspirational!!

    I too will post results. Please keep the recipes coming. I like to try different things and some things I would never think to make on my own.


  46. hello again this diet really works for two weeks…. my son hasnt lost any more weight for the past 1.5 weeks whats wrong?????????

  47. Tim,

    I don’t see anything mentioning Beer! As a homebrewer, I obviously like to drink good craft beer—if not my own. I know beer contains a lot of calories, however it also aids digestion and also has many other nutritional qualities (if consumed responsibly)—– so would I have to save this for my “No holds-bar day?” Or instead of 2 glasses of wine every night, maybe just a pint of beer? BTW, I’m on the 2nd day of the diet and feel great already—

  48. Pardon me if these are some silly questions but I am ready to start this diet but am just wondering if I can have fruit and yogurt. If fruit is cool are there any that fit better into this diet than others

  49. Aloha Tim!

    Working with both onvr and restrictive Eating Disordered clients i am happy to see all the solid info on this blog.

    While Disordered Eating is a subject beyong food and weight it still does require much focus on both. I do suggest also the no white stuff, pump up the veggies and high quality protein and more frequent meals for the overeaters to get good results and keep them motivated to stay aware of their eating and habits.

    Good to find you!



  50. Sydney, what’s all the angst about going on diets – as a 13 year old you should be able to consume all the calories you could possibly want and stay stick thin. You are still growing and developing and you need exercise not diets. Bone mass, healthy tissue and great cardiovascular system will benefit from getting outside and running around, playing sports, and less on finding a vegetable that you like to eat.

    If you are having fun, running around everywhere, or cycling you’ll have no time to eat, and when you do you’ll devour what’s put in front of you. Avoid taking the easy option such as getting your mom to drive you to where you want to be. And forget about taking exercise in neat 30 – 40 slots, your whole wide awake life should be exercise except for when you have to sit still in class.

    It’s unnatural to even think of dieting at age 13, go out there and get an active life, run like the wind, and stuff your face with snickers and ice cream, because this is the time of your life when your body will let you do that, provided you use your body right. Keep moving and you’ll keep the metoblism up.

    If you have to resort to dieting at your current age, you’ll be on a diet for the rest of your life – and that would be a killer. Don’t consume less, burn more, and have fun doing it.

  51. Awesome tips! I will definitely try and implement the recommendations. Just a few questions however:

    1) Do bananas count as “white carbs”, or are they OK?

    2) V8 (the low sodium V8’s…i.e. Tomatoe Juice). Are these acceptable to drink, or should they be avoided?

    3) Gatorade (see above).

    4) Protein bars (i.e. Metrix bars). Are these ok to eat?

    5) Two toasts in the morning. Although white carbs should be avoided, can one eat two toasts in the morning? (provided that no other “white carbs” are eaten throughout the day).

    Thanks in advance for your help!


  52. Ive been doing this diet for a week and 4 days and it really works i can notice the difference, but in this diet you actually do have to do exercises

  53. Hello Everyone:

    This is Week Four for me, and I’m now a nice 142, from 155, (13 pounds!) and still truckin’! While the poundage dropping off action is slowly hitting a plateau, I’m still at it, although I even broke down and had nachos Tuesday–from Taco Bell; oh, the horror–which wasn’t my “off” day. Peer pressure, or what? They had a hard time staying down, and I felt bloated all day. Mistake. But only #2 this whole 3.5 weeks, and I hit the cardio hard and felt better. I am NOT giving up. By the way, I keep a calendar of my workouts, which really helps–the blank days make me queasy now, so I remember that every day I work out, the fuller the calendar, the less inches on the hips.

    So, here’s my latest yummy venture to take out any doldrums of this “menu”: the crock pot approach, to ready for the week. Lentil and pork soup, homemade bean n’ bacon, etc. Don’t even need a crockpot–just Pyrex or like it, with a lid, and an oven. Just throw in the beans, carrot shavings, the meat, salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, with water and let it sit (I do this on Sundays) at 250 degrees for 2-6 hours, depending upon the amount. I did this with pinto beans and lean skirt steaks slices, and it was almost like a chile con carne–yum! Everything is fresh and you’ll be amazed at how long it lasts and how good it tastes with no chemicals in it (the juices from the meat really pop out); just have a cup of one every meal (thus, taking care of the meat & beans), then have broccoli, or asparagus, or cauliflower, or mixed veggies or a small salad (I can’t BELIEVE I’ve weaned off salad dressing. I use lemon, olive oil, and a tablespoon of light mayo–that’s it! And TONS of veggies: cukes, toms, etc.). I have this about 4 times a day, and have relegated snacks to almonds, boiled eggs, or hummus + veggies. It might sound boring to some, but it’s really changed my health. I am13 lbs. lighter (looking forward to doubling that loss amount), and am seeing more muscles. And stretching. Being 155 made that a bit difficult, but in Week 4, I can now grab the bottoms of my feet to stretch my hammies. Life is good.

    So to Zach: this is to be expected for your son; any time the body adjusts to new activity or diet, it plateaus eventually before the weight loss can revamp again. He needs to confuse it by upping cardio and cutting portions, have a “fat day,” then go at it again with rigor. His metabolism will catch up, so don’t let him go off this “diet” (*cough* lifestyle *cough cough*). And do not weigh him in pounds all the time–measure his inches, too, since muscle weighs more than fat. Hitting the scale every day only will depress the both of you. Weigh 1x a week, too. He’ll get there; you just can’t let him think this is a temp way of living, unless he wants to get fat again.

    And Jordan, I feel you: I’m a dip slut, too. I make hummus (my red pepper version is in this forum) or bean dip (use pinto beans in a food processor with spices such as paprika, pepper, then heat it up once its whipped. Makes you want to have chips, tho!) and I’ll even cheat with a little goat cheese or feta (just a tablespoon). It’s okay to whip up guac, but you have to ace any fattening mayo (go light), and I wouldn’t recommend eating it more than 2xs a week. I like to spread that on breakfast or use carrots, celery, or cucumbers. There are SO many organic and veggie dip recipes online; and even if you find one that has a “no-no” food in it (potatoes, bread, etc.), just omit it, and 90% of the dips will taste the same! And here’s kind of a rich treat: scoop the pit out half an avocado, fill the void with caviar (it’s $6 for a small can of lumpfish), and sprinkle it with goat cheese. And eat it out of the skin. It is rich, and fends off the desire for carbs. I’ve done it 2xs now when I was really, really wanting a cheeseburger, and it’s about 200 calories, instead of the 1500 a double cheeseburger + fries!

    Okay, gotta go work out. Sunday’s “naughty food” of the week: frozen grapes. I can’t wait. Oh, and a strawberry milkshake.

    Good luck guys and have a great weekend! Oh, and thanks, “I’m So Lucky”! Keep us posted, too!


    Okay, here’s a litt

  54. A veggie burger griller has about 5g of carbs. Is that low enough, or the right kind of carbs, to eat during this diet?

    Eating all that meat is out of the question, so looking for other options. You said that you changed the foods you repeat every few weeks. What others do you mix in?

  55. hey everyone! So after reading all these posts I was off to to the grocery store to load up on beans and have started the first diet of my life! Two days in and I’m feeling great…and FULL! Although I cheated once, a bite of a rice krispie square. I know what you are thinking, “Weak!”. But for that to be all the sweet and white carb I ate is a huge accomplishment for me. As a 5″11, 214lb female it is time for change! I’m looking for a buddy who is doing this diet as well. Maybe chat throughout? I may need some motivation when the birthday cake rolls around. Keep it up everyone, it’s going to be worth it when we are all fit and fabulous!

  56. So, after exactly 1 month on this diet I went from 209 lbs. down to 191 lbs. Lost 2.5 inches around the waist and dropped 3% in body fat. I stuck to the diet religiously for the first two weeks, then the next two weeks I ate fruit, yogurt, soy milk as well and still managed to lose weight pretty consistently.. But I’m not entirely sure right now if the second half of the month’s weight loss was the diet or exercise. However, it definitely leaned me out a lot in the last 2 weeks. Going to stick to it for another two weeks and lose the last of the post high school weight.

  57. Okay, well, I’m entering my 4th week on this “eating plan.” Here’s what’s happened so far:

    Weight: From 171.5 to 166.0 (5.5 lbs loss) – I was hoping for a bigger number than that – DARN

    “Belly to Belly Measurement”: 38 inches to 36 inches (ok, not bad)

    Pant size: 34″ to 33″ (33 inch pants feels “snug” but not tight like it used to be)

    The hardest part of this so-called lifestyle change was scrubbing the damn pan after cooking scrambled eggs – I used to have a bowl of cereal for breakfast, which made it so much easier in terms of clean up and “preparation.” But after almost 30 days of this diet, I’ve gotten used to it. Even on the days I DON’T want to cook, I force myself to do it. Once i break through the resistance, it’s not that hard.

    My typical meal was exactly this:

    Breakfast: Scrambled eggs (1 whole egg, 1/4 cup of egg whites), beans, mixed veggies

    Lunch: Spinach salad with chicken strips and beans – sometimes I’d have chicken strips, beans and mixed veggies (no spinach leafs)

    Dinner: Usually the same as lunch (whatever it was that day) (once I tried grass-fed beef for dinner – it was pretty good but not cheap)

    On my day off, I hardly binged on anything sweet – the only thing I ate different was having a bowl of Kashi’s with frozen blueberries for breakfast. For lunch and dinner it was usually spinach salad with chicken. Occasionally on those days off, I’d have peanut butter and jelly pocket sandwiches for lunch and a fistful of peanut butter pretzels at night.

    As for snacking every 3 hours, that ranged from any number or combination of the following: fistful of peanuts, homemade protein shakes, cup of frozen blueberries (this is where I went outside the diet’s restrictions) and water.

    One big thing that helped me stay on track was announcing that I was doing this for 30 days to 500 plus subscribers at my blog. That was the key to holding myself accountable.

    Now that I’m winding down to the final week, I am debating on whether to continue this for another 30 days (I dread scrubbing the damn pan in the mornings!), I am also contemplating the 30-day raw food experiment, just to see what will happen.

    While the weight loss with this diet was not as dramatic as I had hoped, I have benefited from the following:

    1. increased energy throughout the day, especially at the gym

    2. reduction of 2 inches of “belly to belly” measurement

    3. fit snugly, but not tightly in a size 33 jeans

    4. increased awareness of what goes in my mouth

    5. strengthening of good eating habits (no more white rice, white bread (or even any bread for that matter), etc.

    6. awareness of the importance of moderate portions each time I eat

    There you go – all of you have inspired me to do this and I thank you for it. We’re all different and not everyone will lose 20-lbs. as advertised but that’s okay. If you experience any of the benefits I did, then I think you could declare this experiment a success!

  58. I have been on this diet for about 3 months and I have lost 26 pounds so far. I have plenty more to lose but things gave started to level off. How long can somebody maintain this diet and still lose weight?

  59. Hi there:

    I like your diet. I did pretty much the same one eating five meals a day, but my last meal was at 7 o’clock. It was hard at first since I get hungry in the evening, but after about four days, my body adjusted. I have a hard time getting back on my diet since I have gained some pounds. I get so hungry, I could just eat anything. Any suggestions? Where can I get grass-fed beef?


  60. All I have to say is that this program truly works. I’ve lost roughly 10 pounds within the last 2.5 weeks. Only problem i’m having is with some of the foods. Other than that I really believe I can follow this program indefinately. The only tweaks i’ve made is that i’ve swapped some of the meal plans out for ones found at and

    Other than that, keep up the good work!

  61. Hello Everyone!

    Weight’s still dropping, and I’ve upped my cardio to 6 days a week (just a 30-45 minute Beach Body routine, and power walks), and I feel so fit! I’m getting hard calf and quad muscles from tons of squats, and can now do 60 push-ups in 1 workout. And I’m not sick of the food, with all the combinations available! My latest fave is lentil stew: lentils, hamhock, carrot shavings, garlic, pepper, paprika, and a shake of nutmeg and a dash of honey. Yum. Also, mini pizzas:

    Light, wheat English muffins (just a half a muffin per ‘za. Then freeze ’em)

    2 c. tomato paste (salt-free, if you can make that happen)

    1 tsp. – 1 tlbsp. light or fat-free mozzarella (per 1/2 muffin or “pizza”)

    tbsp. garlic

    teaspoon pepper (salt to taste)

    1/2 lb. of lean burger or turkey, cooked (turkey’s better, and you won’t taste the diff)

    Any veggies (I like mushrooms, fresh toms, and onion)

    Mix it all up, put on muffins, then the moz, then on cookie sheet (with no-stick spray or “I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter spray), cook for about 20-30 minutes at 250-350 (just keep an eye on them)

    1x a week, post workout–they’re great, and low in cals. Especially for us chickies, who are doomed to carry SOME excess baggage.

    I ate a Taco Time burrito last week and it took all the Muhammad Ali in me to keep it down. Fast food is just so gross (and I watched Super Size Me again–talk about inspiration) anymore, and I’m appalled that anyone eats that more than once a month, including myself.

    StevenKW, see my August 28th post about weight plateau. I hit it for a few days, but now that I’ve upped the cardio and downed the portions to exactly a cup per (beans, meat, and veggies. I usually can’t finish my meal), it’s working all over again.

    And StephenHopson. Are you afraid of Teflon? Cooking spray? Ha ha! Even meat grease will keep them eggs from stickin’, so cook up some pork some time and save the grease. Use a paper towel to wipe down the pan with the grease, then toss in those chicken ova. And cook the eggs on low to medium low. But I hear ya: I’m doing more dishes in my life than I ever have (no dishwasher). Oh well–spent calories!

    I am now into Week 4, and am a solid 140, going from about 155-160, and feeling terrific. Only 15 more lbs. to my ideal weight (I’m 5′ 6”, so 125 will be very exciting!), which means I’ll be weighing in again in 2 weeks, at least (I’ll probably plateau again before I hit the ideal). I hope Fall doesn’t kick in too soon, or I’ll behearing jokes about my “blowing away” (I wish. But it makes me stay focused to laugh about such a thing happening–and it could!).

    Thanks for all the terrific posts to keep us all inspired, everyone!

  62. I follow Rob regarding his last comment but not Vladimir. Today is my “Dieter’s gone wild day.” I’ve tried the once a week splurge before by accident and saw a difference, but I didn’t realize then what I was doing and thought my body had gone haywire. Now, I’m enjoying it without the guilt and look at it as my break from “monotony”! Turkey makes me sleepy, however and I generally avoid it except on Thanksgiving. During the week, I don’t really like to cook because it is time consuming and I have other things I would prefer to do, so I tend to keep most of my meals simple.

    Cooking can be a cheap creative outlet on the weekENDS though. My boyfriend seems to appreciate too which makes me want to cook even more! I generally try to make more than I need in regard to beans and meat so that I can have left overs to freeze and/or easily reheat in the micro during the week. I also look for new ways to use and combine healthy foods. You can get creative with spices.

    I’ve made two different kinds of bean soups and one of them included a lot of spinach, pureed tomato, onion, vegetable broth, seasonings and just a little bit of rice. What I really like about beans is that they make me feel full. Slow cookers don’t slow me down. They enable me to manage my time differently. I have more fun cooking in the morning when I have more energy.

    I haven’t quite mastered the no exercise part. Yoga and walking have always been my way of refocusing, unwinding or decompressing.

  63. I always been overweight and over the years I have been called fat and overweight and then one day I got fed up with being overweight and started dieting. May 11, 2008 was when I started to change my eating habits. I weighted myself that day and I was 245 pounds standing at 5’8″.

    At first I just ate more often, just cut all the fast foods, and bad foods and the weight just kept dropping. In about a month I was around 230 by changing my eating habits. And then I just kept slowly losing weight. When I was around 225 pounds in late July, I discovered this site and I lost weight steadily until about 215, where I stopped losing weight where my weight just maintained.

    I realized that this diet wasn’t going to work for me anymore after losing about 10 pounds. So then I tried diet similar to nutrisystem diet. Where I followed their serving guide and kept my calorie count under 1500 calories a day. Within a week I seem to lost 5 pounds, but then that was it. My weight has been the same for a while now.

    While being 210, I went to a few birthday dinners, family parties and other social events and seem to gain the 5 pounds back so then I was back around 215 pounds. Being fustrated with my weight lost and gained, I decided to go back to this diet and I don’t think I lost any weight because first thing in the morning I weight around 210, but at the end of the day I weight a little more than 215. I don’t know.

    But this week was really fustrating for me because of my weight lost. I wanted to really give up and not diet anymore. Until I went to my brother’s high school football game a few days ago on Friday. Where I saw some old friends who said: “WOW! You look really good now’ I’m proud of you’ and you look a lot better, keep it up! etc..” That really motivated me to to continue losing weight and made me happy because hearing those comments from my friends made me feel really good about myself and how my lifestyle change was good for me.

    But the thing is I don’t think my diets are working for me anymore.. I play basketball 5 days a week for at least 3 hours a day playing full court. and I workout 6 days a week for at least hour and a half. I don’t get what i’m doing wrong and I want to shed the pounds, but its not coming off anymore.

    This is what I eat like everyday:


    1 Chicken Breast – 100 calories

    1/2 Cup Pinto Beans – 80 calories

    1 Cup Mix Veggies – 25 Calories


    1/2 Cup Pinto Beans – 80 Calories

    or 1 Cup Mix Veggies – 25 calories


    2 Chicken Breast – 200 Calories

    1/2 Cup Pinto Beans – 80 calories

    1 Cup Mix Veggies – 25 Calories


    1/2 Cup Pinto Beans – 80 Calories

    or 1 Cup Mix Veggies – 25 Calories

    Post Workout:

    100% Whey Protein – 120 Calories


    1 Salmon – 340 Calories

    2 Cup Veggies – 50 Calories


    1/2 Cup Pinto Beans – 80 Calories

    or 1 Cup Mix Veggies – 25 Calories

    Do you guys have any suggestions or advice for me? Anything will be appreciated.

    – Chung

  64. Funchick 37, are you using the supplements Tim talked about in a preview answer? or you are doing it the natural way? Good job by the way

    Also, id like to know if its ok to use vegetable oil, flax seed…on this diet

  65. So I’m a senior in highschool, I’ve been overweight most of my life, but I’m tall, at 6’2″ so the weight is dispersed and people find me not really fat but a overall big person.

    I enjoy all of these foods, but the hardest thing for me to do when I start this, is lunch. my lunch is at 12 pm during school. The best idea thus far is a chicken salad.

    What are the best prepackaged foods to help supplement my salad? Or what can I make that I can divvy up easily for multiple lunches?

    I can eat at 6:30 am, 12 pm, 4 pm, and 7 pm as my 4 meals

    The only one I can’t cook is 12 pm.

    And is a Buffalo Chicken wrap ok? Tomato Tortilla. lettuce, tomato, chicken and a buffolo sauce of unknown origin. How about apples?

    Thanks for any input!

  66. Chung,

    Have you tried experimenting with increasing your calories? You are exercising a lot and it looks to me that you might not be getting enough calories. Throw in a protein shake or 2 during the day and see if that gets you moving down again. This has worked for me and I don’t work out half as much as you.

  67. HI everyone and Tim!!

    This diest is great 🙂 im on my second week and i’ve lost 8 pounds so far yay!! ohh i started at 148 and im hoping to go back to my origonal weight of 130 so wish me luck. Thnx everyone for your comments it really helped motivate me and stick to this and thank you Tim.

    I’ll keep you all posted

  68. Hey everyone. I wanted to give you a two week update for myself, especially if anyone needs a little motivation. So I eat all kinds of vegetables, black beans (mostly just because I love em) and the meats suggested. I cheated all weekend, 30 hours in three days at a gourmet restaurant led to some bad bad eating for three days! Not that I suggest it, but once I stepped on the scale I was still happy. I am down 9 lbs! Wooot wooot!! I also cheat a little in between, I accidentally had a beer without thinking twice about it and the odd bite of breadstick here and there.

    I feel like I have more energy than before and two people have mentioned that i look like I have lost some weight…being 5″11 and female it takes a lot for even me to notice! No workouts (other than running after a three year old and walking to and from school) and no supplements. This diet is working and i don’t feel deprived at all. So time to get your head in the game and join in! Thanks for all your great posts everyone.

  69. There are a lot of great tips here.

    The most important aspect to burning away excess body fat…is to employ your subconscious.

    Yes…I am talking about getting psychological about your physiological.

    Can you ‘think yourself into a fat burning mode’???


    Diet and Exercise. That’s a given.

    But what about the power of your own mind?

    You can use your own mind to ‘shift’ your metabolism into a fat burning mode.

    That is one of many things that “Fat Into The Fire” is all about!

  70. Hi everyone..

    Tim or anyone please help..

    Tim recommended:

    200mcg chromium polynicotinate (not “picolinate”), which is niacin-bound GTF chromium; this can be found under the brand name “ChromeMate”

    1.) However the pharmacist gave me 400mcg chromium picolinate and said that they’re both similar, is that true ? can i take it instead?

    500mg of slow-release niacin (nicotinic acid) under the brand name “Slo-Niacin” before bed and another upon waking up.

    2.) Can i take 750 mg before bed and take another 750mg of niacin upon waking in the morning or would that be too much?

    23mg of policosanol (I use Nature’s Life brand)

    3.) The pharmacist gave me (a french brand) that contains : vitamine b,complex, vitamine d, cystine, methionine, biotine,zinc… i just wanted to make sure they’re similar before taking it.

    PLease reply asap i wana start taking those supplements tom.

  71. andrewisnot,

    Yeah I’ve been eating 1500 calories for a while now, except my cheat day. I will use your suggest and maybe bump it up to 1800 calories, but the thing is, the amount of food I eat is a lot even though the calorie count is low,I have trouble finishing my food. But yeah I will throw in a protein shake with each snack to make it close to 1800 calories.

    Do you think my body is burning too much calories a day and I don’t have enough calories for power and energy what not is the reason why I haven’t lost any weight. To this day, I’m still 210! Errrrrrggg.

    – Chung