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.

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7,294 Replies to “How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise”

  1. I have to agree that a lower carb intake is really effective. Well, last April, I was 300lbs and started to workout (1 hour of cardio and some weight lifting). In the first 2 months, I lost around 30lbs and 7 inches off my waist (59 down to 52). I did that by eating only in daytime and completely removing white rice and bread from my diet (I relied on ‘sweet potato’ as my carb and fiber source). But in August, I injured my left foot (still aching every now and then), while jogging and I was forced to stop everything and now i am around 290lbs again but I am planning to work out again in January. Wish me luck! ^_^

  2. Hi I first posted back in May. I have been following this plan since and I can say I lost 40 solid pounds. The inches came off way before the pounds. I only way myself once every 4 or 6 weeks because I don’t want to get crazy about pounds not coming off fast enough. All my clothes are baggy so thats more of a high to me than seeing the scale go down. Don’t give up on this plan because it does work…..


  3. My first post was back in May. I’m still following the program and have lost a solid 40 lbs. I only weigh myself every 4 to 6 weeks because I don’t want to get crazy over the scale. I have lost inches before pounds my clothes are really baggy and it’s getting time to buy more. My advice is try not to focus on the scale the inches are what will blow you away. The only exercise I get is from working on my horse farm.


  4. This looks like a diet I can stick to. On my day off I’ll probably have potatoes, fruit and oatmeal in place of junk food. At least most of the time.

  5. [quote]Sounds great, but eating the same 3-4 meals cycle after cycle is going to get BORing[/quote]

    Who cares? It’s not like you’ll have to eat the same stuff for the rest of your life, just for long enough to lose your desired amount of weight. After that, you can change it a bit but still regulate it, and if you see yourself going over your ideal weight, just fall back on the diet.

    Update on me: Started this in June 2008, and have lost 20 lbs so far. The funny thing however, is this: I ONLY DID THE DIET STRICTLY FOR 1 WEEK!!! ONE WEEK!!! And I’m down 20 lbs and haven’t gained any back yet.

    I stopped it because I’m lazy and like fattening foods, what can I say. But I’ve finally gathered the courage to get back into it starting today. My junk day will be Thursdays. My goal is 155 lbs (I’m 5′ 8″), so I need to lose 25 more pounds. Wish me luck!

  6. It says that you can’t have the list of white carbs unless within 1.5 hours of a resistance training workout. Can you have a white carb within 1.5 hours of at least 20 minutes of an aerobic workout? I do brisk walking for an hour every day. Could you eat a white carb sometime after that?

  7. ya, well i`ve tried many diets and i even excercise! the pounds just dont come off. our family drinks pop, but i stick with water. were ever obsessed about your weight??

  8. Hi Tim:

    I know you probably don’t have time to answer this, but I was just wondering:

    Do you recommend that the “Junk Day” be exactly 24 hours? Is it okay to sleep between junk-eating binges? I work night shifts and chose Thursday (today) as my junk day. I started it today at around 6 AM, and it’s currently 1 AM on Friday… would it be okay to eat junk now, even though I’ve slept already in between? Because sleep usually tells your body “it’s another day”.

    Thanks for any help.

    Merry Christmas!

  9. Thank you for putting this diet post Tim. I am on this diet for 6 days so far, it is kid of different feeling, being away from all the food that I ways lived on. But I think it is working

    But I have a question for you. I know you said, you would have a glass of Red wine at night before bed. Since I don’t drink wine, can you have a cup of coffee instead with 1ts non dairy normal creamer?

    For more info, I do workout everyday (5days a wk), and I burn 700 calories a day being on the treadmill for 60 minutes.

    Thank you so much for putting this info. up. It is helping I think.

    Happy Holidays!

  10. cant one lose weight without cutting down on rice???want to lose around 5kgs by the by next month? suggestions please

    Current score: 0

  11. I have just completed my 2nd week and have lost 9 1/2 pounds! It is crazy to start a diet between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but this has actually been easier than I anticipated. I just followed the directions – what a concept. Also, I was beginning to have blood sugar issues (headaches, dizziness, etc) before starting the diet. Since I have been following this, I have felt much better and have slept much better. I need to drop 40 lbs. (I was at 214) so I’ll post again in a couple of weeks with my progress. I check this blog often. Hearing from others who are ‘walking the talk’ helps a lot.

  12. Tim,

    This plan sounds great, but I hate beans to the EXTREME! Do you have any suggestions? I really think this plan will work but I am still in school and I have no way to warm up a lunch at school. Any suggestions would help! Thanks!

    Ryan M.

  13. i just don’t think this is possible w/o exercise. how can fat shrink then?

    for someone who has no more than 30 pounds to lose, this i assume would not work, or at least not in a month.

  14. Alice..

    No. All that protein keeps your muscle. And read Tim’s post. He was at 15% body fat (or something… too lazy to scroll up..) and wanted to get to < 5%.

    I’d try it if I were you although women do seem to have different results.

    All I know, when I do it, for a week or two, I lose 2 lbs day average. The first time, I went from 212 to 195 in 16days. But with kids, I don’t stay on long.

    About one week per month, I do it and drop from 198-200 to 190-193.. Then stop when I have to go shopping again.

    I expect I could actually get to 180 in 2 months of doing it straight. Maybe I can pre make meals for me, then cook for the rest of the family and actually do this from now till March.

  15. Ummmmm, Steph? Why exactly are you on this diet? You are about 105 lbs, correct? I’m sure you’re fine. Anyway, I would say that soy would be great on this diet; low-fat high-protein etc… And as for the having white carbs after a workout, I think thats more for after a resistance (weight lifting) work out, where the muscles break down more compared to walking, though in your case it could be fine. Just limit yourself and you’ll do great.

  16. Thanks Tim and others!

    I’m planning to start tomorrow. The only issue I have with the diet is alcohol: should we stick to the wine? how bad is it if I go for beer or liquor instead? (I’ll be camping with friends for one week, hard not to drink at all…)

  17. Hi Yasmina and Everyone,

    It’s been a while since I jumped in here. Congratulation to all for your great successes!

    Yasmina, if you have to choose between hard alcohol or beer, the former generally has fewer calories. It can be dangerous if you try and match drink for drink with beer drinkers (don’t do that), but I generally stick with gin or vodka and club soda on the rocks. It’s a matter of learning the caloric content and avoiding sugars like maltose (in beer). I don’t drink beer, but there could be some light beers worth exploring, though I still suspect a small amount of clear harder alcohol will have less of a negative impact on waistline.

    All the best and drink responsibly! Happy holidays 🙂


  18. Hello All:

    I haven’t posted since October (and congrats to you all who are sticking to this, to a “T”!)–but here are my results, losing it healthy at about 1-2 lbs./week (a total of 23 lbs.) week, 5’6″ (goal: 120-125)

    Week 1: 165

    Week 2: 160

    Week 3: 159

    Week 4: 155

    Week 5: 150 (15 lbs. in 1 month! I didn’t use my cheat day except 2xs; I get sick)

    Week 6: 148

    Week 7: 148

    Week 8: 145

    Week 9: 142

    Week 10:140 (and hovering; I am writing this Week 11)

    Inches (waist): 38″ down to 32″

    Cardio: 45 minutes, 3x week (ANYTHING: Walk, swim, run, bike, roller blade)

    Weights: 35 minutes 2-3x week (Push-ups, squats, shoulders, biceps, triceps)

    So to all who keep asking about fruit, yogurt, milk, rice, red meat, and bread, etc.: You must read the article and the entire thread. Such substitutions are NOT recommended, period. We are mammals who do not need milk past infancy; man-made foods are stuffed with chemicals and syrups; fruit and juice spike your metabolism and drop you, thus creating hunger (and add unwanted calories).

    To anyone starting this, THIS WORKS, if you follow what he recommends. My life is for the better: I get up early and well-rested. I walk or bike to work. I clothes shop and feel good about it. I sleep better. I concentrate at work better. I smile way too much 😉

    This has been the best change in my life, ever! I can’t wait to drop the other 15-20…

    Good luck to all!

  19. Wow! I took some time to read all of these wonderful posts, including the great article from Tim. Starting Jan 1 2009 I am on a mission to lose 25 lbs, I weigh in at 217 lbs now and I am 30yrs old 6’0″ tall. I figure if I can get to about 190 lbs and then start weight training it would be best.

    I am going give this “slow carb” diet a shot. Keep you all posted on the progress.


  20. Just went to the store and bought a weeks worth of beans, lean meat, and spinach. Tomorrow will be the start of this program.

    36-male-6’0″-212 pounds


    1. This diet

    2. “Surge” cardio 3times a week on treadmill/bike

    3. After a month–add in high intensity weight training–by Tim Ferriss


    April 30th–185-190 pounds of twisted steel and sex appeal 🙂


  22. I have read all these blogs after my buddy has told me about Tim Ferriss. We were just chatting about working out ( I have just started my work out…going to mexico end of Feb which gives me about 8 weeks) and he told me to check this site out. I was outraged that I have not come across this before. I really thank all the people that have blogged questions and answers. It’s you people that keep others informed. I will keep you all posted on my progress.

    Ps. Thank You Tim for sharing your knowledge.

  23. Pingback: Project Hitchhiker
  24. Hello Tim,

    Im starting this diet today.

    My goals is to loose 15kg for the 5th of ferbuary.

    My present for my 30th birthday 🙂

    I will update regularly

  25. I am curious, knowing that you had or have your own sports nutrition line, do you also then supplement with anything? Protein shakes, pre-workout anything, or any kind of protein shake for post. Also, what about any kind of pills; vitamins or fat burners. Just curious, I have a good friend who owns a franchise supplement shop and would love to have some answers for him when he goes on his schpeils(sp?) Also, what about gym, do you use a gym membership. I am trying to lose fat and gain quality muscle, but I have some equipment at home as well as a gym membership, trying to decide if I should put away equipment and keep the gym or cancel the gym and keep the equipment.

  26. Hi Tim,,,,,

    I did the New Mayo clinic low carb diet for about 3 months and lost a ton of weight….But about 9 months after the weight loss I gained it all back and then some…If I do this diet and then stop will I gain the weight back again…Or should this be a change of life diet like I stick to it from here on out…It is always hard for me to give up carbs the first 2 days but once I am over day 3 I am fine and it actually makes me feel better i.e.. less bloating,,not so ugh feeling after eating a burger with bread and fries and a coke….I still do burgers minus the bread and extra lettuce and veggies no fires and tea no sugar…..So my questions

    1. Should this be a diet plan for the rest of my life

    2. Will the weight come back twice as fast and twice as much when and if i stop?

    3.Low carb I couldnt eat beans but could have as much cheese non fat salad dressing as I wanted can I on this diet???

    4.Can I have regular bacon or is it just turkey bacon???

    5.Is there an over kill like say I eat 1 cup beans and 3 slices bacon for breakfast ( I dont eat eggs=(yuck) is that to much bacon or can I eat tell I am full???

    6.In a nut shell all the meat and veggies you want NO CARBS plan and simple or low carbs ???

    Taco salad no shell extra lean ground beef

    turkey salad

    burgers no buns with cheese extra veggies and I can add beans on the side

    I love beans and that was the one thing I really missed with the low carb diet plus you had to wait 2 weeks before you got cheat days…..Thanks Tim for the AWESOME post..

    Today I start your diet

    I am a female 5’7 27 years old 170.8lbs would like to be 135-140ish

    Will log let you now how it goes next Monday….Thanks a ton Joy

  27. On the salad dressing it was regular salad dressin not non-fat…Is regular dressing ok??Thanks so much off to find the book and learn more about Tim!!! =)

  28. Ok so I started really thinking about this diet and all the post I have read on it…..I really like this diet it is a NO BRAINER low-no carbs PERIOD!!!!! Other diets you have to count calories or watch your fat in take but this one dont eat the white…No bread not wheat not wheat or other no tortillas nothing like that so easy..Eat as much as I want but no carbs.. Im only on breakfast and Im lovin it…..Thanks =) chuckles

  29. I stumbled across your website today and I am very interested. I have lots of weight I am ready to shed. I’m a 31yr old woman at approx. 254lbs. Over the past year I’ve lost a total of 18lbs; I’m looking to shed at least 4 times that amount this year. Between this diet and “fullbar” I think I will accomplish my goals.

  30. Sound advice in that article.

    Personally, I do intermitent fasting and eat only 3 meals a day. It works very well for fat loss and low body fat maintenance.

  31. Baby Phat:

    The reason you gained all of your weight back before was probably due to you going back to your old eating habits.


    Remember, though, eat anything you want on Saturday. The sudden change in calories//sodium will confuse your metabolism, resulting in you losing weight!

    Hope I helped 🙂

  32. Hi Tim & all!

    OK – I’m testing this starting today.


    I’ve got a couple of queries – and I’d love to get your thoughts if you have any…

    …number1: I’m vegetarian.

    number 2: I’m insulin dependent diabetic.

    Questions – presumably the low calorie “Quorn” meat equivalents (mushroom based) are ok as a substitute here?

    I’m not gonna freak out on Saturday – that’d send my blood sugar into overdrive and I’d be jacking up on larger quanities of insulin to counter this (and insulin pretty much triggers your body to start storing fat – to my understanding…so that’d be retroactive)

    So basically anything anyone can ADD with food choices, ideas that are high-protein, low GI would be gratefully received.



  33. Thanks Sarah,, yeah I went back to my old habbits and then some..Our kitchen was getting remodeled so no stove or anything so eating for 2 months (which I dont usually do) Caught up to me and fast…I have always been skinny 125 but after begin pregnant 3 years in a row and having one of my children pass away I was HUGE 211 after my last child will the new mayo clinic diet I got down to 151…AWESOME But gained to back so I know this time what I can and cant do and 1 day a week for me to go crazy (laughing) will do me just fine…Thanks again Sarah

  34. Hey um im aya from lebanon and i wanted to tell u that in my school we have to breaks and usually in arab countries we have the lunch important not the dinner like in other countries. I went to a dietition and she gave me almost the same diet my problem is that i put TOO MUCH salt on my food thats prb. number 1 and um i really do ger hungry in the breaks and i dont know what to eat i also would like u to give me some simple ideas about meals i can cook at home easy ones

    Thank you very much


  35. Hey my name is aya . Okay heres my problems first of all I PUT TOOOOOOOO MUCH salt on my food and 2nd prb. i live in an arab country and u knw in arab countries its opposite than americans americans usually ahave there lunch as small snacks or sandwiches and salad and dinner is a meal like steak or so in arab countries its different plus in my school we have two breaks so i dont know wut to eat in the breaks :S

    please give me some examples of what to eat in my breaks and please do give me some easy diet healthy meals to cook

    Thank you


  36. Will start today. This is a great diet for me because I am on the road constantly and need motivation to not eat the fries, bread, potatoes and other stuff. I have already increased my water intake. It is helping and I hope to lose over 20 pounds in a month. Wish me luck!

  37. me and my friend wont to loose weight as soon as possible because we are going on holiday soon and we wont to get a good tan intead of showing our fat …we our going to loose weight by eating healthy and no chocolate sweets and just exersise everyday..

    so far we have lost 10 lbs in a couple of days cant wait til i loose a 2 stone .. right now im 7 1/2 stone and i wont to get to 6 stone cant wait ! 🙂

  38. i am 13 years old . i wieghed myself yesterday … it said 121 i was so upset because the last time i wieghedyself i was 106 ! i gained too much . my stomach isnt flat .. my legs arent skinny anymore && i hateee my love handles ughhh… i am very pretty dont get me wrong but i want to look the way i was before ! so i decided to eat a nice big breakfast before school . & not eat lunchh . then when i get home i have a little snack to hold me up until dinner . and i try to excercise by dong yoga and bike riding . i just dont seem to be loosing any wieght …. but i am just very uncomfortable about my love handles …. how do i get them to go away ? please e-mail me back at ! anyonee !!

  39. To the point:

    1. Are canned pinto or black beans ok?

    2. IF not using canned beans then how do you cook the beans quickly? I have searched online but the fastest seems to be an hour. As a major theme is eliminating time wastage I’m not into cooking beans for an hour a day.

    3. IF the cooking is unavoidable then how can you reduce time wastage? Do you batch it so that you cook the beans, refrigerate them and then reheat them?

    4. IF you do batch the cooking and refrigerate them then how does this effect their nutritional value?


    Christian T

    1. @Christian,

      Canned beans and vegetables are absolutely fine. Just look at the ingredients and try to avoid added sweeteners like sugar, cane juice, maltodextrin, fructose (especially high-fructose corn syrup), etc.

      Good luck to you and all!


  40. This is an awesome site with great information. Sounds like paleolithic lifestyle (which I did this summer and felt awesome but didn’t see the numbers on the scale drop, just the number in my pants size went down 2 numbers) This plan is a little more strict which I think is GREAT! Like posted previously people that have to many options in the end ultimately fall off course. With restriction and convenience 6 days out of the week it helps people to loose the weight or maintain the weight they want to be at. I plan on starting up my food log again, it is a VERY GOOD IDEA! That way you can review what you ate that week, how it made you feel after you consumed the food you cooked, then you can critque whatever you need to for the following week! Good job on all who have stuck with it and good luck to all who are starting out this new lifestyle! It’s gonna be an awesome year. Oh and I recommend training crossfit. It’s an awesome way to workout, or, (if you mix the endurance site with the main crossfit page it is only recommended to do the endurance 2-3 times a week so you will not overtrain yourself) I started crossfit this summer and absolutely am addicted to it! Give it a try, read up on what crossfit is about, and incorporated with a healthy meal plan the weight will surely vanish! Good luck to all!


  41. Ok so I finished my first week cheated alot through it but I made it …..Started at 170.8 and on the 6th day I weighed 167.6 I know I could of done alot better but I am very happy with the weight I lost I am sure alot of it is water weight but the fat loss will come soon…My first short term goal is 160 by Feb 19th I will let you know how it goes…This is a easy diet to follow just have to make it past the first 3 days and it gets easier….Good luck to all who try it

  42. I’m kind of worried by this diet. I started last Tuesday. I got my liquid egg whites and every morning I’m eating scrambled egg whites with spinach and half a can of legumes (I can’t get pinto or black beans so I get whatever isn’t calorically dense – this morning was mung beans). I work in an office so I can’t cook food so I bring in a large chicken salad and a cooked can of adzuki beans, which will cover the two daytime meals. In the evening, I’m eating a beef stirfry with another half a can of beans. My worry is that I’m not consuming enough calories because I’m getting headaches in the evenings. I am kind of restless at night and my usual eight hours of uninterrupted sleep is now punctuated by waking up in the middle of the night and usually waking about an hour before I need to get up. I’m getting aches and weaknesses where I never usually would, including the occasional stitch. I’ve lost three lbs in the last week. This all could be unrelated to the diet but is there something I’m doing wrong if I feel ill?

    1. @ Mike,

      If you continue to feel ill, I would return to your other diet. There is a chance that you aren’t consuming enough calories, in which case I would add more lean proteins (meat, fish, etc.) and lentils if you can. Mung beans are too light calorically — go for a legume with more density.

      Good luck!


  43. Tim, isn’t the empty calories and alcohol in a glass or two of wine counterproductive to weight loss?

    Sounds great if I can have a couple glasses of wine every evening and still lose weight.


  44. Why do people fail in this and every weight loss plan? It is lack of desire or lack of motivation or lack of support.

    Do we even ask ourselves how long it took us to get into over overweight shape? Some took years to get where they are now, but when it comes to losing it, we want it fast. Ain’t that something?

    No matter what the plan we follow, if we don’t give and apply our by being patient and rewarding ourselves for our little success we can do it.

  45. hey,

    why would you want to eat dinner after 9:00 P.M.?

    i cant do that!its so bad for you, and i go to bed at about 11:00

    and i dont drink.

  46. Hi, like everyone else, i’m curious if this diet of yours will work for me. I was a dancer for 10 years and had to stop when i graduated from college. Work did not permit me to attend my dance trainings. now i gained weight and wanted to lose some since i’ll be a maid of honor this august. Carbs is my #1 problem since rice is a regular thing in asia. Your diet is just perfect and i hope i can discipline myself.

  47. Tim, just to follow up. I’ve upped my portions of what you’ve suggested and feel much better today. Over the years I have become used to small portion sizes of very dense carbs, like having a small portion of pasta, but I can eat three times that amount on this diet and still have far less calories.

  48. Wow, excellent article. Being a personal trainer I feel I can’t stress enough the importance of the right foods when attempting any weight transformation. This is a perfect diet for weight loss. I have argued for years exercise is not the most important factor when dealing with weight loss and this article demonstrates it brilliantly. Removing white carbs and eating low GI ones is one of the most important factors when it comes to weight management. Well done Tim.

  49. sounds like a great program! Can i replace black beans with kidney beans?Its just easier since they are already a staple in my house.

    1. @tracy,

      Yes, kidney beans or any type of beans will do. Just avoid added fat (frying, etc.) and sugars (fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, etc.).

      Good luck!


  50. This is a kick ass dietary regimen. It definitely works if you don’t get bored with it. I guess it’s like anything else in life. Repetition, Repetition, Repetition.

    Thanks Tim-

    Richard Brian Penn

  51. That’s great advice! I also have been trying to lose about 30 lbs and I’ve done most of these things. Well, I try anyways! Sometimes I screw up though, and go back to my old ways lol. I tried model herbs and that helped me lose 10 lbs, and I didn’t even really do anything else! I hope to maintain the weight loss by doing some of these tips as well on a more regular basis!

  52. Tim,

    I am trying the diet and workout, and just ordered your book.

    2 Quick Questions:

    1. Why no milk?

    2. How about cottage cheese, which has a ton of protein. (I am not sure since you said cheese was ok, but milk was bad) I don’t really get this part. Isn’t cheese just milk?

  53. Hi Tim and everone one else….I am excited to start this diet on Monday. I currently weigh 195 pounds and i am looking to lose at least 30 pounds. so if everthing goes well it will take me 55 days…..I am going on a cruise Jan 29th so it will be sooooooooo hard to watch what i eat on the cruise but the day i can eat anything you better believe im up at like 5am to start my binge eating. lol. Now quick question for tim or whoever wants to answer. What can I eat for breakfast? And what do you mean by no xercise? No running but weight lifting? Cuz i weight lift for golf. Thanks Tim and everyone else..I will update again Feb 6th when i return from my cruise.

  54. Wow, well read most of the comments, and Deltrons one telling that he has tried this and it is giving him an effect to his weight. I am actually 15 years old and I have had enough being the weight I am, and I have tried to lose weight before but I usually give up. But now I think I am ready because I have set my mind to it, and want to do it myself. I came across this diet, and I am really going to give it a go.

    I know it says you can lose weight without the excercise and stuff, but I just wanted to know that if I did do about an hours worth of excercise a day as well as following this diet will it make me lose a bit more weight rather than 20lbs?

    I go to school and stuff and I usually never have time for breakfast either. Will it effect the diet plans if I don’t eat a breakfast? I know that for lunchtime I could make myself a chicken salad and then when I get home I can make one of the meals you have mentioned and then exercise and then eat another small meal and obviously just stick to water.

    What would you suggest to eat at break during school? Because if I don’t eat in the morning and just eat at break which is about 10.20, then what would make a good thing to eat then? And then you also suggest that eating fruit is not a good thing either during this diet, because of what it is.

    I’m sorry if I have asked a lot of questions, its just that I am really into losing weight and I really want to do it the right way. Especially now that I am really into doing this already. All the help will be much appreciated. I need to lose alot of weight. So, I hope I can do this, and not get bored of it and want to give up. (:

    This is the first website I clicked on from google. And it seems like a great way to start!

    I am going to start right away! (: Looks like I need to get shopping!

    Thank you sooo sooo sooo much Tim Feriss, I hope that this will work for me, if it does I will be so thankful to you!


  55. Hello all –

    i am extremely hypothyroid (hashimoto’s) and am going to start this regime of tim’s tomorrow. my plan is to do what has been recommended on this blog, in terms of the meals, and the supplement cocktail tim mentions in the beginning, waaaay up there…… is anyone else just starting?

    i must add a huge thank you to you, tim – i have also ordered your book. i really hope this works for me – looking forward to finding out…..

  56. Hi, i started this diet a month and about 2 weeks ago and i have lost 25 pounds. It’s amazing. I feel better that i eat healthier and i have eaten more legumes in the past month that i have eaten in a lifetime. It took a lot of will power to stay on this diet at first but now it’s a habit. The cheat day is amazing and i love being able to eat whatever i want for a day even though i really dont have 2 many cravings anymore. I have tried to get other people i know to follow it, but they can’t. I’m the only survivor. lol. but im extremely happy to actually be losing weight and doing it healthy. Now i need to step up on my exercise to tone up a little and thats about it. I wish anyone luck who is just starting:).

  57. Ok i am halfway through day one, and what has been so extremely helpful is the very succinct plan as laid out by tim f. in the beginning, taking the time to read the ENTIRE blog, making notes as i went along, and then making a cheat sheet on an over-sized index card to carry around with me.

    a big thank you to FunChick37, especially. your posts are easy to follow, inspiring and i found them to be very helpful indeed, particularly because of your great attitude and recipes. i hope you reach your goal soon, but i also hope you post more often!


  58. Hahahaha! , “Damn You Scandinavian Genetics” Thanks for the laugh.. Im Finnish;) I def knowz what you talkin ’bout;)

  59. I really like this idea. My only question is, why no milk? Can I drink skim milk instead of no milk? I only have 2 small glasses a day! Oh… and how long should I stay on it? Until I reach my goal weight or do I go on it for a month and off for a while, back and forth?

  60. I am trying to lose some weight but I have a slow metabolism..what can I do to speed that up without any dangerous diet pills?

    Also I can’t have a meal without heinz ketchup..its near impossible for me. How bad is that stuff for me?

    1. @Kayla,

      Heinz isn’t good for you. Try plain tomato sauces, salsas, or mustards with no sweeteners added. If you can’t have a meal without Heinz, you are no doubt consuming a lot of essentially empty calories that do nothing but add inches to your waistline. Test out some alternatives and you’ll be surprised how tasty they are and how quickly you lose weight.

      Corollary to the “don’t drink calories” rule: don’t consume a lot of condiments with added sweeteners.

      Good luck!


  61. i forgot to ask last time. i love sardines.. some in tomato sauce and some in olive oil. is it ok to include it in my diet?

    1. @Lui,

      Sardines are fine, both in tomato sauce (no added sugar/sweeteners) or olive oil. Just realize that olive oil is about 120 calories per tablespoon, so tomato sauce might be better for pure fat-loss.


  62. Is there a current blog for this? I noticed some post are a couple years old now, just started this today – thought others may have also started recently and would be willing to add some hints, etc.

    I am following most of this diet, no white stuff at all! I am adding 2 things that are not on this diet – dairy ( LF yogurt, LF milk ) and fresh fruit!

    Thanks Much!


  63. arrrgghhhh – i was doing so well until i went to watch the inauguration at a friend’s house and had champagne and chocolate in the middle of what would have been a perfect food day….. it seemed the thing to do at the time. drat.

    anyway, leona, you cannot have fruit because it basically is the same thing (to your body) as sugar, so you are defeating yourself right out of the gate. same with the lactose in the milk. read through all the posts, take notes, and then you will have a much clearer understanding of the reasons behind the palate of choices as laid out by tim at the top of the blog.

    i too am at the beginning of this, and i find that (besides the obama-induced break from my discipline) if i am prepared, it is quite easy to follow. the one thing i have incorporated is the cran water (very very diluted pure organic cranberry concentrate) from the ann louise gettleman programme ( which i find to be very liver-cleansing. this, in concert with tim’s eating and supplement strategy, makes me feel just fabulous. i am loving it.

    best of luck


  64. Tim-

    I had a question regarding working out and your diet. I’m a 19 year old college student, and I started on this over the summer (June, to be exact), where I weighed in at a rather plump 225 lbs. Now, I weigh 170 lbs, but I most definitely lost a lot of my muscle (but also most of my fat!). However, I just look skinny now, not toned up.

    Ideally, I would like to have a ‘cut’ physique, but I can’t manage to lose those extra few pounds that would make my abs well defined and what not. Do you have any ideas for things I could alter to result in greater fat loss? Or should I simply just work out more?



  65. Diet sodas and drinks with artificial sweetenersd are NOT ideal for hydration or as a “treat” because the body does not register the sweeteners as calories therefore it does not burn them. If you need a treat try Jell-O haha.

  66. Tim,

    I am looking to start this diet ASAP. I Graduated highschool in June ’08, and gained about 25 pounds since then. I played football all through highschool, so i was all about lifting weights and gaining muscle, but never really focused on losing fat (as dumb as that may sound). being a lineman, my coach encouraged me to “get big”. I have decided to join the miltary, and need to lose that 25 pounds in order to pass the physical. right now im about 275, and need to get down to atleast 250. Now, i LOVE lifting weights, and working out (but havent worked out regimently in about 4 months). with this diet, is it OK to lift weights lightly (with still conditioning at least 20 min. a day 4x a week)? id like to lose the fat, but keep the muscle i have. but i fear that lifting (even lightly) will just make me add on the pounds. anything you can suggest will be greatly appreciated.


  67. Laura!

    Thanks much for the input! I have read a lot of the posts here and realize the way I’m doing it is not 100% like it says! I have read a lot but not all 1480 of them!!

    I’m female, 5′ 2″, current weight on Tuesday was 127 #, also just turned 65! I want to lose 10 #’s but will be thrilled with 8 #’s!

    I will still not have any white four or sugar! But I will have the others I mentioned! I know it is a no, no !

    Thanks for wishing me luck, I also wish you the very best too.


    ps – Laura is my given name, but mom called me Leona from day one and so has everyone else!

  68. Thanks Val 😉 that article did help a lot.

    one more question, Tim.

    on the beans you use, do you put any kind of seasoning on them fo flavor?

  69. i have one question. can i have unroasted peanuts (no salt) as they are technically legumes not nuts?? also, tim, what’s your advice re sugar free jello? ok? not ok? i am really trying to be strict here.

    and thanks for including the link to dean karnazes – quite a story. my favourite sentence is ‘somewhere along the line, we seem to have confused comfort with happiness.’

    hey funchick, how’s it going all these months later?

    and how’s it going leona? so far i am down 5 lbs since monday. i cannot believe it.

    cheers, all – laura

  70. I’m planning on starting this diet ASAP because I need to lose some weight before prom. Starting weight is 148lbs, and I’m 16-years old.. Plus, I’m 5′ 2″, of a small frame, and want to be around 115-120lbs for my prom on May 1. I don’t want to be too skinny because I like to have a little weight on me, but not as much as I do now. So, I won’t start tomorrow because tomorrow is a Saturday, but I’ll go grocery shopping tomorrow and get the needed supplies to stick to this diet.

    There’s one thing that concerns me, though. In the past, I had a constant struggle with my blood sugar where it would drop suddenly (down to 50-60 from about 120) if I didn’t eat regular, hearty meals. The good thing about this diet is that I’ll get to eat more often, but I’m worried that it might mess up my blood sugar again because I now have it pretty-much stabilized. I don’t like asking my doctor about these kinds of things because every time I go for weight advice they find some sort of cold or flu in me and stack me up with meds, and I hate taking medications.

    Plus, I play tennis, and I tend go heavy on the carbs before a big match to help with energy and the such, and I always eat a banana or two during match time and drink a good 2-3 Gatorades (unless I have water, but I can only drink water if it’s cold or has one of those sucking caps on it. :D) as well. So, what should I do about this?

    Thanks for any and all help. I’m supporting everyone’s weight-loss journeys in my heart!



  71. I am in the Air Force and currently in Iraq, there are not a lot of options here as far as beans and such….I was wondering if bakes beans would be a good substitute and also I don’t eat any chicken or most other meats. Are boiled eggs a good substitute for this on a daily basis?

  72. Hello all,

    For those who are losing strength, muscle mass, and performance on this diet — don’t blame the diet! It is not “crap”.

    You need to do some tweaking.

    First of all, if you want to maintain your physical performance and muscle mass on any calorie-restricted diet, you absolutely MUST REDUCE YOUR TRAINING VOLUME!

    If you do 5 sets of 5 on deads and you want to do this diet, you need to drop down to 3 x 3 with the same weight, and only one set each of your accessory lifts.

    If you run 50 miles a week you need to drastically cut down your mileage for the duration of the diet.

    If you’re an athlete training multiple physical qualities for an average of 12-15 hours per work you need to cut down to 8-10 hours per week.

    Nobody, not anybody can maintain anywhere near their usual training volume while on a fat-loss diet. It just doesn’t happen.

    Second, ensure you are getting proper pre-and-post-workout nutrition. Taking in a whey protein and simple carbohydrate solution (1:1 ratio of protein to carbs) immediately before and after your training session will do wonders for maintaining your performance in the gym. Try to get at least 30g of each protein and carbs.

    Third, add supplemental protein and a small amount of healthy fats. Losing muscle mass is a tell-tale sign that your body requires more protein than your diet is currently providing. Your body needs protein in order to burn fat. If it can’t get that protein from your diet, it will strip it from your muscles.

    Healthy fats such as olive oil, flaxseed oil, salmon oil, and mixed nuts (not peanuts) provide added calories that you need to perform your training, and help shift your body towards a fats-based metabolism.

    Good luck,

    Christopher, BPE, PTS

  73. I also forgot to add:


    Try to re-carb as much as humanly possible during this “dieters gone wild” 24-hour period with unprocessed, non-white, whole-food sources of carbohydrates such as yams, sweet potatoes, carrots, and other fruits and vegetables, including some amount of “junk” food with every meal to help keep your sanity.

    As soon as the “day off” is over, it’s back to strict adherence to the diet, mmm-kay?

    Christopher, BPE, PTS, Internet Smartypants

  74. i had my ‘cheat day’ yesterday, and didn’t go totally crazy, though i had a few pieces of sushi, mango in a salad (that had tempura bits in it as well) and some meringue, cream and raspberries at a dinner party last night…. also crackers/artichoke dip for hors’ d’oeuvres…. and the scale this morning says i am up FIVE POUNDS – oh my god how can this be???? i am where i started a week ago – yikes! i am trying to stay calm and think, well, tomorrow is monday i will start all over again. i really stuck to the plan all week, including the supplements.

    what’s up with that? anyone have a clue???

  75. Hi Laura,

    I’ve been on the diet now since Tues, really fully Weds and I’m down 5lbs, even with, um, my aunt flo :-). I tried a cheat day early early on, like Fri and picked up 2lbs. So I eased up, drank more H2O and did my 30 minute treadmill for Sat & Sun and now I’m back down to a 5 lb loss. I’d suggest until we get this down as a habit, like in a couple of weeks, to avoid a cheat day. We’re just not ready!

  76. Just a quick note – it’s funny you mention that spiking caloric intake helps. I always noticed that after a night of heavy drinking, drunk food, etc, I seemed to be a little thinner. Weird right? Thought it was just a fluke, but it’s cool to see it here, so maybe I’ll keep doing it! Haha! Thanks for your tips, pretty excited to start.

  77. thank you susan – i think you are quite right – not ready for the cheat day….

    i almost just said oh forget it a couple of times today but i did not. i did have ONE piece of tortellini when i was making dinner for the kids… and then i remembered tim’s comment: this diet is not meant to be fun, it’s meant to be effective. this has to be my mantra.

    how is it going for you?

    tim, how many eggs is too many in a day?

  78. Hi All!

    Stepped on the scale this morning, lost 1 & 1/5 #’s. I was gone from home for 4 days and those 4 days were not on this eating plan at all. I am sort of following this diet but am tweaking it by adding fruit and low-fat dairy. I know those are a big no, no; what I am doing more or less is just giving up the white stuff and for me a “sweet” person, it is not easy! I eat all kinds of “beans” and they do fill me up!

    I notice so many of us here are not getting our questions answered! I still am looking for a blog that is more current, anyone find one? I go to Spark on the net and put in all the food I eat in a day and am pleased to say I’m doing exactly like it says I should be with my calories, fiber, protein, fat and carbs! It is just a wonderful site, anyone else use it?

    Laura, that is sad about the weight! Maybe no cheat days for a month, think? My fruit and low-fat dairy is the only cheat I have, no “cheat days”.


  79. I have a recipe for Red Beans and rice, (which I know no rice, and its easy to forgo since its made seperate), and Kelbassa (sp?) and beans. The red beans and rice I use turkey sausage, and the other, Kabassa, are those meats allowed, or should I pick something leaner like Chicken? It makes a massive amount so its a wonderful recipe for eating every day. Also, Tomatoes, more importantly tomato sauce. . allowed ??(I’m guessing since Salsa is its fine.)