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 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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7,296 Replies to “How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise”

  1. What abut for vegetarians? How can one do this diet and still get the protein they need? I’m a rather new vegetarian and still eat fish occasionally, but would love to try this diet. What do I need to buy to substitute for the chicken, grass-fed beef, and pork?


    1. I eat vegetarian low carb, I eat scrambled eggs, I love Quest bars because they a easy high protein low carb bar, I eat baked tofu, and veggie burgers most fake meat products are low carb just be sure to read labels, black beans are also great, all green veggies especially spinach and kale are very high in protein so they are great to add in. I use real ranch dressing and sour cream. I don’t drink milk but I do eat some cheese but I try to limit that to one meal a day. Hope this helps, I’m down 30 pounds on my low carb vegetarian plan.

    2. I’m Vegetarian and my friends are Vegetarian yet some small rules exceptions are Egg White Protein for sure and Seafood especially Salmon. Mom was right never become too fanatic it’s not going to make you any healthier. or feel better.

  2. Great diet. Maybe I missed it but I didn’t see anything mentioned about adding oils- good oils like olive, flax are an essential part of any diet. I’d add up to two tb a day.

    I did a similar “diet” last month, but included a half a grapefruit before each meal (studies suggest this can aide weight loss), and went down one size in two weeks.

    Also, I don’t eat meat but do eat fish and dairy so I just substitute fish, and sometimes a small piece of cheese, or a few raw nuts, for protein. I also use hemp protein powder for snacks.

    I definitely think eating anything you want one day per week helps with weight loss. It can actually boost metabolism. I always lose more if I “shock’ my system like this.

    Finally, I notice if I eat like this, after about a week, my appetite goes way, way down. No cravings, overeating, etc. I don’t eat a lot of junk anyway, but this way of eating, more than a quick way to lose weight, seems like a great long term way to eat and keep body fat regulated.

  3. While the Atkins/low-carb diet may work for some, I can tell you that it doesn’t work for all. My wife tried it, and ended up with her first (and last) kidney stone. As it turns out (we found out from her doctor later), anyone prone to kidney stones should avoid the Atkins diet. (But if you’ve never had a kidney stone before, then…?)

    Anyway, there are a number of posts here I’d like to comment on. Instead, I think I’d rather reference the following diet book:

    Ultrametabolism, by Mark Hyman, M.D.

    (Yes, he’s a bona fide physician!)

    The book has 3 Parts, and the first part alone (“The 7 Myths That Make You Gain Weight”) has the following seven chapters:

    Chapter 1: The Starvation Myth: Eat Less Exercise More = Weight Loss

    Chapter 2: The Calorie Myth: All Calories Are Created Equal

    Chapter 3: The Fat Myth: Eating Fat Makes You Fat

    Chapter 4: The Carb Myth: Eating Low Carb or No Carb Will Make You Thin

    Chapter 5: The Sumo Wrestler Myth: Skipping Meals Helps You Lose Weight

    Chapter 6: The French Paradox Myth: The French Are Thin Because They Drink Wine and Eat Butter

    Chapter 7: The Protector Myth: Government Policies and Food Industry Regulations Protect Our Health

    Amazon link:

    You can also find some free tidbits on his website (just Google the name of the book).

    Truth be told, I’m not a shill for Dr Hyman, but I have to say that I found his book to be quite enlightening (and chock full of professional references). In spite of the tech references, he manages to keep the book interesting, although admittedly sounding a little repetitive at times. His is the first time I’ve ever seen a reference to the latest wisdom of the adipose tissue now being treated/categorized as an endocrine organ. (Hope my memory got that detail right.) No, I don’t need to lose weight; if anything, I could stand to put a few pounds on, at least in terms of lean muscle mass (but that’s another thread). I do appreciate the insights given in this book, though. Check the Amazon link, maybe you’ll see a comment or a review which will pique your interest.

    I wouldn’t recommend Dr Hyman’s book for anyone who is looking for an “instant remedy in 25 words or less”, but rather for someone looking to better understand why their body is the way it is and how to get ahead of the curve through lifestyle changes. And rather than just saying “this is what you need to do to change your life”, you get the nitty gritty understanding of *why* through a better (and admittedly rather geeky, but I’d rather have a bit too much info than too little info) understanding of the metabolic processes. And if you’re the type who enjoys reading technical references and studies, he makes copious references in about 10 pages towards the end of his book.

    Oh yeah, he provides some recipes, if you’re in need of a leg-up there, plus a multi-page listing of vitamins, supplements and the like summarized towards the back as well.

    Anyhoo, sorry if this sounds like an advert. Just thought someone else might benefit, if they’re into cuddling up with a nice technical read. 😉 (I’m making perhaps too much about it being ‘technical’… it really is reasonably digestible (no pun intended.)

  4. To follow on from the lack of fruit being mentioned ,it is a perfect food for energy and breakfast meals. I would also mention the more raw veg you eat is better for you and I find easier to prepare

    1. Fruit is not low carb, it can actually stall or make you gain weight on a low carb diet. Unless it’s a small serving of berries or other low carb fruit. Initially fruit should be exclude in the first couple weeks of low carb or slow carb eating. According to everything I have read.

  5. This diet sounds great and totally doable. I am starting on Monday.

    Thanks Tim!! Also I bought your book and it is supposed to be delivered here any day now. I can’t wait to read it!

    Trish Oleary

  6. Tim-

    I need to lose 20 lbs. in 5 weeks. I am on a low-carb diet and am taking Mega-t dietary supplements. Any exercise recommedations? I’m going on vacation last minute and need to look good in my swimsuit.

  7. What about liquor? Technically, there are absolutely no carbs in any liquor. Shouldn’t I be able to drink as much as I want??

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  9. Jim (PFT/SCT), I’m very interested in that book. I’m going to see if I can find it locally tonight.

    The most important thing isn’t a fanatical following of any given diet. The most important thing is the truth, something we should all pursue. I’m personally interested in reading or hearing about anything that has sound scientific basis and has a proven track record.

    I know from my personal experience that fat in the diet isn’t my problem. My most successful weight loss has been with restricting carbs, but that is because I am (or was at least) borderline type II diabetic. That said, anyone who thinks that they can maintain Atkins induction level carb intake (20 grams per day or less) long term is completely nuts. 🙂

    The underlying message of Dr. Atkins is the need to consume whole foods. Not conveniently packaged chemicals marketed as food products. If you get most of your meals from a box that goes from refrigerator or freezer straight to a microwave or from a drive-thru window, you are not going to be healthy.

    To the others who mentioned fruits and veggies, I also believe in eating lots of vegetables and eventually working some fruits back into the diet (berries especially).

    You’ll also notice that Tim’s plan really focuses on high quality vegetable intake.

  10. Liquor? You can’t be serious.

    Sure, you can rationalize that booze is either low- or no-carb, but what about the calories?

    A quick Google search on ‘alcohol’ and ‘calories’ brings up a rather informative page. Here are a few choice quotes from it:

    [start quote]

    Simply put, alcohol reduces the amount of fat the body burns for energy. This occurs for the following reason:

    1. A small portion of the alcohol consumed is converted into fat.

    2. The liver then converts the rest (ie: majority) of the alcohol into acetate.

    3. The acetate is then released into the bloodstream, and replaces fat as a source of fuel.

    Coupled with the high caloric value of alcohol, the resulting effect is that body is forced to store an excessive amount of unburned fat calories, often in the form of a ‘beer belly”.

    [end quote]

    Also check this choice paragraph:

    [start quote]

    Despite the small quantity of liquid, a single shot of liquor (1.5 oz) can contain anywhere from 115-200 calories. In comparison, a 4.0 oz glass of wine contains anywhere from 62-160, with 160 being on the high end of the spectrum. Mixed drinks are where the calories really add up, ranging from approximately 280 calories for a gin and tonic to over 800 calories for some of the frozen, creamy drinks.

    [end quote]

    Link here:

    But, feel free to chat up any certified dietician on the nutritional value of booze. Try to convince them that (wine-specific components aside) your consumption of alcohol is actually contributing to your weight loss.

    I think at best you’d be able to put booze on your short list for your cheat day. That’s it.

  11. I started this program on monday apr 30

    pretty much sticking to chicken, salsa, black beans, and pinto beans. Water is the only liquid i drink and i probably manage to get down 7-10 20oz bottles a day.

    I’ve been walking 30 mins, doing free weights (15 reps 3 sets) and ab workouts every other day because i hate them so much.

    saturday i cheat by eating healthy but i allow breads and pastas (which i love so much after a week of none) and i have a few beers with the boys.

    i’m Male 5’11”

    started at 220 (in boxers)

    i now weigh in at 216. (with jeans, sandals and a shirt on to boot!)

    If i can maintain a constant weight loss rate of 8-12 pounds a month i would be astonished.

    I’ll check back in a week from now.


  12. hi, i “stumbled” upon this site and i must say, it’s pretty intriguing.. however my favorite food in the world is cereal and i love my carbs, im also an energy drink fanatic. but ultimately i’m going to give this diet a try and eat about 2 chicken breast filets per day, along with various types of veggies. the chicken i will be eating has 19g protein, 9 grams of fat- but only about 0.5 grams is saturated, 0g trans and the rest is made up of mono/poly-unsaturated fats. i’ll keep posting

  13. Tim, love the blog. Do you think you could do a post on your sleeping habit, this is something I would really want to know. Keep up the awesome content.

  14. One week out, on my cheat day, have lost 5 pounds as of this morning. The only time I have felt noticeably spent was after my 2 hour trapeze conditioning class. The body weight exercises, however, were much easier.

    For other women here — perhaps a better method of measurement of sucess is not weigth but actual measurement. When I began working hard with body weight training, I gained 15 pounds in 12 months(I am tall and thin, normally). I now look quite bulky and I believe this due to gaining both muscle (specifically arm, shoulder, chest, glutes) and fat (wasit, thighs). I think this diet is significantly cutting the fat, and with training, slimming specific areas.

    So far, so good. Thanks much, Tim!

  15. To lose 20 pounds of fat in 30 days you would have to be extremely overweight and go on a fast. 20 pounds is doable, just admit that most of it you will lose in the first week and half, and that is from water.

    A pound of fat contains 3,500 calories. So burning 20lbs of fat requires burning 70,000 calories of energy… that means in 30 days you’d have to be in a caloric deficient of 2,333 calories per day. For the vast majority of the population that means eating practically nothing. That is overly simplified but hopefully you get the gist.

  16. […] most dreaded method of all: diet. Since the next four weeks will be miserable anyway – consumed with schoolwork and deficient in any form of entertainment or amusement […]

  17. Hey i like this diet plan, i have been struggling to loose

    30 pounds since i was in high school 5 years ago. I told my fiance i won’t get married until i can fit into the wedding dress that i really want to wear. I guess i have been stuggling for so long because my mental is not in the right place. I sike myself out everyday when all i really want is to just loose the weight…it’s become an obsession in my mind but all i do is nothing to help myself, any words of advice for some internal motivation, and to be able to stay consistant? The most disappointing part is that i’ve been an athlete since i was 8, playing 3 sports a year all the up to senior year of high school, i feel like i put all that hard work in for nothing. and i’m scared to loose the muscle that i do have, but don’t want to build anymore until i can loose my fat, any advice…

  18. im going to keep going, but i must admit im a bit discouraged. ive been following the diet methodically, but i dont see much of a change. a little less fat in my legs, but my gut, where i want to see the most change — there hasnt been much.

    i weigh 160 lbs. which is quite slim for a 6’0 male and all i want to do is lose enough fat from my stomach to get some abs. i will definitely follow this one through bc im not a quitter, but it is very difficult to drive away the temptation of a cinnamon raisin bagel for an egg white

    lets see how it goes from here on out.

  19. You mentioned a bean native to south america. I beleive it was coena or something like this. I trying to locate it. Please verify the spelling. \ Thanks

  20. Yoodle, try searching google on the fiber content of beans. You don’t have to take my word for it if you don’t want to, but beans are one of the foods highest in fiber. They’re not called the “magical fruit” for nothing…

    The vegetables in this diet? Also high in fiber.

    The USRDA is around 25 grams.

    If the above foods aren’t enough (if you eat beans and veggies 2 to 3 times a day, I don’t see how your diet could be lacking in fiber), there are also products like Metamucil, or my favorite, fiber-sure.

  21. Supplements Qs:

    1) Isn’t niacin potentially dangerous in the doses you took? I thought the recommended daily allowance was about 18mg

    2) Do you take the supplements for their individual effects or interactive effects? What would be the effect of removing policosanol from your daily vitamin schedule for example?

  22. […] I’ve lost 4.5lbs – mostly fat – and reduced my body fat by 1 percentage point. My only concern was losing lean body mass […]

  23. Liked the ideas presented for weight loss and have found many of these things to work – lots of beans and veggies, eliminating the “white” foods, sugar, etc. I think keeping a diet simple makes it easier to stick with, but one can still maintain variety within the week, so as not to get bored. After a few weeks, it becomes easier to make the healthy choices. One statement in the diet that I would strongly oppose is “unlimited consumption of diet soda is OK”. Diet soda is one of the worst beverages for humans, as the aspartame is a chemical the body cannot properly handle. Diet sodas may not put on any pounds, but they are a totally damaging beverage in all other aspects. Water, tea (especially green tea), and red wine are the beverages to stick with primarily, and coffee is fine in limited amounts (and without cream and sugar).

    1. Yes – when I saw what Tim said about diet sodas, I put the brakes on (not that the diet appealed to me anyway, but when I saw “drink all the diet soda you want” I realized that was bad advice). Diet soda is definitely NOT something you want to drink in large quantities. Personally, I never touch the stuff.

  24. Hi Tim,

    I was curious about what type of workout regimen would you suggest for fat loss to go along with the diet. I am starting today and i have plenty of weight to lose. Dave

  25. hi stephen i an a 27 yrs old weight 20 stone have 3 dayghters an i despretly want to lose weight can u plz help me thanx cathy

  26. I went on a low carb diet once. I spent 3 and a half weeks eating eggs, fried fish, mangoes and coffee with skim powdered milk. I lost about 50 pounds in that time.

    I was probably eating about 1200 calories a day. didn’t feel tired, and I aced all my exams too!

  27. Hey everyone,

    I finished Tim’s book this past week and, since last Sunday, have been following the meal program. I have to say I feel great. I haven’t felt hungry at all and it isn’t as hard to keep up with as I thought. I started the week at about 210 and have dropped a good 6 or 7 pounds. I also did my first “1 set to exhaustion” workout this past Tuesday. I already had a decent build and had been working out about 3 days a week. The single sets to exhaustion, working slowly on each rep, kicked my butt, I plan on going for a second workout this evening as all soreness has dissapated.

    I also started on the supplements mentioned yesterday, just the ChromeMate and the Niacin. I did some of my own research and found that the majority of studies have concluded that the policosanol did not have any major effects as previously thought.

    Has anyone else had any results of note yet?



  28. I haven’t read Tim’s book, but it seems like the diet plan is well thought out. I’ll be sure to pick it up as soon as I can. This plan sounds a LOT like Harley Pasternak’s “5-Factor Fitness.” Pasternak’s focuses on all the same key points, low GI intake, protein rich foods, spiking caloric intake once a week, etc. Not to mention blood-sugar level balancing to curb the hunger. At any rate, excellent site, and I hope to get this book soon!

  29. I am currently on day 20 of the “lose 20lbs” regimen. I have lost 8 pounds so far and have dropped a pants size, am never hungry, and have tremendous energy.

    Here are my vital statistics and the variations I’ve made to the diet:

    43yo man, 5’8″, started at 174 lbs., exercise regularly.

    I’m an ovo-lacto vegeterian, so in addition to eggs I use Yves veggie hot dogs and Instone high protein pudding.

    I eat 4 meals a day, plus 1 high protein pudding snack.

    I exercise 6 days a week.

    I won’t lose 20 pounds in 30 days but I’m very happy with the results!

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  31. I’ve been doing this diet for 2 weeks, and have seen absolutely NO improvement. I’ve actually gained 3 pounds. Am I doing something wrong? I’m going to the gym anyway – running at least 3 times a week. So why do I see no success?

    I’m 183, trying to get to 140.

    1. Hi Eleanor,

      I would say you are not consuming enough calories if you are doing so much exercise. I used to have a really strict diet and was dancing 4 days a week for about 3 hours each day plus going to the gym for at least an hour and kept gaining weight. I spoke to a nutritionist and turns out I wasn’t eating enough calories and because I was burning so many calories I wasn’t able to lose weight. Maybe, try consuming more protein on the days that you work out and this might help you lose weight.

  32. Great entry.

    Just a question though: what about other legumes? I have tried and tried to enjoy all kinds of beans and lentils, but never have. What about peanuts, et. al?

  33. This is a follow-up to my May 27th comment:

    I’ve now completed the 30-day diet. With the modifications I described above, I stuck to the diet 100%. Final results:

    I lost 10 lbs. But I was also working out 6 days a week, and I can see the muscle I gained during the same time period. So that means that I lost considerably more than 10 lbs. of fat.

    Suits and pants I couldn’t fit into a month ago now are loose.

    With avoiding sugar 6 days a week and eating only “slow carbs,” this diet has been incredibly easy to stick to. I am literally never hungry, have no low-blood-sugar energy drops, and have no cravings.

    Thanks, Tim!

  34. God I hate eating so many beans.

    any ideas for recipes with lentils? I must be doing something wrong because they always turn out really bad…

  35. I started this diet 3 weeks ago and I agree with others it works great. I have lost 15 pounds, absolutely no exercise for 30 days (I just wanted to see if Tim’s headline was true, ill start my training up after 30 days) I am never tired and never have cravings. Its slow and steady, but thats what wins the race right? Eliminating perservatives and additives that are in most fast food and processed food has also done wonders for my energy, skin, and stress levels.

  36. I started this diet 2 weeks ago. So far I’ve lost ten pounds however I’m not sure how much muscle I’ve put on. I will say I hit a home run last night and I haven’t done that since early last year. So I know I’m adding strength. I’m working out 5-6 days a week in addition to my sport activities.

  37. Has anybody else had trouble on their “Saturday Gone Wild” day? I get really sick at my stomach eating breads, sugar, etc. I assume because I dont eat them all week.

  38. I’m on day one of this diet, following it exactly, and I have to say that this is the easiest day one of a diet I’ve ever been through. I’ve been eating black beans as my legume choice all day and I can’t even finish them all for every meal! I have a good amount of energy, only a slight dip, but still great for a first day. I’m sure after a few days I’ll feel normal again. I’m 5’4 very small frame and 138 pounds and I’m hoping to be around 120 in 30 days. I’m including cardio and strengh training. I’ll keep you posted!

  39. Great site Tim. So much so, that like others before me I am attempting to emulate your success with a 4-week challenge. Using the ideas in your post, I will be monitoring and uploading my progress ( frequently and invite others to view my greatly anticipated success. I encourage others to also read Tim’s other blog posts and be similarly inspired in all aspects of life. Good luck with the book and keep the ideas coming.

  40. I started this diet 32 days ago. On Day 1 and Day 30 I was at my doctor, so I got weighed both days. I lost 13 lbs. of fat with no exercise! I would have lost more, but I wasn’t sleeping well and I had a couple of weekends where I drank. Without the mixers in the alcohol and better sleep, I’m certain I would have lost more because I am sticking to this religiously. Tim, your writing is an inspiration. Thanks!


  41. Does anyone have any suggestions for snacks on this diet? It’s hard to find vegetables, beans, or meat for snack items during work breaks, aside from bringing them myself in the morning.

  42. What about using Asian seasonings for my beef, pork or poultry dishes. They have a lot of sodium. Does that matter?

  43. two weeks, 5 pounds – finally broke through a plateau that has held me at around 230 for a few years now.

    Thanks, Tim!

  44. Hey All,

    I have a couple of questions, and maybe somebody has some sage advice.

    I started the one-set-to-failure today and the diet yesterday. I am a vegan, so I am going hard on the brown rice protein and the soy, different kinds of beans and whatever else I can find without killing anything.

    I am a martial artist, have been training for over 30 years, and had started a weightlifting routine a couple of years ago, along with bag work, step intervals and just major-bloody-insane workouts, with mixed results. Main issue, of course overtraining. The fact is, for me martial arts is a life choice rather than a just workout, and although I would make it to the gym 2x/week, I was still training at the dojo 3-4x/week and have been too exhausted to do it all with the kind of intensity necessary for major muscle growth.

    Here are my issues, and I wonder if anybody has any intelligent thoughts about them:

    (1) 5/5 or 3/3 seconds is going to seriously mess with my speed. In my prior weight training, I was exploding the weight up and letting it down slowly. Since April 2004, my karate speed has increased significantly because of it. Will I find similar muscle gains doing 1-set-failure-reps and this kind of explosive movement? Or am I pretty much not going to reap the benefits without slow movements?

    (2) Am I completely going to miss the boat by training karate 3x/week as well? The fact is, I have to go to the dojo, and when I’m there I have to train hard. So yes, going to the gym twice/week and giving myself adequate muscle recovery time is great…but I don’t really have the luxury of being one of the senior students and not showing up for a month in order to bulk up.



  45. Dear Tim.

    I’m gonna start your diet plan cause like you, I have those scandinavian genes…. eveything is on my abdomen area and i want to lose 10-20 pounds plus tone by abdomen and toochy. I was wondering though if it is okay on your diet to eat between meals cause I’m a big mucher?… veggies and stuff like that. Anyway congrats on your results…. buh bye 🙂

  46. Above you’ll find a post of mine where I promised to reveal the results of Tim’s Diet. I did indeed lose about 10lbs after about 2 weeks on the diet. I was hungry all the time, craved carbohydrates and generally felt miserable. I lost a significant amount of muscle, and strength. My squat and bench press decreased by about 15%. My fat percentage only dropped about 1.5%, and I still have about the same waist size. Worst of all, my endurance during training suffered greatly, I would get tired in about half the time it normally took, and my recovery also was significantly delayed.

    After thinking this diet over and analyzing my results I have concluded that most of the weight I lost was water, this could explain the loss in performance and recovery, the quick weight loss and the quick regain of the weight I put back on in the weeks that followed the diet. I would not recommend this diet to anyone.

    Currently I am having great success with the “Abs Diet” by David Zinczenko. The abs diet is very balanced, keeps me full and promotes a very healthy lifestyle. My performance in all regards has significantly increased, I am back benching and squating my previous weight, and training hard without feeling fatigued. All while losing fat (as noted from several body fat measurements)and gaining strenght and stamina. In comparison to Tim’s diet, I have lost 8lbs in two weeks, and 5% body fat. If you are looking for a good, balanced, researched diet I would not recommend Tim’s, but instead would point you in the direction of the Abs diet.

    Good luck.


    1. Del, I have a really hard believing you lost 8lbs and 5% body fat at the same time. You stated earlier that you didnt really do the diet? you were adding things that you werent sipposed to be. To be able to say if something works or will work, you must follow the protocols.

      I am a trainer and Wellness director , and I am experimenting with this diet for 30 days with a goal of -30 lbs from a starting of 211lbs. This is day 3 and I am down 7lbs already, I am following the protocols set by Tim to a tee. As a trainer am I sceptical? of course, but you must try something 100% before knocking it.

      I have done fitness compeptions in the past, and have been on low carb diets before and thus far with the addition of the calorie rich beans I am not feeling hungry. I will post another post mid way through my 30 day experiment.

      keep an open mind and trust the expert, give things time.


      1. being a trainer, you MUST be aware of the fact that low carb diets, though working short term, don’t have a lasting effect. I’m SURE you’d advise against such a diet!

  47. everybody’s body is different. you just need to see what suits you.

    the very low carb diet worked wonderfully for me.

  48. Dude…speaking of canned tuna, its kinda bland for my taste but I started adding mayo and hot sauce for taste I know it is ok (its Tapatio my fave). I know Mayo is “Egg whites” but soy bean oil and other crap is in there too so I’m a little bit concerned if its ok to add and/or if you have a particular brand that you recommend thanks!!!

  49. Three weeks of fairly consistent adherence to this diet and I’ve lost 10 pounds of fat, which is no small feat considering that I’m a professional fitness trainer and have struggled to get rid of those pesky pounds.

  50. There are so many comments on this blog now; Tim, write another book, or give us a forum!

    I have a few questions for fellow practitioners. I have lost about 8 pounds in 2.5 weeks, which is just great for me.

    #1: Junkfood… do I really need to eat junk food or would “refeeding” with bread, pasta, rice, etc. be enough to prevent metabolic downregulation? I used to crave junk food all the time, but after three weeks of this diet I just don’t feel like it as much. I’ll crave some obscure item all week, and then when cheat day comes, I’ll either eat it and feel unsatisfied, or I’ll just forget what it was I wanted.

    #2: Cheat days… is there any biological reason that setting an arbitrary 24-hour or less window would be *worse* than a proper cheat day? i.e. could I cheat from Friday at 5pm to Saturday at 12pm? This maximizes my social opportunities, like eating at the movie theatre or going to the pub with friends.

    #3: What happens if you take your cheat day on Wednesday on one week, and then Monday on another? Does inconsistent cheating (still only once per seven days) affect insulin and metabolic rate while on this diet?

    1. I have this same question as Daniel and I’m having trouble finding an answer.

      “#2: Cheat days… is there any biological reason that setting an arbitrary 24-hour or less window would be *worse* than a proper cheat day? i.e. could I cheat from Friday at 5pm to Saturday at 12pm? This maximizes my social opportunities, like eating at the movie theatre or going to the pub with friends.”

      Does anyone have an answer?

  51. Hey! I was wondering if any females have had success with this diet who maybe started at a weight of 140 to about 170. Let me know 🙂

    1. I am a 50 yr old female in decent shape. I wieghed 157.7 to start. I need to lose apprx. 20 to 25 lbs. I started the diet on Jan 6th, 2011, and after three days I have lost 3.7 lbs. I took my measurments also but just did today (when I weighed in and lost the 3.7lbs).

      Glad you asked this question as I was curious also. I haven’t started working out yet but plan to on Monday. (Jan. 10, 2011). I plan to keep it up, we will see!

      1. I am a bit older than you with the same weight number. I will be starting on the 26th.

        Please keep me posted on your success.

  52. Addy, I’m starting this diet today.I did some reading online and can’t seem to find any response from females who are on it. I’m sketical about it working for women as it does for men. I would like to see if any females have tried it and lost FAT. Let me know…

  53. I am intrigued by this diet and all the comments and questions made. As one who tries to eat very little meat, is substituting soy-protein acceptable if I would rather not have chicken or beef? I typically eat a lot Boca and Morningstar Farms products.

    Also, I love beans, but am leary of the side effects of all that fiber has on me the next day. Any suggestion?!

  54. I think “boring” is part of why this diet works. People who eat more variety tend to eat more calories. Makes sense … if the food’s not novel and stimulating, you stop eating when you stop feeling hungry.

  55. What about using this diet for vegetarians? I recently have stopped eating all pork, beef, red meat. I have had chicken a few times but I don’t want to inlcude that in my diet.

    Any suggestions? I have found some really tasty vegan burgers and still eat some dairy for the time being. Thanks

  56. Hey Marty,

    I’m a vegan and have been doing this diet for two weeks now. Here are my recommendations:

    (1) Go to a Whole Foods or any good natural foods store and get a hold of a jar of brown rice protein. The stuff is great for you, doesn’t have any of the allergenic or estrogen downsides of soy, and is 80% protein with nearly zero carbs. Get *unsweetened* soy milk at the same market, and get a hold of any artificial sweetener that suits you. Put about four tablespoons of the powder in your blender with the soymilk and sweetener, and it will be an awesome protein blast. Ice is good, too if you like cold smoothies.

    Don’t try to just stir it in a glass, because it clumps up and tastes like dirt.

    Also, if you work out, you can use frozen strawberries instead of ice and add a banana within two hours of exercising.

    (2) Learn to cook as best you can, if you haven’t already. I’ve been making vegan chili, sundried tomato hummus, etc. to get more protein load.

    (3) Tofurky dogs are your friend. Eat them daily. They have 25g of protein apiece and are low in carbs. Yves dogs are good, too.

    (4) Go to a Trader Joe’s if you have one around and stock up on cashews, other nuts, and Thai Soy blocks. The latter taste scrumptious with just a dollop of ketchup. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s, you can get all this a Whole Foods or a natural foods store, but it’s a bit more expensive.

    (5) Boca’s good, Morningstar Farms is good if you eat eggs and milk. Just check the carbs on the latter. Some veggie patties have lots and lots of wheat and brown rice.

    Hope this was helpful!

    I’ll tell ya, my weight has stayed about the same, but I’m lifting more weight at the gym in *every* category, and my wife says my butt looks smaller. I then tell her to stop objectifying me, who does she think she is, I’m a grown man. Then she hits me, and I cry.



  57. Great advice man. I started following your preachings a month and a half ago when I found your blog searching google and i’ve lost 23.5 lbs so far. I graph my progress and according to that the whole “cheat day” thing really helps keep the train rolling. Much appreciated.

  58. Erik,

    Many thanks for your thoughtful and detailed reply! OKay, I have a few follow-up questions…

    1. This diet is gonna be a challenge for me, I’m sure…I love my carbs and all my white grains, and prepared foods. Thanks for encouraging me to cook!

    2. How much soy milk should use with the rice protein (bought some tonight–chocolate. yum.)? Mine was a bit chalky tonight, but added a small bit of blueberries and some coconut milk.

    3. I love nuts, legumes, etc. but they don’t love me back. They hate me the next day. It’s horrid. Any suggestions?

    4. I don’t care much for the Veggie Dogs–how do you prepare them? is mustard ok on them? Maybe I need to revisit them….I like the Dr. Praeter’s Veggie Burgers…all natural and good source of veggies, but is 19 carbs too much??

    5. Today was my first official day of the diet; was not too terribly bad. What will all that soy do to my estrogen levels??!

    Glad ro hear your wife likes your butt, even if you feel cheap. LOL. thanks again!


  59. Hey Marty,

    Sure…I’ll give you the answers I can. I’m no expert, that’s for sure, but it seems to be working for me.

    1. Challenges are good. It makes us think about what we eat, and if you learn to cook, the ladies will line up. Really, they’ll have to, because if they mob, you won’t have room to cook.

    2. I use soy milk liberally. Me, I wouldn’t use chocolate, unless it has *no* sugar, which includes “evaporated cane juice”. I love when they say that. Um, Mr. Label, do you mean, “liquid sugar”? I thought so. I use either Silk Unsweetened (*not* “Plain”, which has sugar), which you can find at a Whole Foods, or Trader Joe’s unsweetened soy milk. A good thing about these is that they also have vitamin B-12, which we vegans don’t get in our diet.

    3. Don’t know what to say about this one. Drinking lots of water seems to help me with gas and keeping the friends and loved ones I have. This cool product called “Bean-O” is good too (can get at any good natural foods store), completely natural, and may work with your nut problem (those two words sound just wrong together).

    4. Oboy. Me, I love the veggie dogs. Now, back when I ate bread, I’d take a good ol’ bun, spread Veganaise and ketchup on it, stick a dog on, put sauerkraut on top, and pile veggie chili on top of that. One of the most delicious things on the planet. Forego the bun, and I’ll bet it’s still awesome.

    Another thing you can do is get the Spicy Italian Tofurkey dogs, cut ’em up, and put ’em in chili.

    re: carbs, the Atkins diet recommends 21g of carbs a *day*. So me, I wouldn’t eat them Dr. Praeter’s burgers. I try to keep the carbs way down.

    5. Congrats on your first day! May there be many more 🙂

    Re: soy estrogen levels, there is plenty of conflicting literature. Try these links:

    The answer, in my opinion? Which is going to give me larger man-boobs? Soy or McDonald’s? I’ll take my chances with soy.

    *However*, I think it is important to look for “non-GMO” (GMO=genetically modified organisms) soy protein sources, and this can be tough, because soy is the single most genetically messed-with product there is.

    That said, I hope this all helped.



  60. I’m a female trying to shed the extra baby weight I gained when I was pregnant. I’m also a vegetarian (who relied heavily on bread, pasta, and cheese) and I hate to drink water. For the past week, I’ve doing a hybrid Tim Ferriss/Atkins thing — really just restricting my carbs — and doing vegetable egg or soy meat beans (but not always beans)combination meals and have upped my liquid intake. I’m mostly eating low-GI foods, but I didn’t give up my cup of morning coffee with skim milk and a little sugar. I’ve also cut way back on cheese. I don’t have a scale, so I can’t comment on weight loss, but I feel like I’ve lost a few pounds. Anyway,I’m experiencing some cramping and I *cannot* stop peeing. I’m thinking it is a form of Ketosis, and wondering if it is unhealthy?

  61. after finally realizing that 265 was not a “healthy weight for me(male 6’3”), i began exercising and eating semi-healthy. i reduced my weight to around 220 but have plateaud for the last 2 months, bouncing between 220 and 216. this seems doable, so i started monday. its friday now. went from 221 to 216. seems to be working but i’ll start celebrating when i break past 215 😉

  62. Thanks for the wonderful tips. i find myself sometimes wondering why all my dieting plans fail whether it be because their boring, not enough energy during the day or simply because they just dont work!!! Maybe this is different and i can actually keep my diet plan without giving up!

  63. Nice article Tim, very interesting indeed.

    I am going to do this for 30 days straight, starting when I next go food shopping [I need to prepare].

    I’m going to be best man for my best friend in about 6 weeks time so this is just what I need to fit into that suit I bought right before I stopped smoking and piled on the pounds. I’m now 14 stones 4 lbs, thats 200 pounds to you guys in the USA (England here). It sounds like people like it and the available choices are tasty and easy – so – I’ll see you in 30 days with before and after weights.


  64. Let me tell you guys i am a 17 year old on my way to college and i decided to make my body go to it pinnacle point pretty much the best body that i will ever have. I have always had a buff body but never ripped and i always knew if i lost weight that i would become ripped. So i start the diet on the 12th and this diet is doing amazing things to me i lost 3 pounds already I’m not in lack of energy i play basketball and i still have enough energy to go up and down the court and I’m not even tired today is my first cheat day and it feels great i can tell this diet will work fore me see you guys in 27 more days. when i lose 20 pound. right now I’m on pace to losing 30 pounds this is great.Afterward I’m thinking about using you muscle gain program so i can truly be a great physical specimen. Thanks tim.

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  66. Does anyone have a successful meal plan that provides a little more spice than Tim’s? I like to concept of simplification to stay on track but I need variety!

    1. erik use curried vege for spice. most curry powders aid your weight loss and extremely healthy for you.

      i know tim says dont use rice but sometimes i use brown rice and make a fried rice using flax seed oil.

  67. I’m confused… the title says “without exercise,” but there’s a photo of a “post-workout pizza.”

  68. Hey, just started out your diet plan, and feeling good. Looking forward to finishing at least the 30 days. Just wanted to say thanks for giving “free” imput on behalf of all of us (even those that are negative). And to say, that if those are looking forward to dieting, but not to exercise, it almost doesn’t go hand in hand. If you loose the weight, but don’t exercise, your body will not be “toned” and you won’t achieve that “look” you want. However, it is possible to loose weight without exercise, it just won’t give you that “look” you want. BUT agian, thanks!

  69. i made it through the weekend and had a great day friday, eating whatever i desired…its monday and i finally made it to 215…6 pounds gone since i started the diet. (one week). call me a believer 🙂

  70. I’ll give it a try–FSM knows I need to reduce. 🙂

    It sounds a bit like the Body For Life WOE with a dash of South Beach, actually.

  71. wow i dont think i can do that besides 4 a dude its easier to lose weight.I THINK ITS IMPOSSIBLE 4 A LADIE 2 DO THAT!

  72. Well I started a modified version of this diet on july 6. I hate beans of all kinds so I just eat more veggies and lean meat instead. Just about every morning I make egg whites and turkey bacon and its good and fills me up with very low calories and fat and no carbs. Lunch I usually have pieces of lunch meat and carrots and celery to munch on. Dinner varies a lot but I try to keep it low cal and low fat. I must admit I cheat more often than I should, usually when I go out to eat with friends or drink a few times a week.

    I exercise a little every couple of days (stationary bike and some arm weights) and 12 days into this diet with all the cheating I’ve done I have gone from 207lbs to 198. I know I’m not losing muscle mass because every time I work out I add distance to the bike part and reps to the arm part. I also drink over a gallon of water every day, it helps keep your metabolism up and keeps you full, so I also know I’m not losing water weight.

    So far this has been a good diet and I like how I can get away with cheating and i still lose weight. I’ll check back when my 30 days are up and let you know how much weight I lost. I’m currently working on lowering how often I cheat, but its difficult when I am out with friends.

  73. for more variety, cook mixed veg with added curry paste and blend to make a curry, with your choice of meat. i’ve also found a relatively low-fat brand of coconut milk, which i sometimes add to the curry to give it a lighter texture.

    feedback : i lost 12 pounds in 6 days the first time i tried this, then a further 12 pounds in 12 days about a month later.

    word of warning: a day or two of regular carb eating will see 3-4 pounds re-emerge but it can be easily lost again by returning to the diet.

    the follow up to the Protein Power book covers ‘maintenance’ levels of carbs, so i guess this is better as a permanent eating plan than as a diet.

    Tim mentions in the original post that he eats like this the whole time. Not a bad trade off, all things considered.

    1. what’s keiran what’s the low fat coconut milk brand? i curry my veges and meat too but really missing cocunut milk.

    1. Not to be rude, but have you read any of the comments above??? No fruit, except for Saturday cheat day. No salad dressing, too high in sugar…use olive oil and lemon with a little bit of salt and pepper….if you must have fruit, make sure it’s post-workout (workout at least 20 minutes of intense cardio/interval training)…You CAN eat carbs post workout because your body if is in “fat-burning” mode and will eat up the carbs since carbs are meant to be used up quickly, or else they turn into fat.

      Hope that helps ( :

  74. hey everyone, stop asking stupid questions about substitutions. if you actually read the article, he says the diet is not fun, but it works. it’s a freaking diet! you are supposed to replicate it so you can get the same results! shut up and follow it or don’t! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

  75. Hey all,

    Tried the diet for a week. I am lacto-ovo vegetarian, female, 5’5″ 142, looking to get down to about 125 lbs. I have lost no inches so far(I don’t have a scale). I have been pretty strict on the diet and was surprised not to lose any inches.

    Maybe this works better for men than women? I will post an update in another week.


    I am 5’4″ female who started this diet with a weight of 148lbs. It has been 2 weeks, and I am 140 lbs. I have had two crazy days where I ate McDonalds for breakfast and dinner, and ate a whole pizza for lunch with icecream for dessert. But right after, I get right back on target. I think that those who complain of losing no inches have probably not been as dedicated to the diet. Stop cheating, bc. it does not help. You have to first have discipline to lose the weight bc. a bite here and there really does add up. Save all your urges until your one fat day and you will be fine. Oh, btw, my goal is 128lbs. and Im almost there :)!!

  77. One more thing…did I mention I was a female? LAdies, stop using your gender as a reason for you NOT losing weight. We can do it just as easily as men. I should know. I have alot of estrogen, shown through my DD breast, thick thighs and thick hips, but I am still losing just as much weight as men, maybe more. Stop using this as an excuse, and maybe you may stay on a diet and actually lose the weight.

    1. Hi. Does this diet “lose 20 lbs in 30 days without exercise” that Tim was talking about work?? I was told to do pretty much the same thing but without the legumes then I saw this one and I much rather have the legumes than not have them, but is it still going to help me lose weight and gain muscle without exercising?