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. One of the best things about this kind of eating is that it works especially well for maintainence. Two to four days without anything white, without the pizza crust as well, will not only make you feel and look lighter, it’ll inspire you to take better control of your eating.

    A great breakfast choice: low or non fat vanilla yogurt/a big fat chopped up apple/a half a cup of a higher protein granola like Bear Naked…it feels light, has a good protein to carb to fat ratio, and tastes damn great. Of course you can subsitute whatever yogurt you like, and mix up the fruits.

    Tim: Just finished reading your book this morning. Thank you. I’m inspired.

    One thing I keep noticing not only with myself but with the world around me: Minds are so rigid. One of the most importan first steps to living a more alive existence is to realize that your mind has simply been thinking too small.

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  3. I’m not surprised you lost so much weight. There wasn’t a great deal of food on your list. If it wasn’t for your Saturday binges, you’d probably have passed out.

  4. Dear Tim,

    First of all, congratulations. It seems to me you’ve got it sorted. You are inspiring. I am a vegetarian, but trying your suggestion. My question. Is it possible to add boiled potatoes? Second question. Which spices are allowed to add? Are there spices not allowed? Final question. Is it allowed to add nuts? If so, which ones would you recommend?

    Good luck!

  5. hey ,

    i saw a diet similar to this one in one of my sisters magazines so i decided to do it, and i lost 20 in a month it works ridiculously well if you stick to it the weight just melts off of you

  6. I have recently discovered I have Restless Leg Sydrome. I do NOT want to take the prescription medications available for this, but desperately need to find a way to get some sleep. I have added magnesium supplements to my diet and have an appointment to check my iron levels, as these deficiencies can cause the condition. I have also had to cut back on vigorous exercise because it makes the RLS worse, which isn’t helping my energy levels or weight loss goals.

    To my question…I have been wondering if diet also contributes to RLS. Do you know if this type of eating would help relieve the condition?

  7. What about cottage cheese? and or cheese? Are either of these allowed? I love mixed veggies but I like grated cheese on top. no fruit? TIA, Jeanne

  8. Hi Group,

    Just browsing the selection of Blogs after reading the 4-hour workweek, and I came upon this discussion. I have a couple of questions that I’m hoping someone will be able to answer.

    1. The ‘binge 1 day/week’ concept is said to safeguard against the Thyroid down regulating your metabolism. My challenge is that my thyroid function was permanently stopped w/ Radiation therapy due to Graves Disease, and I now have to take a daily pill to control my metabolism. (This is also partially the reason for my weight gain). Does the ‘binge 1 day/week’ step make sense for me, or will it have negative effects, since my metabolism is not naturally controlled?

    2. I really really dislike legumes. I have never been able to eat any of the beans mentioned in Rule #2, are there any other substitutes that would accomplish the same results? (I do like green & yellow beans, but I don’t’ think they are Legumes).

    Thanks in advance,


  9. the whole beans and legumes confuse me… they contain 75% carbs and add roughly the same amount of calories that other carbs provide. why would this differ from “white carbs like brown rice or potatoes?

  10. Christian,

    Beans and Legumes are slow digesting carbs (low GI). Your Body does not need to produce as much insulin to digest these than “White Carbs”. The digested carbs your body does not burn is then stored as fat. Slow digesting carbs are more likely to get burned as they are digested during your day to day. “White Carbs” are good for post workouts since your body needs a high level of energy. “The Glucose Revolution” book explains how the body uses Low and High GI foods.


  11. also i forgot to mention i realize this diet is using the GI of carbs (could explain why there is no potatoes but would not explain no barely or oatmeal)…but i notice carrots which have one of the highest GI for a vegetable, so what kind of food plan is this a derivative of??

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  13. Christine Says:

    July 27th, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    I have recently discovered I have Restless Leg Sydrome.

    Have you been tested to see if you have Sleep Apnea? I recently found out that I have it & RLS. Now I use a CPAP machine during sleep and no medication. I’m no longer kicking around and wake up feeling rested.

    1. Eat black beans, hard boiled eggs, quest bars, lentils, baked tofu, nuts and seeds, most meatless offerings are low carb just be sure to check the labels.

  14. Tim, if you’re having trouble mixing up breakfast, try using steel cut oats, which have about the same nutritional profile as beans.

    Good post BTW, thanks!

  15. I just started the diet and I have to say it is going quite well. For me though I have to spice it up a bit with a favorite of mine that has been a hit since i discovered it and luckily fits right in with the diet.

    Hopefully it helps someone else too.

    SK’s Spicy Black Bean Dip


    1 tbs. Olive Oil

    1 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar

    1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

    2 tbs. minced chipotle pepper (it is canned, and can be done to taste of course, it’s hot)

    1/4 cup chopped cilantro

    Then add:

    2 16oz. cans of black beans (rinsed)

    1 large green bell pepper

    1 large tomato

    1/2 red onion

    1 avacado

    I like to chop up the veggies pretty small but of course it is up to you.

    I hope you enjoy!

  16. Tim,

    This is slightly off topic, but also very pertinent. I travel extensively, as I’m sure you now do, and have great difficulty with consistency of any good food. So often at airports, or hotels, or wherever, you simply don’t have much choice. If 75% of meals are restaurant meals, how can you keep a reasonable diet and still roam the world?


  17. Tim, The proper answer to your question is quite extensive, but there are a few rational rules that you could fallow in order to eat healthier out of the home.

    1) Order lean meats; chicken, fish, turkey, London broil, tenderloin, and flank steaks (avoid rib eyes, t-bones and other fatty meats)

    2) Replace sides with salads and other low GI foods

    3) (If your at a restaurant) ask the type of oil they use and avoid trans fats, request they do not add butter to your steak (most steak houses add 300 calories of butter to enhance the presentation of your steak also true for vegetables and fish)

    4) Order salad dressing on the side

    5) Avoid eating three meals in one setting (appetizer, entrée, desert)

    6) Try ordering only a appetizer and a salad

    7) Look for items on the menu that are baked, grilled, broiled, poached, or steamed.

    8) Remember its ok to make requests!!

    In the restaurant or hotel its not very different from what you would normally eat at home only difference is that since your not the one preparing it, you need to inquire on the steps were excess calories and unhealthy foods could find there way into your other wise healthy meal.

    Does anyone have prior experience of the abs diet and how it compares to this specific one?

  18. In 6 weeks, my cholesterol plummeted from 275 to 215. I’m 60 years old. Stopped eating meat, except once a week, stopped eating chicken skin, no eggs, no soda. Tons of fruit, veg, miso soup. Basically went Japanese. Also, daily 15 minutes of easy Yoga (headstands, shoulderstands, lots of flexing) and daily mountain bike rides of about 2/3 miles. My Endocrinologist at Lenox Hill in NYC was amazed!

  19. It seems that the principals of this particular diet rest in those that compose the Atkins diet (as was previously made clear) and the Glycemic Index guidelines which, from what I hear, work pretty well.

    Now, speaking of which, I would like to point out that such GI based diets as the Nutrisystem are great, however for people like me who are sensitive to the preservatives in the packaged food that is provided, it is not a good option (in my case I had some pretty bad allergic reactions).

    On the other end of the spectrum, some diets that require severe portion restrictions or long periods of fasting also prove to backfire; most of the time I end up gorging myself (mostly in the middle of the diet plan).

    It seems sensible to go on a diet like this, although I am hesitant to believe that so much weight could be lost in 30 days (but seeing is believing, right?). Overall, this diet does seem very interesting and realistic, and I think I will try it.

  20. OK, love this and seems pretty easy. Big question – what if you DESPISE beans of all types? What is the substitute?


  21. Fishface,

    without beans this diet is going to be a little rough, but the few comparable substitutes would be; bulgur wheat, corn, rye kernels, barley, sweet potato, oatmeal, and fetuccine (although this is one of the best pasta’s to eat, still use in moderation). well most of these foods are not going to get you bodybuilding ripped, they will make you lose weight if you eat a serving with your meals as described above.

  22. i am under age, meaning under 18, so i cant buy “dietery supplements.” i have tried everything, without success, to loseweight. very discouraging. i am 6 feet tall, and weigh about 250, give or take. i am also a female, so it is a lot harder to lose than if i were a guy… 🙁 please help me because i have just about given up hope… 🙁 i cant help eating; i love food. it will help a little going bavk to school, cuz i wont be around food all the time, but still, im a teenager and have very low self-confidence as it is… thanks

    1. Hilary, this is your first step. I know how you feel, I am a comfort eater and female. I started this program today and I know that I will do well. “The greatest dreams are those that begin with eyes open”. Dream and believe that you will succeed. Your confidence will soar as soon as you take action. Even if the weight does not come off as fast as you expect; just loving yourself enough to move forward and take the first step will inspire you to keep going and you will gain confidence. Beauty is within and you are a beautiful creation; just know it and believe it. I will place you on my prayer list and check in to see how you are doing. Take care and you are doing great!

  23. I’m on day 2 of your diet plan. i’m 150 lb. and 5’5. my diet contains the following food: pork, vegetables, chicken, fish, soup, water and tea. i love to swim and run a lot. do u think this that i’m doing is good?

    1. One of the best ways of managing our body flexible, fit and fat free is introducing effective exercises into our daily life. To reduce weight the exercises should be in the way such that whole body will be benefited with it as body parts are fully functioning inter-dependent ones.

  24. Hilary, (this may be redundant but… very important!!)

    Lets start with the basis, regardless of the hype dietary supplements do nothing substantial… bottom line is: if your daily routine dose not give you results then no dietary supplement will give you contrary results. second thing (some people will disagree with the advice i am going to give you but this is the blunt truth without ornate tangents!) i know what a love of food is about, however, there is going to be a time where a CHOICE has to be made! do you want to enjoy food or look good? serious about weight loss? you need to look at yourself and have to ether acknowledge a period of mundane foods or continue with a less then happy lifestyle. if your ready the secret to weight loss is simple, here is a start for any serious person:

    at the start of each day fallow these steps 1) make 2x 4oz of chicken/turkey (no butter or high fats or breading). 2) make 2 salads place about 2 cups spinach or any greens in a bowl or any container, small handful of favorite vegetable, little cheese or nuts (helps if it has a lid like glad ware)

    3) place one chicken on top of salad close lid (there is your lunch and dinner) when ready to eat make some healthy dressing (balsamic vinegar, mustard, ginger) 4) make breakfast this can be a protein shake if you have to run or a egg white omelet with some feta cheese and onions peppers, add a slice of whole wheat bread.

    5) 8’o clock snack can be cottage cheese and veggies or even better would be tuna and hummus or for something more conventional try your favorite fruit.

    6) fallow this for three days and on the fourth day have a bowl of oatmeal in the morning with some beans with your chicken or turkey salads. do this pattern —- three days of low carbs and fourth have some beans and oatmeal.

    6) REPEAT!!!! EVERYDAY until you reach your weight goal. this is actually the most important aspect, the body is very good at reaching equilibrium so in order to lose weight you have to stay rigid and once your at a weight you feel happy with it is easier to maintain your body and you can return to a normal but healthy diet!

    also very important if you “fail” and eat something you know you should not have, remind your self its ok and regain your mental wit dont binge eat and keep going because you feel your diet is over. also i think its good practice to make up extra calories by going for a run or a long walk.. eg if you eat that ice cream sundae prepare for a 2 mile walk or run

  25. Hi, very interesting and informative comments. Sounds alot like a Candida Cleanse, very, very strict on what can be eaten. Your diet is without the very pricey liquids and pills, which sounds nice to my wallet. I did loss alot of weight though, cleared my skin and my hair was shiny beautiful too.

    I have a few questions:

    1. Can rye bread from the health food store be eaten? This is rye without wheat. Just rye flour, water, sea salt, yeast and ground caraway. (ingred. in order on pkg.)

    2. Can light rye crackers be eaten? again the ingred. are rye, water, and salt from WASA. (ingred. in order on pkg.)

    3. What about Millet? Millet is not considered a grain, it is considered a seed and it is full of vitamins, minerals and even a little protein, not much. It cooks up like rice with a nutty flavor.

    Thanks from your time, can’t (weight) to hear from you. Sorry I couldn’t help my self. lol

  26. rye sounds good…. millet even better, though make sure you choose one serving of carbs per meal.

    ps. rye bread is better then brown rice, crackers are slightly better then the rye bread; millet is better then the crackers and finally red lentils are slightly better then the millet ; )

  27. ok what i usallly do is try to eat under 1,500 calories a day follow your basic meals without snaking during weekdays drink diet sodas water whatever doesnt hav calories in it cut down on suger with everything it helped me lose a stone in 2 weeks!

  28. Thank you Tim! I went from 148 pounds to 135 in about 6 weeks. Thanks to the beans and the post-workout carbs, I still have enough energy to run, walk, and lift weights in some combination pretty much every day.

    I feel that I am at a good weight now, but my problem is that I’m not sure what to do now. I have started eating some berries along with the basic diet and have considered other additions: whole grains, soy milk, etc. What suggestions can anyone give me on how to ease off the diet without regaining the weight? Thanks!

  29. terrek,

    go on a normal slow carb eating plan. basically keep four meals with the main components of meat around 4-7 oz/ vegetables (as much as you would like) / carbohydrate 1/2 -1 cup. the larger portions are for males or very active people. so in your case i would advise you continue with the same meal size with the addition of oatmeal, rye, brown rice, low fat diary and other equally healthy foods that you have not been enjoying. i also recommend buying a low gi or slow carb cookbook as they can help guide you in the direction in picking foods to maintain a healthy lifestyle (a great one are the GI planner cookbooks as your whole day can be neatly organized with 4 great tasting meals). remember its portion size (calories) that makes people gain weight dont think by adding different sub-sets of foods you will magically add inches to your waist, just dont go super sizing your meals and you will be fine: )

  30. hi! very nice weight loss plan.. i just accidentaly discovered this site! and its really cool!! im already on my 1st week.. and i really feel great! i havnt checked my weight yet… do it after 2weeks..i want it to be a surprise!

    anyway, i have some queries here.. i hope somebody could help me on these:

    – tom mentioned some supplements, specifically Chromium Polynicotinate (200mcg), unfortunately the only type i can find is Chromium Picolinate (200mcg), would dat be ok? whats d difference?

    – and could the diet be a success even if i dont take supplements or only one from the mentioned type of supplements?

    i hope someone could answer these.. thanks thanks! 😉

  31. i’m starting this plan in two days. with the food plan you have set, i will also be going to the gym 4 times a week for about 90 mins. I hope to drop from 200 to 170.

  32. i am starting this diet in 2 days. very busy lifestyle-working married 2 kids. should be a challenge to keep everyone happy. plan on using soups which no one has mentioned yet. will make bean soups with beans and meat and serve with a salad, soups with veggies, beans and meat, chili, etc. also could see stir fry w/ thai spices and black beans. breakfast will be challenge, as i always eat toast and coffe w/soy milk. wonder if i use a small amount of soy in my coffee will be ok? i often have to get up @4:00 and work 12 hour days as a medical rep so ill need to bring food with me to the hospitals and wonder how my energy level will be. i also wonder if i should ease into beans at every meal. i spend most of my time in operating rooms with little ventilation! post back afer my first week. female 5’4″ 143 lbs goal lose 15 lbs of fat at least. i work w//weights and cardio 3xweek.

  33. 1.5 weeks later and 6 pounds lighter, I’m just finishing a great brunch and thought I would share the recipe. A side-salad would have made it perfect, but I found the one-pot concept positively inspiring this morning.

    a) 1 portion lime-marinated, grilled chicken breast cut up or shredded

    b) 1 can black beans

    c) 1 red/yellow/orange bell pepper, diced (I actually used .5 red and .5 yellow)

    d) .5 Vidalia onion, chunked

    e) 1 clove garlic, minced

    f) small amount olive oil

    Preheat pot with olive oil, saute the veggies, add the black beans and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and simmer for awhile. Enjoy!

    Because of the prep time involved and the fact that I still have a 60-hour work week, I intend to double the ingredients and make a crock-pot batch for next week.

  34. agree with most of what you’ve said. I’ve lost and kept off 40 pounds fo two years. Slow carbs are a good idea and the real enemy is sugar. Stay away from caffeine as well. Once you get to the desired weight you can add a few more carbs but not the sugar. Totally disagree with the one day/week blowout. Bad idea in my mind. Get in the groove of no sugar and don’t look back. The other issue is age. Tim, at 29 you may be able to get away with a few days of indulgance. Wait until you’re 45. Your metabolism will slow down and you won’t get away with eating Snickers bars. Great pics of meal.

  35. Question: I am 17 years old i wrestled 189 last year, tore my ACL and i went up to 230 while recovering from my surgery. i lost 20lbs. of it with in 1 months, being young and having hi metabolism(sp) and ect. now i think i can go even lower than 189(what i used to wrestle at) and have been thinking you you guys think working out 3 times a week for 2 hours each is the same as working out 30 minutes 6-7 days a week? b/c i do not have nearly, nearly the enough time as i’ve had before. So i dont have 2 hours spare time for work outs. I’ve also have been doing no carbs and lots of protein diet and i has worked for me in the past and its doing fine right now, so i think im good on the diet part but im not too sure about working out only 30 minutes a day just b/c im so used to getting exhauted after 2 hours of working out.


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  37. I enjoyed the 4HWW book very much and one of the things I discovered that I really wanted to achieve/be in life was not to be fat any more. Finding this diet on the site motivated me to try my own version and I’m happy to report that I’ve lost 31 pounds in the past ten weeks. (From 213 down to 182.) And I did lose the first 20 in close to a month, however, I started exercising as well. I ride a stationary bike every morning for a half hour and try to walk a couple of miles in the evenings. I’ve eaten a lot of fruit in my diet and I know that’s counter to the advice above, but it’s still a healthier diet than the way I used to live. Avoiding rice, potato, pasta, bread, etc. has been the best thing I’ve ever done. I have tons more energy now and getting a lot more done at work and around the house.

    Maybe once I accomplish this goal of reaching a healthy weight, I can start work on the other dream I discovered while reading 4HWW–playing guitar on stage to at least 100 cheering fans.

    Thanks Tim–I think your book changed my life and certainly extended it!

  38. One more thing–Jeff D is right: The splurge day once a week didn’t seem to work for me either. (I’m about to turn 40) I can easily gain 2-3 pounds in a day if I’m not careful and found myself spending 3-4 days a week trying to lose what I’d gained on my splurge day. I did much better once I tried to maintain my new eating habbits through the entire week. Having said that, I certainly do better sticking to my diet some days than others, so it’s possible I get a small benefit from my accidental mini-splurges.

  39. I just looked at this site for the first time and it reinforces my belief that the no/carb-low-carb worked for me (lost over 40 lbs in one year)and it’s time to hit it again. I cheat and it shows; gained 10-12 lbs back but still look alot better than I did 2 years ago. I am 59, work out at least 3 X weekly including jogging, and feel pretty good. NOTE: I’ve always run and worked out but the significant weight loss never hapened til I cut the carbs!

    Question…..I still retain an area of fat between in the lower abdomen that is real stubborn. Any suggestions???

    Also, for more scientific back-up to Tim’s Plan, read “The Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet”, Dr.’s Heller & Heller. One can actually become addicted to carbohydrates. Thanks for all the positive blogs…….

  40. Hello!

    I’ve been living this diet for 30 days now. Just finished and wanted to let you all know: it absolutely works! I’ve lost 18 lbs. and gone from a waist size 38 to 34. I’m working out 3 days/week (weights only) with a variation of the “1 set until exhaustion” tim recommended in another post. I’ve got better muscle definition, a ton of energy, and i’m weighing less than i have in 5 years. I’m going to keep going with this and see where it leads… Thanks again for the great information!

  41. Hi everybody … I have started this Diet 2 days ago. But I really have problems with the breakfast. I rather go to the office with an empty stomach rather than having eggs or chicken early in the morning!!! By the way, is home made Hummus without tahini (I mean chickpea, garlic and some olive oil) a good afternoon snack? Wish you all luck.

  42. Here you spike calories one day per week, and in your Geek to Freak post, you reduce calories 50% one day per week. Do you do both in each week? So five days normal, 1 day spike, 1 day 50% down?

  43. Tim,

    This is great stuff. I tried this and today is my 4th week. I have lost 17 pounds on the scale. I had a question on how you tracked your 10 pound muscle gain? I tried your HIT/strength training suggestion as well. Doing weights only twice(upper/lower body) a week for 30 min tops. I have saved a ton of time!! I do cardio 5 times a week but I consider it pleasurable/stress relieving. So I certainly gained some muscle but I haven’t found a good way to track it. I am ready for another 4 weeks on this protocol 😉 Love the glass of wine part best.. hehe

  44. Well i just want to know a good diet menu to use for me to start off on im 206 pounds and really want to be skinny again.i am single and want to love myself again before i can let anyone love me ..Please someone let me know what kinds of low carb foods to eat to start off with??????

    1. hi donna,i suggest you start off with some simply home remedies like a full tsp ofmayple cyrup,half a lemon and cayenne pepper to add really works.if you want it to work faster, u should diet litttle quantity of calories.i fasted on it for ten days and the results are amazing.i looked thinner and sexier.good luck

  45. Donna,

    If you simply go by the meal plan above, I assure you that you will love yourself again for just simply doing this! This meal plan is your “low carb” meals to start with. Or “slow carb” rather. I have shrunk from 2XL shirts to L. I went from 40-42″ pants to 34-36″ and have lost 50lbs since Jan.07. I promise you that this works! I’ve never seen anything like it and I have tried them ALL! Now I have backed off the last month and a 1/2 and have still lost. This plan kicks your matabolism into high-speed.

    Be blessed and I know this will go well for you!

    Tim H.

    Maumelle, AR

  46. Tim,

    Thanks for the blog on how to lose 20lbs in 30days. I am going to try this method. I am getting married in 50 days and need to cut some weight fast! Nothing like a looming deadline to provide focus. I will let you know how I do and what I am doing. Since I love to cook I will post some recipes with these basic ingredients. Scale today says 297lbs. Here I go!!!

  47. For a reason I had already acquired this meal habit from my father, who “repeat” his “lunch” meal on breakfast time.

    Just I went further to open water swimming, and strenght training is in my life since I could put it up with my bones around 15 of age. Now at 44 being a female of small bone structure and short build (read Zwerg)I still am around the struggle to fill in a bit at least my fragile wrist and 4 years ago I have been suprised with the hyper of my thyroid (I was shaking like Muhammed Ali).

    I will test your ideas for sure, and I have been already controling my T3 and T4’s with mind power and low-worry-diet (what doesn’t kill me, will make me only stronger – wait and see).

    Sometimes I have quite to the point of out-of-cage fighting with some persistent road-block-heads, who have insinuated too much I am an anorex bic, sura I wanna fill the gap on my wrists and am not that much happy with 96 – 105lbs oscilating in constant decades, however I had proven jab power just to end malicious comment. Isn’t it some progress?

    I can only recommend your low-carb-diet and at least for me it tastes delicious. I ate 6-8 small meals a day, blame my T3 and T4 I don’t care, so far I am happy with it and without taking that methazole thing to kill my hyper. I took it for one year and went off with my own experiment to substitute the killing chemicals with brain power and protein intake. The more I read and hear around, the less I worry too, and it helps a lot.

    I HAVE YOUR 4HWW EBOOK!!! YEAH! Where is the Portuguese edition? 🙁 I have 3 nephews who still don’t read English…


  48. I started this diet 2 weeks ago. I lost 4 pounds in the first 5 days. “Whoo-Hoo!”

    Then gained 1-1/2 pounds on my “go wild” day, dammit! “Boo!” (And I didn’t go COMPLETELY crazy, just a little candy and pasta!)

    But I think having the day off to look forward to helps me with my will power on the other days. When I’m tempted to cheat, I tell myself I can hold off for a while longer because my day off is coming up! It’s a “reward” day for me. Unfortunately, it also sets me back, just as Mike in NC said, above.

    So my net results after 2 weeks… only 1 pounds lost, as I gained 1-1/2 pounds each day on my 2 “off” days. (How come I can gain 1-1/2 pounds in one day but can never lose that much in one day? Grrrr!)

    OK, I’ll be honest… I cheated a bit and had cereal (Kashi) for breakfast a few times during the 2nd week. And I slacked off on exercising (but with the title of this post, I figured that wouldn’t matter… it did). And in the middle of my 2 weeks, I had a week-long monthly “visitor” that screwed up my system (ugh, what we women go through!) that I’m blaming for my (hopefully temporary) setback in week 2.

    When I stuck with it and exercised (my 1st week), I lost quickly. So I’m gonna continue doing this… without cheating and with more exercise. Not sure about giving up the “Day off” or not. I see others are having mixed results with that part.

    Thanks Tim!

  49. RE: Beans…

    I dscovered the secert to fixing beans a while back, so that they turn out rich and creamy in a fraction of the cooking time. Just add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the mix, after soaking them overnight. Cooking time is about an hour or so. Cooking the beans in low-sodium chicken broth, maybe with some garlic and onions… yum!

    Oh, and no gas! be sure to rinse them well after their soak.

  50. I’ve been on this diet and a high intensity work out for about 4 weeks now (since I read this article). I’m eating about 3 meals a day though, and my workout is 3x per week, 25 minutes a workout, very high intensity. I split the muscles into groups A and B – I do A on monday and friday, B on wednesday, and switch it the following week.

    So far here’s what I’ve got. I started at about 153lbs and 15% bodyfat or so (not exactly fat, but a little soft). I dropped to 146lbs within the first few weeks… fearing I may be losing some muscle I upped the portions slightly and am at 148lbs at the moment. Haven’t measured my body fat, but my waist is about 29″ at the moment (smallest it’s ever been in my life).

    I don’t know if I’m obsessing over it, because I’ve honestly never been ripped and I’m getting pretty darn close with this diet, but I feel like I fluctuate constantly. Last few days I feel like I’m getting soft and could swear the 2lbs I gained back is just fat and not muscle at all. Could there be other factors involved, like water retention? Should I add cardio back into the mix (I’ve done light-medium intensity cardio off and on for years and could swear it never made any damn difference at all in my physique). I seemed to lose fat very rapidly at first with zero cardio, but I wonder if something has changed (like slowed metabolism).

    I know actual weight is probably a poor judge of what’s really going on (since today, for example, I went from 150lbs this evening from carrying the last 4 meals, to 147lbs after a quick bathroom stop)… but I can’t figure out why I seem to look a little different on almost a daily basis.

  51. Chris,

    I wouldn’t worry too much, definitely sounds like you are obsessing. The 2lbs could easily be water weight. I weigh 180lbs (my natural weight for 4-5years now), and have a waist of 31 inches. Do not sweat a few lbs.

  52. I’m on a similar diet. I am not trying to loose weight, but it’s the inevetable outcome as my fat is burning off faster than I am gaining muscle. I estimate that in the last month I have gained about 10 pounds of muscle while dropping 10 lbs in weight. This is an overall fat loss of 20 lbs. I workout 7 days a week though.

    Monday is Chest and one tricept exercise.

    Tuesday is Back and one bicept exercise.

    Wednesday is Abs and 30 minutes of cardio.

    Thursday is Shoulders and 3 to 4 Tricept exercises to include dips.

    Friday is Legs and 3 to 4 Bicept exercises to include pullups.

    Saturday is Abs and 30 minutes of cardio.

    Sunday is light abs and 30 minutes of cardio. My weight load is at least 65% of my one rep max.

    I hate cardio so I do ten minutes on the bike and then run to the elipticle for ten, and finish on the treadmill for ten.

    When I wake up I have a Protein Shake (40Grams of protein) and workout an hour later. I have another shake in the last half of my hour workout. I eat a meal one hour later consisting of two peices on whole wheat toast with butter, some tuna with vinigar and olive oil wixed in, and three boiled eggs. I chase this down with a 12oz glass of skim milk. Two to three hours later is almost the same thing. Two to three hours after that I have 2 peices of french toast three boiled eggs and a banana with a glass of milk. Finally two hours after that I have another protein shake. I drink water throughout the day especially before, during and after my workout.

    While it may seem like alot of exercise, I think I found my happy balance. I’m hungry almost all the time even though I’ve increased my food intake by double, and I feel like I have a lot more energy. I’m also sleeping better, and my skin is starting to look smoother with better color, and by split training my chest and tri’s I have been able to overcome a shoulder injury that I received in Afghanistan. The added muscle growth looks great too. I have about 20 more lbs of fat to loose and expect that it will be gone in the next three to four weeks as my metabolism gets higher with a more lean tissue in my body.

    One thing I do, is if I really really feel like I have to have an icecream, I go ahead and eat it. I think a lot of dieters quit after they give into their urges because they feel like they’ve failed. I look at it as just reward for hard work in the gym. If I want it, I’ll eat it. This way, I go right back to my routine like I never missed a beat.

    I hope by sharing my routine, someone might be able to find something in it that will help them adjust theirs.

  53. Hi Tim I started my diet on 07/04/07 at the time I weight in at 319 lbs. I am 29 yrs old. I have been dieting eating protein foods. Got rid of juices and soda. And trying to maintain a low carb diet. I am taking some diet pills call META BURN EF from MRM and also taking Fiber for colon cleansing. As for physical activities I walk 2 miles each day 4 to 5 times a week and also play basketball. I now weigh 293 lbs. Something weird happen though this week . Last Saturday I weigh 292lbs, on wednesday (4days later) i weigh 289lbs. On wed and thurs i played hardcore basketball with my friends I thought i was going to loose a couple more pounds. But today i weight myself and i weight 293lbs. Do you know why i gained 4 lbs. i even weigh myself in 3 different scales. but that is my weight . please let me know

  54. carlos keep up the good work and dont be discouraged by fluctuations in weight. Your weight can vary by whats in your stomach/intestines, and how much water you have (your body is like 70% water!). Just keep at it and you will lose more weight. Also since you are exercising more, you are gaining muscle mass and muscle weighs more than fat so if you dropped from 319 to 293, you’ve lost more than that amount in fat because you gained some muscle weight

  55. Real Quick: Carlos that is probably water weight. People’s weight can swing 5 pounds in a day.

    A great pre-workout protein shake that boosts energy.

    1 small container of yogurt (I prefer strawberry/banana lite and fit)

    1/8 cup peanut butter

    1 serving of protein powder (I use GNC’s 100% chocolate Whey)

    1 handful of pecans

    1/8-1/4 cup of soy milk

    1 cup of ice

    mix in blender. If you weight train seriously or are looking to get bigger muscles add in an NO2 supplement (I use NO explode)

  56. hey guys and girls i have been trying to lose weight for years and all my friends tell me is work out and nothing about food if anyone reads this please email me and tell me how to lose weight and get skinny my email is

  57. Hi, can a little olive oil be used on this diet? to cook things? stir fries etc? Also the pork I’m assuming should be lean?

  58. Awesome info, Tim. I never thought of repeating the same meals over and over – I was drilled with the “variety” principle from childhhood. I like the simplicity of repetition concept — I must give this a try. Great stuff….

  59. Hi Tim!

    I am 18 yrs old anweigh 70 kg ( 178 cm) I want to lose about 10-12 kg because i am interested in modeling. However i want to do it in a safe way to aoid any poblems with eating disorders. Will your diet enable this even though i am on a limit, only wanting to lose about 10 kg? and then keeping it that way. I eat a lot of whole grain already becuase my stomach can´t cope with white carbs at all. Is it possible to eat wolegrain pasta and rice or are they completley out of the picture?

  60. Milk! I can’t go without it in my coffee. It is fat free, but taboo? I don’t know if I can live without my Venti Fat Free 3-spelnda Latte.

  61. I am 5’9 and 140 pounds.Unfortunatly since i’m a model that’s pretty overwieght and I need to be at MOST 128lb…by October 10th( for a photoshoot) and ideally 124lb by October 24 will this work for me? If not what will?

  62. ScottishDancer,

    Beware of anything that says low fat, reduced fat, or fat free because those products are usually loaded with sugar and carbs.

  63. I was recently turned on to this blog, and today I started the regimen. For the past week I’ve indugled in things I will be missing for the next 30 days: beer, fried rice, and pasta. As a college student, these things constitute what I most often eat.. until now. I am 5’7″, weighing 150 pounds, with a somewhat athletic build from surfing. Through this protocol, I plan to lose 5 or so pounds while gaining some muscle mass, but nothing too serious. I just want to feel and look in better shape. i.e. a 6 pack.

    However, there’s something that concerns me. Since I ate breakfast (egg whites with one whole egg and lentils) at 11am, I have had no appetite, at now 6:30. Should I keep eating even though I am not hungry?

  64. I’ve been on this diet for six weeks lost 30lbs of fat so far.I’m looking to lose another 20lbs of fat.

    This diet really works great for me!!

  65. Been on this for 5 or 6 weeks now. I’m getting so ripped there are veins on my lower abs and even my delts. Oh, and I haven’t done cardio in over a month now. I’m gaining strength of muscle faster than I have with any other workout.

    Just another example where less is more. I’m 25 and have been working out off and on since I was about 15. I’ve done every diet and workout program, including the ridiculous stuff you find in bodybuilding mags (that require several hours in the gym per week, and dozens of sets per body part). I’ve never been ripped, maybe 14% bodyfat at the lowest.

    Now I work out only 2-3 times per week for 30 minutes. It’s easy to find the time, and I can go 100% every workout (I do high intensity training, 1-2 sets per body part). HIT is hard to buy into at most guys in the gym these days I was addicted to pump, convinced that countless redundant sets were the only way to put on mass and have definition. It just isn’t true.

    Right now I’m adhering to the diet 80-90% of the time, leaving my cheat days for when I go out with friends. However, I found it’s not as hard as you’d think to follow this diet even in restaurants. Order a side of vegetables and don’t touch the baked potato. I also drink about 2-3 bottles of red wine per week…not that I recommend that, but it hasn’t affected me getting ripped.

    I’m not really sure how I feel about cardio at this point. I’ve done so much of it in the past and gotten very little results for all the time it takes (and most the time it just made me more hungry and burned off muscle). I can’t help but notice how 90% of the people in the cardio room at the gym are fat, and I never see ripped people doing cardio. I figure any cardio I get around to doing will either be outdoors or something social like a sport. I’m not spending another minute indoors on a treadmill.

  66. I am female and need to loose 100lbs. I would love to do this diet but according to some of the comments, I need to make modifications. Tim, can you instruct me what to do? I’m ready to start ASAP! Thank you so much!

  67. Try these beleive you!!

    1. In empty stomach drink a glass of fenugreek seeds soaked in water. take a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds and soak it in a glass of water overnight and then drink in the morning.

    2 breakfast. very imp meal. dont eat low carb breakfst. you need energy for entire day. Have three toasts with egg white omelette and a cup of coffee with sugar free.

    3 lunch- normal light lunch. have salad, brown bread and one portion of white meat or curry and then eat a fruit.

    4. evening have a cup of tea with bran biscuits or proteinous biscuits or eat a grilled sandwitch(no mayonaise or low fat cheese)

    6. You need to have very light dinner. try fruits and milk or a bowl of wheat flakes/corn flakes in milk. Try to finish your dinner by 8.30pm

    Dont sleep immediately. take a walk or just roam around in the room.

    You will lose a lot of weight if you relegiously follow this.

  68. hey

    ppl i did start this diet; its my third day today but i feel im bucking up!! is this normal to bulck up b4 loosing weigh?!

    plz reply soon.


  69. buck or bulk is that?

    I think it is normal to buck up, as in get more energy.

    Eating less, especially combined with eating better, means your digestive system is doing much easier work which in turn means you have more energy.

    I know when I have had stuff to do over a day or two that I simply MUST do-to stay alert and ‘with it’ energywise, I have skipped breakfast and lunch and eaten when I have finished doing what needed doing and then only a light meal (not advised – eat properly and regularly folks)

    If you meant buLk – then I dunno 🙂


  70. This is my 4th day on the diet…i’m going to weight myself before my cheat day…wish me luck…keep up the good work eveyone!

  71. no sorry i ment bulcking up!!

    and im eating 100 times a day.. no oil no carps, just chicken lentals and vegies.. all boiled! all healthy

    today 4th day and i havent lost anything .. if anything i feel heavyer! i dont know if its just in my head coz of the amount im eating or will i actually gain weight?! but then i think about it and say how will i put on weight.. im not eating anything faty at all! this is the first time i actually stick to something and get to the forth day!! i dont wana screw it up! my sisters wedding is in december and i really wana fit into a nice dress!! i weigh 83kg now!! i was 74kg 2 months ago but got cought up with life and didnt think of what im eating!! im 21 i wana look pretty!! ppl help me!!

    Sam x x x

    1. Sam

      I you wants to loose weight try in a morning drinking worm Water with lemon , and after 1 hour you can eat breakfast .. Try this .. trust me it works in one week you going to loose 5-7pounds.

  72. Tim,

    Thanks for the book and blog. This is great information. I read your post about being a lacto-ovo vegetarian and your recommendation to add 1% milk to the meal. I don’t like milk but can do yogurt (unsweetended of course!), cottage cheese or low-fat chesses, although this breaks the “no white food” rule. Can you comment on this?

  73. Hi,

    I have just started the diet and I’m on day 2. Boy the bean part is a killer but I’m dealing with it; :no pain no gain!”

    I know we can have peas so I am assuming we can have pea soup right? And how about canned Lentil soup or is that too much sodium? I would appreciate any feed back on my questions. I will update my progress as I go. I want to lose 15 lbs so I hope this works. 🙂 Good luck to everyone!

  74. After reading Four Hour Work Week, Tim is my hero. I giving it 30 days and will check in often. If I have to suffer with this diet for thirty days, all of you will too.

    Say a prayer for me, wish me luck or do whatever you do.

  75. Hello,

    I have been following the fat loss program for about 2 months now and the muscle gain program for about a month. I start Aug 1 2007 at 5′ 8″ 240lbs 38″ waist and as of today, September 26 2007, I am currently 213 and 34″ waist. I have followed the “colorado experiment” the past month and have noticed substantial differences in the tone of my arms and strength as well. My overall goal is to drop down to approximately 190lbs.

    I have been following a low-fat, low-carb, high protein diet, taking the 7th day of each week off the diet. Excersice has been mainly walking and jogging with some swimming occasionally. I have been lifting weights for almost a month, I have not noticed such substantial gains as the colorado experiment; however, as I had previously mentioned, my personal gains are far more than other work out/diet programs I have followed.

    It does work, you just need to stick to it

  76. So I’m into my second week of the diet…and it definitely works! I see results already…both from my clothes and on the scale! I love this diet!

  77. My energy level is good. I haven’t been napping, which is something I usually do. I’ve been working out every morning for 30-60 minutes as well except for my cheat day! As the beans go…I LOVE beans! I like to eat red beans with balsamic vinegar and a little garlic powder…I recommend them!

  78. Hey guys, just started this diet today. Sounds pretty good if you ask me!

    I have a quick question — I know it says black beans, but are red beans okay too?