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:

Proteins:

Egg whites with one whole egg for flavor

Chicken breast or thigh

Grass-fed organic beef

Pork

Legumes:

Lentils

Black beans

Pinto beans

Vegetables:

Spinach

Asparagus

Peas

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.

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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 700 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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7,292 Replies to “How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise”

  1. ughh, sorry for the third post.. but i left out a question. Are eggs necessary? I reallly hate eggs, so what can i replace them with?

  2. sorry for the 4th post… for the pizza, can it be a veggie one ? like variety of vegetable toppings like tomatoes, onions, multi-coloured peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, and even broccoli.

    and are cedar chick peas ok?

  3. Hi there – I’m really interested in trying this diet out – it sounds great and includes foods I once adored. I am currently taking Prozac and am finding it difficult to lose weight. Have you seen others on medications like mine who have had success with this diet?

    Thanks so much in advance 🙂

  4. Hi Tim,

    I was always a bit chubby, but then lost a lot of weight one summer in high school (5’4″, from 135 to 116 lbs) and steadily maintained/lost some more during college (lowest at 107 lbs, but ~110 is my “happy” weight). However, I’ve been through some stressful times this past year, and I am back up to 128 lbs. I am hoping to shed about 15 lbs with little/light exercise (I was in a car accident recently and is suffering from whiplash), and I am thinking of trying your diet, but with mindful portion sizes and no cheat days to maximize speed. Are cheat days more like “affordable pleasures” that would stave off cravings, or is “shocking” the body system crucial for weight loss? If I am careful to adhere strictly to the diet, would removing cheat days make this diet ineffective or could it speed up the weight loss? My weight gain has severely decreased my self-esteem and is affectingly my life negatively, so I would really like to attain results as quickly as possible.

    1. Ann,

      I actually have experience with the diet relevant to your question. I have a friend that is doing the same diet minus the splurge day and he has since plateaued in his weight-loss with some 20 lbs. to go. I also had a couple of weeks in which I plateaued on the diet, so the following week I ate more carbs and basically didn’t follow the diet and didn’t gain any weight. The week after that I got back on the diet and lost 6 lbs. So in my opinion the splurge day is important.

      It seems true that the weekly “shock” of splurging keeps your metabolism burning a high rate, thus causing you to burn more fat. But I am basing all of that on my personal experience of losing 40+ lbs. Let us know what you decide to do and keep us posted on the results.

  5. I’ve been following the diet since November 14th and lost 7lbs in the first week which was great. I used Saturday as my splurge day, eating whatever I liked and gained 3lbs back the following day, knocking myself out of ketosis. Even though I’ve found it easy to return to the diet, as of today (Monday), there has been no weight change and I’m still out of ketosis. I can see the reasoning behind a splurge day but it’s making me cautious!

    How soon after a high calorie day have people noticed weight loss progressing again?

    1. Jarvis- I understand your concerns. The first few weeks of the diet I had a tendency to be hyper-aware of whether I was seeing results or not. But after I got over that tendency and stuck with it for a few weeks I had lost about 12 lbs. The reason that you are seeing the weight fluctuation is probably because after eating so many carbs on Saturday you gain a lot of water weight. That being said you definitely are not just losing water weight on this diet. I can attest to that. As I got further in the diet the weight fluctuation seemed to balance out.

      I would recommend that you only weigh yourself once a week. My splurge day is Saturday as well and I weigh myself every Friday. There were some weeks that I didn’t see much weight loss (sometimes none) but I just kept to the program and now I am 47 lbs. lighter.

      Best of luck and keep us posted.

      1. Thanks for that advice, Chris. I fell off the wagon a bit from November 25 – 27th but got back on track on Sunday the 28th. I’m now a pound or two lighter than I was before my first splurge day which is encouraging.

        I have to admit I was tempted to skip the splurge day but from what you and others have said, it really works. Plus, it makes it easier to stay away from that chocolate cake now that I know I can have a piece on the weekend. I think I’ll just try a satisfactory amount of food rather than feeling uncomfortably full on that day. Roll on, Saturday!

  6. I do have 1 concern. I have been trying to get down to 130 for over 6 years now. (Ive had 5 kids, first time was twins) I am 160 right now. Ive tried almost every diet out there. This whole eating at 10 pm is concerning b/c I have heard and read not to eat a certain amount of time before going to bed. I also HATE beans (all mentioned) but will suck it up and give it a try at least for 1 week. Im not big into exercise, so I will stay away from my love of pasat and potatoes. I will start on Sunday, after Thanksgiving. Ill keep you updated.

    1. Beth- My wife graduated in exercise science and she learned a lot about the idea behind not eating before bed. Basically the idea behind not eating after a certain time is mostly useful to people who have a tendency to do late night snacking. The interesting thing is that snacking is usually primarily a carb based type thing. If you look at most of the snack foods that we tend to eat they probably are made from processed carbs.

      This diet sort of overcomes the issue of late night eating because if you’re body is functioning in ketosis it is using fat for fuel not the glucose from the abundance of carbs that are in a typical diet. So it really doesn’t matter when you eat unless you are eating something that you shouldn’t be eating on the diet anyway.

      As far as beans go…take a look at three things: the caloric density, glycemic index, and caloric make-up (protein, fat, carbohydrates) of foods that you think may be a good substitute and measure them up to the same analysis of beans and see if you can find a good fit. You can find all the info online for almost any food.

      Good Luck and Happy Thanksgiving!

      P.S. I am confident that you can get down to your desired weight on this diet!

    2. I am right there with you, Beth! I am so sick of being 160 lbs. and trying for the past five years to get to a more comfortable 140 lbs. Tomorrow I will start (anxious to get going after just eating pizza and drinking pop). I am getting ready to make a meal plan and shopping list. I will check back in a week!

  7. Hey tim, your the man. I’m 16 and i would love to try out this diet. Everyone keeps telling me that this diet isnt for me because i wont get enough calories. I want to gain weight (muscle preferably). What do you think is best for me?

    -kohler

  8. HI DO I HAVE TO ROTATE MEALS EVERY DAY?? SINCE I’M A STUDENT AND I WORK AS WELL AS WORK OUT AT THE GYM 4-5 TIMES A WEEK FOR ABOUT AN HOUR I GET TOO LAZY TO KEEP PREPARING THESE MEALS.LIKE FOR EXAMPLE, TWO DAYS AGO I JUST ATE PINTO BEANS,MIXED VEGGIES, AND LEAN TURKEY.MY MOM MADE A BIG POT FOR ME AND I JUST KEPT EATING FROM IT EACH TIME I GOT HUNGRY.IS THIS OK TO DO INSTEAD OF CONSTANTLY CHANGING MY MEALS??? WHAT IF I ATE LIKE THIS FOR A WEEK STRAIGHT

    ???

    OR FOR EXAMPLE ON MONDAY I HAD LENTILS,BROCOLLI W CORN AND BEEF. MY MOM MADE A LOTTT SO THAT I COULD JUST EAT FROM IT ALL DAY. IS THIS OK???? PLZZZZ RESPOND CUZ IF ITS NOT OK ILL FEEL LIKE IM WASTING MY TIME EXPECTING RESULTS THAT AREN’T GNNA HAPPEN.FEEDBACK PLZZZ THNX 🙂

  9. OH AND BTW I TYPICALLY BURN 600 CALORIES PER WORK OUT 4-5X A WEEK.INCORPORATING THE MEAL PLAN THAT I JUST MENTIONED DOES THIS SOUND OK? I HAVENT STUCK TO IT CUZ I GET DISCOURAGED BUT IF U TELL ME IM DOIN THE RIGHT THING I WILL SURELY KEEP IT UP.I KINDA HAD 2 SPLURGE DAYS INSTEADA 1. I MESSED UP BUT IM SERIOUS NOW.PLZ RESOND! THNX SO MUCH!

  10. Hi Tim I was just wondering..when you have meat with your meals how much do you serve yourself?How much is too much?Are soups okay?

  11. Hi, ive lost a lot of weight in one week and today was my cheat day. But, when i weighed myself a while after i ate what i wanted today (i went to an all you can eat japanese cuisine), i gained practically all the weight back. Is this temporary? Im worried because i have to lose the 20 lbs by the 17th-19th of december… SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP? 🙁

    1. Hi Carmen,

      Super temporary. You should be back to your “pre-binge” weight by Tues, latest Wed. Keep the faith!

      Please keep us posted on your progress.

      Best,

      Tim

  12. So I’ve been doing this diet as recommended and it really does work in thining out my body. I am having a issue tho. My breats are shirnking and getting saggy what can i do to avoid this from happening? My friend says eat cornbread but thats only on Sunday for me. What can I do?

    1. Not eating is a horrible idea if not done for the right reasons. Right reasons being:

      1. religious fasting

      2. health fasting (monitored by a doctor/nutritionist aka professional)

      First off, not eating is way easier said than done. Most people barely last a day. Go ahead and try it for 1 day just to see how often throughout the day you reach for food. It’s nuts and gives you a good perspective. But if you’re so concerned about your bodily image that you’re willing to give up food, that is running headlong for an eating disorder my friend. And believe me, eating disorders are not fun.

      So you asked what happens to your body when you don’t eat. I’m no pro, but I’ve done a bit of reading on caloric deprivation, fasting and the like. Here’s what I’ve learned, you can google and verify for yourself.

      When you stop eating your body is no longer getting calories from food, leaving it to find nourishment elsewhere. The only place for it to turn to is within itself. First thing your body uses is glucose followed by glycogen (glucose stored in the liver). The process involved in converting glycogen to glucose uses protein from the muscles, but after a bout 12 hours, this switches off to prevent muscle waste and turns to fat. Fat is converted to ketone, which the body uses as fuel. This will last as long as there is fat to spare. Once all fat is used, the body officially enters starvation mode and uses protein, in other words, muscle. Once muscle is deteriorated to a certain point your body will break down organs and anything else it can use for fuel. Then you die.

      While a lot of doctors don’t recommend it, done right there have been tests proving benefits of caloric restriction/fasting. Then again, there have been tests proving negatives of caloric restriction/fasting. Really, it’s a personal choice you’ll have to research further into and decide if you think it’s a good idea or not. Some claimed benefits include, less fat(obviously), clearer skin, healing, etc. Some claimed negatives include, cardiac problems, electrolyte deficiency, weakness, hunger(duh).

      From my personal experience, I did a short 3 day water fast out of curiosity. I mean, every major religion uses fasting to some extent and I wanted to test out the hype. I honestly enjoyed it. Was it hard? Extremely, especially being in college with all my friends who tried to shove food down my throat. I literally locked all my money away. But get past 2 days and it’s not that hard. The only cons I had with it were that I was super hungry to the point of chugging water just to make my stomach shut up, and weakness. But even the weakness doesn’t kick in until late on day 2. The benefits were worth it though. My skin cleared up, my self-discipline was raised, and it’s weird, but you do reach a different level of mental clarity. Probably why religions prescribe fasting. I was motivated to do more and it didn’t hurt that I felt really good in my jeans. And this is gross, but it helps flush out build up in your intestines via the porcelain express. The trick to fasting though, is that when you go back to eating you can’t just go back to eating what you were eating before. You re-enter eating with pure fruit juices, then fruit and veggies. Then follow a healthy diet like the Paleo Diet.

  13. Dear Tim,

    I first read this blog about 23 months ago and said, ” there is no way this is true.” Now, 23 months later,6 lbs heavier, and after reading the blog I am going to start this tomorrow! I go on a vaca in South America in exactly 30 days so we will see if it works for me. Please give any corrections to my plan anyone sees necessary as I WILL be working out in combination with this diet.

    Male

    5’11

    225

    11/28/10

    Monday – Friday

    Workout for 1 hour and 25 minutes cardio in the morning.

    25 minutes of cardio in the afternoon during my lunch hour.

    Saturday and Sunday just take it easy.

    Breakfast @ 5:30am

    3 eggs ( 1 including the yolk)

    cup of black beans

    cup of mixed veggies

    Lunch @ 11:30 ( Hard to figure out what to take to work)

    Tuna with eggs, black beans, and relish (or)

    4 oz of sliced turkey, carrots and broccoli

    Snack @ 4pm

    Cup of Lentil soup – ( I read a recipe on your blog)

    Dinner @ 7pm

    Tilapia with mixed veggies and pinto beans. (or)

    1 chicken breast with mixed veggies and pinto beans.

    Bedtime snack

    Glass of red wine:)

    So, now my questions are:

    I have always been told to drink a cup of apple juice after a workout to act as a post workout drink. You say no fruits. Any suggestions on what could act as a replacement?

    Should I try to eat something directly after my morning workout around 8am?

    Protein shake?

    Should I eat more of the above during the day since I will be working out?

    Please let me know if anyone has any further input.

    I will give an update in 2 weeks as I am sure I will be tired of my meal plan.

    Thanks in advance.

  14. ok well im hispanic and i am costumed to eat rice, tortillas,meat and of course lots of spicy things….and i also love eating asian food like steamed rice and sushi….and i tried to cut meat for a week and got really sick…. my question is can i still eat but follow rule # 2

  15. Well I Tried this Diet a while back, I was only able to Keep up for a week, a plus is, I lost 5lbs in that week.

    I had to quit due to that fact that I wasnt getting any sugars or any Energy

    I sorta started again yesterday

    Breakfast I had an Apple (In High School so I dont have time to make anything)

    it really helped a kick, after school I had a slick of turkey (2oz) and a cup of black beans on top, for dinner I had broccoli and grilled Chicken covered in Garlic and a bit of soy sauce

    I also had a pear for a snack which filled me up for a while.

    ive got a strict workout schedule

    in the afternoon I do atleast 100 (added up between all) crunches, pushups and reverse crunches, as well as oblique crunches

    in the evening i do all the same only up it to 200

    I cant run as much due to the cold weather but Im doing what I can

    Questions:

    1. What can I eat for a “snack” like the consistency of a chip?

    2. Is it okay that im eating fruits or no? will it reduce results dramatically?

    3. does drinking “Naked” all fruit smoothie drinks hider anything? As long as its post workout or after?

  16. Thanks! But you know what i find strange? I lost about 5-10 pounds the first week but it keeps fluctuating? Today, I weighed myself and I weighed 175. Around 5 minutes later, i weighed myself just to make sure, and I was 180? Im very worried. I have to lose the weight in around 19 days now. :/

    like, HAVE TO. I need tips! how do i stop my cravings?

    and why does my weight keep fluctuating? going more up than down?

  17. Please reply ASAP! I’m very worried. This is a very big issue. If I dont lose this weight, my mom won’t let me visit my boyfriend who moved away…

  18. I’ve been on this diet since the evening of October 14th and have been following it pretty strictly with very little cheating. I’m 180cm, 24yo male, and started with 83.0kg (yeah, it’s metric, tough luck) and about 23/24% body fat. I basically went on this diet because I never really felt fat, but I never really felt fit either. I knew I had muscles but I couldn’t really see them in all their glory. Basically I wanted a “beach bod”. (note, phase 2 of this experiment is going to be Tim’s muscle gain strategy)

    I’m kind of a geek so I gathered a ton of data on food from Worlds Healthiest Foods using Tim’s guidelines and compiled it into a spreadsheet so I could plan out my meals and make sure I was getting enough nutrients. Metabolic rate calculators on the internet said that I should be getting about 2500 calories if I do mild exercise. Trying to maximize the diet’s potential I decided to try to cut calories down to 1800, so basically my daily intake looked like this:

    350g kidney beans

    100g avocados

    50g red bell pepper

    200g broccoli

    100g carrots

    50g crimini mushrooms

    150g spinach

    25g almonds

    25g peanuts

    5g flax seeds

    100g beef (steak form)

    100g salmon

    120g (2 eggs)

    I also started walking more, so daily I’d probably walk about 30mins-1hour.

    I lost a lot rapidly in the first week, and then started to slow down. I didn’t eat too much more on my first cheat day, so it may have screwed things up a little. Second week I lost a little less, so I decided to really pig out on my cheat day. I was pretty shocked to basically have gained back all the weight I lost that week. It took me most of the week to lose it all again, but I still ended the week with less weight than I started so I didn’t think too much of it. The next week I cheated a little less on my cheat day and had better results.

    For my fourth week, I decided to try something different on my cheat day because it seemed like my body was just completely absorbing all the weight from the white-carb foods. I basically decided to find the densest source of calories that was still healthy and tasteful that I could find. So I basically crammed a bunch of dark chocolate and hummus and some pita bread, and I actually lost a significant amount of weight on my cheat day!!!

    I’ve basically been doing that for my cheat days ever since and it’s been working about the same, but have been noticing that I now plateau in the for the 2 days after and 2 days before my cheat days.

    I had a feeling that this might have had something to do with my increased exercise (I started going on the elliptical machine burning about 500 calories in a 30 min workout every mon/wed/fri for the last 3 weeks) resulting in some muscular gains, but my body fat scale seems to suggest otherwise. For the last 3 weeks I’ve gone from 79kg to 77kg and have been fluctuating between 18% and 19% body fat, so that’s getting a little discouraging.

    Is there anything I’m not doing right or that I could improve upon Tim?

  19. Carmen,

    The cheat day is to help with the cravings and you can’t gain 5 pounds in 5 minutes unless you happen to be Joey Chestnut ( hot dog eating champion ) and even then it’s a stretch. This means your scale is likely not that accurate, also realize that your body will fluctuate in weight throughout the day a bit.

    Follow the diet and if you want better results get some exercise.

    – Trevor

  20. Hi,

    I posted about a week ago. Thank you Chris, for your feedback. 🙂

    I haven’t officially started the diet yet (Thanksgiving was way too close and why set oneself up for failure, right? ;), although I’ve been lowering my carbs significantly. I was actually pretty good about it until Thanksgiving, and I think I lost a few pounds in just about 5 days…then Thanksgiving came and broke everything. 🙁 I was actually pretty careful not to “pig out,” and keep portions reasonable, but I did consume much more carbs than before.

    Now, I feel just as fat as I was before the initial weight loss (haven’t gathered the courage to weigh myself yet). I saw someone mention water weight resulting from carbs…could my depressingly fast weight gain be water weight? and is losing water weight easier/faster than losing fat?

  21. Great site and info! Glad to find this one! The thing is, I’m a rice eater, its a staple in our table, as I am Asian, we eat literally breakfast, lunch and dinner with rice!! arggg… but I am willing to give it up just to lose weight! I’m about 30 to 40 pounds over weight! Also, I just wanna share, I found this site 101lowcarbmeals, and it has delicious low carb recipes which are well recommended. Hmmmm… its worth a try then…..

  22. Thanks. Does anyone have any recipes and success stories to share ? I’m running out of time, so does anyone have tips?

  23. My daily meal plan:

    Breakfast: Tomato and egg

    Lunch: Peas, carrots, beans, corn, kidney beans or chick peas, and chicken

    Dinner: Same as lunch

    Any ideas for snacks?

    & should i add or take out any foods?

  24. so it’s been about 3 weeks since i started the diet and i am down 11 pounds. this may see a bit lower than others, but considering i took last week off for the holiday and didn’t exercise at all-and still lost weight- i’m pretty happy!

    i started off at 291 and was at 279 yesterday before i worked out, and even though some people have lost more weight faster, i can already feel my clothes fitting better and have people telling me i look more fit a lot. so after one month i can safely project that i will have lost at least 15 pounds. this is definitely something that i’ll be able to keep up, which means that i should easily meet my goal of being about 240 or less by the time i get married next summer – that’s a great motivator btw…

    Carmen –

    everything in that plan looks good except the corn. corn is a vegetable technically but it is also a starch, which means it has more carbs and calories than other vegetables, so if you do have any, keep it small. the same thing goes for the chick peas; not a starch, but more calories/fat than black and pinto beans, which Tim acknowledged at some point in this thread, maybe on the previous page or so. one thing that i’ve done is tried to be extremely stingy on lunch and keep that fairly the same, but change dinner around every week. last week i had fish and veggies pretty much every night. this week for some reason i’ve not had meat and instead just had veggies and pasta sauce. i know it seems kinda lame, but it’s actually exactly what i’ve been craving. having just that amount of flexibility from week to week has helped keep me sane…

    anyway, hope everyone else’s journey is going well, that’s all for now.

    peace!

  25. Thanks :’)

    You know, tim said the weight gain would be temporary… but today is thursday and i still havent returned to my weight before cheat day? Cheat day is coming up soon and im too scared to take it. Im like, stuck at 179-180 lbs. i WAS at like, 173-175 lbs. Whats happening? This is stressing me out. :/

    1. i would say stick to it and make sure that you’re being strict to the diet. it sometimes takes time for your body to adjust to new things like this, and it may just be that your metabolism has just started. so maybe don’t go really crazy on your cheat day, just one meal with white carbs or something like that. i did this diet once before and didn’t have real good results, but that was partly because i went too out there on cheat days and wasn’t that strict throughout the week. basically i wasn’t that motivated. but this time around i’m very much ready to lose the weight, and i am seeing results. just stick with it, it’ll start happening soon enough!

  26. Just thought I’d say I’ve been running an experiment lately based off of this, the Colorado experiment, as well as my own cardio/martial arts workout routines. My dieting has stayed pretty strict to the slow-carb routine but I do regularly stray on small amounts of skim milk (post workout protein drink with lean protein powder and frozen blueberries) and small amounts of queso on my mexican salads (and I mean small, I can make a carton stretch out for quite awhile).

    The workouts are divided into weight lifting sessions twice a week using a lot of the prescribed methods (especially the 5 seconds up 5 seconds down) you’ve shown in your “Geek to Freak” article. The other days I emphasize heavy cardio whether it be a 5 mile run, 1 mile really fast (by my standards, I’m not doing 4 minute miles like everyone else here), or heavybag work focusing on kickboxing, karate, and boxing.

    So far in doing this for a little over a month, I’ve dropped from size 44 to size 40 pants and my 40 jeans are getting too big for me (if i don’t wear a belt, they fall off). Half my clothes are now too big for me and have already gone to throw out shirts, jeans, pants, etc. My punch and kick power have gone up as well. Gold’s Gym found out when I accidentally destroyed their heavy bag. I’m starting to see muscle definition that I’ve never had in my entire life. Not to mention, I’ve noticed a drastic change in the way a lot of the ladies are treating me as well haha! So in general, I’m feeling pretty dang happy about this. I still have a way to go before I hit my long term goals but for the first time, I’m seeing real progress thanks to the ideas presented on your blog. With continued hard but smart work, I believe I can reach my goals at last.Thanks Tim and best of luck to you on your new book!

  27. Im glad to see this diet is still kicking. I started this diet back in Dec 2008 at 295lbs. Im now down to 215lbs. I believe I have added atleast 30lbs of muscle.It took a lot of hard work, but your body changes after this diet routine.I have no desire to eat unhealthy, I dont follow as strict as I started, but still quite closely.

  28. Hi, my name is Vivian and I am having issues with my weight..I am 27 and weigh 170. I am 5 ft 2 in…I am so over weight and I have tried diets out there and have been unsuccessful. I have even tried illegal stuff just to try and get into my favorite jeans..I hate my body and I have even hated myself..I stumbbled upon this website and saw the comments..I saw that they were old at first but then when I looked down I saw that there were more pages of comments and it is still going. This is amazing.. I am hoping to try the diet out soon. I will keep whoever is interested posted….I want to be there for my family and especially kids…I want to see them grow up…my eating habits are not healthy and its rubbing off on my kids. Its time for me to take a stand..Thanks

  29. Hi Tim,

    Love your blog and the book. I’ve ordered the new book and can’t wait to read it.

    I would like to lose some weight but also get stronger and fit at the same time. Would you recommend to use this diet and combine it with the workout you described in the post of how you gained 34lbs? At the moment, I train twice a week in martial arts (2 hours each session), and can devote twice a week 30 minutes to gym.

    Also, you mentioned in one of the replies here to consume low-fat food, but the paleo post, and the post on CKD you’re referred to in this post, talk about high fat as being good and contribute to fat loss. So I’m a bit confused… can you please clarify that for me and which method should I stick to?

    Thanks,

    Miki.

  30. Great article! but do I sense a slight dislike of fat here?…  (egg whites, chicken breast, lean beef)

    I have eaten a high-fat ‘paleo’ style diet for over a year now.  Its gotten me super lean, and muscular.. But also given me tremendous control of my type 1 diabetes (I take a very small dosage, that doctors hardly believe is possible for a type 1.. It’s great!)

    My body thrives off fat for fuel.. Whole eggs (the yokes are the most nutritious part!), and delicious and fatty cuts of grassfed meat are great!  Of course, these are all omega-3 rich sources of fat, and I avoid omega-6 sources. 

    Ketogenic & high fat diets trick your body into thinking its starving, so you burn fat, yet still have dietary fuel from fats. 

    People who go low-carb and have low energy levels need to be replacing their carb fuel for fat fuel.  

    But anyways, great article.. I love this topic and can’t wait to read the new book…  Hopefully it’s on audiobook?

  31. Pleased with results after the first week. I lost 4 lbs. The best part of the diet is keeping it simple. Tomorrow I will grocery shop for the week and change it up a little as far as meat and veggie selection. Now, I did just take a day off to enjoy a cheat day. I don’t plan on waying until Wednesday so I will post result then.

  32. All:

    I *highly* recommend CHIPOTLE for those of you that travel a lot and/or like to get out for lunch. The SALAD (no dressing) with whatever beans you prefer, chicken, salsa and (sometimes) guacamole is right in line with this diet and they are everywhere!

    I started this diet in August of 2009 and I lost 32 pounds (went from 296 to 262) NO PROBLEM. I went to Paris for a week with my wife in May of this year, went off the diet and haven’t got back on until now. SO, from early May until now I have gained back 18 pounds. This diet changed my body so much that it took me 6 months to gain back 18 pounds (ONLY 3 POUNDS A MONTH) and I have been eating HORRIBLY. That’s very impressive.

    I should have started back after I put 8 back on and gone for my goal on 240 then…lessons learned.

    Tosh:

    It’s smart not to weight in just after your cheat day…OF COURSE you will gain some weight on your cheat day! But the whole premise of the diet is that the cheat day tricks your body into raising its metabolism and that carries through to the rest of the week when you are not cheating which results in net loss every week. If you try without the cheat day your body’s metabolism will SHUT DOWN, you will feel like crap, be extremely hungry, not lose much weight, and probably quit.

    M

    1. I highly recommend Chipotle as well. However, I do use the guacamole as “Salad Dressing,” because avocado is a “good” fat. However, I try to exercise at least 5 days/week. I also ask for the salsa and peppers/onions in order to give my salad a bit more of a “kick”.

      I ate like a hog during Thanksgiving break, but I have been pretty good about getting back to eating clean when I got back home. I only gained about a pound or so.

  33. Hey Tim, this diet is working out pretty great 🙂

    im 17 and this suits my lifestyle perfectly,

    Honestly Im 6’2” and I WAS 212lbs. but just from one week of this diet as well as adding a daily workout Routine ive gone from 212 down to 205 (as of sundays measurement)

    all I really do eat is a Salad for the day and I do allow myself to eat candy (hard candies and some reeses cups) but thats it! ever since i started this diet my mindset and need for junk food has vanished 🙂 im really trying to lose around 70lbs on this diet and the way its going ill be there in no time,

    even though the first 5lbs is generally water weight so now i know the rest to come wont be easy, anyway thank you so much for the tips and Diet 🙂

    God Bless,

    Eric

  34. Okay. Today was a really bad day. Today, I was realllly craving fried food…

    and when i weighed myself after school, i weighed 170 lbs. then i ate some deep fried sweet potato … I couldnt stop myself. 🙁

    Now i’m 174 lbs. its been a few hours and gosh im worried. 4 pounds in that amount of time? :/

    ANY COMMENTS? D;

  35. Wondering if you’ve read “The China Study”, “Thrive” or “Engine2Diet” Tim? Would love to hear your thoughts.

    1. In regards to the Comment ” have you read “the China Study” I wondered about that too! Which is why I’m worried about the long term effects of this diet. It may truly work to lose weight…but all that animal based protien. I would love to see a vegetarian take on this program. Any comments?

  36. Hello Tim! I am 14 years old, but I’m already starting to gain a ton of weight. Can you suggest and similar diets for teens? My parents serve me healthy food all the time, but none of it is working!

  37. Do the supplements you suggest, Slo-Niacin, policosinol, and Chromemate have beneficial effects with the diet alone or do I need to be doing serious exercise? I ride my bike 2 to 3 miles a day at least and I do some basic weightless circuit training(prison style yo!) at home. Can those supplements have a negative effect?

  38. Does anyone have any snack suggestions otehr than baby carrots? I’m ALWAYS craving somethign crunchy and i cant eat chips or anything… 🙁

    1. You could try celery or lettuce. Maybe some nuts like peanuts/almonds. Nuts are healthy, but they’re very dense in calories. I wouldn’t take any more than a small handful. That’s all I can think of other than baby carrots for healthy crunchy foods.

    2. Carmen, I would reccomend almonds. Very low GI. Also, it seems you are very stressed out. Stress does not help loose weight! Try relaxing, and maybe some exercise to help relieve some stress.

  39. Tim, I would love to hear your opinion on the Asian diet – where white rice is consumed daily as well as noodles (of course, with lots of veggies and high quality protein).

    A typical Asian (overseas) typically eats about 2-3 cups of white rice a day yet Japan’s and Korea’s obesity rates are 3% compared to America’s 34%…

    Thanks, Tim! 🙂

  40. I think what a lot of you are missing is caloric load. Realize your daily caloric intake might be super low. When I first started this routine, I found I was only taking in about 1100 calories a day, which is quite low. I felt tired and weak. Upping my caloric intake made all the difference. At about 18-1900 calories a day, and 30 minutes of cardio, followed by 30 min of weight training, 5 times a week, I began shredding weight. I then came to a plateu, at about 225lbs. For several weeks, it seemed like I wasnt losing any weight. Come to think, the fat i was burning was being replaced with muscle. Just because your not dropping weight, doesnt mean your not dropping inches. Good luck to all that stick with it. Its a bit of a change at first, but its well worth the work.

  41. Started the diet 13 days ago. I’m male, 35 years old and around 182 cm tall.

    Starting weight: 178,8 lbs

    After 7 days: 171,7 lbs

    Today, after 13 days: 169,3 lbs

    How come my weight loss have more or less stopped?

    I’m afraid it have stopped because of one/more of the following:

    1) I had too much bad food (McDonalds, chocolate, white bread, etc.) on my cheat day 3 days ago – I gained 2 lbs on cheat day and it’s not until today that I have lost them again.

    2) I’m not eating enough. I eat 4 times a day, but small, small portions (not that

    hungry + afraid I’m eating too much).

    But if I understand this correctly, my body might go into survival mode and stop burning fat if I don’t eat enough. Right?

    Any ideas/comments?

    Thanks,

    Mads

  42. so this would be the end of my first full month since i started diet and exercise. including thanksgiving week where i did not go to the gym and did not strictly follow the diet, i am down 16 pounds. very happy about that progress! i’ve strengthened pretty much every part of my body and can run longer and faster than i have been able to in quite a while. also, all clothes are fitting better and my fiance is even more excited to have me for herself.

    so all this to say that i have gotten very positive results and i am on my to meeting my december goals, and may even surpass my goals for the wedding day! keep on trucking guys, i know you can do this!

  43. jblaszak & aglassman – thanks :’)

    but the thing is, i cant help but stress… I’ve got a little more than a week left to lose my last 10 pounds. or else i can’t visit my boyfriend that moved away. 🙁

    it was a deal i made with my mom. :/

    any tips on coping with stress?

    i didnt lose a single pound today, im disappointed but i feel optimistic . 🙂

    1. You should refrain from weighing yourself every day, it will stress you out more! Only weigh yourself once or twice a week. To loose 10 pounds in a week is probably not going to happen. Your best bet would be to do 3 days of high intensity workout / resistance training, seperated by days of 30-60 minutes of active rest. Remember to drink appropriate ammounts of water, and get 8 hrs of sleep. View this as an opportunity, not a deadline!

  44. Hey Tim this diet is the best.

    Ive been following it for 14 days and have already

    lost 12 pounds. that puts me right on track for 20 lb in 30 days.

    awesome.

    im 6’3”, started at 210 lbs,

    right now at 188. Im aiming for probably 165. I want to get lean and cut,

    and with this diet have no doubt I can reach that goal.

    thanks for cutting through all the other bullshit and producing a diet

    that makes fucking sense.

    1. Totally agree… after all the BS surrounding diets, I did this for 40 days and lost 22 lbs.! Of course, I then got off it like an idiot… took a year, but I gained back 15 lbs. Started again, and never again will this be a “diet”– it’s a lifestyle.

      Now if I eat bread or potatoes, I feel gross. I don’t eat sugar, very little fruit.

      Eggs, beans = morning. Salad, lots of veggies, a meat, and teaspoon of mayo with guac = lunch. Any hunk of meat & greens = dinner. Glass or 2 of wine at night.

      Major key, however: the 1-cup, 1-girl diet: eat any of the ingredients on the list, but to keep down the calories, only a cup of each meat, veggie, beans. Works like a charm!

      I’ve added hoofing it 2 miles a day (speed walk on a concourse with a good book on CD) has really helped. I’m sore, but getting better.

      Workin’ to be a hottie by May: 20 lbs., 125 at 5’6″. I just say to myself every day: I am tired of being fat, and I don’t want to be a typical, sick fat American!

      1. Funchick, 5 ‘2’ and 123.2. So you’re saying each meal (3x?/day?) use the 1 cup for each component. I wasn’t sure if we should use portion sizes from the food guide (palm size portion of meat etc).?

  45. Done… ended up loosing 15,9 lbs in 15 days (started at 178,8 lbs, ended at 162,9 lbs)!

    Bodyfat down 7% – from 17% to 10%, so now I got a small sixpack (it’s there, but it’s not cut enough to put me on the cover of a bodybuilding magazine)

    The diet surely isn’t a walk in the park, but it’s brutally effective. Never thought I could loose that much weight in little more than 2 weeks.

    A few details about how I did it – in Danish, but remember that Google Translate is your friend and that pictures can be understood by everyone 😉

    http://www.genvejen.dk/effektiv-slankekur-saadan-tabte-jeg-72-kg-paa-15-dage/

  46. Hi TIM great website and great people here. i m at 180P and need to cut around 160P im not generally overweight but i have big belly and i really need to cut it, i have a wedding to go to on January 16 and im going to Mexico on January 17 , i know to put abs in my abdomen area it take more then 3 months but how about just cut the damn fat from there is it possible to cut it in 30 days or even less? thanks guys

    1. hey bro, i find what works for me is the cross trainer as it is low impact so its something you can do every day grate for beginers, do an hour a day of moderate cardio. or half an hour 3 times a week interval (training 1 min hard 2 min slow). And cut the carbs tims diet is grate it works.

      if your serious you could hit you target without a prob but would need dedication.

      my routine is an hour waight traning and half an hour cardio 4-5 times a week. ive cut the carbs to 30g a day! i lost 4 lbs last week! so it works. hope this helps. you dont need to train as much as me to get results but the more effort you put in the more you will get out. good luck

  47. hey recently just got back to workin in the gym and gained alot of fat before hand on my chest do you know a good way to get rid of it by eating and working out

  48. I’m not sure what to eat for snacks. I have an office job, and I find myself getting hungry off and on durring the day. I’m not sure what I should be munching on that is good for this diet. I’ve been eating peanuts because I know they are low in carbs & calories, however they are high in fat. Anyone have any suggestions??

  49. Hi Tim,

    I’m ready to try your diet! However, I just had a baby and am still breastfeeding. Is this diet okay for me? Sorry if that was TMI (too much information).

    Thanks.

  50. Ive lost 20 pounds! I only have until the 18th ish 19 th to lose another 5. Im confident that i can lose that 5 lbs BUT my grandma’s birthday is on thursday and we’re going out for dinner at a chinese restaurant for her birthday and my grandma would feel horrible if i dont eat. Also, on FRIDAY, I have a christmas party with my dance team and its my first one with them so i dont want to not eat and enjoy the dinner with them. So what should i do? Im scared to gain water weight and stuff. I worked hard for this, but if i gain it back, ill be really sad.

    What should i do?

    1. Carmen, you can take thursday as cheat day instead of saturday this week. I tried before and it worked. We can only cheat once a week! So if you decide to have a splurge day on thusrsday then stick back to the diet on saturday.

      About the dance team party, well your grandma won’t be there so you don’t have to feel bad or anything. You can still eat, but do your best to pick something is really healthy and eat the hell out of it like veggie, some meat, drink lots of water.so people won’t think ” Are you starving yourself??” or ” why don’t you eat ” .

    2. Carmen – just my opinion but what is more important? losing the 5 lbs which you have worked so hard for or eating OFF plan so you’re grandma is happy? (its not like you’re NOT going to eat) or eating OFF PLAN just because you’re with your friends. There are going to be numerous moments in your life that will challenge you so just make a decision and stick to it. You either “THINK YOU CAN or think you can’t” either way you are right. I THINK you can!! stay strong :0)

  51. as a type 1 diabetic this is basically my diet too. unfortunately, no free days for me but i do have a pig out day that usually consists of a whole pie of cauliflower dough “pizza”.

    i just wanted to note on the no fruits bit: Fruits with low glycemic indexes (mostly berries) have very low carbs and are a great way to stave off that sweet tooth.

  52. Okay, update here. I posted 2 weeks go about my progress and since that time I’ve lost about 1kg. This happened about 2 days after my last post and since then I have basically plateaued. (going up and then down after my cheat day too) 🙁 My body fat did go down slightly however from toggling between 18-19% to toggling between 17-18%. The first month and a half were great for losses, but it seems my body is really resisting losing any more. I’ve been making sure that I’ve been consuming about 1.5-2 times the calories on my cheat days and not going overboard and following the guidelines pretty strictly. I’ve also be doing regular non-intensive exercise on a daily basis like 60 minutes of walking spread throughout the day, but nothing really seems to help.

    Has my body just gotten really used to the diet Tim or is there something I’m doing wrong?

    I also switched from non-intensive exercise to the resistance based training you mentioned in the blog, however so far this has not seemed to make a difference. (I’d be happy to stay at the same weight as long as my fat % went down, which it doesn’t seem to be)

    I know your new book just came out and you’re probably flooded with a bunch of mail and comments from people and I’ll definitely be trying out some of the other tips you give about fat loss in your book, but in terms of the plateauing that I’ve experienced, is there anything specific you can think of that would help prevent that or fix it?

  53. Tim. Read most of your book already, and have to say congratulations on a truly exceptional piece of work. Definitely a must have for any college age bachelor looking to improve virtually every aspect of his life.

    I want to say that I am on a modified slow-carb diet b/c I’m trying to gain muscle mass at the same time, as well as increase test (who doesn’t want these?).

    So, I’m just making my post workout meal big and adding in more almonds, egg yolks, and the cod liver/butter oil blend. In the past three days I’ve noticed awesome results already. I’m getting bigger AND leaner and T seems already to be ramping through the roof.

    Thanks so much for a great read with tons of awesome info/insights. You’re the man.

  54. Hi Tim,

    Quick question:

    Obviously this diet works on the premise of keeping carbohydrates low, however, what constitutes low? The reason I ask is that I am trying to expand my diet to incorporate a wider range of foods. For instance, cous cous (27g carb/100g), bulgar wheat (20g carb/100g), quinoa (16g carb/100g). So basically my question is this:

    What is the maximum amount of carbohydrate per 100g of food that is permissible on this diet?

    Thanks,

    Lloyd

  55. Hey Tim!

    I was browsing through some different types of diets and stumbled upon yours.. it seems quite promising. Im looking to lose about 30 lbs and i know its going to be something i can stick to. I do have a question though: i am a vegetarian and was wondering if replacing an animal protein with a soy protein would be ok?

    Thanks!

  56. Hello Tim,

    I am just reading your new Book “The 4 Hour Body”, starting with the chapter about loosing 20 pounds of bodyfat in 30 days. I am following the warrior diet by Ori Hofmekler since one year, mainly because of comfort not of fat loss. I like the fact, that I only have to eat one meal/per day. Until now I didn’t pay much attention about the type of food (I am eating white carbohydrates, fruits, etc). I will give your diet a try, as it sounds very interesting and simple (reducing the maximum of available meals fits my thinking of 80/20). But I prefer eating only one meal per day, as it saves me time and makes me independent of regular eating. Did you experiment with dieting with your principles and only one meal per day? In your book you state, that it seems not important, how often you eat. But only once a day? Well, it is not against your 5 rules! Thankful for any suggestions/experinces from you and other readers.

    As I am from Germany and I LOVE Sauerkraut, I was very happy reading, that it is one of the allowed foods.

    Thanks Josef

  57. Tim,

    Intrigued by your advice, and starting the diet tomorrow. A few questions, which don’t seem to have been addressed above or in the book:

    – Is Stevia ok? In what quantities? (You mention it as part of a dressing in 4HB)

    – Is paneer ok, or is there something special about cottage cheese? (It’s an Indian cheese made by curdling milk with lemon juice then straining; there’s no rennet involved, unlike with cottage cheese.)

    – You allow up to 2 tbsp of cream for coffee. Why that amount? And is that per day or per cup? (Guessing the former..)

    Thanks!

    Sameer

  58. love the book, pre-ordered the signed edition, but couldn’t wait and bought the kindle version to get started.

    I’m 204lbs and 5’7′, hoping to get down to around 175 for a half marathon I’m running in two months time (my third, trying to finish in under 2hrs).

    Three questions:

    1) Is it possible to combine the intermittent fasting technique with slow carb, whilst also doing the prep-training for this race?

    2) Do sweet potatoes count as ‘white’ carbs… would love to still eat them! 🙂

    3) Will there be a forum for 4-hour body?

  59. Tim,

    Would a traditional full English breakfast be acceptable on this diet? This is usually 2 fried eggs, baked beans, grill tomato, and canadian bacon or sausage? In your new book you emphasis that eggs help in loosing fat so thought this meal would be a good one. Is there anything else that you would recommend adding/substituting or deleting or does this give enough protein for the first meal of the day? Would adding a drink of whey protein with this meal be a good addition? Thanks.

    Jennifer

  60. I was wondering tim, what do you think about having a protein shake for my breakfast? I normally work really early so never have time to get a decent breakfast. Good thing is, that i work at a mexican restaurant and after the breakfast, lunch and dinners are no problems for me. I bought a whein protein shake at walmart and was planning on using it but i wanna make sure it won’t screw up the results. Thanks for your response. Gracias.

  61. Went to Drs Friday night, told I possibly have PCOS and that I need to lose weight to help bring my hormone levels back to normal to stop all the negative side effects and also to try and avoid diabetes. I have been over weight since primary school really my family don’t really eat very healthily and both of my parents are overweight too. My doctor has recommended the GI diet so I started on it straight away and have stocked up with lots of low GI things and stopped eating all the rubbish I usually do-I have ordered a couple of books though because at the moment I am so confused! I understand that I need to be eating low GI value foods but I am a bit at a loss as to how this will help me loose weight because things like snickers bars seem to be classed as “green” foods! Anyway I am going to keep track of what I am eating ,what my weight is and see my doctor regularly and join a gym in the new year too.

    I am 312lbs at the moment and I am hoping eventually to get down to about 210lbs!

    I have a long long long way to go but at least I am finally getting myself into gear and determined to stick to this!

    Any advice would be appreciated!

    Li

    1. Oh by the way the 210 is just to start with-I am hoping to continue far beyond that and get down to an average size with a healthy BMI

  62. Hi Tim/everyone,

    I’m a bit confused. Above Tim says it’s ok to eat sausages, but they contain breadcrumbs? In the post it says not to eat things with breading, so what makes breadcrumbs in sausages ok, but breadcrumbs on chicken not ok?

    Also, Tim is obviously busy with the book and stuff so I was wondering if someone could give me an answer to the question I posted previously:

    What is the limit in grams of carb per 100g of food? For example, rice is about 75g, broccoli is 7g and kidney beans are 20g(ish). Could I eat quinoa at 16g/100g, bulgur wheat at 20g/100g or couscous at 34g/100g?

    I know everyone is busy and it’s christmas and stuff but i think if people knew there was a threshold of say 30g carb/100g food, all you need to do is read the nutritional information on the label and can have a rich, varied and interesting diet. The key, I think, to making this a lifestyle decision rather than just a quick fix diet.

    Thanks to anyone that can help,

    Lloyd

    1. Lloyd,

      I think you are missing the point of the diet. There is nothing mentioned about limiting the number of carbs that you eat every day. You want to focus on eating 1 meant, 1 vegetable and 1 legume from the list for every meal.

      Why would you be concerned about breadcrumbs on this diet? He clearly states that you eat meat, chicken or eggs for the main dish. You don’t want to cook the main dish were you put breadcrumbs or bread on it during the cooking. You avoid bread on this diet.

      You must be use to a limit on carbs or calories on other diets and you are trying to force the same rule on this diet. You should not be doing this.

      The principle of this diet is very simple. Eat 1 entree, 1 vegetable and 1 legume from the list for every mean. The amount of carbs consumed are not so relevant as long as you are following the instructions for this diet.

  63. Hi everyone,

    I am 5’5″ and was at 127.4lbs as of Sunday morning. It’s finally winter break, and I want to capitalize this stress-free month to seriously drop all the pounds I gained during the past semester. I think I might make a few modifications though, and I was wondering if these would be tolerable (my goal is to lose ~12 lbs in 4 weeks, so I can afford to slow down the weight loss slightly) or if they would just destroy the diet completely.

    Are dairy products are ok? Not high fatty ones like cheese and ice cream, but half a cup of 1% milk with my tea in the morning, and may be a cup of yogurt during the day (once in a while, not everyday). I don’t think I can give up Fage yogurt (I love the kind with the strawberry jam on the side :).

    Also, I love fruits, and giving them up would be very difficult for me. Fruit helps me to fill up on healthy foods that I love. For example, yesterday, I had hard-boiled egg and 1.5 Fuyu persimmon for lunch (this lunch was lighter than usual because we were planning to go out for dinner. I had a grilled fish dish).

    Any tips or thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. 🙂

    Thanks!

    Ann

    P.S.

    I’m definitely keeping the white carbs out, and I am already noticing that weight seems to come off from the belly, which is usually my last place to lose fat. I have also started exercising for about 50 minutes (a cardio + strength dvd) every night.

  64. Any suggestions for an energy booster that is within the guidelines?

    I’m on day 5 and feeling quite lethargic, tired and weak, I’ve read a few comments regarding increasing calorie intake, is the simplest way of doing this by adding more legumes? Also could this be some sort of detox reaction?

    I rarely drink soft drinks but needed a lift on day 2 also craving something ‘sweet’ so I had a coke zero which did the trick. But as I’m creating a healthier body I don’t want to pick up a new caffeine/soft drink habit!

    I’m a 40yo F looking to lose 15lbs and missed my body pump class this morning from feeling too tired to go! (sad face)

  65. I am loving the book, but I have one question. You say no cereal… but what about All-Bran? The GI is a mere 38, with the GL just 4.

    I know it may not be good to make exceptions, as it could be the slippery slope to Count Chocula, but is All-Bran inherently bad?

  66. I’ve been low carbing it for about 5 weeks now and not really seeing any results. An inaccurate (since trashed) scale made my initial weight loss numbers look better than they were and for the last two weeks I’ve seen no change at all. It really sucks depriving yourself during the holidays without any results.

    So I bought the supplements, got some beans, and I’m trying the 4HB. The diet itself doesn’t seem that tough, although I’ve never had problems sticking to restrictive diets. I’m just happy I can finally get the fiber I need.

    I’ve got 10 years of suburbized middle class fat to burn through, so hopefully I’ll see some results soon.

  67. Tim, got 4HB in Kindle format a few days ago. Excellent job!

    The Superhuman Strength chapter was my favorite.

    What do you think about using the 5 x 2 strength training protocol a few days a week in addition to “normal” 10 rep sets twice per week? Too much?

    Also, finally started your slow carb diet. I’m going to actually have 2 days of cheating for the holidays, but I’m going to do my best to activate those GLUT4 receptors. 😉

  68. just curious what affect goats milk/other goat products would have for this diet?

    and is cheese one of those domino foods that are fine in moderation or is any amount of cheese fine?

    I am also curious about protein shakes. You said your father used them in the mornings to get the necessary protein…but i’m wondering if they’re a good thing to keep in my routing or just something to use when i don’t have time to cook etc.

  69. Thanks a ton Tim! I’ve lost almost 50lbs in 3 months and even did a write up a few weeks back about my experience with this diet.

    http://www.clintmasser.com/?p=85

    I lost 24lbs during the month, however, I did “cheat” by having fresh made fruit juice every morning and a few snacks here and there. All in all, this was just the spring-board I needed to get into the best shape of my life!

  70. Hi Jennifer,

    Thanks for your response. The reason I am a bit confused about the carbs is that Tim calls this a, “slow carb diet”.

    “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.”

    Tim says the reason that legumes are so prevelant is for adding, “calorific load.” The calories in these legumes are in the form of carbohydrate but there is much less carbohydrate in these legumes than in something like rice or pasta (about 16-20g carb/100g as opposed to 75g/110g). So being that it’s a “slow carb” diet the amount of carbohydrate would appear to be key and the allowed amount would be roughly 20g carb/100g food. This being the case I was wondering if any food that has lower than around 20g carb/100g would be suitable on this diet, such as quinoa or bulgur wheat.

    The reason I asked about breadcrumbs wasn’t that I have a constant breadcrumb craving! Haha! It was just that you said in your previous post that you had sausages in your english breakfast and they contain breadcrumbs, but Tim said no breadcrumbs but then said your breakfast was ok???? Hence my slight confusion.

    Anyway, I do appreciate you getting back to me but I’m still no clearer on these to points. What do you reckon?

    Lloyd

    1. Lloyd,

      The confusion on the bread crumbs in sausage might be a cultural misunderstanding. Sausage as known in the US does not have breadcrumbs. What is referred to as sausage in the UK does have breadcrumbs. Perhaps that is the source of confusion.

      If you are eating american style sausage there is no bread crumbs so there would be no limitation on eating them.

      Slow carb does not mean low carb. The slow carb refers to carbs that when eaten digest slowly and don’t have negative impact like raising your blood sugar. The carbs in the legumes and entrees listed fit this requirement.

      Rice and pasta carbs will have a negative impact so that is why he recommends not eating them. These carbs will spike your blood sugar and we are trying to avoid this on the diet.

      Hope this helps.

      1. Thanks Jennifer,

        I didn’t realise there were different types of carbohydrate, I just thought a carb was a carb and if you had less that was the point.

        I’ll also go for American sausage in the supermarket, or at least 100% meat if I can find it!

        Thanks again for taking the time to answer my question, good luck with everything!

        Lloyd

  71. Apologies all if this posts again…

    Any suggestions for an energy booster that is within the guidelines?

    On day 5 I was feeling quite lethargic, tired and weak, I’ve read a few comments regarding increasing calorie intake, is the simplest way of doing this by adding more legumes? Also could this be some sort of detox reaction?

    I rarely drink soft drinks but needed a lift on day 2 also craving something ‘sweet’ so I had a coke zero which did the trick. I find black coffee/cinnamon combo picks me up to a lesser degree. But as I’m creating a healthier body I don’t want to pick up a new caffeine/soft drink habit!

    I’m a 40yo F looking to lose 15lbs and missed my body pump class yesterday morning from feeling too tired to go!

  72. Hi Tim,

    I just received the book in mail and I’m only up to page 65 so far but it’s really interesting. I can’t wait to read the slow carb 1 and 2 and start that program.

    Also, I just wanted to say that that video for the book is freakin awesome.

    Really enjoyed the 4-hour workweek and so far i’m loving the 4-hour body.

    Thanks !

  73. Okay well I’m an over-weight teen, and I’ve been picked on since the first grade over my weight problem.

    I’ve had problems with most diets or plans advised by doctors I’ve been to because –

    I have a bad tolerance for Soy products. They make me completely sick.

    Vegetables are completely disgusting and hate to digest well in my stomach.

    I can’t drink alot of plain water or I get dizzy and faint.

    I love meat!

    It’s horrible on me and I’m just so upset with my body. I’m almost 16 and I weigh over 200lbs! It’s sad! I really just want some advice and maybe some acceptance..

    I also want to change my body for my boyfriend. I feel like he’s embarrassed of me because of how I look, and I hate it. I want him to feel proud to be with me, not only because of who I am, but because I’m beautiful on the outside too.

    I’m going to try this, then tell you my results from it. Thank you for posting this up. I’ll make sure to keep you updated.

    Bai~

    1. Hi Katy,

      It seems Tim is quite busy at the moment so if you would like some advice I’d be happy to help.

      Firstly your boyfriend should be proud to have you on his arm no matter what you look like. If he truly loves you he will, but it may just be your own insecurities that are making you feel that way rather that what he really thinks.The reason you should want to change is for you and you alone, I know it can be hard when you feel the odd one out because of your size though, we live in a very visual society and things can sometimes be difficult, especially when you’re in your teens.

      Anyway, the diet! This can be more than just a short term fix and a way to change your way of eating forever and personally I think that once you get into the swing of it, it is easy to stick to – and contrary to Tim, (sorry tim!) I think you can build in lots of variety with a little effort!

      Now, unfortunately for you Katy I’m afraid you are just going to have to get to like veg!!!!! There is no other way to make this work effectively and be healthy. When you look at the nutritional breakdown of foods generally you find some stuff is all bad, some is ok and some has a bit of good and a bit of bad. Veggies though are all good and you cannot live a healthy life without them! I also used to hate veg but the reason was that i believed it to be boring. This is because I grew up in England and the only veg we had was boiled and with a roast dinner, NO WONDER!!! Anyway I went travelling in Thailand and found the joys of crisp veggies in noodles and curries, fresh, tasty and nutritious and Ive never looked back.

      If you like curry, this is a good place to start because a lot of the flavour of the vegetables is masked by the spices and if you cook them for a short period of time they retain a fresh and crunchy texture which i think is very nice. Rice can also be replaced by split peas which are tasty and nutritious. Another option is chilli, again with loads of veg and different beans, made with beef mince or chicken breast and bacon. Omlettes are often a good way to start the day, ham and cheese is my favourite. For snacking I like raw carrot (it is quite sweet) and hummus, or any veg you like can be dipped in. Hummus is tasty and healthy, it is also quite filling and again can be used to mask the taste of any veg you’re not so keen on. I also made a pizza that can be eaten on this diet the other day aswell. The base was made out of cauliflower and haricot beans and it was really nice – I couldnt taste the cauliflower. I also start the day with a spinich smoothie, sounds horrible but stay with me! It’s spinich, ginger and mint diluted alot to make a litre of juice. This gets you hydrated and nourished to start the day and along with an omlette will keep you full til lunch.

      As regards your digetion problems, if you dont eat a lot of veg you will not have the right bacteria in your stomach to aid in its digestion. If you stick with it though after a couple of weeks it should start getting better. A lot of people have similar problems with beans but your body will eventually adapt.

      Now, initially this is quite hard going. For the first few days you will crave carbs and for the first week or so you may be a little hungry, however, the cravings will subside and your stomach will shrink, making it easier – just stick with it! Plus you have your cheat day, just dont eat 3 bags of crisps, 5 chocolate bars and a whole bottle of coke, be sensible!

      If you (or anyone else for that matter), would like any recipes just ask and I will be happy to post them, i’m always working on new ones to give myself as much variety as possible, which i think is the key to making this last.

      Anyway, good luck!

      Lloyd

    2. Hi Katy,

      It seems Tim is quite busy at the moment so if you would like some advice I’d be happy to help.

      Firstly your boyfriend should be proud to have you on his arm no matter what you look like. If he truly loves you he will, but it may just be your own insecurities that are making you feel that way rather that what he really thinks.The reason you should want to change is for you and you alone, I know it can be hard when you feel the odd one out because of your size though, we live in a very visual society and things can sometimes be difficult, especially when you’re in your teens.

      Anyway, the diet! This can be more than just a short term fix and a way to change your way of eating forever and personally I think that once you get into the swing of it, it is easy to stick to – and contrary to Tim, (sorry tim!) I think you can build in lots of variety with a little effort!

      Now, unfortunately for you Katy I’m afraid you are just going to have to get to like veg!!!!! There is no other way to make this work effectively and be healthy. When you look at the nutritional breakdown of foods generally you find some stuff is all bad, some is ok and some has a bit of good and a bit of bad. Veggies though are all good and you cannot live a healthy life without them! I also used to hate veg but the reason was that i believed it to be boring. This is because I grew up in England and the only veg we had was boiled and with a roast dinner, NO WONDER!!! Anyway I went travelling in Thailand and found the joys of crisp veggies in noodles and curries, fresh, tasty and nutritious and Ive never looked back.

      If you like curry, this is a good place to start because a lot of the flavour of the vegetables is masked by the spices and if you cook them for a short period of time they retain a fresh and crunchy texture which i think is very nice. Rice can also be replaced by split peas which are tasty and nutritious. Another option is chilli, again with loads of veg and different beans, made with beef mince or chicken breast and bacon. Omlettes are often a good way to start the day, ham and cheese is my favourite. For snacking I like raw carrot (it is quite sweet) and hummus, or any veg you like can be dipped in. Hummus is tasty and healthy, it is also quite filling and again can be used to mask the taste of any veg you’re not so keen on. I also made a pizza that can be eaten on this diet the other day aswell. The base was made out of cauliflower and haricot beans and it was really nice – I couldnt taste the cauliflower. I also start the day with a spinich smoothie, sounds horrible but stay with me! It’s spinich, ginger and mint diluted alot to make a litre of juice. This gets you hydrated and nourished to start the day and along with an omlette will keep you full til lunch.

      As regards your digetion problems, if you dont eat a lot of veg you will not have the right bacteria in your stomach to aid in its digestion. If you stick with it though after a couple of weeks it should start getting better. A lot of people have similar problems with beans but your body will eventually adapt.

      This can be a bit hard going for the first couple of days and you may crave carbs, also, you may feel a little hungry in the first couple of weeks but your stomach will shrink and you will stop craving carbs. Dont forget you have your cheat day, just keep it under control and dont go too mental, remember, crap is crap!

      If you (or anyone else) would like any recipes, let me know and i will be happy to post them, Im always working on new ones to increase variety and make this more easy as a long term option.

      Good luck,

      Lloyd

  74. Hi Tim,

    I just got the book and so far so good. For my cheat can I start on Friday at 6:00 PM till Saturday 5:00 PM as I am jewish and I have to eat 3 meals with bread which is friday at 6ish saturday at about 1:00 PM and saturday at about 5:00 PM. Please let me know your thoughts.

  75. Been a while since my initial post, which didn’t get much love, so here it is again, in case Tim (or anybody else) has a minute:

    – Is Stevia ok? In what quantities? (You mention it as part of a dressing in 4HB)

    – Is paneer ok, or is there something special about cottage cheese? (It’s an Indian cheese made by curdling milk with lemon juice then straining; there’s no rennet involved, unlike with cottage cheese.)

    – You allow up to 2 tbsp of cream for coffee. Why that amount? And is that per day or per cup? (Guessing the former..)

    In general, I think the diet section could benefit from more detail, rather than just being like, “this is the stuff I [Tim] like to eat, so keep it simple and pick from these foods. Except you can eat this too. And also this.” In other words, because there are so many one-off exceptions to the core principles, without much explanation of why they’re exceptions (e.g. cream is ok even though it’s dairy), it’s not a easy to follow as a lifetime diet as, say, Atkins, if your preferences differ from Tim’s.

    But still, exciting stuff!

    Thanks,

    Sameer

  76. Hey Tim, I read the book and am implementing the PAGG stack along w/ the slow carb diet. Do you have experience with Intermittent Fasting while slow-carbing? And if you’re doing both simultaneously, would you still do the PAGG while you’re not eating, or would you only supplement around mealtime?

    I’ll likely try some Intermittent Fasting on alternating days with regular (slow-carb) food. On those days I’m not eating I’m wondering if it’s safe/advisable to take the PAGG. Thanks

  77. Hi Tim!

    I have sent my receipt for purchase of 4 hour body on Friday, but still haven’t received bonus materials. Did you get my receipt?

  78. Thanks for the book and diet advice. I know you tell us to avoid all fruit (except tomatoes and avocado) but what about grapefruit? Also, is sweet potato allowed? Again, thanks.

  79. Hi Everyone,

    I started the slow carb diet a week and a half ago and I’ve already lost 2.3 kilos (5 pounds)!

    The most amazing part about it is:

    I’m not obese at all anyway, and my diet was already similar to this, so I thought it wouldn’t have much effect.

    Basically my only changes were:

    1. Stop having whole grain cereal in the morning and go for an egg instead

    2. Start drinking americanos instead of soy milk lattes.

    3. Stop eating fruit – which was difficult and seemed really counter-intuitive to me. But wow it works!

    4. Stop eating cheese.

    For anyone’s reference, this is what I’ve been doing for the past week and a half:

    Breakfast:

    1 hard boiled egg

    1 americano with a bit of milk for taste

    Lunch:

    Green salad with tuna

    2nd Lunch:

    Half a can of mixed beans and a half avocado

    Dinner:

    Lean meat or tofu, peas, other mixed veggies.

    Today’s my day off for the week and I’ve already had a latte and pudding for breakfast! Can’t wait to gorge on fruit today!

    Will keep you all posted on my progress if interested.

    1. i’m trying to get my head around the diet before i start, but it sounds to me like your not eating enough based on what the book says – or are you already fairly small?

  80. Any experience or information on how well the slow carb diet works with vs. without using the supplements recommended in the book (PAGG)? Thanks.

  81. Hi Tim,

    I am about to start your diet after reading your book. The only thing Im having trouble with is finding what foods I CAN eat… It seems that your book, this blog post,comments, and online info on slow-carb diets ALL have inconsistencies. Its making it really hard drawing up a plan that both me and my girlfriend can stick to, since we don’t know what our options are. Could you provide a list, or a link to a website , that has a bigger selection of EXACTLY the foods that are allowed or not. That would be super helpful to both me and others im sure. Thanks

    1. eh? Tim lists the foods which you can eat in the main post. There are no inconsistencies on this blog about this diet, it’s simple: legumes + protein + vegetables.

    2. I agree…this blog is VERY cut and dry about what you can and cannot eat! Go to the top of page one and you will see the following:

      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:

      Proteins:

      Egg whites with one whole egg for flavor

      Chicken breast or thigh

      Grass-fed organic beef

      Pork

      Legumes:

      Lentils

      Black beans

      Pinto beans

      Vegetables:

      Spinach

      Asparagus

      Peas

      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

      Post-workout pizza with extra chicken, cilantro, pineapple, garlic, sundried tomotoes, bell peppers, and red onions

      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.

  82. Hey Tim!

    I’ve been following your diet for the past week…and I’ve noticed I’ve fluctuate in weight (I weigh myslef every morning when I wake up) I go from anywhere between 145-149 pounds, and my BMI changest constantly. I was wondering if this was normal? Usually on my “normal diet” (before I started slow carb) this occured as well.

  83. Actually there is…Some places he lists cheese as ok But others he doesn’t , some places he says that macaroni is his go to food on this diet while in the book he said absolutely no pastas , some places he says white rice us bad but others he mentions eating it, here he is eating a pizza which obviously contains white carbs but u guys say it’s ok because it’s post workout… I haven’t seen anything about diet not applying post workout. So I go back to asking for a little more detail considering these and many more inconsistencies .

    1. It’s pretty consistnet. If you’re serious about losing fat:

      – No cheese

      – No white anything, including rice or bread

      – No post-workout carbs

      – No pasta, no macaroni

      Good luck!

      Tim

      1. No Post-Workout carbs? I’m going the Colorado experiment workout with this diet, only using an A & B workout with a 1 on, 2 day off approach. I’m taking 1/2 cup Dextrose + 2 scoops of Isopure Post workout with lipoic acid.

        Do you think this will inhibit fat loss even if it’s PWO?

        Thanks!

  84. Hi Tim or anyone,

    For high quantity protein – why isn’t fish on the list with chicken and beef? From my understanding fish has the highest protein content? Thanks, Greg

  85. Hello Tim,

    I am curious as to how one integrates other foods back into their diet such as fruit, oatmeal, ect…after they have reached their desired weight?

    Is it possible to maintain your efforts?

    Thank you,

    Sam

  86. Ok, I’ve started the diet today. I’m going to be keeping an online journal of the experiment (eek!). Maybe it’ll allow me to keep the psychology part of weight loss in check.

    Here are my measurements:

    Height: 5’10”

    Weight: 242.4 lbs :O

    Waist: 47″

    Hips: 47″

    Chest: 45.5″

    Neck: 17″

    Leg (mid-thigh): 26.5″

    Bicep (flexed): 16.5″

    I’ll update on weight loss in 7 days!

  87. Hi Tim/everyone,

    Sorry to re-post. Does anyone know if quinoa is ok, in the initial stages or later on? It is a seed so I’m not sure.

    Lloyd