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. hi, i was just wondering do i ave to eat 4 to 5 meals a day for that to work? i’m a college student 17 at 165 pounds and should i workout before or after i eat?

  2. Hi all!

    I began this change of eating last Friday 9/16

    Height: 5’6 or 5’7 depends whose measuring lol

    Start weight: 139 Goal: 115

    Jean size: 8/9 Goal: 3 – 5 (fit into “old” jeans) and maintain it!

    My entire life I have been about 115 lbs, maybe 120 after the holiday garbage buffets. I have usually worn a size 3 to 5 with little variation other than who makes the jeans. In the past year my weight has slowly crept up until I could no longer fit into jeans that previously were quite loose and very comfortable. Long story short, I could no longer look in the mirror at my own body and accept what I was seeing. I knew I had to get back on track with eating healthy and getting exercise like I had lived my whole life previously.

    The end of May I began engaging in what used to be my normal routine of exercise and started cutting out the crap to no avail. Sure I have more energy and feel better, but the fat was still hanging around my stomach, thighs and butt with no change in size or body fat. Three months later I found Tim’s book and decided to go for it -strictly. Following the plan was hard the first two days, after that, it has become the routine. I will only be weighing myself the mornin of pig-out on trash day.

    Speaking of which, today is eat restricted sugary starchy dairy gooeyness day, so I weighed myself this morning.

    I am currently at 133.8 lbs.

    That is a 4.2lbs loss, and I would hazard a guess that some of it is water leaving the fat stores (and boy oh boy do I drink A LOT of water). The fit of my clothes has not yet changed. That said, being a female, my monthly friend is in town this week, so I think I’ll wait to get all sad about such “small gains” until next pig-out day a.m. weigh in.

    Wishing you all the very best!

    1. Congratulations WI Em! You are doing quite well, don’t ever get discouraged. Keep at it and you will soon get to your 115lbs goal. I am rooting for you 🙂

  3. Found the solution on binge gain!!!

    Sorry for posting the results late…

    The things that prevented my much-feared damage on binge:-

    1. kept 4 hrs gap in between meals.

    2. ate Bournville dark chocolate after meals.

    Result: only 1kg 2Lbs of weight gain!! (in place of 2.2kg 5Lbs)

    Today’s weight update: lost 9 lbs & 2.5 inches on waist in 17 days.

    JeDi..

  4. Great post! I just got the new book and I’m excited to get started.

    I love the idea of a Minimum Effective Dose. It is something I feel like I already look for in every aspect of life.

    Thanks for the great content!

  5. Im a vegetarian. There are faux meat items that i eat that are made by Gardein and are mostly soybeans, tempeh, or seitan. Are they ok to eat? I dont eat eggs at all. So should i double up on the beans?

  6. What can I substitute beans for? I don’t

    Like them and I never have :/. I wa t to try this diet

    But the beans are holding me back

  7. Hi.I am 5′ 6″ tall and I am now 150 lbs.I want to lose 30 lbs in a month without damaging my health. Is this diet truly safe for health? Are there any Asian recipes for this diet? And will it be more effective with doing exercises for 30 minutes a day?

  8. Hey Tim (and anyone else who might know),

    I just kicked off my first trial of slow carbing a couple days ago, so far so good, but I had a question about foods containing sugars.

    I looked at the nutrition info for Chipotle, which I’m planning to frequent since I live right next to one. They list their fajita veggies as containing 2 grams of sugars per serving, and their tomato salsa has 3 per serving.

    Are these amounts problematic? Or are they so small it doesn’t really matter? I only hesitate to cut them out because if I did all that would be left in terms of vegetables is lettuce.

    Any suggestions you had would be greatly appreciated!

  9. Hey Tim (and anyone else who might know),

    Just kicked off my first round of slow carb recently, and I had a question about allowable amounts of sugars in foods.

    I just read Chipotle’s nutrition info (I live next to one) and it says that each serving of tomato salsa contains 3 grams of sugar, and each serving of fajita veggies has 2 grams.

    Is that amount of sugar going to be problematic? Or are they negligible? I’d cut them out right away but if I did there’d be no other veggies than lettuce…

    Any info you had would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Mitch,

      Chipotle is a great option for Slow Carb dieters. None of their foods are processed and you can tell that the company actually spends a lot of money on food. The amount of sugar in their food is so minimal that it is really not an issue however, the thing that should concern you is the sodium content. An average meal at Chipotle packs in about a day’s worth of sodium. They put salt in literally everything. DRINK LOTS OF WATER! My best guess is the sugar in Chipotle’s food is just from using citrus juice they use as an ingredient which contains some fructose and from the bell peppers themselves. Good Luck!

      -Gentaro

  10. Started this diet this morning and I have high hopes. I am planning to follow it with no slip ups and I am 90% sure I can do so. This month is the trial period, and we will see how it works for me. Here’s what I ate today (mind you, I didn’t go shopping for the food until it was around dinner time)..

    Breakfast: 5 egg whites, 1 full egg. Green beans. Glass of organic soy milk

    Lunch: Canned Tuna, Onions and Celery, Glass of Soy Milk.

    DInner: Baked Chicken Breast w/ Garlic, Mixed Veggies, Pinto Beans.

    I had to force what I could down of dinner because I wasn’t hungry, which I guess isn’t a bad thing!

    Condiments? What are ok and what aren’t do you think? I know mustard is ok. Just need to see what I could spice up some of the food with.

    I’ll check back after 2 weeks to let everyone know what I’m seeing. And I’ll update after that.

    P.S. I’m 21, male, 5’11 and 220 lbs at the start of this diet. Have a good amount of muscle, but also a large amount of fat. Looking to get to 200 by New Years. More would be better, but I feel that’s realistic.

    1. @Mike G-

      I experienced the “too full to eat” issue a lot my first week and sometimes during the past week. Eat small amounts more often if it is possible (I realize schedules can make this difficult) and eat slowly until you are full/satisfied rather than quickly as it will help rev up your metabolism.

      Most condiments have a lot of added salt and sugar as well as other “exciting” ingredients, so watch the labels. I use a lot of seasonings/spices so take the liberty to zest your food up with them -just make sure there isn’t any crap in the seasonings you are using since some of the premixed ones have “glue” in them.

      You said you have a fair amount of muscle and a fair amount of fat, so take heart! If you took the time to read all of the comments posted you know that you are probably going to see a lot of gains toward your fat-loss goals more quickly than those who have less to lose. Also, 20lbs in 4 months is a very reasonable and realistic goal (unlike my own goal of 24lbs in a month!).

      Best of luck to you!!!

  11. Ok you people need to understand something weight loss is easy at the begging because your body is like what the hell he/she changed my diet but after a while you do need to work out a little more then an hour because your body is use to loading weight that now it can just burn what you eat and that’s it. So what I’m saying is when you first start this weightloss program you will loss weight fast but that’s because it’s new to your body so what happens is it burns all the calories you eat and some fat because the diet is new. Now when you stay on the diet and you’ve lost lol 10-15 pounds then you need to step it up because it’s use to the idea of you eating and burning those calories so work a little more because the less you way the more you have to work. I found that out at the gym. Me and my friend started going to the gym and yes grant it the machines aren’t acuret to the T but she weighs more then me and she can walk and loss twice as many calories as I can even when I’m running so don’t forget when you do loss weight you need to do more work outs so that your body burns more.

    1. @ Jeffery-

      Physics dictate that it takes more energy to move a larger mass than a smaller mass. Thus, those who are heavier will burn more calories than those who are lighter while engaged in the same activity (for example, climbing the same number of stairs).

      You also seem to assume that no one here is “stepping up” their exercise routine, and if you have read all of the comments, I think you would find that most people here who are not physically prevented due to injury ARE stepping up their exercise.

      Try to be a little more positive and maybe you would come off as encouraging rather than condescending. THANKS!

  12. As I said I would, I am posting my weekly update. This is the end of my second week (hurrah for junk food day), and when I stood on the scale this morning I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed -especially since I am being so strict with this.

    Start weight of 139lbs. Weight this morning (2 weeks later) 132.2

    So since my first week, I have lost 6.8lbs. I guess that isn’t too bad considering I had only stopped my weight gain since before I began this try-out with slow carbing, ice etc.

    As I had assumed, the first week of loss was, to some extent, water leaving the fat. Regardless, I’m planning to stick with it for the entire month and hope I can meet my goal of 115lbs after loss. 17.2lbs in the next 2 weeks seems like a stretch. If I continue to see small gains each week toward my goal, I may continue on until my goal has been met and then modify the diet slightly so I don’t get too skinny. Here’s hoping!

    1. Like I said, I am rooting for you WI Em! I remember when I set my weight loss goal and was working towards it. I had the same enthusiasm you have now, and something is telling me you will be successful like I was, if you continue. So, keep at it, and all the best!

      “If we all treat each other like we treat ourselves – what a wonderful place earth would be.”

    2. @ WI Em Thanks for the support and info. I’m on my third day now, and feeling great! I started eating more often yesterday and it seems like a more enjoyable way to go about the diet. I was struggling to find snacks and such that would fit on the diet, at least things that I could eat as smaller meals, and skimming through more of the comments and looking at nutrition info definitely helped.

      I’m actually excited to eat breakfast now because I purchased some black bean/corn salsa to throw on the egg whites and beans, kind of make some kind of sloppy burrito like feel I hope.. Definitely going to be a plus since those beans were starting to get to me already lol.

  13. Back again… I lost 23 lbs. in 2 months on this, then… I lost my job, then gained a shiny new boyfriend, a new job, we bought a house, and had too much fun, So… starting this lifestyle again. In fact, Tim published my turkey casserole in his recipe book! So this time it’s for permanent.

    I am on Day 30 of P90X and have only shed 6 lbs. so I’m a steady 156 at 5′ 6″, so start today with me!

    Good luck everyone, and thanks ahead for the support. Will keep everyone posted 🙂

    1. @ Genie – Thanks for your support. I have never felt uncomfortable in my own skin before and no one would say I look or am overweight, but I feel uncomfortable and that is what matters, not others opinions. So I am dedicated to losing the weight that I am unhappy with and keeping it off.

      @ Mike – I’m glad to have helped but I’m new in this too. If you don’t have Tim’s book, get it as it will offer you more guidance than I can on how to deal with your own unique situation.

      @Fun Chick – I love P90X! The plyometrics can really kick me in the can sometimes, but that’s half the fun! I’m glad to see you’re getting back on the healthy horse. I’m still early in it as far as the changes in eating are concerned, but very commited.

      Best to all

  14. hello everyone,

    i really have a hard time losing weight because i hate doing any form of exercises.I am now so interested of losing weight since i gain 55lbs and i want to cut it and back to my normal weight unfortunately the original post for the right foods to eat is very hard for me since i don’t eat veggie and i haven’t try eating green beans i really need some advice of what are the alternatives food to eat aside from veggie and beans..please2 reply

  15. hi all

    I have been stuck at 9st 7 ish up and down 3 pounds (for the last 4 weeks),20 pound loss – fantastic) but I feel great the last month stuck at weight. I have been doing PX90 yoga, Feel fit and still need to lose another 14 pounds (152cm). Keep up the good work every one.

    thanks again Tim

  16. arlevie anne

    Hi I have not been eating beans and veg much this month and my weight loss has stalled, this month. If you follow the rules it works. I plan to return to the 4 rules as i love beans plus the lose of my belly. I am at the weight of two years ago and loving it. I feel lighter and will try the way of eating with my mum as she is very upset with her increased belly fat after the menopause. I use chips as a treat and this has changed the way I view bread.

    good luck everyone.

  17. i lost 53 pounds in nearly 3 months by eating every 3 – 3.5 hours only 200-300 calories each sitting… which gives your body time to work the calories off and your then hungry again.. i worked out 1 hr in the morning 1 hr at night 6 days a week… YOU SHOULD NEVER CUT OUT ALL WHITES AND CARBS.. NEVER CUT OUT ANYTHING THAT YOU WILL EAT AGAIN EVENTUALLY…. NEVERRRR… YOU WILL GAIN IT RIGHT BACK … JUST USE THOSE THINGS IN MODERATION …

  18. This looks like an Atkin’s type diet, however, I was told the pizza and beans aren’t the proper items to eat I had to do some rapid weight loss so here is what my doctor recommended:

    morning

    1 egg, 1 strip of bacon, and plain grapefruit juice. Oddly enough for a 263 pound 5’9″ 30 year old male this held me from 7am till 11:45am so almost 5 hours. Had a desk job.

    lunch

    any meat and any vegetables, and plain grapefruit juice. held me till 5 in the evening.

    dinner

    same as lunch

    The grapefruit juice is a little tough to drink at first but you get used to it. It helps break down and pass most of the fats in the food.

    You can put butter on the vegetables and drink water or diet soda. As far as carbs go don’t eat any; no bread, potatoe, rice, or pasta. Absolutely no granular sugar of any kind and milk has sugars as well so skip it and take a calcium supliment if needed. With this diet, your body converts your stored fats into sugar to burn in your muscles and if you don’t take in sugars then your body HAS to convert the fat. It can become hard on your liver so it’s not a good idea to stay on this type of diet for a long period of time and it tends to plateu your weight so exercise will be needed. Once your weight is down low enough you can mix in exercise and maybe some carbs and beans occasionally. A can of green beans works just as well as a can of black beans. I worked out every other day and stuck to this style of diet for 4 days on and one day off and lost 60 pounds in 4 months. Went from doing 5 minutes to 45 minutes on an eliptical machine. Trick to dieting is mixing in exercise or else you have to balance your food intake to what you burn off when you’re sitting. Remember if your neighborhood is safe you are allowed to walk around it! It’s a shame mine isn’t so I have to make do with pacing in my apartment. 😉

    1. Hi BouncinBelly,

      Your doc tell you all this? His info sound rather familiar?!?!?!

      You dont need to exercise and if you do go for the minimum ie tabata. beats 45 mins of anything or try a good weights program cause it takes more calories to feed/build/maintain muscle, blah, blah.

      There is a program on this site

      http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2008/12/18/pavel-8020-powerlifting-and-how-to-add-110-pounds-to-your-lifts/

      which is very close to what i do except i do back rows and shoulder press too.

    1. @Anne – Short answer: no, not if you are doing Tim’s diet. There is sugar in baked beans. Check the label for the sugar content. I wouldn’t even eat it if it was “sugar-free.” Sugar substitutes are poisonous. Good luck!

  19. Thank you for taking the time to answer. I will just use the black beans and lentils then. This is day 2 for me on the diet.

    1. @Anne~ Again…good luck! It’s a great diet as long as you stay true to Tim’s plan. There are a good number of posts on this site that have altered his diet, like the one above that has you eating grapefruit and butter. Choose which plan you’re going to do, and then stick to it. I hope you let us know how you’re doing in a week or so…or if you have questions before that. Best, ~Virginia

      1. Thanks for the encouragement. I am working on it. today is the end of day 3. Question do you see a difference in the weight daily or by the end of the 6 days it decreases? You know how with HCG you see 1lb gone per day. Does it work like that? or When do you see the difference on the scale?

    2. @Anne

      I try not to check my weight every day, but it’s a great temptation. Like any graph, weight goes up and down even when you are on a diet. If I check each day, I remind myself not to get discouraged by any weight gain on a given day. I know that the over all loss in a week will be good. I tend to celebrate the new lows that are sure to arrive if I stay on the plan. I hope that helps. ~Virginia

      1. I enjoy tracking my weight. I find it keeps me accountable. Everyday I weigh I watch my weight go down down down (which I think is fun). Sometimes it goes up a little but not a lot. Then they day after cheat day it goes way up (usually 5 lbs). But then I watch it go down down down till the next cheat day and it is even lower than the last week. I track my weight using the “free” livestrong website Livestrong.com. You register then go in under “tools”. From there you select myplate then there is a tab labeled “weight”. This is where I track mine. You can even go back and add previous days. It is fun to watch it on the graph. You can see the cheat day and then you can see it continually go down.

      2. I am now on week 2. I lost 4.2lbs last week, I am stoked.

        Thanks for your support Virginia, it is greatly appreciated.

      3. @Anne~

        Great results! Keep up the good work and stay active on this blog. You have encouragement and support here!

        ~Virginia

  20. So I’m thinking about trying this diet, but I’m only 14. I’m not growing anymore. But I still go to school and have to eat there. Does anyone have advice on what I could take to school instead of bread. Until now I took 3 sandwiches. Are crackers okay ?

    1. Kelly,

      If I were you I would cook some chicken breasts (or have your parents cook them) the night before school. Then bring a couple of them with you for lunch along with a salad.

      Crackers are NOT ok as they are white carbohydrates. Instead of crackers bring a small bag of mixed nuts.

  21. Oh and forgot to say this but after you’ve lost the weight you want can you go back to eating white stuff like bread again ?

  22. I started this diet after reading The Four Hour Body back in January 2011. I didn’t do any exercise AT ALL but I lost 20 pounds in about 6 months. I know that may not seem like a lot, but I didn’t do ANY portion control. I simply followed the diet, drank alcohol, but I stayed far away from bread, rice, and pasta.

    The best part of the diet for me is that I get to go crazy on Saturday. For example last Saturday I ate a whole pizza for lunch and a super sized McDonald’s value meal for dinner. Then late at night I ate another burger. I love this diet.

    On normal days I eat eggs for breakfast, steak for lunch, and chicken for dinner. When I get hungry I simply snack on nuts or make myself another meal.

  23. Hi Tim I started this diet on sunday and I already lost 3 pounds in 3dys am so happy. But today I ate a lot of nuts and one cup of white tea. Iam worried that maybe I didnt do my diet correctly doday. Is that ok to eats penuts and milk on this diet. thanks

    1. Asnat,

      You are allowed to eat nuts on this diet, but don’t go crazy with them. Just grab a handful and snack on that.

      As far as milk goes, Tim says it’s a no-no. However, I am sitting here now drinking a coffee with some milk in it. That being said, I’m also working out 5 days a week now so I allow myself a few simple pleasures, but I wouldn’t go so far as to put sugar in my coffee.

      Also remember that your weight is going to fluctuate each day. Try to weight yourself only a couple times a week and at the same time. I like to weigh myself in the morning before I’ve eaten or drunk anything.

      Good luck!

      1. Thanks Mike. but about the milk i read somewhere that you can have 1% milk of cup . Tim recomended that. also i think maybe I gain the 1 pound because maybe iam closser to my period .

  24. I have lost 40 lbs on this wonderful diet. how do we incorporate carbs when its time for maintenance? and how about almond milk as I am craving dairy?

    1. 40lbs is incredible, wow. Would you give me some tips on how you did it please? I started it Sunday 2nd, I have kept it strict but so far lost 3lbs this week which is great, I am happy for that but was hoping for 5lbs. I was thinking of using whey protein shake in the morning for breakfast instead.

      Sorry to bombard you, I have read the book but just hoping for some more tips.

      thanks so much.

  25. I have lost 25lbs doing this regime, however I hit a wall and cannot lose anymore lbs. Its been three months and still no more lbs lost. I wanted to know if you reached your plateau doing this regime what other options have you done or considered to lose more lbs. Thanks.

    1. @ERIC

      If you read my post below, you will find that there is a modification of eating in Tim’s book. When I first started fighting my weight gain of the last year, I wasn’t following this way of eating and I got the gain to stop by getting back to my old healthy habits, but couldn’t lose any of the weight. I considered this a plateau and decided to try the slow-carb method. I have slowly lost about 10 lbs in 3 weeks and while I am pleased, I realized that I needed something different. Give the clock as your drill sergent method a try and see if that helps. That’s my plan. Best of luck.

  26. Hello everyone! Ive read through a lot of your posts, now its my turn to post 🙂 I am a 40 year old woman, 5’1″, 149lbs. I have gained 15lbs in one year and have been trying to lose but not working. I’ve tried weight watchers, south beach, counting calories, nothing worked! I am hoping this will work. I love eggs, beans, chicken and veges, so I have no problem with the food. I work out about twice a week, 20 minutes on the elipticle and walking. I do have a question about tomatoes and carrots, on the south beach you were not allowed to eat, are they allowed on this diet? Today is Friday, so i plan to start this on Monday. Ok, well wish me luck, happy dieting. I will post next week with results.

  27. Thanks for the great recipe ideas. That very first one you put up, black beans, egg, and something else sounds very appealing. Even though I don’t eat eggs, it sounds really good in that meal. Maybe I should try that eggology…

  28. I can not figure out what I am doing wrong! I have followed this diet to a T for two weeks, I only have 6 pounds to lose and mainly want to flatten my stomach. I have also been doing excercises, the squats, wall press, the ab work outs in the book, even cold showers. I lose and gain 1lb over an over. I thought maybe I lost some inches around my stomach, but I don’t know, wouldn’t it show in weight? I have scanned the internet and everywhere else to see if maybe the way I am cooking is wrong, light sauces, onions and peppers in eggs and beans ect., but seems as though I am not doing anything wrong. Am I eating to much? Says eat as much as you want of these ingredients in the book, I don’t think I’m eating to much. I eat three times a day not four, I’m never hungry so I’m not snacking. HELP!!

  29. I am an over the road trucker…I have a small fridge in my rig and a microwave. I am curious about a meal plan that I can take with me on the road…I have recently stopped smoking and after 180 days of being entirely smoke free, I have gained 20 pounds. I am sick of this weight gain!!! I am 5`10 and now weigh 220. I was 185 when I quit!!!! UGH! I am looking forward to your diet but I am a little stuck on how to take it on the road for 5 days without spoil. Thanks Tim.

  30. So I am late in posting my update, but here it is. This post is a bit long, but bear with me as there are changes I wanted to share with you all.

    Begining weight: 139

    Weight as of Thursday: 129.8

    So that’s after 3 weeks following this way of eating. I fit back into my first pair of “old” jeans and while they may not fit the way they used to, the point is that I CAN GET THEM BACK ON!!!

    I have one week left on this try-out, and I very highly doubt I’m going to lose the 14.8lbs. of weight to reach my target goal of 115lbs. which is 5lbs more than what this diet claims. Regardless, I’m happy with the gains I’ve made in reaching my goal so far using this method.

    All of this said, I am going to be (and have been since Friday) following the chapter in Tim’s book, The Last Mile begining on page 149, to lose those last few stubborn lbs. I think recognizing when it’s time to change things is an important part of any healthy lifestyle, and I appear to be one of the people who have tried this that does not make large gains in the short time-span others have. Everyone’s biology is different.

    For those not familiar with Tim’s book outside of this blog, the clock is my drill sergent and I can’t skip meals. There is a cheat meal every 7-10 days (which is better for me I think, since I would get a bit nauseaus on cheat day and feel like heck the following day). I have 5 meal options to choose from. I no longer eat beans, and instead eat about 4 oz of protein every 3 hours along with as much vegetables (certain kinds) as I want. I am also allowed to eat very small amounts of nuts or peanut butter (which is nasty and I don’t -peanut butter tastes very bitter to me, yuck!) or a bit of olive or macadamia nut oil. If you want to know all of the details, get the book.

    Here’s to getting back into my pre-gain pants!

    1. Hi WI Em,

      Well done so far.

      The beans have been a big issue for me and probably many others too I don’t know if it is a calorific thing or that the body finds them hard to digest?

      Cutting down on the intake of beans or stopping them altogether tends to throw people a life line if they find themselves stuck on a weight loss plateau.

  31. I just starting people and I read many of your problems and I hope they get better, and I hope I succeed as well.

  32. Hi, I have 40 lbs of weight to loose. I have gone through many diet websites, but I think this is the one, which will work for me as it never asks you to starve. I have a question here, is it mandatory to exercise while on this diet? I am a working mom and have busy schedule from 5 am to 10 pm. In this routine, I dont have time for exercise, but yes surely can go for this diet.

    1. It isn’t mandatory, in the book it says it can be done without exercise but it certainly does help. I understand what you mean though, I am a working single mom and time is tough but I try to get in at least 15 mins of exercise three days a week and it helps. Tim recommended Dr. Phil’s book “Weight Loss Solution” earlier in these blogs, I got it and read it and it helps alot. I also do the air squats and wall press exercise that Tim demonstates in his book when my time is limited. You can try it and see if it works for you. For me, it helped because I started this diet last week and lost 4.2lbs though my “visitor” is due this week and I am in my second week now.

      If 15mins is too tough for you, just try being more active in the day, walk more, park the car further from the store, take stairs instead of the elevator, that sort of thing. Every little bit helps.

      Though we have kids, as moms taking care of ourselves is just as important, so we can be in a better frame of mind for our family.

    2. Hi Jas,

      The post is called ‘How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise’.. So no, you don’t have to do any excercise.

      LC

  33. I started this Diet May 1, 2011 at 162 lbs. I am female 49 yrs old – 5’0″

    August 1, 2011 – three months later I was weighing 139 lbs (23 lbs lighter). I was at a standstill could not go down any more. So I quit this diet and went to Weight Watchers. After 2 months on Weight Watchers I gained 7 lbs. So here I am back on the “bean diet”. After a week back on this diet I am back down to 141 lbs.

    For those new people I want to post my daily menu, this is what works for me!

    Here is what I eat six days a week:

    1st meal – 7:00-7:30 am – green beans, other beans, low fat cottage cheese, slice of 97% deli ham

    2nd meal – 10:30-11:00 am – green beans, other beans, 4oz lean meat (ham, chicken, beef)

    3rd meal – 2:30-3:00 pm – green beans, other beans, slice of 97% fat free deli meat

    4th meal – 6:00-7:00 pm – green beans, other beans, 4oz lean meat (ham, chicken, beef)

    On the 2nd or 4th meal I sometimes have a salad! (But no dressing, no croutons, no fruit, only veggies)

    NO SUGAR, nothing white (potatoes, rice), no bread, no fruit.

    If you eat canned veggies try to cut back on your sodium they are high in sodium and you will get too much. I had to start buying no salt added green beans – you can add Mrs. Dash to them and they taste better!

    Drink Water – Limit your diet drinks to two a day!

    ***very important – I take 1 beano with each meal! Probably more of a women thing! Guys will usually be guys!

    I did not do any exercising on this diet!

    ________________________________________________________

    On the 7th day I eat what I want.

    One more tip –

    I enjoy tracking my weight. I find it keeps me accountable. Every day I weigh I watch my weight go down down down (which I think is fun). Sometimes it goes up a little but not a lot. Then they day after cheat day it goes way up (usually 5 lbs). But then I watch it go down down down till the next cheat day and it is even lower than the last week. I track my weight using the “free” livestrong website Livestrong.com. You register then go in under “tools”. From there you select myplate then there is a tab labeled “weight”. This is where I track mine. You can even go back and add previous days. It is fun to watch it on the graph. You can see the cheat day and then you can see it continually go down.

  34. Dear Tim

    I bought the book and am delighted with the results of the diet. As a fairly fit but overweight 44 year old man with a desk job I have lost 6 kg in 6 weeks which I think is good progress. The diet is easy to follow not because of the cheat day but because with the ingredients it is easy to have a healthy and satisfying meal. Brilliant.

    A couple of comments. The point about milk is important. As a Brit I like a bit of milk in my tea but over the day – 4 or 5 mugs of tea – that is a fair bit of milk and it mucked up the diet for a bit

    Secondly, I am in my forties and I did notice that the diet took time to start to work. I have read this elsewhere so it is worth noting that there is a bit of a shallow start which might make people pause or look to a calorie restrictive or mad diet like Atkins. I am not sure if this is right but it feels like the first week you shed some weight because you are getting rid of toxic white flour ***p. Then there is a bit of a flat period and then it starts afresh.

    Finally, Tim, what size is a glass of wine for you. I have read that alcohol inhibits weight loss and you say max 2 glasses.

    Many thanks Tim. You do the research and we shall follow like grass fed sheep.

    Ad

    1. Hi Ad,

      I too hail from that small isle and live in Wales (so watch your comments about sheep – ha, ha).

      You hit the mark when you say that perseverance is the key and I believe that Tim (or maybe another poster) suggests that you aim for a month of doing the diet before you really start to understand how your body is really reacting to the changes.

      It makes me chuckle to read the posts that are submitted when the person has clearly never read the book (after all it is only a couple of pounds/bucks on amazon) because they ask daft questions that shouldn’t need be asked with the most basic understanding of the book.

      Don’t know about you but I have had difficulties with the beans part of the diet. Some posters have suggested that bean consumption can be reduced to experience further fat/weight loss after a stall.

      Another thing I find myself doing now is wearing single layers of clothing and basically getting used to feeling the cold, especially with all this inclement weather we are experiencing here in the UK.

      I work nights in a very open facility with many drafts blowing cold air. If I do get cold I find myself going for a quick burst of squats or such like to raise my internal temperature rather than adding a jumper.

      I believe the thermo control part of the diet is great way of putting our bodies back in control of our core temperature and thus regulating fat for warmth. I must refuse to run around in animal skin with a wolf’s tooth pendant and dirty feet though (except for weekends down the local)!

      Keep us posted on your progress!!

  35. It is not entirely sure what vegetables are okay to eat. For example, is it okay to eat a green salad like this – lettuce (Iceberg, webbs), rocket (arugola), red onion, raddichio, cucumber and a little olive oil.

  36. Well I am on day 22… down 9.4 lbs! This for me, is a huge success in trying to lose that last 20 lbs…. so just about 10 more to go!

    Thank you so much for the info on this site, and of course…Saturdays. 🙂

  37. So just so I understand, just cutting out these foods will cause me to lose weight?

    NO: bread, rice, cereal, potatoes, pasta, and fried food with breading. If you avoid eating anything white, you’ll be safe.

  38. Hi. I’m 14and 180. I’ve played soccer all my life and started cheerleading 3 years ago. Yet, I’ve still managed to be huskey. I would really like to lose this while I’m still young. Would this help for my lifestyle?

  39. For anyone fretting over how to get enough Omega-3 into their diet, simply buy flax seeds. One-quarter cup equals 7 grams. Toast ’em lightly, put them in salads and shakes, whip into a butter, lots of good things benefit from flax seeds… and you will, too!

    Be well,

    Ron

  40. Hey guys and gals! I’m thirteen and I way about 165 (not sure my scale doesn’t work right) I think I have about ten to fifteen pounds of muscle and I want to way about 140 (maybe less just working down slowly) I’ve been exercising since january of this year and I’ve lost about 30(ish) pounds…I jog, ride bike, and walk a lot! So now i just need to work on diet! I hope this works!!!

  41. how does all this effect you if you consume alcohol, and what is the best idea to have for cocktails in low cal and how much, do i need alot of exercise if i do drink to stay on track

  42. i dont know much about diets and i would love to see a week to week plan for meals, i dont believe in miracle pills and i dont desire water loss only fat loss and to speed up my metabolism , i am a male 44 im 5 foot 10 inches and weigh 180 pounds, i feel real over weight, im looking to loose my belly fat, its been a problem for me for years, my goal is 150 pounds for my body structure, ive been there before but everything ive tried has never worked, i really need a diet plan, and i dont mind a little exercise, and by the way i stand on my feet all day at work but move very little, i want this to be my answer to my problem, i hope to hear from everyone

    1. Hi Jonathan,

      I Believe there is a recipe book for this plan of eating from Tim (but you may actually have to research to find it).

      Try reading his 4hr body book too there are great ideas like squatting before eating to deplete glycogen, etc which will help to increase your calorific burn and strategic eating that cover your questions.

      As for alcohol white spirits tend to be the better of the bad bunch but you will be using fruit juices and soda’s as mixers which is a no no except for the cheat day. Unless you just take a finish vodka shot straight from the freezer (yum).

      He does suggest red wine outside of cheat day as this didnt seem to impact his goals. 1 Glass per night and lower sugar varieties IE malbec.

  43. Week 1 Update:

    Hello,

    I started this plan 1 week ago. To date I have lost 4 lbs. I am 33 year old female with an initial 40 lb weight loss goal. Current weight 186. I am happy with the 4 pound loss. The diet is simple to follow…the only drawback for me is getting sick of eating beans! But I am going to follow the plan for a month and hope to see at least a 12-15 pound loss. I will consider that a success.

    Today is cheat day. I know one thing for sure…I won’t be eating any beans today! I will be next week with another update. Good luck to all!

  44. I noticed the other day that there is such a thing as white corn, is it still alright to eat the yellow kind? Also, are onions okay to eat?

  45. well Iam so discourag, I need help, i started this diet 3weeks ago the first week I lost four pounds. after my cheating day I gain all the weight back and now Iam on the third week and I havent loose any pound. what Iam doing wrong ???? help please

  46. Hi Tim,

    I had a couple of questions regarding the diet:

    What about dairy? Milk, Cottage Cheese, Yogurt

    Was that post workout pizza on or off a cheat day? Better yet, can you eat a big meal right after a workout or do you stick to the diet?

    Thanks.

  47. I am 22, 5’8, currently weigh 211lbs. I have averaged 160-170lbs until a major crisis happened in 2009 and I have never been able to get back to that weight. I have 2 big events coming up one next month and another soon after. Have you heard of the bead diet, hcg? Hcg affects your metabolism. The bead diet stimulates certain points behind the ear to control hunger cravings and to reset your body’s view of how much you need to eat to be satisfied and your metabolism. I am fully aware of all that’s involved in both diets and have grown up in an alternative health clinic and therefore know the pros & cons. Here’s my plan (This may sound bizarre but my time is limited plus I have no major health problems.):

    Manipulate points behind ear in the manner of the bead diet. Drink water, my body weight in ounces divided in half daily with a drop of Vitamin D. Eat 5 carrots, 5 celery sticks at each meal which will equal 540 calories a day (On the HCG you only eat 500 calories a day). I will also be eating cottage cheese (made with whole milk) for a snack that will give me a boost of protein and calcium. Additional supplements will be Juice Plus & Cognitex for my memory. I will be walking uphill to our family gym and using our Power Plate 3x a week.

    I don’t have a set number in mind, well actually I do but I don’t want it to be too high of a goal. I have until the 13th of next month. I am confident though that I’ll be able to lose 25lbs by then by following the above plan.

    Please positive advice welcome!

  48. I had a rockin’ body in May.. I ran a marathon and everything, looking the best I ever had. Well due to the downhill marathon, I had to get double knee surgery mid-July! Well needless to say, the rockin’ bod was no more. With school and working 3 jobs I didnt have the time I want to workout. Without working-out, so many aspects of life were going wrong. Not only was I fat, I was also sicker, my skin was horrible, and no energy to get me through the day. I was starting every morning was a 56 oz of Diet Coke (not smart, I KNOW!). Well my mom and I started the GreenTeaDAILY diet. Drinking 2 of their drinks a day made the biggest difference. I had energy, felt better, got me off the Diet Coke diet without the caffeine headaches, and in 2 weeks I was already down 8 POUNDS!!

    AMAZING!! My goal of dropping the 13 pounds I had gained from surgery happened in a month. Now I look even better then I did in May 🙂

    The reason it works: Each packet of the GreenTeaDAILY is worth 45 cups of Green Tea, without the caffeine and tanic acid. So… 450 mg of antioxidants plus 45 cups of green tea, plus NONI, ACAI, and MAQUI BERRY..

    Check it out it ships to your house and I swear by it! I wish I could attach a picture of the beginning and after, just like i’m sure you all do!

  49. I started my diet on monday with some alterations like I drink 2 cups of tea in a day with 1 tbsp of fat free milk (calories 25, fat cals- NO)in each cup and eating brocolli in mixed vegetables. I wonder if I can eat Bell Peppers in salad. Just wanna know if I am doing it right or need to be more rigid with my diet?

  50. 2nd time is a Charm.

    I just started on a modified 20 in 30 plan.

    I have a protein shake for Breakfast and Lunch and a Salad with

    Chicken,spinach, black beans, salsa, and almond slices for dinner.

    Lots of Water. > 64 oz

    And I have 1 cheat day a week.

    So far first week I’m down 12 lbs. I’m only going to do this

    For 1 more week and then add lunch of slow

    Carbs.

    Oh and multi vitamin.

    I’ll let u guys know how this goes. Wish me luck.

    Mario

  51. I love the idea of this diet. I was recently told by a “nutritionist” that I should only eat one serving of grain a day, and no alcohol, or sweets at all. I think I would be fine working a diet if I could enjoy a glass or two of wine an evening and indulge once a week in whatever I wanted. Restrictions can be really difficult and not allowing myself to have a piece of dark chocolate or something sweet ever is very difficult, then IF I stray and do indulge the guilt kills me. I am looking forward to trying this. I am not terribly overweight maybe 10-15 lbs but my LPA is VERY high due to genetics, so hopefully this will aide in lowering not only my weight but my LPA. Thanks for the advice!

  52. I followed the Slow Carb diet just as a personal experiment and because I have a mad crush on Tim Ferriss… I followed the diet strictly for 6 days, worked out lightly twice during that period, and dropped over 1% body fat and lost half a pound (so went from 16.2% BF and 121.5 lbs to 15%BF and 121 lbs). I’d recommend it, Especially to those wanting to drop a good amount of weight!

    1. Eat a regular meal. I like grilled chicken with black beans and corn or mixed veggies.

      Believing that you need to eat “breakfast” foods in the morning is overrated. I love fried & hard boiled eggs, but I don’t worry about only eating them in the morning. Sometimes a small piece of grilled steak with a egg in the evening makes a great dinner.

  53. For all of those asking about what to do after you drop the weight. i am visting my folks in Scotland and my lovely mum has put on 14 pounds after menopause and ill health. She is 63 does yoga 3 times a week and walks alot so moderately active. Due to ill health she gets very tired so is in bed 14 hours of everyday, tv watching and sleep.

    As she is Scottish she will not give up her porridge oats (with milk and sugar) every morning nor her 2 cups of tea and 1 coffee (with milk and sugar).

    She has been eating this way of eating with the above each day for 14 days. She either eats no carbs with lunch and dinner or has less than 1/4 plate of carbs (she used to have more than half of the plate covered in chips or some form of bread or potato).

    So after two weeks she has lost 2 pounds, that is great as she has only modified her lunch and dinner plus she never ate hugely so she has a fried egg sandwich, crisps and chocolate as her cheat.

    She is very pleased we will be doing the measurements tomorrow, to see inch wise how she is. She is never hungry and feels more in control of her body.

    I have been only 80 % on way of eating but increased exercise, daily yoga so have also lost 2 pounds but feel much more toned. Have 3 weeks before birthday and hope to lose more, have kettle bells now so hope to incorporate tims training with this.

    Good Luck everyone, this works, got 4 hour body from library in Scotland as husband has our copy at home.

  54. hello everybody,

    is granola good? im currently planning to lose about 90 lbs ( so im good with eggs, but are they supposed to be hard-boiled? and is it good to eat around 3 to 4 hard boiled eggs in a day? then, is excessive use of salts alright like in baked beans? and im not used to eat veggies but i’ll try to. and i love carrots and i eat them raw. is this recommended?

    thanks!

    1. Granola is terrible. When he says “avoid white” think “avoid grains… of any kind”. Granola is made of grains, and sugar.

  55. I’m just beginning the slow-carb diet today. Tim says not to use artificial sweeteners, as they can stimulate weight gain. What about Stevia? I drink copious quantities of iced tea and I’ve been sweetening it with stevia.

    1. Stevia is natural, but I think he would say to keep it to a minimum. In the 4-hour body book, he gives a quick recipe for salad dressing that includes it but, also knocks other natural sweeters because the react in the same why as fructose… which is why you are to avoid fruit.

  56. Someone mentioned Beano on here, which I thought sounded like a good idea. However, after I started taking it with almost every meal, and I think it may help defeat the entire purpose of the diet. Alpha-galactosidase helps break down the starches in legumes into Sucrose and Fructose. That seems like a bad idea, as use of the enzyme would then increase the body’s naturally slower metabolism of these foods and lead to a sugar/insulin spike. Has anyone else used Beano or other enzyme product and found it to slow or defeat the fat loss of the diet?

    1. Hi Ian,

      Legumes/beans are a mix of carbs, fibre and proteins.

      All carbs break down to GLUCOSE in our body which is the simplest of sugars. The ratio of carbs to proteins to fibre is what controls the rate of glucose release into the blood no matter what supplements you use.

      That is the nature of it.

      1. Wayne,

        I understand your point, but my point is that this supplement allows the body to break down the glucose much more quickly than it normally would from legumes, thus speeding up the release of the sugar into the blood stream.

        -Ian

  57. I heard Tim talk last week and he mentioned a thai high protein food he eats for breakfast but missed the name of it! Can anyone tell me what it is?? Cant seem to find it anywhere online and have skim read the book (still reading) and cant seem to find mention of it?

    Can someone help?

  58. Wow.. all this feedback has made me start this early tomorrow morning. I am 24 years old and I’m 5’6.. i was as heavy as 168 at one point and now have gone down to 145. Have not been on a diet for about 3 months but luckily my metabolism has kept me at 145 and now I’m trying to shed about 10 more pounds before i focus on pumping iron and getting ripped. ill keep you guys updated… LETS GET FIT!!

  59. Not optimistic about this thread’s liveliness this late to the game, but an answer to this question by Tim or anyone would be great. I have 4 Hour Body, and I’ve done the slow carb diet, as Rx’d, very strictly for 2+ months. The results were not great for me because I *think* ended up eating too much and I was not really getting exercise.

    This post advertises in the headline: lose weight without exercise. But how should this diet be tweaked to account for a totally sedentary lifestyle? I feel like ‘making up calories’ with all the legumes should probably get the axe (especially b/c of all the anti-nutrients and the problems with beans the Paleo crowd likes to point out). I also feel like the protein requirements per day/meal are probably steep for someone not working out. Are my instincts correct?

    I definitely feel like this diet as prescribed here and in 4 Hour Body is for someone on at least a moderate workout regiment. I want to go for it again, but can’t guarantee any real increase in physical activity. Is the answer to ease back on quantity? That would seem to make sense. Where would it be best to cut from – protein (meats) or beans? Legumes are carb rich, so I would be inclined to cut there first, but are they needed to maintain energy levels?

    1. Hi Ben,

      What most people are missing with the 4hr body is that this was Tim’s self-experiment.

      In the book he suggests that YOU self-experiment to find how HIS experiments may best serve you.

      There is notes attached at the end of chapters and some of them refer to how you can self-experiment to suit your needs so If you don’t have the book then read it and follow the essence of what he is trying to achieve using his methods as a guide.

      You are not Tim so there may be considerations and adjustments you may have to make according to your body.

  60. while most of his meals look as weight loss potential, he states no white carbs yet pizza? and eating at 10pm, even after a workout, then going to bed, a little different from everyone esle ive heard,

    30 lbs can be lost within a month, ive done it…..but gained it back…..i agree with a life style change as being the #1 thing on any diet. and mind over matter. this month ive lost 13lbs in about 3 weeks. if i continue to lose, it will be a good thing. if you lose too fast you will most likely gain it back and yoyo dieting is not healthy……

    so slow and steady wt loss……and tell yourself this is how you will continue to eat for life to live!

    ps/my friend had her own plan and she is doing better than i….she pinned up a pic of a disgusting obese woman on her fridge and a copy in her car to avoid drive thrus as mcdonalds etc…..shes doing great. for me, it didnt work, i told myself thats not me and tore it down and made a sandwich…..to each his own….mindset, tons of greens, some protein but dont overdo it unless you are entering a body-building contest……sleep well…..8 hrs, and water,water,water to keep out any toxins youve been storing the past 15 years.after all, moms cooking was good but comfort food,,,time to grow up and show mom she was loving but not a healthy cook. but we know she meant well. now its our turn to teach her.

  61. So I’m on my second day of this diet plan and I’ve lost a pound BUT…. I’ve put some thought into this and thought, whats the point of having this day if ur heart aint getting anything from it?? Cardio fitness and pushing the body to a limit does not only wonders to ur body but to the emotional side of feeling great after workouts… LOW CARBS = Low energy = no workout.

    A few months ago when i was 154 i played basketball 4 days a week for a month with a good diet and lost 9 pounds. So my question is this since i am someone who needs to move around…

    Is it bad or dangerous if i do cardio??? I never exceed cardio passed 30 minutes since i don’t like losing muscle. But if i play basketball is for a good 3-4 hours on and off the court…

    1. Josh,

      There is nothing wrong with exercise at all. If you follow Tim’s version of the diet, you will find your energy going through the roof. This isn’t an Atkins high fat/chemical diet. You will notice the lack of dairy and sugar greatly improving your overall feeling of health. You really need to read the book to understand some of the logic behind this, but basically you cannot depend on cardio and traditional calorie counting to recompose your body. You have to up your protein intake and post-workout carbs in order to help your body not burn muscle when you do exercise. You will have to find your own sweet spot depending on how much cardio you do.

      -I

  62. Hey, this is a great post Tim. The amount of times I’ve been talking online to people saying that it’s “what” you eat that’s so important, well, I’ve lost count. Also, many folks have minds that are just stuck in calorie counting mode. They say stuff like “you have to eat the right amount of calories, that’s all that matters”, and I try to emphasize the importance of the nutritional value of what they are eating… and, they just won’t have it.

    Though on the subject of calories, thanks for explaining the caloric differences between rice and vegetables. If you didn’t eat some type of carbs, you’d have to eat more fat instead, and then you’d enter he world of the Atkins diet.

    I am a bit concerned about not being allowed to drink milk. I find that even sweatened soya milk tastes a bit rank. Please can you tell me, why no milk?

    1. Lactose is a sugar as is anything ending with ‘ose’ i.e. fructose, sucrose and the bodies fuel glucose.

      Cows milk is for baby cows anyway!!!!!!!!

    1. Deanna,

      If you can’t eat eggs then I suggest eating lentils for breakfast. They are delicious and Tim highly suggests them.

      With the lentils you could have avocado or some salsa.

    2. Tofu or protein powder. I would recommend vegetable protein powder, not whey. Watch the sodium content because some are loaded with more sodium than anything else.

  63. Hi all,

    Has anyone gotten to around week 6-7 and during that week (or any other week for that matter), not seen any loss? Just wondering if that’s normal, and if i can expect to still keep losing or if this means I’m plateauing.

    Thanks!

    J.

    1. Janey,

      If you’ve gotten that far without any loss I’m really wondering what you are eating. Can you give me a sample of your meals throughout the day?

  64. Hey everyone,

    I followed Tim’s diet 3 years ago for exactly one month and lost 15 lbs – from 130 to 115. 2 kids later, I’m up to 140 (Had my second baby 6 weeks ago). I was wondering if this diet would be okay to follow while breastfeeding my baby. I plan on following this diet and pairing it up with Jillian Michaels 30 day shred workout dvd. I need to lose a solid 20 – 25 lbs.

    What do you guys think?

    1. Hi Serena,

      The basics of the diet encourage chemical free eating, plenty of water and avoiding unhealthy empty carbs (breads, pastas, cereals, etc.).

      You may need to adjust your carb requirements according to your energy levels (night feeding while hubby sleeps and tending to your family) but breast feeding in itself will help you to lose the baby weight.

      I cant think of a better way of generating wholesome milk for your new baby than to follow this plan of eating as there is no unhealthy thing about it and it will certainly give you the added vitamins and minerals associated with eating fresh vegetables, nuts (according to your tolerance) and a healthy source of complete protein.

      You can even keep all those lovely treats you may receive as gifts for you cheat day.

      Congratulations to you and your family!!

    2. Hi Serena,

      I followed the 4 hour body diet while breastfeeding my third baby. I dropped weight much more quickly than I did after either of my first two children, but I also lost a lot of my breast milk. While following the diet I did add in extra carbs and yogurt or cheese after walks, to keep myself from losing too quickly, but my son lost weight precipitously, and I had to supplement his diet under a doctor’s supervision.

      There are a lot of factors that go into keeping your breast milk supply – it’s a bit of a black box – so there’s no guarantee that the issue was entirely a result of following the 4 hour body diet. I know it’s frustrating to lose slowly. It’s no fun to listen to the adage, “9 months to gain the weight, 9 months to lose it,” and breast feeding alone has never been enough for me to lose the baby weight. In my experience, and according to most doctors, any diet or plan that delivers quick weight loss is best used after you’re done breast feeding. Losing 1 or so pound a week is more likely to keep your supply up. Enough of my meddling – be careful with whatever you choose, and best of luck.

      Leeza

    1. Jason_matt,

      Six days out of the week you can’t eat any noodles. However, I love noodles, so on the “free day” I can eat all the noodles I want. If I want I can eat noodles all day. Actually, on my “free day” I usually eat more than I want to so that I get sick of junk food. By the end of the day I am happy to get back on the diet again.

    2. If you have doubts about foods look at the nutrition facts in the back of the box (bag)… look under “carbohydrates” try to stay under 5g per serving. Ramen noodles are usually about 26g per serving… so I would say eliminate them 🙂 Stick to black beans and lentils, you will get complex carbs from them.

  65. I want to start this diet tomorrow ASAP! But I have a few questions

    1: I have Alot of cans bean, alot of variety BUT they are all cans! Can I still use them or do I have to start boiling my own beans? :/

    2: can I drink Gatorade? Or will that mess everything up?

    3: I know you said no potatos but can I use other vegetables? Like sweet potato(I know it’s probably a NO, but had to ask), “yucca” plantains ect.?

    And lastly if I exercise will that help me

    Loose more weight?

    Thanks you so much for all the help!

  66. I am 15 years old and have been on this diet for about a week. I’m not overweight but have a bit of fat around my waist that I would like to lose. I’m somewhat concerned about the dangers of this diet since I am still growing and I’ve read somewhere that low carb diets (even with the binge day, I consider this weight loss plan a low carb diet as well, correct me if I’m wrong please) aren’t good for the long-term bone health of teenage girls. Is this true? Can I continue with this diet plan?

  67. sorry, one more question. I’m quite short as well and would like to grow taller, so I was wondering if I should eliminate dairy from my diet completely? I need plenty of calcium to keep growing, and I usually have a glass of milk or a slice of low-fat cheese every day to get enough of it. I’ve heard that calcium supplements don’t seem to do the trick. Is it alright if I include some dairy in my diet? thanks in advance.

    1. Milk from cows is for baby cows!

      You can get all the nutrients including calcium from other food especially your greens, beans and nuts. Tinned sardines have a very high calcium value and you can also crush up egg shells and drink in a glass of water.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium#Nutrition

      Too much calcium affects the thyroid gland and this is the effectively your metabolism control.

      We really must move away from this westernisation that milk is the only provider of calcium and eat natural food sources.

      In fact one brilliant method for bone growth and strength is load bearing exercise i.e. weight training and at the age of 15 you can begin loaded exercise quite safely with the correct guidance.

  68. Ohhhh I see now. Thank you so much! I’ll stay away from dairy products then. The eggshell powder sounds disgusting but I’ll give it a try tomorrow and then buy some sardines. 🙂

    1. Hi Ashley,

      Just remember everything in balance.

      If you eat as suggested here your body will be getting the very best in nutrition compared with a standard food intake for your age group.

      Calcium is just a very small piece of the nutritional puzzle that helps us grow and maintain a trim waistline.

  69. I just had a couple of days of feeling quite sick on this diet. I’m taking it day by day now and I’m not going to continue if my symptoms come back (nausea, dizziness, lack of concentration), but I think I’ve figured out what I was doing wrong.

    It’s easy to think that we’re eating enough protein when we include it in every meal, but when I started looking at my portions I realized I was only consuming 15-20 g of protein in each meal (3 times per day).

    This simply isn’t enough. On this type of diet, your body enteres into a state called ketosis (look it up on Google) and begins to rely on burning fat over carbs for fuel. This is why people can lose big amounts of weight; you become a fat burning organism rather than a carbohydrate burning one. I’d also like to note that there are some scientific studies that suggest that this state isn’t exactly healthy for your body, so it’s probably advisable that you monitor yourself carefully (for example, the liver has to work harder as you’re disposing of much more calcium via your urine). Not putting the diet down (I’m still on it myself), just pointing out risks to keep in mind.

    Anyway, not having enough fat intake will surely make you hypoglycemic (having low blood sugar). Failure to treat it (consume more protein for a slow carber, or more carbs for a non slow-carber) results in light headedness, dizziness, nausea, and feeling faint. It’s important to listen to your body if you’re feeling in any way ill, and to take it seriously. The point of loosing weight after all was to feel better, right?

    I’m no doctor or medical expert of any kind, but I’ve researched this stuff and I have a better understanding of what’s going on with my body than when I first started.

    1. Hi Eric,

      I agree eat more protein 3 times per day or smaller meals with 20g protein 5-6 times a day depending on your preference.

      If you are eating beans, legumes and vegetables you ARE having carbs. The body is burning stored fat from all the junk you were eating before therefore your body will have to work harder because of what you did to it but this in not unhealthy this is how your body should react.

      Why would you not be eating fat? You are encouraged to eat extra virgin olive oil (or other oils according to the book), grass fed butter, nuts, meat (and plenty of it) all containing FAT. Again it is part of a HEALTHY and PROPER way of eating.

      You may find (as suggested in the book) that your body goes through a process of detox as you get used to not eating CRAP thats probably where your troubles stem from. Push through this while drinking 3-4litres of water a day to help flush the rubbish from you. After that you should feel tip top.

      Many have said that if they go into white food overload over a cheat day they have the same feelings as you suggest because it is not really good stuff and really affect the body.

      Dont forget meat/fish, beans/legumes and veg per plate!

  70. Mike T: I wasn’t that I’ve had no loss at all, i just thought I was having one week where i didn’t lose or thought I plateaued…but turned out i lost almost a pound last week also…for a total of close to 12 lbs down so far. All in all that’s really good for me; my goal is about 16-17, so maybe after a few more weeks I’ll be pretty close (hopefully!)

    Thanks!

    -Janey

    1. Janey,

      Best of luck to you in losing that weight. One of the reason Tim suggests measuring yourself with a tape measure is because with this diet you will lose weight off of different parts of your body and gain muscle. I highly suggest it.

  71. i am 14 years old. i am a girl and i go to high school. i do basketball outside of school every year. it i s once a week for an hour and a half. i weigh 133 pounds. i notice that i am over weight. my stomach rolls over, but not too much. i would like to weigh 110-115 pounds. but since i am young, its hard for me to do a diet.i am 5’4 but only about 15 pounds over weight. i am really self concious about my weight. how can i lose what i want to lose by december 1st??

    1. Megan,

      Since you are 14 years old I would suggest that you be careful about dieting too much. However this isn’t one of those crazy diets that can really harm you (in my opinion).

      Just follow Tim’s advice for the next month and you should lose at least 5 pounds. If you add exercise on top of it then you might be able to lose 10 pounds this month. Just make sure that you eat enough. That’s one of the great things about this diet.

    2. Eat, have fun and enjoy your sport.

      You should not be worrying about weight, a role of belly fat maybe but not weight.

      There are great tips in the book that don’t involve anything to do with food including exercise and thermo-regulation of your body (allowing your body to get cold to regulate body heat).

      Biggest tip i have for you is cut the rubbish food. If it grows, falls, [used to] run around or [used to] swim then eat it. Ditch all the factory made processed foods, fizzy drinks and sweets and eat as if you live on a farm (away from a supermarket). Have your cheat day and enjoy!

      Basket ball is a really good HITT type sport with lots of sprinting bursts and slower output times so train harder and play even harder, live life to the full and you wont have time to worry about your belly.

    3. Hi Megan,

      Well, you are 14! Lucky you! You are very young and your body will adapt and respond faster than us older people (I’m 31). I am also 5’4″ and weight a lot more than you do… I do remember being 25 yrs. old and weighing 133 lbs and being unhappy with my weight, so I can relate. However, since you are 14, I really think that sticking to exercise will help you lose the weight instead of strict dieting. I would say maybe cut back on the junk food and soda (if you consume any of that of course) and also increase your intake on all of the food items listed on this diet, but since you are so young I wouldn’t recommend cutting back on carbs for so long. Veggies and lean protein are never bad for you, so I really don’t see anything wrong with it. If you are unsure about good vs. bad carbs just run a search on google and read about “complex and simple carbs” that will give you a basic idea on what carbs are. Also, now that I think about it, since you are 14, you might want to talk to your parents about your diet goals, maybe they can help you with your diet, or you can help them. When living under your parents roof you are stuck with their food choices, so communicating with them as far as what you want would really help you as well. Good luck! 🙂

  72. Hi,

    I just started this diet plan yesterday. I was following P90X for a month but got injured on Monday (not because of P90X, but because I’ve always had back problems). So now the doctor ordered no exercise for at least 3 weeks. I ran a google search on “how to lose weight” and came across your blog. I am very excited to start this plan as I followed something very similar two years ago… (I lost 10 pounds then). This will work out perfectly now that I can’t do any weights, I can only walk or light jogging until my back muscles heal. I will check back every week to share my results. Although I know I will struggle with the “no white carbs” as I LOVE to eat sub sandwiches and muffins… but I’m willing to sacrifice sweets to reach my goal.

  73. Hi, Roberto. Sorry to hear you had a good one who got away. What I’d suggest doing, if you haven’t already, is just to talk to your friends about it

  74. This article is really helpful! I might try it when my vacation starts 🙂

    Basically, on what I believe, just avoiding the white carbs, eating fiber, white meat, vegetables (limiting fruit, since it’s sugar), drinking lots of water (3 liters preferably), and eating frequently in controlled small proportions is also helpful. Since instead of over restriction of food, you can just replace the food you take. (i.e. replace most of your snacks with carrots and broccoli, but ditch the dressing, boil the vegetables and add some seasoning and it’ll be good. Or eat a variety of salads with no or less dressing).

    Sadly even I can’t follow these simple rules, I tend to forget. XD

    Yet, you won’t lose weight if you aren’t serious about it, losing fat isn’t magic; it’s hard work, we aren’t the kind of people who has a crazy metabolism. The importance of losing weight is losing it; and keep those unwanted pounds off.

  75. Hello,

    I am 2 weeks in this diet. I am 84 kg, having lost 2 kg in 2 weeks. I thought I would lose more than that.

    Here are my meals:

    – Breakfast: 2 eggs, lentils and spinach

    – Lunch: chicken breast, lentils and brocoli

    – Diner: steak, lentils and spinach

    Am I doing something wrong?

  76. Hello all,

    I have been doing this diet for 2 weeks now but I have seen little results. I was 86kg and I am now 84.

    Here are my meals (always the same):

    – breakfast: 2 eggs, spinach and lentils

    – lunch: chicken breast, lentils and broccoli

    – diner: steak, lentils and spinach

    I did not have a huge decrease in body fat either: from 29% to 28%.

    I do not see what I could be doing wrong.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    Loic

  77. How do you know how many calories you should be consuming if your already overweight? These calorie calculators don’t seem to distinguish between 230lbs of muscle vs fat and too many calories will make you keep excess weight on regardless of whether they are carbs or not.

  78. I’m an exercise science major and I think that this is very healthy food and all, but unless you’re pairing it with an exercise routine, you’re not going to get the desired results. Weight loss is pure and simply this: Net calories consumed vs net calories expended. So, if you’re taking calories in but not expending them through activity, fat will not be burned. Losing weight is ALWAYS a two step process: 1. Change your diet/portions and 2. Pair with weight bearing and cardio exercises.

    1. Hi Kristy,

      The success of myself and many other people here seems to contradict your statement. I generally agree with calories in, calories out as a way to lose weight. However, you are discounting the effects that the diet has on the resting metabolism.

      I personally followed the diet, strictly, and I lost weight and many inches. I didn’t increase my exercise at all. In fact, the majority of my weight loss was right after I had a knee operation that kept me from my only form of exercise (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu several times a week) for 6 weeks. It isn’t a matter of just restricting calories as you can eat until you are satisfied as long as you are eating the proper foods. Your body will use the fat that you have stored and you WILL see your legs, waist, etc. shrink. This diet boils down to being about metabolism and using your own stores of fat. And you can and will do it without exercise if you follow the plan strictly. The book goes into other recommendations depending on what your goal is with weight lifting, running, stamina, etc. so depending on your goal (say; adding muscle) there are modifications to the diet.

      But, my overall point is that this isn’t calorie restriction and exercise. It’s calory modification (protein heavy as opposed to white carb heavy) to bring about body transformation and exercise is not mandatory.

  79. Very informative blog!!! I have been using Tim’s recommendations on his low carb diet with 20 min. a day workout and have seen an incredible difference in only 3 months. Drink lots of spring water not distilled water too…

  80. why are olives not aloud on the diet if we are allowed olive oil? also is it bad to drink pea protein 3 times a week if i am trying to lose a lot of weight?

  81. I HAVE THESE ORGANIC TURKEY AND CHICKEN SAUSAGES NO NITRATES OR NITRATES FROM APPLEGATE …. CAN I EAT AS MANY AS I WANT OF THESE?? THEY HAVE 500 MG OF SODIUM EACH.

  82. Hello.

    I have a few questions about your diet. First, when you say cheat day do you mean to eat a lot of carbs? Also you say no dairy, but what about almond milk? I don’t think that it falls into the category. And if almond milk is okay would almond milk and Kashi go lean cereal be a good breakfast?

    Anyone can answer because I know Tim is busy.

  83. HI Xavier, I would suggest reading the rules again. They clearly state NO fruits and no cereals. Kashi is a cereal, so you can’t have it. Nowhere does it say to drink milk for breakfast. It clearly says, one veggie, one meat and one legume. (for ALL meals). So you can have beans, eggs and veggies. Now binging is binging!! eat whatever you want!! anything!!! Apples and bananas are fruits so you can not have them.

    1. Thank you Maggie for the quick response…I must have missed the no fruits part…Okay so no almond milk even though it contains no lactose?

      1. ok, I’m no expert here and I make decisions in this diet out of pure logic 🙂 What exactly do you need the almond milk for? Cereal is not an option so, there goes the almond milk if you were planning on using it for that. I use two ounces of soy milk + water when I drink protein powder. I prefer soy milk because it has more protein than almond milk per serving. If you just want to drink almond milk because you love it, I don’t see a problem, but it doesn’t have much protein you can benefit from, instead it has carbs (like 8g per serving which is not that much)… so, it’s up to you! 🙂

      2. go for coconut milk, great in coffee and amazingly good for you; with that said don’t go drinking pints of the stuff because it does contain some very good saturated fats and as a result has high calories. Don’t forget go fresh and organic where possible.

        Soy milk is a poor substitute, sorry Maggie, in my opinion and tastes really bad unless it has been artificially sweetened which is also a no no and if you are worried about protein intake then go for a good protein shake that can be mixed with water. There are many that contain 3 different sources of protein that release protein at different times after consumption.

        Or you could just increase your meat/fish consumption.

  84. hi,nice diet plan

    5 tips

    1.never,ever,ever starve yourself because your tummy stores some fat to keep you alive .

    2.DRINK LOADS OF WATER ,AVOID ALL FIZZY DRINKS!

    3.don’t run before you can walk[never try to lose 1kg per day ,that cold be deadly!]

    4.if you have a well planned diet then follow it if not then only drink water and eat fruit for the next day

    5.keep one day in the week to eat whatever you want [like a celebration]

    1. Hi Amy,

      1. I agree and that is why Tim suggests a cheat day to keep your hormone levels in check.

      2. I agree again; however drink according to your own needs as there is nothing good about having to use the bathroom every 20 minutes.

      3. weight loss is only a part of this plan. Fat loss is the biggest benefit. In fact if you are eating loads of protein and pumping very heavy weights your weight may very well go up as you body fat reduces.

      4. Why would you do this? Fruit is encouraged on the cheat day where you consume ANYTHING. Tims plan is the diet so if you don’t follow it then you are not going to have the type of result he has seen.

      5. I agree a well deserved celebration of 6 days of controlled eating. Also this cheat day is part of the diet and necessary to control thyroid hormone response to keep your fat burning motor flat out.

      if I can add 1 more:

      6. Tims book is a guide of self experimentation so food choices and anything else covered in this book work for Tim. There may be parts of this that do not suit you for what ever reason and that is your experimentation according to you and your choices. So have a go for at least 1 month on Tims plan and then start adapting it according to your wants and needs cataloguing everything your doing so you have reference to what is working and what is not.

  85. Okay, so this means no butter? Nothing like that, correct? I am going to start doing this along with a few cardio workouts I have found. Carrots, green beans, nuts? Are those okay to deal with or no? I want to be able to get into shape before summer, and with Thanksgiving and Christmas comming up, I’m afraid I might become a little bit over-whelmed, how do I deal with this?

    1. Hi Jax,

      Butter (from grass fed sources i.e. Kerrygold – Irish butter) is encouraged according to the book.

      Keep your nuts down to small portions because of the high calorie count and the carrots and green beans are good choices (Tim does mention about watching your carrot consumption due to a higher GI but if your having a portion a day I guess that is OK)

      Forget cardio go for heavy weights it burns more energy in a shorter space of time and then your body has to repair damaged muscle tissue and that takes more energy. Anything resistance based is better as long as you keep adding more weights or resistance.

      Best thing to do is buy the book and all the hints and tips are in there to help you navigate thanks giving and Christmas.

  86. Ok, as promised, Here are my results after week one. I started this diet on November 4. I started weighing 154.8lbs. Unfortunately I snoozed and didn’t check my body fat percentage on that date. Last time I checked it, on October 3rd, it was 31.7%. Well, here is the weird part. This morning I was 151.8lbs, however, my body fat went up to 33.4%. I’ve always been skeptical about scales measuring fat… I’m going to ignore that for now and hope it changes by next week. The big results are the 3 pounds I lost this week. Something that in the past took me 6 months at weight watchers!! wow. I’m not going to lie. This diet is so hard to follow! I am sooo glad I got to eat whatever I wanted this morning. I had a large soy mocha, a small egg burrito with guacamole and one pancake. I literally feel this sugar rush I haven’t felt in a while. It’s not a good feeling. I actually feel a little dizzy, but it will pass. Now I’m drinking lots of water to help with this sugar rush. I was considering dropping out of this diet but after seeing the weight loss this morning I will definitely stick with it for as long as I can. I will check back next Saturday to share my results. Good luck everyone. 🙂

    1. Hi Maggie,

      When you measure your body fat the book suggests you do it first thing on the day before your binge after drinking about 1 litre of water and going to toilet (or something to that affect) and naked.

      This way your results will remain consistent (as much as they can be) because clothing, food and many other factors change your body fat so you try and fine tune your measurements as best as you can. You can also do a 5, 7 or 9 point fat calliper test or just take your measurements as a way of seeing what is happening to your body shape (and don’t forget you CAN look in the mirror).

      Have some cinnamon on your pancakes and it will help control you blood sugar spikes and increase the flavour.

      1. oh Wayne… I had not read the book back then. I wasn’t aware of having to drink a lot of water prior to measuring. and of course I checked my body fat prior to binging! come on! I am now reading the book and catching on several things that are not included on this blog. Unfortunately everything fits the same and I “look” the same. I will however check my measurements on Saturday morning (prior to binging) again. I will check back on Saturday to share my results. I will also try cinnamon on my pancakes 🙂

    2. Maggie, you say that you’re skeptical of bio-impedence scales. So am I. The readings that I get don’t correlate with anything. One day I weighed twice, holding a 3 pound dictionary the second time. The scale reported a 3 pound weight gain of which 2 pounds was fat.

      Does anyone know how to make these things work other than drinking 2 liters of water first thing in the morning?

      1. Hi Richard,

        Have 0.5 litres then, the importance is consistency and ritual to get uniform results.

        Either that or choose another method of monitoring i.e. body measurements.

        As long as you see a reduction in FAT stored around the body it doesn’t matter how you observe and record it.

        Don’t obsess over the method concentrate on eating correctly and magic Will happen for you.

      2. I know! I must add that I didn’t have the 1.5liters of water prior to measuring my body fat. I will try it this Saturday and hope it’s different. Besides this method I would just stick to body measurements. Remember that everyone is different. I’ve read comments from people who lost 7lbs the first week, I only lost 3lbs. Everyone loses differently.

  87. My diet plan is to avoid eating as much as possible, I only drink a tea in the morning, and eat half a plate of dinner at night if i am hungry during the day i drink water water take away hunger I lost 10 lbs in 1 month without exercising whatsoever. BEST DIET PLAN EVERR FOR ANY AGES!!!!!!!

    1. You have not grasped the concept of this!?!?!?!

      Food is not the enemy and starvation is not the answer in fact it is detrimental to controlling your thyroid hormones.

      Calorific restriction is achieved by minimising certain foods that are carbohydrate based according to the golden rules posted above. But the idea is you eat the correct food types when you are hungry.

      What you say you are doing is NOT Tims method and sounds dangerous long term especially if you are exercising too.