How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise

Fat Loss via Better Science and Simplicity

It is possible to lose 20 lbs. of bodyfat in 30 days by optimizing any of three factors: exercise, diet, or drug/supplement regimen. I’ve seen the elite implementation of all three in working with professional athletes. In this post, we’ll explore what I refer to as the “slow-carb diet”.

In the last six weeks, I have cut from about 180 lbs. to 165 lbs., while adding about 10 lbs. of muscle, which means I’ve lost about 25 lbs. of fat. This is the only diet besides the rather extreme Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD) that has produced veins across my abdomen, which is the last place I lose fat (damn you, Scandinavian genetics). Here are the four simple rules I followed…

Rule #1: Avoid “white” carbohydrates

Avoid any carbohydrate that is — or can be — white. The following foods are thus prohibited, except for within 1.5 hours of finishing a resistance-training workout of at least 20 minutes in length: bread, rice, cereal, potatoes, pasta, and fried food with breading. If you avoid eating anything white, you’ll be safe.

Rule #2: Eat the same few meals over and over again

The most successful dieters, regardless of whether their goal is muscle gain or fat loss, eat the same few meals over and over again. Mix and match, constructing each meal with one from each of the three following groups:


Egg whites with one whole egg for flavor

Chicken breast or thigh

Grass-fed organic beef




Black beans

Pinto beans





Mixed vegetables

Eat as much as you like of the above food items. Just remember: keep it simple. Pick three or four meals and repeat them. Almost all restaurants can give you a salad or vegetables in place of french fries or potatoes. Surprisingly, I have found Mexican food, swapping out rice for vegetables, to be one of the cuisines most conducive to the “slow carb” diet.

Most people who go on “low” carbohydrate diets complain of low energy and quit, not because such diets can’t work, but because they consume insufficient calories. A 1/2 cup of rice is 300 calories, whereas a 1/2 cup of spinach is 15 calories! Vegetables are not calorically dense, so it is critical that you add legumes for caloric load.

Some athletes eat 6-8x per day to break up caloric load and avoid fat gain. I think this is ridiculously inconvenient. I eat 4x per day:

10am – breakfast

1pm – lunch

5pm – smaller second lunch

7:30-9pm – sports training

10pm – dinner

12am – glass of wine and Discovery Channel before bed

Here are some of my meals that recur again and again:

Scrambled Eggology pourable egg whites with one whole egg, black beans, and microwaved mixed vegetables

Grass-fed organic beef, pinto beans, mixed vegetables, and extra guacamole (Mexican restaurant)

Grass-fed organic beef (from Trader Joe’s), lentils, and mixed vegetables

Rule #3: Don’t drink calories

Drink massive quantities of water and as much unsweetened iced tea, tea, diet sodas, coffee (without white cream), or other no-calorie/low-calorie beverages as you like. Do not drink milk, normal soft drinks, or fruit juice. I’m a wine fanatic and have at least one glass of wine each evening, which I believe actually aids sports recovery and fat-loss. Recent research into resveratrol supports this.

Rule #4: Take one day off per week

I recommend Saturdays as your “Dieters Gone Wild” day. I am allowed to eat whatever I want on Saturdays, and I go out of my way to eat ice cream, Snickers, Take 5, and all of my other vices in excess. I make myself a little sick and don’t want to look at any of it for the rest of the week. Paradoxically, dramatically spiking caloric intake in this way once per week increases fat loss by ensuring that your metabolic rate (thyroid function, etc.) doesn’t downregulate from extended caloric restriction. That’s right: eating pure crap can help you lose fat. Welcome to Utopia.


If you enjoyed this post, check out my latest book, The 4-Hour Body, #1 New York Times and #1 Amazon bestseller. You will learn: the finer details of the Slow Carb Diet (outlined in the above post), how I gained 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days, how to produce 15-minute female orgasms, and more.

You can also get the Expanded and Updated 4-Hour Workweek, which includes more than 50 new case studies of luxury lifestyle design, business building, reducing hours 80%+, and world travel.

Related and Recommended Posts:

Tim Ferriss interviewed by Derek Sivers

Tim Ferriss articles on Huffington Post

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 800 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

Leave a Reply to Bertil Lilja Cancel reply

Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration.)

7,293 Replies to “How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise”

    1. Good Morning Amy!

      If it helps you follow the plan otherwise, I would say go for it.

      There is some negative research out there regarding sucralose though. Stevia might be a better choice.

      BUT in the end, either choice is not that big of a deal IMO. Use whichever one you feel gives you the better chance at success.

      Good Luck!

    2. Some people say that the substitue sugars stall weightloss. Im not sure about the health effects because i dont haha i drink alot of diet soda

      1. Actually any kind of soda is bad for you. I have give in up soda for good it been a year already.

  1. I have been doing 80 carbs a day with an 1000 calories a day. But it hard to even get that number at the end of the day however my exercise has increased alot. Im still a big man and lost 6 pounds in a 2 week period I just started to. I even gave up smoking so I can a better health and life but this diet is really struggling for me. Any advice for me. By the way I weigh over 400 pounds just a little bit. I need to get back down to my ideal weight at least 265with in 2 years can I make that happen

    1. 80 carbs a day isnt low carb so you have probably only been losing weight because you dont enough calories. Lower your carbs and up your calories

      1. I was told that between 80 to 100 carbs wre considered a low fat diet. anything lower would be considered starving my self but I have been continuing my weight lost at a good rate

      2. Hey Chris, the carbs are fine. You definitely need to eat more food though. I would up your intake to about 2000-2500 cals/day (trust me, you WILL lose weight).

        No worries man, we all have to start from somewhere. Quitting smoking is AMAZING. I know that it can be tough to keep a long view when you think you have so far to go.

        But just focus on how much better you should be feeling day after day & week after week. You can do it!

    2. I already lost 16 pounds in a month time. But I did exercise everyday and kept my food intake at a minimum to. I been eating alot of Sauerkraut aand drinking tons of water with lemon in it but I do eat meats for protein and limited my foods down. The smoking thing is going great it been almost 2 month now. I was at 419 a Month ago and now Im at 403 so Im losing but slowly. And I think this diet is working great for me to and Im not starving my self either I walk almost 8 miles aday now but I split it to 3 times a day so it not to much for me

  2. I get up between 7-8am and workout first thing (HIIT about 20 minutes long on MWF and walk 30 minutes T, TH, and S). I go to bed between 10-11pm. Could you please tell me what kind of eating schedule I should follow? Thanks so much!

    1. Hey Margo, that sleep & workout schedule sounds pretty ideal.

      As far as how you plan your eating that’s really up to you. Since you workout as soon as you wake up, I wouldn’t eat before then.

      So probably eat something shortly after you workout. Some more for lunch, and then dinner.

      Don’t overthink it.

      Good luck!

      1. Chad, that is poor advice and contradicts much of Tim’s teachings in the 4HB book. Never workout without eating or you will burn off more muscle instead of fat. I think Tim recommends consuming 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up to maximize fat loss. I don’t know how I would ever have the energy for a workout without protein and fiber in my system.

  3. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It’s the little changes

    which will make the largest changes. Many thanks for sharing!

  4. 1. I have a unique challenge for your diet programs.

    Can you help

    2. Can you customize a program for an individual?

  5. Hi there. Thanks for sharing such a “tried and true” regimen. I eat aa lot of tomato based sauces over my steak. Are fresh tomatoes on the ‘mixed vegetable’ list, even though I know they are a fruit?


  6. Simple but very powerful principles that are difference makers for fat-loss. Heck if all somebody did was give up “white” carbohydrates that would start making dramatic changes. Great article!

  7. Please advice me I don’t eat sweets ever eat lots of yogurts fruit salads grilled chicken etc I stop earring bread tortillas drink juice mixed with water to reduce the sugars buy I don’t ever lose wait what I’m doing wrong.

    1. Fruit and yogurt are full of carbs and sometimes can be a lot of calories which could be causing you not to lose weight.

    2. Sorry to hear about your troubles Miriam. As lady t said mixing water in juice doesn’t reduce the total sugar in the juice it just dilutes it. So that could be one issue.

      There also can be a lot of hidden sugars in fruity yogurts. I would suggest buying plain greek yogurt, and mixing fresh fruit into it yourself. You could also even add a bit of no-calorie sweetener as well for taste.

  8. I would have a hard time giving up milk. I drink Raw milk straight from the Dairy..about a gallon a week..

    1. You dont really need the meat. Meat is just a part of a non vegeterians meal. Just eat your usual stuff but follow his rules

    2. Hello llias, the only trouble spot for vegetarians is finding quality protein sources that are not also extremely high in carbohydrates (like beans).

      I would suggest finding a good protein powder that suits your vegetarian lifestyle that you can use to make sure you’re getting enough protein.

      Also, other good sources of protein are greek yogurt, and eggs/egg whites if you allow those in your diet.

  9. I am thrilled! I have dropped 80 lbs in 90 days doing this plan. I’m in love with it. I’m now doing round 2. I am getting closer to my goal weight! If you think only guys can lose weight fast it’s not true I’m a female and I stick to this 6 days out of the week and then do my 7th day eating what I feel I’d love (within reason) then go right back to it. I also weigh myself daily and journal every piece of food i eat. Let’s all lose these extra lbs!!!!

    1. Congratulations!

      That’s some seriously amazing progress. You should definitely be proud of yourself.

      As you continue to progress I would just say you don’t need to weigh yourself daily. Eventually, as you get closer and closer to your ideal weight the progress will slow down a little bit.

      Meaning the changes will be more week over week, than day over day. So looking at the scale daily can lead to stress/frustration.

      Awesome job!

    2. Hi. This is my first time seeing these post. I’m actually day 2 no carb diet. I’m hoping to lose the weight but I would love tp lose 20 lbs I’m currently 140lbs which is big fur my 4’11 height. Please give good daily tips please!

      1. Hi Deka! My best friend in high school was 4′ 11.” She was a real cutie and I’ll bet you are too. I am 5’2″ and I know what you mean. Every pound looks like 10 on me! Just want you to know that my husband and I are doing this too, as are many people so you are sure not alone. Good luck. Carol

    3. Congratulations! Thit is amazing! Can you please tell us what do you usually eat (common dishes) and amount? Thank you!

    1. While it’s not following the plan in the blog post exactly, unless you workout right before breakfast, I don’t see a problem with it as long as you keep an eye on the serving size.

      Good luck!

      1. I really want to start on this diet from June 1st….is it ok to use some salt and or fry the beans and veges with olive oil and onions?Am starting at 185 lbs and hoping to get to 165lbs at the end of june….my goal weight is 130lb i hope i can do this. ..i also need some motivation

      2. Hello Phoi,

        Yes, it’s okay to use salt in moderation.

        Just be careful in frying the beans in not using too much olive oil as that will obviously boost your calorie count for the day. A little bit would be okay.

        Good luck! I know you can do it!

    1. Hello Becca,

      I think the idea in sticking with a similar meal is that you become more comfortable in judging amounts of the different types of foods (calories, carbs, fat, protein etc).

      So, sure, if you feel comfortable in changing things up weekly that is perfectly okay!

    1. being a milk product, greek yogurt is outside the diet. as far as i know, fish is great as long as it’s not breaded!

  10. Hello and thanks for such a great article. I’m one week in and I’ve lost 8 pounds already. I started at 157 lbs and I’m shooting for 125-130 before July 7th which is my wedding day. I’m a cook however and part of my job requires me to taste different foods many times a day. Will this cause any I’ll effects on my dieting?

    Thx again

    1. Congrats on the progress Jimmie, and congrats on your big day!

      As long as you’re just tasting small amounts of stuff, and not sampling whole meals you should be okay. Sounds like an interesting job!

      Good luck!

  11. Helloooooo! I’m 19 and I weigh 147, the biggest I’ve ever been. I’m running in the morning (around 6-7am because I live in AZ) and I do Jillian Michaels’ Ripped in 30 at night (I finished day 3 today, woohoo!). My issue is definitely the diet. I work most of the time and I only have a 30 min break. My shifts range from either 730-330 or 330-1030. When should I eat and also, would a meal replacing shake work at all? Should I use water or almond milk? Ahhhh so many questions!! Thanks in advance.

    1. Hello Aimee,

      Based on your work schedule you have plenty of time to eat.

      You could hard boil a bunch of eggs (to avoid prep time) that you can eat on your way to work for breakfast.

      The main thing is planning. The best bet is to buy a bunch of chicken (or whatever else you want to eat for the week) and prep everything in one big batch on the weekend when you presumably have time.

      That way you will have your individual days already set up to grab and go.

  12. I am 20 year old woman and I consume about 1,500-2,000 calories a day, I’m 5’7 and weight 165. I’m on my feet at work for 5-9 hours at a time for 5 days a week. I try to work out between 3-5 times per week. I work on cardio for 30 minutes and do weights for 20. I’ve been trying to loose 20 pounds but I keep gaining weight. Am I consuming too many calories?

    1. Sorry to hear about your troubles Abby. You’re most definitely not eating too many calories. That should be right in the range for fat loss.

      Are you 100% that’s where you’re at calorie wise? A lot of times people will underestimate how many calories they’re actually eating.

      If not that, it could be a hormonal or thyroid issue that has stalled your metabolism.

    2. You should keep a diary to make sure you are DRINKING and eating only what you think you are. At 20 years of age you shouldn’t have to be perfect to manage your weight.

      If your estimation of your calorie intake is correct, you should talk to your doctor. You may have a thyroid condition which slows your metabolic rate. It is pretty much impossible to lose weight with such a condition, unless you receive medical treatment.

      Do a little research before getting a thyroid test. You should ask your Dr. to request more than just a TSH test as they are unreliable. T3, T4 & antibody tests are more useful. Take your diary to the Dr. so they can see your concerns are justifiable as most Docs will only do the TSH test which means you can go through years & years of struggling before they finally get you help!

  13. Taking a break from meat at the moment. How would you tweak this for vegetarian approach (to replace the good fats and omega 3’s lost w/o meat)? I’ve been seeing progress with avocados, nuts & seeds.

    One other question: I notice that you have no leafy greens in your examples. I realize you’re looking for a longer lasting, higher caloric load through the whole veggies…. but no greens at all?


    1. Hey Dave!

      I would suggest finding a protein supplement (powder) that fits in with your approach (vegetarian) so that you have a good quality source of protein.

      Other than that what you’ve described is fine. Just make sure to keep an eye on things like nuts & seeds as they are pretty calorie dense foods.

      You can eat as many greens as you want any time that you want to.

  14. help!

    i am a spin instructor and just started the slow carb diet yesterday because sicne i started teaching (1 year ago) i’ve gained close to 10lbs! clearly, cardio is not the magic bullet to fat loss. however, i am not in a position to leave me job at this time and it requires that i do 4 hours of cardio (teach 4 classes) each week and i am concerned that this will negatively impact my results on the diet. do i just need to make sure i’m eating enough being so active? I am incorporating “The Kiwi’s Kettlebell workout” twice a week to build strength and muscle, is that enough?

  15. Hello there!

    I had a few questions, I’m 21 in age, 5’11” in height and the amount of fat that I have is mainly just a bit of stomach and side fat. Aside from that, the rest of my body is lean, but I’ve been stuck in this state for a few years and I’m not sure how to shed this last bit of fat and start showing some muscle.

    My sleep schedule changes quite a but I try to get to sleep before Midnight, and wake up at 9AM. I wake up and have some coffee to get me going and have about 30 minute to 60 minute HIIT. I’ll take a break on Saturday and Monday and just do basic workouts such as 10-15 minute ab workouts, or jog.

    My diet is where feel my pitfalls are though. I’ve been trying to find good examples of meals that can help me focus on shedding the amount of belly fat I have and promote muscle growth. Breakfast usually either consists of coffee before a workout, Oatmeal or Eggs and Bacon. I try to change it up with some cereals with high fiber and low sugar.

    Lunch is usually mystery to me, as I might feel hungry or I wont, and even then, I have no idea what I can choose when I’m looking for something healthy. In most cases my lunch consists of some sort of chicken or turkey, because I don’t eat much beef or pork. Dinner is always a mystery. Most often I drink Water, or Tea with a bit of sugar.

    Any suggestions on what I should change up or do? Thanks for the read!

    1. Dylan, You need to have the protein shake right when you get up (30 g). I’m sure you are “sitting” too much – everyone does. Try to stand all day long for a couple weeks. Sitting is the enemy of the lower stomach. Check your posture too. If your pelvis is retroverted your abs won’t be engaged properly. Read Esther Gokhale’s stuff.

  16. Hey I have a question. I am a high school athlete and I’m about to be going into football season. I will be having 2-a-day practices and was wondering an idea for a lunch to pack following these guidelines. Also I’m not really sure how to count calories and carbs so I was wondering how to do that. And the last thing is should my portion size go up due to the extensive workout?

    Thanks, Sam

  17. on your day off, is it ok to eat bread, rice, cereal, potatoes, pasta, and fried food with breading?

  18. I notice you say stay away from anything white. Does that mean all rice or is brown rice acceptable for the slow carb?

    1. I noticed he said anything that can be white – meaning there are red and purple potatoes, but potatoes can be white; there is brown rice, but rice comes in white – therefore stay away from it all. At least that’s how I read it.

  19. Im 5.3 inches tall asian girl and my weight is around 145lb. our main food is rice and I know its full of carbohydrate. Please help me with personalized diet plan if possible . Thank you

    1. Rice is also a main part of our meals. Here’s what I do.:

      Soon as I wake up: 1 glass of water.

      breakfast: 2 egg whites with 1 full egg( for flavor) And some broccoli

      Lunch: chicken breast, black beans And spinach.

      smaller lunch: small Salad with cucumbers carrots And lettuce. Also some pinto beans

      That’s it (: just make sure to drink 8-10 glasses of water every day spread thought the day.

  20. Hello,

    Are Brussel Sprouts an okay vegetable choice? I just realized that I have quite a few in the freezer and wanted to use up my supply before I bother buying anymore veggies. Thanks!

    – Ben

  21. Live for my mug of coffee a day, but don’t like it any way but light. Any wiggle room for milk (or 1/2 & 1/2 which has fewer carbs) in my coffee? I’m not considered overweight for my height, but carry excess around my middle. Have been struggling to drop 6-10 lbs to get to a weight at which I’m more comfortable.

    1. I did a test last week with lactaid (lactose-free milk) and it caused me to stop losing. Can you just have heavy cream as he recommends?

  22. Hey Chad; My Name is Whitney. I had a baby a little over a year ago. I am trying to lose my weight but having a hard time. I wake up at 7-730 and try to work out for 30-40 minutes before the baby wakes up. Than make us brekafast and i could try to work out than. I have lunch after since i have to be at work mon-thursday at 2. I usually have a dinner around 4. and come home around 11. Could you help customize me a workout plan [Moderator: Email address removed]. That would be very helpful. I weigh 170, im only 5″4 and would love before the major holidays get back down to 125. I just dont know if 45 pounds is a hard goal to achieve. Thank you for your help. I am also trying your no white carbs routine tomorrow.

  23. Tim, Thanks so much for posting your weight loss plan! Your results are impressive. My husband and I are going to try this plan as we like a lot of the foods on it and think this is something we can both live with. We also look forward to eating out once a week (which will be out cheat day). We are boomers and have let ourselves get overweight through laziness since retirement. Getting tired of being sluggish and tired all the time!

  24. Ok so if I follow this diet, eat about 1500 calories a day, and exercise every other day, will I really lose 20 pounds in 30 days? If not, how much will I lose in 2 months of this? By the way, i’m 185 and about 5’4.

  25. What about fish or tuna? Is barley a white starch? Is brown rice OK? Also what kind of pork is OK? I need to lose 25 pounds in 4 weeks, is this possible with this plan of beans, veggies, lean meat, and eggs? I tried Nutri-System, it worked, but then all the weight came back. Please help. I am 5′ 5-1/2″ and I am just over 200 lbs. Please help! I need menu planning..

  26. I think losing weight is just a matter of self-discipline. Eat less, less often, and you’ll definitely be shedding off some of those unwanted pounds. But what you did in this blog post was making us all know how to lose weight in a very healthy way. That’s a great job.

  27. I have been trying to research healthy eating. I have had three children in five years and HATE my body, I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid but after relocating can not get a dr to give me my meds as my blood work keeps coming up normal…it did when I was diagnosed too, took a MRI to find it. I only eat dinner (maybe 600 calories a day) only drink water past month been “eating clean” and no change…the only thing I can think is I dont eat…i think it is harder to train yourself to eat then not to eat (been on both ends) im going to try this for a month or so…and if nothing happens im going to drown myself in my own tears! LOL

  28. Hi! Great article….question: can you substitute legumes for anything else? I’m sorry but I hat them. Love the rest…

  29. Thanks for letting me know about it. People often also reward themselves after a run by over-eating and consuming more calories than they burnt off making their fat burning efforts futile. Keep it up!

  30. Hello! I am getting married in September 2014, I am 5’2 and 150 lbs- female 27. I really am trying super hard to lose at least 20 lbs. Ideally I would love to lose 30 lbs. Is this possible in such a short time. I have been going to the gym for 1 1/2 months – 1hr 2-3 days a week. I am not seeing major results. I try to eat less and am taking a diet pill called Thermo-lean. Will these 4 rules that you have outlined help me in losing the weight? I am really starting to feel frustrated, I do not know what else to do!

  31. I’ve been trying to reduce my carbs and up my protiens. My main problem is (embarrassed) gas. Eating beans and all these veggies is giving me terrible gas! My co-workers are starting to worry! Haha. I laugh, but it really is a terrible side effect. Anyone have any advice for this? Does it get better when you body gets used to eating these foods? Or am I destined to be the stinker at the office?


    1. Many people are helped by taking probiotics for at least one month. Buy to ones that are available at good health food stores in the refrigerator. They are capsules of live cultures of bacteria that replenish the intestines. Taking antibiotics and drinking chlorinated water can kill off your beneficial gut bacteria and replenishing your gut will cut down on gas.

    2. Lindz if you wanna do a traditional way, for the beans (That’s what my mom always did) soak them overnight in water.

      1. And you shouldn’t eat ribs on a low fat diet.. They are not low fat!

        Neither has anything to do with this post, though.

      2. The person said they are looking to ‘reduce’ their carbs not go on a low carb diet. Beans are a low glycemic carb making them ‘good carbs’.

    3. Black beans are the answer. Zero gas! I eat them everyday for breakfast and lunch. Fantastic superfood!

  32. Hi! Thank you for this great diet :). I was just wondering – there is no mention of fruit- is it ok to eat it or not?

    Thank you

      1. WHAT.

        NO FRUITS ALLOWED!?!? (Besides tomatoes and avocado, of course.)


        YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. I EAT FRUIT EVERY DAY. (Strawberies, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches, plums, apples, bananas, mango, etc.)


        i cant live without fruit

  33. I been searching for a healthy diet and I think I found it I really like this one

    I want to loose at least 50 pounds wish me good luck

  34. Not eating cereal isn’t really an option for me as I am in college and need a quick and easy breakfast in the morning. Will this effect my results? If so is there anything I can substitute for cereal that would still keep me on track?

    1. Trader Joe’s also carries Pure Protein drinks in a can that are low carb (like 3 grams) and 30 grams of protein. About $2 a pop. Quicker than cereal even.

    2. This is Day 1 for me, but my brother has been at this for about a month and is down about 30 lbs…. He is doing protein shakes in the morning which is definitely an easy and quick option…

    3. I eat a chicken breast in the morning that I prepared the night before. Quick, easy, and o so delicious. I add a bunch of herbs to mine and cyan for a metabolism boost! Hope that it helps.

  35. I have been on a strict diet of eggs and beans now for 2 weeks. I have lost 10 lbs and am as of today officially off my medication for type 2 diabetes!! I haven’t had the gasiness issues as of yet. It is hard, but doable! Since I don’t have time to run home during my lunch and make me eggs, I bring an Atkins shake and drink that for lunch. For a snack I eat an apple or a pickle! I can tell you that I hate diets, but this is actually not bad at all. The first 3 days were hell, and i had to go straight to bed from work due to headaches from no carbs. But after that it is fairly easy.

  36. well lets hope this works, I’m 23, 5″6 163 pds and i wanna loose 35pds…. hope this works htnaks…

  37. Good reassuring article that I’m doing the right diet. I also eliminated fruit until I reach my goal weight. The sugar in fruit still triggers the body to produce insulin and insulin is one of the primary fat storage hormones in the body. Additionally I replaced one of my meals either breakfast or lunch with a Garden of Life Raw Meal replacement shake. The shake helps provide energy and gets those bowels regulated.

    1. It isn’t. In the book he included it as something that does not have negative effects on the diet, so as an ok-addition.

  38. Hi Chad! I’m so glad I stumbled upon this article! I’m 5’6″ and am stuck at 151. I have been eating egg whites with mixed veggies, boiled or baked chicken breast, and veggies, salad and brown rice for a while. My question was if brown rice is acceptable? Could that be stopping progress? Also I seem to gain weight when I eat beans (which I love beans so that is a disappointment to me) any idea why that could be? Any advice will be appreciated.



      1. Probably too much. I would say at least a cup. I have a gigantic appetite so I try to fill up on vegetables , but I like beans more!

      2. What.


        This is making me depressed.

        Rice and fruit both are what keep me happy. (Not really, but they do brighten up my day xD)

        How is an Asian supposed to go 30 days with no rice and fruit… This is torture *sobsobsob* BUT I GOTTA DO THIS.

        ..But are you serious? I really gotta go 30 days with no rice and fruit?


  39. I weight 150 and my heigh is 5″2. Im pre-diabetic and is urgent for me to lose weight. Sometimes i dont know to eat to lose weight. My problem is that im alwsys craiving for food.

    1. Once you do this diet for a few days, you won’t be hungry and you won’t have sugar cravings. And if you do, you can eat whatever you want, 1 day per week.

  40. I like how I posted a detailed comment in hopes of a response and every other comment got a response. Thanks.

  41. Hi is it ok to eat salmon or tuna in water? Also how about iced coffee fat fee sugar free 30% milk


      1. …I didn’t even think about the drinks.

        RICE, FRUIT, AND MILK. My three favorite things. And I can’ themm.. for thirty days.. Wait, unless i can one day a week, right? But i can’t wait a whole week.. but i gotta..

  42. Thanks for your response so fresh salmon baked is lot ok? Also is olive oil or mayonaise allowed on salad? Thanks

    1. I think mayo is up for debate because it is really calorically dense, but if you go with “light” mayo, you’ll get into sugars. We have mayo in limited quantities once and a while and I think it’s okay.

      Olive oil is fine. Salmon is fine in any form I can think of except breaded 🙂

  43. I’m really thinking about trying this, because I really want to be in the military and I know that’s hard discipline so why not do it for a long term healthily success

  44. Hi Tim,

    I have been dieting and exercising for 4 weeks and sadly not an ounce of lbs lost. I am going to try this slow carb diet and hope for the best. How much servings of beans and meat are ideal to make up the plate? (i.e. 1/2 cup, 1 cup). Also what’s the best after workout food?

  45. My goal is to shed 20 lbs exactly and I started this on Monday and have followed it to the script. No cheating, drinking plenty of water and excercising. I told myself I would only get on the scale once a week but I couldn’t help it and got on it this morning (Day 4) and I’ve GAINED 3.5 lbs.!!!?? I thought I would have a freaking heart attack, I don’t understand why I’m gaining and why I would have gained THAT much!!

      1. Part of it may be water gain as Gem said. The other side to that coin is that you are eating plenty of proteins when your body can put them to the best use. If you read timothy’s book he does not promise 20 pounds in weight loss but rather a 20 pound transformation. Do your self a favor and throw your scale away. You will notice your pants getting baggy on this diet. I personally gained two pounds and lost a dress size in just three weeks. Muscle weight is always good! Hope this helps.

  46. Want to lose weight? The only scientifically supported way of doing so… Drum roll please. Consume fewer calories than you burn. There have been zero individually tested, peer reviewed studies that show it matters where said calories originate. Don’t buy into the low carb/slow carb nonsense. Watch your calories intake and expenditure. That’s your 4-minute diet.

    1. Wow you sound incredibly informed! Please tell me where you’re published…. you aparently know more than the Princeton educated Tim Ferriss and the years of research he put into this book.

  47. I just love Rule #2! It is true to me that I eat the same few deliciously healthy meals every day. I am a successful dieter and this just totally works for me. Although there may be some bits of alteration of the meal’s ingredients but apparently they are just the same, we just have to get rid of getting boredom from the stuff we always need to do to be a successful dieter!

  48. Is there any mention of protein powders? Most have a carbohydrate content along with the protein. Does anyone know if protein powders are allowed on the diet and if there is a recommended brand?

  49. The energy this gives you is excellent! I’m a breakfast eater being I get up at 4:00 AM so by 7:00AM I was hungry for that first day of doing this and thought I wasn’t going to make it. The rest of the first day was just fine. I couldn’t believe that I wasn’t starving. The second day was easier and my hunger pains came at 9:00am but with some water it helped out a lot. Also water helps with that gaseous state! No problems with that anymore. This is my 4th day and it is great to not have those desires for salt or that refine sugar.

    I have already lost 2.5 lbs as I am able to walk more. Must be the right amount of carbs/proteins! It is the first time in 5 years that I am excited about getting fit again! I am a 48 and can’t wait to turn 50!

    1. No, not in my case anyway. I chose to go an this diet to help gain muscle. And I did. In three weeks I gain two pounds and lost a whole dress size. The only explanation for gain weight and losing size is added muscle weight 🙂

  50. i tried this diet and it works wonders, i can ‘t wait to experiment more of tim’s great nutritional tips.

  51. What dressings with be ok with tis diet? I know ranch and such would be completely out. I have a low fat raspberry vinaigrette but I know fruit isn’t allowed. I can do lemon juice and olive oil, but I don’t know if the lemon juice is acceptable (since it’s a fruit). Any suggestions??? Thanks!

  52. I love drinking coffee, but my coffee has to have flavored creamer and I know this is bad and not allowed. What are some things that can be used in place of a milk product to flavor coffee? Some ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thank you

  53. Can “vice day” be for carb vices. Pasta? I’m not one for sweets, but potatoes and spaghetti make me drool instantly.

    1. Sure can, I can’t live without pasta! You can have what ever your little heart desires one day a week. That one day is what gets me through day 5 and 6 🙂

  54. This is a nice blog! I do believed that health is wealth. If you are overweight you can lose weight by following this blog. Overweight people should follow a healthy dieting to make sure that your health is still in good condition while on diet. Thank you for sharing this blog!

  55. How would you cook the meat meaning with oil or cooking spray? Also can you eat mixed vegetables out of the can? Thank you.

  56. I’m really nervous, I’m 5’0 and a half and I’m 156lbs. I really don’t like beans so could I push those out of my meals and eat protiens and veggies?

    1. Yes you could, but it will be hard to get all protein in. Plus there is so many health benefits to beans and a varied diet. I am with you beans are gross tasting. I love really hot stuff though, so I just load mine up with hot sauce until I can’t taste them anymore :). (Be very careful though some hot sauces contain added sugar, I now read the labels very carefully!) Hope it helps.

  57. Thank you so much now me and my mother can live a healthy nutritious life this really does work for me ive been dying to find other diets but this does work ive lost 60 pounds from a weight of 196pounds THANK YOU

      1. Rebeca Anderson, what foods do you eat over and over? I am looking into doing this

  58. This might be a dumb question but is Busch’s baked beans (I usually have the low fat vegetarian kind) acceptable for this diet. I know the beans itself are fine but I don’t know if the ingredients added to beans are. Also refried bean ok?? Thanks!!

  59. Good post, however, not all “white” foods are bad. Bananas, for example, are an excellent snack when following a diet. Respect proteins, turkey breast has more proteins than chicken breast, but chicken breast is good for starters.

  60. Is oatmeal off limits as well? If not, will putting a tsp of light brown sugar prevent losing 20 lbs in 30 days? Also, is non-fat creamer a no no too?

    Thank you!

  61. Crazy question… As I am starting this based on tips from my brother and will be getting the book later this week… Is there any reason that nuts such as pecans or items such as sunflower seeds are not an acceptable source of protein for this diet? In reading nutrition labels this seems like a great option for protein…

  62. Can anyone tell me if Busch’s Baked beans is acceptable for this diet…I think the sauce may use sugar?? Also are re-fried beans ok? Does anyone have good suggestions for salad dressing. Any ideas would be helpful!

    1. I am assuming that because seasonings should be acceptable to cook with that a dressing such as a light Italian or a balsamic is okay in small quantities… I use an organic balsamic… I’m with you… I keep asking questions and not getting responses…. Wish the professionals who have been doing this would help keep us on track!

      1. Also… Read the labels on your cans of beans busch’s baked beans are known for being full of sugars… I tend to stick with things that are under 2 grams of sugar per serving (this is how I selected my protein drink that I drink in the mornings) because you can’t entirely eliminate everything…

  63. Hi! This diet seems wonderful! Almost TOO wonderful! When is the earliest that you can see results? I don’t want to get too into it and end up losing the progress I already made (10 lbs)…. Haha! I am a 19 year old female, 5ft 6in, weighing 190 at the moment. I would like to look 20lbs lighter by August 13! Thank you! 🙂

      1. I started the plan Friday, July 11th! I’ve noticed that females lose the weight slower.

      2. Hi Angie, I’ve been on the diet since last Monday the 7th. I did really well (sticking on the diet) until Friday then I was asked out to happy hour and I caved, Baby Shower on Saturday… nothing there was on the diet and Sunday was a family get together and Sunday was to be my bad day. So I have not weighed myself because I was bad and figure I did not lose anything. I did start back on the diet today.

        Where are you getting the list of foods to eat on the diet from? Sounds like you are doing really well. Keep up the good work!

        Yes, I think men lose faster on all diets, dam!

        Are you drinking lots of water? Are you exercising? Thanks!

  64. Im soo overweight and im 16 prom is coming up and i need to lose 20kgs in 3 weeks i soo need help o tried the fruitarian diet where you eat fruits only for breakfast lunch and dinner but i cant help it i have sugar craving and i can stand not eating other things than fruit i got so sick of it now! Pls help does this diet work and if so can you shed weight quickly in 3 weeks! Im fasting also from 3am to 9pm and i dont think i can have this diet as im not allowed to eat for 18hours so can someone help pls!?

  65. Good morning! I’m looking forward to starting this diet by I have a couple questions too 🙂

    I too, am extremely Scandinavian. And German. And English. So I have great legs but too much fat storage around my belly as well 🙁

    I’m also training for a spartan race so I wasn’t sure if I should change anything up, add to the diet? I’m looking to lose 25 ish lbs of fat.

    And you mentioned supplements. Fat burners added to diet?

    Definately keeping the multivitamin in.

    Thanks in advance for answering.

  66. I have a hypothyroid and when I tried this last year I lost 20 lbs, problem is my thyroid symptoms came back very strong and I am on medicine. Do you recommend people with a thyroid disease to still do this diet?

  67. Hi Jackie! My first 10 lbs lost was me Jogging for an hour twice a day (once right when I woke up and again before dinner) and counting calories (1300 a day). I drank only water, but my diet was still pretty sad. I did this for about month and a half. That was until my hip started hurting, so I couldn’t jog… Then I found this diet! I haven’t noticed any real changes, but it’s only been 4 days! I’ve followed it religiously, even though I work at waffle house I STILL make it work! I hate not jogging, but my hip prohibits me…

  68. Question:

    I eat a mostly plant-base diet, I’ll eat fish but no other types of meat, dairy, or eggs. Could I just eat more beans and a bigger variety of veggies and still have this be effective?

  69. Hello,

    Iam new to this diet, im a 29 yo F, 250lbs i had a couple questions.. do u count calories as well, and ieat alotta pinto beans, like a cup each meal, should i cut portions, if im not losing weight? Ty in advance