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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7,285 Replies to “How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise”

  1. Amy:

    I’m just not sure what time of day I should be taking the others? Maybe you could let me know? thanks

    Amy, Take the supps before bed and another Niacin in the morning.

    Thanks,

    Dave

  2. Amy,

    The below text comes from comment 21 by Tim Ferriss. It gives the dosage of the Niacin, Policosanol and chromium nicotinate he takes. He says he takes them all before bed.

    “Before bed, I take:

    200mcg (that’s micrograms, not milligrams) of chromium polynicotinate (not “picolinate”), which is niacin-bound GTF chromium; this can be found under the brand name “ChromeMate”

    500mg of slow-release niacin (nicotinic acid) under the brand name “Slo-Niacin”

    23mg of policosanol (I use Nature’s Life brand)

    1-2 glasses of red or white wine: I believe these have fat-loss properties, plus they taste great 😉 Look at the research on resveratrol and other wine compounds.

    This cocktail not only aids in fat-loss, in my experience, but it lowered my total cholesterol from 222 to 147 in four weeks (!). If that is your goal, I’d also add an organic orange just prior to bed.”

  3. Hi there,

    Is this suppose to be a low fat diet too? For example when I cook should it all be steamed and grilled or is frying (obviously with low cal spray oil)allowed?

    Also is white wine OK?

    I started this diet last week and have had wine everynight. I’ve never done a diet before where I could drink alcohol?

    thanks

    Anne

  4. This is an update to my progress as I’ve posted before, primarily before the holidays of 2007.

    I loosely follow this diet plan and it works. I saw the most dramatic results in the beginning, but then again right now I’m not working so my casual activity such as the activity you’d get by going to work isn’t apart of my equation so my progress is relatively slow, but steady.

    I workout 3 days a week, I normally do cardio for about 30 min., hit the weights doing 3 reps of 10 of each: bench press, lat pull downs, bicep curls, some pushups, some dips, and some assisted pull ups(not using full body weight).

    My diet has been, and again, this is a loosely followed plan:

    Breakfast: Quaker oats weight control oatmeal, 3 egg whites with 1 yoke scrambled, a few cups of coffee with splenda and a creamer additive.

    Lunch: Some sort of protein bean combo, if it’s a workout day I workout between breakfast and lunch so that I can have my protein shake for lunch which consists of; chocolate whey protein powder, flaxseeds, psyllium husk, a digestive enzyme, 2 cups of light vanilla soy milk, a banana, and a couple of strawberries. It’s like having a chocolate strawberry banana milkshake, so tasty!

    Dinner: I usually eat some sort of protein and veggie combo. My favorites include 3 eggs with 2 yokes removed, diced onions and bell peppers, and a touch of either mozzarella or parmesan with some sort of lean protein. The grill has become my best friend, you can convert veggie’s into tasty delights! If you use marinates, you can find healthy marinates that convert healthy foods into satisfying tasteful foods that trick your mind into thinking you’re gorging on restaurant fatty foods. Although, from my experience, as I progress through the weeks, my taste buds change and I start craving healthier foods, its rather strange but ultimately an awesome concept!

    Snack: I’m not sure if this fits in the diet either but I’ve been consuming Oroville Redenbacher (or however you spell that?) kettle corn 94% fat free popcorn. It has a low amount of fat, a good taste to it, and it’s high in fiber.

    Drinks: I buy the sports bottled spring water, the bottles that carry 24 oz of water. I then buy crystal light packets (fruit punch has a great flavor) and consume around 3-4 of these a day.

    That’s pretty much my diet; I took this concept and added just a few minor things here and there to make it so that I stick to it. I did well before the holidays but ruined my progress during. So I started tracking again and really attempting to do this diet on the 14th of January.

    Starting weigh-in on the 14th of Jan. was: 234.0 lbs

    01-21-08: 228.0 lbs

    02-01-08: 226.4 lbs

    02-08-08: 223.5 lbs

    02-15-08: 222.0 lbs

    Not sure why this week I only lost a pound and a half as I ate and worked out really well this week, but it’s still progress so it works for me. This marks the 4th week and I’m down 12 lbs. I think what I appreciate more about this diet than seeing scale results is the visual results. I must be gaining muscle as I loose fat because it’s visually noticeable. And even though I have a long way to go, (I’d like to get down to 175lbs) the visual results are still noticeable. I also have a very even keel energy level, my mood stays the same throughout the day which is huge for me. Before this I would have big spikes in blood sugar which would make me very… very irritable, followed by a crash which was making me feel like I should start looking into anti-depressants. Now that my sugar is fairly stable, and I’m making headway, everything about my mood has stabilized and I’m thinking positive again.

    I think food plays such a huge role in how we feel which ultimately affects how we act out and conduct ourselves in everyday life. I also think doctors should really take a hard look at diets before prescribing any type of symptom relieving pill. Pills don’t fix the problems in some circumstances, they mask the symptom. At least with me, I’m now viewing things totally different than before I started making healthier food choices.

    Well off my soap box, I hope all of you are doing great, and for those of you who are reading and considering this diet, or just making some changes, do it, you will resolve a lot of the symptoms you are experiencing that are probably related to diet.

    Good luck!

    If anyone is interested, I’m starting a website for inspirational stories. This website isn’t money driven, it’s just something I’m actually starting to keep me accountable and on track throughout my progress. I’d like to ultimately have other participants post up their thoughts, their stories, their photo’s to where we could create a community of people taking new steps in positive directions. If you are interested, you can join me and others along your journey. Once I get it to where it’s operational, I’ll post a link to it if you are interested in taking part in sharing your story.

    BTW, Tim, your book, this blog, and just your path has inspired me as I have mentioned before in this blog. Thank you for stepping out of the main stream and pioneering into new uncharted territories. What’s even greater than just being an example is that you’ve taken the time to look back at those who are wandering around in the forest and have given them some tools to start climbing up towards the alpine levels and ultimately heading in the direction of conquering the peaks. You rip bro!

    ~Josh

    ###

    Hi Josh,

    Thanks so much for posting this great and detailed account. Congratulations on excellent progress and remember… take lots of photos! I didn’t during a few transformations, and trust me: you’ll wish you had taken more 🙂

    All the best,

    Tim

  5. Hey Tim,

    Thanks for the feedback. Here’s my website that I just finished building (in URL field). Your book and this blog is what inspired me to do what I’m about to do. Check it out if you get a chance and thanks again for the inspiration.

    Josh

  6. You know, the real reason this diet works isn’t _what_ Tim is eating at all. After all, beans and lentils are very high-calorie. The secret is that he eats the same thing all the time, and not very appetizing meals at that. If you do that, you simply won’t want to eat more than is necessary.

    I’ve been doing much the same thing for years with my afternoon snack, which is cookies. My problem is that I love cookies, so it’s hard to stop once I’ve started. So, my solution is to buy only a specific brand of cookie I’m not crazy about. That way I know I’ll eat three, period, which is enough to keep me satisfied till dinner. I never buy any cookies I really like!

    Likewise, I eat the same things for almost every breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The only problem is that I love what I have for dinner, so I tend to eat too much of that!

    Aaron

  7. Hi,

    Thanks for posting this diet. It has worked wonders for me. I have lost 27 pounds in 35 days. I like the idea of going into ketosis to ensure fat burning combined with calorie ZigZag cycling to ensure high metabolism.

  8. Many of these suggestions work! Two qualms about details:

    (1) Artificial sweeteners are bad news. See: http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10688627&fsrc=RSS

    (2) Eggs yolks aren’t just flavor enhancers, they’re the single best source of choline. Choline maintains your brain, helps metabolize other vitamins, and prevents fatty liver (which leads to liver failure and cancer). Plus the majority of Americans eat choline-deficient diets.

    See: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/othernuts/choline/

    http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/nutrition/a/choline.htm

    http://www.medschool.northwestern.edu/newsworthy/past-years/2002/2002H-May/choline.html

    Good luck to everyone in their healthful weight loss!

  9. I have been following the diet and taking the supplements. I have 2 comments. I researched insulin resistance on the Web and found a multivitamin called multi-betic that has the ChromeMate and alpha-liporic acid, and valadium, all important in insulin resistance. I have been taking it, it includes some Niacin and the Niacin Tim said to take. I had a scare last night though when my face started to burn and i turned red all over. I went to WebMD like I always do and discovered it was a natural reaction to Niacin called a Niacin Flush. It was scary but this morning and today i feel great. I have lost 7 lbs. (some water) in the last 4 days. What are your thoughts on the Multi-Betic and the flush, should I keep trying to flush?

  10. I’m in the process of my first 30 days and had a few quick questions:

    1) are garbanzo beans an acceptable Legume?

    2) what, if any, seasoning, sauce etc… do you put on your chicken. Last night I added some low sodium soy sauce, but I realize that’s probably not the best.

    Thanks

    Josh

    ###

    Hi Josh,

    I find garbanzo beans to be too calorically dense, so I avoid them. Think of them as rice. A few here and there in a mixed bean salad is fine, but otherwise not suggested. Light toppings like low-sodium soy sauce or salsa.

    Good luck!

    Tim

  11. hi there. Well m a 15 year old girl whos suffering from weight loss problems. I desperately want to shedd off my fats but the problem is i dont get time to work out,my weight is growing steadily m 15 and i weigh 70kgs plz give me an instant way to loose all my body fat quickly without the usage of burn pills,gymming and long cardio workouts…

  12. Tim,

    Great eating advice that I’m putting to use in my own life. I also linked over here from my website so visitors to that site can check this out too. Thanks!

  13. This diet looks really interesting and like it might work for me. I just wanted to know if Black eyed peas are acceptable to e4at on this diet? I Love them, put im not too fond of pinto beans

  14. Tim,

    I’m at my breaking point today. I recently turned thirty and just had my lab work come back today. My cholesterol is high along with my triglycerides. I weigh 240 now and working in an office doesn’t help. I’ve gained 60 pounds in 7 years. Reflecting on some old college photos and realizing how I’ve been “really” eating, I’m ready to change.

    I like the way you say eat the same things over and over and just mix them up. I’m a very simple person, and I pretty much eat the same crap over and over, so it shouldn’t be difficult to get on this plan.

    Hopefully I’ll have some good updates in the near future.

    One day at a time,

    Matt

  15. You know some people might not eat animals, did you ever think of that? Anyway, it’s the healthiest way to go. I don’t know any overweight long-term vegetarians and especially vegans. Totally, for the animals, the planet, love, peace, and good health.

  16. what about the eggs…do you put salt in your eggs?

    and do you use oil to cook it?..will dat increase ur fat easily though?..should the egg be sprinlke with salt or no?

  17. Tim, well it is working great!!! I have fluctuated between 205 and 225 over the past few years, but never seem to break 200, was 175 18yrs ago on wedding day (47 now). When I started this in February I was about 122. I lost 6lbs the first week, 4 the next, and was down to 202 on Saturday and after my “day off” on Sunday was still 203 Monday. I should break 200 this week (after trying for several years) and feel great. Followed diet you you laid out, I posted the heuvos rancheros recipe, and now do it w/out the torilla. Have been also including a lot of frsesh fish w/dinners, and a great chili for lunch – beef, kidney beans, onions, peppers, tomatoes & spices – is a nice combination w/legumes and protein and could eat chili every day up here in ski country.

    Thanks for the new post as well, all very interesting and helpful. Thanks again for the inspiration and practical knowledge!

    Bob

  18. Hey everyone,

    How goes your progress?

    Shante this is directed towards your comment but also to everyone else. After reading Tim’s book I got inspired to create my own website/blogspace like a lot of Tim’s readers. As of last Saturday morning I was down 15.6 lbs since January 14th. I’ve been following Tim’s reccomended eating plan loosely as well as working out and it has literally changed the way I feel, and conduct myself. I’m feeling full of energy, not bogged down any more by spiking my sugar through the roof and then crashing when my insulin kicks in to regulate it. I feel great, starting to see visual changes, and just overall have a more positive outlook. You can view my progress and stay up with me as I go along if you’d like. My site wasn’t built to run ads or solicite money (except from my friends and family as I’m raising a per pound pledgeathon) so come on over, or book mark it and follow along as I’m going to be a great testimony for this eating plan. Don’t forget to sign my guestbook ;o)

    Thanks again Tim, feeling great and making headway!

    Josh

  19. do you subscribe to the fat (especially animal) is bad idea? as you don’t recommend much in the way of fat for energy on this diet

    or

    is your fat loss diet exclusive of fats because the best way to get ripped is high protein – adequate carbs for basic energy

    could i for instance, bump up my fat instead of eating the extra beans you mentioned- in order to avoid tiredness?

    markus

  20. Im 636 post! yay! does fruits really slow down your metabolic rate? thats whats a teacher says! lol thank you! peace out!

  21. Hello there..read your programme..interesting to hear..yet i must say you have forgotten fibre foods which we by nature usually dont get enough of..i also dont think eating the same thing over and over is a healthy way of living..just like training the same thing over and over..ur body just hits a plateu..u should try different random healthy things..regarding the eat 6 to 8 times a day..i personally live that way..you have forgotten to say that yes you do need carbohydrates not only for energy..but the fact that our human brain and nervous system fuels ONLY from carbohydrates..that being said..please intake everything moderately..and live healthy and happy!

    cheerz

  22. Was wondering if Egg Beaters or a similar product (i.e. just the yolk, no fat no chol.) was as good as egg whites or could be used interchangeably.

  23. Hey all,

    Josh checking in. Week 7 and I’ve hit the 20lb mark. Feelin’ great, this eating plan is absolutely amazing! Make sure you guys are getting in your workouts, my weight loss has increased as my activity has increased.

    See ya’ll next week.

  24. For all of those craving mashed potatoes, here’s a good sub. Cook up some cauliflower, and mash it up, mon. Throw in some roasted garlic. yum!

    Seriously, I think it tastes better than mashed potatoes, and I’m pretty damn sure it doesn’t qualify as a “white carb”, even though, it’s, um, white. If I’m wrong, someone please shut me up.

    Man, you could take some of these, some steamed collard greens, some black eyed peas (delete the ham hock plz!)some grilled chicken breast.. That’s like a southern feast right there! Don’t forget the hot sauce! I could -totally- eat that every day! God, I love food.

  25. i’ve been doing the diet for 6 weeks now. i have gone from 214.5 to 199 with NO exercise at all. i attribute being short of the goal because my free day is friday dinner until late saturday night. if i had been more disciplined, i’m sure i would have lost more, quicker. but even the 15 lb loss has changed my life a lot. people comment, my clothes are loose (some pants don’t even fit, no matter how tight i make the belt) and my energy level is way higher. i don’t want to quit the diet. i think i prefer it to “my old lifestyle” which i think would have slowly killed me. the first two weeks were very hard, trying to wean the body of all those simple carbs that once nearly solely supported it. thanks, this diet has rocked!

  26. So with this diet your able to lose 15-20 with no exercise right? I’ve been on it for 2 weeks now and have seen little results

    thanks

  27. Hello,

    this is a great diet, but I am not losing any weight. I am following the rules by the book. is there any possibility I may be adding muscle (I know I am lifting more weight) without loosing fat?

    Mike

  28. Great information and great website!

    I’m recommending this method (and a visit to your site) to all of my readers.

  29. Rob, define plenty..I would have to agree only on the organic vegetables..the regular vegetables today lack much of their nutrients compared to a whole grain item..The current recommendations, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, is 14 grams of fiber per 1000 calories consumed. So, if you consume a 2500 calorie diet, you should eat approximately 35 grams of fiber per day.

    1 cup of beans is 10g of fibre..u do the math!

  30. I’m curious as to how seitan fits into this. Can you let me know what you think? Seitan is a vegetarian meat substitute that is mostly protein. According to one source, it’s about 14% fat, 13% carbs, and 73% Protein. I’m assuming that it would fit in nicely.

  31. Tim,

    I run 35-40 miles a week, and I’m a nursing mother, and your diet describes almost exactly the foods that I eat. (However, I don’t go on the junk food binges: I abstain from sugar as I’m sugar sensitive.) I find that eating this way gives me adequate energy to nurse, run and look and feel my best. I also consume generous amounts of healthy fats: nuts and nut butters (such as almond butter), avocados, flaxseed oil, hemp seeds, and even some butter and eggs. I also greatly recommend bison: it’s so much more flavorful than beef.

    I thought that, as a runner, my training would suffer by not eating so many carbohydrates. But I’ve found the opposite is true: I have more energy following this kind of food plan.

    In the world of food, diets, nutrition, and health, there are many experts, many diet suggestions, and many imperatives about the “right” way to eat. Worse, after a time, the experts start to contradict one another. Here’s what I suggest to anyone who wants to eat better: experiment. Use your body as your guinea pig, and see what foods make you feel your best. That’s, ultimately, how I found a food plan for me, and how anyone can find a food plan for themselves.

    Cheers,

    Karly Pitman

  32. Alcohol and to be on a diet isn’t the the best idea ever.

    But at least trink alcohol that keeps your blood sugar low, like red wine.

  33. Tim,

    I’ve just finished my first week trying your diet. I’ve lost 5lbs. I like the food choices, my mood and energy levels are MUCH improved over the crap diet I had before. I can see doing this indefinitely! I’m reading the books you mentioned – Protein Power, New Glucose Revolution, New HIT etc, yet I still have a question. You mentioned your supplement plan in post #21, and I’ve implemented that too. Yet I googled for more info and there were a lot of conflicting reports about possible danger, and/or no evidence of effectiveness. I haven’t had any problems, but I was really hoping you had some additional info, studies, books etc that you could point me to, for greater info on these supplements. Also, do you take this cocktail for long periods year-to-year, or just to lose weight?

    Best! I’m reading your book too, Cheers!

    Nate

  34. Hey Tim, (and fellow slow carb dieters)

    This is Josh; just wanted to drop in and say thanks as the diet plan has been absolutely amazing. To date, I’m down 20 lbs in 7 weeks by casually following your slow carb diet. I also wanted to say; thanks for the book and this site. Through your book and the creative thoughts it has triggered, my life is beginning to change! I have decided to join a health fitness program, and from the inspiration of this blog, I created my own personal blog/site which led to the building of a community forum website for the program I’m taking part in and its contestants. The owner of the local educational fitness show that I’m participating in was so impressed with my personal blog/site that he asked if I could aid others in creating their own online journal. We actually sat down and I introduced the idea of a community forum (discussion board) to him. Needless to say, today is our debut launch of the new website and its interactive community forum.

    This forum is open to the public, so all who are wanting to make health conscious changes are welcome to register, take part in sharing their stories, and of course the educational nutrition and conditioning discussions.

    Thanks again for the inspiration!!!

    Josh Ream

    Boulder, CO

  35. I agree the “upfeed” day is key to keeping the metabolism strong and your sanity! Most all diets can work….but most people fail because they feel deprived and just dump the whole thing. If we eat for health….then there is no reason we would want sugar as it is just an “anti-nutrient” and does nothing but bad things to our body. The “Paleo Diet” is a good read into how we were designed to eat in the hunter gather stages of evolution….as all the problems in health came along with the agricultural stage and the harvesting of the “grain”.

    That and we need fat in our diets….since the obesity levels have only sky rocketed since the “experts” told everyone to eat low fat. Butter anyone?

  36. Hi,

    Read the website and most of the postings.Good stuff, Wondering what kind of weight lifting excerises I should do if I want to attempt his 34lb muscle gain in 4 weeks?

  37. Dear Tim,

    REQUIRE YOUR ADVICE:

    1) I am a vegetarian, and many people in India are vegetarians. Could you suggest a vegetarian diet for loosing weight / gaining muscle?

    2) Being vegetarian, we dont get enough protein through regular food. I have started having protein shakes everyday – is it ok? would you recommend it?

    Btw… I love your book, blogs & lifestyle! Im slowly implementing your advice and it is really reducing my work related stress. You have saved my life!

    I recommend your book to all miserable, over-worked and over-stressed people out there.

    Thank you so much! 🙂

    Warm regards

    Manan

  38. I am just starting week 2 of the diet and feel really good. I lost 3.8 pounds the first work but then gained 1.6 back after my “eating day” on Saturday. I didn’t think I went THAT crazy. Has anyone else experienced this? Is this too much of a step back each week to inhibit me from reaching my 20 pound goal?

    Also, is olive oil/vinegar allowed on the diet? I’m a salad eater and was wondering if a little bit of natural dressing is OK maybe once a day.

    ###

    Hi Rebecca,

    Olive oil and vinegar is absolutely fine — even encouraged — on this diet. I consume a lot of both. Excellent for workout recovery and lowering glycemic index.

    Tim

  39. @Rebecca

    I’m in my second week and had a similar experience, I lost 5 then gained back almost 3 in my off day the first week. Not sure that makes any sense either, but I’m withholding judgment. I don’t drink enough water, and I run 5x per week, so maybe its water. Who knows. I look and feel better though. Give it a month.

    Nate

  40. Hi Tim,

    During the Sunday to Friday, do you have any fruits at all?? anything sweet? that could be hard if not….

    Thanks!

  41. WOW! I’ve read lots of books that totally support this theory of eating. Thank you for putting it into words on you blog. Did you ever read “Flip the Switch” by Robert K. Cooper, PhD? How about “Light’s Out” by T.S. Wiley? Cool stuff. For a nutrition and psychology/biology enthusiast, you really got my heart racing with this one! It’s that feeling you get when something really clicks. Thanks!

  42. Since there seems to be a number of questions and very little data I figured I’d supply my own…

    I’m a little over 20 days on task and I’m down 15 pounds and I still have a while to go. I’ve treated the whole thing as an experiment and I’ve not altered the diet plan except as mentioned below. Otherwise, my meals generally consist of one of each of the following groups:

    1. flat iron steak, low fat hamburger meat, butterfly cut pork loin, salmon, tilapia, chicken breast, egg whites and a whole egg

    2. pinto beans or black beans

    3. microwaved steamed vegetables

    I grill the selected meat from category 1. From category 2 I typically choose pinto beans and make ‘refried’ beans by microwaving them, mashing them up, and then cooking them on the stove with a wee bit of olive oil, I like them, so I generally have them 3 times a week. From category 3 I randomly choose such a package and microwave it, some examples are peas and mushrooms, broccoli and carrots, that type of stuff. If I’m feeling more adventurous I’ll grill some portabello mushrooms or some peppers or something.

    I usually make enough at dinner time that I eat leftovers at lunch the next day. I’m usually a breakfast skipper, but if I get up and feel like it I’ll often make scrambled eggs or an omelet and maybe heat up some refried beans.

    That’s about it, during the day I drink a couple cups of coffee (with splenda) or water, at night I might have a glass of red wine. If I feel frisky I eat an orange or a banana in the morning or at night. On my ‘off day’ I don’t go totally crazy, but so far I have eaten fast food and a pizza on two of my saturdays, I also eat some ice cream and drink some milk, etc.

    I’ve not been sweating little stuff like adding some cheese to my omelets or using olive oil or anything like that. I also don’t count calories, how much I’ve eaten, or how many carbs. It’s pretty straightforward and it fits nicely with my general OCD-like behavior of liking to do things the same way over and over.

    I should point out that the first weight is my starting weight, the next day was the first full day of the experiment, you’ll notice the second day was a Saturday, but I chose not to take that one off as it didn’t seem productive. Following the first Saturday every Saturday is a day off. Also there are days marked with an asterisk, those are days I didn’t feel well and only ate some chicken noodle soup. You’ll notice interesting facts like weight going up after days off, weight dropping or gaining for little apparent reason. I tend not to worry about the fluctuations, just the general trend. I weight myself at roughly the same time every day (after I get out of the shower) on the same scale and I do it until I get 3 consistent results (it’s one of those crappy floor digital ones). However, there’s obvious differences like, did I use the bathroom that morning or not, etc…

    Finally I should point out that I’m controlling for exercise, that is I’m not doing any exercise outside of my daily routine, no running, no lifting weights, etc. That’ll come a little later, but I’m trying to control the variables.

    My start weight:

    235.0 Thursday Feb 21, 2008

    Here’s my data so far:

    234.6 Friday Feb 22, 2008

    232.6 Saturday Feb 23, 2008

    230.4 Sunday Feb 24, 2008

    229.4 Monday Feb 25, 2008

    228.6 Tuesday Feb 26, 2008

    230.0 Wednesday Feb 27, 2008

    230.0 Thursday Feb 28, 2008

    228.6 Friday Feb 29, 2008

    227.8 Saturday Mar 01, 2008

    228.6 Sunday Mar 02, 2008

    227.6 Monday Mar 03, 2008

    226.2 Tuesday Mar 04, 2008

    225.6 Wednesday Mar 05, 2008

    226.0 Thursday Mar 06, 2008 ***

    222.6 Friday Mar 07, 2008 ***

    219.6 Saturday Mar 08, 2008

    222.2 Sunday Mar 09, 2008

    226.2 Monday Mar 10, 2008

    222.2 Tuesday Mar 11, 2008

    221.6 Wednesday Mar 12, 2008

    220.2 Thursday Mar 13, 2008

    220.2 Friday Mar 14, 2008

  43. Wow! I dont know you but you look like u know what ur talking about. I think this may actually help me! Thank you soo much! Love it!

  44. hi im 11 years old and i weigh 170 or more and i cry about it i exersie and it does not work and i drink water and good stuff and i cant loose weigh like a lot of people can and it gets on my nerves i eat heathy and it just does not work i dont swim in the summer because im inbarist and can you plz HELP me when you first get this ]

    i will love to know if you can HELP me loose weigh. Thank You and have a nice day

  45. Hi there I am a vegetarian also, I dont eat meat , fish or egg. How can I adapt the diet to suit my needs? I am sorry if I have overlooked the replies, i have trawled through replies and not found the answer.

    In particular I am looking for high protein breakfast ideas.

    I should be grateful to hear from anyone for a sample day’s vegetarian menu.

    Many thanks

    AS

  46. Hi AS,

    I recommend you take a look at Dr. Gabriel Cousens’ book Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine. He outlines and provides many recipes for the low glycemic vegan diet followed at his Tree of Life Rejuvenation center in Arizona.

    You could also take a look at Stephen Arlin’s book Raw Power. It includes vegan recipes and weight lifting advice.

    For inspiration, you could also take a look at Storm here. http://www.thegardendiet.com/storm.html

    These resources are all a few years old. After doing a quick search, it seems there’s a lot more information available now.

    Best of luck.

  47. Hi ,

    I am 30 yrs old and i weigh 254 pounds and my height is 5 ft 4 inches and i used to weaigh almost 140 pounds before.I put on dis weight during and post pregnancy.that islike 6 years back.My BMR Is very low.It would be great help if u guys can help me out,,

  48. Tim,

    One question-even thought carbs are prohibited, is it only sweets that you can eat on your ‘dieters gone wild’ day? Or can you indulge on white CARBS on that day as well? And I live in southern California, where the Mexican food is somewhat authentic and delicious. Even though it’s typically considered not-that-healthy, is it OK to include that in my diet (following the guidelines, of course)? Or should I be looking to places that don’t cook in grease and the like?

    Thanks,

    Travis

    ###

    Hi Travis,

    Indulge in whatever you like 🙂

    Tim

  49. Hey guys, I haven’t read every single post – that would be silly. but I have read a few and a common thread seems to be the fact that when you have a cheat day or if you “fall off the wagon” you tend to gain a couple of pounds back.

    Today is my first day and the beans are killing me, glad to get a few recipe ideas and know that I dont HAVE to stick to the few foods that Tim mentioned to be a successfull dieter.

    Anyway, I’m going to weigh myself only every week or couple of weeks otherwise like some of you I will fret at every pound lost/gained.

    When the diet ends I’m worried that I will put the weight back on again in a couple of days but I guess this is where we have to make a choice to adopt an eating plan similair to this on a dail basis.

    🙂

  50. Just wanted to says thanks to Tim. I just read the book and saw this video on the egg and spinach breakfast. Pretty funny watching Tim make breakfast in the microwave. Anyway, I started his “no white stuff” diet” last Friday, not really having much faith that I could lose even one pound. (Went to Paris last summer and walked about 12 miles every day and didn’t lose an ounce- so much for exercise!) It’s amazing. I lost about one pound a day for the first three days, then 5 pounds on the fourth day. I’m only 5 days into the new diet and I have lost 10 pounds. This has really inspired me to talk to me friends about changing the whole “comfort food” approach to eating. Maybe we could make our lives a little more interesting, eat for nourishment, and find our comfort in something that doesn’t give you diabetes and make you look like an overstuffed pear. Hope I can hold out for some really good results. Can’t wait for Saturday when I can have something with sugar in it. Anything will do!

  51. Hi Tim or anyone who can answer,

    I am intersted in buying the book with the Diet in it. But is the 4HWW a diet book or LifeCoaching book or both. Is this the book that has the ‘No white carbs’ diet in it?

    Also, what about Soya Yoghurts (without fruit), soya is protein, and non dairy, would this be OK for a breakfast substitue every now and then to kill the boredom?

    Please answer soon as I’m about to start the diet. I’ll have to buy the book on line as its not in any of the book stores near me. I live in Europe.

    thanks guys,

    Anne

  52. @Anne and Tina,

    Its not fair to ask Tim to give you feedback on every single food. Read “the New Glucose Revolution” by Dr Jennie Brand-MIller and literally all of your questions about diet, what oils to cook with and when its OK to eat certain foods will be answered. Tim’s diet is meant to limit calories and also burn more fat, while being filling and nutritionally rich. The more you know, the more you’ll find almost any combination of lean protein, vegetables and legumes can be used. But unless you have the basic knowledge contained in this book you’ll likely finish the diet and revert back to making uninformed food choices.

  53. Great post as usual Tim! This post has inspired me to take the 4 hour work week approach to losing weight! I intend to add exercise so I intend to lose 30 pounds in 30 days.

    Wish me luck…Russ Reynolds

  54. I noticed that my comments are not being posted. I did want to answer Anne’s question that the diet is similar or related to the Four Squares diet, but it seems that post is not getting through. Help! I know I posted stuff with links in it before, but does that mean I’m completely banned now?

    ###

    Hi Rex,

    Thanks for the comment. You’re not banned, but your comments have been put into moderation along with others, and posts with lots of links that are come across as self-advertising get automatically deleted by moderators. Sorry, but it has to be this way to prevent abuse and spamming!

    Tim

  55. Hello to all, I have been reading this article and had some questions. I am 18 years old and a Senior in HIgh School. Can anyone tell me how to eat the foods above? Scrambled Eggology pourable egg whites with one whole egg, black beans, and microwaved mixed vegetables etc. Is there like something i can microwave?

  56. I have been eating a high fiber cereal in the am (EX. Fiber One mixed with Grape Nuts or some Kashi cereal) or oatmeal and I have been getting excellent results. All my other meals are slow or no carb and I work out 4-5 times per week in the evening so I eat carbs at night. Just a FYI for some people who are cereal lovers. PS I LOVE the “Engorge yourself to oblivian day” AWESOME!!!

  57. Yo Tim,

    4 weeks into this diet and I am down 11lbs. I now weigh 223lbs. Only another 27 to go to my desired weight!

    Cheers,

    John

  58. I am really interested in this diet I think it is entirely doable and pretty low maintenance especially for a very busy person. However, I would like to know how much exercising I should be doing (e.g. how many times a week, cardio and weight lifting) if i wanted to exercise along with the diet keeping in mind that I haven’t been to the gym in awhile and am most definitely out of shape.

    Thanks in advance

  59. hey all starting today… i just wanted to ask….NO FRUITS AT ALL???? or some r ok?

    ###

    Sorry, no fruits if you want optimal results. Not needed. Eat vegetables for your vitamins.

    Good luck!

    Tim

  60. Tim,

    What if any advice do you have on NLP methods, like Paul Mckenna’s from “I can Make You Thin”? How effective might a synthesis of this diet and his methods be???

  61. Hi.

    i am really glad i found this diet. it actually works!

    i have lost 8 lbs in just 6 days, !!

    i cant believe it.

    and i didnt even excersice!

    this is what i ate everyday .

    morning= scrambled eggs with onions(only egg whites), beans, and some kind of healthy vegetable, for ex, cauliflower,spinach, cucumbers, or mixed vegetables, anything thats a veggie

    lunch= mixed vegtables, beans, cottage cheese

    dinner=2 fillet fish, cooked without butter or oil, only non cooking spray,beans, corn

    sometimes i would switch them up not to get bored of eating it,

    but really if u guys eat like that for 6 days, and the 7th day eat all u want., then u will lose weight. tomorow is my 7th day, so i eat all i want, i just hope i wont gain all of that bak in just one day and have to start over again!

    oh, and dont eat snacks, or fruits or anything! just 3 times a day, the meal that ur soppuse to eat, its rlly worth it, and then u get aday off so thats good.

    im hoping to lose like 30 lbs in 30 days, which i think will work if i keep this up.

    i hope i dont screw it up!! wish me luck and i wish u guys luck, and i will be postingg my results in like 3 days, =]]

    until i lose the 30 lbs!

    and what rly makes me happy is that i dont havee to excersice, !

    if u rly wanna lose weight u gota be strict and have confidence in urself, that u can do it and it is possible.

    some bodys work different, if ur doing everything ur soppuse to and not losing weight, hang in there and try for another week, dont give up becuz the results may change if u just keep going, and give more effort.

    im rly happy i found this diet. =]

    thanx

  62. hey, i like your diet, I want to stick to proteins and vegetables, excluding everything else (even fruits). Couple questions though, 1. am i allowed to eat raw almonds and canned tuna? and 2. Is it better to try and stick to green vegetables or are all vegetables just as good? Thanks for your help, I really need to lose 20 pounds and I like your strategy. Cheers.

    Oh, one more thing. I’m 5’7 and I weigh 140 pounds. I don’t eat a lot as it is probably 1500 calories/day and generally don’t exercise much. To lose 1 pound a week I would have to reduce by 500 calories a day, so would it be ok for me to eat 800 to lose a little more?