The Value of Self-Experimentation [Plus: Extreme Videos – Do Not Try This At Home]

The following is an excerpt from the appendices of The 4-Hour Body, which explores a common question: Can self-experimentation be valid at all, compared to placebo-controlled studies?

As we shall see, self-experimentation need not be extreme (I do the extremes so you don’t have to), and you can make significant discoveries with a sample size of one.

I’ll let a professional, Dr. Seth Roberts, explain how…

The Value of Self-Experimentation

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” —Richard Feynman

This is an excerpt from The 4-Hour Body, written by Dr. Seth Roberts, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California–Berkeley and professor of psychology at Tsinghua University. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine and The Scientist, and he is on the editorial board of the journal Nutrition.


I started self-experimentation when I was a grad student. I was studying experimental psychology; self-experimentation was a way to learn how to do experiments.

One of my first self-experiments was about acne. My dermatologist had prescribed tetracycline, an antibiotic. Just for practice, I did an experiment to measure its effect. I varied the dosage of tetracycline—the number of pills per day—and counted the number of pimples on my face each morning. First I compared six pills per day (a high dose) and four pills per day (the prescribed dose). Somewhat to my surprise, they produced the same number of pimples. I tried other dosages. Eventually I tried zero pills per day. To my shock, zero pills per day produced the same number of pimples as four or six pills per day. The conclusion was unavoidable: the drug had no effect. (Many years later, research articles about antibiotic-resistant acne began to appear.) Tetracycline is a prescription drug; it’s not completely safe. I’d been taking it for months.

My dermatologist had also prescribed benzoyl peroxide, which comes in a cream. When my self-experimentation started, I believed that tetracycline was powerful and benzoyl peroxide weak, so I rarely used the cream. One day I ran low on tetracycline. Better use the cream, I thought. For the first time, I used the cream regularly. Again I was shocked: it worked well. Two days after I started using it, the number of pimples clearly went down. When I stopped the cream, two days later the number of pimples rose. When I restarted the cream, the number of pimples went down again.

My data left no doubt that (a) tetracycline didn’t work and (b) benzoyl peroxide did work—the opposite of my original beliefs. My dermatologist thought both worked. He’d seen hundreds of acne patients and had probably read hundreds of articles about acne. Yet in a few months I’d learned something important he didn’t know.

This wasn’t the usual line about self-experimentation. Read any book about it, such as Lawrence Altman’s Who Goes First? The Story of Self-Experimentation in Medicine, and you will come away thinking that self-experimentation is done by selfless doctors to test new and dangerous treatments. My experience was different. I wasn’t a doctor. I wasn’t trying to help someone else. I didn’t test a dangerous new treatment. Unlike the better-known sort of self-experimentation, which usually confirms what the experimenter believes, my self-experiments had shown I was wrong.

From my acne research I learned that self-experimentation can be used by non-experts to (a) see if the experts are right and (b) learn something they don’t know. I hadn’t realized such things were possible. The next problem I tried to solve this way was early awakening. For years, starting in my twenties, I woke up early in the morning, such as 4 a.m., still tired but unable to go back to sleep. Only a few dreary hours later would I be able to fall back asleep. This happened about half of all mornings. It showed no sign of going away. I didn’t want to take a pill for the rest of my life—not that there are any good pills for this—so I didn’t bother seeing a doctor. The only hope for a good solution, as far as I could tell, was self-experimentation.

So I did two things:

  1. I recorded a few details about my sleep. The main one was whether I fell back asleep after getting up. How often this happened was my measure of the severity of the problem. In the beginning, I couldn’t fall back asleep about half of all mornings.
  2. I tested possible solutions.

The first thing I tried was aerobic exercise. It didn’t help. Early awakening was just as common after a day with exercise as after a day without exercise. I tried eating cheese in the evening. It didn’t help. I tried several more possible remedies.

None helped. After several years, I ran out of things to try. All my ideas about what might help had proved wrong.

Yet I managed to make progress. For unrelated reasons, I changed my breakfast from oatmeal to fruit. A few days later, I started waking up too early every morning instead of half the time. The problem was now much worse. This had never happened before. I recorded the breakfast change on the same piece of paper I used to keep track of my sleep, so the correlation was easy to see. To make sure the correlation reflected causality, I went back and forth between fruit and oatmeal. The results showed it was cause and effect. Fruit for breakfast caused more early awakening than oatmeal for breakfast. After ten years when nothing I’d done had made a difference, this was a big step forward. I eventually figured out that any breakfast made early awakening more likely. A long experiment confirmed this. The best breakfast was no breakfast.

I was less surprised than you might think. I knew that in a wide range of animals, including rats, a laboratory result called anticipatory activity is well established. If you feed a rat every day at the same time, it will become active about three hours earlier. If you feed it at noon, it will become active about 9 a.m. I had been eating breakfast at about 7 a.m. and waking up about 4 a.m. I had essentially found that humans were like other animals in this regard.

Not eating breakfast reduced early awakening but didn’t eliminate it. In the following years, self-experimentation taught me more about what caused it. By accident, I found that standing helped. If I stood more than eight hours in a day, I slept better that night. That wasn’t practical—after trying to stand that much for several years, I gave up—but the realization helped me make another accidental discovery 10 years later: standing on one leg to exhaustion helps. If I do this four times (left leg twice, right leg twice) during a day, even in the morning, I sleep much better that night. More recently, I’ve found that animal fat makes me sleep better.

Both effects are dose-dependent. I can get great sleep if I stand enough and great sleep if I eat enough animal fat.

How much animal fat is “enough”? I’ve just started trying to figure this out using pig fat, which I consume in a cut called pork belly (the part of the pig used for bacon). I found that 150 grams of pork belly had a little effect; 250 grams of pork belly had a much clearer effect. The effect seems to get larger with more pork belly (e.g., 350 grams). Because pork belly may be more than 90% fat by calories (there is great variation from one piece to the next), it’s a lot of calories of fat to get the maximum possible effect. I need to burn a lot of calories per day to make that many calories easy to eat, but it’s in some respects more convenient than standing on one foot.

Acne and sleep were my first self-experimental topics. Later I studied mood, weight control, and the effects of omega-3 on brain function. I learned that self-experimentation has three uses:

  1. To test ideas. I tested the idea that tetracycline helps acne. I tested ideas about how to sleep better. And I’ve tested ideas derived from surprises. A few years ago, while trying to put on my shoes standing up, I realized my balance was much better than usual. I’d been putting on my shoes standing up for more than a year; that morning it was much easier than usual. The previous evening I’d swallowed six flaxseed-oil capsules. I did self-experiments to test the idea that flaxseed oil improves balance. (It did.)
  2. To generate new ideas. By its nature, self-experimentation involves making sharp changes in your life: you don’t do X for several weeks, then you do X for several weeks. This, plus the fact that we monitor ourselves in a hundred ways, makes it easy for self-experimentation to reveal unexpected side effects. This has happened to me five times. Moreover, daily measurements—of acne, sleep, or anything else—supply a baseline that makes it even easier to see unexpected changes.
  3. To develop ideas. That is, to determine the best way to use a discovery and to learn about the underlying mechanism. After I found that flaxseed oil improved balance, I used self-experimentation to figure out the best dose (three to four tablespoons per day).

One complaint about self-experimentation is that you’re not “blind.” Maybe the treatment works because you expect it to work. A placebo effect. I have never seen a case where this appeared to have happened. When treatment 10 helps after treatments 1 through 9 have failed to help (my usual experience), it’s unlikely to be a placebo effect. Accidental discoveries cannot be placebo effects.

My experience has shown that improve-your-life self-experimentation is remarkably powerful. I wasn’t an expert in anything I studied—I’m not a sleep expert, for example—but I repeatedly found useful cause-and-effect relationships (breakfast causes early awakening, flaxseed oil improves balance, etc.) that the experts had missed. This isn’t supposed to happen, of course, but it made a lot of sense. My self-experimentation had three big advantages over conventional research done by experts:

  1. More power. Self-experiments are far better at determining causality (does X cause Y?) than conventional experiments. Obviously they’re much faster and cheaper. If I have an idea about how to sleep better, I can test it on myself in a few weeks for free. Conventional sleep experiments take a year or more (getting funding takes time) and cost thousands of dollars. A less obvious advantage of self-experimentation is that more wisdom is acquired. We learn from our mistakes. Fast self-experimentation means you make more mistakes. One lesson I learned stands out: Always do the minimum—the simplest, easiest experiment that will make progress. Few professional scientists seem to know this. Finally, as I mentioned earlier, self-experimentation is much more sensitive to unexpected side effects.
  2. Stone Age–like treatments are easy to test. I repeatedly found that simple environmental changes, such as avoiding breakfast and standing more, had big and surprising benefits. In each case, the change I’d made resembled a return to Stone Age life, when no one ate breakfast and everyone stood a lot. There are plenty of reasons to think that many common health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer, are caused by differences between modern life and Stone Age life. Modern life and Stone Age life differ in many ways, of course; the fraction of differences that influence our health is probably low. If so, to find aspects of Stone Age life that matter, you have to do many tests. Self-experiments, fast and cheap, can do this; conventional experiments, slow and expensive, cannot. In addition, conventional research is slanted toward treatments that can make money for someone. Because conventional research is expensive, funding is needed. Drug companies will fund research about drugs, so lots of conventional research involves drugs. Elements of Stone Age life (such as no breakfast) are cheap and widely available. No company will fund research about their effectiveness.
  3. Better motivation. I studied my sleep for 10 years before making clear progress. That sort of persistence never happens in conventional health research. The reason is a difference in motivation. Part of the difference is how much the researcher cares about finding solutions. When you study your own problem (e.g., acne), you care more about finding a solution than others are likely to care. Acne researchers rarely have acne. And part of the motivation difference is the importance of goals other than solving the problem. When I studied my sleep, my only goal was to sleep better. Professional scientists have other goals, which are enormously constraining.

One set of prison bars involves employment and research funding. To keep their jobs (e.g., get tenure, get promoted, get jobs for their students, and get grants), professional scientists must publish several research papers per year. Research that can’t provide this is undoable. Another set of prison bars involves status. Professional scientists derive most of their status from their job. When they have a choice, they try to enhance or protect their status. Some sorts of research have more status than others. Large grants have more status than small grants, so professional scientists prefer expensive research to cheap research. High-tech has more status than low-tech, so they prefer high-tech. As Thorstein Veblen emphasized in The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899), useless research has higher status than useful research. Doing useless work, Veblen said, shows that you are higher-status than those who must do useful work. So researchers prefer useless research, thus the term “ivory tower.” Fear of loss of job, grant, or status also makes it hard for professional scientists to propose radical new ideas. Self-experimenters, trying to solve their own problem on their own time, are not trapped like this.

Acne illustrates the problem. The dermatological party line is that diet doesn’t cause acne. According to a website of the American Academy of Dermatology, “extensive scientific studies” show it’s a “myth” that “acne is caused by diet.” According to “guidelines for care” for dermatologists published in 2007, “dietary restriction (either specific foods or food classes) has not been demonstrated to be of benefit in the treatment of acne.” In fact, there is overwhelming evidence linking diet and acne. Starting in the 1970s, a Connecticut doctor named William Danby collected evidence connecting dairy consumption and acne; it is telling that Danby wasn’t a professional scientist. When his patients gave up dairy, it often helped. In 2002, six scientists (none a dermatologist) published a paper with the Weston Price–like conclusion that two isolated groups of people (Kitava Islanders and Ache hunter-gatherers) had no acne at all. They had examined more than 1,000 subjects over the age of 10 and found no acne. When people in these groups left their communities and ate differently, they did get acne. These observations suggest that a lot of acne—maybe all of it—can be cured and prevented by diet.

Why is the official line so wrong? Because the painstaking research needed to show the many ways diet causes acne is the sort of research that professional researchers can’t do and don’t want to do. They can’t do it because the research would be hard to fund (no one makes money when patients avoid dairy) and because the trial and error required would take too long per publication. They don’t want to do it because it would be low-tech, low-cost, and very useful—and therefore low-status. While research doctors in other specialties study high-tech expensive treatments, they would be doing low-cost studies of what happens when you avoid certain foods. Humiliating. Colleagues in other specialties might make fun of them. To justify their avoidance of embarrassment, the whole profession tells the rest of us, based on “extensive scientific studies,” that black is white. Self-experimentation allows acne sufferers to ignore the strange claims of dermatologists, not to mention their dangerous drugs (such as Accutane). Persons with acne can simply change their diets until they figure out what foods cause the problem.

Gregor Mendel was a monk. He was under no pressure to publish; he could say whatever he wanted about horticulture without fear for his job. Charles Darwin was wealthy. He had no job to lose. He could write On the Origin of Species very slowly. Alfred Wegener, who proposed continental drift, was a meteorologist. Geology was a hobby of his. Because they had total freedom and plenty of time, and professional biologists and geologists did not (just as now), Mendel, Darwin, and Wegener were able to use the accumulated knowledge of their time better than the professionals. The accumulated knowledge of our time is more accessible than ever before. Self-experimenters, with total freedom, plenty of time, and easy access to empirical tests, are in a great position to take advantage of it.

The above is an excerpt from the new book The 4-Hour Body


Tools and Tricks

Seth Roberts, “Self-Experimentation as a Source of New Ideas: Ten Examples Involving Sleep, Mood, Health, and Weight,” Behavioral and Brain Science 27 (2004): 227–88 ( This 61-page document about self-experimentation provides an overview of some of Seth’s findings, including actionable sleep examples.

The Quantified Self ( Curated by Wired cofounding editor Kevin Kelly and Gary Wolf, a managing editor of Wired, this is the perfect home for all self-experimenters. The resources section alone is worth a trip to this site, which provides the most comprehensive list of data-tracking tools and services on the web (

Alexandra Carmichael, “How to Run a Successful Self-Experiment” ( Most people have never systematically done a self-experiment. And yet, it’s one of the easiest methods for discovering what variables are affecting your well-being. This article shows you the five principles that will help you get started in running successful self-experiments. Bonus: an 11-minute video from Seth Roberts, discussing experiment design.

CureTogether ( CureTogether, which won the Mayo Clinic iSpot Competition for Ideas That Will Transform Healthcare (2009), helps people anonymously track and compare health data to better understand their bodies and make more informed treatment decisions. Think you’re alone with a condition? Chances are you’ll find dozens of others with the same problem on CureTogether.

Daytum ( Conceived by Ryan Case and Nicholas Felton, Daytum is an elegant and intuitive service for examining and visualizing your everyday habits and routines.

Data Logger ( Data Logger for iPhone enables you to store and graph any data of your choosing along with a time-stamp and location. It can be used for anything, whether food-related, animal sightings, or temperature sensor readings around your neighborhood. If you can think of it, it can be recorded and tracked.


  1. [How Seth Roberts’ self-experimentation began]. Roberts, Seth.  Surprises from self-experimentation: Sleep, mood, and weight. Chance.  2001; 4(2):7-18. UC Berkeley: Available from:
  2. [The first of many papers to show antibiotic-resistant acne was a significant problem]. Eady EA, Cove JH, Blake J, Holland KT, Cunliffe WJ. Recalcitrant acne vulgaris. Clinical, biochemical and microbiological investigation of patients not responding to antibiotic treatment.  Br J Dermatol. 1988; 118:415-23.
  3. Roberts, Seth. Self-experimentation as a source of new ideas: Ten examples about sleep, mood, health, and weight. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.  2004; 27(2), 227-288. UC Berkeley: Available from
  4. Boulos Z, Rosenwasser AM, Terman M. Feeding schedules and the circadian organization of behavior in the rat. Behav Brain Res. 1980; 1:39–65.
  5. Seth Roberts’ blog:
  6. Acne myths: on 2009-09-13.
  7. Guidelines of care: on 2009-09-17.
  8. Danby: on 2009-09-17.
  9. No acne among two isolated groups: Cordain L, Lindeberg S, Hurtado M, Hill K, Eaton SB, Brand-Miller J. Acne vulgaris: a disease of Western civilization. Arch Dermatol. 2002; 138:1584-90.
  10. Dangers of Accutane: on 2009-09-13.
  11. Wegener: on 2009-09-17.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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470 Replies to “The Value of Self-Experimentation [Plus: Extreme Videos – Do Not Try This At Home]”

  1. I bought your book and love it so far. Expect many recommendations for further purchases !!

    I am on Occam’s and was wondering whether I can still have a cheat day?

    Also while on Occams can one take PAGG as well? In the book a time frame for PAGG is given, but in accordance with meals is there a specific time frame before such as 10-15 minutes, or 1-2 hours?

    Next while on the either above one or both(depending on your answer to the above) or either one, can an individual also do sex machine protocols 1 and 2 ?

    Finally if it is possible to perform this all is there an optimum time frame for each and what would that be?

  2. Who came up with Eat like Santa look like Jesus? That’s awesome!

    A comment on the iron absorption and vitamin C Inuit in northern Canada traditionally ate raw meat, which contains a lot of vitamin C and iron (I defend my friends who choose rare steaks with this argument 🙂 I would like to give up meat entirely, but am still running into problems with iron even with the Vit C trick taken with iron.

    Anyway, I anxiously await my copy, which I hope will arrive before the new year 🙂


  3. Hi Tim,

    I have two questions for you.

    1. Do you think it’s ok to combine a) the slow carb diet with b) from geek to freak and c) (P)AGG for a 30 day extreme makeover?

    Subject would be my dad who is a 59 year old smoker, healthy yet not exactly super fit. He is not obese but has a normal weight with about 10 – 20 pounds of abdominal fat (not above the muscels but at least 95% of it between the organs).

    2. Can you explain why it is important to take Vitamine B supplements with PAGG?

    Thanks and all the best,


    1. GREAT article. Thank you. It does also highlight the risks of showcasing self-experimenters. Surprisingly well written, given the controversy.

    1. Hi Tom,

      A partial tear, sometimes. A complete tear, not in my experience. I went through 20+ dislocations of my left before I finally bit the bullet. I wish I’d done it earlier.



    2. Tom

      I had a partial tear (infraspinatus/supraspinatus, can’t remember which) that I gained through playing drums a little too hard at an evidently awkward angle and overtraining with weights at the same time.

      I adjusted my drumming set up, stopped training for 6 months and it healed 100%. I’ve started training again but building up slowly and I made sure I kept the shoulder active but not stressed the whole time.

      The doc told me I would most likely need surgery but with enough rest it healed itself.

      Good luck dude


  4. Tim,

    First great book, got it Friday and read the whole thing by Saturday night and now doing my re-reading, note taking etc. 4 Hour Work Week was great and sometime I’ll send you what I did using some of those principles but some of the core concepts help me take my business’s 6 figures and bring it to 7 and then some! During that same 13 months I lost 113 lbs using my own natural program but have since gained about 20 of it back and yo-yoing primarily due to my ability and need to travel domestic and overseas and a new gf which has changed my lifestyle as opposed to during my initial loss. I have been looking for a program like yours that is suited to the global hopping lifestyle

    Already started on the PAGG and Slow-Carb and the Ab stuff, can feel it already. Bought 3 copies for gifts yesterday too.

    One thing that concerns me and possibly a concern for all the readers are that a person like me who reads all these books and lists the supplements may go out and get it all at once from the PAGG, to the CQ etc. Question is, and I might have missed this having skimmed some areas on the first read but what are the concerns on taking all of these supplements at once.

    You have probably done a lot of testing with one group of supplements vs the others but wondering how many of your supplements you take every day.

    For example if I wanted to follow a lot of your supplements I would be taking

    Athletic Greens


    AGG 3 times a day

    PAGG once a day (with B-Complex)

    Then also wondering if the fat-loss sections and muscle gain sections should be done separately or concurrently since it adds things into the mix such as the slow release niacin with Alpha Lipoic Acid and the NOX (which might be overkill paired with the Green Tea Extracts)

    Basically wondering what kind of isolated supplements you have done. Mainly I am concerns with interactions with unknown combinations.

    Again, fantastic job on the book just would appreciate some clarification for myself and others

  5. Really cannot say enough about your book. I just finished the Pre-hab section and this is a key chapter for everyone and I hope people don’t overlook it. It will be extremely helpful yet challenging for me. This is the section where I will do so much work and self experimentation. As an ak amputee I believe this section can be very interesting if I can figure out how to do it and it may just be a matter of lots of work. I am excited to be able to do the exercises on both sides and perhaps in the future let other amputees know that this is possible and important.

    I hear you may be in Jordan next year. Maybe I’ll see you there while I am spending most of the year out in the middle east. Yep, I love languages as well

    Thanks again I look forward to balancing out

    1. Thanks so much, Hope! It is a very important chapter, for sure. Please keep me posted on your progress!

      All the best,


  6. Tim, a question about PAGG: Why did you choose ALA instead of RLA? ALA is cheaper and more widely available but it seems likely that RLA is the bioactive component.

    1. Hi David,

      I tested both RLA and ALA, and I simply didn’t see any additional fat-loss benefit on equivalent doses of RLA, even with 2 or 3 brands. It could be more helpful somehow, but I didn’t find the cost differential worth it.



      1. What about adding Acetyl L-Carnitine? Using the 2 together causes a synergistic effect in regards to energy and fat burning. The combo is even better when CoQ10 is added.

  7. Hey, Tim.

    Actually, i’d like to know your thoughts about water.

    Like there are lots of brandnames of it and everybody claims to have it purified somehow in a complex way.

    Also, water filters are sold everywhere – i’d love to know if there’s a simple to find out if the filter is actually worth its price.

    I have a thought that i might find out something that i better not knew but well…

    Cause to me it seems that water filtering is a big scam. I mean, I’m smart enough not to drink water with sand or colored any color, but maan… are they expecting me to believe that by paying measly 30-40 bucks I’d get a water-purification plant? Cmon… besides, i think they do a good job in water pipe systems.

    1. In developed countries, water in the public systems are normally one of the most tested and controlled foods around. As it is transported through pressurized systems, it normally does not pick up anything along the way. It might get interesting though, once it gets to your house or wherever you are choosing to drink tap water.

      Old homes might still be fitted with lead piping. Lead=not good for you! So you might want to get it tested if you are scared it might not be ok.

      The Brittas etc. filter out the minerals which lead to lime scale and help protect your appliances

      1. ooppppsss… post went out a wee bit too quickly.

        If you are a coffee or tea lover and you have tons of minerals in your tap water, by all means use a filter. Some people say it tastes better, some say it makes no difference. Personally, I don’t taste a difference and I have a pretty good sense of taste and smell.

        Tap water is the cheapest and most earth friendly way to stay hydrated. So if there is no poisonous stuff in it as mentioned above, there is no reason you should not drink it or that you have to filter it. Tap is best!!!!!

        Two more thoughts:

        1) Old building+central de-calcifying system=potential trouble as existant lime scale in pipes comes off after a while and potentially leaves lead piping exposed and then there is REALLY a lot in your water.

        2) Bottled water: if for some reason you decide to go for that, make sure you rotate the brand every now and then, as each one of them does have a different mineral make-up.

    2. I’m not Tim – but I have done a lot of research on water filters, and which is the best type to install. Reverse osmosis filters are worth every cent as they filter out chlorine and fluoride, not just particulate matter or bacteria and viruses. They are of course much more expensive, but if you are sensitive to chlorine or fluoride (and many people are without realising it) it could make the world of difference to you. Good luck!

  8. I get the feeling that you needed all the mobility, free time, and automation in your last book so you could spend all your time working on and experimenting with your body in this one… Someone had quite the complicated dreamline!

  9. Wow, lots of BCAA for a single take, aren’t they usually spaced out, like 5×5 pills with X minutes in between? or do both work the same? (Unrelated: lol at using kindle manual as kitchen utensil 😛 )

    Anyway, I went ahead and made a 2 month PAGG spreadsheet for anyone who would be interested, along with off days and off week. Yes it looks ugly, but it does the trick 🙂

    You can get it here:

  10. Tim,

    Do you know of any way one may test for long term side effects of Accutane?

    I was given a 5 month “mega dose” course 14 years ago for mild acne. Many things were “off” in various ways following the “treatment,” and have chronically persisted.

    I’m wondering if I’m on an accelerated cell death schedule, and how one could test for that (telomeres, etc)

    Any input would be appreciated.

  11. Hi Tim,

    Along the lines of self experimentation. On page 116 of 4HB you talk about adrenal fatigue and sinusitis. Other than eliminating caffeine in incremental dosage, was there anything in your self experimentation you used to get your adrenals back on track?

    thanks, p.s I’m tellin lots of folks and clients!

  12. Is it worth following the slo-carb diet partially?

    I am going to try it, but have little desire to cut out fruit and milk forever. (I currently drink about a gallon every two days.)

    I wonder if it is worth doing a little bit, or if that would just waste time and effort I could use to find a diet more attuned to my desires.

    1. Here is a good few words on dairy.

      And adding my 2 cents, when it comes to coffee, substitute with splash of cream, for protein shakes substitute with water, for normal use like uhm… drinking? substitute with kefir.

      Raw milk would probably also be better than “regular” milk, but as fas as ive heard the taste is kinda horrid 😛

      Hope it helped

      1. Thanks, that is a very interesting article.

        Something it reminded me of that is little related is that I don’t go for the traditional concept of evolution and where we were in the last 10-30 thousand years. The archeology just doesn’t support Humans being widely primitive.

        So thanks for helping me recenter 😉

        I would take your advice for the drinking except I gag on kefir last I had it, and I drink milk like water. Raw milk tastes distinctly like…….dirt. Yes, I have eaten dirt, and raw milk tastes like it.

  13. ah.. off blog and missed the saturday deadline info.

    nonetheless, on Amazon and now on my FB:

    My beloved hero Tim Ferriss’ new book, “The 4-Hour Body” is out. Anyone interested in geniusly short-cutted bulking up, skinnying down, marathoning, swimming, sleep-optimizing, holding your breath underwater for 3 minutes, 15 minute female orgasms 🙂 !!!, or other examples of extraordinary superhuman feats, get this. As a fan of integrative medicine, I was delighted to see tons of info on supplementation, detox., optimizing health, etc. Truly, no book out there like this.

    Although I think there is some gratuitous name-dropping for street cred, I think it is sheerly for marketing purposes and not out of hubris. And, he does know these people. Ferriss comes across as a genuine, excited-about-life, excited-to-share, caring human with bad case of OCD that benefits him and us thanks to his kindness. In my quest for recovering health from illness, I have come across many of the nutritional and exercise concepts he introduces, and I believe he is working with some of the finest ideas out there, none being perfect or globally applicable, in my opinion.

    He is faulted for using a small trial population (umm, 1, for the most part), but I have no issues with this. I’ve taken several drugs with randomized double blind studies and FDA approval that almost killed me. In this world, we are all our own guinea pigs. Caveat emptor. For ALL things you put in or do with your body. His conclusions are aligned with many other antectodal accounts I have heard for the handful of techniques I am familiar with. Good enough for me.

    He is also faulted for writing style. Granted, there’s some rambling. But I personally enjoy his mixed storytelling and instruction-cramming writing.

    One gripe: and I’ve had it with the blog a few times. With the sex and partner advice, I do not like the cold calculation/technique application thing. And I do not like the glamourized edge (although I understand this is another aspect of his branding). I am a romantic…… But still, I can admit, many a romance would be improved by some of his information. So, thank god for this personal possiblity analyst extraordinaire.

  14. HiTim,

    I have just finished reading the chapter about sleep in your new book. This is interesting stuff, but there is a more efficient and completely cost-free way how to reduce the amount of sleep and increase its quality. All you need to do is to meditate, no gadgets are necessary. The results will depend on how deep you samadhi is. Even unexperienced practioners easily go down to six hours within a few days on full-time meditation retreats (10 hours of meditation per day). Of course, as you practice develops, you get better resuts in less time.

    I think that onset insomnia is common in people with enneagram 7 personality type. You might like to explore that.

  15. Hi Tim —

    Heck yeah to self-experimentation!

    I started out as soon as I got the book (4 days ago) with the cold metabolism hacks (trying not to give away too much), and already have dropped 3 pounds. That’s WITHOUT any diet modifications, and WITH constant hydration and weigh-in timing. I’m impressed! I’m going to give this another week and a half or so by itself to remove any possible “fluke” weighs, but I’m already pumped.

    I want to go on the slow-carb diet next, but I have a couple quick questions. I’m a vegetarian (but cool with eggs & dairy), so I need protein everywhere I can get it. You gave a great run-down of why dairy should be avoided, but do you recommend the same for non-dairy animal milk products? I’m specifically thinking of Feta cheese (from goat’s milk) or Greek Yogurt from sheep’s milk.

    Also, what about protein shakes? Can those be relied on as a protein source (either morning or night), or do they get discarded with the “don’t drink calories” rule?

    Thanks for the awesome book! I passed it around the offices at my start-up accelerator as soon as I got it and everyone wanted to steal it from me (and several bought their own copies).


  16. I have had a lot of success with 2 of your techniques – fat loss (lost 16,9 lbs in 15 days) and polyphasic sleep (did uberman for 12 days, but it wasn’t popular with my wife and the world around me. Been polyphasic (1,5+3 hour core, 20 min nap. after lunch) for more than a year instead).

    Now I want to try more stuff and after reading your books, I can feel tons of questions popping up together with a need to discuss it all.

    So what about a Four Hour Body forum?

    I know you answer questions here on your blog, but you can’t answer everything and maybe you and us readers will also gain additional values by being able to discuss things amongst ourselves.

  17. I have bought your book and read through several chapters and started practicing the techniques you teach in your book. I’m getting great results and I’ve gifted your book twice already! It’s awesome!

  18. I’m reading a lot of comments about the horrible taste of raw milk. Where are you people getting your raw milk? The raw milk I’ve had has always tasted great, and has not tasted THAT different from pasteurized homogenized milk. RM must be kept cold, and has a limited shelf life, but it should not taste “awful” unless it’s from a syphilitic goat.

  19. Huzzah for self-experimentation.

    13 years of CFS has come at a cost of $20,000 in medical bills, $160,000 in lost income due to periods of being unable to work, and more blood tests than I can count.

    And what’s helped me the most? My own research/experimentation and tuning into my “gut feeling”. EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) has also proven beneficial.

    Interestingly enough, when I’ve told my doctors about two strong connections I’ve made with my health issues, they’ve shown little interest, if any at all – one even denied my claims.

    I truly appreciate this post.

  20. First off, Tim, if you’re still having sleeping issues… you need to have more sex. Best sleep aid in the world.

    I’d been doing the paleo thing for the past month and made the small adjustments to the slow-carb with emphasis on a LOT more protein in the past few days and I can’t get over the amount of energy I have. Wow! (I had a bad habit of skipping breakfast or lunch.)

    I’m going to document my results… as a 47 year old out-of-shape woman who cooks for the 3 men in my life, I can tell you, having pre-prepared meals on hand for myself makes the world of difference. I have no problem baking a batch of cookies and not eating any of them (I have a lot of ‘won’t power’), but without having something easy for myself to eat, I was tending to make lazy choices about my meals and wasn’t getting enough protein.

    Now if I could just get my husband to do some of the exercises to help is aching back…

  21. On the tap water issue, it may be earth-friendly but it’s not always body-friendly. NY recently (this year) went after major healthcare providers for dumping their drugs directly into the water supply of 8 million people.

    (NY AG’s press release: )

    You’re as likely to find trace amounts of antipsychotics, hormones, antibiotics and antidepressants in your tap water as not. These things (and others) are not adequately filtered by municipal systems. The problem is widespread. And let’s not forget the “toilet-to-tap” programs, one of which is soon coming to Los Angeles, the growing fracking contamination issue (Flaming tap water, anyone? Google the Gasland trailer.) and so on.

    I’m all for self-experimentation–I just don’t want to be the unwitting subject of someone else’s let’s-dump-this-toxic-crap-and-see-what-happens experiment.

    Katadyn makes excellent (and expensive) filters; the Red Cross uses them all over the world, though they’re mainly concerned with organic nasties.

    Some bottled waters also have issues. Ah, modern life…

    1. John, I agree, you need to look into it before you go tap. In Berlin I use tap as I know the water originates in areas without intensive farming. In Brussels I don’t as here are intensive pig and cow farmsteads allover. Crazy to think more than 80% of the antibiotics in Europe are used in intensive animal farming and naturally it all ends up in our water and then we complain about resistant hospital super bug strains. Ah well, our world is complex and there rarely seems to be one right answer for everything anymore.

      Tim’s approach of self-experimentation to me is just one part of a much wider subject. Our bodies are wonderful machines which are super complex and all work in a wee bit different manners. It is our responsibility to track our health, our physical wellness and all. Nobody else will do that for us. I have come to see doctors as partners, like coaches or trainers. They can assist us but we have to do the ground work ourselves. It is not only since Wikileaks that there is almost no info anymore which is not available to anybody with a keen interest and an internet connection. So what is keeping so many from being their best version of themselves by trying out what works and what doesn’t?

  22. HELP! I had my copy of 4HB pre-ordered and have started reading it. I am ready to start the slow carb diet but have one question….is this suppose to be the way I eat FOREVER or just 30 days? I haven’t found the answer to that in the book.

    Does anyone have info on this???? Tim suggested people ask questions in the blog comments, I do appreciate it if anyone stops to answer. THANKS!!

  23. Tim once again you wrote a wonderful book. I only wish I ordered more than 3 signed copies when I had the chance. I was surprised however that your book doesn’t include any material on Lucid Dreaming. Was your earlier blog post merely a cool tangent from your regular wanderings or do you plan on exploring it more in the future.

  24. Hi, Tim

    I know you are planing more posts regarding successful muses.

    I think I would be a good idea to arrange them by the amount of start-up funds required. For instance, Successful Muses with a total investment of $1000, $500, $100 and so on. It’s not that one cannot achieve massive income from a $100 muse. But it is best to be honest about start-up funds as it is one of the biggest obstacle for new entrepreneurs. Without discussing start-up funds, even real success stories can sound like fairy tales. Just a suggestion.


    1. I think muses are hard to sort by investment, as the same muse could cost someone $1000 to start up, another person might invest $10.000 for the same type of muse with same results, simply because of different geo location, different knowledge, contacts, etc.

      Best thing is, you can test your muse for pennies nowdays. While google adwords can also be expensive for many people, a good and cheaper alternatives that still bring good results are Google Content Network (Adsense Banner Ads – have to take your time to pick the right target websites) and Facebook Advertising (Can be very highly targeted so know your demographic)

  25. I’m a big fan, Tim. I love your non-conventional approach to life and read the Four Hour Work Week several times. I was very excited to hear you had another book coming out, especially when I heard the subject matter. However, as the book release approached, something about your over the top marketing tactics was not sitting right with me. It seemed as if you were obsessed with “beating guiness” and topping the NYT bestsellers list in the first week. I kept wondering why this was so important and then it hit me. Were you more concerned with cashing in on the book (with the excessive marking stuff) than in just producing a high quality book? What made the Four Hour work week a bestseller was not the marking, but simply a great book with solid content (which of course went viral via WOM). I wondered if you were concerned that this book’s content alone could not sustain it so you orchestrated the mother of all marketing campaigns just to cash in. Well, to my relief, I got the book several days ago and have found it well written and full of excellent content. All that to say, I’m no marketing expert, but I wonder if I’m not the only one who was a bit turned off by your run-up to the book release. At any rate, I’m still a huge fan and will definitely recommend the book to others. Peace!

  26. Easy to watch the pills, VERY TOUGH to watch the Biopsy… BUT I made myself watch it…. Thanks for sharing…. Best, Brian-

  27. Started the diet yesterday. Ate a clove of garlic before reading T’s advice about that. About puked, but survived it. Ate egg whites w/one egg mixed in w/cheese for breakfast, pinto beans mid-morning, 1/4 grapefruit mid-morning, salad w/turkey and blue cheese dressing for lunch, 1 small glass of red wine at the Christmas Party mid-afternoon and 1/2 can pinto beans and cottage cheese for supper. Drank lots of water and green tea. Gained 1.3 pounds. Trying not to get discouraged. Now I have 66.3 lbs to loose instead of 65. Not sure this will work for a 59.75 yr old woman who wants to be thinner by the time she’s 60.

    1. Hi Ruby,

      The key is to ignore minor fluctuations and focus on bodyfat composition. If the diet work for my mom, who is older than you and has thyroid problems, I strongly suspect it will work.

      Please get your bodyfat calculated, focus on the inches if needed (measuring tape), and keep the faith! It works.



  28. Day two of the diet, down THREE pounds! (I had set a goal of losing five by New Year’s.)

    Foods I’ve been eating: Protein shake w/avocado (vs. oatmeal previously), eggs w/dhal, dhal w/Indian chicken and lamb dishes (tomato and spinach-based sauces) – w/o rice, chicken/steak fajitas w/o rice or tortillas, no milk, beef brisket w/baked beans (which I think was too high in sugar and sodium, but I had to work with it), sashimi and red wine..

    Question: Your binge day description is extremely complicated and you talk a lot about eliminating food from the gut asap to reduce calorie absorption. But if you’re NOT prepared to take supplements, do air squats and wall pushups in a restroom stall (and keeping track of when you need to do them), drink caffeine or grapefruit juice, etc. on your binge day, then what??

    The binge day as described in the earlier chapter is sounding too good to be true.

    1. Hey BB,

      If you don’t want to do all that on binge day, no problem. Just enjoy it and get back on the diet the next day! No need to make it complicated.

      Good luck! I have a feeling you’ll surpass your 5 lbs. 🙂


  29. Tim, have you done any research on absorption based on molecule size?

    ie: angstrom, micron, liquid, etc

    Pills only absorb 5-10% if I’m not mistaken.

    That would be an interesting experiment…

    – Chris

  30. Also, I had planned to give a LOT of the books for Christmas and was told we’d have them by Christmas… getting nervous!

    Can’t wait to dig into the book!


  31. Woh… that’s one way to get in your BCAA’s! I do the same with my morning vitamins… C, D, E, green tea, multi, CoQ10, cissus, Glucosamine and Hawthorn berry. Mind you it takes a few times to get it all down.

    Tim, have you ever tried Xtend BCAA powder, by Scivation? I take it pre empty-stomach LI cardio, during-WO with Beta Alanine, and post-WO with Creatine. It has Glutamine, Citrulline Malate, and Vitamin B6 in it too. Tastes pretty good; well, as good as supplements can taste anyway (grape is my fav).

  32. I started reading your book and when I got to the section about establishing a foundation or measuring point for BMI I ran down the list and decided to call about a Dexascan. The local imaging center in my town informed me I would have to get a doctors referral before I could get one and I would have to have the results examined by a technician. If I have insurance they will not allow me to simply pay for the test and leave with my results. You paid $49.00 for a test in CA. I am being force to pay for a doctors appointment, the scan itself and a techinician to read the results. It is a frustrating start and not exactly inexpensive. I will re-read for another option but this is not a good start. Thank you.

  33. Hi Tim!

    Purchased your book and I find it quite interesting. I am trying to adopt the slow carb diet. I hate cereals in the morning anyways so this is awesome as I always crave meats and vegetables.

    I found something in your book that puzzles me on page: the GA portion in New Rules for Rapid Redesign. You state the an hour long session on stairmaster would burn about 107 calories. I don’t think this is the case. I run about an hour and I am 190lb. That make for about 600 calories. I think a person my size or smaller would burn at least 400 calories. That means they would need to watch about 4 hours of Simpsons. I think I might of missed something? What do you think?

    1. Yes, I noticed this too. It think many people burn 107 calories an hour simply resting, not to mention an hour on a stairmaster. I see the point he was making with this illustration, but the numbers should be reviewed.

  34. Tim

    Thankyou. Massive value.

    I understand the launch bonuses were limited but any chance of similar packages/links on an ongoing basis?

    (Yes, I do have buyers remorse that I didn’t get the “sex machine” book package due to my own logistical constraints).

    I only purchased the basic package, but I very much appreciated the opportunity to bookmark a heap of products that you have roadtested or recommended that I would never have come across and will improve mine and my loved ones lives.



  35. Hey Tim,

    I’ve read your articles for a while but I’ve been one of those people who reads, agrees, saves the link and then does nothing about it. Well, no more of that. I started your diet yesterday and am blogging about it here:

    So far so good. I experimented a bit with it last week and it seemed to be working well but this week is going to be the first full week on the diet. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    Note, I’m hoping that link doesn’t count as spam. If so, please feel free to remove it. You won’t hurt my feelings 🙂

  36. Good points! I’ve been getting headaches like never before in Korea, which has led me to testing through various different actions/rituals.

  37. Great book Tim. I’m not overweight, but I’ve always wanted to have visible abdominal muscles. I’m one week into the slow-carb diet, and I can already see some definition! I’ve got a nice 4 pack going on right now, and I can’t wait to see the results at the end of the experiment.

    You mention stretching throughout the book, but never provide a hack. I’ve tried various forms of stretching with moderate but inconsistent/plateaued results, and while I love an occasional hour-long yoga class, it’s not practical to spend 7 hours a week stretching. Any tips?

  38. Hi Tim,

    Just ordered 6 bottles of fermented cod liver oil and butter oil capsules – excited for your testosterone increasing regimen (started the PAAG last week, same day I bought the book)

  39. 4HB kills. I’m off to the sporting goods store now to grab a kettlebell.

    Re the slow-card breakfast: If i don’t like the consistency of most egg preparation styles, is it OK to substitute organic hard-boiled eggs for the egg whites?

    (BTW, I’m taking a huge leap of faith here. I haven’t eaten eggs since experimenting with macrobiotics years ago)

  40. Tim,

    Question for you regarding the chapter on PAGG….

    You mentioned the cadence of taking the supplements before meals and before bedtime, but as far as timing, how long should you take it before eating?

    Also, what is the average benefit to fat loss solely for the PAGG regimen?


    Great job on the book! I’m loving it and look forward to trying out the PAGG regimen as well as the ice pack routine for starters(I’m already following Atkins phase 1, to the tune of ~50 lbs since starting on September 6th, and am not ready to abandon that yet…)

  41. A lot of questions pop up when I read your new book. Guess I’m not the only one with lots of questions, so what about a forum where us readers can discuss things and exchange ideas/tips? (I know you answer questions here on the blog, but you can’t answer everything).

    Love the book. So far, I have successfully done the fat loss program (lost 16,9 lbs in 15 days) and polyphasic sleeping (12 days of uberman, it works but it didn’t go well with my wife and the world around me. Have been polyphasic instead for more than a year (1,5+3 hour core sleep and 20 min. nap after lunch)).

    Currently trying damage control, so Christmas will not be so hard on my new sixpack 🙂

  42. Just got my copy of 4HB, woohoo!

    Two quick questions for the group:

    – it sounds like most sugar replacements are either specifically bad in some way (e.g. Splenda, aspartame), and are too closely related to glucose, (trigger insulin response). The book only lists a few though, are the unlisted ones (e.g. stevia, honey), also problematic? Or usable in moderation?

    – I use ginger tea before and/or after meals for digestive tract acceleration to good effect. Are there any negative side effects of ginger to watch out for?

  43. Love the book, but I have to agree with some other commenters that it is difficult to put together a recipe for daily use from all of the suggestions. Some things seem to be ongoing, while I am unclear as to whether others are only for special circumstances, relate specifically to something Tim was testing, or can be slotted into a regular program.




    Grapefruit Juice


    Athletic Greens




    Almond Butter

    Butter Fat

    Fermented Cod Liver


    I would really appreciate something of a daily schedule for how these things fit in and should be used together under normal circumstances. IOW, do I incorporate all of the above at once, or are certain of them solely for special circumstances?

    I understand that everyone is different, but a solid place to start and what to regularly monitor would be great. I am confident that it is all in there, but it is a little daunting for someone who just wants to get started.

    Thanks a lot.

  44. I’m jealous, everyone got their books but me. Lol.

    Who do I talk to? I’m trying to figure this out, I just got back into town so bear with me. Looks like I paid through PayPal on the 6th for $21.99 and then got charged an extra $19 on the 7th of Dec. for something called the Buff Bundle. Is that your offer Tim? I thought the the bundle offer was one charge of $21.99 for book included.

    PayPal is not giving me a lot of info to go on so sorry if I’m mistaken.

    By the way, amazing how you swallowed the pills with so little water!!!!!!

    Was the biopsy done with anesthetic? Either way, pretty amazing stuff without flinching. Looking forward to your new book! Thanks for all the work you do.

  45. I stumbled upon your blog/book from two blogs I read and I must say, i am sad i didn’t find you sooner! I love LOVE everything you are about! I can’t wait to buy your books!!

    Thank you for being a inspiration to everyone who is on the search/path for their dreams!!

    Happy Holidays!

  46. I noticed on page 120, under “Tools and Tricks”:

    Heads up!

    That some of the various links lead you to related drugs with a different number of milligrams per pill or a different number of caplets per purchase.

  47. Tim,

    Cheat day makes me feel like utter dookie.

    I’d like to maintain the weight-loss and prevent protein uptake downregulation but my body no likie the cheat foods.

    Any work arounds?

    Good Vibes~


  48. Tim, I’ve been on the slow-carb diet now for a few days, and I’m getting a really nasty headache. Is this simply withdrawals from the carbs? Do I just have to wait it out until my body adjusts to the diet? I’ve taken headache tablets and they’re not working.

    Any additional information would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Seb – I was getting headaches the first three days as well and was sticking very strictly to the diet during that time (have fallen off a bit – holidays!!); I also did not exercise so I did not eat any carbs during that time. I tried to do some brief internet research to see if there was some kind of withdrawal tied to not eating carbs/sugar but I did not find anything reputable that verifies it’s possible. The headaches went away for me after I splurged a little on some Christmas cookies. I know that’s not conclusive but if there are more people having any headache issues maybe there is some kind of correlation.

    2. Please get your blood sugar checked as well. I’m not suggesting you’re a full blown diabetic, but it’d be something good to rule out.

  49. Tim, your (signed) books arrived last night. 4HB is completely overwhelming, in the best way possible. 4HWW was huge for me, and if this has the same level of impact, you’re going to be the best friend I never met.

    So, let me help you with one question you were unable to answer: how Homeopathy works.

    There are a number of substances that leave a clearly measurable residual energy even when every molecule of the material itself has been removed. We call these substances “radioactive,” and are well aware that anything exposed to them can be highly toxic for many years.

    Homeopathic medicine – which my family has used for decades, and which recently shrunk my uncle’s stomach tumor to a degree that his oncologist literally could not believe – is based on the premise that EVERY substance has a residual energy.

    There was a time when our technology could not measure the energy emitted by Radium, Uranium, or Curium. Is it really that difficult to believe that, in the future, we’ll be able to measure the energy emitted by highly potent herbs like Belladonna and Arnica?

    Since you’re in California, I encourage you to visit Hahnemann Labs, in Marin County. Their remedies are manufactured in a microchip-grade clean room to ensure that one substance – and only one – is the active ingredient in every remedy.

    Given how far you’ve traveled for the other research in your book, you might be surprised what answers you find in your own back yard.

    Best wishes, and keep up the amazing work!

  50. I just finished my first once over of the book. Lots of great information that I can’t wait to read over more thoroughly. I have a quick comment for you regarding the Appendices and the Sex Machine II. You mentioned that you tried chelating mercury, but had no results. Do you have any dental fillings? If so, they are constantly releasing mercury into your system and it they make removing mercury very difficult. You can check out the following website for some good information regarding this:

  51. Hi Tim,

    I’ve started a blog ( where I’ll be documenting the changes to my body as I test out the strategies in your new book. If you new book is as helpful as your first one, I know I’ll achieve my goals! Thanks for all you do!


  52. Best female weight loss advice ever!

    Thank you so much for the strong messages about alternative measurements (not just the scale) and monthly cycle. I’m a woman that builds muscle easily and it’s really disheartening. (gave up on BFL prematurely) This time, I’m riding it out and I love the focus on body recomp.

    Loving slow carb, which also works with my gluten free and dairy free needs (completely cured my long term depression). It will be too long b4 the dangers of those hit mainstream, so you are doing your part to get more folks healthy!

  53. Any thoughts about the Vit D controversy. Your experience (page 513 of “The 4-Hour Body” and Professor Marshall’s point of view that the Vit D receptor is the gateway to the innate immune system and lower Vit D is part of the protocol that will treat a number of inflammatory diseases that were deemed untreatable?

    Tons of information available on

    Also look at his (scientific?) presentations on Vimeo e.g.

    The way you dig up information would be helplful in sorting out the confusion.

  54. Hi Tim, just noticing there’s a significant inconsistency in your book concerning cinnamon.

    Under DAMAGE CONTROL you state that during your binge you consumed 1 tbsp cinnamon in your coffee. However under THE GLUCOSE SWITCH, when explaining types and quantities of cinnamon you stressed the importance of not exceeding 1.5 teaspoons a day. Which would mean you had consumed double that “safe” amount during your binge. Can you please clarify?

    Thanks so much. Very interesting book! Good to see you shaking things up. Do you plan to start a 4-Hour Body Challenge website? (Do you know of one?) This would be an AMAZING resource well worth paying for. Count me in! 😉

  55. Great work on the book. Though I have tried to limit myself to the 97 pages that pertain to me, I cannot help but read the rest, “…Summary: Coolest… Mom… ever…” Whoa!

    One subject I was expecting in your book is how to know what we are actually getting with dietary supplements. In the documentary, Bigger Stronger Faster, Chris Bell shows us how easy it is to go into the supplement business with a technically legal, yet bogus product. How can I be sure the jar labeled “L-Glutamine” actually has the effective dose of L-Glutamine I am looking for?

  56. Tim,

    As someone that has been fighting weight issues since thyroid cancer caused weight gain in 1994 I ordered your book immediately. I began in April training for triathlons next year and have since dropped 44 pounds on my own, but wish I had your book as a guide when starting. It’s inspirational and cannot wait to try some of the methods. It rocks man, and gives me hope that I can get back to the way I used to be.

    By the way, I work at a cancer hospital and shared your book with a few doctors in my area. Amazing how they stick to the old ideas you mention a few times in your book. The idea of “publish or perish” is alive and well around here.

  57. dear tim,

    sorry if this is not the place to write something like this but i didnt know how to contact you in any other way. i just wanted to tell you that i am a fan of your work and that it would be great if you would do a blog entry how to be eco-conscious in your every day life. also am starting my very own 4 hour body project this friday and i´m looking forward to it very much.


  58. Love your book! I’ve already bought two. I originally bought one as a xmas present for my brother with the awesome idea that I would read it first, take notes and then pass it along to him…

    After reading through the first couple of chapters I realized that my original idea was not going to work, plus my husband wants to read it too, so it I ended up ordering a second copy.

  59. This morning, about 3am when the moon was red, I read the section on Polyphasic sleep. Been enjoying the book and making small mods, but my reaction to this chapter was ‘unsatisfied’. I’ve been doing Everyman Polyphasic for nearly 3 years, off-an-on, and I think it is an amazing hack. If you want to learn more, look for Puredoxyk’s book Ubersleep. Glad to find it in 4HB, but it doesn’t get the treatment it deserves. I’d love to hear more from Tim and his community on this lifestyle-/body-/mind-hack.

  60. Question for you, If I am on a low calorie diet (1200-1500/ day) would I benefit from cheat meals/days? Or is that only a perk of following the slow carb diet? The slow carb diet is not something I’m ready for, so does periodic calorie spikes keep your body from going into starvation mode on all types of diets?

  61. Hi, Tim

    You should really make a forum or site where your readers can post their “4 hour body” experiences. This blog is (great but) not big enough to accommodate. You know more about setting forums(even a free one) than most people here. It will allow your readers to share tips, comment/critique/encourage each other’s progress, and much more. Not to mention the buzz and publicity it can generate for your book and awesomeness.

    Think about it. But hurry before the steam runs out.


    1. I second the idea of a forum. It will alleviate the blog and concentrate information and discussions.

      If you do not want to buy another vBulletin license and install it you can use a free one or create a subforum in the 4hww forum.

  62. Hi Tim,

    I purchased the Harajuku package back on 12/10. I have received Rahmit’s bonus but no other e-bonuses to date. I have been visiting the family, so cannot confirm if the books or other physical products have arrived yet. Thanks for a great promo! I look forward to receiving all of the goodies.

    Thanks, Neil

      1. Same here Tim, I ordered the same package, I also haven’t received my books yet despite being charged, and haven’t received noticed of shipping yet either. But I have already received my first order of 5 from your first promo so it’s all good for now.

        I’ve received most of the digital goods except DailyBurn and Evernote. Physical goods I understand that you guys have shipped this week.

      2. I haven’t received anything either. Please let me know when I can expect it. Thanks Tim and congratulations!

  63. Hi Tim.

    Got the book from Audible. While listening to it the narrator says he will tell the listener how to access a PDF file to demonstrate some areas like the workout more clearly. I listened to it twice and checked my download file. There’s nothing there. Audible cs is completely useless. How can I get the PDF referenced in the audiobook ? Difficult to do the workouts without it.

    1. Andreas K.

      The PDF document can be found in CD3 as a file in itself. All you need to do is introduce the cd into your computer and explore de CD contents.

      Now as far as the Appendices and Extras go, these are nowhere to be found. If anyone knows where this document can be found, please share the info.

  64. Hey Tim,

    Just noticed you’re being plugged on Daily Burn (of course).

    Have you thought about setting up one (or several) 4HB tracks there?

  65. I just got the book, I find alot of diet/nutrition/fitness information out there focuses on weight loss, but ive been lean and slim all my life at 5ft 8, 59kg, with less than 6 percent body fat and a very fast metabolism. Ive been struggling to put on muscle mass since forever with no luck! Its clear that I probably dont eat enough but I was wondering if other than lifting heavy weights, will my cardio, kettlebell, martial arts and yoga training that I do interfere with what I want to achieve in increasing weight and muscle mass? I flicked through the supplements you mentioned which was the usual creatine and Nitric Oxide that every body builder is using, and I like the workouts you give with one set to failure, but since I know nothing about body building I also need advice on what, how and when to eat with a body and metabolism like mine, alot of atheletes tell me eat 5 times a day, small portions with protein etc etc, not easy for people who work. I read about Vernon Davis’ diet in the November 2010 issue of GQ and was wondering if I would have to eat like him. Theres alot of ‘advice’ out there that ive been exposed to so I hope to have everything clarified with information your book finally.

    BTW talking about GQ, I am a freelance journalist and was wondering if you be giving any interviews for mens magazines, I would be interested in writing a feature in menshealth on your book hopefully with an interview if possible 🙂 although I assume you probably have all that covered.

    Anyways looking forward to seeing the financial and physical results of both books which I purchased recently together.


  66. Hey TIm. I just recevied the book and am having a hard time putting it down.

    I do have a few questions:

    1. My husnad is a truck driver and packs a lunch every day that consists of two sandwhiches, carrots, celery, almaonds and water. How can he pack a lunch with the Slow Carb Diet that he will be able to eat on the road in his truck? It needs to be a hand to mouth recipe.

    2. You mention tomatoes and salsa, can canned stewed tomatoes be used with the chicken and beans?

    3. Is there really no whole wheat or whole grains allowed as in wraps or bread?

    Thank you so very much! I look forward to begining this journey!

    1. @Darlene –

      1 – I’ve had good luck using a few large leaves of lettuce to make a “wrap”, sometimes with a toothpick or two to hold it together in transit.

      2 – yes (Tim mentions canned food being fine somewhere in there)

      3 – Correct, if it’s white, or could have been white, (e.g. brown rice vs white), ditch it

      3.5 – that said, his book is a toolbox, you can pick and choose what you do, (see a comment elsewhere here that mentions weight loss strictly through the cold shower regimen), but overall the more tools you apply the better the results, (I’m losing a pound a day so far)

      1. X Thanks!

        We are going to start the Lo Carb Diet tomorrow. My husband is about 238lbs LOVES FLAVOR and is having a hard time figuring out what spices/oils he can cook with to make this diet work for him as well as trying to figure out how much he can eat. He does not like being hungry and if he is hungry or doesn’t taste good he will stop. It’s a willpower thing with him or lack thereof. I will have a hard time doing this alone if he gives up.

        I am on Facebook (Darlene Kuykendall) if you or anyone else here can friend me to help me along I would greatly appreciate it. (Please message me with the 4 Hour Body in the message.)

        Thank you!

  67. Your are a machine Mr. Ferriss. Even Dolph Lundgren in Rocky 4 couldn’t hold a candle to you.

    Keep up the good work.

    Cheers from Copenhagen

  68. Hi Tim,

    Just wanted to say thanks for a fun read. I started following the diet, figuring I’d ramp up a week or so and start the workouts, and this morning someone said, ‘You look different. Have you lost weight or something?’ I guess that says something.

    Thanks again,


  69. Speaking of pills…

    Not sure if this is the place, but here goes a question about the PAGG stack:

    Got all the goodies for PAGG you list on page 120 (to the letter), but then realized the dosage amounts of what’s on p. 120 are way higher than what you recommend before every meal and bed (page 116 bottom).

    Is doing AGG once in the morning and taking P before bed the way to go based on the dosage amounts in the bottles you link to (p. 120), or do you actually take these amounts (which are higher than p. 116) each time you AGG/PAGG? Just don’t want to over or under dose myself here. Thanks.

    Basically read the book in one all-night session. Awesome and insane.

  70. Tim — *amazing*, revolutionary book! Thanks so much. I’m about 2/3 through it and my biceps are aching from holding up my iPhone while reading it (I’m traveling).

    Did you look into Pavel or “Janda” sit-ups? One set of 2-5 reps per session will get you results. You don’t need to buy the contraption either – I use a length of climbing webbing (~$10) around furniture to apply the upward force on the back of the calves, and whatever piece of cord I can find to assist.

    1. Those Janda’s look sick after looking it up!

      I found this on youtube:

      Very informative, and he uses a swiss ball, I’ll try that since I don’t have a pulldown or any other sort of contraption handy. And plus I need to pick one up to do the myotatic crunch anyway.

  71. Tim,

    Love the book, have read through most of it and looking forward to the rest!

    I have a tangential question, but you may have stumbled upon some potential ideas for dealing with it with all your experimentation:

    As a fellow MPB “sufferer” has anything you tried decreased (or increased!) hair loss? For example your testosterone boosting experiments… or maybe a supplement you tried made you “hairier” or you met a guru who had some ideas.

    Sure, a six pack would be great, but I think nearly all men would sooner have a full head of hair than a six pack… maybe it is not that big an issue for you, but many men would appreciate any experimentation you do in this area!

    Thanks for all the awesome info!

  72. Hi Tim!

    I just finished reading your book and i’ve decided to go with the “Chipotle method”.

    Anyway, i’ve got one question:

    How necessary, on a scale from one to ten, is PAGG and AGG during bingeing?

    I live in a small town in Sweden and i don’t want to drive 20 miles if i can avoid it.

    Sincerely, André the Giant.

  73. Hey Tim!

    I was hoping you could point me in the right direction for purchasing the ultrasound analyzer that you used to test your body fat with. I’m putting a 60-Day Paleo Challenge together for my CrossFit gyms and was going to use this as one of the ways to measure their progress. Any help is greatly appreciated!!

    Thanks Tim and keep up the great work!!

    All my best,


  74. Tim,

    Do you have a timeline for your ultra? Good luck on the race. I’m a multiple IM finisher and have been thinking about an ultra for a while, but damn that’s gotta hurt. My buddies who have completed them say it’s all mental after the first 30k. I’m sure you’ll have what it takes.

    I was tired of waiting for delivery of my pre-order hardcopy of the book here in Canada, so purchased a kindle version to read on my Mac. Of course the hardcopy arrived the same day, lol. I did a marathon reading session and finished it that day. It was worth the wait. Thank you!

  75. Hi Tim,

    I’m currently enjoying your new book and had a question regarding your vertical. You mentioned you had an improvement of 3 inches. What I’m wondering is – if you had continued those same stretches/exercises would you have seen a greater improvement in that area?

    If not, did DeFranco give you any advice in how to go about doing so?

    Thanks for your time, and again – I’m really enjoying your new book.


  76. Hi Tim

    I ordered 3 copies of your book on the 14th, from Amazon. I never received them. Are they overwhelmed due to a fantastic response?

    Tom G Treasure Island S.F.

  77. Dear Tim,

    I thought about you while I was in the shower today.

    While under a stream of SERIOUSLY cold water a la “Ice Age,” I was standing there thinking “EFFING TIM FERRISS!!”

    But then I hopped on the scale and found I’ve already dropped 5 pounds in 3 days and lost 1.5 inches off my waist on the Slow-Carb Diet, so I resumed being exceptionally happy with your awesome book. Thank you!!



  78. Not a big fan of the title. It feels gimicky. That’s the main reason I did not run out and buy the new book. Superficial but true. With that being said, I am a fan and enjoy reading your thought provoking content.

  79. I’m a person who normally gets 8 hours of sleep, but in the interest of time, I would like cut that down and still feel rested when I wake up. I am trying the “Siesta” which has worked relatively well thus far, although there are not always times when I can schedule a nap or even fall asleep for one when I do.

    Since polyphasic sleep is tough with most peoples schedules, wouldn’t the answer be to increase REM-to-total sleep? Thus what are thoughts or experiences with a “Siesta” schedule vs just trying to increase REM within 6 (or less) hours of sleep.

  80. Tim,

    Did you try Phytosterols instead of Policosanol for reducing LDL and increasing HDL? Perhaps it doesn’t have the timing effect issue?


  81. Hi Tim,

    Great book. Thanks. I’m always amazed at the rich, actionable content you provide. Separately, I’ve seen some negative comments around the Internet regarding your marketing of the book, such as hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon before the book was even released, “bribing” us in various ways (i.e., incentives to buy the book), and deleting negative reviews at Amazon. Have you or will you be addressing these at some time?

    Thanks as always.


    1. Hi Jim,

      I’ll gladly address all three common critiques now, as I have before:

      – I sent out hundreds of review copies up to two months ago. This is common practice and the reviews on Amazon are 100% legit. The attackers don’t understand how publishing works.

      – All authors use the resources at their demand to market/sell books. Guinness has an entire WEEK on Regis and Kelly. Ina Garten has a TV show and has bought full displays at retail. I have a blog. Nothing sinister or odd about it.

      – Deleting reviews? I have no idea what you’re referring to, as there are a ton of 1-star reviews on Amazon right now. I don’t have the power to delete reviews. If a ton of people report a review as inappropriate, maybe, but I’ve been on launch and — again — don’t even have the power to delete reviews.

      Hope that helps,


  82. Hi! I just bought your newest book, the 4-Hour Body and I have a few questions.

    Is it absolutely necessary that i take PAGG and AGG supplements? And Athletic Greens?

    Am i am able to eat popcorn or does that break the rules of the diet? (air popping my own popcorn)

    Much is appreciated if you are able to answer these questions!

  83. Hi Tim!

    Just received 4HB yesterday and am in the midst of reading it, love it, very impressed 😉 You’re crazy, but cute 😉

    I have a question regarding supplements:

    I’m 5’2″, 100lbs and would like to add muscle but am not sure what supplements I should be using. I’m very healthy and already in pretty good shape and do not have any food allergies that I am aware of. I currently take Juice Plus vitamins, Vitamin C, MSM, and have taken whey protein in the past, but that is about the extent of it.

    Any advice is appreciated,

    Thanks and Happy Holidays! 🙂

  84. Hi Tim I was curious if you’ve ever looked into the emotional process of human beings and the best to handle/process emotions quickly and simply? It’s an area I’m really interested in and I’ve checked out a lot of different fields of psychology and different therapies and I’ve done quite a bit deconstructed/tested them. I’ve found that there’s a lot of crap out there, misinformation, lies, etc. The main goal I had is just to find a way to deal with powerful/upsetting emotions in a simple, effective way so you can live life to the fullest, and not be held back or controlled by unprocessed/suppressed emotions. I’m a pretty perceptive guy and I’ve noticed in our society that a lot of people from all backgrounds in all social areas/institutions carry so much emotional baggage. I really feel that life would be a lot easier and more relaxed for everybody if people could just learn to deal with their baggage. But I’ve found it’s like a maze sifting through all the material out there trying to find the right way to accomplish this goal. Yeah main thing I was just curious if you had ever looked into that area? It could use some hacking/deconstructing.