Spot Reduction Revisited: Removing Stubborn Thigh Fat

Is it possible to remove fat from specific areas of the body? (Photo of low-fat legs: Kirikiri)

(Preface: This is one of the “bonus chapters” for The 4-Hour Body. My sincerest apologies for the confusion! All bonus materials can be found here. Enjoy! New forums and more coming very soon…)

I’m allergic to food. Every time I eat it breaks out into fat.

—Jennifer Greene Duncan

Does History record any case in which the majority was right?

—Robert Heinlein

In the early 1900s, a 12-year-old girl burned the back of her hand. You are right: this is not newsworthy.

It’s what followed the burn, documented in the medical records, that fascinated me:

Doctors used skin from her abdomen as a graft over the burn. By the time this girl turned thirty, she had grown fat, and the skin that had been transplanted to the back of her hand had grown fat as well. “A second operation was necessary for the removal of the big fat pads which had developed in the grafted skin,” explained the University of Vienna endocrinologist and geneticist Julius Bauer, “exactly as fatty tissue had developed in the skin of the lower part of the abdomen.”

The plight of women and fat is the stuff of legend.

Female fat deposition in the legs and buttocks increases with age, as does abdominal fat and the so-called saddle bags—fat just beneath the hips—in perimenopausal and menopausal women.

How is it that women can eat peanut butter, for example, and seemingly bypass the stomach to put it directly on their asses? Why doesn’t this happen to men, who seem to put fat directly on their would-be six-pack, which ends up resembling more of a one-pack (or “six-pack in the cooler”), even if they have bodybuilder-like veins on their arms?

To paraphrase Gary Taubes: some biological factor must regulate this. One candidate is the A-2 receptor, and that is what I decided to look at for practical experimentation…

The A-2 receptor, or alpha-2 andrenergic receptor, is the party spoiler when it comes to fat-loss in gender-specific problem areas. From the journal Obesity Research (bolding is mine):

The fat on women’s thighs is more difficult to mobilize due to increased alpha-2 adrenergic receptor activity induced by estrogen. Lipolysis [fat-loss] can be initiated through adipocyte receptor stimulation (beta adrenergic) or inhibition (adenosine or alpha-2 adrenergic) or by inhibition of phosphodiesterase.

In plain Ingrish, this means that estrogen helps pesky fat-mongering A-2 receptors do their work, and there are three effective gambits for losing fat despite this.

For decades, the consensus among exercise professionals has been that spot reduction—reducing fat in one specific body area—is impossible, a myth. I long assumed this was the case until I asked the hypothetical question: if we assume there might be an effective mechanism for spot reduction, what would it look like if we focused on the three above pathways?

It seemed that one answer would be a topical lotion that inhibits the A-2 receptor or blocks phosphodiesterase (1). Another potent and supporting mechanism might be reducing the availability of cortisol at the level of the fat cells themselves (2).

Guess what? There are compounds that can be used for either: aminophylline for the former and glycyrrhetinic acid for the latter.

The two are quite different. Aminophylline is a bronchodilator used for asthma that contains theophylline, a stimulant found in tea that is similar to caffeine. Glycyrrhetinic acid, on the other hand, prevents the breakdown of specific prostaglandins (PGE-2 and PGF-2a) and is derived from licorice; it can be used as a base for expectorants or even artificial sweeteners.

Fat-loss is an off-label use for the latter in particular, but clinical studies indicate that both can selectively reduce thigh fat in females and males when applied as a cream.

During the process of researching this book, I saw firsthand the empirical evidence of spot reduction with low-dose, high-frequency injections of human growth hormone (HGH), but the potential legal ramifications and side effects (like bone and organ growth) make HGH unattractive. If you see bodybuilders with distended abdomens that make them look like they’re nine months pregnant, you’ve probably seen drug-induced visceral organ growth. It’s not a look I recommend.

I’d also experimented on three occasions with converting yohimbine HCL into a topical cream based on the writing of Dan Duchaine, but the side effects, including excessive salivation (thank you, autonomous nervous system), weren’t worth the negligible fat-loss.

Feeling like a Pavlovian dog about to vomit is no way to spend your life, and abs won’t help your sex appeal if you’re drooling on yourself.

It Rubs the Lotion on Its Skin

I took a nine-year hiatus from experimenting with spot reduction, until The 4-Hour Body gave me the excuse to fuss with it again.

The research led me to aminophylline and glycyrrhetinic acid. All that remained was to get my hands on both, which I did.

The easiest-to-purchase source of a 2% aminophylline cream was the extremely scammy-sounding Celluthin™, which I ordered on Amazon.

Glycyrrhetinic acid was much harder to locate, as I could only find it through prescription as Atopiclair™, which is used for dermatitis and has a single U.S. distributor in Tennessee, Graceway Pharmaceuticals LLC. Even with prescription-writing doctors willing to indulge me, Graceway made it almost impossible to find the product details and prescribing information for dosing. The latter is needed to write a “script,” of course. Eventually we ferreted it out of some subpage on the website, and I was able to fill candidate B at a local Walgreen’s within 48 hours.

Celluthin cost $49.99, and Atopiclair topped out at more than $100.

Here’s what happened. We’ll look at the prescription drug first, for reasons that will become clear.

The Results

Glycyrrhetinic Acid Cream (Atopiclair®)

FIRST, A WARNING FOR WOMEN: Glycyrrhetinic acid inhibits the breakdown of several prostaglandins, including PGF-2a, which therefore increases their levels. Since PGF-2a is known to stimulate uterine activity during pregnancy and can cause miscarriage, glycyrrhetinic acid should not be taken by those who are pregnant or attempting to become pregnant.

I applied Atopiclair thrice daily—upon waking, again at 5:00 P.M., and again before bed—for 13 days. I believe both the effects and potential side effects would have been even more pronounced for a woman:

Before (November 10, 2009) and After (November 23, 2009)

Treated right chest: 5 mm –> 4.43 mm (-.57 mm)

Untreated left chest: 5 mm –> 5.5 mm (+.5 mm)

All measurements were taken at least three times and then averaged. For example, the first “5mm” was derived from readings of 4.9, 5.0, and 5.1 millimeters. But back to our story…

To account for systemic changes, such as diet-induced fat loss or gain, and to create a control, I treated only the right side of my chest on the upper torso. Sites were as far apart as possible and therefore near the armpits.

I lost more than 10% total fat on the treated side and gained exactly 10% on the untreated side. These measurements were clear, and the fat gain on the untreated area made sense, as I was in an overfeeding phase.

The next set of measurements, however, were confusing.

Treated right abdominal: 7.0 mm –> 5.93 mm (-1.07 mm)

Untreated left abdominal: 6.3 mm –> 5.13 mm (-1.17 mm)

The abdominal area I measured is the mid-tier of the six-pack, the second “bump” up from the bottom in the rectus abdominus, or the first “bump” above the navel. I chose this area instead of the usual one inch to either side of the navel because it produced more consistent readings with the ultrasound device I used (4).

You read the data right: though I lost fat on both sides, I lost more fat on the untreated side. No matter how many times I repeated the measurements, that was the conclusion.


I have no explanation, other than a possible crossover effect from the topical application, as the measured areas were separated by no more than one inch. I knew this would be a risk—hence the decision to measure the opposing sides of the chest as well.

Can we reconcile the apparent benefit on the chest and the conflicting data from the abs? Not with this alone. There is really only one solution: repeat the test.

Fortunately, our other candidate gave much clearer results.

Aminophylline Cream

Celluthin™ has the following ingredients listed on the label in (assuming this was done as the FTC requires) descending order of volume:

Purified water, Aminophylline, Yerbe Matte, Coleus Forskohli Extract, Oil of Peppermint, Carbomer, Triethanslamide, Liposomes, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, D & C Red #28

I was particularly impressed with the misspellings of both “yerba mate” and “coleus forskohlii.” Needless to say, I did not expect this product to have an effect, and I couldn’t find clinical support for topical spot reduction use of the ingredients besides aminophylline.

I used the product twice daily on my right thigh only, upon waking and before sleep, for 18 days.

Before (October 12, 2009) and After (October 30, 2009) Measurements:

Treated right thigh midline, six inches above kneecap upper limit: 8.1 mm –> 7.4 mm5 (-0.7)

Untreated left thigh (same measurement): 7.9 mm –> 7.8 mm6 (-0.1)

On the treatment thigh, I lost 8.64% of my fat thickness, as opposed to a 1.26% loss on the control leg. Even more incredible was the apparent persistence of effect after cessation of use.

Here are the same measurements 11 days after I stopped application of the cream:

Right thigh: 7 mm (additional 5.71% reduction, or 0.4 mm)

Left thigh: 8.3 mm (a gain of 0.3 mm)

In other words, even though I was in an overeating phase and gained fat on my left thigh (0.3 millimeters), I continued to lose fat, almost an additional 6%, on the right thigh, which had been previously treated. I didn’t believe this outcome and remeasured the sites three times, but the data were consistent.

Consider me a believer.

Based on my experience, using a 2% aminophylline cream for two and a half weeks, applied twice daily, accelerates thigh fat-loss more than 10 times compared to a control.

I’ll leave the Atopiclair to the dermatitis sufferers.

Tools and Tricks

Celluthin – The topical lotion containing aminophylline that effectively inhibits the A-2 receptor. Use carefully, as it appears to continue to inhibit this receptor for at least several days after you’ve stopped using it.

Non-affiliate Amazon link

Affiliate Amazon link (I get a small commission)

Atopiclair (Glycyrrhetinic Acid Cream) ( Here’s where you can find more information about Atopiclair. You won’t be able to order the product directly, but you can get rebates on the official site if you decide to apply for a prescription.

Footnotes and References:

1 – This increases cAMP, which facilitates catecholamine stimulation of lipolysis.

2 – Via inhibition of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1.

3 – All measurements were taken at least three times and averaged, in this case from

readings of 4.9, 5.0, and 5.1 millimeters.

4 – Using ultrasound higher than the standard abdominal point, the ultrasound echo

from the fascia (connective tissue) layer can get weaker, which reduces the risk of

the software switching between the fascia and the true fat-muscle interface.

5 – Averaged from measurements of 7.0, 7.3, 7.4, and 7.5 millimeters.

6 – Averaged from measurements of 8.0, 7.8, and 7.8 millimeters.

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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515 Replies to “Spot Reduction Revisited: Removing Stubborn Thigh Fat”

  1. Hi,

    I’m wondering, is nonfat greek yogurt (plain) on the approved list or not approved list? 4HB says no dairy, but it also says to eat unsweetened plain yogurt as a fermented product. I love greek yogurt, and find it to be a great substitute for a lot of things, so I’m really hoping that it’s on the okay list…


    1. Hey Sydney,

      Check out the housecleaning section that Tim posted. Dairy (yogurt included) should be avoided, especially if you are trying to loose weight. I love greek yogurt too… I’ll allow myself like 1/2 cup once or twice a week, but not more. Not sure if its hurting, but I’m still loosing weight.


  2. Hi Tim –

    The use of ice baths and cold treatment makes sense for generalized fat loss, but what’s your view on spot fat reduction using cold, as with Dr Dieter Manstein’s Cryolipolysis treatment?

    I’ve already noticed amazing results with the Four Hour Body … On Occam’s Protocol, I’ve finally stopped looking like a skinny bitch and gained some muscle!



  3. I have just read your book and very excited – especially knowing I can do “less” weight training rather than more. I do have a question – I am getting arthritis in my fingers (technically known as heberden nodes) – I am following my Aunt and will probably have those crippled-looking hands – UGH! in all your experiments and studies, do you know “anything” that can help with arthritis?????????

  4. Hey Tim,

    I’m 22 M 5’7″ with a muscular “looking” build. I started the program (slow carb + PAGG + drinking a lot of water) at the beginning of January at around 210 lbs – I’ve been slacking a fair bit on the exercise portion, definitely not losing as much as I could. Even then people couldn’t tell that I was overweight, let alone pushing 22-28% bodyfat (I guess it’s evenly distributed with not so much in my face/neck…).

    So far I’ve lost 10 lbs and in the last week I’ve noticed that new stretch marks are starting to form on my stomach (2) and inner thighs(6). Going into the program I did have a handful of stretch marks near where the new ones are forming – but those are getting darker and bigger as well for some reason. Also, before the program and during I have been applying a strong VItamin-E lotion to the stretch mark areas twice daily.

    So since I’ve been eating healthier, exercising more, taking PAGG and as a result slimming down- I thought my stretch marks would lessen/disappear as they have in the past when I’ve lost weight. Losing the excessive bodyfat and stretch marks are the reason I started doing this program, I’m a little distraught that my stretch marks are getting worse and new ones are forming as I’m getting healthier/slimmer.

    What do you think is causing this? Do you think celluthin (or some other lotion/vitamins) will help my skin/accelerate the fat loss in these areas?

    Here’s a picture of the front of my stomach just so you can see what I’m dealing with, the new stretch marks are on both sides of my stomach – a very faint purple. Not including the thighs…seems like TMI.

  5. When is everyone taking AGG/PAGG? just during cheat days? when Slow Carbing?? in general are those supplements used in the Stack formula from Mr Ferriss, beneficial for fat loss despite what reduction plan you are following?? from what I can tell there isn’t any side effect by taking those for anyone.. except maybe wasting money 😉

    (I am currently 1/2 way through a 40 day HCG round and am reading the 4hb book and am excited to try some of his techniques)

    Thanks for your help!!!

    (I’ve already been drinking 500ml ice water upon waking, then eating my protein…. having lemon water… ice packs in evening…. since those changes I’ve lost 4lbs this week, which is less than i would have expected given my present situation)

    1. Cody,

      I too am curious about using erythritol while on the SCD. I’ve made a batch of black bean brownies, basically beans, eggs, vanilla, macadamia nut oil, and erythritol and FOS. They’re delicious and packed with protein, but I wonder if they’re acceptable. From what I understand, erythritol has no insulin stimulating effect, and no intestinal distress problems. However, Tim clearly stated “no sugar alcohols” in an earlier post. Are they all really to be treated the same?

  6. Tim,

    Your diet helped me lose 18 pounds in 3 weeks 3 years ago and now I am on it again after having my second daughter. I’m hoping for great results this time too! I am a runner now, where I was not before – making my calorie intake higher on a daily basis. I was wondering if 1) a high calorie meal would suffice instead of an entire day of eating 2) when should you apply the ice packs, day or night (tried the showers and thats just not going to happen!) and 3) how long before your calorie load should you drink the grapefruit juice? Thanks Tim and I’ll post again in a few weeks with my results!!!

    ~ Becky

    1. Becky! Here you go:

      1) a high calorie meal would suffice instead of an entire day of eating


      2) when should you apply the ice packs, day or night (tried the showers and thats just not going to happen!)


      3) how long before your calorie load should you drink the grapefruit juice?

      1-2 hours beforehand ideal.

      1. Tim you rock!

        I do have one more I thought of this morning. Is fruit ok after a workout, or only on cheat day?

        P.S. I’m down 8 pounds in 10 days. Hoping to lose about 15 more if I can maintain the diet without losing too much energy during my 1/2 marathon training (upping my beans has really made a huge positive difference when it comes to energy levels).

      2. One last question that occurred to me this morning – is fruit ok after a workout? I’ve been avoiding it since I don’t know for sure its allowed except on cheat day.

        I’m down 8 pounds in 10 days, progress is slower than last time, but I remember reading that after 2 kids it can take 4-6 weeks to get good results. Last question, is there a limit to the amount of beans/lentils you eat in a day? I’ve been adding more to keep my energy up during my half marathon training, otherwise my energy levels just plummet.

        Thanks again, Tim, your diet rocks!

  7. Tim, how about trying this experiment without knowing where the experimental substance is being applied? Then you can rule out psychological reasons for an apparent success.

    Have someone else produce 4 or 5 identical containers with identical-looking substances inside. One container has the test substance and all others are placebos. Apply all substances to different parts of the body and see what happens. If the test substance is the only one that has an effect, then the experiment was successful. However, if all substances “work” or the wrong substance has an effect, then perhaps it’s not so much the substance itself, but your own body that’s creating the minor changes.

    What do you think?

    Cheers 😉


  8. Hi Tim,

    I’ve read 4 hr workweek and body – brilliant!!!! Keep up the great work!!

    I see that you tried IV chelation, and it didn’t work. I’m in the middle of low dose oral chelation – from all my research it is the safest and most effective.

    The book “Amalgam Illness” by Dr. Andrew Cutler is THE BEST. He is a PHD biochemist who suffered mercury illness and became his own lab rat. I have followed suit and made good progress in a short time.

    I highly recommend it! Full disclosure here – I have no financial interest in Cutler’s books, programs, etc.

    In good health!


  9. My Husban and I are starting the diet tomorrow, my question is, is ok if i cook the bean with bacon or smoked pork. We also wanted to know if peas like fresh blackeyes and other fresh peas the same as beans?

    Thank for everything!!

  10. I just wanted to add some info for you. Are you aware of mesotherapy? I have been trained as have many plastic surgeons in the injection of phosphatidylcholine 5% into localized fat deposits. It is safe and produces excellent results particularly where the deposits are small such as thigh pads and double chins. It’s noninvasive and leaves permanent excellent results.

  11. I am very EXCITED about starting this diet tomorrow Feb 1 is Day one for me of hopefully a rewarding experience. I drink a lot of VitaCoco coconut water. But could not find any info in the book on whether this is a no-go for the diet. Are there any other coconut water drinkers out there who can shed light on this? The only ingredient in Vitacoco is natural coconut water but the nutritional info does indicate 15g of sugars per 330ml.

    Ta very much,


  12. maybe this is the right post to ask this, about man boobs, on top of the slow carb diet, what would you recomend]?,

    is there such a thing as unburnable fat?

    if my skin gets too streched after i’ve lost my extra weight, is the only option surgery?

    input from anyone would be greatly appreciated

  13. Hey, I know people have been asking on here a bunch…but I don’t see that it ever got an answer. Would the Celluthin work on other parts, like the chest, abs, butt? etc. Thanks!

  14. Hi Tim – just got UK version of your book. Loving it. I’ve been attempting to research Cissus for 6 months now but can’t find anything but anecdotal research and some random stuff done in India. So I was curious to see you mention it and wonder if you know of any clinical trials?

    Appreciate it – Lucas

  15. Tim and 4hour people!

    I’m sure you are all aware of the big-time backorder on Celluthin now that TIm has mentioned it. I am curious to see if other creams that claim to have 2% Aminophylline would be equally effective or if anyone has tried them.

    Others I have found:




    Just google Aminophylline and many pop up.

    As I don’t have a handy Ultrasound, any help would be


    P.S. Tim – Any word on when that (around) $500 version

    of the BodyMetrix will be available?



  16. Hey Tim,

    Do you think the Celluthin cream is applicable to all parts of the body? I’m interested in testing out on my slight “double chin” and “love handle” areas. It’s not like it would only work on specific fat tissues in the thigh area, right?

  17. Wow. It really is surprising to know how a typical-I-thought-ordinary-drug could be also of use in other ways. Being a member of the health care team (a nursing graduate), I have been quite aware of the usefulness of the drugs that you have mentioned, particularly of Aminophylline as a bronchodilator for our asthma patients, but it never occurred to me that it can also be use to remove excess body fat. However I am just wondering if other brands or preparations of aminophylline creams would still produce the same results as that of Celluthin? Since it is quite expensive and difficult to look for an aminophylline cream available in the market. Have you considered researching the main ingredient found in aminophylline that might just be giving its fat reducing ability, isolating it and looking for other drugs that might also contain it? Thanks a bunch Tim! It really is good to discover all new things once in a while especially if it’s something related to your field, something that would come in handy and interesting to share to my fellow healthcare professionals =)

  18. Hi Tim.

    I got the 4HB last week, started it on Sunday (rapid weight loss – planning binge day for Saturday). I’m a new mom and breastfeeding, so aside from PAGG, is there any other advice from the book that I shouldn’t take? I’m trying just to use foods instead of supplements as I feel its safer, but would like to use a protein shake in the morning (because I have 4 children and it’s very hectic within the first hour each morning). Many of the labels I’ve read on whey protein shakes indicate that they are not for women breastfeeding and I’m wondering what the ingredients are to look for that may be harmful in this circumstance.

    Also along for the ride, my nearly 16 year old daughter. Is there anything in the 4HB that we should be aware of for her?

    Thanks in advance!


  19. Anyone have an recommendations on how to up your intake of BCAA without supplements? Any good sources? My wife is still suffering from severe sugar cravings some weeks – even 5 weeks into the diet. She is having great results, but killing some of the cravings sure would be nice. The problem is she is nursing and based on some research BCAA supplementation is highly discouraged –

    Quote from –

    “You should never take BCAA if you are pregnant or nursing a baby. BCAA has an adverse reaction on infants causing liver damage as well as releasing insulin from the pancreas, which can lead to low blood sugar in your infant. While there seems to be no adverse reaction to the mother, the baby gets what you get while it is in the womb and if you are nursing.”

  20. Hi Tim,

    I have been reading up on the active ingredient in Celluthin. Most research states that it’s not effective without caffeine. So I researched and found I did find another product that does combine Aminophylline with Caffeine and just wanted to get your thoughts on this…


  21. Tim-

    I’ve been a long time fan of your material and recommend your first book to friends, but posts like will keep me from doing so in the future.

    First, atopiclair has not had FDA approval for any other uses outside of itchy skin and moisturizing effects. The “experiment” you performed was unblinded and contained a sample size of 1. Your conclusion was dubious at best, although I’m heavily inclined to believe that it purely erroneous, as there is a serious lack of any peer-review literature supporting your claim. If atopiclair had the spot-removing effect and it was scientifically supported, I’m fairly positive they’d be claiming such directly, instead of using various anecdotal accounts to sell their product. In fact, I’m sure they would be glad to pay you directly if you were able to prove this effect, since it would mean this product is worth it’s weight in gold.

    Since I understand you gain a commission from sales, I have to point out that you have obvious bias and I’m led to believe that you are abusing the trust your readers have given you in order to gain a quick profit.

    In short, I think you’ve gone to the dark side Tim.

    But how far have you gone? Would you be willing to remove the commissioned link to prove that your intentions are benign?

    1. Hey, I’m Charlie – Tim’s assistant. I can appreciate the skepticism for this post, as can Tim. This was an experiment he ran and, although he’ll be the first to say his methods are not perfect, those are the actual results he got from testing out the products on himself. Take it for what it’s worth, and do further research if you don’t trust his word. His feelings won’t be hurt 🙂

      It’s not uncommon for drugs to be marketed as one thing while frequently being used for something else. It’s called “off-label use.” Provigil, for instance, is marketed as a drug to aid with narcolepsy, while it’s commonly used by people without narcolepsy to enhance their cognitive abilities. Provigil does not advertise this. The use of the drug for its cognitive enhancing effects, among other things, has spread due to anecdotal accounts and word of mouth from bodybuilders, web developers, etc. (For more examples, see: The same can be argued for Atopiclair, although on a MUCH smaller scale.

      As for the commission aspect, Tim was completely forthright and did not hide the fact that he’d be receiving a kickback if you bought through one of the above links. If you want to buy the Atopiclair but don’t want Tim to receive any money, you have that option. If you’d like to support Tim for providing useful information by having $2.00 of your purchase redirected to him, you have that option.

      And if you don’t want to buy at all… you certainly have that option, as well.



  22. This is indeed very interesting. Truly, having lots of adipose tissues is the bane of most women. Women tend to build more adipose than men because of the hormone called estrogen. Either upsurge or drop of this hormone can disrupt the homeostasis of a female’s body especially when it comes to fat production and utilization. Losing extra fat in different body parts requires ample amount of exercise, one which is BMI-specific. I believe this is a long term course and thus requires patience and perseverance. You cannot just shred all those fats overnight. I think if you gradually work your way through a form of exercise, you can better enjoy its long term effects, too.

  23. I am starting the SCD tomorrow and am not a regular consumer of beans, at all, so if someone (anyone) could help guide me in the way of flavorful ways to prepare and season these, I would be MOST grateful. I have seen that I can use balsamic vinegar for flavor, but would really appreciate some direction in what other seasonings and sauces I can use. I am VERY excited for tomorrow, as this really is where I hold all of my hope to lose my 30 plus pounds of disgusting belly, butt and thigh fat. Thanks for this new hope, Tim!!

    1. Take your MEASUREMENTS. My loss didn’t/hasn’t shown up in numbers on the scale. BUT it has shown up in inches lost – 10 in 3 weeks. I didn’t measure until 2 weeks in, so who knows many inches I actually lost. If you can bear it take pictures also!! I like black beans with a little olive oil, balsamic, salt, and cilantro. Costco has a great package of Madras Lentils which are delicious. I like Texas Pete’s hot wings sauce on pinto beans. Check out and go to the motivation section and look for the four hour body group. There are some great people on there and a lot of information!!

  24. Removing fat these days is pure art. Around 60 % of Americans are overweight. More then half of them are young people up to 30. Alarm sound …..

  25. Hey Tim!

    you mentioned the use of marijuana in a previous post but cannot find it anymore..

    other than the fact that it makes you want to devour everything crappy in sight, does it affect weight loss if you follow the SCD?? i have cut out the garbage food i had cravings for but i dont know if i’m ready to cut out the green..

    also, what about gum? i choose the less sugary of the bunch- no hubba bubba types but i find that munching on a piece of minty gum helps me not want to eat a bunch of junk. the packages say theyre about 4cal.. coming from 1g of sugar alcohols.. i dont eat a massive amount, but im wondering if it triggers insulin levels like it does in some people with diet drinks..


  26. love the book and all over it,

    I’m on lipitor/amlipodine/aspirin therapy and I’m now doing your PAGG.

    couple minor questions:

    1. little jittery even though the green tea is decaf – any other reason for this?

    2. ALA is a little tough on the acid – like you mention, but I can only find 300mg pills – is it still effective if I take this one with food or alternate days?

    One tougher question for the bloggers- I have no gallbladder and I get liver stones about every two years (just like gallstone, but formed in liver)- pretty rare but somehow cholesterol related of course…, I wouldn’t want to damage my already fragile liver with anything I’m doing but there is so little research or info on this condition that I would love to cure it – not fun having outpatient surgery ever 2 years or so, so hoping one of the bloggers has had some experience. Hard to find any doc with expertise or even experience with this.

    Thanks and keep up the great experimentation and skepticism of all things “standard”. S

  27. Hi

    The best fat burner?


    I know for sure that DNP works good (I have tested it already) but there is a big problem with this stuff. It’s very dengerous and is not for everyone. If you want to know what DNP is and how it works just google it.

    Like anything else (testosteron, t3, hcg or ephedrine) you must becareful if you want use it. This is really “the dark side” of fat burners and don’t ask about it on high quality bodybuilding or fitness forums.

    If you will ever decide to use it first go to doctor and make sure that this is Good doctor.

    Do NOT take DNP on your own without pro supervision.

  28. Hi Tim,

    One issue. I purchased the audiobook version on audible. Love it.

    You mention a PDF that is available for book purchasers I guess?

    How do I get that? I’m happy to provide the receipt of my audible book.



  29. Tim,

    Thank you for the book. A little question about the PAGG,

    You said two of the component (A and G) recruits GLUT-4, does it means they increase your insuline ?

    I’m doing IF, so usually don’t get three or four meal a day, rather one or two… so can the “cocktail” be taken during the fast ? or should we increase the posologie to get to the dose your prescribe over a day ?

    Thank you

  30. is cellutin permanent? will result disappear after stopping usage?

    also does it help with cellulite

    ps can strawberries be used in moderation during the six days . thanks

  31. Tim,

    I went into GNC the other day as well as other places and noone seems to have policosanol or much less even knows what I’m talking about. I really don’t like ordering anything from the internet, so my question is do you know of any supplement stores that would have this?


  32. Tim, have you considered the opposite of this effect at all? Specifically the idea of encouraging fat storage in certain areas by use of a topical agent?

    The fat has to go somewhere, and if you can store it somewhere different than say your abdomen it could in theory help people slim in problem areas. Not to mention the potential application of encouraging curves in the right places. Personally, I have always struggled with dark circles under my eyes, and additional fat there would even and lighten it out.

    Thanks for all the great information in your books…it really has been helpful to see someone not afraid to try all these ideas out and to attempt some myself….

  33. Tim,

    I seem to thrive on a diet similar to the one you describe in the book, which was excellent btw, the only difference is that I eschew legumes. I just eat meat and greens as well as consume a lot (36 grams) of fish oil.

    Other than calories and flavor am I really missing out on anything by skipping the legumes (And yes, I’m perfectly “regular”)?



  34. hi tim and everyone!

    i’m so excited to be starting your program! i’d just like to tighten, tone and trim a little excess lower body fat. i am however, a flight attendant and just returned from a 3 day trip… i felt like i was toting my fridge with me…lettuce,peppers, tomatoes, eggs, beans, tuna, nuts and a few protein bars in those “pinch” moments, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, etc… i am usually diligent about packing a huge lunch box, but usually i don’t have to keep everything cold. not every hotel has refridg’s and i ended up filling the garbage can and ice bucket with ice (a mile down the hallway), putting some things out on the patio praying the temp wouldn’t rise too high. uhh, needless to say, a bit inconvenient 🙁 . ANYONE, PLEASE, ANY SUGGESTIONS??? i can be extremely disciplined (and very hard on self once committed), but i’ve GOT to get this a tad more convenient…taking ALL tips. thanks…janeen

  35. Any special information for women over 70? (71 yrs, 5’5.5″, 167 lbs, work full time, bone density z-score = 3.1, full mobility, decent balance, 45% fat from DEXA scan) I started the slow carb diet today am re-reading sections of your book. Looking for latest targeted information.

    Thanks, Tim. The book is great!


  36. CelluThin contains Aminophylline which this site claims to make fat loss appear real by sucking the moisture from your body. I found this information here:

    (not my site by the way just a reference)

    “Aminophylline when applied topically works to dehydrate skin. It reduces the appearance of cellulite by eliminating excess water in skin so that cellulite affected areas appear firmer and smoother. It’s sort of like taking a diuretic to lose weight — it’s not really fat that you’re losing, but water.

    Cellulite treatments using aminophylline must be used on a continuous basis to maintain desired results. Once use is discontinued, any water ingested will be reabsorbed into the cellulite affected area. So the changes aminophylline causes in your cellulite are definitely temporary.”

    I thought I would add this bit of info. I do not know if it is true or not. I do not believe everything I read (Unless Tim writes it!) haha j/k.

    I am currently reading the 4 hour body and I can not put it down. Great stuff.

    – Jeff

  37. I saw a lot of posts on here about massage and I thought I would post the link to probably the best home-use massage book I ever bought

    Read the free ”chapter one” link on the side to see the facts for yourself if you’re interested. I would give you a lot of detail but really, it would be a waste of time if you read chapter one. I will tell you this: I like it because 1) It works. 2) It was written by someone with a problem that needed to be fixed while they were doing the research, not someone researching an idea to sell. 3) It is really easy to use, even for an older person.

    I have bought this book 3 times for different people through my local book store (it has an Amazon link on the homepage, too). It is a unique approach to massage that is suited for a person’s individual needs and it’s really cool. It’s also very easy to navigate because the book is sorted in a nifty way; it is sorted by where a person is experiencing pain, since the point of pain and the area that cause the pain can be different. As one example; I am young so I don’t really have chronic pain, I bought the book for my headaches to see if it would be an easy way to help because I used to pop 2 Excedrin every other day and I figured that can’t be good for me in the long run. I knew my neck was sore but stretching made it worse. Well, after looking at the various areas it could be, it actually turned out I had a ton of “knotting,” as the book calls it, not only in my neck but also the muscle connecting my shoulder to my neck, and what surprised me, my upper back! I am convinced now that is was not any one of these, but a combination of all of them, and I have not had a headache at all from tension since then. I usually only get headaches from things I know, like dehydration and not sleeping enough, both of which I do very rarely and I don’t take Excedrin for. I figure if I’m going to be dumb, I’ve got to live with the consequences (and make conscious effort to drink more water). You can’t control automatic muscle functions, though. Even young people get these muscle “knots,” so don’t fool yourself into thinking that just because you’re not in “chronic pain” that this isn’t helpful stuff to know and have a guide for.

    Hope this helps someone, and Tim, oh em gee, maybe it’ll be something else that will help you from having to have more surgury later. Just from seeing my grandma go through it, trust me, it will become much less of an option as you get older, and you’re the Tesla of the modern age, sir. It would be a damn shame to see you crippled over by pain.

  38. Just finished reading 4HB shortly after devouring 4HWW–Thank you for the good eats.

    I study physical therapy and have come across a book with some of the latest research regarding muscle physiology and architecture that I believe you may enjoy: Skeletal Muscle Structure, Function and Plasticity 3 ed. by Richard Lieber. It is technical but insanely clinically relevant & not to mention absolutely eye-opening for those who think they “know muscle”.

    It has some great applications with muscle repair (especially with eccentric strengthening) & rehabilitation.

    All the best,


  39. Slow Carb approved foods?

    I have a family that requires me to produce a variety of tasty meals so I need clarification on foods I can and cannot use on this diet. I am also hoping to contribute some FANTSTIC recipes to your “Slow Carb Cookbook” I read that you said if you have to ask then probably not, but I have too many to accept that! LOL, Please insert a Y or N for approval

    ___Squashes- (butternut, spagetthi, acorn, etc)


    ___Pickles, (pickled things like okra)

    ___soup broths (chicken stock or broth, beef stock, french onion,matzo ball, bullion cubes, etc)

    ___mustard, light miracle whip, or other condiments

    ___Corn (canned corn, cob, etc)

    ___Grits (i’m assuming no cause white, but is corn meal)


    ___lactose free soy milk for baking

    ___baking podwer, baking soda

    ___Ground Flaxseed

    Thank you for your time!


  40. Hi Tim,

    I have just finished listening to your audio book 4HB a few times and reading the book. I’m sorry but I am so darn confused with all of the information, I don’t know what to do.

    Here’s what I am thinking to start. Is it enough?

    1. slow carb diet (easy to understand)

    2. work out A & B one time each per week (?)

    3. I took my pictures (torture) and measurements (also torture)

    There’s no way in hell I’m taking cold baths.

    What more should I add?



  41. Hi Tim,

    I am having trouble figuring out the quataties required for the PAGG.

    The values that you give is for the total daily amount or is it devided by 4 since you take it 4 times per day or is it 4 times that value? And the dosages sold to not add up to your values? So can you please tell me the values per dosage per daY?

    P = 20-25 mg x 1 per day for a daily total of 20-25 mg per day

    A = 100-300 mg x ? per day for a daily total of ?mg per day

    G = 325 mg x x ? per day for a daily total of ?mg per day

    G = 200 mg x ? per day for a daily total of ?mg per day

    Thank you.


  42. Hey Tim,

    This is all great stuff!!! I have been on an estrogne-reduced diet for years after reading Ori Hofmekler’s book “The Anti-Estrogenic Diet.” Even though I don’t completely agree with his diet regimen of the different phases and his own cookbook, the concepts he puts forth in his book are pretty solid.

    He also lists a number of foods and spices that can be added to the Slow-Carb Diet which can enhance it by adding anti-estrogenic properties (like burussels sprouts, cabbage, avocado, olive oil, onion, garlic, turmeric, and red wine) and helping to eliminate any pro-estrogenic foods (like soy, red clover, hops [sorry beer-drinkers], commercial dairy and poultry [hormones], anything containing food preservatives, or even drinking your healthy water out of plastic containers instead of out of glass or stainless steel) that might be lingering around in the diet to begin with.

    I am an acupuncturists/nutritionist, and always refer people who are trying to eat healthier and lose weight to Hofmekler’s book. And after reading the 4-Hour Body, I have been giving people additional homework with the slow-carb diet and have great successes!



  43. I’m a size 2-4; hour-glass figure, etc. I got a big dose of lead and arsenic poisoning that went misdiagnosed for 7 years. and it almost killed me but I’m finally completely rid of it thankfully. Problem is now, I have a layer of cellulite! I was a body builder in my 20s and when 98 lbs. I use to literally jog with a 175 lb. friend on my back! So later now in life and although I still have almost the same figure, I have this ugly layer of cellulite. It’s not deep and I don’t want to lose weight, I just want this cellulite gone. I bought the cellulite gel you recommended and am almost done with the bottle and I would say I can’t see even a 1% improvement sadly. No inch loss either and I use it daily and really massage it in as directed. It was another waste of $40.00 and time and at this point, I’m done with cellulite topical products – they just don’t work. Now for a good body wrap that would squeeze it all out!

  44. I’m a few days in to 4HB and started getting massive headaches. I researched the supplement stack and it looks like the green tea is the cause. I am using the Life Extension Mega decaf (1 pill 4x daily)… any ideas how to stop the headaches or what to switch to??



    1. Drew- I’d consult a doctor first if you know the stack is causing massive headaches. Better to err on the side of caution 🙂

      – Charlie

    2. Drew,

      The green tea is only supposed to be taken 3 times daily, omit taking it before bed. Can’t say if it’s the cause of your headaches, but the correction to the book is made in the blog.

  45. Tim,

    I am coming off a forty day fast of only water and juice. I would like bring my body weight back up. So, I was considering the “From Geek to Freak” right away, but I read that I needed to take at least twenty days of eating very light getting my system back on line. What do you think? Do I need to wait that long?

  46. Hi Tim

    I just got your book and I love it!!!!!!!

    The question is … do white adipose tissue and brown adipose tissue feel different? My chinese doctor told me I have to much hard fat and to make my fat softer and speed up weight loss I should drink a heating tea like cinnamon or ginger, he preferred cinnamon. I’m curious as in your book you state that BAT is a better fat and can actual change WAT into BAT. MY doctor is a traditional chinese medical practitioner and while my Mandarin is good I’m sure I lost a lot in the translation.

    However i will say that after drinking cinnamon tea… (I would put a cinnamon stick in water and boil it )…for a couple days, my arms felt softer and the skin was smoother.

    Also another doctor trained in Chinese medicine recommended years ago that i drink very cold water first thing on waking every morning but this was to regulate bowel movements. Generally speaking Chinese traditionally avoid cold drinks and consume copius amounts of hot tea. The claim is that hot tea with meals prevents absorption of fat.

    Any comments would be appreciated.

    Karen Jordan

  47. Ok….so can someone please explain to me how the Athlete Greens website is any different form any other of the fad miracle sites out there?

    For 1, all I want is a comparison or understanding of how Athlete Greens are “materially” different from Perfect Food, Super Greens or The Ultimate Meal in the ingredients used or combination of ingredients used.

    Also, the “claims” of increasing metabolism and reducing bodyfat…tends to be the “Medicine Doctor’s” method of claiming this “solves” all your aches and pains in this incredible elixir.

    That tends to make me VERY skeptical of any product being touted.

    And finally, Tim….how did you ever choose this, or find this, as your recommended product? Did you try some of the others mentioned above first?

    Please clarify.

  48. Tim,

    Can you address the questions???

    There are many issues that need answers which you are not addressing.

    We all bought the books, some clarity would be nice.

    1. @ Michael – March 30th – I can’t imagine how overwhelming it must be to answer thousands of comments, even years after the book has been published. There are a lot of websites out there too. Please be nice and keep in mind that we’ve not walked in his shoes. I think it’s amazing that he keeps up as much as he does.


    Started off strong with a 5 lb lose in the first week. Wasn’t hungry, cheat day came and I decided to wait another day. Up 2 lbs next day. Minimal change in measurements. Gained an addition 1 lb second week. By end of third week back up to starting weight and measurements have remained the same. MUST be doing something wrong. I know I am not drinking enough water so will up that this week. Tim, please look over my meals and make suggestions. Am confident this will work but getting pretty discouraged as I don’t know what I am doing wrong.

    Typical Daily Meals

    2 pieces turkey bacon with 1 hard boiled egg within 1 hour of waking OR

    1 turkey sausage (16G protein) and 1 HB egg. Weekends I make a frittata with 1 egg, egg whites some type of meat and asparagus.

    4 ½ hours later- Lunch – Lettuce wraps with ground turkey, onion and garlic sautéed in ghee, spinach, adzuki beans and cauliflower with ½ diet coke OR

    Lettuce wraps with beef, onion and garlic sautéed in ghee, blonde lentils and cauliflower with ½ diet coke.

    4 hours later – Snack – 20 almonds or a small handful of soy nuts or boiled edamames with ½ diet coke.

    3 hours later Dinner – Steak or Pork or Chicken, veggie (caul, broc, onions, mushrooms) and beans with a glass of red wine

    Evening 1 glass Red wine before bed

    1. Hi Terri Jo:

      You’ll probably be better served by crowdsourcing to the forum, since Tim is getting hundreds if not thousands of emails every day, and lots of us have been working out the challenges of Slow-Carbing.

      If you have not had a physical exam to assess your condition, gotten blood tests to determine what nutritional or metabolic challenges you may be dealing with, you may be missing important information. A good friend of mine adhered closely to the diet and had a zero net loss after a full month. THEN she got tested, discovered thyroid issues, and is now making significant progress.

      I personally have lost 28 pounds since Christmas, and have not missed a single gonzo free day.

      You might want to get rid of the diet soda and switch to lots of water.

      And as Tim said in an earlier response, re-read the Slow Carb Diet II chapter and see what you might be fudging on. But again, start with getting info about your body. Regardless of the outcome, more information about your own body is not a bad thing at all.

      Best of luck!

  50. aminophylline is *highly* charged at physiologic pH, and it’s extremely water soluble. It’s not going to be able to get through your skin’s cell membranes, because they are very hydrophobic (read: hate charge). Aminophylline cannot possibly work as an alpha 2 agonist when applied topically since it cannot possibly penetrate the skin. I’m pretty certain you experienced dehydration. Also, fat cells and lipolysis are mediated through alpha 3 receptors primarily.

  51. Hi Tim, first of all, your book was recommended to me by a friend and after skimming a few pages of it on google, i went and bought it on my way home from work. I’ve NEVER been big on fitness books or any of that crap, generally way too gimmicky and the cheesy motivational crap is far more comical than inspiring. I couldn’t put your book down however and it has confirmed a lot of the skepticism i’ve already had with fitness nutrition products and calories and fad diets etc but never had the resources or know-how to really delve into. THANK YOU. I recently had a baby and, while i was heavier than I wanted to be pre-preggo, this kid wreaked havoc on my mid-section and I have no shortage of stretch marks to show for it. My husband and i are starting the slow carb diet tomorrow and i can not freakin wait. My concern is, however, that my skin has lost so much elasticity from being stretched from pregnancy that it might not accomodate substantial fat loss, especially if it happens quickly in the usual problem areas. I’ve thought about experimenting with retinoid cream applications (like RetinA) (I’m not breastfeeding anymore) as they stimulate new skin generation and supposedly help with stretch marks thinking they may help tighten my skin as well. Just wondering if you had any insight into this or if any ideas jump to mind that i should look into. Thanks again!

  52. Can someone please define the PAAG dosages?

    How much of

    P = ? mg x 1 = ? mg daily total

    A = ? mg x 4 = ? mg daily total

    A = ? mg x 4 = ? mg daily total

    G = ? mg x 4 = ? mg daily total

    at each dose?

    Thank you.

  53. I am about to embark on the Slow Carb Diet, but have one question that may be on other people’s minds as well. Could any of the supplements/combination of the supplements or the diet itself induce or exacerbate depression or anxiety? Thanks.

  54. Hi Tim,

    I read “The 4-hour workweek” couple of years ago and loved it. Thank you. A pal at the gym told me about The 4-hour body and I got it immediately – I’m reading it now and I’m very excited. 🙂

    Now, I don’t need to lose a lot but the less you have to lose the harder it is (in my experience). I’m 33 years old woman, 5 ft 6, 120 pounds and I’d like to lose 8 to 10 pounds (summer’s here!). I don’t now my BMI but I guess it’s about 20%.

    I’ve been on Dr Dukan’s diet before (have you heard of it, it’s a high protein, low carb, low fat one) and it worked for me twice but the last time I tried it (2 months ago for a month) nothing happened (?!).

    So, before I start I want to ask you a couple of questions just to make sure I’m doing things right.

    1) I have a problem drinking lots of water. I need an idea of how much is enough so I make sure I force myself and drink that certain amount. Also, is it alright if I drink Pellegrino or other carbonated water instead?

    2) Can I have edamame instead of beans/lentils?

    3) I love red wine but I like prosecco too – you say Champagne is not a good idea though. May I ask why? It has the same amount of carbs as red… Would 2 glasses of bubbly on a non-cheat day be OK?

    4) No dairy. Damn. Is one small latte per day acceptable? A little low fat yoghurt? I’ll save cheese for Saturdays.

    5) I usually go to the gym 2 times a week, sometimes 3. The problem is, I do two days in a row because the classes are like (boxing, MMA, body weight boot camp) fall on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and I do 2 back to back classes on each of these days. Is this a bad routine?

    It’d be great if you can find the time to write back… Thanks!



  55. Hi Tim,

    I am really excited about reading your book! Just got a copy and will try that Celluthin for my extra inches. Will keep u posted!

    Thanks for the info!


  56. Seems like as good a place as any to check in…

    I started the Slow Carb Diet on Boxing Day, December 26, 2010, and weighed 224 pounds. Today, I weigh 197 pounds, and have weighed in right around this for over a month now. I’m a 52 year-old male in otherwise good condition.

    I still eat strictly slow-carb all week with one free day. My initial weight loss was meteoric and slowly leveled off after the first 12 weeks. You could call it a plateau. I call it stable.

    This is not a bad weight for me. I feel much better in almost every way. Joint and back pain has reduced remarkably and I have many days pain free. For that alone, SLC has been worth it.

    One thing I also did was stop exercising. I know, you think I’m crazy… It was an experiment. I wanted to see how PAGG and SLC alone would work for me while eliminating the frequent gym trips I’ve maintained for almost 20 years. What I know is this: I have lost lean muscle as well as fat. I am weaker than I was, but I also don’t feel like I am feeding a monster. My size (both extra muscle and extra fat) demanded huge amounts of food and effort to maintain. Once I decided to let myself be less of a big guy, I found life actually got better.

    I am now, very gradually, adding exercise back in, starting with air squats, pushups and pleasure walking. After two weeks of that, I have begun to add a little resistance to my squats and VERY slowly starting with kettlebell swings (Sorry Tim, but at 52, my back can’t handle the kettlebells like yours can).

    This program worked for me very fast, and I’m being patient with next steps, making small changes at a time instead of changing everything at once. I’m at a good weight now, and I expect the coming year to show new progress, more strength and a progressively leaner body.

    In short… So far, so good!

      1. Hi Tim,

        Can you please give the daily dosages for each item of PAAG.

        Thank you.

  57. Hi Tim,

    I’m wondering if you or anyone on here knows a body hack for helping to tighten loose skin. I lost about 70 lbs and have kept it off for a few years. In particular, the skin around my stomach is loose enough that I don’t have the six pack I want. Likewise, I still have a slight double chin that I’ve found almost looks better with a few extra pounds back on.

    Any tips or experience in this area? Thanks for a terrific read!


  58. Hi,

    thanks for your superb book; lovely to see intellect value the ‘animal’ in humans! One question, I accidentally got Udo’s Choice ‘Beyond Greens’ instead of athletic greens. I paid a lot so reluctant to throw it away and replace, but it seems to have a fair few ingredients that might constitute an unacceptable GI level. Any advice from anyone please?

    1. Yes, can someone please elaborate?

      I asked a similar question over a month ago, and received no answers.

      In essence, what are the “major” differences among the top “green” superfoods? What makes Athlete Greens better/worse than Greens+, Perfect Food, etc….????


  59. hey Tim, any suggestions for those who are living in Japan? Beans are really expensive here and rice is plentiful, how do i slow-carb with out having a famine in my wallet?

    Thanks for all your hard work, my wife and I enjoy your books, and your interview with Chris Hardwick

  60. I am 5’6″, 132lbs, 24y/o. I want to get to the low end of my healthy weight, 118-125. I am currently following a calories in calories out method that is working, albeit slow and painful. I want to try this diet but am scared to stop counting. I don’t want to gain any of the weight back. Are any combination of methods better than others to just lose the last stubborn 10 pounds?

  61. Tim,

    on page 77 in the print version of the book, you say that your iron is 71 and went up to 191 after drinking orange juice. What is the unit of this measurment? And for how long time period did you ingest orange juice (days, weeks, months?) for the iron to jump?

    If the iron in your blood was measured in hemoglobin-enriched (Hb) I don´t get how you could even stand up with 71 in Hb. But I guess it is measured differently right?

    Sincerely, Caroline

  62. I am a 103 lb female. I have about 18% body fat. I carry it in my thighs. My arms and abs are very toned. Is it possible to get slender legs following the basic diet plan and Kiwi exercises or do I need to switch over to a more aggressive weight lifting plan?

  63. I want to lose about 15 lbs. Can I only adjust my diet to the SCD for results? Or do I need to take supplements and weight train also for it to work? Also, I got the audio book. Is there another book required with your fitness exercises I need?

  64. I just realized that I posted this as a reply to a comment made in January and am hoping it will re-post so that current readers will see it.

    Hello Tim:)

    I love your book, it is FASCINATING. I just started slow carb Monday. I have a few questions for you (or anyone else who might know) and I will try to keep them simple.

    – you say to have avocado for only one meal a there a certain limit or amount? whole, 1/2, 1/4?

    -is there a limit for cottage cheese? (in a serving? and number of servings per day?)

    -You mention full cream for coffee compared to milk, is there a limit ( I saw that someone on the blog posted 2 tsps) but wasnt entirely sure.

    -Is there a big difference between using regular sweetener (vanilla flavor @ starbucks) and sugar-free sweetener?

    -You mention getting salsa with no added sugar, so I am sure that would apply to marinara sauce..but was wondering if there is a specific sugar limit (for example, I used a marinara sauce that had 6g of sugar) also if there is a portion/serving limit?

    – Do you recommend use of the Celluthin on other parts of the body?

    Thank you very much!!!!!!


    Also if anyone has answers to my questions I would greatly appreciate your ideas:)

  65. Recipes to share:

    Hi everyone, I accidentally posted this to a comment made in January and am hoping that it will post with the more current posts

    I am not sure if there is another forum to share recipes..but I thought I would share some of my ideas here. (and if anyone knows of the link to a specific forum for sharing recipes please let me know).

    I love food so much, especially carbs and dairy, so I have tried really hard to think of meals that would work for the slow carb diet. Here are some of my ideas:

    Ceviche style Tuna

    -canned tuna (I prefer albacore) in water

    -lemons (I dont really measure..i just go by taste, but use about 4-5 lemons for every 2 cans of tuna) the lemon helps to offset the strong fish taste

    -corn- (about 1 can of corn per 2 cans of tuna)-I like alot of corn it adds a great snap


    -chopped onion

    -chopped bellpepper

    -chopped tomato


    -chopped avocado

    -cucumber slices or carrots for dipping (since we can’t have tostadas, chips or crackers)

    Add tuna to large mixing bowl, squeeze lemon juice onto tuna, then chop veggies, so the tuna can marinate in the lemon juice, add in all ingredients, salsa to preference, and avocado last. Slice cucumber and leave separate along with carrots and use to dip into tuna.

    * a few concerns :

    -corn, I am not sure if that is an approved vegetable, or if should

    be limited

    -tomatoes & avocado – Tim says to only include one serving per day

    -salsa- only salsa with no sugar me homemade salsa

    makes a big difference, a friend of mine, makes it and sells


    Spaghetti & Meatballs (without the spaghetti=)

    -I used turkey meatballs (Tim mentions Turkey sausage as being okay, so Im pretty sure, this is okay, also, he says grass fed beef is okay, so regular meatballs would work




    -italian seasoning -red pepper, oregano, mix -optional

    -fresh basil-optional

    -marinara sauce (i used roasted garlic marinara)

    I sauteed the zucchini, onions, and mushrooms in 2 separate skillets, because I wanted a lot of veggies and and they cannot be piled on top of each other in order for them to sautee well (especially zucchini), there should be a single layer. After the veggies shrink I combine them into one skillet. I used frozen turkey meatballs and cooked them separately, first alone in pan, 2-3 minutes and added italian seasoning. Then added the marinara sauce and let it cook for another 15 minutes. Lastly, I added the sauteed veggies, mixed everything together, garnished with fresh basil (I love basil, this really adds to the dish). I believe you can also add Parmesan cheese, Tim mentioned that somewhere in the book.

    *some concerns- marinara sauce, just like salsa, has sugar, be careful in selecting.. I am not sure yet, if this is entirely okay to have yet.

    Fast Food Option- El Pollo Loco

    -Grilled Chicken Salad (LIGHT cilantro dressing) I ask for extra cilantro in the salad as well

    – small side of pinto beans

    – very good meal – tasty & filling

  66. Have any of you readers actually used Celluthin, and if so, what were your results? I saw quite a few posts by people who had just ordered, or just received it, but haven’t seen any posts by those who used it.

    Many thanks for sharing your experiences.

    1. I tried the Celluthin and in my initial consistent use I considered it to be successful and working. I did not stay on top of the measurements sadly, so I can’t provide specific data. I can only give you my personal observation which was it seemed to help fat loss in spot areas – I was using on my abs and love handles.

      My suspicion is that it reduces water to those cells.


  67. Hi all –

    I just started the slow carb diet Monday and just have a quick question – do you think there is any reason I can not have turkey as my protein? It’s not listed and this has me concerned.Thanks for any help!

  68. Jean,

    I think Turkey is actually a great protein for the diet.

    Any low fat meat is a big plus.

    My take.


    1. Thanks for replying Scott. That was my thought so I was surprised it wasn’t listed in the book. It has been my primary protein now for these first 4 days so I guess time will also tell…

  69. Hey Tim,

    Love the book! You stated that you used BSN’s N.O. explode during your Geek to Freek stage. Weren’t they facing a lawsuit at one point for their supplements not containing what their labels said? Other than N.O. explode and BodyQuick, what supplement brands do you recommend? Thanks!

  70. Hi Tim

    Could you advise me on what is your experience with chrono nutrition?

    I am interested how do you see the rule that it shall pass 4 hours between meals in order to keep insulin level controlled. It is stated that insulin does not get stabilized but only after 2-3 hrs after meal and therefore we shall not eat nor chew anything at least 3 hrs after each meal in order not to put load on pancreas and to keep insulin levels controlled.

    Chrono nutrition also forbids milk but not due to II levels but die to casein which is hardly digested by humans. What do you think about caseinate form cows milk?

  71. Tim,

    Just curious if a flavored protein powder is OK as long as there are no sweeteners (artificial or otherwise)?…and I saw in an earlier post you mentioned using Whey protein powder…are there other kinds that are OK? (I know soy is not, but how bout hemp or pea protein powders?)

    And if so, this is another good hack that a friend recommended to me for those with a sweet tooth:

    Quick Protein peanut butter brownies:

    1. put one scoop of protein powder in a microwave safe bowl or container with a flat bottom (i usually just use a small glass bowl)

    2. add a little bit of almond milk (i use Trader Joes unsweetened vanilla flavored almond milk that you find in the refrigerated section…tastes better than the warm stuff)

    3. mix the almond milk and protein powder until you have a cake-like batter consistency (adjust quantities accordingly).

    4. add a spoonful of all natural chunky peanut butter (again, I use the Trader Joes salted kind)…and then thoroughly mix the peanut butter w/ the “batter”

    5. microwave the whole thing for 1-2 minutes (depending on the strength of your microwave), and you’ll be amazed by the cake-like consistency/taste



  72. Hi Tim & all! I’ve been working on an outlandish theory that SPOT REDUCTION IS POSSIBLE based on a few years of studying yoga students (including myself), gym rats and posture in general.

    Call me crazy but here it is: stubborn fatty areas on the body develop from lack of awareness of those areas. The fatty areas are the proverbial BLIND SPOTS in the mind’s (and neuron’s!) eye. No matter how hard we work out, we cheat the movement in blind spot areas. Over time those cheated areas accumulate fat from underuse. (Or appears fat because the muscle isn’t as developed.)

    The body is so good at adapting, so good at automating processes and finding homeostasis even when it’s incorrect. It’s no wonder we can move the same way for years and not notice.

    Have you ever stretched in a weird position and thought, ‘holy wow! I’ve never felt that muscle before?!’ Then you kind of get what I mean about physical blind spots.

    I’ve personally struggled with the squirrel arm effect and the muffin top back. You know what I’m talking about, ladies. The fat on the underarms that makes you tuck in your elbows like a chicken when you wave hello at someone? And the fat that rises around the edges of your bra near your armpit that makes you avoid snug fitting tops for fear of looking lumpy?

    I was doing lateral raises and rows and tricep extensions until the freakin cows came home. But it was hardly doing a damn thing UNTIL I corrected my posture. For me, a combo of practicing yoga and watching my workout sideways in a mirror helped. Once I realized I was cheating myself in those arm exercises by using primarily my shoulders and my lats, I was able to whittle down my upper arms and back circumference by a firm few centimeters. It was like someone took off the blindfold to my brain’s muscular connection so I could target the right ones.

    It’s a simple idea, but not easy. It took painstaking awareness in everything I did, from how I use my arms and back when I brush my teeth to how I hold a computer mouse. But once you get that big AHA moment where you feel the muscle engaging the right way, you’ll be hard pressed to go back to moving blind. The awareness itself is not something I know how to measure in grams ingested or body heat released or in any other way. Perhaps Tim will find a way of MEASURING it, like through a brain activity scan.

    This posture awareness technique also worked for a friend of mine who had thick calves. Her main goal in fitness was to be able to see nice curves to her ankles. She was a volleyball player and athletic in general. She said nothing she tried had ever worked. She had killer nice arms and abs, by the way! After 2 sessions working out with her, it became clear to me that she never fully rolled onto the ball of her foot. In other words, she never engaged all the muscles in her calves so not only did they not get sculpted but her fat would accumulate there. (For those of you who struggle with a lumpy booty and hips, it’s equal to doing a bazillion squats but sticking your ass out too far so it never engages.) Once she ditched her flat footed jumps, lunges and her very walking pattern for a more dynamic roll of the foot, she was able to see those ankle and calf definitions with a reduction in cellulite in just 8 weeks!

    Tim, I hope hope hope among your million fans and guinea pigs that you’ll be able to respond to this one.

    Thank you!

  73. Hi Tim,

    I’m curious to know why you used No-Xplode (2 scoops) in the morning and not directly before a workout? I trust you have a reason why?

  74. Hi Tim,

    I’ve seen a question like this, but no one answered:

    Xmas is coming! I’m wondering, since I haven’t been using PAGG yet:

    1) should I get PAGG for the few weeks around Xmas (no dieting then) or just CQ? Meaning, would CQ work on it’s own or does it have to be both?

    2) I can’t eat garlic – I get a bad heartburn – would PAGG be OK without the last G?

    Thank you!!!

    1. I’d really appreciate any answer asap since when finally ordering PAGG, I will wait for it to arrive to Europe 20 days… Thank you in advance!

  75. G’day Tim,

    nearly finished the 4HB and am loving it,

    you still have “coming soon” on the ultra,

    any updates pending?



  76. Unquestionably consider that which you said. Your favourite justification seemed to be at the web the easiest factor to understand of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed even as folks consider concerns that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and outlined out the whole thing without having side-effects , other people could take a signal. Will probably be again to get more. Thanks

  77. Great book Tim.

    I wonder, did you investigate anything with Poliquin’s BioSignature? It relates heavily to this topic.

  78. Hey Tim! I had a question about:

    ((Selenium, Myristic Acid, and a Better Brain))

    I watched your video from the post called “The Shortcut to the Shortcut”, and was especially interested in your response to the question on smart drugs, where you stated that cognitive function can be greatly improved by adressing nutrient deficiencies. You mention that, through testing with Spectracell, you corrected a selenium deficiency that tripled T and a myristic acid deficiency that helped you go coffee-free. To narrow this all down to an actual question you can answer:

    1. Would you recommend testing with spectracell for the layperson?

    2. Do you think correcting nutrient deficiencies is sufficient to improve cognition, or do you have any interest in nootropics?

  79. Tim-

    I am really enjoying you book. I would love to follow your diet, but I am allergic to eggs and chicken. This is my problem with many diets actually. I cannot consume anything with these ingredients or anaphilaxous is my reaction. What can I replace the protein part of the diet with? I also do not like fish so I don’t eat it and not a big fan of pork. Sorry, I’m a little picky.

    Thanks for your help and life of research

      1. well right now i live out of a hotel with only a microwave and small fridge so any meat products prove to be a difficult task to cook.

  80. Hi, I’m a reader of your book. I decided to start with the slow carb diet. I have only two weeks and I managed to lose water and muscle mass. What do I have to do to lose fat?. Thank you.

  81. Hi Tim,

    Talking about bodies, hormones, genes etc – what is your opinion (knowledge) about in vitro babies? I just saw on the TV that a Swiss scientist discovered these babies consistently have 30% more rigid blood vessels, which increases their risk for cardio-vascular deasease. This seems to happen because one of their genes responsiveness decreases during lab manipulations. They haven’t studied other organs and systems yet, plus they don’t know how these kids grow old, as the oldest one is only 30. You say in the 4HB that we can “escape” from our genetic predispositions, do you think these babies can do that too? Not sure if you speak French, but here is the video:

    And big thanks for all your great work :-)!

  82. Hello Tim

    People keep saying nice things about the Trimgel… Do you have an opinion on the matter?

    Thanks so much.

    By the way, loved the book The 4 hour body…



    1. Hey Jem, i was vegan for a year but sadly enough it didn’t work for me 🙁

      I still struggle eating meat most of the time, but for some reason eating seafood really doesn’t bother me that much. I know that sounds cruel, but i can disconnect myself enough from such an alien-like creature to eat it, and it’s keeping me healthy… 🙂 / 🙁 So if thats a possibility for you, eating seafood that is, this diet is definitely possible. If not, you can still try it, but you will still end up eating alot more carbohydrates than most. There are quite a few vegan protein powders out there, but they are all fairly pricey. Of course this diet is mainly based on beans so it may work. I think it’s quite commendable for you to consider doing this vegan. You may have to make a couple exceptions, for example eating organic, local eggs/eggwhites. (buying organic/local is especially important, support dem farmers! 🙂 Those are my thoughts, sorry if i didn’t help…

  83. Hi, I’m so happy i’ve finally found a community of people that are health conscious, (living in a tiny town of beer drinking red necks doesn’t help– but oh well, we all have our flaws).

    Anyways i have 2 questions for everybody.

    1. I’ve been eating low carb for awhile now, and i feel amazing! I’ve lost quite a bit of weight from all my “trouble spots” and i’m down to about 16%-15% bodyfat (this is based on some research and the pictures from Tim’s book), i just have a tiny bit on my lower abdomen, but mainly i’m very self concoius about the weight around my thighs. It’s the reason i started to lose weight in the first place. It’s not cellulite (there aren’t any bumps or anything), it’s just a thin roll of fat, it’s quite odd actually 😛 I’ve only ever seen one woman who has the same problem. NOT saddlebags (pockets of flab on the outer thigh) just ROLLS (one under each buttock). I’m really looking for a diet that’ll eliminate those last 5 lbs. I’m very, very healthy, trust me… People call me a rabbit/horse all the time ’cause of the amount i’ve kale i eat 🙂 I already eat no carbs at all, the only carbs i get are from nuts, any sugars are from veggie fruits(tomatoes, avocadoes, peppers and cucumbers), i eat a large cheat meal per week (last week was a stack of spelt pancakes, whip cream (the real stuff), maple syrop, and tons of berries and fruit). I also take vitamins most of the time, (active womens health vitamins, sea vegetables, calcium, vitC, etc) I sometimes have gum, but i never have more than 2 pcs a day. I’m kind of struggling to stay positive, so if anybody has any advice, that’d be swell 🙂

    Secondly, i eat alot of of tinned albacore tuna, sometimes up to 3 tins a day. Putting a pile of kale with tuna and salsa on a plate is too easy, fast, and delicious to avoid. Some people have warned me about the mercury in tuna, but i know the mercury is stored in the fat in the tuna, and the tuna i buy is very lowfat (a max of 2 grams a tin), so is mercury poising a possiblity? Also I make sure i buy unlubricated tins of tuna. Did you know that most tins are lubed up with chemicals to make the food slide out better? Haha, isn’t that gross?!

    Anyway, sorry for writing so much, and thank you! 😀

  84. I have an odd question that I couldn’t find a better place to post to. I’m been putting the 4HB into practice for awhile. LOVE IT. I was using the PAGG also for the weight loss and no doubt – talk about converting what you eat to muscle. But this has exacerbated a problem I already have. I keep muscle and build it REALLY easily – kind of odd for a woman. I love resistance training (not body building) and am an exercise fanatic. And although I have a pesky 8 lbs to lose, what I’m finding is I am putting on more muscle than I want. I really want to just be lighter all the way around and I can’t figure out how to lose both muscle and fat and keep my fitness goals in tact. Everything I do seems to also pack the muscle on. Any advice other than more cardio? I already do 45 minutes of high intensity cardio daily – really don’t want to increase it.


  85. Tim,

    We run in close circles, Im surprised I haven’t bumped into you yet in SF! Ps Loved the joke you made on your video about B Orasco being the most flexible pedophile…it was hilarious and probably more true then we know lol.

    Quick question. I downloaded the audio book for 4 hour body and am somewhat confused about things. It keeps referring to a PDF file that has your exercises, diets, supplements, etc; however here is no attachment. Do you have a link?

    Also, in your forward it mentions eating vinegar rich foods before meals to increase fat loss and sauerkraut for muscle mass but it didnt address either in the audio book.

    Can you help on both (yes Im essentially asking for a 3×5 card…but I swear Ill follow it)


    Stuart Maschmeier

  86. Hi Tim,

    Interesting article. I’m a little late to the party, I know.

    I recently started my own journey to become fit and healthy (and lose the excess fat in the process). Almost everywhere I turn, I see ‘spot fat reduction is a myth’, but my experience seems to suggest otherwise.

    So I decided to research the reasons why it is considered a myth, and in the process came across your site and this article. I am wondering if you have ever seen any evidence to suggest that spot fat reduction is possible through targeted exercises and a healthy diet?

    My experience has been that, in the week where I focused most of my exercises around my abs, I lost more inches from my stomach than anywhere else. Simiarly, in the week where I focused most of my exercises around my glutes, I lost more inches from my butt than anywhere else. The same happened when my exercises were focussed on my thighs. During that time, I have not altered my diet. I mean, there’s variation, but it’s all ‘clean’, healthy, prepared from scratch meals, lots of water and absolutely no soda (I’ve ditched that for good).

    So, my personal experience seems to suggest that spot fat reduction IS possible. Is there a reason for my experience being different to others, that I am missing? Or is it really possible?

    I’d really appreciate your feedback on this.



  87. Saw Tim on Dr Oz. Just read the book. I’d like to loose 20 pounds. Lots of questions…Is this a life time change in eating habits? Will the weight come back after 30 days? Can you do it for 30 days and then partially do it to maintain weightless? Will the 30 grams of protein in the morning over a long time be enough to loose 20 pounds? Is this diet safe for women post cancer, chemo and chemo induced menopause? Is there enough calcium without milk products? Enough antioxidants?

  88. Hi Tim, love your info. My husband and I are NASM personal trainers and have found a company that offers all of the “products” that you have mentioned and all are natural and whole food sources. Contact us for further details….I know you will be impressed:)

  89. Hi Tim,

    I wanted to know if edamame soy beans count as legumes. Can I have them as my serving of beans?

    Also, would doing 2-3 minutes of squats before all meals help, or just on cheat day?

    Thank you!