Patrick lost more than 100 pounds on The Slow-Carb Diet.
I find writing very, very difficult.
While on book deadline (right now, for instance), I suffer dramatic ups and downs. In my darkest hours, I re-read reader success stories that have been sent to me. It makes the entire rollercoaster worth it.
This post will detail how readers have lost well over 100 pounds on The Slow-Carb Diet®. It was sparked by an email I received a few weeks ago:
“I just wanted to sincerely thank Tim for taking the time to research and write The 4-Hour Body. My mom, in her late 60’s, lost 45 lbs and got off her high blood pressure meds that she had been on for 20+ years. She did all this in about 3 months. This means that I get to have her around for a long time.”
Anyone can lose hope, and many people do when trying to lose weight. The Slow-Carb Diet (SCD) works almost beyond belief, and it affects much more than appearance. The basic rules are simple:
Rule #1: Avoid “white” starchy carbohydrates (or those that can be white). This means all bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and grains. If you have to ask, don’t eat it.
Rule #2: Eat the same few meals over and over again, especially for breakfast and lunch. You already do this; you’re just picking new default meals.
Rule #3: Don’t drink calories. Exception: 1-2 glasses of dry red wine per night is allowed.
Rule #4: Don’t eat fruit. (Fructose –> glycerol phosphate –> more bodyfat, more or less.) Avocado and tomatoes are excepted.
Rule #5: Take one day off per week and go nuts. I choose and recommend Saturday.
Comprehensive step-by-step details, including Q&As and troubleshooting, can be found in The 4-Hour Body, but the above outline is often enough to lose 20 pounds in a month, drop two clothing sizes, or more.
The SCD works for both women and men. Maria Rider (pictured below) is over 40 years of age and a mother. As she put it to me, she’d always been “the heavy mom.” Now she’s seen differently: “I haven’t seen this weight since my college years! I just wish you’d written the book 20 years ago!”
Last we spoke, she had dropped from 247 pounds to 122 pounds, for a loss thus far of 125 pounds. Her husband has also lost 56 pounds.
The SCD is also effective for going from “normal” to very, very fit, as MP shows:
The same exact rules apply. No differences whatsoever.
Next, we’ll meet Ricardo A, in depth. Ricardo first reached out to me via email. It began with…
I cannot put into words the great gift you have given me. “[The Slow-Carb Diet is]…intended to be effective, not fun.” As soon as I read those words, I knew I had to give the slow carb diet a try. 210 days later, I haven’t looked back. The change has been incredible. Not just my weight, but my outlook on life. I have followed your instructions to the letter…”
Below, in Ricardo’s own words, is what happens when you follow SCD to the letter.
People always ask me what moment led me to lose over 150 pounds in 9 months on the Slow Carb Diet (SCD).
I crack a smile when I get asked. Unlike some, who can pinpoint one moment in time which defined the start of their journey, I have three “moments” that immediately come to mind.
The first was months before I started the SCD in August of 2011. It was when I realized that overweight people on TV, told they would die because of their weight, weighed less than I did.
The second moment was the day I got my gym membership card. Instead of it prominently featuring my face, my whole midsection was featured, slumping over the chair.
The third moment, which happened just days before I began the SCD, was when a good friend told me that in order to effectuate positive change in your life, you need strength and guidance. You can acquire strength with discipline and will power, but guidance, well, that’s where Tim comes in.
I recall reading headlines in August that Amazon had just signed its first author for a new publishing arm. Not knowing who Tim Ferriss was, I did some research and found a Gizmodo article. I was at the grocery store that day with my shopping list and began the SCD the very next morning. During my first few days, I was pleasantly surprised to find content and support readily available online, and how much personal feedback Tim would give via his blog. He not only provided you with a plan, but was right there with you when you had any doubts. Tim provided that little push that got me going.
How far I went then was entirely up to me.
LIFE AND STYLE
“It’s a lifestyle, not a diet.”
This is the best answer I can conjure when asked about my success on the SCD. I truly took Tim’s mantra of keeping it simple to heart. Being able to plan all of my meals ahead of time removes not only stress, but also the guilt associated with eating unhealthy foods. My previous “meal plan” consisted of eating junk food three times a day and constant snacking. Not a day would go by without having dessert, consisting of either a pint of rich ice cream or bag of cookies. Looking back, I can easy understand how I got to 410 pounds.
I have been overweight my entire life.
Whenever I managed to lose weight, I’d gain it all back. I had been open to the idea of dieting for some time but found diets too hard to follow. I would start one, and as soon as I cheated or ate incompliant foods, I would give up. This is why I knew the SCD was something I had to try. How could I pass up losing weight while not only being allowed to “cheat”, but being required to do so for an entire day out of the week?
Months after starting the SCD, I ran into an article in the UK’s Daily Mail explaining the science behind postponing eating, which further reinforced the science behind cheat day on the SCD. This, coupled with the outstanding community aspect (via blogs and personal websites), has led to my success and high compliancy rate (over 90% compliant in the past 9 months). I don’t snack, and I only drink unsweetened iced tea and black coffee. I also drink at least a gallon of water a day.
MEAL PLAN ON THE SCD — WHAT HAS WORKED FOR ME
I eat three meals a day.
– Breakfast, which I have no later than an hour after waking up.
– Lunch, which comes at least 4 hours after breakfast.
– Dinner, which is anywhere from 6-8 hours after lunch.
A typical day would look like this:
Breakfast: 8 ounces of egg whites and one whole jumbo organic egg; black beans (canned and unsalted); and steamed cauliflower.
Lunch: ½ pound of vegetarian fed tri-tip steak from trader joes; black beans (canned and unsalted); and steamed cauliflower.
Dinner: frozen chicken thighs (cooked on boiling water until thawed then fried with olive oil); black beans (canned and unsalted); and steamed cauliflower.
When I don’t have time to cook at home, I either get a chicken bowl from Chipotle (no dairy or corn) or order a carne asada (grilled steak) plate at my local burrito shop, which consists of steak, pinto beans, and a salad (no cheese).
Keeping your meals simple makes failure less likely.
Based on my experience on the SCD, the only advice I can give you is to stick with it. Your time is now. Don’t make a big fuss about it, and don’t tell it to the mountain. Keep it on the down-low for the first few weeks. This is a personal journey, and success will entirely depend on you. Tim has given you all the tools; now it’s up to you to put them to work. Keep it simple, and if you have to ask, don’t eat it. Save it for your cheat day.
I started the SCD on a Wednesday and did not have my first cheat day until the second Saturday. I invite you to take the “Wednesday Challenge” and do the same. This will give you a head start and allow you to build up will-power.
I still carry the gym membership photo in my wallet every day.
It’s constant motivation to keep at it… to continue on this wonderful, albeit challenging, journey.
I did my part, building the strength through discipline and will power to succeed on the SCD. But without Tim’s guidance, I would not be here telling you my story. Seek strength. Seek guidance.
My name is Ricardo, I am 31-years old, and I’ve lost more than 150 pounds on the SCD. Thank you, Tim.
Afterword from Tim
First of all, thank you, Ricardo. Sincere thanks to all of you who read what I write.
And congratulations to all who’ve made it happen!
Armed with a basic overview of the SCD, Ricardo lost 150 pounds. Similarly, the others above took a basic plan and put it into practice.
Now, I ask a small favor:
1. If you’re trying to lose fat, commit to testing The Slow-Carb Diet for two weeks starting this Wednesday. Read the above, perhaps consider The 4-Hour Body, and just get started. Put it on the calendar and make it happen.
2. If you’ve lost weight on The Slow-Carb Diet, please fill out this form! It’ll take 10 seconds and help me gather valuable data. Thank you in advance.
3. Last, if you know someone who needs (or wants) to lose weight, please tell them about Slow-Carb somehow.
I don’t care at all if they buy the book or not. The Gizmodo article and other blog links can do a great job. I’ve seen the tremendous difference it can make in the lives of entire families, not just individuals. Whether it’s life-or-death or just looking better in jeans, if you know someone who can benefit, please pass it on.
Thank you for reading, everyone, and have a wonderful week.
If you have any Slow-Carb stories (or before-and-after pics), I’d absolutely love to see them in the comments! They would truly make my summer, which is going to be a tough one…
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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923 Replies to “How to Lose 100 Pounds on The Slow-Carb Diet – Real Pics and Stories”
Great article- love to constantly read the success stories! I have read all your books so am a big fan 🙂 I actually started my muse company Zen Green Tea from an idea in 4 hr body- Green Tea! ha ha I have begun importing and selling Matcha green tea powder in Australia and I know its popularity probably has stemmed from 4HB fans looking for a cheaper way to get their green tea intake in PAGG without the expensive capsule prices! Best of luck with your writing- whatever you are struggling with just persevere and you will get there.. after all you are Tim Ferriss!
This diet really works-though I dont strictly follow it now-I did use it to get rid of 10 pounds after having my baby. I swear I followed it for 2 weeks and the weight came off and has stayed off! Its effective and fast. Like Tim says its not fun, but its effective and that’s what I was looking for!
How??? What did u eat
Idk about holly, but I lost 12lbs in one week eating
2 eggs, 1/2c spinach, and 1/3 can lentils for breakfast,
1/3lb chicken breast stir fried with sea salt fresh ground pepper and curry, 1/2c spinach, and 1/3 can lentils for lunch,
And the same thing as lunch for dinner.
At the same time I was doing light exercises immediately before each meal (after cooking. I didn’t want to let even 1 minute pass between my exercises and my eating) and also at 90 minutes after eating. When I say light exercises, I’m talking about what’s described in stalling maneuvers.
At the same time I was taking
a multivitamin, a b complex, niacin, ubiquinol, vitamin d3, ginkgo, AGG, and 1600mg cissus with breakfast,
AGG and niacin with lunch,
And PAGG, niacin, and 1600mg cissus with dinner.
Finally, there were very few moments during that week that I didn’t have a huge glass of green or white tea in hand.
Since then, I’ve taken a week off and eaten nothing but junk food, though I’ve barely gained back any of the weight I’ve lost. Starting today I’m getting back to it and hoping for the best.
Incidentally, most of the supplements listed were to treat or prevent deficiencies or for other benefits I’m targeting.
The supplements I consider most beneficial to my weight loss are the agg, pagg, and cissus.
Hope this helps. 🙂
Started the SCD as my new years resolution for 2012. Part of my plan, I don’t eat any beans, but I do eat a good amount of almonds. I also never gave myself a ‘cheat’ day once a week, but I do a carb binge every ten pounds lost. I have not incorporated much exercise into the lifestyle, but I will soon. I do drink some diet soda and sugar free red bull, to keep the engines running, but I do also drink a good amount of water as well. I take a good multivitamin in the morning, along with Seanol. Coffee and a low-sugar Atkins shake in the morning, and usually some sort of meat for dinner & lunch, either turkey or chicken. Occasionally beef, but it is a high calorie dense food. Sixty pounds gone as of June 2012! Even though my personal life has had some recent downturns, I’m still sticking with it and loving the results! Very happy!
Hey Josh, I do not like beans at all!!! So I’ve been wondering what I could use to substitute to make up the calories. What have you been eating?
Hi Josh. What about cheese? Does it have to be on the “crazy” day or can you eat cheese with meals or snacks?
I am just starting.
I thought I read,”If you have to ask,Don’t EAT IT.
Kafi – I don’t eat any beans and I get plenty of calories! I do bacon, eggs, guac for breakfast – meat and veggies for lunch, meat and veggies for dinner.
If you need to supplement between meals, nut butters are good – peanut, sunflower, almond, etc.
Can you give a low down step by step what you ate please!!!!! For 6 months. You have done a great job..,.Thank you
Did the SCD before my wedding day and, successfully lost weight. Now I’m telling everyone about it. Just a quick question, is it necessary to maintain the SCD for the rest of your life, or can you sprinkle in some fruits and whole grains during the week once you’ve achieved your weight goal?
The fructose will hurt the insuline sensitivity you have developed but feel free to experiment for four weeks.
it’s ok if you wanna add some fruits and whole meals after you’re at the wright you want. It’s good to add some exercise too, so in that way you’ll maintain your weight with a lot of health.
Thanks for the post. It is now 18 months since I first adopted the SCD. I can not tell you enough how different life is on this side: from more energy to more self esteem to seemingly more business opportunities than I can handle. Not to mention text book abs every time I look in the mirror I documented all my meals and progress on my BB.com bodyspace – you can check out the journey here: http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/jveltz/
I started the slow carb diet in January 2010 when the book first came out. I immediately lost 30 lbs in the first 12 weeks. Dropping my body fat from 30 % to about 18%. I’m now down 46 lbs (all fat) and my body fat has stabilized at a lean 10%. The best part is that after I reached my goal I added a second cheat day on the weekend and this has seemed to stabilize my weight. I follow the SCD to the letter M-F and then its rules off for the whole weekend !
I started SCD with more than just a weight loss goal. I wanted to get into the best shape of my life (I turned 40 last year and wanted this far more than a red BMW.) Now Im looking
Thats Awesome!!! Congrats!
I really like the SCD! But I workout 6 days a week and have training for endurance events. My problem is I don’t have enough energy now. Example on 6 mile run the other day, after 3 miles I was done, I had to walk back to the gym. Can you recommend adjusts to accommodate my activity level. The reason I’m using this diet is because I’m still overweight. My body fat is at 23% and would like to get it down to 15%. I have lost 42 lbs this year, doing my own this thing. I was trying to be more scientific about my diet because its harder to lose weight now!
You need to train your body to use fat for fuel. Try running shorter distances after fasting 10-12 hours, then incrementally increase the distance, and dont eat gels etc while training.
For those that lack integrals some vitamin B12.
It will give you the energy boost you need.
Gary is right – you have to transition to fat burning metabolism. If you get your biochemistry set up to burn fat (a superior source of energy), then you will actually have more energy as opposed to less.
I really appreciate the awareness and energy that you bring to food, eating, body image, and exercise in 4HB. We live in an extreme culture and I appreciate your attempt to bring health to the masses.
What is missing for me in your “lifestyle design” is relationship. We are animals that live in packs, we have friends, lovers, professional colleagues; we deal with in-laws, children and their friends. Being “in” relationship is one of the trickiest challenges of being human. . . and though I love your energy around eating well, fitness, weight loss, and even the 15 minute orgasm, there is something inherently sensitive and vulnerable missing from your work – the acknowledgment that you are inherently in contact and interaction with others and that influences your essential sense of self.
Anyway, I have a lot more to say about this, but this seems enough for a public forum.
Good luck and thank you again for what you offer the field of health.
For tips that provide surprising benefits to your social interaction, check out the challenges in “the 4 hour workweek”. They help give you more confidence in dealing with others and assist you in developing necessary skills for social interaction. Oh yeah, the rest of the book will teach you how to quit your job and make more money too.
Just don’t do it …. Hello !!!
Hello Tim, after writing my address on your facebook about taking a polish 4 hour body I got a weird email from USPS about some problem with package. Is it connection beetween posibility of a gift from you?
The “USPS” is a virus/malware email (I’ve never opened it up to find out) I get at least one a month, frequently more, in my spam file. If any email you get, even one from a friend: speaks in vague language like that one, or just gives a link or an attachment, assume it is spam. If it’s from a friend tell them to change their password.
Great article and great book. I was following the 4HB diet for 3 months and found that I would lose weight, but gain it back after the cheat day and not lose it until right before the next cheat day. So basically, I just maintained my weight.
I have a condition called PCOS and I am insulin resistant, PCOS makes it very difficult for me to lose weight as my body does not process carbohydrates correctly. Do you know if any women with PCOS have had success with the 4HB diet?
I’m very active (exercise an avg of 5-6 days / week for 45min – 1.5 hrs/day), but I need to lose about 100lbs. I am a data nut, which is why I love your book. I track everything I put into my face and I also track my exercise and I was tracking my sleeping patterns.
I’ve searched a couple of the 4HB message boards but haven’t found any information about how the 4HB diet works with PCOS. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for the awesome information!!!
A lot of people with PCOS have been succesful with Primal/Paleo diets which are similar to the SCD. Here’s one example. Good luck! http://theprimalparent.com/2011/07/07/an-unconventional-approach-to-pcos-polycystic-ovarian-syndrome/
You are exercising too much, follow the rules and use Tim’s recommendations for minimizing the effects of the cheat day. Did you stop exercising when starting diet then slowly add routines and track the results, more exercise will not accelerate the weight loss but in fact may have the opposite effect. You can’t create your own rules the cheat is only be 12 hours long same breakfast as usual. 4HB should work better than paleo which has maintenance issues.
Thank you Ham-Bone for that wonderful link. I will look into paleo. I’ve done low carb, but I’m wondering if all the veggies could also be causing issues…the experimentation begins again! 🙂
I have read on this site that some women find modifying the cheat day to one meal, or every other week, or once a month, or not having a cheat day at all. Like Briana… http://fourhourworkweek.com/2013/06/20/how-to-lose-belly-fat/
I have a question. after reading your book 4 hour body, on the slow carb diet you said: “”Do the least necessary to trigger a fat-loss cascade of specific hormones,””
then went on to mention 20Ibs for 80 seconds.
not one who works out much, in what way is this employed?
The hormonal response he’s talking about includes human growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor, testosterone, and others. These have been shown to increase with as little as 60-90 second of max effort work.
So if you were to do 10 squats then 10 pushups as many times as you can in, say, 3 minutes, you could get this hormonal response.
Also, the slow-carb diet, and others like it (paleo, perfect health, SCD, etc.), serve to change your metabolic programming to burn fat first instead of sugar.
So when you mix slow carb with short, high intensity workouts, you get a double hormonal benefit!
ahh! ok, i gotcha. thank you for the response!
I have a question how about eating fruit, I have an apple every morning and a lite lunch, and small dinner, reading the different story, maybe I need to change my eating habits, but my question is how about fruit?
I lost 30 lbs and have kept it off for going on a year. I’m very healthy, in fact, my blood work which was high chol. high triglycerides was so clean the doc said there was no need to come in for a follow up. As to 4HB, I am interested in setting some advance fitness goals (I’m 43, 5 kids and I want to do some sort of Ultra or adventure race). It was awesome to have a reference source to go to where I could learn how that will be possible. Truly a valuable piece of work Tim, thank you.
Hi Tri’s are not good… You want high HDL and low Tri’s…
Why there is no Kindle edition? :/
There you go: https://kindle.amazon.com/work/the-4-hour-body-incredible-ebook/B0043LRRPI/B003EI2EH2
I am enjoying?every article you write.If you have any chance to have a talk here in Japan someday,just inform your fans here.Thank you.
thank you so much for your advice, your books and this blog. whatever it is that drives you to do the things you do, boy am i grateful. as unfair as it is that you receive a lot of criticism for your efforts, i’m so glad that you don’t let it derail you and your endeavors.
i look forward to sending you before and after photos.
thanks again for helping me to improve the quality of my life.
I don’t think the SCD is that amazing. My wife and I both strictly followed it out of the book for 4 months along with utilizing the PAGG stack and ended up each losing a whopping 2ish pounds. Since then I’ve stopped having eggs everyday for breakfast and have been using more common sense when eating and have lost 15 pounds over the past month. I’ll stick with my results.
Body weight is a useless metric in the SCD. Body Fat % on the other hand….
@Jamie yet the article title states “how to lose x number of pounds” on this diet, and the closing survey asks how many pounds lost. There is continued emphasis throughout the article on weight loss not body fat reduction.
Who cares what is emphasized here? If you’ve only got 15 or so “pounds to lose” then you can stay the same weight but completely change your body.
It’s not hard to gain 15 lbs. of muscle eating correctly.
My mom didn’t lose weight on the diet either but it was because she would drink too much wine at night and she would cheat a little here and there and snack a lot. When I follow this diet strictly the pounds come right off. I don’t know how strict you were on the diet, that can definitely effect it working. This diet absolutely worked for me and I have been overweight most of my life. Lost 40 pounds in 3 months! This is my second go at it (just had a baby). Hopefully I’ll have the same results.
Your success, creativity, hyper work ethic and freedom are inspirational. After reading your findings, I determined that the key to success with your research relies on the individual’s work ethic.
You bust your rear-end to create something (muse, etc) and reap the benefits. I have heard far too many critics claim this method is “anti-work.” People fail when they hit a wall and have no idea how to circumvent the obstacle. Thus, they retreat and slander. This type of disheartened people is the same type of people who believe in radical claims like: “get rich quick,” “cure-all pills” or “lose weight fast.” Sadly, many people do not understand that work and perseverance are critical components which unlock freedom/wealth.
Your scientific-method-like-approach pairs personal ideas to personal gains.
I normally don’t email or blog, but I wanted to convey my thoughts and kudos. Continue your intrinsic and creative ways, for I look forward to reading more!
I’ve experienced the Slow-carb diet twice…yeah…twice doesn’t sound good but since you are always scientifically researching your projects, I decided to let you know why. Let me asure you that my comment doesn’t have anything to do with those net-freaks that want to cut you off, or your fame and know-how, I’m an honest user of some of your “products” and I know how outliers are sometimes useful regarding science.
The diet works for me the first 3 weeks, making me loose 8 pounds. It’s not much, I’m really mentally disciplined, and I was not understanding why it stopped working. I made a break of 6 months and tried again. same thing happened and I understood yesterday why.
I have a spleen condition, hereditary microesferocitose, that causes damages in terms of blood, blood vessels and diggestion. The damages are minor, I can eat everything, don’t have any kind of pain while diggesting, but I bruise easily, my vesicle is out 4 years now (tiny tiny fat stones)…being sometimes tired and anemic are some side effects. The mechanism is: my erythrocytes are different and my spleen doesn’t recognise the old ones, so he finishes some old and new guys. This sometimes causes a minor anemia. My liver and vesicle work harder. I have a tendency to gain weith and cellulite, retain fluids and all that shit.
I’m almost 30 years now and only now I’m fully understanding how this works and thanks to chinese medicine. That happens because spleen is the most controversial organ in terms of common and chinese medicine. For the west, the spleen has a function of defence and gather all the old erythrocytes. For the chinese, it’s responsible for your body temperatura, energy distribution and is linked both to diggestion and blood.
For them, the partner organ is the stomach and the diggestion is seen as: food gets in your stomach, gets diggested, the spleen is reponsible for gathering it’s energy, it goes up to the lungs and, trough breathing, it’s spread to the entire body. I wont explain you the diggestion for the west ’cause you already know it.
There are propper foods for the spleen, sweet ones mainly , not with suggar but with a sweet taste, such as beans, and this was one of the main reasons to do the slow carb diet. The thing is, I need fruist and vitamins because my tendency of loosing important minerals. I need those a lot and the supplements of magnesium and omega 3 weren’t enough. My spleen, stomach and liver are weak and it will take me some weeks to be totally on my feet again.
So I got sick and I’m now recovering. Had a major flue, allergies, more bruises, bad diggestion, not sleeping, blurred vision, tirednes, lack of appetite, anemia. I saw my doctor befor starting your diet, but the thing is, the occidental doctors don’t know this mechanism, so he said ok, and off I went! That’s why I lost weight on the first weeks, just like you said, and stopped when my spleen and partners were too weak and my body got weak too. Being really determined didn’t help this time, ’cause I should have listened more carefully to my body and stopped. I gues you know sometimes It’s hard to stop, I still have a lot to improve!
This said, If you ever discover a way to undo this kind of effect, please let me know. My weight is a product not of bad food or choices, but a biological pattern, no I know it. It’s sometimes difficult to really understand what’s hapenning inside us, but I’m glad I did.
If you need data for research, please let me know.
Thanks and keep up the good work,
I like the way you think still.. I’ve been eating only fruits for dinner for the last 3 years (just following my envies!! really) and ok I’m a fat free vegan and I cook almost all things I eat (and no white starch) but still I eat a LOT of fruits all day long and I don’t think to have more body fat than before
Ok I do a lot of pilates and power yoga but still.. How can you say NOT to eat fruits????????????????????? do you know fruitarians.com ?
I have a problem with the no fruit rule too.
If I understand 4HB correctly….. you can have very few fruits like apple, Papaya, Pear. but not any other ones. Reason is clearly explained. Fruits have glucose (Or dextrose ) which are easy to digest and gets converted to fats easily. These have high glycemic index and hence taste good and also gets converted to glucose and subsequently to fats very easily. It’s almost the similar logic of not drinking the calories.
However fruits immediately after a work out is not harmful as body metabolism is very active and the same helps to use the glucose to address calorie requirement of body.
But no fruits is not stupid…. once you read scientific reason behind this you probably will agree with this advise.
Those photos are INSPIRING, especially MP’s. Holy cow.
Tim, I’ve experimented quite a lot with keto-cycling, primal, and paleo diets and I’ve been working in a lot of your SCD principles in recent months. I’ve noticed a slight drop in BF% (yay!) but I can’t understand how amazingly clear my thoughts are on a day-to-day basis.
The SCD has positively affected my mood in ways I never thought it would. Thank you!
So many people have asked me how I’ve lost the weight (185 > 155: 5’9″) I send them my Evernote summary of “the plan”. I call it the Tim Ferriss plan. Give them you basics and how I follow it on a daily basis along with a link to your book. A few people who were in a weight loss contest with me followed the plan with outstanding results > we crushed the next closest team 15% lost vs 8%. Thank you so much for sharing your experiments with us! Over a year in my new body, never thought I’d be able to redo my body after age 45.
Gary, any chance you can send me your evernote notebook. thanks, roland
Gary, I have evernote as well and would love to get a copy of the note you have. I have 100lbs to lose and I am starting tomorrow.
Gary, I also use evernote and would like a copy of your summary. Thanks and congrats!
I would like a copy of your Evernote please. About your slow carb diet
[Moderator: email address removed.]
Tim, you’re doing great researching on your stuff, just ordered your 4-h-workweek-book… i’m honestly troubled by quite many issues, such as PTSD and some Depression issues (for some real tough reasons), i’ve been trying hard, but it just IS hard to unlock it. A friend said lately: snap out of it. Easy to say, hard to find the way. Usually i had the personality of a maker and a creative. Your advices and methods are extremely reasonable and well-thought… please, can you do some research on that issues too? I’m sick of trying with people on and on again, therapyspecialists and i do not know whatelse… your kind of dealing with stuff (i love languages too btw and am quicklearner!) could be of GREAT USE. Best, Dominika 😀
This article inspired me to get back on the slow carb band wagon because I really really need to get in awesome shape for the Miss California USA Pageant.
I am super interested in MP’s results! What kind of workout program was she on? She had to have gotten all of that muscle from somewhere!
I’ve tried doing from Geek to Freak for 2 months and while I did get stronger, I did not get leaner.
Please help! Competition in 4 months!
P.s. I’m a big fan!
Did you do G2F with 30-sec rest between exercises while slow-carbing?
An alternative is the Perfect Posterior exercises.
I too am interested in hearing more about MP. Her photos are very inspiring and her before photos look an awful lot like mine do now!! Can we please hear more about MP’s success?
Boooh! I am so disappointed.
Granted, I only started this eating plan on Saturday and it’s now Thursday. However… I have put on 4cm on my waist?!?!?! I was 67cm (as I have been for ages) and I’m now a full 71cm. My weight is also the same (once I drink water in the morning).
CONSTIPATION. Also, I feel constipated. In spite of eating so many veggies and beans/peas/lentils that I could not eat any more.
(I don’t crave carbs but I do miss fruit. )
Anyone else had the increased waist and constipation problems?
Hello Cis! Me and my flatmate have started the diet one week ago and we have both gained waist, almost 2kgs each…we don’t know what’s going on because we are following all the diet rules, using the kettlebell, we did over 20k running this week. Can somebody help us? Thanks a lot.
Hi Cis and Yuna!
1 – Constipation is because of all the protein. Once it passes you will actually drop quite a bit of weight. ALSO, you said yourself you did the kettle bell workouts. Muscle pushes out the fat on you, which looks like you’re getting fatter until the muscle has a chance to burn off the fat. Hang in there! The constipation is likely due to a lack of fluids. Take in a lot more water, and add a squeeze of lemon to it in the morning to increase fluid movement. You should be on a happy road quickly. 🙂
Does anyone have any ideas on what meals for a vegetarian on the SCD would look like?
I did a lot of beans. Look for the cans that read “vegetarian” as many are cooked in a meat broth. I’ll warn you will get sick of it. I added in fish and the eggs in the AM because one can only eat so many beans. Also puree cauliflower to mix with stuff…it’s amazing and has a hummus-like texture. You can puree avocado as well, with a tiny squeeze of lime it’s like dressing.
Thought I’d comment on my Cheat Day….cheat. Seven days is too long for me. I figured I’d start cheating a day ahead, so when I started Slow-Carb, I went on a 6-day cycle. I followed the plan for five days and the sixth was my cheat. I lost the weight I wanted to lose and have been pleased.
But on my current pass, I decided to try a 7-day cycle. My fears were correct, I cheated more often. So much so that I actually gained a few pounds back. After four weeks, I’d edged up three pounds and couldn’t lose it.
So in week five, I went back to a 6-day cycle. I’ve lost those pounds again. I like the off-balance nature of this cycle. I’m constantly calculating when the next cheat day, providing a reminder that it isn’t that far away.
Please let me know how can I come back to normal food after I loose my required weight. I will not be able to eat the diet suggested all year as I stay in Leh Ladakh ( India) and winters we do not get much options for food.
This diet is saving my health. I’ve lost almost 100 lbs!! I am only 26 and I shot up to 321 lbs at 5′ 11″. I’ve also discovered that I’m gluten and dairy intolerant through this process. It’s the best thing that could ever happen to me. I feel better than I ever have. I’ve even started a blog about all the meals I make to help others find creativity in their food. I think you can click on my name to check it out.
I’ve been helping a lot of people through this. Tim Ferriss, you’re too efficient of a writer. You pack so much information into one sentence that it’s east to miss the details. It took me a couple of tries to get the diet right. Even then, I’ve still screwed it up and plateaued.
My husband is still struggling a bit. I’m not sure what to do for him. He follows the diet perfectly and does weight training with a personal trainer twice a week but I’m not seeing a change. I’ve checked both weight and measurements and over the last few months, he hasn’t moved a ton. At his size, I expect him to be seeing great results. None-the-less, we continue to slow carb it.
I still have 50+ pounds to go. My goal is to submit my before and after pictures for everyone to see. This has been the most sustainable diet I’ve ever been on.
For those who are just starting, be excited. “The Bean Diet” (as we coin it) will get you to your goal! Be encouraged.
Hi there! Congrats in your achievement. Can you please post the link for for your blog?? I just started the diet and is kind of difficult for me to plan the menu.
My blog is http://www.thecorporatepunk.com. I have new updates every 3-4 days. Let me know what recipes you like or give me ideas to create new ones. I like the challenge. Good Luck!!
I have tried the slow carb diet for 60 for 2 months now.
I feels smaller, lighter but only lost about 2kg.
I feel I need to loose maybe about another 5 kg. I still have a lot of fat in the mid section etc.
I wondering what am I doing wrong.
My meals are pretty much like the following:
breakfast @ 7am: 2 eggs and beens (or green peas)
lunch @ 1pm: steack or chicken or fish and broccoli & beans or peas
dinner @ 7pm: steack or chicken or fish and broccoli & beans or peas or only veg soup.
I drink between 2 and 3 litters of water per day.
Walk (fast) for about 40 minutes about 4 or 5 times per week.
Hi Tim – HUGE fan of 4HWW & 4HB, I’ve been travelling abroad for 9 months and the slow carb diet is the only diet i’ve been able to stick to whilst travelling!
Got a question i hope someone can help me with – I’m now living in thailand, and a thai chef told me thai glass noodles (or clear cellophane noodles, not to be confused with rice vermicelli, the white noodles) are made from mung beans and therefore I’m wondering if they are allowed on the slow carb diet? Anyone had any experience or have any thoughts?
Thanks again for the best diet i’ve ever used!
Any thoughts about doing the SCD during pregnancy? I started the diet 3 weeks ago before I knew I was pregnant. Lost 10 pounds in first 2 weeks and feel much better than I did during my last pregnancy but not sure if I should add in whole grains.
I’m also curious about changing to a slow carb diet while pregnant. We just found out that we’re 1 month along (YAY!) and I want to reduce my propensity toward weight gain over the next 8 months.
I’m a white American woman, size 6-8, 30 years old and am in decent physical shape (I do hot yoga and jog/circuit regularly). I’m 6′ tall and weigh 165 right now. I feel my healthiest at about 145, but that weight is difficult for me to maintain. My husband thinks I look best at 150, which I was managing well up until about a year and a half ago – I’ve been a bit lazy with working out over the past year so I can’t say “Oh my gosh, I don’t know where the weight has come from!” My jeans are all a size 4 and I’m working toward fitting back into them before my weight gets out of control. I’d spent about 6 months trying to lose the weight through cutting calories and trying to exercise more before I read your book.
I’d just like to make sure I can healthfully lose it while still being a good host for the little human growing inside of me. Right now, I’m 22-24 percent body fat depending on the source, though I’d prefer to be below 20 percent. College ball took its toll on my knees and they feel better when I weigh less AND have strong stabilizer muscles.
My concern with the SCD is the “binge” day. Because of the natural HCG that my body is producing during pregnancy, won’t the fat and carbohydrates I consume just add to the unnecessary fat deposits already in my body – the ones I’m trying to get rid of – and stay there for later “just-in-case” use by the baby? Or am I interpreting that data on HCG wrong?
I’m asking this because I’m on week two of the diet and I still feel heavy and bloated from the carb day on Saturday, four days ago. I felt almost hungover on Sunday and slept at least 16 hours. I also have not lost the 2 lbs my scale says I gained that day. So, while my gross loss has been 3 lbs, the net loss is only 1 lb.
I understand that you’ve classified 15 lbs of fat as “not much to lose” but it is a big deal to me – especially since I’m also trying to prevent “natural” weight gain at the same time.
Any advice or experience you could cite would be much appreciated – I’d also be happy to document and share with you any data I track on my progress – it might be useful for other women who have similar questions or concerns about pregnancy and sub-20 lb weight loss! Thanks!
Other data points to consider:
I am not drinking any alcohol at all, nor have I been for the past three months since we started trying to get pregnant.
I am taking a prenatal vitamin (including iron and folic acid), Vitamin D and calcium – daily
I take weekly B12 injections
I have no family history of diabetes, heart conditions, or other health problems
I’ve yet to endure the trials of morning sickness
I’ve been getting about 10 hours of sleep a day for the past 3 weeks because I’ve been exhausted and have started taking naps during lunch and after work. My doctor says this is normal during the first trimester.
My obstetrician said this diet is ok during pregnancy. Just if your hungry, eat.
Hey Tim, I’ve been doing this diet for 3 years (never read your book). I had to do it due to digestive issues. I no longer have IBS and I feel great! Not only does it help one lose weight, but it clears up a host of other issues for many people.
I would like to point out one very IMPORTANT thing to you: You are consuming too much BPA if you are eating all those canned beans. Cook them yourself and freeze for the week. BPA is a controversial chemical used in cans that is believed by many to cause cancer. You would do well to look into it and perhaps not reccommend canned beans at every meal to your readers.
Study: High-fat diet can prevent obesity in mice
I found this article and, after reading 4 Hour Body, thought you might find it handy re: the “cheat day”.
SCD-sideways post, I’ve been using the 4HB book to try Occam’s Protocol. For background I’m a 5ft 2 mum of two small boys, about 69kg and a US size 8. The Hulk I am not!
In 1 month (so approx 8 gym sessions of about 30 min each) I’ve made the following improvements:
Leg press: 55kg—>105kg
Deltoid press: 22kg–> 40kg
Shoulder press: 15 kg—->28kg
It’s not just effective for the boys!
In the same period I’ve lost 5cm off my waist…
Those are amazing results. I have bought this book and I am starting with this diet. What is more, I promised myself to go to gym regularly so I hope I will be able to have similar progress as it is a huge motivational factor for me..
i have a severe problem: last week i had my harajuku moment, read your book, made an exact plan and started the diet.
Whenever I have a meal though I get severe stomach pain. I may not eat sorbite, which was found out last year. The only difference between my normal eating habits and the meals now are the beans. It’s impossible for me to keep up the diet with the beans, which concerns me a lot, since I know that they’re essential to it- please let me know, even with one sentence only, if there is any possibility that I can continue the diet and if yes, in which way. I really don’t want to waste my temporary motivation and harajuku moment! Thank you a lot! Your book is awesome!
1. Try to use lentils instead of beans.
2. Buy dry beans. Soak the beans in water (3-4 times more water than beans) for 24 hours. Then cook them preferably in a slow cooker. This will get rid of a lot of bad chemicals in the beans that are responsible for the gas effect and may be even worse for you.
hi tim, i stumbled across your website today whilst i just started to eat mindfully from this week onwards to lose weight to be able to pump up my good cholestrol. your five rules are fine, except for the protein part. i am a full vegetarian. i am so confused so as to how do i incorporate your rules in my lifestyle to lose weight.
please help. i have food addiction and with great difficulty i have finally decided to do something about it. your diet plan looks really promising. i dont want to go back to binging.
i am in the process of reading your book. i would like to follow the 60/10/30 slider for results.
hoping too hear from you.
thanks in advance
I m 21yrs old. I m 67kg. I want to follow your menu ….will you pls guide me…. I really want to get some fat loss….
I tried your diet last year and it work except that I got Mercury provisioning from eating too much fish. I then got off your diet and went Vegan and gained weight :-(. I’m torn because I know your formula to lose weight works but spiritually I feel Confused because I don’t want to eat meat. I’ve decided to add Sardines and Salmon. Any other suggestions you could offer? Also I’m not clear about if I can drink Citrus Komacha once a day? Also once you’ve reached goal weight is there a maintance diet or do you continue with same? One last question– instead of cottage cheese is it ok to have Goat or Feta Cheese?
Thank you Tim 🙂
I have tried the SCD a few times now, but have trouble following the diet exactly, thus I only ever lose about 5lbs. I just cut out dairy and will be following the diet strictly. My question is, do we have to use the supplements (PAGG etc.) in order for the diet to work? I do not like taking herbs/supplements etc. but I have no problem eating crap once a week and doing my air squats before/after my meals. Is the muscle contraction enough? Side note – I’m a dance/fitness instructor and teach 10+ hours of classes a week, will this affect how the SCD works for me?
The first time i tried this eating plan, i lost 75 pounds in 4 months. Unfortunately i stopped following it and gradually put it all back on plus some. This is my second time and im committed to making it a permanent lifestyle adjustment. In two weeks i have lost 31 pounds and i feel amazing. Thank you so much Tim!
Missi – I also am doing the 4HB for the second time. I feel like I’m reaching a plateau at 2.5 months into this. I noticed how much success you have had in such a short time period and was curious if you could give some pointers to me. For example what your meals look like and how much you are consuming at each meal and where exercise comes into play. I would appreciate any help you could give.
Hi Tim.. do you give overseas support too? I am a pathetic case that needs to lose 50-60 pounds but just cant despite no junk food and only suffering from insulin resistance. Doctor told me i will probably have diabetics soon which freaked me out. I am interested in the SCD. Can you help?
I’m no Tim (I certainly have much less experience than him) but I have been following the SCD for 3-4 weeks now and I can give you a tip: follow it but be patient. For me it is working but it is much lower than I expected. You need to stick to it. Start with a 1-week trial and see how you feel. If you feel well and think you can handle it, then go for a second week, and so on. But don’t expect dramatic results immediately: every body is different, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll drop right away. That being said, this is a pretty fail-safe diet, so in the worst-case scenario, you’ll just have to start a new, different diet. I tried it for a week, loved it and have been continuing, as I said. If you need help picking meals, let me know, I’ve had some experience and now I’ve sort of picked my repeated meals.
I’ve been on the low carb diet for 2 months, and am worried that my body fat percentage has not dropped.
As well as as taking measurements and weighing myself once a week, I also had a Body Compositional Analysis when I started, and another today (wires attached at hand and feet and a current passed through. DEXA was way out of my price range, but I thought this would at least be consistent). My body fat was 19.3% when I started, and it’s now 20.1%! I have lost weight (just over 10 pounds), and my total inches has dropped by 7.8.
Now, am I worrying about nothing here, is this normal with the weight loss, or am I doing something wrong? I have lost weight before, and my expectation here was to lose mostly fat, but clearly I have lost muscle as well, and more than I was expecting. Any suggestions would be welcome. Thanks
Since you’re losing musle mass, Your should check your protein intake
I’ve a teenager in house. He’s 16 years old.
Is this a good diet for teenagers who are growing?
Thank you so much
Tim, not sure if you still see comment on this post. I am trying to drop 20 lbs in the next 30 days. It’s for an amateur boxing match, so weigh in will be the morning of and i’ll have about 4 hours between weigh-in and bout. I’ve seen Nate Green’s guest post on rapid weight loss.
What tips do you have to optimize and accelerate weight loss on the SCD? I’m currently 172 lbs, my goal is 152.
I am a Vegetarian. Could anyone guide SCD for vegetarians?
I feel you on those dramatic ups and downs Tim, I’ve been going through the same for the last 3 years, borderline bi-polar, depressive type. Been searching for something to combat depression, Athletic Greens believe it or not has done wonders. Hope you feel better soon, these success stories are amazing!
I found that when I did the slow-carb diet, I was lacking in vitamins and minerals. I just felt kinda ‘bleh’, and slow to get up in the morning. Maybe from the lack of fruits, compared to before where I used to eat heaps of fruit (and ok…im guessing maybe I didn’t eat enough veges..).
A good quality multi-vitamin helped out there 😉 But I must admit, I’m looking much better now!
It’s sometimes because people don’t get enough potassium (good source: avocado) and other electrolytes.
Hope that helps!
Will try that out also. Cheers!
It’s also because you probably have some adrenal fatigue (from your blood sugar handling issues) …as you ‘reboot’ your body to burn fat for energy instead of using glucose all the time you will start to save your adrenals and your energy levels will balance out. I’ve heard some paleo people refer to this as the ‘low carb flu’ it usually last a week to a month in most people depending on your adrenal status and how many carbs you used to consume. remember: cortisol runs gluconeogenesis in the liver…which helps you wake up in the morning…if the adrenals are fatigued..cortisol levels are off hence the ‘need’ to eat a bunch of fruit/coffee to wake up in the morning. Keep your head up, eat those beans for the time being and you’ll pop out the other side a much healthier and slimmer person! Good luck!
and Tim, good luck with the summer!
Know this: You have inspired so many people to live better lives (including mine and my brothers) and actually given them the tools to do so. Your a BOSS. Never Never Never Give up. You’re too important to keep changing the world!
If you start to get the ups and downs..ask ” What would Tim Ferriss do?’ ….(outsource the book? lol just kidding 🙂
All the best to all you 4 hour people 🙂
– Christian Carroll
Have you found that while on the slow carb diet, your blood PH level becomes slightly acidic, as opposed to alkaline? I have been on the slow carb diet for a little over a year (not following it to the T exactly, but pretty dang close), and the last 4-5 months, I honestly have felt pretty rotten. My throat hurt, glands in my neck were swollen, and I was tired ALL the time. I mentioned this to a friend and the first thing he said was “I bet your PH level is off.” I knew nothing about it, so I read several articles about it and it turns out that almost ALL of the foods I was eating were acidic, and I completely stopped eating fruit – now I drink 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 apples everyday to add some alkalines. I felt better within two days and my sore throat (that I have literally had for months) is now completely gone. Have you experimented with your blood PH while on the slow carb? It just seems like a very “acidicy” diet for the most part.
Re: painful throat and acidity
Tim, your comments are very timely for me.
Last night (after just 4 days on the FHB eating plan) I started experiencing painful throat, it made me think of thyroid. I have also been experiencing sensitive teeth, as if minerals were leaching out of my body (which is something that would happen in an acidic body and the main reason why I’ve stayed away from high-protein diets so far).
I would be interested to know if following this eating plan in the long run would damage bones and teeth. I guess, as this process takes some time to take its toll, most people would not make the correlation.
I must also say that Tim Ferriss does recommend taking greens powder which would counteract this acidity (and prevent the damage to bone/teeth), though I don’t recall him making specific arguments about avoiding acidity in his book (perhaps even he could not cover EVERYTHING in one book: if I’m mistaken, please let me know!). I even think that excess acidity will slow down fat loss, so I will make a conscious effort to drink more veggie powders (including barley grass powder, very alkalinizing).
Hope this helps.
This is the one question that comes up for me before starting this new way of eating. The entirety of the SCD feels totally intuitive to me with the exception of limiting the variety of things you eat. Is it possible to create deficiencies if you stick to perhaps 5 different foods and recycle them into a few different meals a week? I tend to lean towards a much broader variety of veggies. Thoughts?
Great case studies, Tim. Will there be a similar post for Occam’s Protocol and any readers who have gained significant amounts of muscle?
Might do one soon. Several readers have actually outpaced me, believe it or not. If you search “Occam’s Protocol” and look for personal blogs, you’ll definitely find some.
Following Occam’s Protocol, I gained 5 kg of muscle in 6 weeks.
In Danish, but you can still look at the pictures, etc. 🙂
Great Article! Hope the comments work!
Good lord that is some fantastic success! High five to all those mentioned in the article! Personally I chose the add muscle aspect of the 4HB and gained 10 lbs of lean muscle in 30 days. It was a fantastic experiment that I enjoyed immensely. I was a 150 lb dude who had never been able to gain muscle in my life until following the muscle building protocol for 30 days. The answer… CALORIES! It turns out stuffing myself stupid was the missing key that unlocked muscle growth. And by stuffing myself stupid I mean eating protein like a mofo and getting at least 3,000 calories in per day.
P.S. Getting married in September and have pecs, triceps, and biceps for the first time ever. Hells ya!
Greetings Tim! I’m using the Slow Carb Diet for blood sugar issues and my energy is definitely more stable, don’t need to lose any weight though, anything I should add to prevent that?
Lots of interesting points! I love Rule #2! The best rule ever!
I was just curious as to whether you’d ever talked to or read any of Matt Stone’s stuff about metabolism and diet and what not. Honesty, it seems like you guys agree on a lot so if you’re still actively researching nutrition stuff, he may be a cool guy to talk to. Or maybe not, lol, just a thought. Also, thanks a ton for all your posts. Your books and blog are some of my favorite things to read and really challenge me not to slip into the idea of getting a cushy job and doing nothing much else after graduation. Keep up the good work.
Matt Stone is right on! I feel like Tim is a bit more into how the body look and Stone is more into overall health.
Personally, I try to dispel the myths from the medical community like Matt does.
Congratulations for inspiring so many people out there to change the quality of their lives.
One of the companies I run is a customisable muesli business and I was wondering what ingredients you’d recommend for a SCB compliant muesli to offer our customers.
I’m not writing on behalf of Tim but you may get some inspirations from Training 33 Youbar customized by Tim and suggested in the Occam’s overfeeding.
Amazing– just amazing 🙂
Can’t thank you enough for the SCD. My entire family is on it (my grandma even cooks according to the SCD at family dinners!).
Thanks again Tim!
My biggest regret wasn’t taking official before shots, but just browsing through FB, I can see the difference. 60 lbs lost last year, changed my life.
Congrats Maddie, Great result.
You’re shining like a star.
Hi, all! 🙂
I just want to say that it was a great article definitely. I am totally a HUGE advocate for Tim’s 4 Hour Body and in particular the Slow Carb Diet to any and ALL who ask me. Even if they may not commit to it fully(I TRY to get them to go for 4-6 weeks and see if the lifestyle(yes, Ricardo, it is TRULY not JUST a diet to go on and off of! Preach it, brother!) I ALWAYS tell people this when they start it that if they are on it long enough it TRULY changes your relationship with food and even psychologically as well!
It has TRULY changed MY life and I cannot thank Tim enough for the info. 🙂 14 months and 125 lbs later and only 7 lbs from my ultimate goal! I plan on hitting it this summer!! So, to ALL You women out there over 40. You moms who think that the slow carbing lifestyle is “just effective for men”? NOPE, I prove that it WILL work for women too! I beat the odds! YOU CAN TOO!
Here are recent photos of me, the most recent in my “Biggest Loser” pose. 🙂
Happy Slow Carbing! Good Luck!
Maria congrats on your success. Thank you for sharing your journey and helping others get on the SCD path. You’re truly an inspiration.
Great post Tim… renewed my motivation on SCD. Thanks!
Waiting for “How to add 100 pounds of muscle on Occam’s protocol” post… 😉
Eat, eat, eat, eat, eat more, eat even more, drink milk, drink more milk, drink even more milk…. 🙂
What about the risk of prostate cancer for drinking too much milk?
So cheese is ok??? Have I been depriving myself for no reason????
No it isn’t okay if you want to lose weight. Read the post. It says he wants to gain weight.
Hearing the stories and seeing the successes brought on by your books must cheer you up. Sounds like you’re needing to break down the remaining tasks and get on with it… the finishing bits of a project are always the hardest!
Slow carb diet is something I did and it helped me lose 10 pounds. Not that much you might say, but it’s the other things it did which made the biggest difference. I always had hunger pains within 2 hours of eating, getting anxious, irritable and could not focus. Seems carbs was messing up my blood sugar levels (hypoglycemiea), so by helping me minimise carbs, the diet sorted me out. Food is no longer my #1 thought daily, instead its how much fun can I have and what will I achieve today.
Sorting that bit out of my life has meant I can focus on what matters : getting out of low motivation office job (9 days left until I stop being a salaried monkey, I’ve noted down some key steps on my blog, great to realise how far I’ve come) and spend quality time with wife and baby.
Thanks for being an inspiration Tim and good luck with book finish.
Your book has been extremely helpful to change my life around. I went from waist size 40 inches down to 31 inch right now in span of 4 months [16 kg (35.4 lbs)]. I did lot of experimenting for Slow Carb diet. I am trying intermittent fasting right now. I want to lose last 5% body fat percentage. I am at 13.2% body fat. Thanks to you, I know about various cuisines across the world and am not afraid to try out new things on my cheat day. I am still trying to figure out best vegetarian way to follow Slow carb diet.
Reason I required to do lot of research on my part is
1. I am a vegetarian.
2. Lot of vegetables you mention aren’t available in India.
3. Where I live – there is almost zero access to avocado.
4. I had to semi break 3rd rule (don’t drink calories). I consumed sugarcane juice everyday. Advantages are unbelievable.
I wish you could outline the rules of Occam protocol as properly as you have explained Slow carb diet.
Hey Cody Shah,
I am from India too and I’d be glad if you can answer a few questions that I have!
1. How do you have 30g of Protien in the morning?
2. What do you have for lunch and dinner, given that rice and chapathi are most common dishes?
3. How do you measure body fat?
Thanks for helping out!
I am from India too and have followed SCD. I followed it for a month and lost 3% body fat. You can have a look at my website to see some India slow card recipes- http://www.4hbcooks.com
1. You can eat eggs, whey protein, sprouts or you can make daal and drink it as a soup.
2. You can see most of the recipes on my website and apart from that you can also eat sprouted moth dal, clear soup, salad, any dal and use cauliflower instead of rice.
3. You can buy Omron body fat monitor on lot of Indian online stores.
Great work Ricardo, so stoked for you! I’ve been losing heaps of weight and feeling great on the SCD for a bit over a year now but even though I’m cycling my protein sources every month or so I think I’m hitting some allergy problems. Does Tim (or anyone else) have any more advice on avoiding allergies from overeating the same foods or can someone point me in the direction of some trustworthy material on the subject.
Hey Jamie F,
Many allergies are created by gut inflammation from dysbiosis causing “leaky gut syndrome”. There are many common causes. Antibiotics can leave a gut messed up and allergy-prone for a long, long time. I’ve heard that gluten can do this as well. The third is “sensitizers” found in many personal care products, like perfume, lotion, shampoo. They can sensitize your body to potential allergens.
So perhaps try a cleanse to wash out any parasites, yeast, or bad bacterial growths, and then take lots of varieties of priobiotics.
Cutting out gluten for a while can’t hurt.
And avoid any personal care product that has the word “fragrance” in the Ingredient label. That “catch-all” word can hide hundreds of chemicals, many of which are banned in other countries.
Hope that helps!
Thank you Jaime. Obviously consulting an allergy specialist would be ideal. In the meantime keeping a detailed journal of what you eat and your reaction after each meal/day could help you identify what is causing the problem.
Greetings from Finland!
I’ve enjoyed immensely both The 4-Hour-Workweek and The 4-Hour-Body and am looking forward to your next book.
I’m a 37-year-old professional writer who has written 4 feature films, 29 books, over 70 columns to various magazines and over 100 episodes of prime time TV since 1996. And that’s just the published and produced material!
I don’t experience writing ups and downs.
Here’s my secret: Don’t write when you’re feeling bad, only write when you’re feeling good.
THE SHORT VERSION:
1. Don’t even try to write when you’re feeling scared, worried, anxious, stressed etc. — i.e. when your body is feeling tense, uptight, anxious, cold or heavy.
2. Ignore anything you think when you’re feeling scared, worried, anxious, stressed etc. — those feelings tell you that your brain isn’t working properly and therefore you can’t trust your thinking.
3. Don’t confuse laziness for feeling bad — when you’re feeling lazy, your body is relaxed and you think “I don’t feel like writing.” If you’re feeling lazy, trick yourself to writing by telling yourself that you’ll just “look at what you’ve previously written”.
4. Trust your inner wisdom. When you’re feeling relaxed, light and open, your brain works perfectly and you can tap to your “inner wisdom”. You’ll get easily in the flow state and can write amazing stuff in a very little time.
THE LONG VERSION
I’m also a certified transformative coach. I have coached my country’s top business men, members of parliament and was recently asked to coach some of the members of the Finnish Olympic Team.
Our coaching school is based on “three principles” — a model that explains how human experience is created. This is the most practical and time and energy saving model I’ve seen so far. Thanks to this new understanding I’m fearless and virtually stress-free — even though my days are as full as they’ve always been.
Since I don’t waste any time worrying, fearing, trying to control things that I can’t control and trying to fix things I don’t need to fix, I have time to come up with all kinds of fun projects, like Stress-Free Finland 2022 — see my manifesto: http://kutri.net/manifesto .
A few months ago I coached a fellow writer, who was experiencing extreme ups and downs with his writing. Soon it became clear to me what was the main difference between me and him.
1. I don’t even try to write when I’m in a low state of mind — feeling scared, worried, anxious, stressed etc.
Low state of mind is a sign of my body being in a fight or fight mode — and a sign that my frontal lobe is “cut off”. As you probably know, frontal lobe is needed for thinking like a human: seeing a bigger picture and cause and effect, understanding what is right and what is wrong, what’s good and what’s better, imagining the future etc. So when you’re in low state of mind, you’re thinking like a scared animal. Why would you try to think — or write — anything when the smartest part of your brain isn’t working properly?
I also fully ignore anything I think in a low state of mind.
2. I know that my low state of mind passes by quickly if I don’t make a problem out of it.
Just like our body has a capacity to heal itself, our mind does its best to bring us back to the peace of mind (“inner wellbeing”). That’s the state where 2-6 month old babies are most of the time. If we don’t make a problem out of us feeling bad, we’ll get back to higher state of mind quite quickly — sometimes in less than 90 seconds!
You’re NEVER in a low state of mind several hours in a row. If you think you are, it’s just because you didn’t pay attention to those moments when your state of mind returned to neutral or high state of mind.
3. I don’t confuse laziness for low state of mind.
The difference between low state of mind and laziness is that when I’m in a low state of mind, my body feels tense, hard, cold or heavy in bad way — when I’m feeling lazy, my body feels relaxed.
When I’m in a low state of mind, I’m thinking thoughts like “my writing sucks, what if everyone hates this book, what if I can’t write this book, what if I’m an idiot” etc. When I’m feeling lazy, I just think “I should write but I don’t feel like writing.”
If I’m just lazy, here’s a trick I use to put myself in a writing mode: I tell myself that “I’ll just open the document” that I’m supposed to write. I tell myself that “I don’t even have to look at it”. Once I’ve opened the document, I tell myself that “I’m going to quickly glimpse through what I’ve written previously. That’s all…” Until I’ve done that and tell myself that “ok, maybe I’ll just jot down a few ideas for the next chapter…” and before I know it I’m writing again.
4. I trust my inner wisdom.
Have you notice how in “a flow state” the thoughts, words and actions just somehow “flow through” you? As if they were coming from some place else? I call this state my “the Wiser speak through me” -mode. No, I don’t think I’m channeling any spirits, but I do believe that when I’m writing in a high state of mind — while feeling relaxed, open and light — I can access my highest brainpower …and perhaps some kind of universal intelligent too.
I have full faith to this wisdom and that it will help me write the best possible book or screenplay. I trust that I can write better stuff than I think I can.
I hope this helped you to get a new perspective to your states of mind and writing — if not, email me. Writing is supposed to be easy and fun — if it feels hard, you’re doing something wrong.
Have fun writing!
katri at actusprimus com
Katri, thank you! This is a great and very timely comment.
Much appreciated 🙂
All the best to you and yours,
Glad to help! Now, put that into action and enjoy the best summer ever! 🙂
Wow, awesome post! Thanks for the advice, that is really encouraging in just about any situation 🙂
[Moderator: email address removed]
Tim, I m going to gym on a daily basis and I take some
Whey protein also. Can I follow in the same time the SCD?
I know many people who do, but you need to ensure adequate caloric intake, especially if doing longer-duration endurance training. In high volume cases, it’s sometimes sensible to add in yams, sweet potatoes, or a post-workout carb like those in the “Ultra-Endurance” chapter in 4HB. For what it’s worth, unless you’re doing it for social or skill-based reasons, daily visits to the gym aren’t typically needed nor desirable.
One caveat about Whey Protein for those who want to lose weight:
I followed SCD to the letter EXCEPT for one thing. Instead of egg whites for breakfast, I drank Whey Protein (32g) every day within 30 minutes of waking up (because I couldn’t stomach 30 grams of egg whites in the morning). Two full weeks on that and I barely lost 1 pound. The following week, I shifted to eating egg whites + some turkey slices for breakfast (by forcing myself), and I lost 5.5 pounds in that week alone. So you might want to keep an eye on how Whey might be affecting you.
Tim – on another note, I couldn’t believe you, out of all people, find writing very difficult (it just seems like it’s easy). That’s actually comforting to me because I also find writing extremely difficult, and if an international 2-time bestselling author finds it hard, then I have a good excuse 🙂
However, I just started reading “Accidental Genius” by Mark Levy (http://www.amazon.com/Accidental-Genius-Writing-Generate-Insight/dp/1605095257) which highlights the power of freewriting techniques and the concepts are just phenomenal (basic idea: vomit your ideas by typing at the speed of thought without any editing filters on; use a kitchen timer to box yourself in; look for nuggets of info later on). Definitely makes writing a lot easier!
Hey Hassan, you might want to make sure you get a quality whey protein. A A lot of them have things in them (cadmium, etc) that can really set back any weight gaining or losing goals you have.
So far, after 3 weeks, I’ve gone from 240 to about 225 (my lowest being 221, 225 a day after my refeed). I’ve been following the regular protocol, except I added the apple cider vinegar suggested by one of the comments, with a 4 day a week split and doing kettlebell swings before squats and deadlifts. I think a lot of what I’ve lost is in my legs (noooo!) but my arms have tightened up, and more importantly to me, my waist has shrunk a good inch and a half, most of it in the love handles which I’ve had a lot of problems with. So far no strength loss that I can tell, although I’m doing the eating the elephant part and I’m on week 4 (340×5! What!) so that’ll be the real test.
I fully appreciate this, and you are the man. I’m working my way through 4HWW, but unfortunately I’m not exactly in a good place to implement most of these (I work for UPS as an unloader, waiting for my time to be a Driver so I can start saving money…) I am trying to rack my brain thinking of ways I can supplement my income, and hoping your book helps out. I’ve given it to my (hopefully) soon to be father in law, however, who actually is running a business and he says he’s getting a lot of stuff cut out and everything seems to be smoother!
I don’t have before and after pictures–nothing organized. Just before and after videos. In fact, that’s what pushed me to get on Slow Carb–I improvise movie reviews while driving home. They all start with me getting into my car, shot from the passenger seat. After having to edit several dozen of these and seeing me do this over time, gut hanging out and looking like the definition of urban megafauna, I just broke and had to do something. And then wound up losing 7.5 inches off my waist via SC. I don’t blot out the sun when starting my reviews now. So excellent.
So want to get inspired to lose some inches? My advice? Have someone film you getting into a car. Worked for me.
P.S. Both parents are on SC at the moment, Tim. Doubt they’re doing supplements but they’re on it. Mom’s 68 and as I mentioned before, Dad’s 70. I’ll keep you posted.
Just wanted to say a big thank you 🙂
I stumbled across a review of your book online November/December ’11 (might have been New York Times?). Intrigued I decided to learn more about you and the 4 hour body, and decided I would ask my husband and boys to get the book for me as a Christmas present. I had a lot of weight to lose after having my youngest son born June ’11 (and some left over from his older brother the year previous!) and unfortunately had issues with gestational diabetes which meant I was looking at being labelled pre-diabetic post pregnancy (family history of Type 2). I’ve had ups and downs with my weight and my blood sugar levels over the years and never found it easy to lose the weight but always found it easy to pile it on!
On getting the book and choosing the chapters from the “menu”, I loved your energy, commitment to the task at hand, your funny and sometimes frankly crazy mad scientist type experiments. I thought, well if Tim can do it, so can I! So I started on the 6th of January and immediately my sugar levels went back to normal – bye bye diabetes! – and so far I’ve lost 45 pounds and dropped about 2-3 dress sizes. I started off at 229 pounds and am down to 185 this week but I am aiming for 168 pounds and well anything after that is just gravy! I am 5FT 9″, am a big build (am a competitive Masters swimmers so think broad shoulders and big arms/legs). I am feeling and looking healthy again and it’s all thanks to the 4hb. As everyone keeps commenting on it, I am happily spreading the word about it to friends and family and co-workers, anyone who tries it starts to see results immediately!
Best of luck with the writing Tim, hope you get lots of inspiration from the posts as you’ve given us a lot of inspiration too (and a few laughs in the process!).
Rose from Cork, Ireland
Wow — congratulations, Rose! And perhaps I’ll see you in Cork someday. Your hurling team is great!
the transformations are amazing!Kudos to Patrick ,Maria ,MP an Ricardo .
I have lost 11 pounds so far. (5 kilo’s) in about 7 weeks. Not as fast as some other people and I have a long way to go. But it works and that’s more than any other thing i have tried over the years.
I keep a detailed daily log of everything I eat and sometimes I can see a pattern that I can change. For instance, my breakfast used to be a protein shake, but changing that to 3 egg whites and one yolk has really helped.
I’m in it for the long run, and I’m going to finish it.
Tim, thanks for this post.
As someone who started, stopped and have started the diet again this is incredibly encouraging.
Also, In a few words – what’re your thoughts on Crossfit?
Thanks in advance,
CrossFit is great. I would simply suggest avoiding exercises that produce a disproportionate number of injuries, such as muscle ups. Sure, you *can* do them safely, but accidents are common, and there’s no reason to do them if you can substitute safer options for similar or identical benefits.
Hope that helps,
Hey, I noticed you said something like that in the book, but I remember you said something about somersaults(flips). I remember reading that and thinking “well, yeah flips are unsafe…. But they’re awesome!!!” 😛
As a side note, I wanted to say thank you to you personally Tim. I’m almost 26, and I’ve spent much of my life past the age of 14 using myself as a test subject working on improving the function of the body and “perfecting the human form”. I started as a way to boost the benefits I was getting from practicing martial arts, and drew a lot of my early tests from what I could learn about shaolin monks. Its really inspiring to see someone else doing the same thing(using themselves as their own lab rat and building a better human) and getting such awesome results! Besides that, I’ve gotta thank you for all the awesome data you’ve provided… If more people start doing the same, we as a species could make great strides in understanding and improving the human body. Now, when I say that, do I mean we could all be built like chiseled marble in a decade? Absolutely! i think thats easily manageable just with the nice little howtos youve given everyone. Your success has inspired me to redouble my efforts, and the info you’ve provided me has helped me get back in shape enough to get back to it. Thanks again, and keep up the great work 🙂
I have lost 20 lb. kettlebell swings FTW!
can you have as much alcahol you want on binge day…would it not interfere with fat loss ?….so far I have lost 25 pounds on the slow carb diet but am very hesitant to drink on binge days ?
Drinking on binge days won’t be that much worse than binging on sugar and processed carbs. Like everything else on here – test it on yourself! You’re the best specimen on which to try it out!
If you drink and realize you either don’t lose the weight or can’t get yourself back on the plan, then it might not be a good idea. On the flip side, you might find that if you drink on cheat days, you find yourself eating less or you’re happier to not cheat on the rest of the days!
sorry for the follow up question as Im not sure its pertinent to this specific blog…how useful would you say sprints are in terms of fat loss say 2 or 3 times a week ??
I will try the Wednesday Challenge.
Let me see what happen.
I wonder if you have fellow brazilians who did the diet, I need some guidance in the foods here in brazil.
It seems like you’re books take about 12-24 months to kick in for me. I first read 4HWW in 2008, fresh out of high school, working 3rd shift in a factory, while going to community college full time. I quit the factory job 2 days afterwards (‘d worked there for 3 days so far, for a total of 5 days of work).
That was the last job I had. For some reason, even after reading 4HWW money didn’t start showing up in my bank account, which was annoying. But I kept at it anyways.
2 years later I found myself having created a business out of thin air and making a decent income from it, but spending 40-50 hours a week on it and constantly being nervous and anxious about it.
I re-read 4 hour work week and it hit me in the face a lot harder than the first time I read it. It reminded me of all those things I used to imagine doing back when I was a broke college kid (I’ve since dropped out and moved away).
It also inspired me to just take the chance and try approaching my business in a different way. It was really hard because I didn’t want to outsource anything, no one could possibly be as skilled as me, the uneducated college drop out from a small town in Michigan could be.
It was a great lesson to realize that all of the things I had been doing a lovely girl named Christina in the Philippines could do even better for $5/hr.
This made me epic, baller rich, overnight. My income didn’t change. But making $4,000-5,000/month and working 50 hour weeks is $20/hr. Making $5,000/month working 1 hour a week is $1250/hr. Which is what I make now….
On top of that when I “LIBERATED” (the final step) every $ I had became a lot more valuable. I left North Carolina in March and came to Koh Samui, Thailand where I’ve primarily lived for 3 of the past 4 months with a bit of time spent in Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, and also Bangkok/Chiang Mai in Thailand.
I’m leaving here in a few days to go back to Laos (visa expiring) for about a week, and then Vietnam for a week, before I fly to Tokyo for a short stop over and then back to San Francisco for a week.
That’s as many weeks out as I dare to plan but my agenda includes 1-2 months in the states, a few weeks in the caribbean and then in October finally getting to Buenos Aires.
So thanks 4HWW for kicking in finally.
Now… I read 4HB a few months ago (it was way to thick to bring on the road with me unfortunately) I’m hoping it kicks in faster than 4HWW did. It’s showing signs.
For me the big thing for making the food/lifestyle change was to get better reasons. I’ve always been a little heavy, but my reasons for wanting to change that were always negative/low self esteem related. “Maybe if I get into good shape than I’ll be good enough to get a cute girl to sleep with me, or make more money, or like myself”. Those things you never actually vocalize to yourself but are in the subconscious holding you back. So I fixed all that crap, negative thinking a while ago.
My day to day lifestyle now is infinitely better than I ever imagined it could be. I’m happy and enthused to wake up every day, I’ve been living on a tropical island like a king, I have a huge surplus of female companionship with beautiful women, and so on and so forth. I have trouble talking to people back home because when I just chat with them casually about what I’ve been up to in the past few days it sounds like over the top bragging.
Now food/lifestyle changes have become effortless (I’ve lost 18 lbs in the past few weeks with minimal slipups). Because it’s no longer about hopefully losing weight so that I can finally respect myself (like all the failed attempts were for several years). Now I eat SCD foods all the time because they physically make me feel better, I have more energy, less sluggish/fatty days, and I get more done. I also enjoy the way they taste. Thailand has been a good friend in that area since a lot of the local cuisine is very SCD friendly.
For the boring home meals of Chicken/Broccoli/Beans I just don’t even think about it. I prepare a batch each week and kind of mindlessly eat it at meal times if I’m home. If I want to eat out I’ll usually get some sea food. If I really need carbs then I’ll ride down to the gym and slam some weights around for a little while and then go eat some carbs.
Tip for partiers like me: I go out 4-5x/week here and usually drink water (30cents/bottle here) and the awesome thing is outside of all the bars you can find these little cart vendors that sell chicken/beef/pork/shrimp/fish/etc skewers (satay in Thai) with Thai Chili Sauce on them. And their like 60c each. So sip on some water, chat up some birds, and then when you get a bit hungry go buy a huge tray of delicious chicken skewers to snack on for about 5 bucks. Further Tip: Get a local girl to buy them for you and they’ll cost half as much in tourist areas.
I can’t say that all of this is thanks to you, Tim. I did a small amount of the leg work myself. But without ever meeting or speaking you’ve been a long time companion on this journey and I’ll remain in your debt.
Speaking of which… I could use a ride from SFO if you’re around in a couple weeks. I’ll let you know my flight number when I leave Tokyo.
awesome man, I’m about to move to Chiang Mai from Ubud and that’s exactly the info I needed. It’s been tough in Ubud because most of the food in Indonesia is not slow carb. I’ve been living off of eggs and thai curry and tempe
Wow I wish I’d had MP’s results.
I am older than she is, but I was smaller to begin with although much the same shape. I’ve been on SCD for 16 months and lost 6kg in the first 8 weeks, site a few cm, a dress size and then nothing. I cannot get below 65kg for love nor money and I’m still around 30% body fat according to my 2nd DEXA scan. The DEXA says I have 4-7kg more body fat I could lose but I have hacked everything and cannot find the trigger. I’ve been training with a Girevoy KB personal trainer twice a week for nearly a year now, which I love and is great for my all round wellbeing but even my trainer cannot work out why I can’t drop the fat. I track my daily intake in an iPhone app and it never exceeds 1200 cal/day. High protein, low carbs, no junk, water. I’ve tried intermittent fasting, adding coconut oil, bulletproof coffee, gave up the beans entirely, PAGG, no PAGG, more water, everything.
I read a UK study a few months ago that seemed to show some evidence that people can be grouped into a segment they called “super responders” (i.e their bodies go nuts when exercise is added and respond in a huge way with massive results), “average responders” (obvious) and “no responders”. The last group literally did not change physically despite something like 4 hours of cardio a week being introduced per week for all the people in the study. I am much stronger and fitter from the KB training but I am having no response to SCD and the KB training in terms of fat loss.
MP must be a super responder, and I’m clearly a no responder.
The last resort I will try is the Last Mile method from 4HB. However, it’s short term and not sustainable for the rest of my life so I’m assuming I’ll just put the fat back on when I go back to normal SCD.
If anybody has any ideas at all I would welcome them. 48, female, 2 children, how to get 4-7kg of fat off. I’m thinking of posting a reward for the person who finds the trigger.
Just a thought – maybe you need to eat more. I mean 1200 is low if you’re working out that hard.
If you’re regularly expending more energy than the fuel you’re taking in, your body goes into retention mode.
If you up your caloric intake for a few weeks (all healthy choices of course), you’ll have more energy for extended exercise and your body might feel it’s safe to drop a few extra kgs.
Also I’d suggest you really mix up your exercise. Add in new activities you’ve never done before. It’s amazing how your body adapts to similar workouts.
Thank you Helen, I can try adding more beans etc back into every meal and see if that triggers some fat loss.
Hi, Skippy! Give me an idea of your water intake and meals each day. Perhaps, I can help you crack that stall. I’ve helped numerous others and usually my suggestions due to my experience with slow carb has really helped. I recently increased my water intake from 3L of water to 4L and I drink 30oz of coffee each day. I also eat the same meals each week. This week I’m doing a frittata as my breakfast having had the same breakfast for nearly a year.:) I wish you the best of luck, it CAN be done!
Thank you Maria and congratulations on your wonderful results.
Every day I eat the same meals.
Breakfast is one lean organic bacon rasher trimmed of fat and fried in a little bit of macadamia oil, and an omelette made from one organic egg and 0.5 cup egg whites and fresh spinach leaves, sometimes with mushrooms added, a 1/4 avocado and an espresso coffee with cinnamon. Beforehand I have 500ml water with lemon juice.
Lunch is always grass fed beef/lamb/chicken/tuna with a huge salad of fresh spinach and lettuce, cucumber, coleslaw with no dressing.
Dinner is always grass fed steak, chicken, pork, lamb etc with steamed broccoli, beans, carrots and cauliflower.
I also have a glass of a lovely dry Australian red wine, and a couple of nights a week I’ll have a few squares of 85% cocoa chocolate.
I drink 1.5 litres of water every day in addition to coffee, a rare diet Coke, and on workout days I have a 100% whey protein shake which uses 250ml water.
I can’t sustain a higher water intake on a consistent basis. I could do it for a short while though.
I sleep beautifully well, have no health issues at all, but do sometimes have a lack of energy for kettle bell training (I use mostly the 12kg and 16kg kbs).
Saturdays I will have a normal omelette breakfast, a cafe latte and something like Thai food for dinner.
I tried adding some more natural fat for a few weeks (coconut oil and grass-fed butter) and it made no difference.
I’ve tried no alcohol and no difference.
I have tried eating more although I really can’t fit any more food in, and no difference.
I’ve tried not having any cheat meals and no difference.
I’ve tried massive cheat day binges and put on 2kg which I lost the day before the next cheat day and so stayed the same weight.
If you could see me, I look like MP does but with a small fat suit over the top. I can feel rock hard abs, quads, glutes etc but they are under a layer of fat so the only definition visible is in my shoulders and biceps, calves and traps.
Anything you could suggest would be welcome.
This is similar to my story, but I haven’t tried all you’ve done. I have 10 lbs I need to lose and 10 more I’d love to lose. Only lost 3 lbs in two weeks on SCD- very discouraging. Wonder if it’s just harder for those in the last 20 lb range?
I don’t think there’s anything in the book about limiting your calories. Especially to 1200 which is low.
Sometimes birth control pills or naturally high estrogen jack up your cortisol so high, it creates or holds on to fat, especially around the middle. You might consider getting your hormones and cortisol tested, reducing stress in your life if you can, which also boosts cortisol, and researching non-estrogenic foods. Also, avoid Phthalates like the devil.
Also, try a yeast cleanse. Most women’s systems are a little out of whack because of yeast, especially if they have ever taken antibiotics, although a no-sugar, no-dairy diet should help with that.
I don’t know your body size, but another possible cause is that if you don’t give your body enough calories, regularly, it holds on to fat because it thinks that it needs to protect you from starvation. Some say that’s a myth, I don’t know.
There have also been studies showing that your grandmother’s lifestyle before giving birth to your mother could have changed your epigenetics.
Without knowing your circumstances, that’s all the stabs in the dark I’ve got. =)
Thank you Katya I’ll look into the things you mention.
I had my blood work done at the beginning of SCD and everything was perfectly normal according to the GP but I haven’t had it done since so perhaps I should, thanks again.
Hi Skippygirl! This is MP.
I’ve lost around 20 pounds with SCD over a 2 months period. What helped me the most into transforming my body is the weight training (no cardio whatsoever) and the eating. I ate a lot (around 1500 to / 1800 cal per day) and trained like a guy.
My focus was to speed up my metabolism instead of dieting. When I was adding some muscles to my frame, there was no significant weight change on the scale but rather in the measurements and in the way my body looked in the mirror. I also had success with the cold baths.
Carb cycling is also great to shed the extra pounds but I found it quite hard because I lacked too much energy…
So my tips are “Don’t starve yourself”. Eat well, minimize carbs at dinner. Use cinnamon, pepper, vitamin B and I would also suggest you to rest and relax more, take care of yourself. It’s harder to loose weight when we’re stressed. Enjoy the process, it’s a lifestyle.
Wish you all the best. Hope you reach your goal!
Thanks MP, congratulations on your fantastic results, you do look amazing.
All I’ve been doing training-wise is the two 45 min sessions of Girevoy kettle bell training each week. I started with the 8kg kb (used to kill me) and now I use the 12kg and 16kg and the trainer really flogs me!
I believe I actually look like you, except with a small fat suit on top 🙂 .
Maybe the calorie intake is indeed the problem. I really can’t stuff any more food in with what I am eating each day, and only tallied the actual calories earlier this year to see what I was actually consuming as requested by the trainer. The amount of food I have is enormous, but maybe I should add back in beans to get more calories again and try to get in 1600 cal for a while.
I note the suggestion regarding stress and relaxation. Would you believe I sleep at least 9 hours per night, and have regular facials and massages etc. plus the kettle bell training is awesome for stress relief. However I do work a pretty intense job, and maybe stress is still a factor. Maybe having blood work done again would pick something up, thanks for the idea.
I really appreciate you taking the time to reply, thanks!
In the photos Tim published, what is the time-frame? I’m curious how long it took you to go from ‘before’ to ‘after’. Thank you so much for giving info on how you did it! You are an inspiration to us all!!
I’ve lost 20 pounds just by changing my eating. I look good, but I have no muscle definition. I’m now trying to become as ‘cut’ as you are and loose about 5% or more of fat.
Would you mind giving us your stats? Height, age, weight, muscle, fat?
Thanks so much!!!
To Texas Kel,
Thanks for your comment!
My before picture is from January 2011 and the after picture is from April 2012.
I first began with the SCD for a few months (also lost 20 pounds). In july 2011, I enrolled in a martial art class. In September, I decided to do weight training, in order to be stronger for my Jujutsu classes. I found the Jamie Eason’s 12 week trainer program on Bodybuilding and started to go to the gym 4 to 6 times per week and lift weight.
Since February this year, I’m following Kris Gethin’s hardcore trainer.
I weight 131 lbs at 5’5. I don’t know exactly what is my body fat percentage (around 22% ?). You can see more of my stats in my bodyspace profile. And I’m 29 years old.
I’ve seen a big difference in the way my body looked after a month or so of weight training. The number on the scale didn’t move but I was much leaner. When I added (on month 2 and 3 of the Jamie Eason’s program) HIIT cardio, carb cycling, PAGG, complex B vitamin, and cool baths, I had major results and it was happening very quickly.
Hope this help! I wish you good luck with your goal!
Hi MP, You really look awesome!!! Should we start weight training after a flat belly or we can go it from beginning in order to get fast results?
Tim mentioned in book to go to gym 30 mins a week and you mentioned you go to gym 4-5 days a week. Won’t that lead to muscle loss?
Also, how much cardio do you suggest per week?
I am in the same boat as Helen. I’m a mom of two young kids, 42 years old, 150 lbs and 5′ 8″. I started the 4HB a year ago and dropped 15 lbs from 165lbs. I am so incredibly grateful to Tim’s brilliant work in 4HB. It has been liberating and a profound gift (I have tried to get everyone I know to follow the diet). It allows me to eat healthily and well all week long. I don’t get hungry and I don’t obsess terribly about food anymore. I do get excited about it and love to talk about it –I’m very interested in food and weight etc (it is a huge national epidemic after all) but not neurotic (which is huge for me personally). **And** I have fun with food now (once a week of course) which is something I never before experienced. Before I always felt like shit when I allowed myself to eat anything I “shouldn’t.” Now I eat for fun on a regular (scheduled) basis which is so human and so poetic. 4HB has transformed my relationship to food. I’m not frightened of it. I don’t feel like I must track everything I eat in order to maintain my weight. I don’t need to commit (a la weight watchers) to going hungry the rest of my life just to stay where I am. I feel normal. I wear a size 8 and I feel good. However, I would love to go down to 140 lbs. I weigh myself religiously and no matter how hard I try I just can’t get my weight to go down. I sometimes nearly starve myself and it will drop a little (as low as 145lbs) but it pops right back up. I’ve considered juice fasting and the Last Mile method too. But I don’t want to be rash. For now I just keep plugging away. I figure there may come a moment, if I continue to stick to it, where a window will open and I’ll somehow be able to drop a bit more. But what I feel intuitively is that my body is “set” at this weight. I pop up to 154lbs after cheat day, typically, but I drop the added weight in 1-2 days no problem. But I just stay there..between 150 and 147. To try and drop 4-7 pounds beyond that feels like a Jedi mind trick.
This came at a good time! I have read the 4HB book about a year ago and I have had good success with the SCD often losing 10+ pounds in a month… however, I haven’t been consistent or taken it on as a ‘lifestyle’ I do it for a while, then go somewhere and don’t have willpower to stick with it, or I am traveling and stop for fast food and then once I am off, I go back to all my bad habits and any weight loss is quickly put back on…
I have been struggling with depression and keep going back to emotional eating…
That was in the past, It is time to suck it up and Just Do IT!!
(I am down 20lbs from my heaviest, I still have about 50 to go)
So… Monday challenge! Here I go!
Thank you so much for this post. I lost 30lbs from SCD.
I don’t know if this is kosher but it works for me. I’ve never been more than 15 pounds or so overweight, but as a former actress that extra few pounds could have kept me from getting a role. So I use SCD once or twice a year to get myself back to my fighting weight of 120 pounds. If I drop below 120 the boobs start to disappear so I have to stop. The weight slowly comes back, but I always go back to the SCD before I hit 130 pounds. I’m not sure if there are health ramifications associated with cycling in and out of this diet, but doing it this way hasn’t failed me yet! I’ll be 57 next month and am happy to say I haven’t turned into a dumpy middle aged woman (and I plan on keeping it that way)!
Love the 4HB however in all the the SCD examples I’ve see it’s usually of those who are obese to begin with. For them doing any diet which cuts out all the processed carbs and crap they’re eating is going to lose loss.
Anyone <20% BF% hardly sees the same 10-20lbs/month losses in fat.
I'm 18% BF% and did the SLC diet for 4 weeks. I saw about 4lbs reduction in fat. But it wasn't until I went on a ketogenic diet with a carb refeed once a week that I began losing 2-4lbs a week.
SLC = SCD*
Wow, the people who followed your Slow Carb Diet got great results.
The meals are very American. Egg whites – I know you can buy them in the USA, but I rather eat 2 eggs the white and the yolk. I guess that all the beans are to get more protein as beans are high in plant protein.
There are fruits, which are low in sugar, such as apricots. And I would miss a variety of vegetables, because of the vitamins and minerals.
Only when your body gets all necessary nutrients the feeling of satiations comes. This is the main reason that so many people can’t stop eating.
I agree with Helen. 1200kcal a day is LOW. My wife is on 1600kcal a day and is losing weight, albeit slowly, she’s still losing weight. She’s really close to her threshold now.
Try going up to 1400-1600kcal a day for a few weeks and let us know the results. I bet you’ll see a change.
Oh! And make those lots of protein. As you know, protein builds muscles and muscles burns fat 🙂
Thanks keke, I think the theme people are highlighting is indeed the calorie level.
It seems like I eat a mountain of food every day but it doesn’t add up to more than 1200 cal so I’ll try adding lots more beans and protein (I’ll have to add a couple of protein shakes or something) and see what happens.
How very timely!
My partner and I are giving this a go, starting tomorrow morning. I’ve got the grocery list sitting out and ready for a shopping spree this evening. I’ve got about 20lbs to lose and my partner’s got 30-40lbs that he’d like to see vanish.
We’d had awesome results with a ketosis-inducing protocol 2 years ago (suggested by our chiropractor), but it was much more rigorous and much less forgiving than the SCD protocol…and no cheat day until the bitter end of the program. Here’s hoping to see the same results with the SCD!
Thanks for the well-timed blog post, and the real-world stories. Love it!
Great article, and congrats to all of the featured folks on their weight loss success.
Unfortunately, slow-carb affects me in the same way that low-carb does – instant migraine. On the one day I tried it, I ate slow-carb for both breakfast and lunch, and had a migraine by dinner. Not sure how to mitigate that.
Alison, I wonder if you need to increase your carbs or protein. Maybe your water intake? Some people will notice they get headaches, ill stomaches etc. from when they start SCD. But, after a week or so, it gets better because the body is stabilizing and getting used to the lack in white carbs. How long did you go on SCD before you stopped due to the migraines?
Good inspirational post. Best thing I ever disciplined myself to do, in terms of getting healthy and maintaining a good weight, has been water fasting. I used to guide people through this process regularly in our clinic. My best friend lost 110 lbs in 4 months after he did a 7 day water fast. It was like a bear hibernating. It’s like the body resets itself. Obviously, having a consistent exercise regimen after is ideal.
Awesome results! Very inspiring!
Excellent share. I am always very paranoid about slow carb diet and unwilling to try. After reading your post, maybe i should and do a blog post of the result on my blog and updates you on my success!
Tim, I grew up a fat kid and lost the weight in college. Over the last 6 years after some health issues it crept up and was has having trouble taking it off. When I read your book, I decided to give the SCD a half assed try on purpose to take the pressure off (I would get obsessive on former diet regimes). I decided to cheat from Friday night to Monday morning and didn’t cut fruit out (I did have a plan though and stuck to it). I dropped 20 pounds with very little effort and have kept it off for a year. That was my goal. My wife is an Ironman athlete who didn’t need to lose any weight, but said that her energy is much better on the SCD and she has developed more muscle tone as well. I have been a long time reader and fan who pre ordered both of your previous books, and just wanted to say thanks.
Also I did bloodwork before and after starting it. My cholesterol wasn’t bad when I started, but it did improve some. The biggest difference was the size of the cholesterol was small before (bad) and moved to the other side of the scale later to large (good). My LDL dropped while HDL increased. Very happy with the results
19 pounds in 8 weeks and 4 inches off my waist. With no exercise and a few slip ups. Getting more disciplined and focused every day though and have more energy too.
Love these types of posts. Please keep them coming.
It’s super inspiring to see the weight loss, especially among the range of people: very large to small and also “normal” to small.
Look forward to seeing more posts like this soon.
How do I get my dad to start this lifestyle. I have seen him steadily gain weight my entire life, and he has even said he wants to lose weight. His reason is so his clothes will fit (which is a decent reason but not the moment described in 4HB). I have lost weight on this, but the best part is that I am the happiest I have ever been. I am funnier, more outgoing, and enjoy my life more than ever before. I know my dad will be happier if he loses weight and I want to see that happen. I tried to bring it up to him before, but he dismisses the thought of a diet and wants instead “A shot or a pill to give him a push and that will make [him] commit to keeping the weight off”. I know that is not the best choice, but I need some help convincing him that he NEEDS this lifestyle change. Any advice?
I have friends and family that really NEED to be on this diet. But until they have “The Moment” for themselves, it’s impossible to say anything that will make them start/stick with it.
The best thing I could suggest is that you be the example for your father. Show him results and let him decide to make the change on his own.
Best of luck!
Good follow-up article on the diet. Based on your original article about this a few years ago, I successfully lost 110+ lbs from my high of an embarrassing 317. All I can say is thank you!
I’ve traveling the world now (thanks again to some ideas in 4HWW) and have found it quite hard to follow this diet or even come close on a low budget and staying at hostels. Any tips?
It’s also worth noting I went from a waist size 44 to 34 over this time 🙂
Also, it would be useful to have some suggestions on quick and effective workouts on the road, if possible. Back home I did kettlebell lifts and indoor rock climbing to stay in shape but since traveling I’ve lost quite a bit of muscle.
I’m curious if MP did anything other than the SCD – exercise, supplements? I’ve tried the diet for two weeks and got frustrated with my 3-lb loss in that time (much less than I anticipated based on the stories I’d read.) Looking for more direction and faqs, particularly for women. I’ve read the appropriate chapters in 4HB repeatedly but still have questions. Looked online but didn’t find what I was l was looking for. Thanks!
Yes, the 4HB was the beginning of my fitness journey. I started SCD in Jan. 2011. In September, I decided to follow the Jamie Eason 12 week trainer program (you can find it on the bodybuilding site). In Jan. 2012, I tried my own program and then switched to Kris Gethin’s hardcore 12 weeks program last February. I’m currently on round 2 of this program.
These 2 programs are quite different and I find that the Jamie Eason’s one is perfect if you don’t know anything about training (like me). Her comprehensive day to day guide gave me a lot of knowledge and motivation. Although I wasn’t completely following the SCD during this program, I kept in mind what I learned in Tim’s book: try things and see what’s best for me, test my results. I found my own “recipe” to transform my body.
I would say that whenever you have downs or get frustrated because you don’t see the results you want, don’t give up. Keep tracking your results, measurements, food, moods… Anything that will help you see the overall picture and keep your motivation high. Never give up because there is always change happening, it’s hard to see it from one day to another but it becomes big after months. Stick to a plan and follow it, like I said to another commenter: Enjoy the process.
Think “progress, not perfection”.
1st of all, 4HWW was probably the only book I bought new in about a decade and totally worth it! I am working slowly on writing a review of it.
Is 4HB just these 5 rules to lose weight, or is there other stuff?
Sorry for not doing my own googsearch, but I go slowly:-)
Congrats! that is fantastic…I went on Slow carb and lost 35 lbs in six months…now I gained back 12lbs..agree, not following the diet to the dot…
but there got to be a way, you can hold weight levels ??
I gained about 6 pounds in 10 days on the Occam’s protocol eating and doing the geek to freak workouts but then lost it again ;( And still eating 5-6 meals a day and drinking protein shakes with milk. I think in the 4HB you said to eat about 2,300 calories if you want to become 170 lbs. One sticky point is eating so much actually slows me down, causing a loss of energy and productivity. What do you recommend?
Tim, I’ve been on the slow-carb diet for about 2 years now. It has helped me keep things simple even though the main aim hasnt been fat-loss as much as just eating healthy. Being a bachelor who lives alone In New Delhi and loves sports and exercise it really has helped me maintain a healthy habit.
I have not only recommended the diet to friends and colleagues but am pushing the 4HB system through a program a friend is experimenting with at his gym. The Fat Loss program is a 30 day challenge from 1July to 30 July. We are eager to see how many inches members lose by getting on to the SCD plus doing the kettlebell swing as the only exercise. I am going to use Tracy’s “The Swing” to develop the various days workouts. Would you recommend otherwise?
On days like today it would be good to go back to the Neil Gaiman talk and remind yourself that you are moving towards the mountain!
I’ve been on the SCD for about 4 months now and have lost about ten pounds of fat while maintaining my body weight with resistance training. Although my results have not been dramatic, they have been steady and measurable. Each week week I notice improved vascularity, decreased fat deposits (particularly around my major joints), and healthier appearance overall. Thanks Tim.
This is great Tim because it is essentially simple and simple actions make a big difference.
I think it is much easier to follow a plan when it is repetitive, same foods on same day each week but vary meals throughout the week to get nutritional balance. I have thought seminars for years on how simple effective action can make a difference and Tim, you once again show how effective this is.
Great wishes to everyone for their successes,
Opps! I meant taught not ‘thought’ – so much for my English lessons!
I want to sincerely thank you for developing and publishing this book. So far I’ve lost 40 pounds in 4 months and dropped down to 13.8% body fat (my goal is 12%!). I’ve got more energy and focus than I’ve ever had. I sleep like a baby. I feel comfortable – even confident – taking my shirt off at the beach. Best of all, I am now COMPLETELY free of the acid reflux that has plagued me since the age of 12.
This change has been so much more than a “diet.” It has revolutionized the way I think about my myself, my work, my family, and my life in general. After 37 years of being the “chunky” guy, I feel like I’ve been given a brand new, athletic body to use and enjoy for the rest of my life. If I can change this aspect of my life, I can change ANYTHING!
Thank you Tim.
Guinevere our 9 year old bullmastiff lost 20 lbs on the diet, does that count ?
She really likes the cheat days where she eats 1.5 dinner breakfasts; also all her allergies have cleared up. It is funny to tell people she is nine after people are convinced she is a puppy.
I would like to see a thread for hard losers. Tried slow carb and low carb adding intermittent fasting. Some fat loss, but have been stalled for months. Can it really be this hard?
I have found that treating the SBD as an experiment helped me be more compliant. If I didn’t lose weight one week I would do some inquiry without attaching myself too much to the outcome. I am more interested in seeing which foods I can lose the most weight on, rather than needing the food I am eating now to produce the effect now.
Also, using Apple Numbers on my iPhone has helped me A TON with keeping track of my data. I track so much stuff now!
Thank you Tim for all the inspiration!
Great article! After 3 months on SCD – I got pregnant naturally after trying for 3 years. 🙂 I did have a miscarriage (which had nothing to do with previous infertility), but now I know I can get pregnant! 🙂
That sounds great! I hope more women cut gluten out of their diets.
So, I went Paleo in Jan. 2012, since then, I read and re-read the 4hour body…I did an experiment in May on the SCD, with cheat meal, not day…I have lost over 30lbs since Jan. 1st and increased lean mass at the same time…I have used kettle bells for the last few yrs, but finally bumped up to a 50lb…now, the 30grams of protien 1st thing in the morning is a great idea…Intermittent fasting as well…I now am hacking using the Bulletproof executive style, ie Bullet Proof coffee in the am…and eat about 2 pm in the day…along w/ CT…I am hoping to drop another 10 within the next few weeks!
Thanks Tim Ferriss!!!
Everone’s SCD stories are crazy inspirational. Just started the SCD & downloaded the SlowCarb Diet App last week. The recipe’s for flavorful low carb alternatives have made all the difference.
Thank you for this article and for all you do. I’m a fan from the first edition of 4HWW, which helped me make important changes in my life. Through this blog I found out about Ramit Sethi, whose material I’ve also found very useful, so thank you for that as well.
I would like to recommend The 4 Hour Body to some Spanish-speaking relatives. Is the book available in Spanish now? If so, where can I find it?
There you go:
Hey Tim and SCDers,
Most of the success stories seem to be of people dropping big numbers. 40lbs, 60lbs, or more.
Any solid stories of people going from fairly fit to very fit?
What percentage of bodyfat are you talking about? SCD can get you down to about 10-12% at best. The Last Mile diet, however, can take you to a single-digit.
I want you to know your POSSIBILITY THINKING continues to INSPIRE ME.
I return again and again to the 4HWW to read how to grow and challenge myself and to aggressively go after dreams and goals and NOT become the fat man in the convertible red BMW.
Also, the Body Book…..introducing me to Pavel and strategies for eating healthier.
I see you as a someone with your finger on the pulse of cutting-edge technology. Your site is an ocean of life improving knowledge.
I’m writing this because of you spoke of your darkest hours up against deadlines and the roller-coaster of it all.
Tim, You’re a Bad-Ass. What tells me of your character is that you never tell us you’re a bad ass, you simply let the body of evidence speak for itself.
You’re a likable guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously, yet what you do, VERY seriously. That ALONE makes the difference.
This is why you inspire so many. It’s because you want to help us with all this knowledge and you present it in a manner which says, “this is what’s worked for me, see what you can do with these strategies.”
Tim, you have an army rooting for you. KNOW THAT.
There have to be so many of us you’ve helped around the world.
When you get down, imagine finishing that last mile of the marathon in the Colosseum…… with ALL OF US cheering you on.
Because……….in reality, that’s how many of us there are. We feel the fever pitch of respect, appreciation, and loyalty for how much you’ve given us.
Kick the door down.
What about sweet potatoes? Are they allowed?
I am a female, 33 years old and have one child ( 11 yrs old)
I have only been doing SCD for two weeks and I have already lost 9 pounds. This is also after having my monthly visitor this past weekend.
Many women wonder if this diet is truly effective for them…and the answer is YES! It DOES WORK, but ONLY if you follow the rules to the letter.
I love this way of eating. I have tons more energy, I fell clean and alert. I don’t drag arse at 3PM anymore. I don’t have mood swings associated with blood sugar levels being out of whack.
Another bonus is that my grocery bill has decreased, even though I buy almost all organic foods.
I tried the SCD for 4 weeks and experienced no significant weight loss. I was eating a paleo diet for 2 months prior and had lost about 8 pounds. I tried SCD to get through a weight loss plateau and it was very dissapointing. Here is what I did:
1. Followed the eating plan to the letter. I was not eating much fruit to begin with so eliminating that was easy. All I had to do was add beans (which are discouraged on a standard paleo diet, unless you are very active)
2. Did the 3x per week kettle bell workout
3. Took the PAGG suplement regiment
4. Iced nightly with ice packs
5. Did the cheat day with the squats and everything and lots of caffeine
Result: Lost ZERO WEIGHT, but lost 1 inch off waist and hips. Highly dissapointing. I didn’t expect to lose more than 20 pounds cause I’m a woman and generally we are not able to lose as much as men in that short a period of time, but considering how much was involved, I expected to lose 10-15 pounds. I also kept a meticulous journal of everything I ate, what my activity levels were each day, how I felt, what my digestion was like and what my skin looked like—I struggle with acne, which has cleared up a lot since I started eating paleo.
I keep reading all these success stories of people losing massive amounts of weight in a month. I believe eating this way will ward off any health problems that I could have. My BP is great, my cholesterol and triglycerides are at optimum levels, I have reasonable cardio vascular endurance. I am very flexible and very strong. I probably could stay at this weight and live a long time. But it is frustrating because I am 205 pounds and 5’5″ and what I really want is to lose this extra weight. I appreciate the importance of all the other health benefits of good eating and I am glad that part is working out for me, but I really want to look hot…AND be healthy.
So what gives? What did I do wrong?
Is it possible that you are pregnant and don’t know it?
No, dude. Pregnancy is not possible. (FYI – I am not on hormonal birth control)
I think it was the beans. I don’t know why they are required at every meal. I have read that they produce the same negative effects in your gut as grains do. After going back to standard paleo, I lost 2 pounds for a total weight loss of 10 pounds and 1 dress size.
The lesson: There is no ONE THING that is going to work for everyone. Everyone’s body is different. Wasn’t a total loss, though. I discovered a great supplement called Alpha Lipoic Acid that works better than Aleve or Advil for sore muscles and it doesn’t cause the same damage to the liver as ibuprofen does.
To be honest, if people are struggling on this diet then it is most likely the beans. I think the only reason it’s “required” is for the calories, which isn’t a good enough reason at all. I can eat 1600 calories without touching beans.
put your daily food intake into something like cronometer.com and see what nutrients you’re missing.
Theresa, first thing you should do is try and be *healthy*, and the weight will come off naturally. Eat organic, buy raw ingredients to bake from. DO NOT leave out you fruits. Any licensed nutritionist will tell you that even on a diet, you should do 3-4 servings of fruit a day. The sugars you need to watch are for are *refined* sugars, not naturally occurring sugars in fruits. Don’t eat processed ANYTHING. If it comes from a box or a can, say no way! Check the ingredients. Stay away from Monosodium Glutimate (MSG), high fructose corn syrup, and anything that is not natural. Try eating all organic. Your body will thank you. P.S. The nutrients you receive from fruits are irreplaceable and help fight disease, keep your immune system strong and keep YOU healthy. Move around, take a walk… start with 30 minutes a day. The most important thing you need to do is be HEALTHY. Weight loss is a side effect of a healthy body and lifestyle.
I have religiously followed your clow carb diet.
I am 32, 170 lbs with about 25% body fat, 7% visceral fat. I dont look fat thought.
I have egg whites, spinac and a protein shake for breakfast (non-dairy)
Chicken breast, cauliflower, daal (lentils) for lunch and more daal/brocolli/meat for dinner.
No dairy/No fruit and have bfast within 30 minutes of waking up. I do the cheat day but dont go overboard (coz i just cant, there is no time nor appetite)
I have seen no change in body fat and a reduction of maybe a couple of pounds in body weight. How could I improve? What is the problem?
I did the SCD for a year and didn’t lose any weight. I followed all the rules but stayed at 175 lbs. (I used to be 145 lbs. and wanted to get back to that). Regrettably, though, I binged on the holidays and got up to about 190 lbs.
So then I tried gaining weight through working out and eating potatoes, etc. I got up to 211 lbs., looked and felt fatter than I ever have in my life, and got criticized by some untactful family members. (But my own shock at seeing pictures of myself is my main motivation now.)
Then, I did the SCD again for about six months and have gotten back down to 203 lbs. I’m doing kettlebell swings with a 30-lb. weight, 50 reps three times per week (and the Flying Dog and Turkish Get Up). I plan on working with this kettlebell for another week or two and then buying a 40-lb. one.
I just don’t really understand why I haven’t gotten the dramatic weight reduction that some other people have. It seems like most people would lose 50 or 60 lbs. in six months (but I’ve lost less than 10). On the other hand, the amount of reps I can do in every exercise has increased, and I like that my measurements for arms and glutes have increased while my flexed waist has decreased. Maybe I’ve lost more than 10 lbs. of fat and gained some muscle weight.
I still have hope that if I upgrade my kettlebell and keep on this path, I will eventually reach my goal, although I’m surprised that my progress is (or seems to be) slow. Not to complain, I’m very thankful that I feel healthy and in control on this diet. It really helps me avoid junk food, and I’m learning a lot from it.
I had the same experience. My weight loss has been at a glacial pace. I just think that everyone is not going to get crazy good results. I still believe there are many health benefits to eliminating dairy and grains (insulin regulation, cholesterol control, increased energy, cancer prevention etc).
But everytime I lose weight FAST I always gain it back faster, plus more. So even if it takes me a year to lose 25 pounds, if that means that weight actually STAYS off, I would prefer that, rather than the constant yo-yo crap…wouldn’t you?
I’ve found that I have developed food sensitivities brought on by leaky gut due to adrenal burnout. If I eat them, I definitely see it on the scale the next day (up a pound or two).
You may want to consider food sensitivity testing to see if there’s anything you’re eating that’s messing with your results, or at least test suspect foods by doing an elimination of them for a week and then reintroducing them one by one. JJ Virgin’s book, The Virgin Diet, is very good for explaining the issue of food intolerance.
BodyCompare is a great iPhone/iPad app for people wanting to take progress photos.
It lets you take 4 photos (front, back, left and right) per day (or week … whatever) and then easily compare them side by side.
The only thing it doesn’t do yet is let you share the comparison views. But that is coming soon.
It will keep you motivated and committed and you will be happy you have the photos when (not if!) you make huge progress!
Hope someone finds it useful. It is a perfect fit with the 4HB.
Slow-carb eating helps me not have nightmares.
It’s happened twice this week. I had white wine, or juice and pie before bed, and not enough proteins and fats with dinner, and could barely sleep all night, I kept waking up with nightmares, and was wiped out the next day.
I’m pretty skinny, and closer to hypoglycemia than diabetes, but I have my own reasons for wanting to avoid sugary foods! Sleeping through the night is a beautiful thing.
Tim, I’m really looking forward to your 4-Hr Chef book. I’d eat better (and sleep better) if I had more ideas on how or what to cook. Please include photos and video links!
I’m not that impressed.
Here’s a snippet:
“My previous “meal plan” consisted of eating junk food three times a day and constant snacking. Not a day would go by without having dessert, consisting of either a pint of rich ice cream or bag of cookies. Looking back, I can easy understand how I got to 410 pounds”
It looks as if this person cleaned up his diet.
It doesn’t look like a result of the SCD – of course, Tim will market it as such.
Hi, I have hit a Plateau, I lost 12 pounds in 3 months, but now I am not losing much, what can I do?
I’m doing the slow carb now for three months and had good results in the beginning. I don’t need to lose a lot of weight, but I was looking for a healthier way of eating which I have found in the SCD.
Everything went well until my job changed and I was posted on the maternity ward, where we get chocolates, biscuits and sweets from the patients.
But it’s getting hard. I love eating carbs, chocolate, sweets and everything that’s not good.
I eat my three SC meals a day with 30 gr. proteins but the in betweens get harder to resist.
Can anyone or anything help me?
I’m also curious to know more about MP – cause this is the category I’m in. I’m a young female and “normal” weight but I would like to really tone up and lose more body fat.
Did she do any exercise while doing SCD? If so what program?
I tried SCD last year for two weeks and did lose a few pounds, however I found I was really tired especially in the afternoons. I felt fatigued and this was hard to deal with… it felt like I wasn’t getting some kind of important nutrients that I needed when I followed it 100%. So in the end I couldn’t keep it up. I would like to try it again but want to know if anyone else has had this problem and how to tackle it?
I wasn’t exercising during the time I followed the SCD. I’ve lost 20 pounds in about 2 months. When I was looking to tone up, I found a 12 weeks program on the bodybuilding site (see the Jamie Eason 12 weeks program). It consists of 4 to 6 weight training sessions per week. I started to notice big changes in my body composition on week 5-6.
Regarding your lack of energy, I also feel the same way as you do when I don’t eat enough carbs. I suggest you test and see how much carbs you need in order to feel well and drop the pounds. Depending on when you train, eat less carbs (or none) at dinner. Carb cycling is effective but I suggest you talk and plan with a nutritionist before… I haven’t mastered this part yet, when I tried, I shed a lot of fat very fast but I had no energy to train or do anything else.
The most enjoyable way I found to reach my goal is to eat plenty (4-6 times a day) and train like a bodybuilder (using free weight mostly). I find that circuits, crossfit and HIT workouts are taking too much of my energy and are messing up with my hormones. If you are interested, you can connect with me on the BB site.
I know this is selfish, but I’m glad to hear you have ups and downs too, lol. Awesome post, it’s nice to see your face on the blog every now and then, not that the guest posts aren’t pretty cool too. Good luck with the book, can’t wait to read it!
Did the SCP at two different times, losing about 20 pounds the first time and 40+ the second time, and I gained about 15 pounds of muscle. I’m inspired enough by the sexy pictures to start it up again. Supermodel time!
Anyway, terrible quality but here’s Before and After, 248 to 196:
Also, I don’t know if you need this, Tim. But I use this really simple online journal thing, called http://750words.com, created by Buster Benson, (“CEO of @habitlabs, builder of @healthmonth, 750words.com, @budge and @peabrain.”) And in the last 20 days (480 total hours, 330 awake hours) I have enough data to directly correlate my mood over the day to typing out these 750 words sometime in the morning. I feel more alive and passionate in every moment (not hoaky passionate; solving important problems and doing interesting things), and when I don’t do it at all I feel either either drifted away or just disconnected from what I want to do. It’s hard to explain but the data speaks for its self: generally, if I don’t do it, I have a bad day.
I hope this help!
I have been searching for a while for the answer to my question, I would really appreciate it if you answered or directed me some info.
I started up the slow-carb diet back in September and lost about 25 pounds of fat. I started the last mile diet about 4 weeks ago and am getting visible abs for the first time in my life.
How can I maintain my fat loss when I return to the slow-carb diet?
Long time reader (mom bought me 4HWW when I was 16). I have read most of the 4-hour body and have developed a much more athletic and aesthetic body using your methods.
Thank you so much!
I think you rock! I also think you should consider rebounding as a part of your regiment for people seeking to lose weight a safe way. Rebounding eliminates 68% of the shock that a person normally experiences when exercises! Check us out.
What do you think about the Quest protein bars? They seem to fit in with a lot of what the diet recommends (lots of protein, no sugar) and may be a suitable breakfast alternative for me. Same question goes for the Stevia sweetener.
-Ben (lost 36 pounds, but a bit stuck)
Started yesterday. Excited to see how it works out. But I think will take a bit to get the right balance. I’m starving and have a a headache. How much do I need to eat??
If you are having headaches and are starving try increasing your protein more and water as well. Also, headaches could be due to the body detoxing the sugar/carbs from your body, so, it SHOULD go away after a few days or a week or so. If it gets worse, then I’d see your doctor. Get in at least 30g of protein at breakfast, 20g at lunch and dinner each. I shoot for more like 35g at lunch/dinner. The protein should help with hunger and cravings.
Not slow carb – I lost the weight in 2002 on The Zone Diet which is not too terribly unlike the slow carb diet. I was also inspired by Body For Life before and after pics. I currently eat high fat, moderate protein, slow carb. I look pretty much like the last pic at age 50. It’s time for an update image.
been on the SCD for about 6 months, primarily to lose weight and fat. have ended up gaining wieght and enlarging waistline. switched to adding HIIT to my workouts and cutting out the beans and i feel so much better and am losing weight again. guessing i was doing something wrong in principle but i’m damned if i know what it was. anyway, came here to see if anyone else was having issues, but obviously its just me. anyway, well done everyone else.
I still have goosebumps from reading this post! Some wonderful stories.
I must admit I am lucky genetically, altho I have no guarantee it will last forever. I really swear to the wonders of SCD since it has taken me to sub 7% bodyfat (measured by an ifbb pro), in a very short time. My greatest challenge is gaining muscle, I dont simply eat enough. `
Honestly I believe I am not dedicated enough, I really need that Harajuku moment! or do I?
I have mad respect for all of you that have been so dedicated to staying stricly to SCD over time. You are some really awesome role models for us others, showing that its possible if you put your mind to it.
I just re-found my results from when I was doing the Slow Carb along with the ‘Geek to Freak’ workout plan.
Here it is:
My Beginning Stats – End results after 28 days= Difference:
Weight: 220 lbs. – 205 lbs.= (-15 lbs)
Stomach: 46” – 41”= (-5”)
Thighs: 25” – 25” = (0)Although they went down two inches and back up again… replaced the fat with muscle,I think.)
Waist/Belt : 40” – 38 ½” = (-1 ½”)
Biceps: 14 ½”- 15 ½” = (+1”)
Neck: 17” – 16” = (-1”)
Butt: 45” – 42” = (-3”)
Chest: 45” – 46” = (+1”) Also up and down.
I lost 15 lbs even though I am sure it is more fat weight loss than that since I have increased in size in the right places ans I am now firmer all the way around. Plus, muscle weighs more than fat.
Total inches Lost (in the Butt, Stomach, Neck and Belt): 10”
Total inches Gained (in the Chest and Biceps): 3”
I had commented on this entry on Facebook and for some reason I am now blocked from your page without explanation. I disagreed with the part about avoiding fruits and mentioned that they are antioxidant powerhouses. This is unfortunate because I have been fairly admirable of your advice over the past few years.. what a disappointment.
Been doing SCD since 2010 . Changed my life. Check out my before and after pics (click my name and it will take you to my pics).
I started the Slow Carb Diet on New Years Day 2011. I have lived the lifestyle now for 18 months and it has been great! I have lost over 70 lbs. and have not visited the snack machine at my office once in that time. The 10:30 in the morning slump is no longer something I have to deal with. I am sleeping much better, my cholesterol and my BP are both down. I feel and look great.
I am an amputee (left leg at the hip) and could not be fitted for the latest and greatest prosthetic, because the joint had a 225 lb weight limit and I was well over 250. I felt terrible when I was told that. I’m not crushed by not having the prosthetic as I get along quite well without it, but I felt awful that my weight would limit my choice as to whether I could get one or not. I hope that makes sense to you and your readers.
I am so glad that you wrote about your experiences in a way that is simple and relatively easy to stick to. Other weight loss programs have no worked for me, especially if there is a large cardio component for obvious reasons.
Thanks again, and good luck on the next book.
Rule #1: Avoid “white” starchy carbohydrates (or those that can be white). This means all bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and grains. If you have to ask, don’t eat it.
Is it okay with brown bread and scb porridge for breakfast?
Can you give som good tips for breakfast? In my opinion its the hardest meal of the day to make healthy.
I don’t know why people are stuck that Breakfast has to be traditional breakfast foods? Especially when we have realized how bad our traditional foods are for us!
-If you are set that it has to be Breakfast foods, I love makeing scrambled eggs with veggies and some black beans added in. Sometimes I add a bit of sausage for flavor
-I also have steak with some beans and salsa or stir fried veggies
-I have also done chicken breast with some cinamon on in (gives it more of a B’fast feel) and then beans and veggies.
-I have when out for B’fast with others in reastaurant ordered eggs and a side salad instead of hash browns and toast – there was no bean option though.
-I also (on using the eat a few meals all the time rule) make a big pot of SCD chili, then I usually eat it for most meals for several days til it runs out. so, why not chili for breakfast?
just some thoughts…
so what the heck? Break the Mold!
Wow this is really inspirational guys! I love looking at successful transformations.
“It’s a lifestyle, not a diet.”
Great quote. Not something I really understood until I was well into my transformation, but that was a major game changer for me.
I’m waiting for your form asking “how much (muscle) have you gained from the SCD” so I can chime in with my results 😉
Hey Tim and others: The thing I’m concerned about in reading some of the testimonies is that this is a quantitative approach – in other words, losing weight seems to be the primary goal as opposed to quality of foods. Quality (of foods) is always a concern to me. One can lose weight but not be all that healthy (even though proper weight is a healthy thing). Canned lentils, no fruit, gobs of meat and eggs – please help me out here. can one do this SCD as a vegetarian? I’m sincere in asking these questions and not trying to bash SCD or anybody else. Thank you!
I guess it depends where you are in the process, if someone is 100lbs overweight, the best thing they can do for their health and well being is to loose some weight. Then once they have some success with that then, maybe they can focus more on healthier choices for the long run. I know that I often get messed up if I am to ridged on everything. Then I get frustrated and end up at MacDonald’s because I got overwhelmed and didn’t figure out what to make for Lunch…
I am kind of looking at this as a Slow Carb/Paelo ‘lifestyle’ incorporating as many of the Paelo diet ideas into the Slow carb framework. So, grass fed beef, free run chicken and eggs, organic veggies (all when possible). taking lots of supplements etc.
I have tried to cook my own beans as the canned ones are not as healthy; but then I didn’t have time or they didn’t turn out right, the consistency was weird and I ended up not liking the food much and then I am hungry and end up cheating.
I really don’t know how you can do this as a Vegan… . Lots of vegetable protein I guess.
Tim this is awesome! I bet it feels good contributing to people losing weight and getting healthy! The slow/low carb has been around a while, and your book just re-enforces that it works.
Can someone clarify if Brown Rice is allowed?
It isn’t a white carb, as far as I know, and doesn’t fall into any of the other categories, so I would assume it is allowed, but please clarify – about to get started on this diet.
Nope. Any grains are out, whether white, brown, or somewhere in between. Bread is the same. If it *can* be white or is a grain, avoid it until cheat day.
here is a handy reference website- if you are wondering if something is allowed, type it in and it will tell you. I have only stumped it once.
Just wanted to chime on the losing weight vs. being healthy thing, in case it helps anyone.
#1. I was weighing myself along with doing Total Inches but I found this frustrating. Even though I could see my inches dropping I wasn’t losing much weight. And even though intellectually I knew this was because I was building up muscle (using kettlebells regularly) this was still messing with my head and getting me frustrated. So I came to the realization that I honestly didn’t care what I weighed. I cared how big around I was. So I stopped weighing and that made all the difference. So I would say decide what you want and make sure your tracking methodology supports that.
#2. After losing my waist, my blood writeups and BP and the whole nine improved substantially. Even my white coat syndrome, which made me have high BP while in the doctor’s office even though it was acceptable in the Publix next door on their machine–that went away. My BP doesn’t make the nurses freak out and prep to call an ambulance anymore, in other words. FYI, FWIW, YMMV.
First off, I want to thank you for the many many hours of research and dedication you have put into everything you do, which benefits many of us. People like you are so rare and so precious, please never forget that. Yes, money and fame is fun, but when you can change someone’s life… I believe there is no greater gift. And you have changed and inspired the life of many. Thank you for obeying your call 🙂
Secondly, I want to express my excitement about starting the SCD this Wednesday 🙂 I know most people’s comments are about all their wonderful journeys and pounds they’ve lost, or very specific and helpful questions, but I just want to share that I am ready to commit to more discipline in regards my health, and I am very happy to say I feel I have everyone’s back ! I only want to shed about 25 pounds, but to me, the discipline part of it is what is most appealing, and to know that I can do it, and I don’t need to starve myself, and I will have a day of my choosing to eat pasta and sweets 🙂 , that makes the whole thing realistic, and I still feel in charge of it all. AND , best of all, I can still drink my red wine!
So this is just a THANK YOU note, for this great help to get to a healthier me, but also for all your blog posts, your 4-hour work week book (!!!! – love it), and The Random Shows (please more!), and, really, thank you thank you for all your focus, and discipline, and determination. You are a true inspiration to me. I wish you all the very best!
Awesome program! Last year I lost 19 lbs and 20 inches in 30 days. Keeping the bean portions small and photographing nearly every meal helped. Also I worked out on the treadmill a few times per week and found the cardio to be a good way to boost day to day losses. Not bad results for a female with a really slow metabolism!
This diet cures my IBS ,and has brought my cholesterol down. I do not experience the mid- day -after- lunch- slump I was having also. Thank you so much Tim for all you do !!
Your blog is the only one that I subscribe to and look forward to each and every post. The stories in this post are amazing. I am going to give the slow carb diet a try this Wednesday and give it a two week trial. I will be sure to post my stats at the end of two weeks. Thanks for the inspiration.
Thanks so much, Tim! I can’t wait to see your results. I think you (and your fellow readers who are doing the trial) will love the outcome 🙂
Not much info on fish and seafood. Why isn’t fish a good source of protein as long as it’s not breaded? Getting ready to start Monday 9-3-12. Most concerned about giving up a “little half and half” in coffee. Will try using on 2 TBS p/day w/ Stevia. Currently shopping. Have 30lbs to lose. I am 60 y/o but my time has come!! Jan
Can I eat 500-700 grams per week of high quality dark chocolate on this “diet”?
yes, on a cheat day.