“The 4-Hour Body”: Thoughts on the First Week

I'm through week one of Tim Ferriss' 4-Hour Body

It's the morning of day eight and I've gotten through my first full week including the binge day.  I've iced my neck, swung around kettlebells, and had eggs every morning for breakfast, all firsts for me.  It's been an interesting experience. Weight Lost / Inches Lost First and foremost, I lost six pounds (as of yesterday, pre-binge) and 3 7/8" off my body.  Most notably I lost one inch off each thigh so more than half the shrinkage came from there.  I lost only a little from my waist and hips (which frankly is where I wanted it to come from) and zero, yup zero, from my arms.  This morning, the day after the binge, I was up one pound; I'll see if that comes right off again. One big caveat to all of the above, I had my period this past week which can cause me to fluctuate between two and four pounds. The Workout So I'm eating less, but am I moving more?  Actually no.  I had a busy week in my Pilates studio with lots of new clients but I actually worked out less than I normally do because I followed Ferriss' bare minimum workout of 15 bird dogs, 20 bridges (whatever he calls them is dumb; everyone else calls them bridges), and 50 kettlebell swings. This was literally my first time using a kettlebell and I used my own blog post as a source for proper form! (I found that amusing and also cool.)  On the first day, I overswung three or four times and my upper traps (neck) were really sore the next day.  I kept it under better control for the Wednesday and Friday workouts and haven't had the soreness again.  My mistake?  I didn't keep my arms completely stiff for every swing.  I purchased a 25-pound kettlebell which was in the midrange of his recommendation for women.  If you are very, very new at this, definitely get the 20-pounder. My reaction to the bridges and bird dogs was no biggie, whatever.  My reaction to the kettlebells was a lot of huffing and puffing.  On Monday, I had to rest twice to get 50 swings in.  On Wednesday, I split the 50 into two sets, and on Friday I did one set of 30 and one set of 20.  Every time I was breathing hard, really hard, when I finished.  I felt a little muscle soreness in my tush the next day, but just a little.  Keep in mind, I'm a Pilates instructor and I work out a lot. Which brings me to: I miss Pilates!  Usually I'd have to have the flu if I went a week without Pilates.  So I'm a bit on the fence: stick with the program as Ferriss has it written out, so that you, dear reader, can see exactly what "the program" does.  Or sneak in a quickie Pilates session so I don't go batty and so I can keep my back nice and strong.  Please feel free to give your opinion on that one. The Diet Automating your eating is nothing new.  As Ferriss points out in his book, most of us do it anyway; we have our "go-to" meals that we tend to prepare again and again.  There have been studies that show automating your eating can help with weight loss. What was different for me was a pretty big increase in protein, absolutely zero starches, and adding legumes. I hate legumes!  Hate 'em!  It's a texture thing for me.  I have to hide them.  I like peas (which Ferriss classifies as a vegetable in the book, but I'm yanking 'em back to the legume category) and peanuts.  So I snuck some kidney beans into a soup (could still taste 'em) and I've been eating peanuts and peas.  I blame this entirely on my Mom who used to make me eat eight lima beans when she served them for dinner.  I ate them whole and gulped them down with milk like a horse pill.  Sigh.  If anyone has suggestions for ways to sneak in legumes, I'm all for it. Oddly, the no starch thing turned out to be no big deal to me.  I was expecting to really crave them and I wasn't.  I think it was the extra protein I was eating but I'm not sure.  I think I stayed 100% on diet with one exception; I ordered steamed veggies at a restaurant and they came with a dollop of butter on them.  I soaked it up a bit with my napkin (weird looks from my lunch partner) and ate them anyway. The Binge I was dreading binge day.  I was cruising along well, the scale was moving in the right direction, and I didn't want to fall off the wagon and backslide into oblivion.  So I didn't really want to do it.   But I had breakfast as usual (eggs, spinach, onions, peanuts, one slice of bacon) and then waited a bit and had a cup of coffee with one teaspoon of cinnamon as Ferriss suggests (to keep blood sugar fairly level while you binge).  It tasted gross!  Next time I need a bigger mug of coffee.  The coffee is also supposed to cause a bowel movement. I wound up eating shepherd's pie for lunch with some french fries nicked off my son's plate (about 400 calories total), about two ounces of peppermint bark left over from Christmas (320 calories), a bowl of pasta with pomodoro sauce and meatballs at Bertucci's (I ate less than half of it and was stuffed; about 500 calories), one and a half of their rolls (200 calories?), half an apple tart (about 300 calories), and finished it off with a small ice cream cone (500 calories).  So overall I was somewhere around 2,400 to 2,500 calories for the day.  Ferriss details a 9,000 calorie binge in his book and I don't know how he did it.   I'm writing this the next morning and I'm fine with what I ate and I don't feel cravings for anything. Fun with Thermogenics Ferriss details different ways to make yourself shiver in the book.  The idea is if you're cold, your body will respond by increasing your metabolism to warm you up, thus burning calories.  There is no way that I am ever taking an ice bath and the only way I would consider taking a cold shower is if there was no hot water and I positively stank.  (Yes I'm a wuss, so for those of you who want to do it, go crazy, but it definitely won't be me.)  But I did drink 500-ml of ice water first thing in the morning and try out the ice pack. First, let's disptach with the ice pack on the neck and upper back.  I'm doing it, I can feel my back getting cold, I did it for over 30 minutes each time (mostly because I was reading a magazine and got into an article or two), and it was no big deal.  I felt a mild coldness for a few minutes afterward and that's it.  I have no idea if it's working and if any brown adipose tissue is doing anything. Now the cold water in the morning is a different story.  I drank it, took a few minutes getting ready for my day, then made breakfast (within 30 minutes most days).  The first two days by the time I was getting ready to walk out the door I had broken into a sweat; literally beads of sweat on my forehead.  The one day that I walked to worked, I was super sweaty by the time I got there.  (It's only half a mile; we're not talking much exertion here and I do it all the time.)  The third day, nothing; the fourth and fifth day, sweat again.  The sixth and seventh day, nothing. That was surprising.  So I'm either really good at being psychosomatic or something was happening.  If any of you had similar results, let me know.  I was really floored to have that response.  I also don't know if having the high-protein breakfast in conjunction with the cold water had anything to do with it.  I should add that I did the exercise routine three mornings during the week and I didn't sweat during the workout (although I was huffing from the exertion), but I did break out into a sweat on all of those days about 30 minutes later when I was leaving for work. Supplements Supplements scare me.  I just don't completely trust what's in them and what they're going to do.  Yes they're "all natural" but hey, so is heroin and that's an excellent weight loss supplement with a few disastrous side effects.  So I'm leery.  I ordered the supplements, they came on Wednesday, and I just kinda looked at 'em for a while.  On Thursday, I had the AGG in the morning (the AGG is one combination of the supplements) and within a few minutes I was pretty nauseous.  I lied down for a few minutes, had a massive burp, and instantly felt better (sorry if that's TMI).  I only did one "dose" that day.  On Friday, after my ice pack, I did the PAGG at night (a different supplements combo) and didn't have any problems at all; ditto for Saturday. Again, is this doing anything? I have no idea and I'm not doing the four doses per day that Ferriss recommends, frankly because I think I should work up to it.  I'm going to go with a lunch AGG and an evening PAGG today and see what happens. I also know I'm going to get a ton of grief at the studio when my co-workers see me popping pills.  That being said, several guys at the health club where my studio is located talk about whey proteins all the time, so I'll just throw that back in their face. Wrap-Up So that's my week.  Six pounds and almost four inches gone, I miss Pilates, the eating's really not that bad, and thermogenics is fun to play with.  Also, I'm scared of supplements. What do you think?  I realize this is a pretty long post, so if you read this far, thanks for sticking with me.  Please chime in if you're doing this yourself and let me know what your results are.  I'm still not endorsing this yet, but I have an appointment with my nutritionist tomorrow and I'll be sure to report back.  I'm expecting a pretty big eye roll from her. Cheers, Lisa

About Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson here. I've been a personal trainer since 1997, a Pilates instructor since 1998 and the owner of Modern Pilates since 1999. I'm hoping to give you some good ideas to get or stay in shape with a healthy dose of humor and reality. Thanks for joining me.

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149 Responses to “The 4-Hour Body”: Thoughts on the First Week

  1. deb roby January 9, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    I find black beans -well cooked- not offensive at all. They have almost no flavor and I can add them straight to egg dishes for breakfast. Other times – I mash them and add flavorings for a dip or saucy.

  2. Suzanne @WorkoutNirvana January 9, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    This is a helluva lot to do. I’m shocked that anyone actually follows through with all this stuff. I’d have to be extremely motivated to change so many aspects of my life. We’ll see how many people benefit from the program, but my guess is it’s just another passing fad.

  3. Lisa Johnson January 9, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    Suzanne, I suspect you might be right … I’ve got a whole post coming about “Life hacking” which is what Tim does … on the one hand, I’m hoping this spawns some research at the university level. Would be interesting to see what comes of it.

  4. Lisa Johnson January 9, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    Deb, thank you! I have a can in my cupboard that I’ve been looking at dubiously … I’ll try ’em.

  5. Katy January 9, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    I am so glad you are reviewing this! I’ve been eyeing the book suspiciously — but this has pushed me over the edge and convinced me to give it a try.

  6. Lisa Johnson January 9, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    Katy that’s great, but I’m not officially endorsing it yet. :-) Glad you like the posts tho! L–

  7. stephen dobson January 9, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    For super-deliciuos legumes please try this black bean soup recipe. I skip the ham, and blend all the black beans. If you like spicy food, throw in one or two finely sliced habaneros.

    Can you post more details about the supplements? As far as I’ve read, most of them are aimed at getting creatine into your body that you use to build muscle. Muscle maintenance requires energy, and your body draws on fat reserves to get that.

    I don’t understand the “binge” thing. That makes no sense to me at all. I think if I were you, I’d happily call 2500 calories a binge.

  8. Alex January 9, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    Awesome post. I’ve been reading all kinds of reviews for Tim Ferris’ new book and this is the first one that finally goes in-depth to any of his advice. I’ve really been wanting to buy The 4-Hour body and now I think I finally will, especially since it’s only $15. A lot of what you’ve mentioned in your post is stuff I already do, so it shouldn’t be too hard for me to adjust anyway. I’m not a fan of coffee though, because it sometimes gives me anxiety.

  9. Lisa Johnson January 9, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    Thanks Alex, I appreciate it and there’ll be more posts coming. I’m withholding my final opinion until the end of the 30 days. Also, I don’t like coffee all that much either, I usually drink tea, but I had some per the instructions in the book. It’s supposed to help you, erm, poo.

  10. Lisa Johnson January 9, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    Hi Stephen,

    The supplements are Policosanol: 20 – 25 mg, Alpha-lipoic acid: 100 – 300 mg, Green tea flavanols (decaffeinated w/at least 325 mg EGCG) 325 mg, Garlic extract: 200 mg.

    Prior to breakfast take AGG, Prior to lunch take AGG, prior to dinner take AGG, prior to bed take PAGG

  11. Magaly January 10, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    Hi Lisa!! After the binge day i gained 1 pound, just like you (this was yesterday), but when i weighed myself today i gained 1 extra pound!! did this happen to you??? I’m kinda freaking out because yesterday i did the diet as usual… and i was still feeling quite full from saturday :S …. i’ve been constipated though… haven’t go to the bathroom since saturday…. any comments please?? thxs

  12. Lisa Johnson January 10, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    Hi Magaly, I was up 1.4 pounds from my low weight on Saturday this morning. So I lost .6 pounds between yesterday and today. That said, I’m retaining water because my rings are tight (first time through this experience so far). I’ve been peeing a lot today! (I know TMI) So I think it’s just my body settling back into the routine.

    The other thing I realized this morning is I haven’t broken a sweat with the morning glass of cold water in 3 days so I think my body is adjusting to that too. :-)


  13. Sonia Simone January 10, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    Putting that amount of carbs into you when you haven’t been eating many will make you gain at least 2 pounds of water, it comes right off. That’s why Atkins makes you drop two or more pounds in the first two days also.

    FYI, you’re totally allowed to have that butter on your veggies. :) I mention it only because butter isn’t off diet.

    6 pounds seems like a huge amount to me for someone who’s already slim! Even given that 2 are water, still.

    If you don’t feel like killing anyone with the amount of legumes you’re taking in, maybe it’s fine as is? When I drop carbohydrates I feel utterly wretched, which was what I liked about this — legumes are actually rather high in carbs, although they’re also nicely high in fiber. Maybe you can find a complex carbohydrate that has a similar profile? Or maybe you can enlist a hypnotist to help with the legume hatred. :) I like them a lot.

    I vote that you can do Pilates for “recreation.” Ferriss gets to play Frisbee, I think it’s only fair that you get to do Pilates.

  14. Sonia Simone January 10, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    @stephen, the logic behind the binge, and from my experience I think it makes sense, is that if you’re like 99% of us, you’re going to go off diet — way, way off diet — at some point anyway. Ferriss just plans for it.

    He does it to the extreme, which makes sense since he does everything to the extreme. But at another point he also says that he doesn’t do the stupid overstuffed bingeing every week — it’s maybe 1 week in 3 or 4. And you don’t have to overeat like that — his point is just that you can if you want to.

  15. Lisa Johnson January 10, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    Sonia, yes, I think I’ll need a hypnotist to get over the legume thing. I’ve been eating peas and peanuts which “count” and I guess I missed the butter thing so that’s good, I’ll use small dollops here and there. But I’ve been cooking my eggs with this awesome Tuscan Olive oil I got for Christmas and it tastes really, really good.

    I was surprised at the 6 pounds too and thought it was a lot but it was my period, not something I’m psyched sharing with readers (lol) but I didn’t want people to get the wrong impression and that can make a decent difference in weight.

    I’m going to hold off on the Pilates for one more week I think to get a “true” sense of the program as written, then I’ll start adding stuff back in and Pilates will be one of the first. I’ll stick to the diet for 30 days but I’m really reticent about the supplements and I got a HUGE thumbs down from my nutritionist today. She was NOT happy! Kept asking me where the studies were and I’m a smart girl, why am I doing this?

  16. Lisa Johnson January 10, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    The really big question though is what do you do with the supplements when you’re “done” with the diet. Ferriss suggests that you live like this indefinitely, I can tell you for sure that my family will mutiny and frankly I don’t want to … so what’s the rebound going to be when this thing is all over? If you’re taking supplements to boost your metabolism what happens when you stop taking them? Do you go back to your old normal? Do you go below that? Are you planning on being on pricey supplements for the rest of your life? What are the long term effects of that? I think I’m going to just do the PAGG at night and that’s it. That plus when the garlic pills break open in your stomach it makes you burp garlic breath, ewwwh

  17. Bridget January 10, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    I’m a week into it too, and my face is totally different. I’ve lost enough weight that I can see it in my face (and I’m a fat chick).
    I have more energy. And I don’t have cravings. And I’m not very moody. And I’m sleeping better.
    I think this is because of the very low amount of sugar in the diet.
    So I like that.
    I wasn’t so plussed with the rest of his book though,especially the sex section. His advice about clitoral stimulation should have stopped with where it was (men need that!). The rest felt like a sex advice from a guy who understands how to quantify a stat but who isn’t so good at qualifying them. His whole comment about how “She’ll thank you” if you don’t listen to what she wants while tapping her clitoris, well, that felt wrong.
    So, the book is a real mixed bag for me.
    But the diet, yeah, cool.

  18. Lisa Johnson January 10, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    Bridget, LOL you might be onto something there with your description. I thought that chapter was ok, I kinda glossed through it. :-) Glad you’re seeing progress with the first 150 pages :-)

  19. Sonia Simone January 11, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    The PAGG is pretty benign, as I understand it the P part is maybe somewhat more controversial, so you could toss that one. There are tons of studies for garlic, green tea, & antioxidants. I’m with you on garlic extract, though, I avoid it for that reason. Ick.

    I really felt like PAGG was optional. Intended as a boost while you’re burning excess fat (which you don’t have 30 days worth of anyway), but my guess is you’d do very well with or without it.

  20. Lisa Johnson January 11, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    yup, we’ll see. I agree most of the stuff seems fine … but if you artificially inflate your metabolism to speed fat loss what happens when you go off? I asked my nutritionist and she said I don’t know … me neither … want to find more info on that … thanks for the thoughts Sonia :-)

  21. sarah January 11, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    My question is what happens after the 30 days? Sounds like with such rapid weight loss that when you go try a balanced healthy lifestyle, the weight will come right back if you are restricting carbs, etc. Im not familiar w/the book, only your reviews so maybe this is addressed but it doesnt sound like a sustainable weight loss lifestyle for after these 30 strict days…and doesnt sound like a plan that would be enjoyable/real to endure for life? curious to hear your thoughts? Seems like a plan that would lead to a Yo-yo effect. I’m guessing this is addressed but curious..

  22. Beth January 11, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    U are hillarious! I love your postings. I am on my second day f 4 hr and I myself am very scared of the supplments too. Also very consipated as well sorry TMI! I dont think it is overly hard as a diet I am just worried why no bowel movement. WEIRD. Also what foods do u snack on?

    Thanks…keep up the great work.


  23. Lisa Johnson January 11, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    Hi Sarah, yup, I have the same concerns, so did my nutritionist when I talked to her yesterday. She said, “what are you going to do when it’s over, the weight will come back on …” I said, “that’s your job!” So we’ll see, I don’t plan on continuing after the 30 days (actually I’ll be on vacation the week after ~ a recipe for disaster!) but Ferriss says this is something you can do indefinitely (I don’t want to) and doesn’t discuss coming “off” the diet at all. I will be careful though and try not to yo-yo.


  24. KellyJMF January 11, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    Hi cuz! I mostly hate beans too, so maybe it’s genetic. My husband hides them in all sorts of things and I’ve gotten used to it (and like some of the dishes he makes). I’ll have to hit him up for some recipes.

  25. Lisa Johnson January 11, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    Hi Beth, I’m not snacking much at all. When I do it’s either pickles (organic, made fresh by my next door neighbor!) a few walnuts, or peanuts. That’s about it. As for the no BM … I’ve had a lot less than I’m used to as well. I believe Ferriss suggests keeping the legumes at higher levels to keep things moving along. If it’s really bad there is an over the counter stool softener you can buy. They are these red liquid capsule thingies, they get things moving too ;-) Good luck! Thanks for stopping by.


  26. Lisa Johnson January 11, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    Hey!!! When are we getting together?? Been way too long!

  27. Kerri O January 12, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    I’m almost to the end of week two, and strangely, not losing much? Weird. Frustrating. If it doesn’t get rolling I’m over it, too much crazy stuff to keep up with!

  28. Lisa Johnson January 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    You know what Kerri, my weight loss has slowed a lot too. Since the binge … finally had to, um, encourage a BM to get things moving … today is day 11 for me … this is the whole idea I was talking about. He had 194 people test the diet (for 30 days?) and he talks about if you slow up on your weight loss that you’re not following his diet to the T. But his diet (the first 150 pages) doesn’t include the supplements and the thermogenics stuff … I’m still stalling on the supplements. I haven’t taken any since Sunday, when I had a double dose and felt uncomfortable. I don’t know … I’m doing the 30 days no matter what and I’ve been very faithful about the diet part. Not one scrap of starch, dairy or fruit on non-binge days … shrug. We’ll see.

  29. Corinna S January 12, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    Hi Everyone,

    I appreciate all of your posts, thoughts and feedback on this! I bought this book for my husband’s birthday and am going to do the program with him. I’ve lost weight on my own tracking my food, becoming a Ovo vegitarian for the most part, and working out with Jillian Michael’s Dvds at home when I cannot get outside. I have to admit that I may have overdone it a bit with working out on this two year journey and as a result have been very inconsistant with working out and sticking to what I plan to eat for the past 6 months. I’ve put on about 9 lbs; but am still fitting into my treasured small sized clothing :)I’d like to lose the weight I’ve put on, but really lament the notion of not working out every day. Do you think I could get a good cardio or yoga workout in on the off days if it is quick and intense i.e. around 30 minutes?

  30. Lisa Johnson January 12, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    Corinna, I’m being strict to stay “true” to the book so people can see my experiences … you can adapt it any way you think is best for you. By all means add cardio and yoga if you’d like. I’m really missing Pilates and am putting it back in next week! :-) L–

  31. Sonia Simone January 13, 2011 at 12:29 am #

    How’s your vegetable intake? Any idea how much fiber you’re taking in every day?

    When you’re done with Ferriss, check out Susan Roberts’ I-Diet (formerly called the Instinct Diet), which is stellar. Your nutritionist friend would be much happier with that — it comes directly out of extensive trials with thousands of volunteers at Tuft’s university. (Robert’s recipe for “I-diet soda bread” would be the perfect substitute for your legumes — it’s got tons of fiber, low GI, and a similar carbohydrate profile, but then I suppose you wouldn’t really be doing a real trial of the Ferriss.)

    I lost 25 pounds with it very easily. You never get hungry and you never eat anything gross, two big plusses in my book. Put 10 back on by getting a little lazy and making some tweaks that probably put me into a too-many-carbs zone, so working on that now.

  32. Lisa Johnson January 13, 2011 at 10:30 am #


    We have actually had Susan Roberts at the health club that I worked at and she conducted a nutrition group here for some of our clients. I’m familiar with her work. There is one big issue I have with her book. Early on (first or second chapter) she states that you don’t need to exercise at all. Nada. Zippo. THAT is ridiculous. The trainers (pilates instructors and personal trainers) were like why is this person here she doesn’t even believe in our gym existing. Any diet that eliminates exercise completely is simply not taking into account basics like heart health, joint stability, and strength. It’s silly to make such a statement.

    I’m not happy with Ferriss’ lack of cardio guidelines. He just says to do it “for fun.” I don’t think you should be saying that to someone with heart disease or who has the DNA that makes them more likely to develop heart disease (that’s just one example). Never mind the stress relief benefits, social benefits (if you do group sports) etc.

    But yeah, I’ll glance through it again. I’m thinking of doing the Paleo for 30 days next. BTW I’m on Day 12 and I’m still not down to the number I was on Saturday. I’m still .4 pounds above Saturday’s pre-binge weight and had to get a cup of coffee to get things moving the other day …


  33. Sonia Simone January 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    I saw the message in the book as more that “you can lose fat with diet and no exercise, but you won’t lose much fat with exercise unless you deal with nutrition.” The book explicitly says that exercise has many important health benefits. I think she’s speaking to people who want to lose body fat and say, “OK, I’ll start running” without fixing anything in what they’re eating.

    My sense is that once people get their insulin resistance under control and start to fix the factors that lead to metabolic syndrome, they get the energy they need to start exercising. I can see where she’s coming from — I’m a lifelong exercise junkie who spent decades working out 5-7 hours a week and still carrying 15 pounds of belly fat I couldn’t lose until I fixed my nutrition. I was eating high-quality food, but too much of it, and I couldn’t figure out how to get my calories to a lower level without feeling miserable.

    But she’s a nutritionist, not an exercise physiologist — I can vouch for the nutrition side being excellent, and there’s no reason not to do all the exercise you want to look and feel good.

  34. Lisa Johnson January 13, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    Thanks Sonia, I appreciate the input. I just went looking for the book to see if I could find the passage but I can’t come up with it. I’ll double check and pick up my own copy. :-)

  35. Kerri O January 13, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    Thanks Lisa, your comments helped. I am discouraged at the moment and ready to bail. i think because I was already pretty low carb before this diet I didn’t have as much water weight, etc at the beginning that many people lose when they go off grains, etc? Someone told me what I was doing wasn’t slow carb. As far as I can tell I’m following what he’s set out in the book! Think I’m going to go in search of a more sensible book/plan for my next hype or help experiment on my blog!

  36. Lisa Johnson January 13, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    Well, the other two suggestions on this comment list are the I Diet and the Paleo Diet. I’m about to start reading through the Paleo Diet.

  37. Todd Hoyer January 13, 2011 at 6:56 pm #


    Came across your blog as I was researching my own blog where I’m documenting the same thing.

    Diet has worked out quite well (I’m 10 days in), but there is no way I can do the cold showers. I tried and about 20 seconds in I just couldn’t stand it.

    I’m committing to sticking with it for the full 30 days, but I don’t want to get discouraged, so I’m not weighing or measuring myself at all, just going to wait and see what happens after 30 days.

    I had a huge problem after about 3 days where I had the worst headache I think I’ve ever had and it lasted all day. Withdrawal from sugar or something? I don’t know, it’s passed, but I have definitely felt a little weird from time to time, like not being able to sleep for a few nights, then just being sacked out in a coma for 12 straight hours.

    All in all though I’m feeling pretty good. This might be too much information, but after a few days and some issues with, you know… stuff, I started mixing up a little sugar free Citrucel ever morning and that has kind of helped things along.

    Anyway, keep updating, I’m interested in reading about how other people are doing with Tim Ferriss’s program.

    Good luck,

  38. Lisa Johnson January 13, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    Todd, thanks for stopping by, please post your blog so others can check out what you’re doing. It seems constipation is the biggest problem I’ve encountered so far, not just with me, but a few others have mentioned it too. I think any time you make your body do a “hard turn” you’re going to get a reaction which can include sleeplessness & headaches among other things.

    Thanks for the tip with the Citrucel, I seem to have evened out. I’m on Day 12. I’m committed to doing the 30 days too and so far not one single, stinkin, cheat on the diet! :-)


  39. Karen January 14, 2011 at 12:39 am #

    Hey Lisa

    Interesting stuff! I read a review of Ferris’ book in the NYTimes and holy crap did it scare me away. Fascinating to read how you are following it.

    FWIW, Alpha Lipoic Acid is really good for the skin. I am not sure if the diet you are following is going to negate its benefits. I’d be curious if you are noticing any changes (good or bad) to your skin–tone, texture, breakouts, etc. I know if I skimp on my ALA (and I am bad at taking these things so I skimp often), my skin doesn’t look as good.

    There are some theories out there that carbs are terrible for your skin (due to glucose increase, thus inflammation, so the whole diet could give your skin a boost. (And research is beginning to show that food and skin problems do go hand in hand, although you still can’t blame chocolate for teenaged zits.)

  40. Lisa Johnson January 14, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    Karen thanks for the input from a beauty point of view. I’ll definitely check out the NYTs article too :-)

  41. Todd Hoyer January 14, 2011 at 11:08 am #


    Thanks! Here’s my blog: http://toddtries4hb.blogspot.com/

    I don’t know that it’ll get too many readers, mainly just having a place to record everything publicly so that it keeps me accountable. That seems to be working. I don’t want to have to lie to my blog.


  42. elizabeth January 14, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    Thanks for this update Lisa — I’m interested in a woman’s results with this diet (yes, I know men can can 600 pounds of muscle simply by cutting down from 2 pizzas a day to 1 pizza a day. I am not a man). I’d be thrilled with a 6 pound weight loss, so maybe I’ll give this a go. I’ll see after your next update.

    Best of luck to you and thanks for being a guinea pig for us all. :-)


  43. Lisa Johnson January 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

    Hi Elizabeth, I’ve been very faithful to the diet. Not one single cheat and so far this week I’ve lost .2 pounds. Yes .2 … I do think I’ve lost inches as well though, so we’ll see what happens tomorrow the “official” weigh in and measurement day.

    Tara, here are some good sources of iron http://healthlibrary.epnet.com/GetContent.aspx?token=0d429707-b7e1-4147-9947-abca6797a602&chunkiid=10984, fruit isn’t one of the better places although you can get certainly get some. But maybe iron is a concern, I was dead, dead tired during the heavier days but, there are so many variables it’s hard to pin down. Good thought though.


  44. Sonia Simone January 14, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    @Todd, you might be onto something about it being the reduction in sugar.

    The Ferriss diet is not low-carb (beans have tons of carbs), but lowering your carbohydrates from where they were takes water out of your system, and that can give you headaches. Happens a lot to folks who do Atkins (they call it the Atkins flu.) If you don’t have blood pressure issues, you might try increasing the amount of salt in your diet a tad, that will help your body keep some of that water (and potassium).

    For someone who isn’t a health pro, I really spend entirely much too much time reading diet & nutrition books.

  45. Lisa Johnson January 14, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    I had forgotten about the Atkins flu. I worked in a health club that was in the same industrial park as their headquarters. I never met a bigger group of jerks. They were so arrogant, treated all the gym staff like servants. They drove us nuts … I’ve never like the Atkins diet because the people who worked there were so awful, not actually based on the diet itself … lol. AND they insisted we sell their bars at the front desk, back then they tasted pretty bad.

  46. elizabeth January 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    Reading the comments, it seems that constipation is a common complaint. I know he mentions naturally fermented foods in his book so they are on-diet and I know they certainly helped me over the years (you don’t even want to know. So don’t ask. Just trust me). Raw sauerkraut, kombucha tea (make sure it’s raw) and unsweetened yogurt with live cultures should help get things moving.

    I started a slightly modified version of the diet (grains with breakfast to avoid homicide charges). I tend to eat pretty healthy (fries, pizza, burgers, ice cream aren’t my things) but I overdo it on fruits and peanut butter. And wine. And dark chocolate. So guess what my cheat day is gonna entail? :-D

    Also, in googling around about the cheat day, I strongly suspect Tim’s program is influenced by the Cheat Yourself Thin plan by Joel Marion (Marion’s site even refers to strategic glutting during the holidays and Tim’s site mentions eating like Santa and looking like Jesus during the holidays. Could be coincidence, but who knows). One thing I found in researching was the recommendation over at Mark’s Daily Apple is that only those who are already at a lean body weight (say, 20% or less for women) really need the leptin/thyroid saving cheat day. Obviously, this contradicts Tim and Joel Marion’s plans, but for those of you who have stalled, perhaps that’s an issue. Mark also discouraged legumes as they can be anti-nutrients for some people. So who knows what to believe?

  47. Lisa Johnson January 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    Elizabeth, this always come back to what works best for each individual. Some people will thrive on Tim’s diet, some will struggle. We come to our weight from a million different roads and we’ll get it off through a variety of options. There is no “one size fits all” diet. So if you need grains in the morning to avoid suicide go for it!

    I already have some ideas for how I’m going to continue after the 30 days is over, but I’m going to go through the process fully before I make any final decisions. It’s been an interesting path for me, I’ve never been this disciplined before. That’s been eye opening for me! Thanks for your comments and the suggestions on keeping the digestive track moving, lol.


  48. elizabeth January 18, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    Thanks Lisa! I am down a little over 2 pounds in a week, which is good (although, obviously, I wish it were more but I’m practicing contentment).

    Question for you: whenever I get serious about fat loss and clean up my diet is my hormones go wonky. The last time my weight dropped below 140 (I’m 5’4, so this is certainly not starvation), I got my period 9 days early and then it came again right on schedule. Hooray! 2 in one month! My skin went crazy with cystic acne. I was too miserable to continue and now, 3 months later, I’m giving it another go.

    This morning, my period showed up a week early so it looks like here we go again. Have you ever heard anything like this? I have heard that fat stores estrogen and maybe that’s the culprit?

  49. Stacy January 20, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    I have been doing this pretty faithfully for 10 days and haven’t lost anything – lbs’ or body fat. I am so frustrated. I don’t know if it has anything to do with being peri-menopausal or the fact that I had my period last week (which I can never count on happening at the same time lol)

    Planning on sticking through the full 30 days and see what happens. I think that the citrucel is a good idea. I am up to 5 liters of water a day and about 120 grams of protein.

    So frustrated!!

  50. Liz January 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

    I am 3 weeks in on the diet…and basically agree with the constipation issue. I wake up in the morning feeling bloated and uncomfortable which leads me to my next issue. I am really getting bored with eggs for breakfast. Feeling bloated in the morning makes my choke down breakfast in order to eat with in an hour of waking up. Similar to how you feel about beans, I feel about eggs. I was always an oatmeal person and the hardest transition has been breakfast. Any suggestions?

  51. kb January 20, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    K I have some guesses for Elizabeth as to the hormones (though you should talk to a physician or naturopath about steps to solve this).

    The monthly drop in progesterone and estrogen brings on menstruation-some foods and drinks like those stored in plastic, soy products, non organic or high consumption dairy and animal products (they are hormonal beings ingesting them and their products and the hormone supplements they are fed), have been shown to have an estrogen effect in the body. Eliminating them from the diet would have a hormonal effect.

    Also, as already mentioned by Tim Ferris (as well as many other studies and professionals), fat and estrogen are linked. The drop in fat intake will effect your hormone levels.

    Increasing fiber, decreasing fat, cleaning your liver will effect your body systems. Different for everyone. Have you consulted a physician to test your blood levels to make sure you don’t have any underlying health issue that would dictate what type of diet you specifically should consume?

  52. Lisa Johnson January 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    Hi Stacy, according to my nutritionist you can swing as much as four pounds during your period cycle so a lot of women can give up a diet if they time the beginning incorrectly. That said did you take your measurements? There should have been some change there if you’re following the program. If there aren’t any changes then I would suggest that you DNA doesn’t jibe with this diet and I’d ditch it and go for another one. We are all made differently so if this one doesn’t work for you, just move on … :-)

  53. Lisa Johnson January 20, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    Liz, you could substitute another protein. I also always saute onions first and then add the egg so it’s got a nice texture and alters the flavor quite a bit. I make sure the onions are translucent before I add the egg so I don’t have bad breath for my clients! Finally, if you’ve “had enough” of the diet (30 days say, or maybe you’re there already) I would suggest to either modify it (have your oatmeal, do the rest of the diet faithfully) or ditch it and try another one. (I Diet maybe? or Paleo? or just food journal and watch portion controls, I was on Weight Watchers forever & they don’t have any restrictions on what you eat, just portion sizes).

    There is no one size fits all, you have to find what works best for you. I miss oatmeal too … :(

  54. Lisa Johnson January 20, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    kb, nice addition, thanks. I’d also like to point out that Ferriss suggested staying away from soy even though it’s a legume, he didn’t go into specifics, but soy is a mimic of female hormones and it can mess with your system. For guys it can backfire as well. You’d have to eat A LOT, but still, it could cause something simple like water retention. L–

  55. Stacy January 25, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    Thanks Lisa – I am following more closely now and have taken my measurements. Also, just found out my gym does free caliper readings and will go tonight. I finally have seen some downward movement on the scale YEA! I have another question – I see that you mentioned soy, would that mean that edamame is a no no?

  56. Lisa Johnson January 25, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    Stacy, Soy and edamame are the same thing, it’s not a no-no, it’s a small amounts kind of thing. When you get the caliper test done the 2nd time make sure the same guy does it both times. Otherwise you’ll get totally different readings! Good luck with it!

  57. elizabeth January 26, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

    Thanks for the suggestions KB… I have not talked to a doc about it. I suppose I should but they don’t seem to be so hot at guessing the causes of these phantom lady troubles (yet they still collect my co-pay. HMPH!)

    In reading the book more closely, Tim mentions the binge as being especially necessary for women in regulating their hormones. One woman had eliminated her period completely through her strict dieting and the binge day brought it back. I was going 10 days without a binge instead of 7 so perhaps that accounts for it.

    I have eliminated the small amounts of yogurt and cheese I had been eating prior to the diet and this could be a culprit. If I have dairy several days in a row I break out in enormous, painful acne on my face which I believe is hormonal. So perhaps eliminating the dairy has also caused some hormonal oddities.

    If this continues, I will check it out with a doc.

    Thanks again!

  58. Lisa Johnson January 27, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    Elizabeth I agree, check in with a doc and they only give you a half-baked answer, ask for a referral to a registered dietician to see if you can get to the bottom of it. Body fat % has a lot to do with menses. Most women lose their periods somewhere in the 16% to 18% body fat range.

  59. Dave T January 29, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    I have been going on the slow carb religiously for the past 5 days. It’s my binge day today, so I weighed in first thing this morning. I only lost one pound. I’m a 40 year old male at 264 lbs. I was a little discouraged, but I am sticking with it. Hopefully I’ll lose more next week. We’ll see. Good luck to you.

  60. Lisa Johnson January 29, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    Dave, good luck with it. All I have to say is, if it’s another week or two and you’re not seeing good progress switch to another diet. This one might not be right for you. :-)


  61. Erin January 29, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    Hi All,

    I just started this 5 days ago and so far really like it. Wanted to let you all know that I haven’t had issues with the constipation issue because I have the Yogi “Get Regular” tea right before bed. It helps a ton!! I have always had issues in that department and ever since I found this tea it is great!!

  62. Lisa Johnson January 29, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    Good to know Erin, thank you! :-)

  63. alice February 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    So — what if you “fall off the wagon?” How much will it mess up everything? (I ate a cookie and it isn’t my binge day yet….)

  64. Lisa Johnson February 1, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

    Alice, I don’t know what the answer is, the honest to God’s truth is I didn’t cheat. At all. I was light on legumes but never ate a “forbidden” food. Do I think a cookie will do anything? Probably not, but it’s more the slippery slope that you might be on, first one cookie, then you nick some chips from your friend at dinner, then you pick a beer over red wine … you know what I mean ;-)


  65. Ron March 24, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    As a latinO, I ate beans all my life. As a sous chef, I can show you how to make it up to 3 different ways. Follow my yummy recipes on Facebook: Four Hour Body con sabor.

    Have a beany day

  66. Stephen March 31, 2011 at 2:43 am #

    I have been using this as a trial with several of my patients. Today I had a 2 month follow up with a patient who was an insulin dependent diabetic, on 6 medications and in early stages of renal insufficiency. After 2 months on the slow carbohydrate diet is now 50 lbs lighter off all but 2 medications and is just doing unbelievably well. I just wrote a post lamenting many of my patient failures, but this has given me renewed hope. I think it’s simplicity is ideal, but still revolves around an individuals motivation. I look forward to implementing supplements and the GLUT 4 exercises into the plan in the future. Thank you for your post it was extremely informational. http://www.4hourlife.com/

  67. William Hertling April 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    Hi Lisa,

    On the topic of legumes: I think that different legumes have very different textures. To me, refried black beans are pretty much the same texture as mashed potatoes. (And they make a great accompaniment to eggs in the morning.) Green lentils are small, firm, and chewy. Red lentils cook down to a soupy, liquid texture. If you don’t like kidney beans and other large legumes, try some of these other ones.

    One of the comments was along the lines of “you’re probably OK to have one cookie, if you kept it at only one cookie”. Actually, I’m not sure that’s true. During the six days you are on the diet, you are trying to avoid sugar and starches, which gets your body into fat burning mode. It’s not a function of calories: it’s purely a function of avoiding the sugar and insulin rush. Unfortunately even one cookie is going to increase your insulin and kick your body out of fat burning mode. I tracked my weight daily over several months (results are at my blog), and I definitely noticed that on days I cheated even a tiny bit – with a cookie or something sweet, no matter how small, I didn’t lose any weight.

    So although I love sweets, I do limit them all to my cheat day.

    But I do allow myself snacks: I have a predetermined number of nuts midmorning, midafternoon, and in the evening. The number is limited and I never have more. But it makes it easier for me to stick with the diet, and it hasn’t interfered with losing weight.

  68. Kelly April 4, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    Hello, I am also skeptical about the diet. I am a nurse practitioner and have lost alot of weight on my own. I did a no or limited carb diet and repeated the diet meals for months and lost about 80 lbs. I have put about 30 lbs back on and want to lose that. My hair dresser suggested the 4 hour body and she said she was having great results. I am with you regarding the supplements. have you done so far?

  69. Lisa Johnson April 4, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

    Hi Kelly, I did lose 11.5 pounds overall on the 30 day diet and I shied away from the supplements. I’ve gained some of the weight back since then, mostly because I started a new job and have been so dang busy. That’s not the diet’s fault. That said, would I do this again, no. I like milk, I hate legumes and I don’t think limiting or forcing something into your diet is the way to create “balance” whatever that means. Congrats on all the weight you lost on your own and thanks for weighing in from the medical profession.



  70. Lisa Johnson April 4, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    William, thank you for adding that in. Cheat days were always described as “eat whatever you want” and he even mentioned chowing down bear claws (loaded with sugar) so I didn’t think it mattered much. I appreciate your input and thoughts on sugar/insulin manipulations.



  71. Meredith April 18, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    I love milk too, but don’t typically just gulp down a glass. I enjoy it in my coffee. I switched to unsweetened almond milk (NOT SOY) and really enjoy it. You’ll even get your calcium that way!

    I’ve totally stagnated right now with loss and while I see some of my clothes are fitting better, wondering do I need to now attack portion sizes of “approved foods”?

  72. Lisa Johnson April 19, 2011 at 6:21 am #

    Meredith, I swear sometimes your body shrinks but the scale doesn’t budge and then the scale will start to move but it seems your clothes fit the same. If you’re seeing changes keep doing what you’re doing. Remember hormonal fluctuations can make an impact. Make sure you’re not coming into that time of the month and then maybe play with portion sizes, or cardio (one at a time!). Good luck with it. :-)

  73. Rindy April 25, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    What is the yogi tea? I’m having trouble in the constipation department! Haven’t lost a pound, have not cheated, going on 8 days

  74. Lisa Johnson April 26, 2011 at 7:07 am #

    The Yerba Mate tea? You should be able to find it in the grocery store. Honestly, I’m addicted to Peet’s Hibiscus C so I didn’t try it … :-)

  75. Tracie May 2, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    I have bought the book and read it on my kindle…… but haven’t really got the jest of it and what you should eat and not eat and how often…… I do enjoy your blogs………. I think I am going to try it starting next week.

  76. Lisa Johnson May 2, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    Tracie, it definitely takes some sorting to figure out exactly what you’re supposed to eat. I had to take the book with me to the grocery store the first couple of times. Good luck if you decide to try it. L–

  77. Diane Casey May 3, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    Please help! I have been on this diet since Feb. 28. I lost 5 lbs the first week and no weight since. I look slimmer and did lose a dress size and a couple of inches in my thighs and belly. I have lost no inches in my waist. I am frustrated reading of all the weight loss successes. I exercise nearly each day and have followed this diet very strictly. I don’t drink as much water as I should and don’t do supplements – but I have been so disciplined that you would think I would have lost 10 pounds or more in this 2 months. Should I give up on this diet and try something else? However My figure looks much better than pre-diet. So I need advice. Also Sometimes I don’t have meals every 4 hours and I need Stevia in my coffee. Please advise!!!t

  78. Lisa Johnson May 4, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    Hi Diane, there are so many variables there, a lot to play with. Are you exercising too much, too little? Are your cheat days a little too out of control, maybe not enough out of control? It’s been two months and you’re frustrated but are you coming up on your period? Those are just basic things …

    The other thing to keep in mind and the die hards will disagree with me here quite a bit is that this diet isn’t for everyone. We all have different DNA variations that make some diets more effective than others. It’s called neutrogenomics and it’s a cutting-edge / new science field. In a decade or so we’ll all be able to have our mouths swabbed and a computer will spit out a detailed diet that is ideal for us.

    But for now we’re left as our own guinea pigs. Keep in mind the book was written as a personal science experiment. Ferriss was really just journaling his guinea pig experiments so what works for him might not be ideal for other people.

    I can’t help you make a final decision, you might want to tweak things for a few weeks and see what variations help or don’t help or you might want to walk away and try something entirely different. Good luck! I know it can be really frustrating.


  79. Matt Malone May 6, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    Thanks for the detailed post. I’ve been considering this book the past couple weeks. I like learning about the effects of adding things like cinnamon, grapefruit and AGG & PAGG supps to my diet. Can’t wait to hear how week 2 goes for you! I think I’ll buy the book today and start myself.

  80. Lisa Johnson May 7, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    Hi Matt, I did the whole 30 days, just search my site for Tim Ferriss and they’ll all pop up. I lost almost 12 pounds overall, but won’t be repeating the experience, mostly because I hate legumes … I do still eat eggs regularly though ;-)

  81. Shelly May 7, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    Hi Lisa,
    When you stopped the diet, did you gain your 12 pounds back??

  82. Lisa Johnson May 8, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    Hi Shelly,

    I did get a rebound when I stopped the diet. However it coincided with an extended family vacation where it was practically impossible to control what kind of food I was eating and almost all of it was awful. Also, I’m a bit of a stress eater and a family vacation is a major set up for me! (lol). I gained back 3 pounds on vacation and then another 3 pounds within two weeks of getting back and then had to work that off slowly. (I didn’t go back on the diet to go back down, I just ate smaller portions and did more cardio, boring I know).

    I don’t feel like it’s fair to bash the diet for the rebound because it was a very unusual set of circumstances immediately following my 30 days. But I would say if you’re coming off the diet if you go back to your old ways you’re going to see a bounce. (But that’s why you went on the diet in the first place right?) Ferriss believes this is a diet for life but to me it’s too extremem and too limiting to do “forever.” Something to consider when you’re making the decision to do it or not.

    Good luck!


  83. Amanda May 18, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    Lisa –

    You are awesome at responding to posts! All of this has been very helpful!

    If you don’t mind me asking, how much weight did you need/want to lose prior to starting the diet? I’m 5’1″, and started the diet at 124.6 lbs. To some, that might not seem like a lot of weight, but at 5’1″, I have seen better days. Since weight loss is so relative, I was wondering if 11.6 lbs was a lot of weight for you (my goal is only 10 lbs total, but of course if I happen to lose more I would be thrilled) or if it wasn’t enough?

    If you or anyone else is interested, I have a blog charting my progress: http://4hrbodyjourney.blogspot.com/ Anyone is free to post some comments, pointers, or questions

  84. Lisa Johnson May 18, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    My goal weight is 3 pounds below where I was at the end of 30 days. I was strutting in the expensive jeans ;-) I did have a little rebound after the 30 days but it wasn’t the diet’s fault. It was a family thing and a business thing that came up and frankly I was stress eating … I’m getting the weight back off now and using some of the 4HB principles, but not all of ’em. I have ditched legumes and I eat fruit (gasp!) I still like eggs in the morning and I love the butt workout he has …

    Good luck on your journey :-)

  85. Michelle June 3, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    I’m starting on Sunday with my niece who has been doing it for a week. I know we aren’t to drink calories, but does unsweetened almond milk count and I don’t see a mention of fish. I prefer it over chicken, beef, or pork. I just got the book and i’ll start reading it.

  86. Lisa Johnson June 3, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    Michelle, I think fish is fine as a sub for other types of meats. No drinking calories is pretty clear, if it’s got calories, don’t drink it. That said, you can always modify any diet to suit your needs. Just know that modification means you’re not totally “doing” the diet. This is bad/wrong … it’s just not exactly following the plan so you’ll have to experiment a bit.


  87. Missy June 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    I have been living the SCD life for about 7 or 8 weeks now. I tried Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem and lost nothing. On this diet I have lost 7-lbs and I feel a lot better (healthier). I do not crave carbs like I used to. I cut out all artificial sweetners and sugar. Although, sugar does come into play on my binge day. I LOVE MY BINGE DAY!! I think that is what keeps me so motivated on this diet. I look forward to that day all week. I also read on Facebook or another 4H-Body blog that women over 40 years of age and with more than 2 children it takes 4 to 6 weeks to get results from the SCD. I think that is true. As women, we only have a good 2 weeks to lose in the month. Then we go through the dreaded monthly visitor. If you are not a patient person, I would definitely not recommend this diet for you. I remember the first week on the diet, my husband kept saying after he ate his SCD food, he felt like he was missing something. It takes time and it is a lifestyle I will follow for a very long time.

  88. Lisa Johnson June 7, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    Missy, I’m glad you like it and it’s working for you. I have to say I liked the Binge day at first and then I really struggled with it I didn’t want to “have” to eat a whole lot of food if I didn’t feel like it. :-) That said, every dieter is an individual and you’re rocking in. Keep doing what you’re doing. :-) Thanks for leaving the comment L–

  89. Alexia June 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    Hi….I have been on the 4HB diet for 1 week, trying to lose about 10 lbs. My diet was fairly low-cal low-carb before that (except for social drinking, which is the toughest thing for me to give up). I do Zumba once/week plus aerobic walking with my dog for at least 1 hr. every day. I am 59 and hit menopause 3 years ago, have been doing bio-identical HRT for 1 year now. Haven’t noticed any changes in the past week. Any comments or experiences from or for someone of my age?

  90. Lisa Johnson June 20, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    Hi Alexia, I think I would give it another week, maybe two and see how you do. I do think some people have the DNA to respond better to this than others. I think I was in the “good” category. Post menopausal in general is always tougher (but you knew that …). It’s a pain isn’t it! As you age the kids (if any) are gone, your career is rolling along and you have more time and more disposable income to enjoy yourself … JUST as the calorie drops are kicking in on your metabolism … UGH.

    Consider this an experiment and keep an open mind. If it doesn’t work after a little bit more time, just drop it and move on to something else. :-) Chalk it up to a life lesson.


  91. Alexia June 22, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

    Thanks so much for the encouragement, Lisa. You are right on all counts. Life’s too short to worry too much about 10-15 extra pounds, isn’t it?(!). I’ll just work on portion control, alcohol control, keep on with the kettlebells, and maybe put the scale in a closet….and keep smiling.

  92. Lisa Johnson June 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

    It is entirely up to you, life is one big experiment … :-)

  93. Andrew Carr July 18, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

    I really enjoyed reading your experience with this diet! I just started it yesterday and so far so good. I have also started writing in a blog and I would love for anyone to check it out. Here is a link http://4hourbody-andrew.blogspot.com/ I am using this blog to both help motivate me and to receive any suggestions anyone might have about what I am doing. Hope you check it out sometime!

  94. Lisa Johnson July 18, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

    Good luck Andrew! :-) I hope you like legumes ;-)

  95. Julie July 25, 2011 at 1:42 am #

    Sorry if I missed the info in earlier posts but where did you order the supplements?

  96. K. July 27, 2011 at 3:26 pm #


    I am a mature woman who has lost 5&1/2 lbs. and 5 inches in 10 days.

    Swapping out black beans and lentils day to day has worked well for me.

    Drinking lots of water, 8 cups plus tea and coffee, helps flush out the toxins already in your system and those created by the different foods on this diet. Tim does describe this in the book.

    I agree that all diets do not work for all people. I would give a new eating style at least 2 months to show results.

    I look forward to adding aerobic exercise and weight training in the months to come.

  97. Lisa Johnson July 28, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

    K. thanks so much for stopping by and good luck with your journey :-) Try to expand your bean selection a bit so you don’t get too bored of the same old same old. Automated eating has it’s place, but so does variety. Cheers! Lisa

  98. Sarah August 1, 2011 at 1:24 am #

    Just started 4HB this week–anyone have any experience doing 4HB in a family environment? I don’t want to send inadvertently damaging messages about food to my 4yo, healthy-weight daughter…”We can’t have that” isn’t something I want to convey about food. I want her to continue eating a variety of foods from all groups. So far, I’ve explained that I am eating (or not eating) some foods so that I can be stronger and healthier. We already eat a lot of veggies and we all like beans, so I have just been keeping my hand out of the bread/rice/pasta bowl. Not sure how I will handle “binge” day, though. Any thoughts? O

  99. Ann Wise August 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    I have decided to try this plan and just finished reading the comments. I take quite a bit of prescribed medication and this can be tricky. What are the supplements that are used? I can write my doctor naming them and see if she sees any problem. This is very important for me. Thanks.

  100. Lisa Johnson August 2, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    Ann, definitely consult with your doctor if you’re on a lot of medications. You don’t have to do the supplements and I didn’t for most of the diet. I didn’t like the way I felt on them (a little jumpy …). You never know where an interaction could be. You might want to check with a pharmacist too, they’re even more up on drug & herbal interactions. Good luck with your diet!

  101. Lisa Johnson August 2, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    Sarah, when I was doing the diet I had an 8 year old and I explained that it was something Mom was doing to try to lose weight. He said he wanted to go on the diet too (he’s scrawny) and I said, no way, you don’t need it at all. I explained it was for me and just me and that he didn’t need to worry about it. I say go with the slight of hand with your 4 year old and if she asks about it be very blunt. This is for me, you don’t need it, etc. Have your husband back you up! That should be fine. As she gets older keep mentioning positive body image stuff and you should be fine. :-) L–

  102. Ashly August 5, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    HI! I am a personal trainer In Austin,TX and I came across your blog as I was looking up info on the 4HB. I have embarked on the diet this week as well! I started on Monday and here I am on Friday holding pretty strong. I have not lost weight, but funny thing is that I am dealing with PMS this week, similar to your first week. I have followed the eating plan to the T. Although, I have continued with most of my usual workouts. I have been taking cold (not Iced) bathes and using the ice pack sometimes. I, like you, am weary of the supplements but I do think I will try them next week. I am curious, do you take them daily or just on cheat days? If he says that exactly in the book, I missed that part! Are you still on the plan? What have your results been? I look forward to hearing from you!

  103. Lisa Johnson August 5, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    Hi Ashly,

    I’m not on the plan any longer. Once I did the 30 days I was done, for 2 reasons … 1. I hate legumes (that’s probably not your problem) and 2. I really didn’t like the binge days after a while. It didn’t seem like I was “saving up the goodies” for one day as much as just cramming food in my mouth because I “had” to.

    The supplements, yes, I took them but only briefly (I think in week 2 or 3?) and then stopped. I just don’t like the idea of messing with my bodies system. What happens after I achieve my goal weight and go off the pills? There’s no way I’m staying on that stuff indefinitely and he talks about not doing that in the book too.

    After the 30 days I stopped and went on a family vacation (stressful) and then moved my business (very stressful) so I did gain some weight back, but I’m not blaming that on 4HB, I’m blaming that on Haagen Das and a spoon ;-)

    I’m now losing weight just be focusing on fruits and veggies and getting some exercise. You know, the usual stuff.

    Good luck with your journey, I hope you enjoy it. L–

  104. kristin August 8, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    Hi Lisa,

    I too, just jumped into trying this “diet”. You didn’t mention what your final stats were…did you lose weight, inches?



  105. Lisa Johnson August 8, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

    I lost 11 pounds and quite a few inches (can’t remember right now and I’m too darned lazy to get up off the couch and look) but I was sashaying in my jeans and quite enjoying it. :-) I did regain a bit of the weight and I’m taking it back off again now but I don’t blame that on the diet, I had a motherlode of stress happen and I just kinda let go of the wheel.

  106. Bonnie August 31, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    Ok…first of all you are hilarious :) I am on day three so I can’t really contribute much but wanted to say I enjoyed your article.

  107. Lisa Johnson August 31, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    LOL, thanks Bonnie … :-)

  108. D September 5, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    How about the kettle bell workouts…do you think they helped you burn more fat? I think time spent running would be more effective.

  109. Lisa Johnson September 5, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    Hi D, I think you have to listen to your body and adjust accordingly. I would say the kettlebell/birddogs/bridge routine did very good things for my butt! I still do them regularly … keeps me in my skinny jeans. But I run now too … :-)

  110. Cheri September 10, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    Hi all,

    My husband and I have been doing this “diet” since January of this year. We both are down 20 lbs, mine mostly in the first 3 months, his in 6. We started this way of eating first, did not add in any exercise until this summer. I have done the kettle ball and really like them, they only take a few minutes a day which is really cool. We have not taken any of the pills. The only issues we are having is that binge day has grown into a little extra on non binge days. Which hasn’t done much damage. We tend to gain about 3lbs but then return to our normal weight. We are going to stick to this way of eating and add in exercise, but not the pills.

  111. Lisa Johnson September 10, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    Cheri thanks for coming back and giving us the update. It’s good to know that you’ve found it successful without the pills too. You’ve got at least 8 months under your belt so clearly you’ve made it a lifestyle choice. Just be careful with those extra slipups. I can see where that gets tough over time … :-)

  112. Tim Mann October 7, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    Hey all……..I saw Tim on Dr. Oz while on vacation & said I need to try this & do it for at least 3-days & follow it to the letter……..

    I’m 41…..6’2″ & my starting weight was 242.5 lbs & 35% body fat (Yikes) on my electronic scale…….

    At the 30 day mark I had lost 18 lbs & 7% body fat……..

    9-weeks later I’m at 204.5 lbs & down to 22% bodyfat……..

    So that’s 38 lbs lost & 13% body fat lost……

    I did the diet only & started to run 6-days a week……..1st only a mile & then around 6-miles…..& one time 8-miles……

    I LOVE the cheat day & eat what I want, but can only eat about 1/2 of what the old me could have…….

    I feel & look 10-years younger……

    This works very well since you don’t count calories…..eat the same meals……& get that cheat day…..I loved how easy this was to follow….

    Good luck all & I hope that this will encourage anyone that reads this…..

    Peace! Tim Mann (Mi)

  113. Lisa Johnson October 7, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    Congrats Tim! Keep doing what you’re doing … :-)

  114. Cliff October 7, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    I would recommend you do some research on supplements. There is nothing to be afraid of. They are called supplements because they supplement you diet. And no heroine is not a natural supplement. Natural means they are processed down to concentrations with no chemicals added. Heroine? Seriously? Either way keep up the work I say.

  115. Lisa Johnson October 7, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    Cliff, obviously it’s for effect, but heroin at least originally was derived from all natural ingredients and “processed down” as you say. No idea how they make it now. It just seems to me that we’ve got a huge array of food on our planet and should be able to get all we need from food, actual food and not have to take a pill of any sort to make us healthier. I doubt I’ll change my opinion anytime soon, but you are quite welcome to yours. I think I’m probably in the minority of opinion if you asked people. L–

  116. Chris October 20, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    I am 28 and 203 pounds. My goal is to lose 60 pounds. Is this the type of diet that can help me achieve my goal?

  117. Lisa Johnson October 20, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    Chris, it is for you alone to determine. Everyone has different DNA. If you try it, and it doesn’t work out you can always just stop and try something else. Nothing is reversible. :-) Good luck! Any start is a good start. :-)

  118. Phil November 3, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    HI, I have been doing the diet for six days and I am on my first cheat day. I have followed the plan strictly apart from allowing myself a small amount of milk in my tea. 6lbs lost in the first week and looking forward to getting back at it. I found that my weight loss was accelerated on 1 day in particular by adding 4 cloves of raw garlic and 1/3rd of an onion to the kidney beans in one of my meals. (not easy to eat that one!) This also gave me my 6g of prebiotic fibre that is recommended. Gonna test this again next week to see if the same happens.

  119. Lisa Johnson November 3, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

    Phil keep in mind there are a thousand reasons why your body can fluctuate with weight, water gain, temperature, levels of activity … we’re all just one big science lab … but testing and tracking is good, you’ll need more than 2 data points though. Enjoy your cheat day. :) L–

  120. Laura November 12, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    I am 52 yrs old, about 100 lbs overweight. Bloodwork is all good w/ slightly high bp under control w HCTZ. I worked out in the past w/ a trainer for 2.5 yrs. I eat pretty healthy – no fast food, soda, alcohol. No gluten, so not a lot of grains. I originally lost about 40 lbs, but only about 1/2 size. Since first 4 months of working out, no more loss of weight or size. Do you think this plan is worth trying? Thanks. I enjoyed your blog. You’re a great writer.

  121. Lisa Johnson November 12, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    Hi Laura, I’m going to be blunt here, something is off somewhere. If your bloodwork came back normal then it’s your diet. Maybe it’s the right things but too much of the right things or maybe you’re not being 100% truthful with yourself about what you’re eating. Of course it could be your thyroid, please double check your blood work to see if that was tested and if it came back in the normal range.

    With 100 pounds to lose you’re in the morbidly obese category (I know that sounds terrible …) any weight loss that you undertake should be with a doctor’s supervision and I strongly recommend you see a nutritionist as well, you should be able to get a referral from your doctor so it should be covered by insurance.

    Should you try the 4 Hour Body? I would say that’s a discussion for you and your doctor. They call it morbidly obese for a reason, it means you’re likely to die sooner than if you weren’t morbidly obese. Take the info to him/her right away. By that I mean pick up the phone and call the office on Monday!

    You need to do this and you can’t wait. Be safe, (hugs) … contact me directly if you have any specific questions I can help with. I think a trainer is a great idea if you want to try that again, but switch people, even if your last person was great it’s likely you’ve got each other into a rut and a fresh set of eyes might be good for a change of pace.

    Good luck sweetie, L–

  122. Ann November 25, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    I have been on the diet for about 6 months, lost 15 pounds (2 inches off my waist) and have kept it off. I was pretty strict for the first 3 months, but since then I cheat during the week now and then with out any disastrous results. I am very happy with how I feel and look. I still would like to loose another 8 pounds and 2 more inches on my waist and will get back at it after the holidays. I found this to be an easy diet, I work out at the gym a bit and took my regular supplements. I have tried other diets over the years but have not either lost the weight or if I did kept it off. It will be interesting to see what has happens after 12 months.

  123. Lisa Johnson November 26, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    Ann congrats on your progress and I think it’s perfectly fine to take a breather if you need it. I am curious as to how you’ll be in another six months too. There’s only one thing that struck me … you said you “cheat during the week now and then” to me that means it’s not a diet for life for you but something that you’re following to get to a specific goal. So my question to you is, when you lose those last 8 lbs. and 2 inches from your waist what will you do? A modified version of 4HB? or move into a different way of eating.

    I’m not judging you at all, merely poking you a bit to get you to think about how you’ll transition. As ludicrous at this might sound to you, losing weight is the easy part, keeping it off is the hard part.

    Cheers and happy holidays,


  124. Sophie B January 14, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    I am on Day two of 4HB and I am really enjoying it so far. Im 26 and have found that losing weight just by eating “mostly” healthy and exercise is pretty easy for me, but i want to be healthy for life and keep the weight off, that is the hard part!

    Im 5’6″ and weight 148lbs.. my goal would be 130 and very toned. I have set myself a goal to run a marathon this Aug. I am back into working out and I play soccer every Sunday (perfect after saturday cheat day). So I’m hoping this diet works for me!

    I am not a “bean” fan at all, but I can tolerate them. Do you know the rules on baked beans?

    Thanks for your Blog!

  125. Lisa Johnson January 14, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    Baked beans are out Sophie! Unfortunately they are full of fat and sugar so leave ’em off. I did find butter beans (baby lima beans) pretty palatable and I kept dumping into dishes to disguise them. That helped too. L–

  126. Lola February 6, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    what further progress did you make? how much weight did you lose in the first month? can i have edamame as one of my bean choices?

  127. Lisa Johnson February 6, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    Hi Lola, all together I lost 9 pounds and was rocking a bikini on my vacation. That said the diet wasn’t realistic for me mostly because I hate legumes! LOL, a dumb reason I know and not a particularly popular one. Edamame does count I believe as a bean. :)

  128. Lola February 6, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

    yes, sorry, i just saw your other post. :P But I appreciate you getting back to me! I’m glad to hear it did well for you. I’m trying to lose 70 pounds by december. I have a wedding dress to fit in to. Thanks again!

  129. Lisa Johnson February 7, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    Lola, check out the Smarter Science of Slim, you’ll be pleasantly surprised … :)

  130. Dino August 2, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    So the ice pack on the neck is not working ?
    My friend just started to experiment with that, will see what his results will be. His grandma actualy made him a pocket on a T-shirt so he can put a cold gel pack in it.
    It wasn’t actualy his idea, we ‘stole’ it from EBay :

  131. Lisa Johnson August 5, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    LOL, Dino I like the pocket idea on the T shirt … :-) I didn’t say it worked or didn’t work, I said I couldn’t tell, no way to isolate that one factor from everything else that I was doing and it definitely made my neck quite stiff. So I didn’t bother after a while mostly because it hurt! Good luck with your experiments. L–

  132. marc August 6, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

    Earlier this year I lost 54 lbs on what apparently is the Slow Carb diet or something close and I just picked up 4HB and decided to experiment. I’m leaving my diet and exercise alone since I have been in plateau for a while and am starting with the ice packs.

    I figured I have nothing to lose and am sitting here reading you site and icing my sore back muscles. We’ll see how this goes over the next couple weeks.

  133. Lisa Johnson August 6, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    Good luck Marc, feel free to keep me posted. :-) L–

  134. Jessie September 5, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    I am so glad that you mentioned the ice baths. I’ve been on the Slow Carb diet (or what we call the “bean diet”) for almost a year and I’ve lost a total of 70 pounds so far with 90 total over the last year and a half.

    I live in southwest of the United States, so it’s hot hot hot here in the summer. In the winters the temperatures run around 70 during the day and around 45-50 at night. This keeps the pool around 55 degrees. Perfect for a chill. I will say when I was doing my polar dives, I lost about 30% more body fat than without. Right now the temps are around 115 degrees during the day and about 105 at night so getting a cold pool or even a cold shower doesn’t exist. I could take an ice bath, but ice is a commodity here in Arizona.

    I don’t know if it’s up yet (if not it should be within the next few days) but I’ve wrote a blog post about it on my website The corporatePUNK. I also have a bunch of recipes and pictures of my meals. I made it because of the amount of friends and family I’ve encouraged to try it. Keeps me on track too.

    So anyway, what I’m saying is, it’s worth the ice bath. I get much better results. The only problem I have is I wish I could get them in the summer when it’s stupid hot!!

  135. Lisa Johnson September 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    Jessie, thanks for stopping by and adding your comments and that’s pretty amazing that you lost 90 pounds congrats! I wussed out on the ice baths and went with the ice pack on the back of the neck and honestly just didn’t know if it worked or not … I didn’t have a way to really measure with vs. without ice … shrug. I did decide to stop mostly because it definitely made my neck really stiff the next day! L–

  136. Amber October 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    Hi everyone! I am actually considering this lifestyle change right now, which is why I am reading your posts. For someone who currently falls within healthy ranges for BMI etc, do you think this diet can help me to recomposition my body (exchange 10lbs of fat for muscle) without altering my lifestyle too much? I have been through a few different cleanses and diets, that made nearly impossible demands on my lifestyle whether it was because I had work dinners, holidays, etc. What I am hoping to understand is if you perceive this to be a lifestyle change, not a fad diet, and if you feel good on a day to day basis? Do you feel it works even though there is very little medical rationale or testing behind it? I am gearing up to start this Monday…any insight would be great!

  137. Lisa Johnson October 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    Hi Amber, I think it’s great that you’re looking to make changes. As far as a straight exchange from fat to muscle, metabolically that doesn’t really happen (they are two different types of tissue). :-) I have to say I’ve been doing the Smarter Science of Slim for 90 days now and it’s been very successful for losing fat and keeping muscle so you might want to check that one out too and see which one appeals to you more.

    I do think weight loss is such an individual choice that it’s not so much about what I think as it’s about what works for you. So try 4HB if you’d like and see if you like it, if not, don’t sweat it. You didn’t fail the diet, the diet failed you. Just move on to something else. For me, I found the 4HB to produce rapid weight loss and when it was over I zoomed (really fast) back up … I’ve found the Smarter Science of Slim to be a lot more doable for me, but the primary reason is because I hate legumes and Ferriss is all about legumes. (See it’s about my tastes, not necessarily the diet).

    Good luck!


  138. Sean Prentice November 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    This is a great read, I am a HUGE Tim Ferriss fan. Thanks Lisa :)

  139. Lisa Johnson November 28, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    Thanks Sean, glad you liked it. :-) L–

  140. Tanya January 7, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    I know it’s been a year but have you tried creating a “hummus” sort of dip with the legumes? Chickpeas have about the same texture…
    Blend them with whatever works with the diet & dip broccoli! Yum!
    I’m on Day 1 & far too chipper….

  141. Lisa Johnson January 8, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi Tanya, thanks for the hummus suggestion, I’m ok with hummus but garlic breath when you’re a Pilates instructor doesn’t go over well ;-) the clients tend to wrinkle their noses, lol

  142. Joe February 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Lisa, What has me very curious(and I haven’t read all the comments, my apologies), is that 6 pounds and 4 inches in ONE WEEK for a woman seems to me a pretty big deal. Throw in the fact that you’ve been a personal trainer for 15 years, it seems unbelievable. Am I insane?

  143. Lisa Johnson February 7, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    Yes it was a lot … I was coming off of, um, that time of the month so a lot of it was just water weight. Also, anytime you do a big shift in your body (this was dropping starches completely) you’ll also drop a lot of water … so. Take it with a grain of salt, it was fun to look at the scale but I knew a lot of it wasn’t real. L–

  144. Lisa July 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    Thanks for posting ! I had great success over a year ago on the 4HB, but stopped when I gained 25 pounds while on it – it was because my Dr put me on Zocor, and the weight gain stopped when I stopped taking it. So I’m back on it now, and just took my first cold shower !
    I was afraid of this, but really wanted to try it — in the very beginning, it was the exact feeling of panic – I couldnt breathe, my chest was tight, I was holding my chest and was bent over. I forced myself to stand up, controlled my breathing, and voila ! It was merely a cold shower ! I have that “high” where I conquered something I’d feared, so I’m a tad full of myself, but I’m renewed to this again, and honestly believe I could live my life eating this way. I have also added the supplementation, so I’m curious to know what the effect of both cold showers and supplementation are. I work out every day – not excessively, but I’m not going to stop. It makes me feel good and its good for me — so that stays. I have 50 pounds to lose and I’m confident I’ll do it. Thanks for all the great posts — VERY enjoyable ! And Lisa J, I agree, not all diets are for everyone — this one resonated with me, and I can do it, so I will. It certainly is NOT for everyone!

    Great luck on all endeavors !

  145. Lisa Johnson July 10, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    Thanks so much for the comments Lisa and congrats on being happy on your diet. Just keep monitoring yourself with the supplements … if anything starts to feel funky back off and the next time you cruise through a doctor’s office ask him/her about it and get their opinion. Always good to let the doc know what you’re doing. L–

  146. Deb July 14, 2013 at 1:57 am #

    Dear lisa,
    Thank you for posting this. I found it when I was looking for the home-made ice pack after reading the 4HB. I like hearing about hear you’re doing and how its going for you. It’s interesting, motivating and makes me feel connected to others on this journey. For me, I’m just starting with the food changes… havn’t even done any of the dog/yog/pilates moves he recomments, nor the kettle ball. I’m aiming at losing 15+ pounds and I figure I’ll start with one thing at a time. Food first, measurements weekly. Then when these are handled move into exersice. Thanks again for your inspirational post! Take care,

  147. Alex July 26, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    I tried a bunch of the changes (I didn’t go no starches, I had small amounts of brown rice with lunch/dinner since I was eating a low meat diet, 3 meals/week), and gained four pounds and freaked out. Since I track my weight with a Fitbit Aria, I loaded my data into trendweight, and when he added support for the time averages for fat/lean, I saw what happened. Replacing oatmeal with eggs and a few other tweaks caused me to gain 8 pounds of lean mass, dropped 3.5 pounds of body fat, but the scale only showed 4 pounds up. Had I stuck with it, the lean mass gains would have stopped and the fat loss continued.

    Since then, I have been trying more of his body hacks, though not strictly “slow carb diet” — healthy whole food diet w/ some of his supplements, and I’m losing consistently 1.5 to 2.0 pounds/week, mostly fat. The first few weeks I lost 100% fat, now it’s about 65% fat, 35% lean. I’m the lightest I’ve been since freshman year of college and feel great.

    This time, I’m controlling the whole grains (1-2 servings w/ lunch and dinner), eating legumes or animal protein with each meal, and doing great.

    Need to get myself back to the kettlebell swings, when I was doing them 2x week (building up to 75 swings) I was getting much stronger with very little time for exercise. Right now, it’s just been diet (food journal via MyFitnessPal), walking (Fitbit Zip pedometer), and swimming leisurely, doing some laps when in the pool with kids.

    Very happy with the results. There is a wealth of information in his book, but he even says its a stepping off point for self experimentation, NOT a diet book.

  148. Sonja February 3, 2014 at 5:52 am #

    Hi Lisa,

    Did you continue on the slow carb program. If so can you send me the link for your update. I have just started the diet today, I havent bought any kettlebells yet.

  149. Lisa Johnson February 6, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

    Hi Sonja, I did it for exactly a month … and then happily stopped eating legumes. Seriously that was the sticking point for me, just couldn’t hack it. lol …

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