The 4-Hour Body Expirement – Slow Carb Diet (Month 1)

Warning: Some of this data may be considered TO MUCH INFORMATION… read at your own risk!

In early December I happened upon a gizmodo post about this new book called The 4-Hour Body. The book is all about the MED – Minimum Effect Dose. What is the minimum amount of work you can do to achieve the maximum amount of results? It covers fat loss, muscle gain, and sex. I started following the guidelines in the book on January 3rd and have seen some pretty amazing results. I am doing the Slow Carb diet and Occam’s Protocol at the gym. Today I want to talk about the Slow Carb diet. This diet was not a drastic change for my normal routine. Pretty much the biggest difference is that I eat more food and I’m shedding the fat!

Results

Let’s talk about my results first… then we’ll get into the details.

Weight from 173.9 lbs to 164.0 lbs (using measurement before last binge day)

Body Fat down from 17.9% to 15.0% (my goal is 12%) – I use the Omron Fat Loss Monitor to get Body Fat %

Hips down from 35″ to 34″ – I use the Orbitape Body Mass Tape to get measurements

Abdonimal down from 35.50″ to 34.00″

Thigh down from 22.5″ to 21.75″

I track my weight loss / workouts / body fat / measurements with the iFitness app on the iPhone (for some reason the iFitness app is no longer available in the iTunes store… so I’ve heard the All-in Fitness app is available and better. I might actually give it a try.).

Ignore the first 4 points, those are from December 6th and beyond. You’ll notice a pattern, the first spike is January 3rd, each spike after is after my binge day.

A visual representation of my body changes. It doesn’t tell the whole story (for instance a 0% change in my chest is not accurate, my man-boobs are much smaller, but I’ve also gained some muscle). In this image a positive number means a reduction in measurement. I should note that I was not flexing during any measurement. I also measured the largest part of area (which I found is about 2″ from the closest joint).

I started working out last June, so this is NOT a New Year’s resolution. Basically I realized I was getting too fat and something needed to change. So I hit the gym pretty much everyday (mixing cardio and weight training) starting June 1st. I didn’t workout out at all in the last few weeks of December (I was resetting for my anticipated 4 Hour Body expirement, plus I wanted to gorge on Christmas food!). I wasn’t tracking my body fat at all before the 4 Hour Body experiment either. Here are some interesting numbers…

June 1st – 189.8 lbs

September 27th – 168.2 lbs (my lowest weight before 4 Hour Body)

December:
6th – 171.2 lbs (stopped working out here)
27th – 174.2 lbs (right before experimenting with Slow Carb meal options and right after Christmas food).

January:
3rd – 173.9 lbs, 17.9% Body Fat (officially started Slow Carb diet).
8th – 168.4 lbs (before binge) — 5 days after start
9th – 171.7 lbs (after binge)
15th – 166.0 lbs (bb) — 12 days after start
16th – 170.2 lbs (ab)
22nd – 164.7 lbs (bb) — 19 days after start
23rd – 167.6 lbs (ab)
29th – 164.0 lbs (bb) — 26 days after start

The Slow Carb Diet

The slow carb diet is basically a low-glycemic index diet. It’s great for diabetics (supposedly)… there are 4 basic rules to this diet.

1. Avoid “white” carbohydrates.

Avoid any carbohydrate that is — or can be — white. The following foods are thus prohibited, except for within 1.5 hours of finishing a resistance-training workout of at least 20 minutes in length: bread, rice, cereal, potatoes, pasta, and fried food with breading. If you avoid eating anything white, you’ll be safe.

I did my best at avoiding white carbs, it’s harder at dinner time because I don’t want to make my wife go through the same diet if she doesn’t want to. As an example, one night we had turkey hot dogs, I cut off the sides of the bun to make it really thin (basically reduced the carbs by half). To me, some meals aren’t enjoyable without some sort of bread. Basically I limited it to just “taste”, only occasionally did I “need” to have the carb, and I still saw amazing results.

2. Eat the same few meals over and over again.

The most successful dieters, regardless of whether their goal is muscle gain or fat loss, eat the same few meals over and over again. Mix and match, constructing each meal with a protein, legume, and vegetable.

This is easy for me, I just needed to change my current diet to add more protein, legumes, and veggies. I have a side-by-side comparison of what I ate as a normal meal before and what I’m eating now.

3. Don’t drink calories.

Drink massive quantities of water and as much unsweetened iced tea, tea, diet sodas, coffee (without white cream), or other no-calorie/low-calorie beverages as you like. Do not drink milk, normal soft drinks, or fruit juice. I’m a wine fanatic and have at least one glass of wine each evening, which I believe actually aids sports recovery and fat-loss. Recent research into resveratrol supports this.

This was easy for me, I barely ever drink soda. I use to drink 8oz of Grape Juice after every dinner… I cut it out for this experiment but I will probably re-introduce it later on to continue this experiment. There are health benefits to drinking a glass of grape juice every day, plus it’s a nice after-dinner desert (to me). So basically, I just drink water, really cold water.

4. Take one day off per week.

I recommend Saturdays as your “Dieters Gone Wild” day. I am allowed to eat whatever I want on Saturdays, and I go out of my way to eat ice cream, Snickers, Take 5, and all of my other vices in excess. I make myself a little sick and don’t want to look at any of it for the rest of the week. Paradoxically, dramatically spiking caloric intake in this way once per week increases fat loss by ensuring that your metabolic rate (thyroid function, etc.) doesn’t downregulate from extended caloric restriction. That’s right: eating pure crap can help you lose fat. Welcome to Utopia.

YAY! Binge day! One binge day I ate my normal breakfast, almost a whole bag of Circus Peanuts, a Double Bacon Cheeseburger and Strawberry Frosty from Wendy’s, half a bowl of pasta fagioli soup and a pizza from Olive Garden, and three Krispy Kremes (two were kreme filled) for desert. I felt kind of sick after… I think I over did it that day. But these binge days are kind of important… as Ferriss says, it helps lose fat (and all the weight I gained that day was gone by the middle of the next week).

Routine

This is my the actual routine that I followed day-to-day…

Current Routine

  1. Wake up & Pee (~6AM)
  2. Weigh (on the Wii)
  3. Measure Body Fat
  4. Measure Body
  5. Breakfast (~6 AM)
    1. 2 Eggs Whites & 1 Whole Egg w/ Lite Salt (Potassium) and Salt & Pepper topped with 3 forkfuls of Picante for flavor.
    2. 1/2 cup of Lentils
    3. 1 cup of frozen spinach
    4. I take a 20 oz cup fill it full of ice cubes, then I put cold water in it, drink it all as fast as I can, then I fill it with cold water again and drink it again as fast as I can.
  6. Shower (~7 AM) – with 100 High Knees before getting in.
  7. Lunch (~12 PM)
    1. 1/4 – 1/5 lbs of deli cut Turkey or Chicken
    2. 1/2 cup of Lentils
    3. 1/2 bag of steamable mixed veggies (I always get the ones that have broccoli)
  8. Snack (~3-4 PM)
    1. Handful of Planters 100% natural harvest California Almnods roasted in sea salt, no added oils.
  9. Dinner (~6 PM)
    1. Whatever protein we’re eating for dinner (we usually get a poutlry, pork, and beef)
    2. 1/2 cup of Lentils
    3. 1/2 bag of steamable mixed veggies (seriously, these things are awesome)

I rarely have hunger pangs on this diet. I also drink tons of ice water (the legumes make me especially thirsty). Before I officially started this diet, I experimented a little with the beans. I tried canned black and pinto beans (I couldn’t find canned lentils). The canned black beans kind of made me feel nauseous (I think it was the liquid they were in). Anyway, I decided to try dry beans and boiling them myself. I’m still getting the hang of it, but black and pinto beans are too much of a hassle, lentils are much easier to cook and the book says they are the better legume anyway. So I go through about 1.5 – 2 bags of lentils each week. The only problem with lentils is one of my cats loves them, so I always have to fend her off when I’m making my breakfast (she usually get a few as a treat).

Previous Routine

  1. Wake up (~7AM)
  2. Head to work
  3. Breakfast (~8 AM) – 1 cup of Kashi GoLean Crunch: Honey Almond Flax.
  4. Lunch (~12 PM) – 1/8 – 1/9 lbs of deli cut Turkey or Chicken
  5. Snack (~3-4 PM) – Hand of Planters 100% natural harvest California Almnods roasted in sea salt, no added oils.
  6. Dinner (~6 PM) – Normal Dinner
  7. Usually an unhealthy snack around 8 or 9 PM.

As you can see, my previous routine was pretty much consistent. The only difference between then and now, I eat less junk food (I am not even as tempted) and I eat a bunch more food.

Notes

  1. With the Omron Fat Loss Monitor I have noticed that my Body Fat percentage is unpredictable the day after my binge day. It is usually not at all what I expected. This is probably due to the weight fluctuation and the contents of my body after I eat tons of crappy food.
  2. I’ve tried a two recipes from the Slow-Carb Cookbook, both of the recipes in the book were flawed (the directions were not accurate). One recipe, the Turkey Casserole (which wasn’t very good) had odd results. The first day after I ate the Turkey Casserole I weighed in at only -0.2 lbs. The second day after I ate the casserole, had 0 loss. This was really quite unusual for me. The other recipe, Aromatic Grilled Chicken was very tasty, but the cook-time was way off (not a huge problem). I also ended up charring the chicken, but it was still tasty.
  3. I did go to the gym following the Occam’s Protocol described in the book. I spent about two 15 minute sessions each week. I have seen a little muscle gain, but my gym time has not been a huge influence on my fat loss (as far as I can tell). I am still trying to get the hang of this routine, I will write about it once I am more comfortable with the routines.
  4. I also did the Myotic Crunch and Cat Vomit ab exercises whenever every gym visit plus occasionally I’d do one of the exercises at home or in my office.

Conclusion

I have merely glossed over the information here. The conclusion that I have drawn from this month is that the Slow Carb diet is a great diet. I am almost never hungry and I am eating healthier (tons more veggies). I have not started experimenting with any recommended supplement, but I will first try to introduce a whey protein shake into my diet to promote muscle gain. If you are interested in the The 4-Hour Body, I definitely recommend purchasing it. It does not makes sense to buy the audio book because you really need to use it as a reference (if you plan on using it). The Kindle edition was great for me because I had it on my iPhone at the gym to reference the workout routines. This book has also led me to borrow The 4-Hour Workweek from my local library (audio book format).

If you are following anything from the 4-Hour Body, please comment below — I would love to hear about your experiences. Now, off to binge!

Comments

  1. I’m on this diet too it’s working out great so far… what I liked abt it is the legumes in place of whole grains and brown rice, I think that’s key for rapid fat loss while not getting fatigued from the atkins approach.

  2. Bridget says:

    I like your post about the slow carb diet. I have been following it since Jan 18th, and I’m just not seeing results. After seeing your post, I think this week I’ll focus on more veggies. I love all things green, so it isn’t a problem eating them, but I tend to leave out veggies at breakfast!

    Any thoughts on slow – no weight loss? I’d see results all week, and then after the binge day it just doesn’t seem to bounce back to the loss I had before the binge day. I weigh myself weekly on Wednesdays and it has been all over the place. My binge day is usually Saturday.

    Keep up the great work!

  3. Hi Bridget,

    How old are you? I saw a post from Timothy Ferris that said that for some reason people over 40 (especially women who have had 2+ kids) don’t see their biggest results until like 4-6 weeks into the diet. (http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2011/01/21/housecleaning-and-clarifications-blog-content-4hb-corrections-competition-winners-slow-carb-mistakes-and-more/)

    I usually binge on Saturday too, I gain about 3-4 pounds after my binge. By Wednesday I am usually down to my pre-binge weight. Last week was a weird week for me though, partly due to illness and I tried a couple new recipes that didn’t work very well.

    God Speed!

  4. Hey all,
    I’ve been trying the diet too (also saw the diet on the gismodo post) and thought I’d share my results.

    So far so good, though my fat loss has been a bit slower. after 7 weeks I’ve lost about 8 pounds, going from 208lbs to 200, I’m a 30yr old male, exercise regularly. Body fat % has gone from about 17.5% to 16% (my goal is around 13%).

    So I’m pleased so far, my one concern is that along with fat loss I’m tracking muscle loss, which I recommend to anyone on the diet (it’s easy just multiply the body fat % into your overall weight to track how much of what your losing) and so far I’ve been losing muscle along with fat pretty much regardless of what I do. There was one week where I gained a very small amount of muscle and lost a very small amount of fat, but so far I haven’t been able to duplicate that result.

    Anyway just a thought. I see alot of people talking about weight loss, but not alot of breakdown about where the weight is coming from. I lost 5lbs of fat (awsome) but also about 2 pounds of muscle (boooo), so after a few more months I’ll probably switch out to a bulking regime and hope I don’t gain all the fat back. After all what I’m going for is changing my body composition, not my weight.

  5. Hey Ben,

    Thanks for commenting… I’m close to 13% BF now, which is pretty nice :). I’ve changed my routine a bit, I’ve added a more protein (for muscle gain) and added a smoothie (8oz orange juice, 4 frozen strawberries, 1 kiwi, 1 scoop of whey protein — which I drink 1/2 after dinner and 1/2 after breakfast). This week I also added a multi-vitamin for men (recommended by my doctor because I donate platelets every 2 weeks) and fish/flaxseed oil. I also added the supplements because I’ve had some leg cramps at night, hoping the extra calcium and magnesium helps :).

    Anyway, this week has been a bit odd for me, I’ve bounced around a little on the scale, definitely noticing some small muscle gains and fat loss though. You’re right, the “weight” isn’t really what matters, what matters is the body composition. This morning I weighed in at 162.9, the lowest I’ve weighed in at was 160.5.

    By the way, I assume my Omron Body Fat device isn’t 100% accurate. I use it the same time every morning though and the trend is down, which is what I’m looking for.

    Thanks again for commenting!

    Lew

  6. Hey, I did the Slow Carb diet for about a month and got extremely sick of it. Mostly the eggs and the lentils pushed me to madness. I ended up doing a modified slow carb diet and included more carbs for energy throughout the day. I did notice extremely awesome results. My body fat dropped from 15.9-13.2 and I gained a noticeable amount of muscle mass.

    I’d suggest picking up a kettlebell if you haven’t already. Ferris puts a lot of emphasis on the kettlebell in 4HB and after a month of using one I now know why. I do a minimum of 75 consecutive swings every other day, usually 3 days a week. I’ve noticed significant cardio conditioning as well as noticeable muscle gain.

    Anyway, I’m just wondering how the occams protocol is going for you. I was considering starting the regiment maybe next month or so and would like to hear some reviews. I know I’d have to change my diet up again significantly, but after doing the slow carb diet for a month I feel like anythings possible.

  7. Hi Andy, sorry for the late reply, just got back from a vacation :).

    I have a DIY kettlebell, I use it during Workout B of the Occam’s protocol… I may increase use. I haven’t seen too much muscle gain on Occam’s protocol. I feel like I’m doing something wrong. The biggest gain I’ve seen is in my back muscles, but very little in legs/chest/arms. I added a protein shake to my diet to hopefully help.

    I love the lentils though :)… I use dried lentils and make a batch big enough for the week.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    Lew

  8. Matt Flinn says:

    Thoughts on replacing your lentils in the morning with a “Boost” protein shake and mixing some metamucil fiber in a glass of water? I don’t have time to cook the lentils, so that is what I have been doing so far…

    • That should work for your fiber replacement… I make a bag of dried lentils during the weekend and just re-heat them in my microwave. It takes about 5 minutes of actual work time and 20 minutes to cook the lentils — just once a week for me.

  9. Hi,
    I’ve recently tried out the slow carb diet from The 4 Hour Body, and I’ve been really happy with the results! I’ve created a blog to catalog a bunch of the recipes that I’ve found or created while on this diet. They seem to have helped, and more importantly, they taste really good! I wondered if you’d be interested in linking to my site in your blogroll? My site is at http://slowcarbcook.blogspot.com. I’d be happy to link back to your site as well! Thanks in advance!

  10. I am training for ahalf marathon in SEptember. Is this a bad time to startthe diet.

  11. Great blog!
    ————

    Sunny read the whole eating section as there is instructions there for people that are exercising heavily as well as people who are not exercising at all. You will need to incorporate more carbs to make sure you don’t lose excessive muscle mass etc.

  12. Hi,

    I just started the slow carb diet. I am losing weight, and along with weight training getting lean. My one question I have is that, I’m going to be working out in the mornings on my days off work. How do I do the breakfast meal without feeling full, before my workout?

  13. Eric,

    You could probably skip the legumes for breakfast…

  14. Vivian says:

    Hey Lew!

    I just start the diet today! I was wondering how accurate the Omron Fat loss Monitor is, and if there’s any pre-measuring actions I have to do. I remember Tim saying something about not drinking water.

    Anyway, Thank you for the awesome post! I’m excited for the diet even more so!

    Vivian

  15. Vivian,

    I cannot speak to the accuracy but to say that it seems to be “accurate enough”. I use it every morning, I get up, go to the bathroom, weigh, prepare my breakfast, take my fat and body measurements, then eat/drink.

    When I started the diet I was around 17-18% body fat. Now I am usually around 13-14%. At my lowest weight (before starting the Occam’s Protocol) I was in the 12% range. So it seems to give a good enough idea to measure.

    Hope this helps.

    Lew

  16. Vivian says:

    Lew,

    Would chickpeas be a good replacement for beans and lentils?

    Vivian

  17. Vivan,

    Chickpeas are a legume, so you should be good. I eat lentils because Timothy said it was the best of the legumes, plus their super easy to cook.

    Lew

  18. Can you drink v-8 juice on this diet?

  19. Melissa says:

    I just started this diet today and I was wondering if you have to eat eggs in the morning? Eggs make me feel sick everytime I eat them. Also, what about cheese and salad dressings? Are they not allowed on this deit?

    • Hi Melissa, No you don’t need to eat eggs, but it should be replaced with another source of protein.

      Cheese is not really allowed on the diet, but I do sneak a little in occasionally (like in a Mexican meal).

      Salad dressing can be ok, for instance, Vinegar and Oil would be acceptable, but Ranch Dressing wouldn’t.

      Lew

  20. Can I eat peanutbutter and other nuts on 4HB?

    • Hi Rita,

      You have to be careful of the sugar content in Peanut Butter… but technically, yes. Peanuts are technically legumes, so they are safe, other nuts should be too. I eat a handful of almonds almost every day for a after lunch snack. You might want to take a look at Almond Butter as a better alternative to Peanut Butter.

      Lew

  21. I hate beans…Could I just replace beans with lentils?? Maybe just eat more lentils?

  22. Randi,

    Yes… Lentils are a legume and they’re the recommended legume (best for you). It’s what I eat every day.

    Lew

  23. I’m planning to start this diet soon but im confused with the cooking pattern allowed, seasoning is the main concern!

    Can I use sea salt to stir fry my veg? Or could it be added to boil or steam?

    How to u cook your beans?

    What other seasonings are allowed!?

    How should I season/cook my proteins!??

    • Ruby, I usually just us Lite-Salt to season my stuff, including my lentils. But you can pretty much use anything that isn’t unhealthy :). I use Kosher Salt when I make my chicken, Sea Salt would probably be better. Black pepper is fine, I’ve used garlic powder, cayenne pepper… basically any spice. Don’t worry too much about the seasoning, at least, I don’t. Worry about the white carbs and other bigger bad stuff.

      With my lentils, I put water in a big pot, throw in enough lite-salt to taste, bring it to boil, throw in a bag of lentils and lower the temperature to “3” on my stove dial. I let it sit for about 20 minutes (or until the lentils are tender). Then I drain them.

      Lew

  24. Hello, I just started this week past Monday, I think I’m following this diet to a tee, I on a daily basis drink a gallon of water at room temperature, since the diet I have started to drink the water cold. I have my eggs, spnach and pinto beans for breakfast within an hour of waking, lunch I either bring eat grilled chicken, pinto beans and salad or if I don’t have time to pack lunch I have chipotles either pork or chicken, pinto beans, guacamole, pico de gallo salsa and lettuce, and a diet coke, dinner what ever meat I make for the family, pinto beans and salad or veggies, I started on Monday I weighted 137.6, Tuesday 134.6, Wednesday 133.4, Thursday 132.2 and Friday (today) 132.6, I have no clue what happened, I have not cheated what so ever I have not had ANY carbs what so ever and water intake is more than 1 gallon per day, on Monday Night I did the Tabata Kettlebell training (20 min), on Tuesday I did 20 min. of HITT cardio (turbo fire), on Wed. I did again Tabata Kettlebell training (20 min), on Thursday I didn’t do any work out, today I plan to do the Tabata kettlebell again. I am looking forward to the binge! I too started this as an expiriment, I have lost 20 lbs since last October, but it has been hard to maintain, 2 weeks prior to the 4HB slow carb diet, I decided to binge before I started I was actually at 126 before my two week benge…lol, I’m still skeptical about this diet, I think I just lost a lot of water wight and not I may be stuck, I will stick with it for a few months and see where it takes me, I hope I get back to 125 lbs.

    Sorry for the super long comment, if you have any suggestions or advice as to what I may be doing wrong please reply to my post.

    Best Regards
    Mary Compton

    • Hi Mary,

      Sounds like you’re on a roll :)… I would be fearful of the Diet Coke but otherwise it sounds like what you’re doing is working. Keep up the great work! I’ve been on this diet since January and I’m loving it. Pretty much at a “maintenance weight” right now. Really just focusing on gaining muscle.

      Lew

  25. Do you have any idea why the .4 gain? not what I was expecting. Also if eating out, Spinach Grilled chicken salad but I don’t have access to beans, what I can sub them with?

    Mary

  26. Mary,

    Could be anything, from bathroom activity, muscle gain, maybe even the way you were standing on the scale. Weight isn’t always a good indicator if that’s all your tracking. Since muscle is denser than fat, your weight loss could slow down or look like you’re gaining, even if you’re losing fat. That’s why I use the fat monitor w/ weight tracking.

    Lew

  27. Thank you very much Lew, I really appreciate you having this website.

    Mary

  28. I have a question about fat-seems very low fat & then i see olive oil & avacado is allowed.- how restricted are the fats in this diet?

  29. Tami, As far as I’ve seen, there aren’t any real restrictions on fat. Most studies I’ve seen say that Olive Oil is healthy (it’s a healthy fat). The Slow Carb diet is pretty much solely focused on the right kind of carbs.

    Lew

  30. Thanks :)

  31. Mary- honestly, don’t get worried by putting on 0.4 of a pound. That’s like the weight of a handful of sand.

  32. I would like to share my first week expirience with you, After anxiously awaiting for Saturday to arrive, I had a list of cheat foods I wanted to indulge on…Saturday arrives, I do my 20 min. kettlebell workout, eat my usual breakfast (3 eggs, veggies and beans), drink my water and I’m thinking I am ready to eat all the goodies I have been craving all week -I just couln’t bring myself to do it, I wasn’t hungry, nothing really sounded as good, every time I ate something bad my stomach just didn’t like it, I felt gross, I had forced myself to eat Ice cream, I had a hard time sleeping because my belly was very unconfortable. Crazy and I’m actually happy to be back on the Slow Carb Diet.

  33. I tried this diet back in December. I’m a 39 year old female. I only followed it with the food, not the suppliments. The first 3 weeks were really disappointing but by week 4 weight just fell off of me. Not a ton, maybe a solid dress size. However I only need to lose 2 dress sizes so that’s half my goal! The main thing I’d like to share that I noticed is my appetite got soooo small. I didn’t stick to the diet (went on vacation and then hard to get back on) but even after I stopped the program I wasn’t having cravings and I voluntarily cut portions! I’m back on it and will post my updated results when I get some! lol

  34. Michele says:

    I’m starting this diet tomorrow. I’m 60 and about that many lbs overweight. My son just lost 33 lbs in the first 5 weeks of this diet, so now it’s my turn. I was just wondering if anyone has had any adverse effects from the supplements (PAGG). I only take something for pre-osteoperosis and Vit D supplements now. (Had my annual check up in Jan and all but my weight is OK.) I know it’s never too late, but perhaps there are some caveats for us seniors I am not aware of.
    Any info would be helpful.

    Thanks!

    • Yeah, definitely check with your doctor. I’m 31 and didn’t do PAGG either, it’s not necessary for this diet.

      Lew

  35. I would definitely run it by your doctor. I did the diet but never took the PAGG. I did have success without it in case you’re wondering…

  36. Richard says:

    Hey Lew, thanks for the data on your 4 hour body experiment! Unfortunately I’m not getting as good results as you did (almost 3 weeks in now, minimal loss of weight and very little change in measurements), mainly because I’m in a foreign country (Thailand) and am not able to control what I’m eating as well as I should … I’m not able to obtain the legumes I need. I’m currently doing occam’s protocol to ensure there is muscle gain or at least no muscle loss, any thoughts on doing cardio? Thanks for your input!

  37. Richard,

    If you’re doing Occam’s Protocol, you may be building muscle and therefore not seeing weight loss. Are you able to track fat % at all?

    I only do warm-up cardio (run .5 miles to the gym from my office), and I’m on a modified Occam’s Protocol… basically a traditional 3-day workout routine, but 1 set in each muscle group with slow cadence.

    Lew

    • Hi lew,

      I have been on the 4HB for 2 weeks now and no results whatsoever. I have tried everything to lose weight , and by weight i mean 9 o=pounds that wont get off. i do cross fit , Spinning, and I have a personal trainer. I sleep 8 hours a day and drink a lot of water. I have been healthy all my life. I was never a junkie and turned into a healthy lifestyle kind o f thing, I think that is why my body cannot lose weight. I have extra 9 pounds of fat that I am dying to remove. Do you think I will find results by the end of the 4th week or something, does this diet work for people who already did the calorie counting, the atkins, and constantly health conscious? I do not eat beans, i have coconut milk with my coffee instead of normal milk.. i eat 3 or 4 almonds a day, no fruits, one small avocado a day, in addition to all the allowed veggies and meats. and no dairy whatsoever. this is my second week and no results AT ALL.. I do not wanna lose hope… I just want to know an estimate timeline of when to expect change….??
      Thanks a lot!

      • Hey Zein, Everyone’s body is different. It sounds like you’re pretty active though. Do you have an idea of what your bodyfat % is? I’m wondering if that extra 9lbs you’re talking about is just typical. I think there is a natural limit to what this diet will do. If you’re already healthy and relatively skinny, that’s it. You’d have to do something a little more extreme (and probably unhealthy) to go further.

  38. I am now starting week 3 and have lost 6lbs, however i haven’t lost any in the past 4 days. I feel great and have not had the sugar cravings that I did the first 4 days! I am combining with cardio 3x week and probably am not allowing the full binge to the degree I should. I am happy with progress so far. I am over 40 with kids and my metablism has changed significantly..i am hopeful weeks 4+ will allow a more significant drop, as I have read that women over 40 may not experience immediate results. It is an easy plan to follow, even when faced with business lunches and dinners. I find I just have to be more disiplined when dining out…and skip the bread!

    cck

  39. Hi there,

    I’m just wondering if I can reintroduce carbs after I’ve reached my goal weight on this plan? Or will I put the weight back on again? I can follow the diet for a few mths but not forever! I’m worried I’ll be worse off after doing this if I go back to ‘normal’ eating.

    Thanks…

  40. Kristin says:

    Hi – love your blog! My husband & I have just started the program and I have a couple of questions. The book allows for up tp 2 tbsp of cream for coffee… But I’d much rather have 1 tbsp of feta on my dinner salad (the feta has 0 sugar). Would this be acceptable? My other question is about salad dressings. I make my own but also enjoy some of the olive oil based ones at the store. I noticed many have a tiny amount of sugar – 1g per serving and yes, I would only be using the suggested serving size. Is 1g of sugar acceptable? I guess what I’m really asking or confirming is that the weight loss from this diet isn’t based on something crazy strict like atkins where you cant have ANY sugar. I’m hoping this is the case since we are allowed to have vegetables such as peas and carrots moderation which contain carbs and sugars.

    • Hi Kristin,

      You can be as strict and loose as you like, as long as you keep to the basics you’ll be fine. I would say that what you’re asking for is acceptable. I cannot eat Tacos without cheese, I just put enough on there to taste. You’re right though, sugar/carbs aren’t necessarily bad, it’s just the bad ones that are bad :).

      Lew

  41. Kristin says:

    Thanks! I look forward to reading your updates!

  42. trina n. says:

    Hey Lew,

    Hope you are well. I am a woman (25yrs old) and have been on the 4HB diet for a few weeks (3.5 weeks) now and have not seen any significant results. The first 1.5 weeks I just cut out the white carbs, fructose, and took some wine. The last 2 weeks I cut out the wine during the wine, and have strictly adhered to the meat, legume, veggies list Ferris listed in the book. I am pretty sure I should have seen some result by now. I have weighed myself on several occasions, and no real results. What should I do? (Also, in law school and don’t exercise much, though I intend on adding the kettleball exercises to my schedule at least on day a week).

    Thank you very much for your blog, and answering my question.

    Trina

    The

    • Hi Trina,

      Weigh yourself every day, every morning after using the bathroom and before eating breakfast. Are you eating within 30-60 minutes of waking up? Other than that, I’m not really sure what you could be doing wrong.

      Lew

  43. trina n. says:

    Hey Lew,

    Thanks for answering my question. I will weigh myself everyday. And ever since I have started, I eat within 30 mins of waking up. Could it have something to do with the amount of food I eat, or the amount of protein per meal? Ferris said to eat as much of the foods listed as I wanted, and I eat such an amount as to get approx 30g of protein per meal. Any suggestions?

    Thank you :)

    Trina

  44. Are you drinking a lot of Water? Water is pretty important too. I usually eat a lot (I think)… basically everything in the plan above is what I eat every day. Do you know if you’re eating more than what I eat?

    Lew

  45. Kristin says:

    I have another question :-) I went to the store to look at different brands of soya sauce and fish sauce, etc. to add to my stirfrys with fresh herbs. I noticed that EVERY single brand I could find had 1g sugar per tbsp. I probably use 3-4 tbsp total in the stiry fry which is 4 servings for a total of 1g of sugar per serving of stir fry (from the soya sauce and fish sauce). I tried a stir fry with no soya sauce and fish sauce and that was sad :-( Do you have some completely sugar free sauce suggestions for stir fry or is 1gram of sugar in a stir fry not a big deal. Obviously things like sweet chili sauce or teriyaki sauce are OUT of the question for this diet. And does the same apply to chicken broth and beef broth? I noticed that all of the organic chicken and beef broth options at my store had 1g of sugar as well. I live in Canada (used to the live in the states) and we literally have 25% of the selection that is available in the states. Thanks again for your time!!! Kristin

  46. Teresa says:

    Hello!
    Thanks for your posts! I’m planning to start this diet Nov.1, and have been looking up recipes and info to get motivated and organized. Thanks for all the comments and great ideas! I’ll have to report back with my progress when I start. Keep it up everyone!

  47. Lauren says:

    Hi Lew,

    Love that you have this blog going – it’s really helpful! I’m only on day 5 (not really seeing results yet despite the drastic departure from my normal diet, which is a little surprising), but I know Tim says that if you’re feeling hungry, you probably aren’t eating enough. I’m forcing myself to eat until I’m full, and I’m drinking TONS of water, but I’m starving every few hours. Thoughts about how to prevent this, or if there are any filling (but approved) snacks you’d suggest. Any insight is much appreciated.

    Thanks!

    • Lauren,

      It sounds like what you’re doing is right. I usually eat every few hours, the biggest break I have is between breakfast and lunch… and I guess dinner and breakfast (because of sleep). Try upping your legumes and try eating slower. I usually start to feel hungry a couple hours after lunch, then I eat a handful of almonds (about 25). Also, you could try to chew some sugarfree gum — it may not be actual hunger, but your body feels like it should be eating. Stick some gum in your mouth and trick your body into thinking it’s eating.

      Of course this is all just speculation, I’m no doctor or dietician :).

      Lew

  48. Brooke says:

    Any ideas why I am getting REALLY bad stomach aches after eating breakfast after my cheat day? They are almost unbearable, to the point where I want to quit the diet, as they make me nauseous and in pain for several hours…not fun!

  49. Brooke,

    That doesn’t sound good. It could be something you’re eating on your cheat day or maybe you’re eating too much of something. Try changing your binge diet.

    Lew

  50. I am starting the slow carb diet next Monday. I run about 15-20 miles a week and would like to continue running while on the slow carb diet and doing kettle ball exercises? Is that ok? Or should I change the diet to adapt to more exercise?

    Thanks and I look forward to getting started

    • As far as I know you shouldn’t need to modify the diet for running. I don’t run much though, so I’m not 100% sure. Ferriss has a section in his book about running (learning how to run better), I do not recall it saying anything about changing the diet. It’s been a while since I’ve read the book though :).

      Lew

  51. ScottR says:

    I seem to be an example of the >40 slow loss crowd. I am 64 and am 24 days in. The most interesting observation I’ve seen is an almost lb for lb exchange of fat weight for lean body mass. Must have been quite protein deficient. I also do walking and heavy KB swings 3days per week ( 10 sets of 10 15 sec on and 15 sec off). I will keep going and see if the 4-6 week threshold brings more losses in total weight. I am also having an increased number of mornings with lower BP readings than before, so this is good.

  52. Hi there! I started the plan 6 weeks ago. The first week I lost 11 lbs. I was hoping to lose 20 in 30 days, but I stalled out. After my binge days, I don’t seem to lose much. In the first month I lost 18 lbs and 20-1/2″. I’m very overweight ( would like to lose 75 lbs), and my body fat is high. I’m 56 years old, female with two grown children. I really don’t have a problem with the diet part, limited in ability to exercise, and could probably add more veggies.

    What I really want to know is how much water I should be drinking. OH! I do get exercise…to and from the bathroom and up and down on the toilet :). But seriously, I drink two cups of coffee, sometimes a diet soda, and usually between 120-130 ounces of water. I’ve been getting headaches, though. Any suggestions?

    • Hey Karen,

      First, let me say it sounds like you’re doing a great job! You’ll lose a lot at first, but you don’t want to lose too much too quickly either.

      You don’t want to drink too much water, as it can cause water intoxication (yes you can get “drunk” from drinking water). Basically you flood your electrolytes and your body starts acting weird. This might explain the headaches, but I’m not a doctor so I don’t know exactly. From what I’ve read, you should drink half your body weight minus 20% of your half your body weight in ounces of water. In other words, if you weigh 200 pounds, it would be 100 – ( 100 * .20 ) or 80 ounces of water. One thing I’ve heard helps with losing weight is to drink a lot of water right before you eat (like a full 8 or 16 ounces). I’m not sure how much your other drinks might be affecting your head… if they changed, your body might be getting use to the new environment. I know when I started the diet I started getting horrible leg cramps at night, for the first two weeks. But they eventually went away (not sure why they started or why the ended).

      Hope that helps!

  53. Thanks Lew! The calculation on the water really helped. Now on to a little more sensitive issue. What are people doing to combat the dreaded constipation that inevitably comes with this kind of diet? I thought about adding maybe 4 ounces of V8Fuzion Lite, like strawberry-banana in the mornings. Any suggestions?

    • I actually haven’t heard of anyone experiencing constipation from the diet, the beans and veggies should provide enough roughage to keep things moving. I haven’t had anything like that, though my bowel movements aren’t like most people I know… I usually only “go” 2-3 times a week, and they’re usually pretty massive. But I have no trouble with them. Basically I just “go” when I feel like I have to. I know some people at work that “go” twice a day. This isn’t too abnormal for me, though… I’ve found the better I eat the less often I have to “go”.

  54. ScottR says:

    An easy way to loosen things up: a couple of handfuls of almonds. Probably don’t need them every day. I found slivered almonds at Costco. These are easier on the teeth.

  55. Hi,
    I am starting this diet tomorrow, I have 2 children under 2 years old so breakfast is hard to organise, will having a protein shake instead of what’s advised have the same effect?

    Thanks

  56. ScottR says:

    Diane,
    Breakfast for you, as fast as a shake.
    Have an open can of suitable beans in the fridge.
    Either use frozen spinach or for me even easier a jar of sauerkraut.
    On a plate, microwave your spinach and beans while at the same time, scrambling
    a couple of eggs ( you can add whites from a jar or even eggbeaters from a carton).
    Plate the eggs onto the plate that comes out of the micro wave, and voila. I don’t heat my sauerkraut so it is even easier. You can’t make
    a shake any faster, and there is no blender to clean only a plate and a pan (a non-stick pan cleans faster).

    • Good tips, ScottR!

      I use to do the eggs, spinach, and beans in the microwave… but I’ve found it’s just as fast for me to fry my eggs in a little bit of olive oil (and MUCH tastier). And with a good non-stick, it takes seconds to clean up.

      Lew

  57. Thank you for the breakfast tips! Also I dislike beans, is it ok to have lentils each meal as my legume?

  58. Hello, I started the diet sunday. I hope to see results on Friday. I will have my cheat day on Saturday. My problem is that I wake at 3am do delivery newspaper bundles to hotels. So I am just have about 30+/- grams of protein in the car on the way to deliver. Then I get home about 5:30 and have a large breakfast of egg whites, black beans, spinach and salsa. I have lunch around noon with salmon and raw spinach, beans salad and at night chicken beans mixed veggies.

    Do you think the protein only at 3am is acceptable? How important is it to eat every 4 hours? Can it more or less?

    I would appreciate any suggestions.

    • Hi Donald,

      It sounds like you’re doing fine! :) Basically, my rule of thumb is to eat as much as possible of the “acceptable” foods and you’ll be good.

  59. Hey thanks Lew! I am beginning to get the idea that you have to alter the diet according to one’s own specific needs. I appreciate finding your blog – it’s helped me with that epiphany. For me, it was hard to accept that someone wasn’t dictating exact measurements, exact times. exact calories, etc… Once I got over that (just yesterday) I see a clearer path to losing weight. I appreciate your blog and your experiences have helped me come to that conclusion. Good luck, and I will surely keep checking out your blog and everyone’s individual experiences.

  60. How much water per day would you advise? And should you drink the same amount on your cheat day?

    • Hi Diane,

      I drink a lot of water, basically as much as you can without feeling sick or bloated. I don’t drink as much on my cheat day though.

  61. I am just adding some words of encouragement for everyone on the diet. Coming into this new year I made the choice to start the year off with the good old SCD, and I am AMAZED at what’s happened so far. I’ve kept it really simple and I also made it a point not to over think this process. I started off around 195 and now I’m down to 182 (13lbs in 17days!) I’ve had two binge days so far and I’m looking forward to my third far more than I thought I would. I have to say that much like another woman posted, I am disappointed with how lacking in fulfillment my cheat days are. I thought I was going to crave all the junk in the world but most of the junk I look forward to eating I have to force myself to eat. I got my favorite ice cream and I couldn’t get through a cup of it! I still greatly appreciate the binge days but I’m beginning to think that moderation may be more important to my enjoying my days off.
    Anyhoo, I season my food to be tasty, I walk about 6 miles a week, and I just accept that the weight is going to come off. So far it’s worked really well, but I’ll post more in the future to see if my success continues.

    Best of Luck to Everyone!

  62. Thanks for the words of encouragement Asha. I particularly like the “not to over think” part. That’s what I was doing. My first cheat day is tomorrow! Wish me luck! Congratulations on your success thus far. I am going to try and not over think my cheat day and just enjoy it. I have a gluten intolerance so I have to do a little more pre planning than some. And I do have a great plan!!!

  63. Last year I did the Slow Carb diet for 3 straight months. I lost SOOO MUCH weight and learned so many tips from so many people. Consuming protein within the first 30 minutes of waking up was a very difficult for me since the idea of cooking so early in the morning was the last thing I wanted to do when I’m getting ready for work.

    Than Tim mentioned that taking a CASEIN protein shake in the morning is a GREAT way to boost your weight loss– I followed his advice and there you have it… I noticed a HUGE difference in my weight loss. Instead of an omelet or whatever, I had the shake (it taste like chocolate pudding) and I began to look forward to breakfast again while on this diet.

    I’m doing the slow carb diet AGAIN this year but instead of 3 months, I’m trying it for a whole year. I love this diet. Good luck to everyone:)

    • Hey Mika, Thanks for the tip on the casein shake. I hadn’t heard that one before. I don’t have a problem with my eggs in the morning, but it sounds like a good replacement to change it up a bit.

  64. Since I posted last, I’ve lost only 3lbs. I want to share this with anyone who may be discouraged by smaller numbers, because I’m definitely not. There have been a few contributing factors to why my weight loss has been minimal for the last few weeks from my time of the month, to me working out, to me having strange cravings at weird and unscheduled times. While looking at the scale hasn’t been the most impressive thing, looking in the mirror has rewarded me more than I imagined it would. Some days I would look at the scale and feel like I was failing, but my mirror would prove me wrong.
    I have my own rules now for this diet that have left me feeling insanely satisfied with my progress and have deterred me from defeat. I hope that they will help others who feel discouraged. Rule #1 Keep it simple: Don’t over think this diet, just let it happen because it does and will work. Remove the worry that you’re doing it wrong and you’ll find a lot of right will come your way. Rule #2 Congratulate yourself for every success: Every pound loss or inch loss is a victory. If you wallow in misery because you’re not at your ideal weight yet, then your ideal is father away than you think simply because your mind is working against you. Rule #3 Look in the mirror and be thankful for what’s there: You’re already a champion! Finding happiness in yourself now will bring you to a better self for the future. Finally Rule #4 Follow all of Tim’s rules in the 4 hour body: And you’re set!
    ps: I found that doing an intense workout regime while on this diet will mess with your actual pounds loss too. My numbers haven’t budged for a while, but I know it’s because I’m gaining muscle. It’s cool… I still look fabulous.

  65. Zara K says:

    Hi Asha,

    So enoucraging to read your post I am exactly the same weight as you are and today is day 3rd. I haven’t weighed myself yet. But I feel very good throughout the day. I don’t care if I lose weight or not but I am very happy with my blood glucose levels. I am not a diabetic but I had borderline Gestational Diabetes during my pregnancy. I don’t want to become a full blown diabetic. So far I am satisfied with the way 4HB is going for me.

    I have a few concerns though, since I am a lacto-ovo-vegeterian my choices for morning 30g of protein are reduced to just eggs.

    I also read in Mika’s comments about CASEIN protein shake. There have been links of casein with cancer growth.

    [Cancer
    T. Colin Campbell’s The China Study (2005), a book about one of the largest nutritional studies ever conducted, describes a direct correlation between casein administered to rats and the promotion of cancer cell growth when exposed to carcinogens. Aflatoxin (a potent carcinogen) was administered to these rats over a 2 week dosing period. The rats were given a 1 week post-dosing period before beginning the test (promotion period). During the promotion period, one group of rats was put on a 5% casein protein diet and another group on a 20% casein protein diet. None of the rats on 5% casein protein developed foci, precursors to cancerous cell growth, and every rat on 20% casein protein developed the pre-cancer foci. It should be noted that all test groups were fed a 20% casein diet for a total of 5 weeks (2-wk acclimation, 2-wk dosing, 1-wk post-dosing) prior to the 12 week promotion period in order to survive the initial aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) dosing, regardless of whether they were in the 5% or 20% test groups.
    Other studies conducted by Dr. Campbell on humans confirmed this correlation between the amount of casein protein consumed and the promotion of cancerous cell growth. Dr. Campbell claims to have found a correlation between cancer growth and the amount of casein protein in diet.[20] A 2001 study suggests another milk protein, whey protein, but not casein, may play a protective role against colon tumors in rats.[21] According to a study from the Australian Dairy Council, casein has antimutagenic effects.[22]]

    source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casein

    Anyways I will keep you posted about my progress.

    Goodluck to all!

  66. I love this site. Thanks Lew – Thanks all. Asha, are you a motivational speaker by profession? If not, you should be.
    Q) I have left over Adkins shakes. I’m scared to use the Casein protein shakes (too much bad information without any opposing views). Can I use the Adkins shakes (whey protein base) on this diet? Don’t ge me wrong, I’m totally home made cooking kind of person but I have a stack of shakes and if bothers me to toss food. Any responses welcomes.

  67. please excuse the miss/inaccurate spelling of words. I’m typing in the car (it’s okay, someone else is driving).

  68. Melissa says:

    Hello everyone, and congrats on your successes! I started the 4HB this morning, (just finished up 2 egg whites, 1 whole scrambled, snap peas & black beans. I added pico de gallo for flavor) I’m 28, 2 children, 5’6″, and 180 lbs… I’ve decided that after many dreadful, energy reducing diets that produced little (if any) results, I won’t be checking the scale every morning… Instead as Asha said, looking in the mirror :)
    I’m excited & looking forward to not only weight loss, but beginning a fit lifestyle… I haven’t yet read the book, but I’ll be picking it up today.
    I do have a question though. I’m a waitress at a restaurant, and work in the evenings from 5pm-around 11pm. I cannot eat during my shift, so is it best to eat dinner at 4:30 before leaving for work, or after when I return home? Any suggestions? Thanks Lew! Love your blog!

  69. Melissa says:

    Oh and another thing…(I’ll be as polite as possible) the beans… Obviously produce gas. Again, I’m a waitress. Not cool, lol. Should I take beano or something? Ladies? Has this been an issue with anyone following the diet? Thanks!

    • Hey Melissa,

      Someone emailed me this, in response to your question:

      I’ll tell you what my grandma told me. AND YES, it’s true.

      If the beans are in a can – DO NOT USE the liquid they are packed in (that’s where the gas from the beans has escaped to) and rinse the beans under clear water until the foam(iness) is gone.

      If the beans are bag beans, then soak overnight and empty the water (that’s where the gas has gone) and clear rinse the beans until the foam is gone – if you are going to continue cooking then re-fill with clean water. THAT’S ALL – Enjoy the beans.

      -M

      I would probably eat both times, depending on when you actually go to sleep. I try not to eat anything at least two hours before I go to bed. But as long as you’re eating safe foods, you don’t really need to worry about it.

  70. georgia says:

    Hey Melissa, Just started today. Tim does say we can use beano.

    As for me, started today with some cottage cheese(which tim says is ok) and a hard boiled egg. I know i did not have enough protein… hope it works anyway! i kind of binged all weekend as I was away for the weekend and knew i’d be starting today. feel pretty awful about myself for having done that (and feel like i have undone weeks of progress of eating well (mind you not the 4 hr body)… still hit a plateau and hoping the 4HRB will help.

  71. I’m so glad to hear that someone had the same experience with the Aromatic Grilled Chicken that I had. :) It seemed so cool, but wasn’t worth the actual time and effort involved.

    I was able to stick to SCD to some degree or another for the past few weeks with really great results. Now I’m starting to add in a heft exercise routine (not the one in the book) and I’m figuring out what I have to do to avoid the wild exercise-fatigue I felt when I tried to do a workout on the SCD. This morning was day 1, so I have no real info yet, but eating an apple prior to a 5:30am cardio + strength workout didn’t leave me feeling like napping during the workout (which is what happened when I was more strictly following the SCD).

  72. Hi lew, thx for sharing your experience about the slow carb diet,i love it!!

    I went through 80% of the comments and I found that not everyone loss massive of weight like what tim said ” 9kg” in 30 days ~

    I just started my slow carb diet for 4days, today will be the day 4,
    but it’s strange that I am not losing any weight, but I GAINED weight instead!
    I weight myself at day and it went from 55.8 to 56.4kg, and my stomach is getting bigger day by day, I really don’t know what happen to me and I am quite lost!

    I swear I followed the diet !
    I am a lacto ovo vegetarian , so basically no meat on my meal, only beans, eggs and vegetable

    Morning Breakfast 9am (eat within 30min ) – 3whole egg, garden salad(without Dressing ), 1/2 cans of red kidney bean

    Lunch 1pm – 3 whole sunny side up eggs , 1/2 of tomato baked beans/ black beans, Chinese Tofu (bean curd) , some mix vege

    Dinner 6-7pm – 3 whole eggs (steam) , 1/2 of tomato baked beans/black beans, a lil bit of peas, Mix vege, Tofu (bean curd)

    I have been eating all this over and over again for 4 days, no weigh loss, but gain weight and my stomach is getting bigger day by day (this is what i am worry about ).

    Hope to hear from u soon!
    Victoria

    • Hey Victoria, it looks like your diet is right. Do you know if your Tofu has a lot of salt/preservatives in it? You may be gaining water-weight. I’m also not sure of your build, but 56.4kg isn’t too bad, you may be experiencing normal weight fluctuations for your body. I’d try skipping the binge day this week and see what your results look like in a few more days.

  73. i am thinking maybe it’s water fluctuations too ! hahaha !
    I set my binge day on sunday , so from your suggestion, i guess i need to skip the binge day on sunday right ?

    alright then, i will try and see, will update here again if there’s any changes! thx u for ur reply Lew, I appreciated it!

  74. Justine says:

    Hi. Thanks in advance for yout great site and answering my question. I just started 3 days ago. Im eating 2eggs, 1/2 packet of frozen spinach, about 1/2 cup lentils, and black coffee for breakfast. Lunch is about 1/2 cup mixed beans and about 1/2 a chicken breat with salad and a macadamia oil/balsamic vinegar dressing. Dinner is a hand size serve chicken or beef with more lentils and veges either stir fryed or steamed. I am working out with a trainer twice a week and do my own less intense workout at home twice a week (just a few stregthening exercises and will start doing kettle bell swings).
    So today (my third day) i ate breakfast, then 3 hours later ate a second breakfast (tommorrows i had pre-cooked) then i was hungry again two hours later so ate a chicken leg. Then an hour later ate my lunch and still hungry ate another chicken leg. Ate dinner about 3 hours later. Ive drank about 2 litres of water throughout the day and had a herbal tea and a second coffee mid morning so i am sure i am well hydrated.
    So i wanted to know is it ok to snack on protein snacks like chicken legs or something similar if i am hungry (and when a stick of celery just wont tide me over) Im concerned about eating too much but also read you cant let yourself get hungry. Will these extra snacks hinder my weightloss or even put weight on me? ( the chicken legs were just plain oven baked no extra oil) Thanks

  75. Hey,I’m starting this diet now and I’m wondering,did anyone put back the weight that was lost while practising the diet? Sorry for my English :)

  76. Pam Atchison says:

    I hope this is still a viable blog as I have a question I would love an answer to. I have been adhering to the 4 Hour Body diet for a few months now and have lost all the weight I need. I am continuing to lose however as I’m unsure how to just maintain my weight. I am a vegetarian. Another of the great benefits I have received from the diet is that I have not had a migraine headache in a couple of months now. I don’t know if it’s the sugar or the grains or just the carbs/starch that have had this effect but I don’t want to mess with it! I have not had any repercussions from eating these items on binge day. Anyone have advice for me? I’m only 5′ tall but am now down to 106. I really don’t want to lose more!

    • Hi Pam,

      Well, the way Atkins people do it (they follow a low carb diet too) is by adding carbs to their diet until they stop losing (but don’t gain) weight. From some Paleo dieters I follow, they generally stick to under 100 or sometimes under 50 grams of carbs per day to maintain weight. I think Atkins folk say to stay under 20 grams to lose weight. So that should give you a rough idea of how to experiment with your diet.

      My wife also suffers from migraine headaches which are linked to various foods. She cannot have any caffeine (yes no chocolate for her!), we’ve also discovered that she needs to stay away from bananas (potassium) and onions (not sure why). So, I’m not sure what you cut out of your diet to go on the slow carb diet, but it sounds like something was definitely a migraine trigger for you. She also gets them from stress, so hopefully you don’t!

  77. Pam Atchison says:

    Thanks Lew. I drink coffee everyday so caffeine is not a migraine trigger. Now that my body is so clean I guess I could see if it is chocolate, although I have eaten chocolate on binge days with no migraine, and even though I love it, have always eaten it sparingly because of the calories. I have never made a connection with having eaten chocolate and having a migraine the next day.
    So I guess the system should be to add healthy carbs back in to my diet slowly. Whole grains, Quinoa, Yams, Soy (since I am a vegetarian), some fruit and keep my eye on the scale. I read where someone had given themselves a second binge day per week. I think that making good choices with previous forbidden foods would be the wiser way to go. It’s interesting how binge day becomes anticlimactic soon after starting the diet. Cravings go away and it’s a challenge to decide what to eat on the day off. Thanks for your advice. I appreciate it!

  78. I have a question….I get up at 5 a.m. to workout . I go to work at 7……….really not possible to eat within 30 min of waking . Is this really THAT important? I typically eat a protein bar on the way to work then actual breakfast around 10. Can’t see me working out on a full stomach or eating breakfast that early. heck, I’d be eating lunch at 10!

    • Mindi,
      While I do find that it’s optimal for metabolic purposes to eat within 30 minutes of waking up (even half a protein bar, or a few tablespoons of almond butter will do it– my favorite is a banana and almond butter: even though not technically 4HB friendly, it fights soreness), one of the most important goals you should have in mind is optimum muscle gain– this will help you to burn fat more quickly and efficiently, even when your body is at rest. For this reason, make sure you get around 20 grams of protein within a half hour after exercising in the morning, whether it be cottage cheese, a protein bar, some lean meat, or some beans– as long as you get around 20 grams! Then you can feel free to put off your “real breakfast” at 10 AM or whenever is most convenient for you. Make sure to drink plenty of water in the meantime!

      Good luck!
      Jess.

  79. Started the slow carb diet 12 days ago. I like it a lot… I’m not extremely overweight but I do have some weight to lose. The most wonderful thing about this diet is that if you follow it you won’t be hungry and you will lose the weight.. It’s great

  80. Can anyone share some workout tips/best strategies that work with this SCD method. I am 48 years old and would really like to lose about 15 pounds/gain muscle etc…. I ordered the book this morning but would like to get started on a good workout routine… asap :)

  81. I am a 51 year old female and I have been on the SCD for the last four weeks. My total weight loss is 0. I am not overweight by any means but I would like to loose about those 20 pounds TF talks about. I followed the diet down to the last detail to no avail. I have no problem with the early morning breakfast (maybe in the beginning), I adore legumes (beans or lentils), I drink lots of cold water (about 2 liters per day), take no sugar whatsoever (gave up coffee and drink green tea in the mornings). I walk about 3 Km a day, cycle about 12 Km twice a week and do resistance training three times a week. Although my results don’t seem to be very good from the point of view of weight I have to admit that I have lost about two clothes sizes (about 14 inches in all). I really want to continue on the diet for another month or so to be able to see is the weight really drops one day!. Thanks for your blog I find it a source of very valuable information and most of all, motivation and encouragement.
    Any tips ?

    • Risse, weight is a really bad metric to track. I’d pay closer attention to body fat percentage. Remember, muscle weighs more than fat (by volume). It is entirely possible to be losing fat and gaining muscle in such a way that you’re not actually losing any weight. But in fact you are becoming healthier. If you wanted to, you could completely stop your cycling and resistance training and stick wholly to the diet. If you did this, you’d probably start to see more of a weight reduction, but your muscle mass would also be either declining or remain stagnant.

  82. Thanks a lot, I think I will do that for the next couple of weeks and see if I get any results. I am certainly looking leaner and my arms and legs muscles have now a better definition, I am looking better (or so I am told).
    I am going away on holidays so I don’t expect any great loss in weight since I will be really difficult to stick to the diet while away.

    Thanks again for your advice

  83. I am nearly at the end of week 3 now, it’s cheat day today! I guess I should have done my measurements and BMI today but I forgot so I’ll wait till Monday now!

    I have lost 5.6kg so far and my Body fat has reduced from 25.8% – 23.7% as of last week, not sure about this week yet! I haven’t really be doing any exercise apart from Kettlebell swings and also a 30 minute walk every day!

    I hope that after the 4 weeks my Body Fat percentage will be below 20% – I may have to carry on the diet for another month to reduce my body fat as I would ideally want to be between 12-15%

    Great blog by the way!