I’m not a big Tim Ferriss fan. I tried SO HARD to read The 4-Hour Workweek about a year back, but I just couldn’t make myself finish it. The content wasn’t terrible. And I’m sure he’s got plenty of readers who worship him. But in my opinion, he sounds like a cocky jackass.
So why the hell are we trying his diet?
In Ferriss’s series of “4-Hour” books is The 4-Hour Body, a book on “rapid fat loss, incredible sex and becoming superhuman.” He provides a diet plan in the book, which we’ve decided to try for four main reasons:
- We got fat last month in Mexico. Too much yum.
- Ian had read the book before and considered trying it, making it a less foreign idea when I recently read another travel blogger’s post about the diet.
- The diet focuses on losing fat, not just losing weight.*
- Cheat Day
Note: I much preferred the similarly-themed The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau to Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Workweek. The tone is inspirational rather than snarky and antagonizing.
*This is the most important point for me. I don’t want to just lose weight willy-nilly. I’d like to knock out the extra fat. I haven’t “dieted” since we started traveling because I haven’t seen the need to. My weight’s stayed at a healthy level over the past year. But since I quit my job to start traveling, I no longer ride my bike to work every day. I no longer nearly effortlessly achieve a toned body from my commute. So I wanted to do something about it. And here we are.
What IS the 4-Hour Body Diet?
It’s the original “slow carb diet.” You say goodbye to sugars (and dairy) six days a week. That means fruit, too. Protein heavy and carb light, it forces your body to burn fat for energy. But the bummer food restrictions are offset by the limitless amounts of the foods you can eat.
My favorite part of the diet? You don’t have to count calories. There are several filling foods that you can even eat as much as you want.
The hardest part? I don’t like eating much meat, but as we’re getting started, it seems necessary in order to have any variety.
All of the diet rules are summed up in Ferriss’s book, The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat Loss, Incredible Sex and Becoming Superhuman. (If you’ve never tried Audible before, you can get the audiobook for free if you want to save some money.)
What We’ve Been Eating on the 4HB Diet
- beans, beans, and more beans
- sweet bell peppers
- pre-seasoned meat items from TJ’s
- sugar-free Jell-O
Of course on Cheat Day, we’re allowed to eat whatever we want. It’s awesome. On Saturday, after the recommended regular healthy breakfast, I had a fully-fatted-and-sugared Starbucks Caramel Macchiato, peanut butter cups, mayo-slathered elotes, a Milky Way candy bar, Skittles, an Asian feast at a trendy new restaurant in Silverlake, and chocolate chip cookie dough and cookies. Yum!
The entire first week I was counting down the days until cheat day. I had a million carb cravings (grocery shopping was awful), and Ian and I even started a list, which we added to daily, of all the foods we’d eat when cheat day finally arrived.
Now that our first week — and our first cheat day — is over, I think my body is more used to the diet. I’m looking forward to our next cheat day (it’s 4 days away), but I’m not obsessing over it like last week.
Our Goals for the 4HB Diet
Ian and I are both at healthy weights, so we’re not trying to lose much (7 lbs for me and 10 for Ian). More important to us is fat loss. And neither of us would mind some muscle gain. You’re not required to work out on this diet, but I want exercise to be a normal part of my life. I’m incorporating a small amount of exercise — 15 minutes — into my (almost) everyday routine. (I can talk Ian into joining me about half of the time.)
There’s a lot of extra content in the 4HB book about diet supplements and the exact timing for taking them, but we’re not bothering with any of that. It’s not essential to the diet, so we’re going the simple route.
Our Progress: One Week Into the 4HB Diet
From the looks of us so far, the diet is working — just a little over one week in! The numbers agree. I’ve lost 1.5 pounds, Ian’s lost 2.5, and we’ve both lost inches, too (2.5 total for me and 2.25 for Ian). We’ve had one cheat day so far, and it amazingly doesn’t seem to do much damage at all. The temporary weight gain for us was gone just 24-48 hours later.
After one week, we’re both about 1/4 of the way to our goal weights. Pretty sweet, huh?
While I’m not a big Ferriss fan, the science of the diet seems sound, it isn’t super hard to stick to (thank heavens for Cheat Day), and so far it’s working for us. If you’re interested in checking out the 4-Hour Body book for yourself, you can find it on Amazon.
Did you enjoy this post and want to read more like it? Please let us know! We’ll be posting periodic diet updates on Facebook, but I’d be happy to do a follow-up post here on the blog if y’all are interested. Thanks for reading!
This post was handcrafted especially for you during our travels in the U.S.
About the Author
- In March 2014, Diana called it quits on her traditional American working life and set out to explore the world with her partner in crime (and love of her life) Ian Norman. They now live a sustainable life of full time travel, working for themselves and seeking adventure at the same time. Here on North to South, Diana documents their journey in achieving and maintaining this "road less traveled" way of life.