[4HB DIET UPDATE] One Month In: Ian’s Ab Muscles Have Reappeared, and Diana’s Thighs are Shrinking!

4-Hour Body One Month Results: Shrinking Thighs and Reappearing Abs on the Slow-Carb Diet

The results are in, and the news is good! It’s been just over 4 weeks since we began our 4-Hour Body Diet endeavor, so it’s time for a quick update. We’re measuring our progress by weight, circumference and photo comparison, and all three say the diet is working.

Read on for our progress report and our opinions on the diet after faithfully following it (well… mostly) for one full month. 

A Recap of the Diet and Our Diet Goals

In a nutshell, the “4-Hour Body” or “Slow Carb” Diet involves avoiding sugar and refined carbs for six days of the week. You eat a lot of protein and beans. On the 7th day, you can eat whatever you want.

And real quick, let me remind you of our goals, too. Our main goal is fat loss. Neither of us want to lose much weight in general, and we definitely don’t want to lose muscle. We’re hoping a low-carb, high-protein diet will help with that!

Progress Report: One Month on the 4HB Diet

Ian’s One Month Progress Report

Ian 4-Hour Body diet progress

Ian in our hotel room in New Orleans (May 2015) during our summer 2015 U.S. road trip

  • Total Weight Lost: 5.5 lbs
  • Total Inches Lost: 3 in.
  • Most Notable Change: His abs have reappeared! Ian tends to carry extra weight on his stomach, and after one month on the 4HB diet, he’s lost a significant amount of fat off his stomach — you can SEE the results.

Ian’s Thoughts at This Point in the Diet: My experience on the Slow Carb Diet has been generally positive so far. I’ve lost some weight and some inches so that’s a good sign. Mostly, I generally feel pretty good and that’s what really matters.  I usually like beans so consuming lots of legumes is never a problem for me. Assuming we can find some. The diet has made me much more aware of how difficult it is to find non-Mexican restaurants that serve a dish with beans. I’m convinced that maybe they don’t exist. It’s easy when we’re cooking our own meals, but since we’re currently on a road trip, on-the-go choices are a little constrained. Good thing I really like Mexican food and that Mexican cuisine is prevalent in the United States. I think it might be a much more difficult diet to follow in other parts of the world. When we were in Italy, for example, almost all of the food joints were Italian, and I think it would be difficult to find an adequate amount of legumes without cooking all meals yourself. I like that cheat day gives you an outlet to have whatever you want. I also think it has made more apparent just how shitty a meal heavy in carbs makes you feel. If anything, cheat day makes me long for the low-carb legume meal, if only for a day.

Diana’s One Month Progress Report

Diana Southern at Big Bend National Park, Texas, one month into the Slow Carb 4-Hour Body Diet

Diana at Big Bend National Park, Texas (May 2015) during our summer 2015 U.S. road trip

  • Total Weight Lost: 2.5 lbs
  • Total Inches Lost: 3.625 in.
  • Most Notable Change: Diana tends to carry extra weight from the hips down, so seeing a decrease in circumference measurements there is EXCITING!

Diana’s Thoughts at This Point in the Diet: I still have carb cravings, but they’re much less intense and less frequent than they were when we’d just started. When I find myself wanting something sugar-filled or carb-heavy, I just shrug it off and remind myself that cheat day is never THAT far away. When cheat day comes, I’m always disappointed by how crappy I feel when I eat sugar. That bloaty stomach-achey feeling starts up soon after your first carb indulgence on cheat day, so the whole charade is quickly less enjoyable than you hope it will be. But I still very much love and long for the day I can dutifully indulge in chocolate, peanut butter, Sour Patch Kids, cheese, ice cream, Oreos, Cheez-Its, and a variety of other highly processed crap that barely resembles food. ::Realizing now why I always feel like crap and have a headache on cheat day…::

Want to see where we started? Check out our first post from one week into the 4-Hour Body Slow Carb Diet.

Taking the 4HB Diet on the Road

We’re on the road in the U.S. now — and will be for the summer — so I’m interested to see how tricky sticking to this diet will be with that factor added in our lives. Two weeks into our trip, it’s surprisingly easy. We seek out Mexican restaurants when and where we can, and we have go-to selections at several fast food chains. Our favorite chain meal is a Chipotle salad (no rice, extra beans, add guacamole), though a Wendy’s chili plus side salad is a faster and cheaper option.

Of course we’re cooking the majority of our meals for both budget and health reasons, so we’re keeping our ingredient list simple and choosing meals that are quick to prepare. We’ve got a small cooler in the car to store pre-cooked meats, hard boiled eggs, sugar free Jell-O, tiny cans of diet soda, and the like. I’ve also recently discovered Lentil Snaps and Pea Snaps — a chip-like snack that appears to be (at least mostly) okay for the diet, though they do have a tiny bit of added sugar (1g) and milk (extremely low on the ingredient list), which are no-nos. We’re eating them in moderation, so I’m not worried about it.

Though we’re following the diet impressively well in my opinion, there are a couple of things we’ve been “cheating” on. Tim Ferris, author of the 4 Hour Body book that inspired this diet we’re on, recommends not consuming dairy and limiting fake-sugar beverages to the equivalent of one diet soda per day. Well, we’re probably not doing the best we could in either area. A couple times per week we eat at least a small amount of shredded cheese that ends up in the salads we order at fast food chains, and on days when we’re particularly weary from travel, we’ve probably tripled the amount of fake-sugar beverages we’re supposed to drink.

All in all, I’d say we’re off to a great start! We’re sticking with the diet and looking forward to hopefully seeing even more results in our second month.

And now… it’s Saturday, and guess what that means!!! CHEAT DAY! We’re off to devour absolutely every delicious thing we can imagine on our first ever visit to New Orleans! Beignets, crawfish étouffée, gumbo, and whatever else we can find. (Suggestions are welcome — Please share below!)

This post was handcrafted just for you during our travels in New Orleans, Louisiana, on our summer 2015 U.S. road trip. See our latest travel updates here.

About the Author

Diana Southern
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.

2 Responses

  1. Lara April 20, 2016 / 4:56 pm

    I came across your 4 Hour Body blog and I must say that it’s so encouraging that you saw results! I am on week two and am loving that my waist is already slightly smaller and my face looks thinner. I’m only two lbs. lighter but feeling terrific. Did you guys continue with this diet?

    • Diana Southern April 21, 2016 / 6:49 am

      That’s awesome, Lara! Congrats on your success with the diet. It’s a tough diet to stick to, but it’s definitely rewarding if you do!

      We actually aren’t doing the diet anymore, but it definitely had an impact on the way I eat now. For example, I know I’ll feel more satisfied if I simply add beans to a meal, so that helps me be smarter about the food I prepare for myself and the food I order out.

      We just started a two-month Europe trip, and I’m eager to try food without restrictions, but I might be ready to give the diet another go when we get back to the States. 🙂

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