July 1 was when I started on the Four Hour Body or Slow Carb Diet. My doctor had strongly suggested I get my act together and lose some weight and lower both my cholesterol and triglyceride levels. So after reading through Tim Ferriss’ book, I decided to take the plunge. Many of my friends looked at me with a bit of skepticism, but were supportive nonetheless. Months later, after seeing my progress, a number of them even joined me and took up the diet as well (some more diligently than others).
So what have I learned in 4 months of sticking to the diet at least 85% of the time? Quite a bit actually. The plan outlined in the 4HB appealed to the scientist in me, as it outlined WHY your body did certain things and reacted in certain ways to what we’re consuming. I wrote a bit about the diet before, so I won’t rehash it all, merely use this as a progress report of sorts.
Several things I noticed during the last few months:
- Consuming 40Gm of protein in the morning is easier with protein shake included in meal (low-carb option I liked Progenex Max Muscle or Recovery – Belgian chocolate)
- Pre-assembling meals for rapid cooking is essential for maintaining (I’ll outline this in a future post) dietary restrictions
- Lean turkey/deli meat make excellent in-between meal snacks
- Body is much more efficient at processing large quantities of protein than it is at handling moderate amounts of carbohydrates, especially sugars.
- Snap-back ability increases the longer you are on this diet, I can binge a few days, gain 5lbs, and then drop it in 2 days after I go back on the diet.
After 4 months, here are my before and after stats, as these are the best way to measure progress:
- Overall Weight: 191lbs -> 170lbs (-21lbs -11%)
- Pants: 33Waist ->31 waist (-2 inches)
- Chest: 42”->40”
- Neck: 17.5 -> 16.75
- Biceps: 13” -> 14”
- Forearms: 11” -> 11.5”
- Waist at bellybutton: 36”->32”
- Fat loss substantial
- Triglyceride levels: 400 -> 140
- Cholesterol: 260-> 220
From an exercise standpoint I was doing the following:
3-4x/week Cross training at EliteU Fitness (45min avg workout high intensity workouts)
1-2x/week Soccer 11v11 90minutes
1-2x/week 2-3mile run (recently higher rate of running, less soccer)
Supplements I’ve tried and my experience with them:
Fish Oil: This I think does more for weight loss than the other supplements I’ve tried.
Green Tea Extract: More consistent energy throughout day, no noticeable effect on weight loss
Progenex Recovery Protein Powder: Definite recommend when consumed immediately after workout, pricey, but bag lasts long time (~2 months for me)
Next will be trying the PAGG stack.
1Mile run: 9:30 (august) -> 8:25 (crossfit test – Nov)
5k run: 32:20 (may) -> 29:15 (Nov)
10k run: 1:13 (may) -> 1:02 (Nov)
Deadlift: 250lbs -> 325lbs
20 tire flips: 2:40 -> 1:35
So that’s it for now. If you have questions, let me know.
I’m convinced the food in Miami, as amazing as it is, is killing y’all. My tiny little sister has a total cholesterol of 213 and is pre-diabetic.
cholesterol numbers have less impact on health than triglycerides. miami food is generally unhealthy, but its really unbalanced. think about why all the cubans go from being thin in cuba to fat in miami.
congrats on your progress, keep at it till you get to your goal weight!.
Im on day 2.. no complaints so far! Thanks fot the info 🙂
Hi, were you every tired or exhausted on this diet? I want to lose weight but perform better, I have a half marathon in 2 weeks and the spartan race in June – so I started cross training 3 to 4 x a week in addition to running 3 x a week 7 to 10 k. I was told I need to add carbs in my diet and started gaining weight (i’m a female by the way and really want to lose weight) so I went back on dukan which elimnates carbs and sugars every other day – so protien only then a protien plus green veggies day – thats it. So i tried a cross training and running on this and nearly passed out and ran slower and performed very badly. I don’t want to add carbs back in but What I need to know is do legumes give me what I need to perform without fatigue?
Hi I have been trying this for the 2nd week. First week, I would lose 5 pounds. On Saturday, I would binge following the Tim’s plan. Next day, I gained 5 pounds. And I have spent following week losing that 5 pounds. I am now planning not to binge. I really don’t know what’s going on.
You did a ton of exercising and strict dieting just to lose 5 lbs a month. Doesn’t seem like that much for all the work, did you build muscle also?
Actually my Bodyfat % went from 26% down to 14% and I packed on a lot of muscle during the year. I should have posted pictures along the way, but was a bit shy (if that makes sense)
26% to 14% is indeed a significant change. I am on slow carb and worried that I’m not going to build muscle while on it without sugars and quick carbs post workout for recovery. Also, running is super hard! Any advice?
muscle is built by protein not sugars. key to weight loss on slow-carb diet is the diet + minimal exercise, say kettlebell exercises.
I have a question. After losing 20 pounds last year on this plan, I switched to maintenance. As soon as even a few carbs were added back, I began to gain weight. I’ve struggled with this for 6 months now. I’m up and down with 7 pounds. Now it feels like even my old plan won’t work. Anyone have a comment?
I’m not a doctor or anything like that. However from my observations I tried the following things to offset carbs: a bit of sauerkraut or other fermented veggie (like kim chi) in morning or greek yogurt (you’re looking for probiotics), and at night before bed I take a cinnamon supplement w/a green tea supplement. you could probably take the cinnamon/green tea in morning, but i did at night to avoid upset stomachs. Basically the cinnamon lowers your insulin level (spiked by the sugar/carbs you consumed earlier) and the tea extract speeds your metabolism a bit. Cinnamon capsules and green tea extract were both bought generic from target relatively cheap.
I tried the PAGG stack he recommends and didn’t notice any discernible difference (felt like a super expensive experiment with no results).