10 Complaints and Suggestions for 4HB (Day 61)

So yesterday was my second monthiversary on the four hour body diet, so I’ve begun to feel comfortable with the routine. Take pills, take picture, eat, wait four hours, eat again, binge on Saturdays.

There are a few things that I wished that I had been better prepared for, or that had been better addressed in The 4-Hour Body‘s chapters on The Slow Carb Diet:

  1. There is very little 4-hour anything about this diet.
  2. I would love some explanations to exception foods. Why is sour cream okay? Isn’t it white and a milk product?
  3. I really don’t like Tim’s attitude about “if you have to ask, don’t eat it.” It’s dismissive and doesn’t allow any expansion within the diet. For example, one tweet asked about organic ketchup (no HFCS or sugar). Because ketchup wasn’t explicitly listed in the book, organic ketchup is out of the question. There are many other examples like this. Can you think of any other foods that you found questionable?
  4. Most people are not going to lose 20lbs in 30 days. Allow me to explain. It’s unhealthy to lose more than 1%-2% of your pure weight per week. If you lose 20lbs in 30 days, that’s a loss of 4.67 lbs per week; you would have to be 457—462 lbs to start with in order to lose weight that quickly and safely. It’s entirely possible to lose the weight, but your body will not be able to starve itself at such a rate for long.
  5. It’s easier to be strict about the diet; cheating on off-binge days is almost a guaranteed spiral off the diet.
  6. Women will have different reactions to the diet as men. First of all, as Ferriss mentions in his book, the period and period bloat will negatively affect weight loss numbers. This is insanely discouraging, so women should be VERY ready for it. I disagree that women shouldn’t weigh themselves during this time (because we’re going to secretly sneak a peek anyways), but should always actively recognize that period bloat isn’t fat bloat. Furthermore, I’ve found that all women lose slower than men (most likely due to their lower start body weights), but that women who are older tend to lose less than younger women. That doesn’t mean that the diet isn’t working, however, these individuals need to be encouraged!
  7. Exercise is still necessary. I’m not saying that people should be doing Occam’s Protocol while on Slow Carb–good God no–but relying solely on Slow Carb to lose weight will not get the results that you desire. When I added climbing 2x a week to my schedule, I started losing weight much quicker.
  8. Writing a blog and taking pictures is essential. It’s a matter of loyalty and honesty–to yourself and to others. A warning though: reading other Slow Carb blogs can occasionally be depressing. I feel like I lose a friend when a fellow blogger gives up on 4HB. #4HB is the hashtag to talk about The 4-Hour Body on Twitter.
  9. Though you are encouraged to choose a few meals that you like, you will get sick of them. Tim, I would love explicit suggestions for what to order at Thai, Indian, and Mexican (and any other) restaurants! Please don’t just say, “Stir-fry is ideal for this diet, as are most cuisines (like Thai) that depend on it” (92). What, explicitly, should I be ordering?
  10. Tim is serious when he says drink lots of water. A recommendation that I have heard is to take your weight in pounds, divide it by 2, and then drink that number in fluid oz every day (for example, if someone weighs 150 pounds, divide by 2 for 75 oz, which is 9.375 cups per day). If you do not, your bowels will hate you, you will get headaches, and you will feel thirsty all the time.

Okay, this post has been extremely down on The 4-Hour Body. Let’s get real for a second: I’ve been doing it for two months, and I’m still seeing real results. However, there were a few things that I wished that I had been warned about.

Today was good. Spring break started at 3:00, so I promptly came home, wrote a brief article for work, and then took a three hour nap. I think I haven’t been getting enough sleep. I then went climbing and got what seemed to be a private lesson from a seasoned climber who I know pretty well. Despite the facts that my arms are filled with floppiness and I will definitely be blistered, calloused, bruised, sore, and scraped tomorrow, today’s climbs were excellent.


Eggs, bacon, and black beans (Breakfast).

Taco salad with my friend's hand inexplicably in the picture (Lunch).

Stir-fry (Dinner).

Post-climbing lentils (Snack).

Totals Day 61

Until tomorrow (ROAD TRIP!),


8 responses

  1. I agree with basically all 10 points that it would have been nice if Ferris had talked about. If nothing else, it would be great if he had just expanded a bit on what eating at some of those restaurants would look like, because I sure don’t know what goes into dish X at one of those restaurants 😦

  2. I don’t think 4HB is supposed to be the Orthodox Bible. It is the principles behind the science that counts. Of course, that means one needs a science-based diet, like Atkins that has identifiable principles to follow. The point is Ferriss never claims to be a nutritionist, dietitian, or clinician – at least he has some science background in his undergraduate education! You will have to figure out why the diet works for you and use that to base principles for living. It may be that what makes the diet work is neither the slow carbs nor the color of the food, but that it makes you aware of what you eat.

    Safe travels and eating on your road trip!

  3. For me the recommendations Tim gives in #4HB are the best way for him to stick with the schedules and plans. He outlines what he did while eating slow carb and that’s what you should do too. I think this is what you’ll get if you hire someone to help you reach a certain goal. He’ll lay out a plan for you and you follow it to the letter – no questions, no changes.

    If you want to mix the foods and maybe add ketchup, you have to get behind all the science facts and understand what’s the difference between raw tomatos and industrial ketchup…

    That’s not impossible, but it was clearly not the goal of Tims book. He wanted to write a simple plan that everyone can follow and without any understanding of the underlying facts can produce some results.

    Bottom line is, if you don’t want to eat the suggested food every single day, you have to get behind all this yourself. Tim won’t do it for you.

  4. yeah, i’m with nick – i didn’t realise that sour cream is allowed (but maybe this is an assumption from tim recommending mexican food)?

  5. Hi,
    This is my 10th week and I have seen a 10lb loss over that time. Not the big 4lbs per week that some in the book were able to do, but hey, I’m real happy about the way things are going. If I lose one pound per week for a year I will be 52 lbs lighter, and I have never been that little in my life.
    I go to Taco Bell nearly every day for lunch. I order pintos and cheese (without cheese) and a Crunchy Fresco Taco. When I first started with 4HB I ordered two of each, but after about 7 weeks I began to realize that I was not eating to feel full…I was over stuffing and making myself feel sick. (And I lost weight anyway). When I get to binge day I don’t really feel like cheating, but I do because not getting to eat a candy bar occasionally really gets to my emotions. So, I have one.
    Also, on Wednesdays, we go to a local Mexican place and I order a side of refried beans, a side of Carnitas, and a salad with no dressing. I mix them together, ladle on the salsa and call it a Carnitas salad. It’s to die for!!
    As for Tim, I love the create a hypothesis, take some data, and gain some understanding of what’s happening in your own body. Once you do that going back to old habits will be against the grain and success will be easier.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s