The End of 4 Hour Body

Well folks, I did 100 days on this diet, and I’m finding it time to call it quits.

Lately I have been feeling sick, and there is nothing to blame but the diet. I think that weeks of reducing my meals to eggs, stir fry, taco salad, and chicken thighs have ultimately been unhealthy for me. I started taking a women’s dietary supplement a month in to address some of these problems, but it’s not the same as getting the nutrients non-synthetically.

Furthermore, my rate of weight-loss has slowly been decreasing. That is in part because my dedication to the diet has been wavering; I have had about one additional cheat meal a week. However, I also believe that the shock of going onto a low carb diet is wearing off. If you look at Tim’s study in the back of the book, his main study only lasted a month. From there, he only lists extreme cases of people doing well on the diet–like his father. It makes me wonder if in the long term, this diet is only meant for certain metabolisms. Furthermore, I wonder why he didn’t list any long-term women… and studied women far less than he studied men. From what I’ve seen in active 4HB communities, women do far poorer on the 4-Hour Body diet than men. I doubt that this is a coincidence. Thus, I believe that 4HB is great for shocking the system into losing weight quickly for about 4 weeks, but nothing longer than that.

Right now I am at 124.4 pounds, right where I was last week. The following week is my period–my weight will go up, and then likely drop back to 124.4 no matter what I do. After that, I graduate. I’ve decided that I’m going to take these last few weeks of college and focus on enjoying time with my friends instead of regulating my diet so intensely that I decline beers mid-week because I’m afraid of the effects of cheating. Sometimes, I feel like 4HB is a regulated eating disorder, full on with scare tactics, incredibly strict rules, and numeric obsession. Once again, it’s time for me to end.

SO, now that I quit, where do I go from here?

The Post 4HB Diet

There have been many important educational experiences from 4HB that I intend to stick with beyond the diet.

1. Eat a big breakfast with a ton of protein.
In general, this has had  a positive impact on the way that I eat, even if I’m binging. Eating a big breakfast has made me less hungry throughout the day and definitely wakes me up in the morning. I fully intend on keeping with my eggs/turkey bacon/veggies/beans routine in the morning.

2. Emphasize lean meats and vegetables.
I haven’t missed eating fatty meat at all, and I find that I am most ready to exercise after I’ve had an animal-flesh intensive meal. I do miss fruit on occasion, but I agree with Tim that we don’t need to emphasize it as much as the government tells us to. For the most part, fruit is pure sugar.

3. Continue exercising.
This one is a no-brainer. I lose more weight the weeks that I climb more frequently, plus I feel better. Though Tim doesn’t emphasize exercise in his diet plan, he should.

4. Continue avoiding white carbs.
This is going to continue to be difficult for me. I have missed pasta, rice, and bread. However, I do believe that it is what has made me chubby in the past. Thus, I should continue avoiding it.

5. Continue avoiding processed foods.
For the same reasons as above.

6. Continue drinking enough water.
I’m pretty sure that my personal policy of drinking 8-10C of water a day is what led me to getting rid of all my acne and feeling great throughout the day.

Concluding Thoughts

For those who are familiar,  my new diet sounds a lot like primal/paleo. Tim’s diet is based off these concepts, so that shouldn’t be too surprising. However, I’m going to need to toy and tinker to find the right diet for me, not some prescribed diet that’s supposed to fit everyone. I don’t think it works that way.

I intend to keep this blog running to meditate on changes to my diet and keep me honest; this blog has been the best thing for me in my 100-day run on 4HB. There has not been a lot documented about going off 4HB–what to do about the supplements, should I do squats after every meal, should I drink grapefruit juice regularly–so I hope to begin answering some of those questions. I will be happy if I lose more weight but not disappointed if I don’t.

It’s been a good run, folks.
– Suzie

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15 responses

  1. Wow. We’ll miss you! But I know that no diet, or lifestyle, is one size fits all. All of your points are well taken, and there’s plenty of 4hb to take with you. I still have a way to go, but I have been thinking about my ‘exit plan’ too; which I think is Paleo, plus my workouts, water, etc. With all my heart, I wish you the best in whatever you do. I am confident you will find success in your career and ‘now’ is your time to change the world for the better. Go for it!
    Best
    FatHacker (Dale)

    • Thanks Dale! You’ve been nothing but supportive through all of this. 4HB just got too restrictive for me without the results. I will continue following you and rooting you on with all of your goals too! 🙂

  2. Hi Suzie,

    Sounds like you came to the same conclusion that I and many other 4HBers have a while ago. I wrote about my change from slow carb to intermittent fasting a while ago here http://www.myfourhourbodydiary.com/2011/03/04/is-there-a-diet-better-than-the-slow-carb-diet/ it is much less restrictive that SCD and I have had some pretty crazy results, I am almost 10%BF now from >20% in 4 months. And for me it is much more sustainable.

    There are also a couple other authors that I have started reading I actually made a post on 4hourpeople.com about what to do if SCD is not for you http://4hourpeople.com/question/1979/where-to-go-if-slow-carb-diet-is-not-for-you

    I do think you missed the whole point of the book though, self experimentation. The diet is not for everyone, no diet is, but you have the concepts of it down which is a huge start.

    I think you have some other misconceptions too, the SCD or Low GI diet was not invented by Tim see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-glycemic_index_diet

    As for your other questions about what to do, my answer would be do what you enjoy and what works for you. Figuring that out will be a bit of a process but you will come out way ahead.

    For the “air squats” I actually do a mini workout before and/or after most diners. Usually 100 pushups.

    Grapefruit juice has a low GI so it is ok to drink in moderation, its no miracle drink but good if your blood sugar is low etc.

    If you have any questions feel free to email me or visit my blog, I have been doing a lot of research over the last 3 months and I am trying to help out as many people as I can.

    Good Luck

  3. best of luck! it’s been a great run on slowcarb with you these past weeks. you never occurred to me as someone who needed to lose a lot of weight anyway, so i think it’s much better for you to make smaller, but more permanent changes to the “normal” way of eating.

    i’ll stay on slowcarb until i find my own way through, still working as far as i can tell. 🙂

  4. Come to the dark side of full paleooo…

    I’m with you, though. For serious. If you need any help with paleo things, let me know. I’ve got a storehouse full of websites, recipes, and blogs to follow. I think going to paleo from 4HB is going to be easy-peasy, instead of going from Standard american diet to paleo.

    We can have a debate about the importance of fruit later. 😉

  5. Aww man, I just started reading your 4HB blog! I agree with you and others posting here – no diet is one size fits all. My weekly “Program & Schedule Changes” posts are evidence of that.

    I also agree with you that the Slow-Carb diet lends itself better to men.

    Something I think you should carry with you beyond 4HB is that through self-experiementation you will eventually find something that works for you.

    Finally, for you and all the others out there who are interested – I read a book called “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taube which I highly suggest. It is science heavy, but explains why diets like slow-carb and Paleo work. Also, check out my 4HB journey and let me know if you can give me some pointers!

    http://kanipshit.wordpress.com/

    Good luck and have a great time with your friends at school.

  6. I did the same thing after about two months on SC. Been 100% Paleo for a couple months better. I like it a lot more. The cheats left me feeling like doo doo and I was craving junk all week. Now I don’t really care and feel much better all week long. Busted right through my plateau after 2 weeks Paleo.

  7. Hi Suzie – I am just starting 4HB based on a friend’s recommendation who claims is doing extremely well with it. I need to lose about 60 pounds to make it to a healthy weight range. After reading the first third of the book I am very motivated and hope, if nothing else, the diet will help me trend in the right direction (weight-wise). I applaud you for your consistency and perseverance (100 days is impressive) – being a seasoned pro on the regimen, do you have any words of wisdom you could share with a rookie?
    http://www.foolingmyself.worpress.com

  8. Pingback: It’s Been 2 Months « Waist and Taste

  9. I am glad you shared your thoughts. I recently read 4HB, more as research, but then I ended up incorporated a few of the SCD tenets into my meals (which are the exact ones you are keeping).WHosever, I am very opposed to planned bingeing and “cheat days” – that sort of diet mentality lead me down a bad path in my late 20’s that took a couple years to recover from. It really is a form of disordered eating. Remember: That which makes us thin doesn’t necessarily make us healthy and that which makes us healthy doesn’t necessarily make us thin!

  10. I appreciate you documenting your results. I wanted to share my results, because some women do have success with this lifestyle. In 13 months, I have lost 13 inches and 20lbs. I had lost 25lbs, but I wanted to tone, and started doing crossfit and I have lost more inches but have gained 5lbs.

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