This article is about 4 Hour Body Diet, a diet developed by Tim Ferriss, the author of “4 Hour Body”. Continue reading to learn about Tim’s 5 dietary rules. Click here to read about PAGG Stack, the supplement set accompanying the 4HB diet.
Before you read about the 4HB diet, here comes a word of warning. According to Tim Ferriss there are three ways to lose weight. The first one is to follow a diet plan, the second is to work out and the third – to take supplements. Combining these three elements reveals a synergy effect and is much more effective than only dieting, or only working out.
This article is about the Tim Ferriss diet. It is just a brief outline, for more details please check the Tim’s “Four Hour Body”. To read about the suggested supplements (PAGG Stack), click the picture of blue and red pills. More information about suggested workouts can be found on the right sidebar.
4 Hour Body Diet – what can you eat?
The central idea of the 4 Hour Body philosophy is the minimal effective dose (MED). In regard to diet it means that there are a few simple ideas to be followed. That are small, easy to remember but very effective changes, which help to achieve the optimal weight.
4 Hour Body diet is based on proteins, slow carbs (slow carbohydrates) and good / unsaturated fats. You can eat fish, lean meat like grass fed beef, chicken or pork, eggs or egg whites (proteins), legumes like red beans, pinto beans, black beans, soybeans, lentils (slow carbs), olive oil, macadamia oil, grape seed oil (good fats) and a variety of vegetables, like asparagus, broccoli, peas, sauerkraut, kimchee, spinach, carrots, cauliflower, avocado, tomatoes, etc.
Slow carbohydrates are carbohydrates with low glycemic index. Glycemic index is measured by a raise of blood sugar about two hours after consumption of the food. If the sugars contained in the food get directly and quickly into blood, a surge in the blood sugar level can be observed – that are quick carbohydrates. The excessive sugar is stored as fat. If sugar gets slowly into the blood, body can process it and no sugar is stored – that are slow carbs.
Many foods containing quick carbohydrates are (or can be) white, like bread or rice, therefore Tim Ferriss advises avoiding “white foods” when on 4 hour body diet. Dairy counts as white food as well. One exception: cauliflower is perfectly fine even if it is white, egg whites are also allowed (and even recommended).
You should avoid food containing the fruit sugar fructose (e.g. most fruits, fruit juices, sweets) as they are the quick carbohydrates. Starch, being a kind of complex sugar, found in many vegetables e.g. potatoes, is forbidden as well.
Tim Ferriss suggests drinking much water (but not soft drinks containing sugar!) when on 4 hour body diet. You should be also avoiding alcohol, maybe except for some red wine before the bed time (red wine seems to be one of Tim’s favorite beverages). Alcohol contains the most “empty” calories – it has no nutritional value by itself, but your body can burn it and derive energy from it. Besides, alcohol stimulates appetite, so you are more likely to feel hungry and eat more than you need to, when drinking alcohol (this is why drinking beer causes craving for snacks).
Breakfast should be consumed not longer than a half an hour after waking up and it should contain lots of proteins. My suggestion here – try “proatmeal“. Proatmeal is oatmeal with addition of whey protein powder. Oatmeal by itself contains lots of fiber which makes you feel full without delivering calories. Combined with protein it delivers fuel for your muscles – if you follow the diet AND work out as suggested by Tim, you need protein anyway to help heal muscle fibers damaged during a workout.
A common question in regard to Tim Ferriss diet is – am I allowed to eat snacks? The answer is quite simple – yes, if they do not violate the 4 hour body diet rules. My favourite snacks are carrots, beef jerky and cherry tomatoes, they perfectly fit to the 4 hour body diet. I usually dip the vegetables in vinaigrette, so I don’t get “white” calories from a dip.
Tim praises foods subjected to lactofermentation as a part of the production process, like kimchee or sauerkraut. Yoghurt would fit as well, but as you remember, no dairy is allowed. These foods have probiotic properties and are beneficial for your stomach.
5 Rules of the 4 Hour Body Diet
Tim Ferriss suggests five simple rules to observe in the 4 hour body diet. Some of them seem a bit controversial, but:
- No white foods – as discussed above.
- Eat the same few meals over and over again.
- Don’t drink calories – no drinks with sugar.
- Don’t eat fruit – because of the fructose.
- Take one day off.
The last point refers to one binge day a week (e.g. Saturday), on which you are allowed to eat everything you want, ice cream, candies, potato chips, you name it. Tim suggests creating a wish list of foods you crave for, which helps you to refrain from consuming the goodies on the spot, and which can be executed on your binge day. The idea behind the cheat day is to stop your body from getting accustomed to the 4 hour body diet, a spike in calories intake and thus in the blood insulin levels makes the lent on the other days more effective.
If you review the diet recommendations in 4 Hour Body you’ll notice many similarities to the South Beach diet. Focus on slow carbs and good fats, a good deal of proteins contained in every meal are common for the both diets. 4 Hour Body diet goes more specific, and with above mentioned 5 rules is easy (although mundane) to follow.
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