The 4-Hour Body?

November 16, 2007 · 6 comments

Thinner, bigger, faster, stronger… which 150 pages will you read?

Is it possible to:
Reach your genetic potential in 6 months?
Sleep 2 hours per day and perform better than on 8 hours?
Lose more fat than a marathoner by bingeing?

Indeed, and much more. This is not just another diet and fitness book.

The 4-Hour WorkweekI have not read Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich but I did run across his blog recently.  The most popular post he has written is titled How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise.

What do you think about this 4-hour body review?

Just by title alone I think a lot of people would be dismissive.  But I think he makes some good points.

In the last six weeks, I have cut from about 180 lbs. to 165 lbs., while adding about 10 lbs. of muscle, which means I’ve lost about 25 lbs. of fat. This is the only diet besides the rather extreme Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD) that has produced veins across my abdomen, which is the last place I lose fat (damn you, Scandinavian genetics). Here are the four simple rules I followed…

Check out his post for the details (including food pictures), but here are his 4 rules:

  1. Avoid “white” carbohydrates
  2. Eat the same few meals over and over again
  3. Don’t drink calories
  4. Take one day off per week

None of this is really new.  However, what he says about the last point is really interesting to me:

I recommend Saturdays as your “Dieters Gone Wild” day. I am allowed to eat whatever I want on Saturdays, and I go out of my way to eat ice cream, Snickers, Take 5, and all of my other vices in excess. I make myself a little sick and don’t want to look at any of it for the rest of the week. Paradoxically, dramatically spiking caloric intake in this way once per week increases fat loss by ensuring that your metabolic rate (thyroid function, etc.) doesn’t downregulate from extended caloric restriction. That’s right: eating pure crap can help you lose fat. Welcome to Utopia.

Very interesting.  Actually makes a little sense.  But I wonder if there is any science to back up that claim?

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JanB November 17, 2007 at 6:51 am

It is scary to me to think about totally ditching the diet for an entire day, but I can say that once a week, at least, I have days when my caloric intake is about 2400 instead of what I try to keep to, which is about 1700. But I still don’t want to eat fried stuff and all that. Ok, that’s a lie, I do want candy bars and fried stuff, but I am afraid that if I start giving in, I will lose it completely. So for me, it’s not that I am afraid of gaining on that one day, I am afraid of losing the resolve entirely. Plus there are those sugar cravings that do come back if you indulge.

TB-Milwaukee November 17, 2007 at 8:53 am

The Wendie Plan, which many Weight Watchers use, has one peek day around the middle of the weigh-in week. I have tried to have one day in which I eat way over my daily points and it has seemed to help the weight loss. Luckily, my middle of the week is Saturday, so I do go a little over board on Saturday and on those weeks I have lost more. Thanks for the reminder to indulge.

I also hate drinking calories, if I can’t chew it, it isn’t worth it.

Eating the same meals is boring, but most of the time I do eat close to the same breakfast and lunch and have the variety in my snacks and dinner.

TB-Milwaukee November 17, 2007 at 8:54 am

BTW, thanks for the Tim Ferriss link, I hadn’t heard of him before.

Lady Rose November 17, 2007 at 11:58 am

I doubt few people can lose that fast - but his advice is sound. I don’t agree that on the diet day off on eating junk food - but there is real science behind uping calories a bit now and then so your body doesn’t just adjust and stop losing - it can be done with a little bit every other day or every third day, or as he does once a week - I would just chose healthier options.

I prefer eating the same meals most of time and have been doing it for years now - though every few months I’ll change the meal plan. I find it really helps cut down on cravings, it’s easier to shop and prepare meals ahead of time.

john - from fat to fit November 18, 2007 at 7:20 am

Interesting, I hadn’t heard of this weekly indulgence approach before but if it’s even part of Weight Watcher’s there has got to be something to it.

Knowing that there is a day I can indulge may make it easier throughout the week to strengthen my willpower against the little nibbles here and there that I still can’t seem to shake.

Michelle November 23, 2007 at 11:04 pm

My trainer does not want me to eat the same thing over and over again. I believe it’s because your body gets used to what you are eating and that may lower your metabolism. I guess it’s kind of like your exercise routine which needs to be changed to increase your metabolism as well.

I do believe in a “cheat day,” but not to the extent that this guy has stated. I rather keep it clean, but have a few “extra” calories.

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