The 4-Hour Body and slow-carb dieting

On January 3rd, 2011, I started the slow-carb diet as recommended by Tim Ferriss through his latest book, The 4-Hour Body. I’ve jokingly went into the diet because “I just want to lose enough weight so my stomach doesn’t jiggle when I brush my teeth.” (Thanks Kevin James!)

I loved The 4-Hour Workweek, so when I saw Tim’s next book soon to be published, I got excited.

While I recommend the book to get a broader image and background, here are the rules:

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

I guess you can read the main part of this chapter at Gizmodo. You can also read a sample chapter at (a well-written introduction, in my opinion).

I’m also taking suggested supplements (500mg of calcium twice a day and 500mg of magnesium every other day[2. I talked to Paul Stamatiou and he suggested this since the IU intake from Tim’s magnesium suggestion might be too high for a daily dose.], respectively). I was trying to eat guacamole for potassium once a day, but I sometimes don’t get around to it, so I’ll pickup a bottle of potassium the next time I buy groceries.

  1. Even though I love rice, bread, and potatoes (fries), I’ve dealt with it.
  2. Since I’m on a routine during the week regarding school, this is fairly easy.
    • Breakfast: 1 cup of Fresh and Easy liquid egg whites (26g protein)[3. I believe this is cheaper than Eggology, so I’ll stick with it.]
    • Lunch:
      • At school: 3-item plate at Panda Express[4. It’s on campus. Too easy. It has to be more conducive over Carl’s Jr or Taco Bell.], consisting of mixed veggies and three chicken selections
      • Home: 26-30g protein by way of prepackaged burger patties from F&E, a plateful of pre-washed spinach, and 1 cup of black/pinto beans (14g protein)
    • Dinner: 26-30g protein by way of prepackaged burger patties from F&E, a plateful of pre-washed spinach, and 1 cup of black/pinto beans (14g protein)
  3. I rarely opt for soft drinks, so this wasn’t a big deal.
  4. Aside from smoothies from Jamba Juice or Robeks, and an occasional banana, I didn’t eat too much fruit.
  5. Yay for cheat day! If I remember, I keep a text file I edit throughout the week with food I’d like to devour on cheat days.

I realize that this sounds fairly bland, but I don’t need to emphasize epic meals during the week. I’m simply trying to maintain the habit, and my epic meals will occur on cheat days. I’ll try to add some variation to the kinds of meat I buy in the future. After all, I really don’t cook too well.

Since I started (52 days ago), I’ve lost 10 pounds and dropped one pant size. Tim notes that while losing fat, you’re gaining muscle, so the scale won’t reflect that.

My problems

  • I haven’t measured myself regularly. When I made initial measurements, I used a slightly pliable metal tape measure, but it’s so annoying, I haven’t done it in awhile. I’ll order the Orbitape Body Mass Tape Measure right away. (Nick Momrik loves his Withings WiFi Body Scale, but it’s pricey.)
  • I don’t drink enough water when I’m at school. I need to buy a sturdy, reusable water bottle.
  • I don’t think I’m eating enough protein. Tim says it’s safe to snack on 5-10 almonds, but I shouldn’t be hungry between meals.

To be continued

While my schedule has helped keep me on a routine, these past several weeks have flown by very quickly. I’ll continue to stick with the slow-carb diet in hopes to get back to my figure in high school. 🙂

P.S. I know I didn’t include my actual numbers. I’m keeping them relative because I’m slightly ashamed of how bad I’ve gotten.


Published by

Bryan Villarin

Bryan works at Automattic. Cat whisperer. Sometimes, a photographer and card magician.

6 thoughts on “The 4-Hour Body and slow-carb dieting”

    1. Chris — No. You’re not increasing frequency, but rather the variation of foods you eat.

      From the book:

      The most successful dieters, regardless of whether their goal is muscle gain or fat-loss, eat the same few meals over and over again. There are 47,000 products in the average U.S. grocery store, but only a handful of them won’t make you fat.


  1. Nice progress so far Bryan!

    I buy Walmart’s brand of egg whites which are much cheaper than the name brand stuff. I bought Eggology once and it was about 3x as much.

    @Chris, the logic behind eating the same meals is that it’s easier to stick to the diet that way instead of trying to decide what to eat each day.


  2. Congrats on the weight loss!

    Reading this post just made me hungry. Hehe. Will try those egg whites at Fresh and Easy myself.

    Now waiting your 120-day post. Good luck!


  3. A cheap and easy way to measure curved surfaces (like a waistline) just use some string and then measure the string. Good luck with the diet. The low-carb thing really worked for me.


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