The 4-Hour Body Summary
The Slow-Carb Diet
The slow-carb diet is most widely known as the diet from the book The 4-hour body by Tim Ferriss. The 4-hour body diet emphasizes low carb intake and has strict rules on what you are allowed to eat.
You are allowed to eat only certain groups of food. Carbs are limited, and only slow carbs in smaller amounts are allowed. Sugary food, drinks, and fruits are forbidden.
In the book, the emphasis isn’t put only on dieting and the types of food you should eat. The author also talks about how to keep yourself motivated and achieve long-term results.
Slow Carb Diet Benefits
There are numerous benefits of a slow-carb diet. First, it is an effective way to lose weight. If your goal is to reduce body fat, the slow carb diet can be a great tool to achieve rapid fat loss.
Most diets are physically and emotionally exhausting. A slow carb diet will make you feel full, increase your energy levels, and make you feel better. This makes this diet sustainable for a longer period, which is key for rapid weight loss and long-term results.
You are allowed to eat only certain groups of food. The allowed foods are lean proteins, non-starchy vegetables, legumes, fats, and spices. In other words, you are allowed to eat any whole food, except fruits and grains.
This includes meat, fish, eggs, nuts, olive oil, all vegetables, butter, even small amounts of wine. You can have up to two glasses of red wine per day.
Avoid these foods
1. White carbs
White carbohydrates are carbs with a high glycemic index that quickly raise sugar levels in the blood. They give only a quick burst of energy, after which insulin levels quickly drop. This means they will make you feel hungry afterward, making you vulnerable to overeating and excess calorie intake. White carbs include bread, rice, cereal, potatoes, pasta, etc.
Although fruits contain minerals and vitamins which are healthy for your body, they contain a lot of sugar. Fruits contain a sugar called fructose which can slow down your weight loss. So, there are better ways to add vitamins and minerals into your diet. Vegetables are a much better choice.
In addition to fruits, any sugary soft drinks and even fruit juice should be avoided. They contain high levels of sugar, which can postpone your weight loss progress.
3. Dairy products
Even though dairy products don’t have a high glycemic index, they can still cause a sudden rise in insulin levels, which can be detrimental to your weight loss progress. Therefore, it’s best to avoid dairy products. This even includes soy milk since soy milk often contains added sugar. However, out of the dairy products, only cottage cheese is allowed.
4. Fried Foods
Fried foods are poor in nutritional value but are high in calories. This makes them a bad choice if you are trying to improve your health and lose weight.
Meal planning Rules & Tips
1. Keep It Simple
Although the food you are allowed to eat is pretty strict, a slow carb diet has simple rules to follow. You can eat as much as you like. There is no need to monitor caloric intake. However, it would be best if you made meal plans. This will ensure you stick to your diet, and there will be less room for error.
2. TRY THE 30 30 RULE
Within the first hour of the day, for breakfast, eat at least 30 grams of protein. This will longer make you feel full and stop you from afternoon cravings and unnecessary overeating. For example, the author’s father had great success with this rule in his weight loss journey. You should try it too.
3. Limit Calorie Dense Food
Even though foods like nuts are allowed, they are calorie-dense. This means it is easy to intake excess amounts of calories with even small amounts of these foods. This means you should be careful how much you consume. It’s easy to overdo.
4. Eat Slowly
This will help you not to overeat.
The cheat day has two roles.
First, it serves as a way to ease the mental pressure of being on a strict diet. It allows you to eat anything you want and as much as you want. This makes staying disciplined easier. Second, the cheat day can make your weight loss more successful. It can increase your metabolic rate, which will postpone your weight gain and help you lose weight.
The Harajuku moment is a concept that represents the moment in life when you decide to drastically change your life. Tim Ferriss shares the story of Chad Fowler, who lost over 70 pounds in less than a year.
The Harajuku moment represents the point in your life where you decide that you need to change something. You get so emotionally triggered to the point where staying the same is more painful than doing what is necessary. Even though taking action seems hard, not doing anything is more painful.
This gives you the internal motivation to ensure you stick to your goals and do the necessary work. The strong enough “why” is always more powerful than any obstacles that get in your way.
Tim Ferris also gives you tips on how to stay motivated. He recommends using some kind of external pressure to get things done. This can be something like a bet with a friend, rewarding yourself after completing a goal, creating a deadline for a specific goal—anything to keep motivated and on the right track.
The Minimum Effective Dose
The minimum effective dose, or shortly MED, is the smallest dose to produce the outcome you want. Anything beyond that can be considered wasteful.
This concept can be translated into weight loss, too. Do what works and do the least necessary to trigger the fat loss process. This means choosing a diet that will trigger the cascade of specific hormones responsible for successful weight loss. You don’t need any other extra work.
The same goes if you want to trigger muscle growth. Do the least necessary that will trigger muscle and hormonal growth mechanics.
Russian kettlebell swings
In The 4-Hour Body, Tim Ferriss tells the story of Tracy Reifkind. Tracy was a mother of two who lost more than 100 pounds with the help of only one exercise – the Russian kettlebell swing. She did kettlebell swings twice a week for no more than 35 minutes.
What makes the Russian kettlebell swing so great is that it is a total body exercise. It emphasizes the posterior chain muscles – your hamstrings, glutes, and back. At the same time, it is a great cardio exercise too. It will get your heart rate up and help you burn more calories while also helping you build muscle.
Tim Ferriss recommends doing cold showers or ice baths twice a day. One in the morning and once before bedtime. Cold showers can help you improve your testosterone levels, sex life and improve sleep.
About the Author Tim Ferriss
Timothy Ferriss is an American author, entrepreneur, TV host, and lifestyle guru.
The New York Times best-selling author Tim Ferriss is best known for his books:
- The 4-Hour Body
- The 4-Hour Workweek
- Tools of Titans
- The 4-Hour Chef, and
- Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World
- Audible Audiobook
- Timothy Ferriss (Author) - Zach McLarty (Narrator)
- English (Publication Language)
- 12/14/2010 (Publication Date) - Random House Audio (Publisher)
He is also widely known for his #1 business podcast on Apple’s podcasts named the Tim Ferriss show with over 100 million downloads.
The 4 Hour Body Summary – Final Thoughts
The slow-carb diet is an effective way to lose weight, especially for beginners. It has great and simple guidelines to follow, and it is easy to stick to.
However, this kind of diet is not recommended in the long term. It is effective for weight loss, but it is based on limited intakes of certain foods. Since it limits two big nutrient-rich foods – dairy and fruit-it can lead to nutritional deficiencies over time.
Also, the strict eating schedule won’t suit everyone, and this kind of diet may not be healthy for individuals who suffer from certain medical conditions.