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4 Hour Body Summary - Part 1 - Subtracting Fat

The 4 Hour Body Summary

An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman

This is most surely one of my favourite books. Tim Ferris is a crazy person who has inspired many of my actions over the past years. Mostly his "don't care about average, study the anomalies" attitude is very inspiring. The book is very clearly and humorously written and I recommend everyone to buy it. If however you just quickly want some information, the writing style is not very practical. The point of this 4 hour body summary is twofold:

  • For people who don't have the book to be able to follow the protocols
  • For people who have read the book to have a cheatsheet of the protocol In the coming weeks I will write and publish summaries of the rest of the book. Eventually leading up to a handy pdf, which will be distributed for free of course.

Message to Tim Ferris First: off, you are epic and thanks for writing the books. In no way is this summary meant to diminish your book, hell I'm one of your biggest fans. If you don't appreciate the creation of a public summary, feel free to mail me.

The first round of summary focusses on fat loss. The techniques described here will help you lose weight with the minimal amount of effort. The results are amazing, and easy to achieve.

Basics

The slow carb diet I

  • Rule 1: Avoid “white carbohydrates”
    • Bread, rice, potatoes, cereal, pasta, tortillas etc
    • Basically low glycemic index carbohydrates
  • Rule 2: Eat the same few meals over and over
    • Create meals by mixing these ingredients but nothing else. Tim’s favorites are marked with an *
      • Eggs (without yolk unless organic), chicken, beef, fish, pork, legumes, lentils, black beans, pinto beans, red beans, soy beans, vegetables, spinach, mixed vegetables, sauerkraut*, asparagus, peas, broccoli, green beans
      • Eat as much as you like but keep meals simple
      • Pick 3 or 4 meals and repeat them
      • No need or use to change meal frequency
  • Rule 3: Don’t drink calories
    • Drink water and unsweetened coffee/tea
    • No milk, soft drinks, fruit juice
    • Limit diet (light) soft drinks to 16 ounces (500 mL) a day since the sweeteners can stimulate weight gain
  • Rule 4: Don’t eat fruit
    • Avoid it six days a week
    • Tomato and avocado are ok
  • Rule 5: Take one day off per week
    • Schedule one set day (e.g. saturday) on which you can eat whatever you want in whatever quantity
  • This diet can cost as little as $1.34 a meal ($37.70 a week)
  • Fructose increases cholesterol, albumin and iron

The Slow Carb Diet II

FAQ

  • How to stick to it
    • Start with changing your breakfast
    • Once you see the results go 100% for 6 days
    • Have a notebook and write down all your cravings that you will indulge in on your cheat day
  • Isn’t eating the same meals boring?
    • No, how much breakfast/lunch variating do you have anyway?
  • Should I take supplements?
    • Optionally you can take potassium, magnesium and calcium
  • Why no milk?
    • It has a low GI (good) but high insulin response (bad)
  • No fruit? What about a balanced diet?
    • Research has no consensus on a balanced diet
    • There is no clear benefit to eating fruit more that once a week
  • I hate beans, what do I do?
    • Perhaps you don't like to fart
      • Go for lentils
      • Buy organic
      • Soak the beans in water for some hours
      • Add some beano or epazote to the beans
    • Don’t like the blandness?
      • Add balsamic vinegar and garlic powder
      • Tim likes hot sauce
      • Try red instead of black or pinto beans
    • Don’t like the texture?
      • Try fake mashed potatoes
        • Add a bit of olive oil to a pan
        • Add a can of white kidney beans
        • Mash them
        • Add salt, pepper, garlic powder (optionally parmesan)
    • When not eating beans eat larger portions that you normally would
  • What if I gain weight after my cheat day?
    • Expect massive weight fluctuations after a cheat day
    • It is extra water retention due to the simple carbohydrates
    • Men can gain 10-20 pounds after a cheat day, women around 8
    • You will lose it within 48 hours
    • Weigh yourself before your first meal and ignore fluctuations
  • Can I use spices and light sauces for cooking?
    • Spices and herbs but not cream based sauces
    • Take a $50 spice buying spree, Tim suggests Whole Foods
      • Montreal steak rub, thick salsa without sugar added, garlic salt, white truffle sea salt, Thai chili paste (srichacha)
    • Tim prefers macadamia oil
  • Can I drink alcohol? What wines are best?
    • On cheat days everything is ok
    • On normal days stick to dry wines (less than 1.4% sugar)
    • Tim found the best result on dry red wines
    • Usually avoid Riesling, White Zinfandel and Champagne
  • What do I snack?
    • There should be no craving, if you do have them eat more during meals
    • If you do snack:
      • Go for carrots
      • Leftovers
      • If you are really starving take another slow carb meal, no harm in it
    • Hungry before bed?
      • Almond butter
      • Peanut butter (purely peanuts and maybe salt), small spoon
  • Do I have to binge once a week?
    • Yes, it has many benefits to your fat loss
  • Can you get away with one cheat meal per week?
    • Most men can some women can’t due to menstruation
  • What about breakfast?
    • Tim often takes eggs, lentils and spinach
  • Do I have to limit myself to the vegetables listed?
    • No you can have any, but increasing variety makes the diet harder
  • Are canned foods all right?
    • Yes
  • Can I eat whole grains or steel cut oats?
    • No
  • Can I do this diet as a lacto-ovo vegetarian?
    • Yes
    • Soy is discouraged
    • Can I eat salsa?
    • Yes
    • Can I eat fried foods?
    • Stir fry is great
    • Deep fry comes with complications, avoid it
    • What if I’m traveling (e.g. eating at airports)?
    • Find an appropriate restaurant
    • When in trouble buy a bag of almonds/walnuts
      • They have enough calories to last you 3 meals
    • Choose mild hunger over deviation from the diet
    • What about weight loss drugs?
    • Most have too many risks, Tim used PAGG
    • Isn’t higher protein hard on the kidneys? What if I have gout?
    • Tim’s disclaimer: he’s not a doctor, get professional advice
    • Tim’s data shows protein in this diet not to be a problem
    • In gout high protein is probably not harmful
    • I’m hitting a plateau - what do I do?
    • Avoid the 3 most common mistakes (see below)
    • Targeted exercise can double weight loss

Common mistakes and misunderstandings

  • Mistake 1: Not eating within an hour of waking up
    • Preferably 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up
  • Mistake 2: Not eating enough protein
    • At least 20 grams of protein per meal
  • Mistake 3: Not drinking enough water
    • Drink more water, especially on cheat days
  • Mistake 4: Believing that you will cook, especially if you are a bachelor
    • If you usually don’t cook, get canned and frozen food the first week
  • Mistake 5: Mistiming weightings with the menstrual cycle
    • Ignore scale readings within 10 days before your period
  • Mistake 6: Overeating domino foods (nuts, chickpeas, hummus, peanuts, macadamias)
    • One portion often leads to another, and they are dense in calories
    • Don’t excuse portion abuse with claims of nutrition
  • Mistake 7: Overconsuming artificial or natural sweeteners (also agave nectar)
    • Low calorie and low sugar sweeteners have been linked to weight gain
    • Experiment with vanilla, cinnamon and spices instead
  • Mistake 8: Hitting the gym too often
    • Do 2-3 short weight trainings per week
    • Women: you won’t suddenly get buff, men wish it were so

Damage control

Preventing fat gain when you binge

  • Tim ate 6214.4 kCal in 12 hours and lost weight
  • Principle 1: Minimize insulin release
    • First meal of the day: 30+ grams of protein and insoluble fibers like legumes
    • Have fructose (grapefruit juice) before the second and first crap meal
    • Use AGG and PAGG supplements
    • Consume citric juices like lime and lemon
  • Principle 2: Increase the speed of gastric emptying (how fast food leaved the stomach)
    • 100-200mg caffeine / 16 ounces of cooled yerba mate at every crap meal
  • Principle 3: Do mild exercise throughout the binge (60-90 seconds long)
    • Tim uses air squats, wall presses and elastic band chest pulls
      • A few minutes before meal and preferable 90 minutes after too
      • This works because the GLUT-4 receptor is activated in muscle
  • An unbalance in intestinal bacteria could be causing fat gain in you, fix this
    • Get off splenda
    • Eat fermented foods: cheeze, japanese natto, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, fermented fish, unsweetened yoghurt and fermented kombucha tea

The Four Horsemen of Fat-Loss PAGG

  • Tim tried the ECA (Ephedrine, Caffeine, Aspirin) stack (20/200/85mg)
    • Worked great but had side effects because the are stimulants
  • Stimulant free stack by Tim: PAGG
    • Policosanol: 20-25 mg
    • Alpha lipoic acid: 100-300 mg. Tim uses 300 but some people get acid reflux
    • Green tea flavanols (decaffeinated, min 325 mg EGCG): 325 mg
    • Garlic extract: 200 mg
  • AGG is PAGG without the Policosanol
  • Policosanol
    • Tim lowered his cholesterol from 222 to 147 while doubling HDL
      • Time release niacin, and orange before bed, policosanol, chromium polynicotinate
  • Alpha-lipoic adic (ALA)
    • Antioxidant regenerating vitamin C and E
    • It helps your body store carbohydrates in your muscle and lives as opposed to fat
  • Green Tea Flavanols (EGCG)
    • Being researched: UV skin damage control, reducing cancer growth, anti-aging
    • Activates GLUT-4 in muscle but inhibits in on fat: carbs go to muscle, not abs
    • Increases programmed cell death for mature fat cells: destroys “fat memory”
    • Has interaction with some cancer drugs, consult your doctor is applicable to you
  • Garlic extract (allicin, s-allyl cysteine)
    • Been used for many things incl cholesterol management and infection inhibition
    • Tim found stable allacin delivery effective
      • Recommended: Aged garlic extract (AGE)
  • Warnings
    • When using PAGG eat sufficient B-complex vitamins
    • If you take medication, consult your doctor
    • Don’t take PAGG when pregnant
    • Explicit warning for: blood thinners, thyroid meds, anti-anxiety like clozapine

Advanced

Ice age: Manipulating temperature to manipulate weight

  • Your body uses a lot of energy in heating
    • Michael Phelps eats 12,000 kCal a day
  • Traditional equation is [Weight Loss] = [Calories in] - [Calories out]
    • Calories out is not just activity
    • The majority of [Calories out] is heat loss to the environment
    • Using cold exposure Ray’s average fat loss was about 2.2 Kg a week
    • He also gained muscle
  • BAT - Brown Adipose Tissue is brown fat that burns energy and stimulates muscle growth
    • Bat is increased by cold (rat/mice experiments) and certain drugs
  • Tim’s protocols
    • Protocol A
      • ECA stack 45 minutes prior to cold-bath immersion on an empty stomach
      • Bathe in cold bath with 9 Kg of ice for 20 minutes (phased)
        • 0 -10 min: torso/arms not submerged
        • 10 - 15 min: submerged to neck, hands out of water
        • 15 - 20 min: submerged to neck, hands under water
      • Tim found this protocol to painful and made an easier one
    • Protocol B
      • Place an ice pack on the back of the neck and upper trapezius area for 30 minutes
        • Tim did this in the afternoon (lower insulin sensitivity)
      • 60% as effective as protocol A
        • Assuming protocol A 3 times a week
        • Assuming protocol B 5 times a week

Ice age revisited - 4 Places to start

  • Do protocol B, you can do this while watching a movie
  • Drink 0.5L ice water on an empty stomach when you wake up
    • Eat breakfast 20-30 minutes later
  • Take 5-10 minute cold showers before breakfast and/or before bed
    • 1-2 minutes of hot water
    • Step out from under the shower and apply soap
    • Turn shower pure cold and rinse face/head
    • Focus water on lower neck and upper back
    • Take 1-3 minutes to get used to it
    • Apply soap where desired and rinse
  • If you’re hardcore use protocol A
  • 6 Reasons to take a cold shower
    • Cold exposure leads to fatty acid release
    • Could increase adiponectin levels stimulating muscle gain
    • Simulation of BAT thermogenesis
    • Boosts immunity
    • Effective treatment for depression
    • Visible effects

The Glucose Switch: Beautiful number 100

  • Tim tested his blood glucose using a medical device to test some theories
    • Blood glucose peaks 30 min to 2.5 hours after eating
    • Increasing fat intake blunts glucose more than lean protein
    • Fructose has a large and long lasting glucose lowering effect
      • However it also stops fat loss
    • Vinegar didn’t lower meal glycaemic load
    • Lemon juice did lower the glycaemic load
    • Small doses of cinnamon have an impact on blood glucose
      • Dose, 4 grams per meal / day
        • Teaspoon is 2.8 grams
      • Cinnamon lowers GI, LDL and triglycerides
      • What and how to consume
        • Preferably freshly ground
        • Cassia cinnamon curls on both sides
        • Ceylon cinnamon on one side
        • Don’t use more than 4 grams a day
    • Size and speed of meals matters most for blood glucose
      • Make 30 mins the minimum for a meal
    • For fat loss, no more than 2 bumps above 100 blood glucose a day
      • Eat decent quantities of fat at each large meal
      • Spend at least 30 mins for lunch and dinner
      • Experiment with lemon juice and cinnamon during/prior to meals
      • Use the “Damage Control” protocol at binges
        • Works only for about 24 hours

The Last Mile: Losing the final 5-10 pounds

  • Eat one of the following meals every 3 waking hours - be exact!
    • 50 grams of whey protein isolate + half a cup of nuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter
    • 225 grams of cooked, white, non fatty fish (no salmon, mackerel, etc.) + half a cup of nuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter. Acceptable fish include, but are not limited to, lean tuna, white fish, bass, catfish, pike, whiting, and flounder
    • 225 grams of cooked turkey or chicken + half a cup of nuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter
    • 225 grams of cooked fattier protein: red meat (à la flank), ground beef, fatty fish, or dark poultry + one tablespoon of olive oil or macadamia oil
    • 5 whole eggs
    • Unlimited quantities of the following at each meal
      • Spinach
      • Asparagus
      • Brussels sprouts
      • Kale
      • Collard greens
      • Broccoli rabe
      • Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables
  • This diet is for a 90 Kg male at 10-12% bodyfat
    • Remove 30 grams of the standard 225 protein for each 4.5 kilo you weigh below 90
      • However never lower than 110 grams regardless of your weight
  • You MUST eat a meal every 3 hours
    • Especially when waking up
    • Especially before bed
  • One cheat meal every 7 to 10 days