4-Hour Body: Tim Ferriss

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

4 hour body

The Slow Carb Diet

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman is the latest book from Tim Ferriss, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Work Week.

Tim Ferriss says that 4-Hour Body is the “result of an obsessive quest, spanning more than a decade, to hack the human body. It contains the collective wisdom of hundreds of elite athletes, dozens of MDs, and thousands of hours of jaw-dropping personal experimentation.”

Subjects covered include everything from weight loss to sex and just some of the claims made by Tim Ferriss are that you can prevent weight gain while binging, increase fat loss by 300% with a few bags of ice, sleep for two hours a day and feel completely rested and achieve your genetic potential in six months.

4-Hour Body Diet Basics

Tim Ferriss says that by following the diet outlined in The 4-Hour Body you can lose up to 20 pounds in 30 days. The eating plan is described as the “Slow-Carb Diet” and basically involves the intake of lean proteins, legumes and green vegetables.

Five simple rules are presented for dieters who are looking to reduce their level of body fat.

  1. Avoid “white” carbohydrates. The following foods are to be avoided with the exception of up to 30 minutes after a strength workout: bread, rice (including brown), cereal, potatoes, pasta, tortillas, and fried food with breading.
  2. Eat the same meals over and over again. According to Tim Ferriss the most successful dieters, regardless of whether their goal is muscle gain or fat-loss, have limited variety in their meals. You can eat as much as you like but you should restrict yourself to three or four meals and repeat them.
  3. Don’t drink calories. Milk, soft drinks and fruit juice should be avoided. With the exception of red wine, alcohol consumption is not permitted.
  4. Don’t eat fruit. Says Ferriss, “Humans don’t need fruit six days a week, and they certainly don’t need it year-round. 4-Hour Body says if your ancestors were from Europe, for example, how much fruit did they eat in the winter 500 years ago?”
  5. Take one day off per week and go nuts. Dramatically increasing your calorie intake once a week increases fat loss by preventing the metabolic slowdown that often occurs with long-term calorie restricted diets.

In addition to dietary recommendations the 4-Hour Body includes information about a range of subjects related to the body. Tim Ferriss suggests that you don’t read the 4-Hour Body from start to finish but instead pick the chapters that interest you and select just one appearance goal and one performance goal to start.

Slow Carb Foods

Egg whites, chicken, grass-fed organic beef, pork, fish, lentils, black beans, pinto beans, red beans, soybeans, spinach, asparagus, peas, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, sauerkraut, tomatoes, avocados, red wine.

Sample 4-Hour Body Meal Plan


Scrambled egg whites with one whole egg
Black beans and mixed vegetables

Chicken thigh, black beans and mixed vegetables

Grass-fed organic beef, lentils and mixed vegetables
1 glass red wine

Exercise Recommendations

Tim Ferriss says that you can lose weight without doing exercise simply by following the “Slow-Carb Diet” but the 4-Hour Body does provide exercise recommendations for both fat loss and muscle gain. Also included is an example of the exercise routine that Ferriss used to gain 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days.

Costs and Expenses

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman retails at $27.

Click here to purchase this diet for a discounted price.


  • Encourages the intake of green vegetables and legumes, which are associated with a wide range of health benefits.
  • Contains a lot of information for those who are new to dieting and fitness.
  • 4-Hour Body is Presented in a format that is user-friendly.
  • Will appeal to dieters who prefer simple meals and don’t want to spend much time cooking.
  • Allows the consumption of 1-2 glasses of wine a day.


  • Fruit can only be eaten on one day of each week.
  • Most dieters will experience gas, bloating and digestive discomfort when eating legumes at every meal.
  • Does not adequately address the emotional reasons why people gain weight.
  • Much of the information in 4-Hour Body has been reported in other publications.
  • Many of the claims made in the book are exaggerated and will promote unrealistic expectations.
  • Exercise routine is better suited to those new to fitness rather than advanced exercisers.
  • Tim Ferriss is not a qualified health professional.

Slightly Exaggerated, but Useful

The 4-Hour Body covers a wide range of different topics related to the body including diet, fat loss, muscle gain, sleep, sex, injury reversal and athletic performance.

While many of the promised benefits appear to be exaggerated, most dieters will probably find some information in 4-Hour Body that is interesting and helpful in regards to the achievement of their ideal physique.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Abigail Fletcher

    I don’t agree with the Con that Tim Ferris is not a Health Professional. As most people are aware Health Professionals in general have let us down for many years by still regurgitating the out of date teachings they all had in their training. I see nothing fundamentally wrong with the diet Tim advocates and many who subscribe to Paleo or Primal will attest that the main factor is dropping the processed crap and the grains.

  • Muhammad Ashfaq Zakaria

    Dear Tim,

    I have just read your diet plan, beside other things you have suggested don’t eat fruits which is ridiculous because our Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him says eat seasons fruits which is good for your body and mind.

    Pls remember Prophet saying only those things which is reveal from the Almighty Allah therefore you must research on this saying.
    In Europe and America mostly fruits are stored in cold storage and they don’t know season’s fruits that is why they eat frozen fruits since long time and not fresh

  • Thersa

    How much can I eat?

  • Trent

    If you experience digestive problems and gas from beans, i highly recommend you learn to make your own. Much of the digestive problems come from poorly prepared beans. The first four steps are very important!

    1. Sort beans. Take out any rocks or solidified chunks of dirt.
    2. Rinse beans very well.
    3. Soak beans in water for 4 hours or overnight. Remove any bean that floats. It’s likely got dirt or bacteria in it.
    4. Poor out water, re rinse beans. Cook in new fresh water.
    5. Use home rendered fat (pork fat) if possible, add it the beans right away when cooking. Don’t add salt till the end, it stop beams from softening.
    6. When beans are done throw them in a food processor if you want them like most Mexican restaurants serve them.

  • Success

    Now on my second run of this diet, I can say that it truly works. After losing about 30 pounds in 60 days the first time around, I’m back again and loving it!

  • mashoto

    I have just been introduced to thisbprogramme and cannot wait to get syarted.

  • Skinny

    Worked for me, I didn’t want/need to lose weight, just increase lean mass while lowering body fat. I’m only on the diet for one month, don’t binge as I don’t restrict calories and gained one kg (2 pds) a week so far while losing 8 cms (3 inches) around the waist.
    The part about intestinal discomfort was certainly true the first week, I think my gut (-bacteria) needed to adjust. After making sure I drank at least 2 liters (half a gallon) of water a day, I had no further problems (besides gas, but hey… beans, what did you expect)

  • rambler

    Tim Ferriss is a down to earth, simple and really helping person.

  • Tom

    I have been on the 4 hour body program for 3 weeks…the first week I lost 9 lbs the second week 9.2 lbs and the third week 3.3 lbs. That’s a total of 21.5 lbs in three weeks. I am never hungry. I started out at 391 lbs. and am now under 370lbs. I have a problem with my back and am going to have it operated on next spring so I basically I do no exercising.

    My blood sugar has dropped considerably…it is never over 125 now….that’s a life changer.

    Since I’m starting out so heavy it will be a while before much change is noticed…..but people have already said they notice it in my face.

    Soooooooo Tim Ferriss………………thank you for a way to get my life back!!!!

  • Israel

    Ok 1 week in and I havent weighed myself but Ive lost weight and its extremely noticeable. I hate beans but growing to get used to them. Eating the same meals is no problem with me. Tomorrow is Saturday and I am excited to have something sweet. GREAT diet so far!

  • louise

    I can’t get round the ‘eat the same meals’ concept – I get far too bored and so vary the meals quite a bit. It actually isn’t that difficult…

  • Israel

    Portions on the Beans how much Black Beans should be eaten.. I HATE beans and ay 1 has started!

    • Pam

      I eat 1/2 cup. I am a fairly small female with not much to lose. My husband also eats 1/2 per meal and is always so full. The diet is working great for him. He needed to lose about 25 lbs.

  • Cc

    Is Chitin and L-carnitine as supplement fine in this diet?
    Will it draw negative cause for absorbing proteins?
    And is it better to have low fat diet or fated diet?
    As the book once said people with 80% calories of fat still lose weight.
    I am worried because my diet remains quite low fat with the Chitin.

  • Corrine Geiger

    Daughter is on this diet right now and seems to be having good results. Ian excited to try it!

  • Mo-mo

    First week I lost 5 lbs; 2nd week lost 4; 3rd week lost 3. Lost 2.5 inches around waist so far. Even though I probably won’t lose 20 in a month, I wiil lose more by the end of the year because I can eat like this for a while. Following this regime helps me avoid eating junk 6 days out of a week, when in the past I usually ate junk 6 days a week.

  • Don

    “Tim Ferriss is not a qualified health professional.” What exactly does that imply? Do you really want to join the group that has gotten it so wrong? Learn to ignore the horrendous effects of following the food pyramid? Tim presents hard science and furthermore tests everything on himself and shows how to pursue self-experimentation.

    I would in fact hold certification in nutrition against someone given their pathetic past.

  • Melanie

    can i eat quinoa on this diet

  • Kirsty

    I love the 4HB and wonder if the people who don’t know what to eat or want meal plans/recipes have actually read the book properly. Have what you want except white carbs, calories from fructose (fruit sugars – thus no fruit/juice), no white sugar (e.g. colas etc), alcohol except red wine. Of course I live in Switzerland where fast food and processed foods are not as popular (or present) as many other countries so I love cooking and food and doing my own meal plans so this might be a cultural difference.

    I found that two days after starting the diet I no longer had any carb cravings, hunger or low blood sugar. I’m totally energized and experimenting more with my food. My stellar hunger-busting breakfast is two eggs (scrambled, fried, boiled, omlette etc) with spinach and re-fried mexican beans. I would never have had spinach or beans for breakfast before but it works and makes sense! Good luck to all of you on the 4HB and I’m sorry for those that it didn’t work for :-)

  • krishnan

    The veg plan is quite simple. I’m also a marginal diabetic and have been a life-long vegetarian. So, making changes was quite easy.

    Mornings: green smoothie with whatever is available, such as cucumbers, carrots, beetroots, tomatoes, a huge bunch of cilantro/coriander/curry leaf (Murraya koenigii)or other types of greens (the size of the bunch is most important: huge), a small piece of ginger, a dash of lemon/lime, maybe some cumin seeds or even some chilly powder, anything that I can think of at that moment! Sometimes, I throw in an orange or half an apple. I always eat a tablespoon of peanuts with it. Sometimes, I soak raw peanuts overnight and chew them slowly, one by one. Sometimes I just throw a tablespoon of them with the veggies into the blender. That is the source of protein. Sometimes, when I don’t have the time, I eat a couple of tomatoes and dig into the shredded coconut that I keep in the refrigerator, usually a heaped tablespoon, sometimes two.

    Lunch and dinner mostly huge salads with a sprinkling of nuts or a heaped tablespoon of shredded coconut. I cut the veggies in large chunks so that I have to chew and chew and chew. By the end, my mouth hurts! If I am still hungry–rare–I eat all the cooked veggies that may have been made for lunch for the others in the house. Still hungry? Mop up the stuff with a tablespoon of rice or half a roti (wheat tortilla). In the past I used to feel hungry as I did not listen to the naturopath who asked me to add coconut or nuts. This rarely happens these days after I started adding nuts or coconut. And, no, my cholesterol did not go up either!

    I am slowly getting over the craving for fried snacks, which was my main weakness in the past.

    The peanuts/other nuts/coconut are a great source of protein and fat and will keep you from getting hungry. The greens in the smoothie have a lot of fibre and so you don’t feel hungry.

    I drink gallons of water or green tea throughout the day. No coffee/tea/alcohol.

  • Sue

    I started sometime in Oct and have lost at least 15 lbs. At the same time I started the ‘Slim in 6′ workout program. Although only 15 lbs, I have lost 2 pant sizes and feel good. Two things, I have not been able to kick the soda habit, so loss was slower and I am a creature of habit so the eating was sooooo easy for me. I am single and dont need alot of variety, so works very well for me. I definitely recommend.

  • M


    I got this juicer, and i was wondering if juicing veggies is allowed on this diet.

    just veggies, no fruits!

    thank you, and good luck to everyone! :)

    • Sarah

      Yeah juiced veggies, if you need some help with juicing use chia, it helps keep you full. Keep in mind that you may not lose weight drinking carrot juice since it has a lot of sugar.
      Chia is low calorie and since they are seeds they are ok for 4hb. I juice before weather changes like spring and fall to maintain optimum health.

  • Bonnie

    I bought this book because I read about the 4HB in a magazine. It cost $31, which is not cheap, but I figured since it was a huge book it would include a proper meal plan. As someone who does not cook, I was expecting some recepies besides eggs and lentils. I’m very very disappointed in this book. For $31 I don’t wan’t read over and over again about this person lost 20lbs in one month, or having it repeated multiple times that meals should be spread out and be approximately 4hrs appart. We get it… It’s possible to lose 20+ lbs in 28 days with minimal exercise.. That’s great… It tells you that on the 7th day you can eat whatever you want in whatever quantity. 6-days you follow a proper diet. But WTF do you eat???? I really wishes that recepies would have been included. I really feel that I’ve wasted my money and time on this book.

  • Dave

    Right on Riki.
    I have lost 53 lbs this year. On my way to achieving a 60 lb loss by 1/1/12. It has not been difficult. I am not eating fruit during the week, but my increased vegetable consumption has more than made up for it.
    “don’t eat crap!”

  • Waz

    Most of this information has been around for some time. Just being re-hashed again. A message for vegetarians, whilst legumes are great they are also packed full of energy (aka calories/kj), a vegetarian version would defeat the purpose of this “style” of diet regime that primarily utilizes animal protein to lose weight.

    Keeping cooler does burn additional calories (body needs to work harder to maintain optimal core temp) but attaching ice packs is a unnecessary evil. Dressing a little under much better. Dont eat crap, just watch portion sizes and use food as fuel. Donuts at the desk out, etc, etc, blah, blah

  • Bernice Cardinal

    I think that menu examples should of been in the book. I’m used to diets that say eat 12 oz of protein a day, 3 servings of veg etc. There should be recipes that could be made. Can you only use vinegar and oil for dressing? Why does it say you can’t have fruit, but 1 of the recipes for a shake uses blueberries?

  • stephf

    hey all – I am closing in on my 3rd week and I really am liking the energy and ease of this way of eating. Was hard the 1st week but once you get the hang of it you actually want to stay with this program. I like to cook and have found that you can mix it up quite a bit with the 3 major components ( vegetables, meat and beans)I’ve made lots of chili’s, stews, cassoulets, and the simple eggs w/ black beans and broccoli is a daily staple. Some ideas if you have hunger pangs are to always have hard boiled eggs and cut up chicken or turkey around if you are looking to snack. I have been cheating slightly at lunch by using the tortilla factory brand low carb tortillas which I fill with beans and 1 oz. melted cabot’s extra sharp 75% less fat cheddar cheese with salsa. Fajita’s with extra beans instead of rice and tortillas at mexican restaurants is my go to. I havent checked my weight (wont until week 5) but my jeans and clothes feel a lot looser. This is a great way to “re-calibrate” your metabolism and to re-think how your body reacts to simple vs. complex carbs.

  • Riki

    I tried this diet and lost 50 lbs in 5 months. I cheated though – I eat fruit. Not a lot, but I eat apples, blueberries, strawberries… and I try to splurge intelligently – not stuff myself with the worst foods I can find. Basically, the diet is simple – stop eating and drinking crap.

  • Val

    Yay, another “fad” diet. Works for some but not all. By the way, 500 years ago, people didn’t live nearly as long as they do now, hmm maybe a good dose of FRUITS would’ve helped that. Fruits & vegetables are essential, as for the bloating & gas from all these proteins, ever realize that is cancer causing in your colon? Do like everyone else for pete’s sake & eat healthy and get light exercise. I’m not perfect by any means but this sounds like a long stretch.

    • Damian

      Tim Ferriss is incredibly great.I was thiinkng the same way Bruce, you thought that GTD was the best system.Tim came in a changed lot of my paradigm including about the information diet. You diet the information that is high calorie and less nutritional!wow what a great perspective.I had a bad habit of eating lot of information calories which made me information obese with emails,lot of books,news,Google etc.This info it self will change my life for good. I have read around 30% of the book only and looking forward to great stuff ahead.

    • Don

      Protein is rarely the cause of gas and bloating. High fiber diets, however, have been linked with promoting particular gut flora elements to thrive producing excess gas and GERD.

  • Phyllis

    Can you have lettuce and oil and vinigar on this diet?? Tim didn’t put any recipes in this big book????

  • Sara Larsson

    I totally agree with Nandkishore above, I would like a vegetarian meal plan :)

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