4HB In a Nutshell

Creative Commons License photo credit: steffenz

Over the last few weeks, a lot of people have asked me what I’m doing to lose weight. Especially after my health screening, people are interested in how I’m doing it (even the screener herself!). The problem I found is that I don’t have any good posts here to send folks to who know nothing about The 4 Hour Body!

So today I want to discuss in 700 words or less how I’m doing it!

Not a diet

The first thing I want to mention is that 4HB is not a diet, it’s a book. You could say it’s also becoming a lifestyle, and a lot of us (myself included) have been saying we’re “on 4HB”. But the truth is there are several diets in The 4 Hour Body for different purposes.

The book also talks about exercise, endurance training, sleep, swimming, and even a bit on sex. The subtitle is “An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman”. I’m not trying to become superhuman, but the point is it’s got a bunch of stuff.

The parts I pay attention to

I started with the fat loss section, where I found the diet I’ve adopted: the slow-carb diet.

I don’t know who started the slow-carb diet (SCD), but I know I like it. Without going into too much of the detail (not enough room here) here are the very basics of SCD:

  • eat only protein, vegetables, and legumes 3-4 times a day
  • drink more water than you think is necessary
  • if you get hungry, you’re not eating enough at meals
  • forget all of that one day a week and eat whatever you want

There are two things that my mind loves about the SCD: I don’t feel deprived, and there’s nothing I can’t eat.

Follow the guidelines in the food list for 6 days a week. One day a week eat whatever you want. I’ve written about cheat days, so take a look at those posts.

The bottom line: if you give your body the fuel it prefers, you will burn fat.

Ps, I still make sure my fuel is absolutely delicious!

What about exercise?

The hardest thing to understand about 4HB exercising is that less is often more.

There are several exercise styles mentioned in the book: Perfect Posterior, Occams, some endurance workouts, and more. One thing that’s consistent between them is something called the minimum effective dose (MED).

Basically, you don’t need to boil water at 400F degrees because 212F is sufficient. Why do an hour of lifting if 15 minutes is enough?

I use things like body weight and a kettlebell to get my workouts done. They usually take me 15 minutes, and I feel as spent as I used to after an hour at the gym. It’s an intense 15 minutes, but it’s effective. It’s proving to be more effective than all that time and money I wasted at the gym.

Check out this article for more detail on exercise.

Two tips for you

Those are the two main things I focus on that get me results. I do some other things, like drink yerba mate and take the PAGG stack, but those aren’t necessary to start seeing results.

To finish up, I’ll invite you to do two things this week if you’re interested. It would be great if you bought The 4-Hour Body and started right away, but I understand if you’re not ready. If you do these two things, I bet you’ll lose weight the first week:

  1. Eat a good breakfast with at least 20g protein within an hour of waking up. My typical is 3 eggs, ½ c spinach, and ½ c lentils.
  2. Drink at least 2 liters of water a day, preferably 3.

If you do that and don’t notice a change in your mood, weight, energy levels, or something else noticeable, you can call me silly. If you do see a change, come back here for more info. I’m always happy to share as much info as I can with you!

I want to hear from you! Regardless of how long you’ve been doing this, what is the biggest or most unexpected change you’ve noticed?


Get 10 exclusive-to-you recipes delivered to your inbox for FREE!
Just sign up for the FMF newsletter, and watch your inbox!

Related Posts:


  1. How do you work the 4HB if you don’t like legumes?

    • That is a question that a lot of people ask. The reality is you don’t *need* legumes to make the fat loss happen. I’m doing some personal experiments at the moment with a much lower legume intake than before and finding that I lose more weight when I don’t eat 3 cups a day like a lot of people do (and I used to). You’d just have to increase your protein and veggie portions to make up the calorie differences because getting enough calories *is* important in fat loss.

      What about legumes don’t you like? If it’s the texture of a bean, you could try making a mash out of it. Sort of like refried beans done as mashed potatoes. With lentils, I like making them with a bunch of different spices to keep things interesting.

      Which legumes have you tried and decided they were not something you’d ever like to put into your system? 🙂


  2. Great recap of the book. I have been following it for a few months with good results, I’m down about 50lb since beginning. One thing that really saves me is having chick peas/garbanzo beans ready to go. I soak a 2lb bag of them overnight in about a gallon of water. The next day I drain it, and fill my pressure cooker with a cup of water, put in the steamer basket and fill it with the soaked peas. It only takes 8 minutes at pressure to cook the beans fully. Once they cool, you have a salt-free and plentiful protein source that will last for days. It’s also cheap too. A 2lb bag runs me about $3.

    • Wow! I can’t wait until I am able to count myself among the 50 lb group! Way to go!

      I usually do beans in bulk as well. I haven’t done as much chick peas in a bulk setting, but I do black, red, and navy beans along with lentils. I cook the whole bag and keep them in a large tupperware. They go quick when you eat a solid 1.5-2 cups a day! 🙂


  3. No, I’ve never liked them. I’ll eat them if served. The texture isn’t the same. There’s something in them that congeals the bean itself. I’ll eat edamame.

    How many calories do you consume daily?

    • I can understand someone not liking that sort of…I can’t even describe it…”beany” texture. 🙂

      I recently started tracking calories just to see how much I consumed, not because I was looking to stay in a range. Normally – eating as much as I want – I am between 1900 and 2200 calories a day.


  4. I have been eating Slow carb for a while now,with the odd time out(CHristmas) Where I ate what I wanted to eat but now I am back on track. One thing I can say is that I feel fantastic eating this way. AS soon as I am eating carbs (wheat, rice,potatoe) I feel horrible. I can honeastly say that I have been like that since I was akid though so it just took me a while to know this is what my body likes. For those of you who are just starting out the biggest thing I oticed is that if you stick to the same foods for the most part you lose your belly fat quickly. You may not lose weight but you will notice your body changing. It took me a few weeks to really notice my clothes fitting loosly but I have now come down two pant sizes and feel great physically and mentally. I can also say that mky cheat days in the beginning were huge binge days but now if I do that I feel so awful so I jsut eat small amounts of my fave cravings and leave it at that. I hope that you give this way of life a try and realize what a difference it makes

  5. Lost 4 lbs the first 2 days! I’m excited! 🙂 Had always done Atkins but this is much faster. The cheese must have slowed me down before. 😛
    Ready to keep on a roll!!! Thanks for all the info!!!

Speak Your Mind


Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.