What Are the 4 Hour Body Rules?

Success after following the 4 Hour Body rules
Success is waiting for you.
photo by DVIDSHUB

If you haven’t read The 4-Hour Body yet, you really should.

But I understand that it’s a big honkin’ book, and you just want the gory details. How about I spare you the gore and just give you the details?

5 Simple Rules for Following The 4HB Diet

It’s really quite simple, and this post is probably going to be very short. But you asked for it, so here it is.

(Note: if you’d like more info than just the rules, check out my 4 Hour Body Ultimate Quickstart Guide)

Rule 1: Avoid white carbohydrates

There are a few exceptions to this rule, but they’re things like white beans and cauliflower.

Things made from grains and potatoes should not be in your meal plan if you’re trying to follow the slow-carb diet. The main reason is they lead to insulin spikes which leads to fat on your belly.You may not know it yet, but insulin is the biggest reason you’ve got extra chunk. If you’d like some further reading, check out the book Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes.

Rule 2: Eat the same meals over and over

Whether you want to admit it or not, we are indeed creatures of habit. And as we well know, habits become hard to break. In this case, we want that.

How many days a week do you eat the same breakfast? How often do you go to a different restaurant when you go out with coworkers? You may even have days set up for specific restaurants!

It only sounds extreme because I’m pointing it out to you and offering it as a weight loss technique. The fact is it works.

The less you have to think about food, the easier it’ll be to follow your diet, plain and simple.

Rule 3: Don’t drink calories.

You’d be amazed at how many calories you might drink in a day, unless you’ve already realized it and have switched to water. Not drinking one can of soda a day for a year saves you 25 lbs.

Our coffees aren’t immune either. A grande caramel macchiato from your favorite coffee chain has more calories than you want to admit. Even if you drink regular coffee, if you like it nice and white with a few packs of sugar, you might as well be eating candy.

Forget all that stuff. Instead, drink lots of water. Unsweetened coffee and tea is good as well. You might even be adventurous and try some yerba mate!

Here’s a great coffee tip: add some cinnamon into your grounds when you brew or even better, into your cup before you drink. You won’t notice it has no sugar.

Rule 4: Don’t eat fruit.

I used to say any diet that tells you not to eat something so natural was a load of crap. That was one of my arguments against Atkins. After reading this book and studying up, I’ve changed my mind.

They key to the fruit thing is the fructose. It’s super easy for your body to process, so if you’re already overweight – and especially if you’re generally sedentary – fruit is giving you way more glucose than your body needs, and the excess is getting stored in your belly.

But don’t fret, because you can…

Rule 5: Take one day off per week.

I think Tim Ferriss added this because he’s kind of a junkie in certain areas. Yeah, there’s a bit of study evidence that suggests that we need a refeed day like this, but there’s also a lot that says we don’t.

However, it’s almost necessary mentally especially when you’re just starting this type of diet. You’re restricting yourself during the week, and a planned, controlled cheat is probably less derailing than simply falling off the wagon.

Make yourself a list of your cravings during the week, and use that list when you shop for your cheat day. Each time you have to tell yourself you can’t have something, just remind yourself that you CAN have that thing. You just have to wait a few days.

See, it’s not so bad! Pretty simple rules, and did you notice none of them involve exercise? 😉

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  1. Hi Jason!
    I’ve been really enjoying the content on your site and loved the slow-cooker pork recipe! I just started my 4th week of doing the 4HB diet. I wondered how big of a deal it is when you find a gram of hidden sugar in something. Like there is 1 gram of sugar in the chicken sausages I’ve been eating as well as 1 gram of sugar in the salsa I like (from lime juice concentrate). Is this going to have a big impact on my insulin levels and slow the fat loss down much, do you think? I don’t have a lot of weight to lose, just about 5 pounds. I lost a couple pounds in the initial 1st week, but now feel like I’ve kind of plateaued. I feel really good on the diet, and have lost all my sugar cravings, like I never thought I’d enjoy taking my tea black, but happily I do. Just wondered your thoughts about a gram of sugar here and there and if that’s slowing me down. Going to try making the breakfast casserole today!

    • Hey Annie! Great job so far. 🙂 I don’t think an amount that small will be a problem, and I think I even remember Tim Ferriss saying something about not sweating it. But when you get down to the end like you are, it can just be extra hard. The bottom line is a gram here or there can add up, if there are enough heres and theres. So what I might do is be extra careful for a little while to see if it makes a difference. You also may want to track calories for a couple days to make sure you’re not under eating.


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