The 4-Hour Body Diet – Sam’s 2015 version

The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss

I mentioned in my last post that I’m doing the 4HB diet again, and it’s generated some moderate interest and questions. First off, check out Tim Ferriss‘s book The 4-Hour Body, or any of the posts on his website. That is where the idea came from and there are whole communities of people much more into it than I.

Secondly, this diet is more of a standard than a specific protocol. There are a lot of different ways of implement it, and after doing it annually for the last 4 years, I’ve learned a lot about myself and my body and tweaked it accordingly. Here is what the diet means to me this time around:

  • Eat Veg & Meat
    I’m eating as much as I want of those things, which is way more delicious than it is convenient most of the time. Nuts are also okay, and water is the drink of choice. I’m not worrying about fats or calories or anything on top of this.
  • No anything elses
    This means no to fruits, dairy, sugars, grains, alcohol, or the things that contain them. Most people allow for things like coffee and wine on this diet, and I have too in the past. But I noticed my consumption of each really spiked as a result of the other restrictusions, so this time around none of that stuff for me.
  • 8hrs binge/week
    There are both physiological and psychological reasons for this. Basically, I pig out on all the stuff I want that falls into the category above until I can’t stand it anymore and want my diet back. What I’m usually craving is rather tepid stuff like juice or yogurt or maybe pizza. Though last Sunday I did eat a half dozen brownies in a row 🙂 The 8hrs are consecutive and marked in my calendar in advance. I plan for them, no being swayed by “Hey, that looks really good I think I’ll declare this a binge so I can have some.”
  • 30 grams protein within 30 minutes of waking
    Actually, my first half hour of wakeup protocol is this: wake up & get up, drink a large glass of water, make breakfast (usually eggs & beans), sit down & enjoy it. As easy as it sounds, golly gee willikers is it powerful! This is a foundation upon which to build an awesome day. This is exceptionless, even on binge day.
  • Avoid eating after 9pm
    This is not a hard and fast rule, it mostly encourages me to have a good dinner. I’ll have tea or maybe chomp on a pecan or something if hunger is bothering me. This is not anything that Tim Ferriss talks about, I just have a history of reflux issues and the single best thing I know to do is go to bed on an empty stomach.

That’s about it. Simple, huh? The benefits are many, here’s my top 5:

  1. I feel great! For whatever reasons, my body likes this and rewards me with feeling good.
  2. Streamlined shopping & menus & food prep. I can get in and out of the grocery store in half the time, and make a menu choice in about 10-seconds flat, and make an awesome meal in minutes. There are simply less choices to make, and find this kinda freeing.
  3. Permission to splurge on quality. I don’t try and eat cheap when I’m on this diet. It does cost a bit more than usual, because everything is fresh and (currently) out-of-season. I buy what tastes good without apology, and as much as possible, is free of chemicals and genetic modifications.
  4. Leans toward a default schedule. I don’t usually keep any kind of schedule, my life is to wonderfully diverse and chaotic. Having intention/ritual around my starting & ending processes is super-helpful, and helps other healthy scheduley patterns creep in.
  5. I cook more. I love cooking, and always have. The act of preparing food is calming and creative for me. On this diet, it’s easier to do that than to eat out.

All in all, it’s working well for me. Now you know. Other questions?