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Four Hour Body

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Hi there... I have been wanting to get in really great shape for a long time. Over the last few months, a sedentary job and low energy, poor eating habits and a new relationship have distracted me from this goal. I am going on a trip in 40 days and want to get looking really great. I have been reading about Tim Ferris' 4 hour body (slow carb - low GI foods, no whites, no fruits, just proteins, veggies, lentils, no high calorie drinks) and I am thinking this is something I could do if I was focused enough on the outcome and my goal. Do you think I could see results by Feb. 6th? Is that realistic? Here is a photo of me today. I am 5'6" 1/2, probably about 137 pounds. ard85/

Edited Dec 30 2010 23:49 by melkor
Reason: Double posting, moving to most relevant forum
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Well, it doesn't seem so unreasonable to me... I don't see anything wrong with eating lots of vegetables, beans, lentils, cutting sugar. If you read about the 4 hour body, there is also 1 day of eating whatever you like. Tim Ferris is a smart man who has done lots of research about efficient use of time. Why do extra work if you don't have to? That's how I feel about it. What I was hoping for was feedback about my current shape.

First off, what are you trying to do again, you look great.

Secondly, I have to agree with courtney, I have lost about 60lbs and it wasn't because of any of these new diets or programs. I used an ancient Chinese secret. I eat less, burn more calories, and exercise. Plus, with this old school lifestyle, I can still eat pretty much whatever I want. Which I think is a waaaay better deal and I can do it for the rest of my life.

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Thanks startingover2011! Congratulations on the 60lb loss!!

I can appreciate the need for balance and hard work in success. I think my life has just shifted off balance so much in the last half a year that it's hard to know what really works. I need some better habits. I would just be happier with more definition and less flab. The support in these forums is so helpful!! I really appreciate the feedback.

You look fine but your posture isn't great. Why not try this: Look at you stunningly nice arms and shoulders, lovely tummy, noticeable waist, nice legs (if a tad x-shaped in the picture, but as I said: Posture!) and beautiful skin.

Then buy a retro style bathing costume from modcloth or similar. They make any woman with even a hint of a waist look smoking and busty - much more so than your unflattering panties that look much better on boy-ish figures.

If you want put it some high quality Pilates sessions (the pricey ones with an instructor, not the 10 mintues a day book versions) to make you walk taler and lighter.

Then take it easy on the fast food and booze while on the trip. Do loads of excursions on foot and whatever other excercise fits into your trip and then come back with an even faber figure and loads of energy to put the balance back into your life.

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Kikt, thanks for the nice compliments! I agree, my posture wasn't greatest at all. When I took the photo I was very focused on not letting my shirt fall down.


What do you mean by x-shaped?


Thanks for the feedback!

Your knees are pointing slightly inward (thus a very slight  X shape to your legs). Not a big deal but might cause problems when you approach your 40ies because you are putting more pressure on one side of the cartilage in your knees than the other.

If you happen to know a good physiotherapist (or know someone who knows one) ask him about some excercises to work against that. There is one but it's very subtle and I can't explain it in writing. (Something about liting the kneecaps and pressing your legs kindof outward and then holding a few seconds)

I was really pissed off when I finally discovered it a few years ago. I was always told x shaped legs is genetic and can't be fixed (mine are worse than yours) but a lot can actually be done by standing and walking right. (Mind you, being always a bit overweight hasn't helped my knees either)

Have fun with your trip!

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kikt, that is terrible news about my knees. I had never heard of x-shaped knees. I already have knee problems... pain after driving for 2 hours, etc. At least I'm not alone? Sorry to hear about your pain.

Thank you Courtney. No worries about your first response. I have done a lot of research in terms of fitness and wouldn't want to be thought of as some newbie ready to fall for some diet fad. I also struggle with IBS so a diet such as the one I mentioned is really feasible and healthy for my poor stomach.

It's helpful to get some constructive criticism, and a healthy dose of realism, so thanks! I am going on a cruise to the Bahamas with my sexy boyfriend and want to look really great!!

I am wondering how much weight would be a good goal for 40 days...

I don't know anything about the 4 hour body thing, but I am automatically suspicious of any plan that says "no fruits."  Fruit is good for you.  It has vitamins and minerals and fiber that your body needs.  Study after study has shown that diets with lots of fruits and vegetables promote health and longevity.

I didn't realize until I started reading these boards that there were so many anti-fruit diets out there, and I still find it mind boggling.  Eating an apple or banana or orange will only add 75-100 calories, will provide much needed nutrients, improve your overall health, and besides, fruit tastes great!

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Yeah I like fruit too! Mmm bananas.


Seems pretty strict but living on fruit isn't good either, which I think a lot of people do. I think it has a lot of sugar, and I think vegetables are always a better bet for your overall health and longevity of your system. That's just my opinion though! Perhaps fruit should be treated more as dessert...

Merging in replies from the duplicate thread:


Original Post by lindseyhoffner:

Welcome to Calorie Count!

You could probably lose weight that way.  But most likely it will not stay off.  Once you stop the diet your body will go back to the way it was - perhaps you will gain more.  And is more than likely not the healthiest way to lose weight.

However, since today is your first day on this site, I suggest reading more forums and blogs.  If you want to lose weight and keep it off (which you don't need to do - you have a healthy BMI) then you need to change your lifestyle.  Take advantage of all that Calorie Count has to offer - it's a great site!

Perhaps use the upcoming 40 days to try to tone up rather than lose pounds.  Try the exercise tab, you can get great ideas there.

Good luck!



Original Post by tryhard85:

Thanks Lindsey! I have been creeping on this site for a while, so I have seen a lot of the great features here. I appreciate your response, and thanks again!


Original Post by melkor:

Ah, yes - Tim Ferris,whose main skill is in self promotion and faking competence*.

 It's sort of interesting to see HIT training and the skewed expectations you get from using training that worked to recondition an out-of-shape steroid using bodybuilder (Casey Viator in the Colorado Experiment) on never-been-in-shape populations; newbie gains from doing anything at all the first few times gets misconstrued as representing the same kind of gains you can expect if you were injecting steroids and eating anything that came within arm's reach to regain old levels of body mass.

 You can absolutely see noticeable results in 40 days or so; that's 5 weeks and enough time to get in 15 good-quality workouts (which is to say, not the ones in Ferris' book) and drop a few pounds (2-7) by counting calories; the combination of slightly lower body fat and better muscle tonus from strength training will make for a significant difference in appearance.

 Do you have any specific performance goals, or are you mainly looking at body composition as your success criteria?

 *There was a remarkable bit of critique posted on Lyle's forum just recently:

Finally finished the book (promise this is going to be my last comment on it). There's one useful section of 4HB buried in the appendix, about (ironically) how to decipher **** studies and claims. It's called 'Spotting Bad Science 101.' It goes over:


"Charting the progress on my latest experiment, I’d dropped from 11.9% to 10.2% bodyfat, a 14% reduction of the total fat on my body, in 14 days." - TF


"Not to speculate, I tested the effect of fructose in two tests, the first during a no-fructose diet (no juice, no fruit) and the second after one week of consuming 14 ounces—about 1.5 large glasses—of pulp-free orange juice upon waking and before bed. The orange juice was the only thing distinguishing diets A and B. The changes were incredible." - TF


"The following Slow-Carb Diet data was collected with detailed questionnaires using 194 people responded to all questions, and 58% indicated it was the first diet they had ever been able to stick with." - TF



"The subjects were recruited via my top-1,000 blog (, Twitter (, and Facebook (" - TF

His own guidelines for spotting bad science even say that he's full of ****. If he had of put the bad science chapter in the intro instead of the appendix maybe some people would have realised the double standard he's using for all of his claims. Or better yet, if he read the bad science part himself he might realise that putting gary taubes on a pedestal as a brave fighter against bad science was a silly move.


Original Post by tryhard85:

Hey Melkor, I suppose I am taking a lazy approach to this whole thing... I have always been a muscular person (too muscular for my own taste) and have been wishing to slim down for a while. I am happiest when I am 130 lbs or less, but I have been drawn to sugary foods and have not been getting in my regular exercise so this has destroyed my fitness. What I am focusing on is body composition rather than performance. I would love to lose flab and be leaner. Any suggestions would be hugely helpful!!!


Original Post by melkor:

 To lose flab is almost all in the diet so the first place to start would be with the revised and expanded Calorie Count "diet" - you'll notice that there's no particular rule about this or that food being good or bad for all people in all situations, it just comes down to honestly writing down what you're eating and looking at what that does to your calorie budget. Also note that a calorie deficit created through exercise or diet results in the exact same weight loss, the only thing exercise really helps determine is what you lose.

 For training anything at all will help but long-term a bit of everything should be included. Results-wise strength training to maintain muscle mass and tone will help with your appearance immensely, endurance training will burn calories and create more room in your calorie budget plus provide a nice boost to cardio fitness, and flexibility training will help you move better.

 Ranked in relative importance to your results it's diet, diet, diet, strength training, cardio - which doesn't mean you shouldn't do cardio, just that you program in the strength training first and then see what time you've got left over to work on other stuff.

 What do you have access to in terms of equipment? A regular gym, or your home plus the great outdoors? 

In the future, don't start duplicate threads in two different forums, mmkay?

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Sorry about that! Heh heh. Won't happen again.

Heh, sure - no problem; mistakes happen ;)

Original Post by tryhard85:

kikt, that is terrible news about my knees. I had never heard of x-shaped knees. I already have knee problems... pain after driving for 2 hours, etc. At least I'm not alone? Sorry to hear about your pain.

Thank you Courtney. No worries about your first response. I have done a lot of research in terms of fitness and wouldn't want to be thought of as some newbie ready to fall for some diet fad. I also struggle with IBS so a diet such as the one I mentioned is really feasible and healthy for my poor stomach.

It's helpful to get some constructive criticism, and a healthy dose of realism, so thanks! I am going on a cruise to the Bahamas with my sexy boyfriend and want to look really great!!

I am wondering how much weight would be a good goal for 40 days...

If you got knee problems already please no inasne amount of training from zero. Your muscles need to develop.

ok, a few tips you'll thank me for when you find your first grey hairs :-)

a) warm up your knees before you excercise. There is a fluid in your kneecaps that act like a lubricant and to kick it off keep you need to move your knee for a few minutes. You can actually just sit on a table and dangle them, but if you are at a gym just go on a bike for 5 minutes on a low resistance setting.

Cycling at not too high resistance is generally good for your knees. I don't like cycling but always do it before I go to a class in a gym (when I'm actually a member) At home I ly on the ground and 'ride' in the the air before doing something.

b) There is a really good weight machine for training the muscle next to your kneecap. Ask a gym trainer about it. You sit almost normally like on a chair and lift a weight with your shins. Make sure you don't bend your knees more than 90° and don't lock them when you are up.(And no Karate. The kicks are bad for the knees)

c) You should generally make sure you don't lock your knees while standing. That's really easy to train, just check mentally every time you stand, after a while your body will remember the unlocked position as normal.

d) Go to a physitherapist and try to find out why you have a slight x-shape in your legs. It might actually be your ankles that go a tad inward. (Sorry for being so vague but I'm not English and simply don't have the vocabulary.) There are running shoes that helps with this extra support on the inside of your feet but I just can't remember the name. It's like and extra firm little bridge.

You can train the muscles in your feet, too, with a physiotherapist or with MBT shoes. The latter I would buy as sandals and only wear at home and only for bried amounts of time. They actually tone up your whole leg, but it's really important not to overdo at first!

It's not the end of the world, sweety, you're not a dancer or a world champion gymnast :-) You'll find oodles of information about knees online, but warming them up, taking it easy on the high impact stuff and getting the right kind of runing shoe will take you really far.

Abotu the weight loss: See what you can realistically do in 40 days food wise and type it into the CC tools. They'll give you a realistic goal (I guess 3 or 4 pounds) Make sure you have breaks in your excercise program. You don't want to tax your immunesystem too much in this weather and end up going to Bermuda with a cold.

It's minus 10 here in Berlin. I am soo envious!!!

why go on a diet? you look good to me. nice stomach:)

i'd say if you want just do some weight training maybe or a little bit of cardio.

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Thanks dreamland7! I just wish I had a flatter tummy, like Jennifer Aniston!!

Original Post by tryhard85:

Thanks dreamland7! I just wish I had a flatter tummy, like Jennifer Aniston!!

We'd all look like Jennifer Aniston if taking care of our body was a full time job every day of the week while being supported by a whole team of experts!

Just how much weight are you looking to lose?

I'm curious because I'm also 5'6", though I'm sure I'm older (46) and 140 is the perfect weight for me.  That's with me having a small frame as well.  I've seen pictures of me when I was in my 20s, weighing 130, and I looked positively ill.  I know everyone is different, but I'm thinking maybe you should be looking to tone up muscle as opposed to losing weight.

Please don't think I'm trying to be critical, I'm just a little worried.


Balance is KEY!! I know at first glance it seems like a something totally doable, you're still eating, no big deal, but it's a quick fix & diets that are restrictive like this one set you up for failure.  If you're willing to dedicate yourself to this diet, why not dedicate yourself to exercising & eating balanced everyday instead? You have an amazing body already...I bet if you went for a run everyday 2-3 miles, & threw in 25 squats & 25 pushups before and after your'd see AMAZING results! I try to eat clean (lean protein, whole grains, veggies, fruits, & good fats) 90% of the time & I plan my cheat meal once/wk..this helps me stay on course & not feel restricted! That's my opinion..I hope it helps! =) 

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