4-Hour Body: The Unofficial Review Guide



4-Hour Body: The Unofficial Review Guide

Fat Loss

Fundamentals (p.16)

  • The fundamentals chapter is based on the concept of Minimum Effective Dose (MED) , which states that you take the very least necessary action to accomplish a goal. Anything more is wasted and can be counterproductive and even injurious. (p.19)
  • To lose fat, you want to do the least possible to trigger fat-loss hormones. (p.19)
  • To gain muscle, you want to do the least possible to trigger specific muscles and hormonal growth mechanisms. (p.19)

Rules That Change the Rules: Everything Popular Is Wrong (p.21)

  • The ratio for fat-loss case studies is: 60% diet/10% drugs/30% exercise. This assumes you eat meat. Vegetarians would need to use a 10% diet/45% drugs/45% exercise ratio. (p. 24)

Ground Zero - Getting Started and Swaraj (p.35)

  • Everybody needs a 'Harajuku Moment,' which means "an epiphany that turns a nice-to-have into a must-have." Without this tipping point, you will fail. (p.37)
  • Goals must be specific to work. A helpful estimate is that 10 pounds of weight loss equals roughly 1 clothing size. (p.41)

Elusive Bodyfat: Where Are You Really (p.44)

  • After dozens of tests with numerous subjects, the following 3 body fat tests were the best:
    • Dexa, which costs $50-$100 per session. (p.49)
    • BodPod, which costs $25-$50 per session. (p.49)
    • BodyMetrix, which costs $2000 to buy the machine (or you can find a place that has one). (p.50)
  • The 3 keys for successful body fat testing are: (p.50)
    • NEVER COMPARE BEFORE-AND-AFTER RESULTS FROM DIFFERENT TOOLS.
    • IF YOU CHOOSE TO USE BIO-ELECTRICAL IMPEDANCE (BEI), YOU NEED CONSISTENT HYDRATION.
    • IF YOU CHOOSE TO USE CALIPERS, YOU NEED A CONSISTENT ALGORITHM.
  • The next steps in getting your starting numbers are: (p.52)
  • Take your "before" circumference measurements. Use a tape measure to measure four locations. Then total these numbers to get your Total Inches (TI).
    • Both upper arms (mid-bicep)
    • Waist (horizontal at navel)
    • Hips (at widest point below waist)
    • Both legs (mid-thigh).
  • Estimate your bodyfat (BF%) using the "Eyeballing It" sidebar on page 54.
  • Choose the best bodyfat measurement tool and schedule a session.
  • Tools and Tricks on page 53 has many resources for body fat measurement.

Subtracting Fat (p.69)

The Slow-Carb Diet I: How to Lose 20 Pounds in 30 Days Without Exercise (p.70)

  • RULE #1: AVOID "WHITE" CARBOHYDRATES. (p.71)
    • Eat NO carbohydrates that COULD be white. They will make you fatter. Specifically prohibited are:
      • All bread
      • Rice (including brown)
      • Cereal
      • Potatoes
      • Pasta
      • Tortillas
      • Fried food with breading
  • RULE #2: EAT THE SAME FEW MEALS OVER AND OVER AGAIN. (p.72)
    • Minimizing choices will make it easier to stick with your plan. Choose one item from each of the three following groups for a meal. Starred items work best for the author.
    • Proteins
      • *Egg whites with 1 - 2 whole eggs for flavor (or, if organic, 2 - 5 whole eggs, including yolks)
      • *Chicken breast or thigh
      • *Beef (preferably grass-fed)
      • *Fish
      • Pork
    • Legumes
      • *Lentils (also called "dal" or "daal")
      • *Black beans
      • Pinto beans
      • Red beans
      • Soybeans
    • Vegetables
      • *Spinach
      • *Mixed vegetables (including broccoli, cauliflower, or any other cruciferous vegetables)
      • *Sauerkraut, kimchee (full explanation of these later in "Damage Control")
      • Asparagus
      • Peas
      • Broccoli
      • Green beans
    • Meals should be space about 4 hours apart. (p.73)
    • Some of Tim Ferriss' favorite recurring meals:
      • Breakfast (home): Scrambled Eggology® pourable egg whites with one whole egg, black beans, and mixed vegetables warmed up or cooked in a microwave using Pyrex® containers.
      • Lunch (Mexican restaurant): Grass-fed organic beef, pinto beans, mixed vegetables, and extra guacamole.
      • Dinner (home): Grass-fed organic beef (from Trader Joe's), lentils, and mixed vegetables.
  • RULE #3: DON'T DRINK CALORIES. (p.74)
    • Drink lots of water, unsweetened tea, coffee, and other low or no calorie drinks.
    • Do NOT drink milk, including soy milk.
    • Do NOT drink soft drinks or fruit juice.
    • Limit diet soft drinks to 16 ounces per day (aspartame can stimulate weight gain).
  • RULE #4: DON'T EAT FRUIT. (p.74)
    • Fructose converts to glycerol phosphate more efficiently than most carbohydrates. This leads to fat storage.
  • RULE #5: TAKE ONE DAY OFF PER WEEK. (p.75)
    • Do NOT count calories, and eat whatever junk you'd like.

The Slow-Carb Diet II: The Finer Points and Common Questions (p.79)

  • SHOULD I TAKE ANY SUPPLEMENTS? (p.81)
    • Potassium. Get 4700mg daily (for a healthy 25-year-old male) from potassium-enriched salt, avocadoes, or 99mg tablets with meals. Whole food sources include:
      • Lima beans, cooked, 4.9 cups (1 cup = 969 mg)
      • Chard, cooked, 4.9 cups (1 cup = 961 mg)
      • Halibut, cooked, 2.6 fillets (half a fillet = 916 mg)
      • Spinach, cooked, 5.6 cups (1 cup = 839 mg)
      • Pinto beans, cooked, 6.3 cups (1 cup = 746 mg)
      • Lentils, cooked, 6.4 cups (1 cup = 731 mg)
      • Salmon, cooked, 3.4 fillets (half a fillet = 683 mg)
      • Black beans, cooked, 7.7 cups (1 cup = 611 mg)
      • Sardines, 7.9 cups (1 cup = 592 mg)
      • Mushrooms, cooked, 8.5 cups (1 cup = 555 mg)
    • Calcium. Get 1000mg daily (for a healthy 25-year-old male). Whole food sources include:
      • Salmon with bones, 1.1 cups (1 cup = 919 mg) (great-tasting if you're a cat)
      • Sardines with bones, 1.8 cups (1 cup = 569 mg)
      • Mackerel, canned, 2.2 cups (1 cup = 458 mg)
      • Tofu, firm, 3.6 cups (1 cup = 280 mg)
      • Collards, cooked, 3.8 cups (1 cup = 266 mg)
      • Spinach, cooked, 4.1 cups (1 cup = 245 mg)
      • Black-eyed peas, cooked, 4.7 cups (1 cup = 211 mg)
      • Turnip greens, cooked, 5.1 cups (1 cup = 197 mg)
      • Tempeh, 5.4 cups (1 cup = 184 mg)
      • Agar, dried, 5.7 cups (1 oz = 175 mg)
    • Magnesium. Get 400mg daily (for a healthy 25-year-old male). Whole food sources include:
      • Pumpkin seeds (pepitas), 2.6 oz (2 oz = 300 mg)
      • Watermelon seeds, dried, 2.8 oz (2 oz = 288 mg)
      • Peanuts, 1.6 cups (1 cup = 245 mg)
      • Halibut, cooked, 1.2 fillets (half a fillet = 170 mg)
      • Almonds, 5 oz (2 oz = 160 mg)
      • Spinach, 2.5 cups (1 cup = 157 mg)
      • Soybeans, cooked, 2.7 cups (1 cup = 148 mg)
      • Cashews, 5.5 oz (2 oz = 146 mg)
      • Pine nuts, 5.7 oz (2 oz = 140 mg)
      • Brazil nuts, 6.3 tbsp (2 tbsp = 128 mg)
  • NO DAIRY? REALLY? DOESN'T MILK HAVE A LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX? (p.82)
    • Milk does have a low glycemic index (GI) and a low glycemic load (GL), but also has a high insulinemic response on the insulinemic index (II or InIn) scale.
    • Removing dairy can therefore accelerate fat loss.
    • If you use milk in your coffee, use cream instead, and no more than 2 tbsp.
  • NO FRUIT? DON'T I NEED A "BALANCED DIET"? (p.83)
    • No you don't need a "balanced diet" and no fruit.
  • I HATE BEANS. CAN I SUBSTITUTE SOMETHING ELSE? (p.83)
    • If you hate the gas they produce, buy organic and wash them fully. Also try soaking them for a few hours first. If none of that works, try adding Beano or epazote (Mexican herb) to the beans.
    • If you hate the bland flavor, try adding hot sauce or mashing them like potatoes.
  • CAN I USE SPICES, SALT, OR LIGHT SAUCES? WHAT CAN I USE FOR COOKING? (p.85)
    • Spices are definitely OK.
    • For salad dressing, add a few drops of sweetener (like Stevia) to vinegar and mustard.
    • Butter is OK, if the only ingredients are butter and salt.
    • Olive oil is good for low heat cooking, and grapeseed or macadamia oil is good for high heat cooking.
  • CAN I DRINK ALCOHOL? WHAT TYPES OF WINE ARE BEST? (p.87)
    • Stick to dry wines (1.4% sugar or less) except on cheat days
  • WHAT SHOULD I EAT FOR SNACKS? (p.87)
    • If you're hungry between meals, you're likely not getting enough protein.
    • A good, high-protein snack is a tablespoon of almond butter or peanut butter (with no additives).
  • DO I REALLY HAVE TO BINGE ONCE A WEEK? (p.88)
    • It's important to spike your calories once per week. It activates hormonal changes that improve fat loss.
  • WHAT ABOUT BREAKFAST? (p.89)
    • Resting metabolism increases about 20% if your breakfast calories are at least 30% protein.
    • The author prefers eggs, lentils, and spinach daily for breakfast.
    • More traditional choices would include eggs with turkey bacon or cottage cheese.
  • DO I HAVE TO LIMIT VEGGIES TO THOSE LISTED? (p.91)
    • No.
  • ARE CANNED FOODS ALL RIGHT? (p.91)
    • Yes.
  • CAN I EAT WHOLE GRAINS OR STEEL-CUT OATS? (p.91)
    • No.
  • CAN I DO THIS IF I'M A LACTO-OVO VEGETARIAN? (p.91)
    • Yes, but avoid processed soy products.
  • CAN I EAT SALSA? (p.91)
    • Absolutely.
  • CAN I EAT FRIED FOODS? (p.92)
    • Yes, but not breaded fried foods.
  • WHAT IF I'M TRAVELING AND EATING IN AIRPORTS? (p.92)
    • Mexican restaurants are easiest to accommodate your plan.
  • WHAT ABOUT FAT-LOSS DRUGS? (p.92)
    • Thermogenics work, but with terrible side effects. Read about PAGG in "The Four Horsemen" chapter (p.114).
  • ISN'T HIGHER PROTEIN HARD ON THE KIDNEYS? WHAT IF I HAVE GOUT? (p.94)
    • It should be OK, but this isn't medical advice. Ask a doctor to be safe.

Common Mistakes and Misunderstandings (p.95)

  • NOT EATING WITHIN ONE HOUR OF WAKING, PREFERABLY WITHIN 30 MINUTES
  • NOT EATING ENOUGH PROTEIN (get at least 20g per meal, more at breakfast)
  • NOT DRINKING ENOUGH WATER
  • BELIEVING THAT YOU'LL COOK, ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE A BACHELOR
  • MISTIMING WEIGHINGS WITH YOUR MENSTRUAL CYCLE (NOT A PROBLEM FOR BACHELORS)
  • OVEREATING "DOMINO FOODS": NUTS, CHICKPEAS (GARBANZO BEANS), HUMMUS, PEANUTS, MACADAMIAS
  • OVERCONSUMING ARTIFICIAL (OR "ALL-NATURAL") SWEETENERS, INCLUDING AGAVE NECTAR
  • HITTING THE GYM TOO OFTEN

Damage Control: Preventing Fat Gain When You Binge (p.100)

The Lost Art of Bingeing (p.104)

The goal is to have as much of the junk you eat either go to muscle tissue or leave the body unabsorbed. Use 3 principles to achieve this:

  • PRINCIPLE #1: MINIMIZE THE RELEASE OF INSULIN, A STORAGE HORMONE. (p.104)
    • Your first meal of the day should be 300-500 calories and not be a binge meal. It should include at least 30g of protein to decrease hunger and insoluble fiber to prevent diarrhea.
    • Consume a small amount of fructose in grapefruit juice to flatline blood glucose.
    • Take supplements to increase insulin sensitivity, the AGG in PAGG (see page 114 for PAGG), to reduce insulin release by the pancreas.
    • Consume citric juice (like lemon or lime juice on food or in water).
  • PRINCIPLE #2: INCREASE THE SPEED OF GASTRIC EMPTYING, OR HOW QUICKLY FOOD EXITS THE STOMACH. (p.105)
    • Use caffeine (100-200mg) and yerba mate tea (16 ounces, cooled) at junk meals to speed food through digestion.
  • PRINCIPLE #3: ENGAGE IN BRIEF MUSCULAR CONTRACTION THROUGHOUT THE BINGE. (p.105)
    • This encourages more calories to go to muscles instead of fat.
    • Aim for 30-50 repetitions of each of the following (pages 108 & 109 have photos):
    • Air Squats
    • Wall Presses
    • Chest Pulls
  • The author has also experimented with what he calls "the morning after pill for diet," cissus quadrangularis (CQ). It's an Indian medicinal herb which he found effective for minimizing fat gain while overfeeding. He recommends no more than 7.2g per day. http://www.fourhourbody.com/cq (p.110)
  • Balancing bacteria in your gut also can influence fat absorption. (p.111)
  • Don't eat products with Splenda. It decreases gut bacteria.
  • Eat fermented foods to increase gut bacteria.
  • Consider taking probiotics and prebiotics to help bacteria grow and thrive.

The Four Horsemen of Fat-Loss: PAGG (p.114)

  • PAGG is a replacement for the popular ECA thermogenic weight loss stack (ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin) which had terrible side effects.
  • Read the warnings on page 120 before considering trying this stack.
  • Policosanol: 20 - 25 mg (p.117)
  • Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA): 100 - 300 mg (I take 300 mg with each meal, but some people experience acid reflux symptoms with more than 100 mg) (p.117)
  • Green tea flavanols (decaffeinated with at least 325 mg EGCG): 325 mg (p.118)
  • Garlic extract: 200 mg (p.119)

Ice Age: Mastering Temperature to Manipulate Weight (p.122)

Ice Age Revisited - Four Places to Start (p.130)

  • Place an ice pack on the back of the neck or upper trapezius area for 20 - 30 minutes, preferably in the evening, when insulin sensitivity is lowest.
  • Consume at least 500 milliliters of ice water on an empty stomach immediately upon waking. This has been shown to increase resting metabolic rate 24 - 30%. Eat slow carb breakfast 20 - 30 minutes later.
  • Take 5 - 10-minute cold showers before breakfast and/or before bed.
    • Use hot water for 1 - 2 minutes over the entire body, then step out of water range and apply shampoo and soap to your hair and face.
    • Turn the water to pure cold and rinse your head and face alone. Then turn around and back into the water, focusing the water on your lower neck and upper back. Maintain this position for 1 - 3 minutes as you acclimate and apply soap to all the necessary regions.
    • Turn around and rinse normally.
  • If you're impatient and can tolerate more, take 20-minute baths that induce shivering.
  • For extra thermogenic effect, consume 200 - 450 milligrams of cayenne beforehand with 10 - 20 grams of protein.

Six Reasons to Take a Cold Shower (p.131)

  • Short-term cold exposure (30 minutes) in humans leads to fatty acid release to provide fuel for heat production through shivering.
  • Even at shorter durations, cold exposure with shivering could increase adiponectin levels and glucose uptake by muscle tissue.
  • In the absence of shivering, it is still possible to capitalize on "fat-burning fat" through the stimulation of BAT thermogenesis.
  • Cold water improves immunity. Acute cold exposure has immunostimulating effects, and preheating with physical exercise or a warm shower can enhance this response.
  • Not germane to fat-loss, but another reason to use cold exposure: cold showers are an effective treatment for depression.
  • The visible results, of course.

The Glucose Switch: Beautiful Number 100 (p.133)

  • IT'S NOT WHAT YOU PUT IN YOUR MOUTH THAT COUNTS, IT'S WHEN IT GETS TO THE CELLS (p.142)
    • It can take 1.5 to 2 hours after eating for the glucose to hit your bloodstream.
    • Eat earlier if planning for, say, an energy boost for a workout.
  • INCREASING FAT CONTENT IN MEALS BLUNTS JUMPS IN GLUCOSE MUCH MORE THAN LEAN PROTEIN. (p.142)
    • The more fat, and the earlier in the meal, the less the glycemic response.
    • Eat good fat, preferably as an appetizer before the entrée.
  • FRUCTOSE HAS A LARGE AND VERY EXTENDED GLUCOSE-LOWERING EFFECT, BUT THIS DOESN'T MEAN YOU SHOULD CONSUME IT. LOW BLOOD GLUCOSE DOES NOT ALWAYS = MORE FAT-LOSS. (p.143)
    • Fat loss plateaued with the introduction of fructose
  • VINEGAR, COUNTER TO EXPECTATIONS, DIDN'T LOWER GLYCEMIC RESPONSE. LEMON JUICE, ALSO COUNTER TO EXPECTATIONS, DID. (p.143)
    • 3 tbsp of fresh-squeezed lemon juice just prior to eating appeared to lower blood sugar peaks by approximately 10%.
  • CINNAMON, EVEN IN SMALL DOSES, HAS A SUBSTANTIAL EFFECT ON GLUCOSE LEVELS. (p.144)
    • Cinnamon can be used to reduce the glycemic index of a meal up to 29%.
    • 4g per day can also lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
    • Saigon works best, followed by Cassia, then Ceylon in a distant third.
    • Get fresh ground or grind it yourself.
    • Don't use more than 4g (1 1/2 tbsp) per day, as it can thin blood.
  • MORE THAN QUALITY, IT'S THE SIZE AND SPEED OF MEALS THAT DETERMINED GLYCEMIC RESPONSE. (p.145)
    • Decrease glucose spikes by slowing down, chewing more, reducing portions, and drinking more water.
  • FOR FASTEST FAT-LOSS, MINIMIZE YOUR BLOOD SUGAR BUMPS ABOVE 100 TO NO MORE THAN TWO PER DAY. (p.146)
    • Eat plenty of fat at larger meals (saturated fat is OK if the meat is not treated with antibiotics or hormones).
    • Take at least 30 minutes to eat lunch and dinner, less for breakfast.
    • Try using cinnamon and lemon juice just prior to or during meals.
    • Use the techniques in "Damage Control" (p.100) for binges.

The Last Mile: Losing the Final 5 - 10 Pounds (p.149)

  • This is a plan for a 200 pound male at 10-12% body fat wanting to get down to 8% or less. Protein should be adjusted by 1 ounce per pound of lean body mass.
  • Meals must be eaten once every 3 waking hours, including within an hour of waking and within an hour of going to bed. No meal skipping. Here are the options:
    • Option 1: 50 grams of whey protein isolate + half a cup of nuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter
    • Option 2: eight ounces of cooked, white, nonfatty fish (no salmon, mackerel, etc.) + half a cup of nuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter. Acceptable fish include, but are not limited to, lean tuna, white fish, bass, catfish, pike, whiting, and flounder.
    • Option 3: eight ounces of cooked turkey or chicken + half a cup of nuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter
    • Option 4: eight ounces of cooked fattier protein: red meat (à la flank), ground beef, fatty fish, or dark poultry + one tablespoon of olive oil or macadamia oil
    • Option 5: five whole eggs (easiest if hard-boiled)
  • Unlimited quantities of the following are allowed at each meal:
    • Spinach
    • Asparagus
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Kale
    • Collard greens
    • Broccoli rabe
    • Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables
  • One tablespoon of olive oil or macadamia nut oil can be included as dressing, as long as you have not included the half-cup of nuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter in that meal.
  • No corn, beans, tomatoes, or carrots are permitted, but one cheat meal is encouraged every seven to ten days.

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4-Hour Body, By Tim Ferris - Review Guides