7 steps to preparing for the 4 Hour Body Lifestyle and Diet

So we’ve written a lot about what it’s like to start, and even what to expect, but I felt like it would be worth just noting down how I would prepare for the 4 Hour Body slow carb diet, if I was starting over again. So here it is – with 20/20 hindsight, this is how I would make it work.

Step 1 – Define goals

Here, its a simple mix of looking at where you are now, and looking at where you’re going and where you want to be. Be totally specific about what you want to achieve, and give yourself a timeframe. Don’t be too scared to be ‘unrealistic’ – remember, progress is progress, but there’s nothing like having a big goal to work hard for.

Step 2 – Prepare your physical world

Here’s the time when you clean out the cupboards, alert the neighbours and have ‘that discussion’ with your significant other, if you’re going to be doing this solo. Having regular food in the house is a real challenge, and not seeing it really helps. Even just a glance at a food label can set off food cravings for us, so you’re forewarned.

Step 3 – First shop and meal plans

Write yourself a list of some sample meals you think you would like to try. Check out our Slow Carb Food Diary or our Slow Carb Meal Ideas Photos for some inspiration. The key here is that you have 5 meals, or 7 max that you like the look of. Now go and shop for a week. There’s nothing worse than running out mid-week and starting to make-do. That is a surefire derailer, I promise. When you shop, include some cheap tupperware containers as well, in case you make too much, or want to make extra to pack to take with you. Portability is a challenge – so wherever you can, make extra, pack it and reheat, or eat cold. This one tip will save you heartache.

Step 4 – Calendar out your attack on the first 4 weeks – with milestones

I suggest printing a calendar and marking out your weigh-ins, measurements (esp body fat %), menstrual cycle if applicable, and target points for achievements. It’s important to achieve things in the first 2-4 weeks, otherwise it will be difficult going to stick at it. Here, I suggest you set the 2 week mark as the beginning of the basic exercises listed in the friend’s fat loss section, or the Michelle Obama arms section. I am saving Occam’s Protocol for month 2. I think fat loss on pure slow carb eating is easier than combining attempted fat loss with eating for gym training, as will be the case with Occam’s protocol. The slow carb meals should give you enough energy and enough protein for recovery, with the small workouts suggested. Also, get your exercises planned out, so you’re not still deciding once you’re in your first week – I made this mistake.

Step 5 – Get ready, and equip yourself for success

Here, I’m thinking water bottle, handy lemon juice, easy ways to measure and weigh things, good kitchen tools, and a notepad for listing out cravings. Listing cravings during the week turns a ‘no’ into a ‘not now’. Much easier to take, especially in the first week.

Step 6 – Go for it.

You’ve done so much work by now, that all’s left to do is pull the trigger and live it. But having done the preparation work, you’re not combining new ideas with new behaviour – I think this is key to success. There’s nothing worse than second guessing, or having to plan your actions as you do them. Now you’re planned, you’re simply carrying out the plans. No more thinking need – refer to the plan. Easy!

Step 7 – Look forward to cheat day and relax when it comes.

It’s not meant to be a stressful event, despite all the detailed and specific things mentioned in the book. Yes, you can do some air squats, and do some fruit juice with coffee, and take AGG, and all those things. But most of all, its a mental health day. So enjoy it!

Good luck, and all the best, I recommend the slow carb four hour diet to anybody who wants to learn about food, its effect on every aspect of everybody’s lives, and what some little changes can flow on and create. (Hint: Something incredible in your life).

Leave me a comment if you have a question, or an idea!

You might be interested in reading these too:

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  2. Slow Carb 4 Hour Body Food Shopping List With the changes involved in the Four Hour Body regime, we found our first shopping a little confusing, to say the least. All the usual pathways in the grocery store weren’t usable, as...
  3. 4 Hour Body Cheat Sheet: Accelerated Fat Loss If you've read The Four Hour Body, you'll know there's some amazing information in there. Kudos to Tim Ferriss and all the research and testing he's done. What's also clear, though, is that...

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16 Responses to 7 steps to preparing for the 4 Hour Body Lifestyle and Diet

  • Ryan Vestby says:

    Hey Guys

    What a great snapshot into your 4 Hour Lifestyle. My Girlfriend and I have just started the diet and excited for the change. Wonderful to see fellow Canadians following the 4 Hour Body Movement.

    Thanks for the great site.


    Ryan and Sarah (Edmonton)

    • Luke says:

      Hey Ryan, great to hear from you!

      Thanks so much for your kind words, it’s really encouraging to get feedback like this. We’re just doing the best at being healthy, and getting results, and then sharing that with everyone, in the hope that we can help short-cut other people’s experiences, straight through to success!

      All the best to you and Sarah, I think you guys will have a blast with it!

  • Mike Stenger says:

    I’d also include getting your mindset right and having a positive outlook throughout the diet. Keep seeing people fall off or not follow the diet properly. You’ve gotta have a good mindset and strong focus to keep things going.

  • Trisha says:

    Always the best content from these prdiogiuos writers.

  • Vivien says:

    Hi are you still doing this? Do you have any before and after photos and thoughts? Thanks for the cheat sheets! Much appreciated.

    • Luke says:

      Hey Vivien,

      You’re welcome! I (Luke) am still using the slow carb diet as a base for training, and also using principles from the book for weight training. I have incorporated some interval running/swimming as well, which is going great. We don’t have before and after photos on the site, because there are so many around on the internet, we feel there’s no need to add another set. Our results have been impressive to us, but that’s because 80% of the changes have been in how we feel, with energy, mood, lifestyle, etc.. and none of that shows in photos. We didn’t have huge amounts of weight to lose, and I’m not interested in becoming a bodybuilder!
      All the best with it,

  • Nancy McKechnie says:

    Just heard about the 4 Hour plan from a friend at work. Sounds like just what i have been searching for…a sensible life style! Her husband has lost 25 pounds and is so motivated that she is just amazed. Printing out your 7 Steps …I really want this to work for me.

    • Luke says:

      All the best Nancy, I really hope this works well for you! It is a good, sensible and healthy lifestyle. Lots of health benefits can come from following this style of eating, as well as fat loss.

  • Pim says:

    Hi Luke,

    Thanks so much for the article and your entire website.

    I just started reading the FHB now and I really want to go for the ‘From Geek to Freak’ approach.
    I’m trying to figure everything out, but i’m having a hard time extracting all the supplements, food plans and exercises from the book.

    Do you have a page on your website that can help me with that?

    I’m dutch, which makes it even harder to get everything from the english book.

    Thanks a lot and keep up the good work!

    Kind regards

    • Luke says:

      Hi Pim,

      Thanks for asking about the Geek to Freak workouts. It can be hard to get all the information in one place! Right now we don’t have a cheat sheet for Geek to Freak, because I wasn’t a big fan of the workouts, so I focused on creating more information about Occam’s Protocol and the Third Option: split sets workout too. When I have the time, I will put together a Geek to Freak cheat sheet.

      All the best,

  • Janelle says:


    So my husband and I have been following this diet to lose weight and tone up for our 5 year anniversary trip to an all inclusive in the Bahamas..my question is what is going to happen if we don’t follow it for a week? Will we gain a bunch of weight and lose all the progress we made? I want to live it up and enjoy our vacation and not worry about every drink or delicious thing I put in my mouth but I don’t want to gain 10lbs in the process either.. help!!!

    • Luke Starbuck says:

      Hi Janelle, I hope you had a delightful anniversary trip! Congratulations!
      What are your plans now you’re back from the vacation?

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