4 weeks of slow carb: 9 results and experiences

So, its been a fast four weeks on the four hour body slow carb diet, and we have had some interesting experiences so far. Of course, we’ve refined our shopping list, and we’ve fine-tuned out cheat days, so that they work well for us, and I’m finding the food repeatable, edible and enjoying it at least 80% of the time.

Of course, we’re not doing this diet for fun or to pass the time, so on to our results, and experiences, since starting:

  1. Mood due to ease of use - I have consistently been in a more relaxed, more approachable and more at-ease state since starting slow carb. I can attribute this to a few factors, including my previous concern with food due to gluten-free requirements, my ongoing questioning of what was best to be eating while working a desk job, and my constant juggling and recalculating when it came to working out what to eat, when, in relation to exercise times and hunger levels. All are now gone. All of these are due to a more relaxed environment around food preparation and food itself. Awesome!
  2. Mood due to food nutrition – This one also ranks as an important benefit. I have found myself more level headed, and able to deal with things. Of course, no one is a robot, so I have had my troubled moments as anyone does. However, they have not been often, and I can usually link them to missing a meal by an hour or so, or having not eaten enough at a meal to account for some recent strenuous exercise – both mistakes I am trying to avoid now.
  3. Focus and concentration, lack of ADD – I’m not sure that I can give slow carb every inch of credit for my reformed work ethic and newfound habits, but I definitely belief it has a large responsibility. Going from being fidgety and mentally ‘switching’ around from one thing to another, continuously, I can honestly say that my ability to focus on one thing has increased dramatically. Remember, I am not supplementing, and I have been having less than ideal amounts of sleep.
  4. Body composition – In the first couple of weeks, I definitely lost a bit of fat, most likely in the 5 pound range. This was good, but of course I was concerned about muscle expense in this process. My ultimate goal is muscle gain, but I wanted to first learn the results of the slow carb diet alone, so I could both report back in a knowledgeable way, and also so I could be confident to use it as a baseline diet for training. I am confident on all fronts now that slow carb reduces fat, saves muscle and is a good basis on which to add extra protein, and some carbs, for training phases. In total now, I am approximately 9 pounds lighter on the scales than I was. I believe I have gained approx 2 pounds of muscle in the last 2 weeks (doing some kettlebells 3x weekly), for a total 11 pounds fat loss. I’m not willing to push my fat loss any further right now, but believe I could drop another 5 pounds off if I wanted to. This would mean a weigh-in of 145 pounds, on a 6 foot frame, which I’m not comfortable with. I’ll be perfectly happy to carry a small bodyfat % when I have another 15 pounds of muscle on me, which is what February-March will be all about.
  5. Energy - My energy levels have been something to write home about, literally! Having enough energy to concentrate on an 8 hour work day, and then follow it up with 8 hours of private projects, each evening, for 5 days, is amazing. No more amazing is the ability to repeat that for 3 weeks in a row, with no negative health effects.
  6. General wellbeing – Feeling good, enjoying life and seemingly I have avoided a cold/cough that is plaguing a couple of close people to me. Definitely felt some ill-affects of a 5 hour night’s sleep, however I have quickly recovered from that to be back in the saddle and feeling quite good.
  7. Minor social withdrawal – This slow carb thing isn’t without its costs. Feeling so committed to something like this, I find that I am much more keen to be able to cook all meals at home, rather than go out in the evening – this is not a good side-effect, unless you a reformed alcoholic with friends that invite you to the bar every night. In all seriousness, though, I have felt somewhat withdrawan and getting out to things has been a little more challenging. Once I’m there, however, everything’s good. Could be the time of year, too.
  8. Sex drive – One other side effect of the slow carb diet and it’s benefits, is that I’ve channeled a lot of energy at outstanding projects – things on a to do list from December, and it’s meant lots of work and no play. I also suspect a regular legume diet like this may be lowering testosterone a little, though don’t have much proof. I will up the steak and lessen the fish soon.
    This all, of course, does not bode well for a relationship, in general, and consequently, I could have labelled this item ‘general relationship wellbeing’. This will be corrected immediately, as it’s not acceptable as an ongoing measure. I have cleared a backlog, which is reassuring, and we’re looking good for 2011 now.
  9. Sleep – Going well, a little more restful than previously and can’t believe what a good night’s rest I can get, in less than 8 hours. I toyed with 4pm naps for a week, and found I could easily go on 6 hour sleep nights, with a 20 min nap at 4pm and work a productive and focused 16 hours a day. Scary. Might do that again when I have more fun things planned for the evenings!

Words of wisdom/notes from the field (in no particular order):

  • Cheat days work. Don’t even worry about spending time questioning them. They just work. Do them properly as you would a Wednesday morning breakfast within 30 mins of waking up, with 30 g of protein – ie do them to the letter and they will contribute to your success. Saturday lunch to Saturday bed time works well for us.
  • Expect a weird hunger the day after cheat day, but stick to your planned meals. This is the only day that I’m OK with feeling some hunger.. I think the cheat day messes up your body’s expectation of food intake, and so an honest day-after on slow carb fixes that quickly before the week starts.
  • Nothing much moves out of me between Saturday lunchtime and Monday morning. I think this is because the cheat food is a little harder to digest.
  • Red lentils are a great flavor to wake up to. I really love my breakfasts – red split lentils, eggs and spinach, sometimes some cottage cheese, sometimes some salsa. Awesome breakfast!
  • I get a weird sensation about 1.5 hours after I eat a meal. I perceive it as hunger.. but its not. I think it may be an energy boost in my blood from the meal eaten previously. I used to feel this as a bit of shaking, maybe an empty kind of keened-up feeling, like what you get from coffee on an empty stomach. Allowed to pass- approx 20 minutes, and I feel fine again, and am not hungry until the next meal. Weird. Any ideas out there?
  • Don’t run out of canned beans. Better yet, don’t run out of any staples, or even get close. Stress or anxiety around food can make me feel hungry when I’m not. Feel plentiful abundance, all the time and feel what it is to not worry about what you’re eating and when.
  • This whole regime works really well with taking some time for yourself to do a life stock-take and make some bigger plans for the future. It’s a real commitment to giving yourself the best life possible.
  • Four weeks flies by. Especially if you have some regular routines, like working. It’s totally doable. Think about finite periods of time – run a 4-week experiment to gather results, rather than trying to commit to this forever. It really takes the stress off. You can always go back to ‘normal’ after the 4 short weeks.
  • Drink water, drink hot water with lemon, enjoy no calorie drinks, and just don’t think about drinking calories. There are so many options out there for drinks with flavor that don’t have calories, you might just not have noticed them. Try freshly sliced lime in sparkling mineral water and never think about pop again.
  • Sharing this stuff with friends is cool.. but be careful you don’t overdo it icon smile 4 weeks of slow carb: 9 results and experiences remember everyone has their own projects going on, and lots of people out there are secretly sensitive about a lot of topics covered in the Four Hour Body. Just because the book is popular doesn’t mean its going to be popular conversation at a get-together. Pick and choose who you share with and how much you share.

The plan from here:

Due to travel, I am going to stick with the basic slow carb diet for a couple of weeks longer, then right away I will move to a slow-carb based diet, whilst adding training, PAGG, a liter of milk a day (LOMAD), and one starchy meal per week during the week (like rice or potatoes) for energy and happily sharing meals with other people on days other than Saturday.

I expect muscle gains on this next phase. In the meantime, look out for our upcoming posts on modifying slow carb to suit you, and how to handle a bad reaction to high protein meals.

All the best with your Four Hour Body. Leave me a comment – I really appreciate hearing from you about your experiences, thoughts and ideas.


You might be interested in reading these too:

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48 Responses to 4 weeks of slow carb: 9 results and experiences

  • Dany says:

    Hi, I been on 4HB for 3 weeks and on my 4th week now. I have lost about 15lbs but I could of lost more if i didn’t have cheat days, i usually gain 1-2 lbs and start losing it again come Tuesday. For two weeks straight we ate basically the same foods but recently we started using Emealz.com which has a low carb menu, We add our twist by adding legumes to some meals. I am hoping to lose 3-4 pounds by the end of the week so I can finally be under 200! I have little exercise in these past weeks, so once I pass these 4 weeks I want to start a routine exercise mostly of cardio training. I want to lose more pounds and fat before I do any muscle gain. my goal is to be 170-175. Well thats my experience. have a good day.

    • Luke says:

      Hi Dany,

      Thanks for leaving your comment!

      It’s really great to hear from people and the results they are getting. It sounds like you are really reaping the benefits of the eating program. Great that you have your goal set! There’s nothing like a number to keep things moving. Remember too, that measuring can also be a really great indicator, as you will have a tendency to grow some extra muscle on slow carb, if you’re doing some exercise, which means your fat loss may actually be a bit higher than the scales will show.
      I have a couple of suggestions for you:
      - starting your cardio plan sounds like a great idea, I would also suggest that adding some weights training (resistance training) to your plan will actually help speed up your fat loss, as muscles that are working with weights will increase your base metabolic rate for approx 24 hours after a workout.
      - though cheat days can be a little frustrating, because you see some weight come back on, I think they are just as important as all of the slow carb meals during the week. Tim mentions that people who did a cheat day once every two weeks actually had worse results than people doing a cheat day every week.

      Keep up the great work!
      All the very best,

      • Shannon says:

        Hi Dany and Luke -
        I am just getting started with the program and don’t claim to have all the ins and outs fully figured out yet.
        But I would suggest to Dany not to focus so much on weighing himself. This number fluctuates so frequently and it’s very normal to see the scale go up after a cheat. Try and weigh yourself once a week and remember to measure. Take the time to notice how your clothes are fitting and how you feel moving about doing daily tasks. Write it down so you have a record. These kinds of things are really good indicators in the beginning and help give you something to concentrate on while you resist the urge to see the numbers on the scale frequently!

        Great site, I just found it today but can already tell I will find it tremendously helpful.

        • Luke says:

          Shannon thanks for your comment.

          I think that’s good advice – that weighing yourself is only one part of the equation, and measuring will tell a big part of the story too. Weighing at the same time of day, same day of the week is important, as well as keeping your meal/drink schedule roughly the same that day each week too.
          At the end of the day, we’re all wanting to see progress, so the more ways we can see it, the better I think!
          I’m glad you found our site useful! Check back as we’re posting a couple times a week.

          All the best with your Four Hour Body.

  • JtheCrook says:

    Thanks so much for posting your updates, keeps the rest of us body hackers on course!
    Be sure to include before and after pics.

    Good Luck!

    • Luke says:

      Hey J,

      Thanks for your comment!

      Really glad to hear that the posts help people out, that’s what we’re aiming for! And really appreciate you letting us know.

      All the best,

  • Those are interesting results. I’ve seen much of the same thing. Last weekend when I had my cheat day I was told at the end of the day that I was grumpier when I got too much sugar in my system. And then the feeling I usually get at the end of my cheat day, let’s me know how much energy the slow-carb diet provides during the week.

    • Luke says:

      Hey Howard great to hear from you.

      Thanks so much for leaving your comment – I really feel off the earth when I have my cheat day. I write this now, it’s around 6pm on my cheat day, and I have to admit feeling just a little out of it, having started with a larger meal of omlette, with fried potatoes for lunch, then having some chocolate, some strawberry yogurt with trail mix, some rice chips and half a banana.. I’m just left feeling spaced out. Not sure if it’s just all the blood has gone to my stomach, but grumpy is a term that I could use at certain times on cheat days. Impatient is another one that springs to mind.

      You’re right about the energy.. I struggle to make it to 10pm on cheat days, compared to 1am on other days!

      Keep up those video posts and all the best.


  • Melanie says:

    Hi guys – great site! I’m one week into 4HB and definitely starting to feel some results which is great. Did an Agatsu kettlebell workshop yesterday which was amazing and I think will be a great addition to the diet but probably was a bad idea on my cheat day. (saw your cheat day cheat sheet a little too late in the day but will be so helpful next weekend) Soooo tired now! I was having a look around the site and just wondering if Kat has posted her results too. I’m about the same age and looking to lose a few extra pounds. Would be great to see her weekly results for motivational purposes and to help set myself some goals. Thanks, good luck and keep up the good work! Melanie

    • Katie says:

      Yes, it would be great to see some of Kat’s results as well. My boyfriend and I have been on this regime for 2 weeks now and his results have been much more dramatic. I am curious if women go at it a bit slower? Love your blog and all the tips and cheat sheets!!

  • Sarah says:

    hi Luke,

    Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with 4 Hour Body. I’m just starting week 2 and although I’ve had some energy boost (which is great) I haven’t had any weight loss. I’m 123 pounds and aiming for 110. I will keep trying though, your blog helps with the motivation :)


    • Luke says:

      Hey Sarah, thanks for writing us! You’re very welcome.

      I’m really happy that reading our blog can give you some help with your Four Hour Body. The food and the exercise can be very different to what lots of people are used to, and we are aiming to share our experiences, so that it doesn’t all seem so weird, when someone starts.
      There’s lots of things that could affect weight loss, and you not seeing any yet – great that you’re feeling the energy boost! I recommend doing measurements as well, because sometimes the scales are just not an accurate way to gauge what’s going on, even if they are the most convenient ;) Weekly measurements may help to fill in the missing pieces of information, for you to really see the progress you are making.

      All the best, and thanks for reading! Stick at it.. it’s most likely that this will work for you, and progress is different for everybody.

  • Mel says:

    Hi, I was just wondering what your thoughts are about the supplements, I was going to not take the pagg stack for the first month and see if the diet will still work, I am only on my third day so far but I am determined to stick to it, do you think adding the supplements is essential to the diet?

    • Luke says:

      Hi Mel,

      Thanks for your question.

      As you may have read, we opted to just start with the diet too. Having done the slow carb food for 4/5 weeks, I’ve moved on to the Occam’s Protocol workouts, but you could also easily move on to just the kettlebell swings. I’m glad we did it this way, because it means I can tell people about it, and I know that just the diet does work.

      Having said that, in terms of my personal progress, I do wish now that I had been taking the PAGG when I started the diet, and that I had started the kettlebell swings at the same time also. It would have been great to get to this point in time with a little more muscle, and a little less fat. No harm done, but it means my progress will be a little slower.

      It’s totally up to you, and depends on how many things you want to be incorporating. The food is by far the biggest change, and adding some kettlebell swings, or some tablets, for that matter, is minor compared to figuring out when you’re going to eat during the day, and what you’re going to have.

      All the best! Thanks for reading.

  • tracy says:

    I am really happy to have found your blog; it is great to have folks to share my 4HB expereince with. I just started week 3 and have lost 2 inches off my belly. I am trying not to look to the scale, but focus on the inches. I had been doing WeightWatchers, lost a pretty quick 13 pounds, plateaued during the holidays (no surprise, was happy not to gain weight) but have been stuck since then. I am hoping the 4HB will push me into the next phase of fat loss. Just ordered the PAGG, so will let you all know if there is any difference. However, I am heading out for a Mexican holiday on Saturday, so my cheat day may be elongated….however, I intend to stick to lean protien, beans and veggies as much as I can. I just need to avoid the tortillas and Coronas

    thanks again for your blog!

    • Luke says:

      Hey Tracy, thanks for leaving your comment! It’s great to hear back from people who are into the book and the lifestyle, and getting results!!

      I hope you have a wonderful time in Mexico, and sometimes we have to hit the pause button on things, to be able to fully live in the moment, and make the most of it! I wouldn’t feel bad that’s for sure. Avoiding the Coronas could be the most diffiicult! I hope it’s a great time away, and that you’re satisfied with achieving a balance of fun living that doesn’t totally derail your goals – I think you’ll find it!

      Let us know how your vacation was, and what your results are.
      All the best,

  • shannon says:

    hey luke and kat,
    thank you so much for all the great information you guys have been sharing. it’s inspired me to try this ‘diet’ change!

    i’m on my first official day (having tried 2 test days), and only past breakfast – i had 2 eggs scrambled with baked beans and spinach.

    i’m not sure why but midway through the afternoon i started getting headaches and then subsequently threw up twice :( do you reckon it has anything to do with the amount of protein i’m consuming?

    my previous diet was a whole less protein, i don’t enjoy eating meat in general. fruits, oatmeal, bread, vegetables, fish were my staple.

    i’m a bit discouraged! and wondering if this is a bad idea, but i really would love to try this diet out because it’s been frustrating for me to lose extra pounds. i’m currently 120lbs and i want to get down to 110lbs + fat loss. 5″ 4.

    Do let me know your thoughts, thank you!

    • Luke says:

      Hey Shannon, thanks so much for leaving your comments, we’re stoked that we can inspire you to start on your path to success :)

      Good on you for getting started!! Getting going can be the most difficult part, especially with all the food changes.

      There’s a few things I could suggest here – as this sounds a lot like what Kat was experiencing. It could be due to increased fiber, and it could be due to increased protein. Both put an extra load on your digestive system, and if you’re used to starches, sugars and calories in drinks, your digestive system has had it pretty easy. Now that it has lots of food to digest, it could be getting overloaded.. there’s muscles involved here too.. and they might be getting worn out.

      Also, both fiber and protein demand a high intake of water for proper digestion – have you been managing to get at least 8 large glasses of water every day? If you have trouble with just water, try a little bit of lemon juice – I can’t stomach a large glass without it!

      It sounds like your previous diet was quite reasonable, but of course, the Four Hour Body is all about experimenting with different things, and seeing what results they bring.

      I recommend reading Kat’s blog post, where she talks about switching to smaller meals – http://www.fourhourbodycouple.com/2011/02/22/kat-another-try/. This change could be done on or off the slow carb eating plan – and for you, you could stick on the slow carb foods for a while, but convert to eating more often, and in smaller proportions. Try splitting each meal in half and taking a 2 hour break between. This would see you eating every 2 hours, 6-8 times per day. Hopefully this isn’t inconvenient, but it could help you out.

      Of course, this is just my opinion, and doesn’t substitute for a professional medical opinion, if you’re having ongoing problems like you described.

      All the best, Luke

      • shannon says:

        thanks so much luke, for all that advice.. i read kat’s blog post and indeed, it sounds exactly like what i’m going through, very informative!
        quite discouraging but i’m going to try 4HB again, this time i’m easing my way into it!

    • nancy says:

      Hi Shannon
      re: Shannon’s comment of Feb.23rd
      I ended up having to take some digestive enzymes with every meal. My guts were not happy! I tried Beano – useless, so now I take PrimeZyme and Soothe Digest with every meal. I also cook my own beans – much easier to digest than the canned. It does get easier. I hope your stomach settles down.

      • Luke says:

        Thanks for your note here Nancy – that’s really interesting about the digestive enzymes and cooking your own beans. We have a little experience with papaya enzymes, as I had a gluten-emergency a couple of months ago, and my recipe for damage minimization was papaya enzymes + peppermint oil tablets + ibuprofen (like Advil/Nurofen) to help things.
        Best wishes to Shannon.

      • shannon says:

        thank you nancy! i am trying 4hb out again, but this time i’m slowly easing my way back into it. hopefully that will do the trick, because i’m not fond of taking supplements or anything. thanks again for the tips!

  • Jeremy says:

    Your site is GREAT and your observations in this article are spot on with what I have experienced. Love all the pictures of your meals, too – I may steal that idea for my own site! It’s great to get more ideas for meal options that fit with the SCD.


    • Luke says:

      Hi Jeremy,

      Thanks for your comment! Glad to hear you’re getting some results, and I might guess learning a bit on the way like me!

      All the best,

  • nancy says:

    Hey Luke
    I am feeling really discouraged. Been following SCD exactly since Feb. 1. This week no weight loss and up .25″. I have lost 8 lbs and 5″ total. The only thing I did differently this week was added 1 Tbsp of almond butter at bedtime if I was hungry and a few (10 or less) almonds before dinner.
    I am doing the Kiwi workouts and PAGG.
    At this point I don’t know whether to pass on my cheat day, eat more, eat less, or just try something else.

    • Luke says:

      Hi Nancy,

      I feel for you, because I know what’s its like to make changes and really want to see results.

      I think the odds are that the program in general is able to give you the results you want, but some fine tuning or adjusting might be needed.

      Do you feel you’re including most of the principles into your routine, like 30g protein each morning, 25g protein each meal, no starches, and lots of water each day? I expect so, but it never hurts to cover the foundations. I wonder if, with the Kiwi’s workouts, your body is changing a lot, but building quite a lot of muscle too, which isn’t a bad thing, but could account for no change on the scales, and even little change on the tape measure. This is where a body fat measurement comes in – do you have access to calipers at all? (like these: http://www.fourhourbodycouple.com/link/accu/ ) Tracking bodyfat over 4 weeks will give you some good data to go on.

      You’re living a really healthy lifestyle, and you’re body will be thanking you in lots of ways right now. I think over time, body changes will come, even if the changes are not as consistent as would be reassuring.

      All the best,

      • nancy says:

        Hi Luke
        I enjoyed reading 4 steps to Motivation. It helped.
        I think the frustrating part is reading all of the over the top results on Tim’s blog and I am not one of them!
        I am very compliant. For breakfast 1/4c egg white plus one egg and 3 oz chicken, 1 c. cooked spinach and 1/4 lentils. Lunch could be tuna or chicken in a green salad with 1/4 c black beans and olive oil and lemon. Dinner = chicken or fish with broccoli and or other veggies and lentils. Lots of water – about 15 x 8oz glasses/day because this diet makes me very thirsty despite low sodium. (except for cheat day) No snacks – if hungry I have a few almonds, but really not usually hungry between meals.
        I don’t take too much lemon juice because of sensitive teeth. In the a.m I have to take my thyroid meds and try to wait :30 min until I take AGG and then eat always within :30 – :45 min after waking. The Pareto people say that optimal AGG is :30 min before eating, so I may be losing about 20% effectiveness in the a.m.
        I do have a couple of Tblsp of Almond Breeze (original, unsweetened) in my coffee once/day. But this didn’t slow things down the first few weeks. This is the only thing I can think of that I am doing wrong.
        I don’t have calipers so I have been relying on measurements, weight and pinching!
        As well as the Kiwi workouts and Kettlebells, I am still doing P90X on Tues, Thurs and Sat (addicted) Yoga, Kenpo and Plyo.
        Anyway, bottom line is that I enjoy the diet, it makes me feel pretty good, I definitely feel leaner, so I am going to keep going.
        What do you think about me switching to The Last Mile? No legumes, eating every 3 hrs? Maybe I will try mixing that with the SCD.?

        • Luke says:

          Hi Nancy, I’m glad our latest post gave you some help.

          I know what you mean about wanting to be the top end of the results.

          I think it’s great that you shared these details – here’s my comments, and of course I just do the best I can, so it’s totally up to you what you do with them:

          - The measurements of lentils and beans you gave – are these dry, before cooking? You may be underrating if these are eaten amounts – I use 1 cup of black beans per meal, or 1/3 cup uncooked lentils in the morning and I’m not as active as you.

          - It sounds like you’re only having 3 meals a day. Could you increase to 4 meals per day, 4 hours apart? Those almonds will add up and take their toll, and 4 slow carb meals per day would give you a nice even energy flow.

          - Though I’m not sure, I wonder if your thyroid meds may be a disadvantage. I’m no expert, but I do know that cheat day is there partly to increase thyroid activity.. so it’s obvious that the thyroid comes into play with the slow carb diet

          - Almond Breeze, even unsweetened, is still something that would be best cut out – 2 tblsp is quite a large amount, especially as you’re having almonds as snacks too

          - I hope this isn’t too direct, but you’re working out far too much. I can’t imagine where your body finds time to recover. As such, you’re body will be hoarding nutrients and food as best it can, to prevent muscle loss.
          The Kiwi workouts are pretty intense, just done by themselves.. and P90X are not walks in the park (I know from experience). I think one or the other has to go. 2-3 times per week, maximum, is what you want to aim for.
          Remember, a lot of people who have had the greatest successes have been either no exercising at all, or walking/jogging 1-3 times/week. ie not terribly intense.

          - Your other option, is to not worry so much about fat loss, and focus on the benefits it’ll be giving you, like strength, power, agility and speed. Realistically you are training like someone who’s primary focus is on athleticism. Generally speaking, people with this focus do not worry about body fat percentage changes, or weigh ins on the scale, because they’re much more concerned with their performance – ie what their body can do, not what it looks like or other numbers like measurements and weight.

          - Think ‘Minimum Effective Dose’ – the slow carb diet is a powerful way to lose fat, by itself. You don’t need to blast your body was intense exercise every day.

          I expect if you do change your routine, there will be some adjustment phase, as your body finds it’s new rhythm, so don’t expect large changes in the first 1-2 weeks.

          I can honestly say, having gone from a 5/6 days of sport per week, down to a few walks and 2 gym sessions per week that I am more relaxed, more focussed and my body feels much better than it used to. I was literally wearing myself out every day.

          I hope this helps, and I wish you all the best with achieving your goals.

          • nancy says:

            Yes possibly the thyroid thing is complicating matters.
            I eat 1/4 – 1/3c COOKED beans or lentils, and I only have 3 meals/day. So instead of having a snack of 10 almonds at 4:00 I will have a meal. I thought it was ok to have nuts because Tim eats Brazil nuts before meals. But that was right before the meal, not by themselves.
            Anyway, after your comments, I realize I lost the most when I was doing the least. The first two weeks I didn’t do any P90X. Now that I have started again, I have stopped losing!
            Wow – how counter-intuitive it that!
            So hard to wrap my head around doing less to get more results. I also walk a lot – so every day I might walk for 30 – 60 minutes which I don’t even think of as exercise.
            Thanks so much for your comments. For the rest of the month I will stick to Kiwi on Mondays and Fridays and Kettlebell swings on Wed.
            We’ll see what happens.

        • Luke says:

          Nancy I’m really glad to hear you’ve got a new plan of attack. I think it sounds really good, and I do hope it results in continued success for you (and some more rest! :)

          All the best,

  • blair says:

    hey there!

    my hubby and i just started the journey this week, just made red lentils tonight {thanks for the inspiration} and i don’t think we cooked them quite right… was curious to see if you could share how you prepare yours, they look so much yummier than ours turned out tonight!

    thanks for all the photos of food idea, it really helps knowing there are other couples out there going through this life change too!


    • Luke says:

      Hi and thanks for your comment!

      Firstly, congratulations to both of you guys for taking that big first step. It’s an important one!

      Secondly, let’s make sure your food is tasting great, ASAP, so you guys want to keep on with it!

      When we’re preparing lentils, we start with a pot half full of water, then add in the lentils. The kind is fairly critical – I accidentally bought some green ones, thinking they were just a different color and realized that they needed much longer to cook.

      So, with the red split lentils, I use 1/3 cup uncooked per person. I’m not sure exactly what this turns out to be cooked, but adjust as you need to (relative to hunger over the following 4 hours).
      I don’t use any salt in the water. I have found quite a difference in flavor between different brands.. and there’s one in particular (in bulk) that I won’t go near because it tastes odd.

      So, we boil them for around 10 minutes I think. I don’t time it, but I watch the lentils and try to get them when the outside is soft looking, but there’s still a hint of a circle in the middle. Taste test a couple – I like there to be a bit of chew still in them. I prefer to not overcook them, which you’ll know if they’re totally mushy.

      I hope that helps! I really enjoy a sprinkle of garlic power/crushed garlic in with them sometimes too.

      All the best!

  • Lee says:

    Hi Luke, this may not be part of your expertise but I am a mother of a 6 mos old nursing baby boy. I have about 10 more pounds to lose and have been following a 80% primal/ paleo diet for over a year. I decided to try 4hrb to get rid of the last of the baby weight. It’s been 3 days and I love it except one thing. I am getting horrible headaches every night about 2 hrs after my last meal. Last night I had coconut water and some corn chips (salty carbs) and the headache dissipated within 30 min.
    As I have a new baby and different physical requirements it’s hard to just ride out a nasty headache. Do you have any suggestions on over coming this so that I can proceed like a normal slow carber without compromising my nutrition?
    Thanks a lot in advance

    • Luke says:

      Hi Lee, thanks for writing.

      I suspect that you’re low on carbs if you’re getting headaches. Are you having beans with each meal? Try about 1/3 to 1/2 a can of beans, like black beans of white beans, with each meal (3 or 4 per day) and see how your headaches are. Headaches are common to people on LOW carb diets.. ie cutting out grains, etc.. and not including beans, thereby eating lots of vegetables and protein only. The other alternative is water consumption. Make sure you’re getting 8 to 10 glasses per day. Headaches can be directly caused by dehydration.

      All the best to you and your boy,

  • Shell says:

    Hey! This website is amazing! Thank you,
    Im on my second week, and Ive been feeling some-what bloated….stomach cramping… is this normal when first starting? Do you think that its my body trying to digest the meat? i literally was eating snacks before, no proper meals, very little protein, and lots of carbs and candy. I feel great now other then the cramping.
    I started Metamucil and taking Cinnamon tablets tonight….. good or bad?
    Again, thank you!

  • Hector says:

    About to wrap up week 5. Have not had much success with weight although I have seen decrease in inches on the thighs, biceps and hips; not much on the waist yet. I am going to continue the plan and sharpen up some areas that can be polished up…aside from cutting out the occasional 5-10 almonds and reducing the exercise, there aren’t many. Any suggestions on the use of pure leaf Stevia? I walk my dog everyday for at least 30-45 minutes in the morning. I’m downing cold water and at least 30 g of protein powder w/in 15-20′ of waking then taking him for a walk. I had also been doing another 3-4 sessions of weights for 30′. Is all that too much? Thanks.

    • Luke says:

      Hey Hector, thanks for leaving your comment.

      I think your routine sounds really good. Depending on your weights though, generally 2 sessions a week should be enough, as otherwise you might not have enough recovery time. Checkout the minimum effective dose training of Occam’s Protocol to see an example of training every few days (up to once every 5 days!).

      Double check your protein powder for hidden sugars. Also, any filler, like maltodextrin could be detrimental. Stevia is a reasonable option, as it has less negative health side effects than artificial sweeteners, but according to many people, anything that tastes sweet, even if its calorie free, could make your body spike its insulin, as if you’re eating sugar. If you can take plain protein powder (unflavored) with some cinnamon, it might be worth testing for a couple of weeks.
      Its possible that your body isn’t losing fat due to wanting to gain muscle, so taking it a little easier on the weights for a couple of weeks, and then looking at your results after 3 or 4 weeks could be a good way to go.

      All the best,

      • Hector says:

        Thanks for the response. I realized that I was doing some things incorrectly. So, I’ve cut those out and basically consider that I ACTUALLY started the diet on 8/3/11. Pretty excited. I’m going to keep walking the Hunde and scale back the workouts to 2, 20-30′ sessions a week period for 6 weeks and then see what’s up. I checked the protein powder, no sugar so we’re good there. Would you recommend drinking a protein shake after workouts with weights or just having another Slow Carb Meal since it’s high in protein, etc. My shakes in the past have been at least 30g of protein, 5 g of L-Glutamine and previously 30 g of dextrose to get the protein to the muscles faster. I’ve cut out the dextrose since I “started” 5 wks ago or so. I’m going to stick to the program for 6 wks. and then see about adding the PAGG…unless I start seeing some more crazy results and I decide that I want to accelerate. Thanks for your time. Peace.

  • diamond says:

    hi there! I recently discovered the 4hb and im excited to get going on it. me and my boyfriend are going to do it together and see what results we come up with. i look forward to reading ferther posts and being able to discuss and compare with other people. this site is awesome! i wish everyone the best!


    • Luke says:

      Hey Diamond,
      Thanks for your comment!
      Really excited for you and your boyfriend – you guys are on your way!!
      All the best,

  • Pingback: Paleo Exercises « My Paleo Diet Blog

  • Kenny says:

    Hey Guys,

    Been on the diet for a little over 8 weeks now. Lost 25lbs of body fat so far. Needless to say I’m very happy with the results thus far. However, weight wise and measurement wise I seem to have plateaued over the last three weeks. No real movement in either regard, even though, I’ve maintained the same diet, cheat day schedule and exercise regimen. I’ve read in some forums that i should try sporadically adding small amounts of carbs and/or fruit back into my diet to keep my metabolism sparked. Any thoughts on this advise before I start cheating inappropriately?

    • Luke says:

      Hey Kenny, that’s an awesome result!
      Not sure where you read about the carbs/fruit, but I’d recommend against doing that. Metabolism only goes into starvation mode after 3-4 days of not eating. Eating slow carb, with a cheat day, should be adequate to keep your metabolism up, especially with the exercise.
      One suggestion I have is to measure your calories for 3 days. You might be severely under your requirement, which may explain a plateau.
      Another suggestion is to take 2 weeks and go a little easier on the exercise, and use that time for extra sleep. Sleep can do wonders for fat loss.

      Stick with the plan, and know that for most people, fat loss is not linear – one week could be 5lbs, the next 0, the next 3lbs, etc..

      All the best,

  • John says:

    Hey Luke-

    This site is great!

    I am on my 8th day of SCD. I am following it religiously. My one question is this, are artificial sweeteners enough to negate everything else? So far i feel great, but i’m a little flustered with the lack of immediate weight/inches loss, i say this because I’ve literally shocked my body by going on this diet, i was eating bread, drinking beer and consuming lots of peanut butter and nuts before going on it. i guess i just thought id see some initial quick weight loss.

    anyway, i still drink about 2-3 cups of coffee a day, and always use a tablespoon of half & half and 2 splenda packets. I also drink tea, but unsweetened. I really can’t kick coffee, so if i have to find another way i will just have to adapt.

    anyway, any advice?


    • Luke says:

      Hi John,

      How are you doing now?

      Artificial sweeteners shouldn’t be enough to stop most of your results. Feeling great is a good sign! Everyone is different, so keeping up the healthy habits is a surefire way to see some results. Weight loss tends not to be linear, so it may stop and start, go fast and then slow. Don’t feel bad if you pause from time to time. Keep up the habits and you’ll get results over time.

      Your coffee, with half n half, could be affecting weight loss – as that’s a milk product, and therefore has milk sugars in it. The human body only carries around 5g of sugar though the blood, so even a few grams is enough to cause a change in blood sugar levels, which can temporarily block fat loss due to insulin being present. Try to have black coffee, or coffee with pure thickened cream.

      All the best!

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