4HB for college students: Improve practically everything including fat loss

We get lots of questions from all kinds of different people, old and young alike. And the 4 Hour Body can help people in all age groups. In this article, you will discover how the 4 Hour Body can make a huge difference in the life of a college student, in everything from grades to dating. Sounds like a fantasy? Prove me wrong this semester.

If you’re anything like I was at college, you find that time gets eaten up in all kinds of ways, and the idea of making any kind of changes mid-semester just isn’t a possibility. Between classes, studying, getting out for some drinks and catching up with friends, it’s hard to imagine where there’s any extra time for even thinking, let alone doing something different.

So that’s why this couldn’t be more important.

As much as any group of people, if not more so, you need to get the most out of every hour, of every day. Even if that is just so you have some peace and quiet to yourself, or time to relax once a week. You want to get things done in the most efficient way possible.

That’s where the 4 Hour Body comes in – it’s the shortcut to getting what you want out of life (and if you combine it with the 4 Hour Work Week, then you’re really cooking).

Here’s a quick look at some of the benefits you could get, with minimal changes:

  • Being in control of your weight = more confidence, more opportunities and more fun, without the worry
  • Better memory storage and recall ability = easier to get better grades
  • More focus and concentration for studying = studying for less time each week
  • Avoiding gaining the ‘freshman 20′, and potentially losing unwanted fat, even while sitting down, studying
  • Potentially feeling better and healthier than you may have all your life
  • Getting to sleep faster when the time comes and getting a better sleep = more energy, and more time, every day
  • Relief from a lot of inflammatory problems, including aches and pains, and longer term fatigue or muscle problems
  • Losing the mystery and worry around food, weight and inactivity
  • Making progress on your whole lifestyle, not just your education, during semester
  • Keeping your budget under control – beans, eggs and frozen veges are cheap
  • Surprising family and friends when you come home

Though no one will care to admit it, looking fit and healthy (and the energy you convey to people when you feel that way) will get you more opportunities in your career. It’s simple human instincts – we want to associate with other healthy humans that are living successfully in health and lifestyle.

And how does all this come together? How can you create all of these changes without spending all your spare time?

Pretty simply actually.

Here’s a how-to:

  1. Read up on the slow carb rules – they’re simple, straightforward and easy to follow. Better yet, click here for the rules to follow, rather than the ‘not to’ rules that were in the book. Time: 10 minutes
  2. Google Map every Mexican restaurant nearby – these guys are your friends. Bookmark your results, or store the addresses (maybe in Evernote). Time: 10 minutes
  3. Buy a few cans of beans, a few eggs, and some frozen veges. Have these basics on hand, all the time. Time: 20 minutes per week.
  4. Set a countdown alarm on your phone when you eat breakfast for 4 hours. When it goes off, eat a meal, and reset the countdown timer again. Repeat until you’ve eaten 4 times a day. Time saved on snack gathering/preparation: 1-2 hours
  5. Get a quick shortlist of your go-to meals when you go out with friends. Think cobb salads with no cheese or dressing, chef’s salads no cheese or dressing, and other salads with big servings of protein, like chicken breasts (not breaded). Time saved looking at menus: 10 minutes per restaurant visit
  6. Forget about trying to kill yourself by fitting in daily exercise at the gym for an hour. Mark on your calendar 2 days a week where you can get to the gym for 30 minutes. That’s it. Get familiar with kettlebell workouts, myostatic crunches and ‘cat vomits’. Forget ‘cardio’, there’s no research that it helps people lose fat faster. Moving around campus, lugging books and getting places on foot will keep you active enough the other days. Time: 10 minutes (Don’t have access to kettlebells? Check the book for how to make your own.. it’ll fit in perfectly with a home made bookshelf, and the college dorm room aesthetic).
  7. Get clear on mono-tasking. Multitasking makes eveything – everything – take longer. Studying? Just study. Relaxing? Just relax. I guarantee you will find hours in your day that weren’t there before. Time gained: potentially 30 minutes – 240 minutes /day
  8. Use your extra time for sleep. Sleep at least 8 hours per night, every night. Just get it done. And sleep less than 9 hours, every night. No late nights, and catch ups. If you can’t do that, then go with 6-7 hours at night, and a mandatory 20 minute nap around 4 in the afternoon. It’ll work almost as well. Any less sleep and every single other thing you do that day will take longer than it could, plus you’ll hurt your chances of being in peak physical shape. That’s a waste of time. Bank some sleep, and you’ll make more spare time. Time: 1-2 hrs extra sleep
  9. Set and forget these simple lifestyle changes, and learn to rely on the energy, clarity of mind and extra time they give you. You won’t look back.

That’s it. Not rocket science, probably much simpler than what you’re studying, and so simple that once you’ve lived it for a week you’ll ‘set and forget’.

Once you have your routine down, you will not believe the difference in energy, focus, enjoyment, satisfaction and mood.

One special note: ‘Kicking the sugar cycle’ or ‘killing your carb demons’ is NOT as hard as all the grocery store magazines would have you believe. It’s difficult if it’s all you’re reading about and focussed on. If you’re getting on with all kinds of other stuff, you know, like going out with friends, dating, studying, and having fun, you’re not going to miss something like sugar or flour.

Get these habits set up now, and you won’t need to think, or make much effort at all, towards losing fat, managing your weight or figuring things out in the future, when you have even less time and more worries.

You might be interested in reading these too:

  1. 4HB Video chat to discuss with friends Picture this: you are thinking about the slow carb diet. Maybe you've started it, maybe you're 2 months in, or maybe you're looking at the beans at the grocery store. You start chatting...
  2. Slow carb warning – stalled fat loss We work with many people each week who have challenges with stalled fat loss, and many of them have a common problem with the slow carb diet that is the cause of their...
  3. The Truth: Low Carb vs Slow Carb I write to you today at the end of an experiment. Ready to present the results. However, I'm a little worried about what it might do. You see, for the last 2 weeks,...

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68 Responses to 4HB for college students: Improve practically everything including fat loss

  • Ida says:

    Great tips! Thanks for this!

  • Shannon says:

    Hi guys -
    I’m a freshman and therefore I am living in the dorm and rely on dining points to get my food. I understand the above tips will work wonderfully for those off campus and with an apartment but since I’m living in the dorm and I need to get my food from the diner. Now of course the diner does not have the most healthiest food and really the only thing that will follow this diet will be to simply get salad for every meal which will defintely get boring quick. Especially for breakfast seeing as I usually always got either oatmeal or yogurt with fruit. Suggestions?

    • Luke says:

      Hey Shannon, sounds like a pretty difficult situation. It’s too bad that your college doesn’t recognize the link between good nutrition, good health and performance at school. If you can’t control your source of nutrition, following slow carb can be next to impossible. A friend working on a remote welding job had a similar experience; there was no suitable food available, and nothing he could do about it.
      I would suggest that you take a look at the full range of foods available, and consider what diet option might work best, depending on your goal. You didn’t mention if you’re looking for fat loss, or a different result. If fat loss, a low carb diet may be easier to follow, but again it relies on the type of food available. Another completely different alternative that is mentioned by Tim in his blog in intermittent fasting. This could actually be done with any kind of food (if you’re stuck), and involves eating normally for most of the week, but taking one day or two days each week, where you don’t eat anything between 6pm one day and 6pm the next day. Despite this sounding contrary to a lot of recommendations, it can really help our body, and we can reap positive health benefits from it. Have a look at your options, in terms of food sources – if you don’t have access to lots of beans, and some good protein sources, then slow carb might not be for you at the moment.

      All the best,

      • Shannon says:

        I’m looking for fat loss and I’m away from home which is why I’m thinking about doing it. I have about a month of break but I was also thinking about gaining the weight. The problem with a lot of these diets is that you lose weight but then you gain it back – how does this diet prevent that??

        • Luke says:

          That’s true that lots of diets fail, as people regain weight afterwards. Slow carb works well, because it’s not really a diet, but more of a lifestyle change. So it will support fat loss, but with little change, you can use it as an ongoing way of eating to stay fit, trim and healthy. That’s because the fiber and protein levels help you have even energy through the day, and are very satisfying foods to eat, so once you’ve felt that kind of energy and seen some results, its easy to stay with it. Technically speaking, the body responds well to eating very low GI foods, in combination with protein, as it gives the body a chance to lower insulin levels, which helps with fat loss and limits fat regain. Fat regain occurs when insulin levels are high, due to increased blood sugar from carbohydrate consumption. The beans have carbs, however they have enough fiber that digestion is slow, and blood sugar doesn’t spike, thus preventing the body from needing to store excess food energy as fat.
          All the best with it,

          • Shannon says:

            Sorry I have one more question and it is regarding what I eat at the moment and what I will have to change if I decide to go on this diet. I am chinese so I already eat a lot of protein and vegetables. However I also have constipation and i have heard that too much meat and beans are bad for constipation. I’m not sure how real this is and I was wondering about your thoughts on this. Another question is being Chinese brings a lot of sauces like fish sauce and sauces with corn starch and stuff like that. Granted it’s not much and it’s just basically like cooking with oil kind of thing but I was wondering if that was allowed on this diet. The diet doesn’t say anything about sauces… thanks for replying sooo quickly Luke.

            But about the cheating days. I will most likely not take the supplements (AGG+PAGG) so I was wondering whether the cheating days will just cancel out the progress I may make while on the diet…. I’m sure you’ve already received a lot of questions about this but if insulin spikes because of excess sugar and carbs wouldn’t the cheat day do just that? even with whatever exercise you may do or anything like that? Because at the end of the day it’s also about less calories in and more calories out correct? And how is eating processed ham or bacon good for you everyday? I thought that with all the oil and stuff like that those are reputably bad unhealthy food.

          • Luke says:

            Hey Shannon,
            So firstly the protein and vegetables – you might be able to use what you currently eat, you might not. Be careful with vegetable selections, according to the book go for mainly green, leafy veges, and with protein, it should be low in fat.
            Beans can be great to get your bowels moving, provided you drink adequate water every day (8-10 glasses). Meat I haven’t found to change things one way or another.
            Sauces are generally out, due to their ingredients – a little olive oil and lemon juice is good for flavor, but check out the spice rack at your grocery store – there’s lots on offer. Double check labels to make sure they’re pure spices and herbs, not packed with fillers like starch.
            Cheat days are important – following slow carb for 6 days means your progress is not likely to be undone by one 12 hour period of eating what you feel like, and it makes sure you can keep doing it week after week. Consistency over the long term is key to success. You’re right about insulin, however even with PAGG if you follow the GLUT4 exercises around mealtimes – 120 seconds of intense muscle work like standing squats, 5 mins before and 90 mins after a meal, you will help limit any fat regain. Most people are lower by the next Wednesday than they were at the start of their cheat day, once fat loss has commenced (can take a few weeks to start for some people).
            This way of eating is definitely not about calories in/calories out. That doesn’t argument is over-simplified and doesn’t heed the ways the body responds to different types of food, and how different nutrients are handled (fat, protein, carbohydrate).
            Processed ham or bacon isn’t ideal every day – so every one does their best to keep to the slow carb principles. If you can find a natural ham, that’s not cured with lots of sugar in it, then it’s a viable option.

            Seafood can be a protein source – tuna, salmon are especially good choices.
            All the best,

  • Shannon says:

    Another question is seafood. Is seafood considered protein and allowed while on the diet?

  • seul gi kim says:

    hi i’m a college student, 20 years old, from south korea
    i’m about to start a slow carb diet with some workout(kettlebell swings)

    i have a question about the workout
    i have been working out for 2hours every day
    (1hour = jumpropes, sit-ups/ 1hour = belly dance)
    are these too much??

    if i start a slow carb diet, should i stop all these workouts and only concentrate on kettlebell swing 30minutes twice a week??

    thank you in advance

    • Luke says:

      Hey thanks for your questions.

      Some people like to do a lot of physical activity, and some people are able to handle that much, but most have some trouble with as much as you are doing.

      It depends on what your goals are – fat loss, muscle building?

      If fat loss, yes it’s better to take a little bit of exercise, a few times per week. If muscle building, then weights are the best to use, 2 sessions per week. If you have the book, follow the recommendations, and after 4 weeks, see if you are happy with the results. If not, then change things, but if they’re good, then keep it up the same!

      All the best,

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