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Slow Carb Food Diary

Here you can see the charting our slow carb meals, following along with the suggestions in The Four Hour Body – we include some short comments along the way. Useful for meal ideas, and to get an insight into the kinds of thoughts that are normal along the journey.

Scroll right for Kat’s meals and thoughts.

198 Responses to Slow Carb Food Diary

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  • Bobby says:

    Great site, will come in handy as I prepare to undertake my transformation. The foods and meals listed sound very tasty. Do you happen to have a word doc or pdf that you would share? The google doc appears to run together and you can’t really distinguish one meal from the next and it appears that some just do not exist.

    It’s refreshing to see that some are experiancing results and have a positive message to spread. I think that many of the naysayers have missed the message altogether…..there is no magic formula, you must work hard and be dedicated to losing weight. By maintaining the “same” basic meal staples, I believe Tim is preparing the mind to be disciplined enough to make any diet and exercise regimen work. If you can stick with this mindset long enough to curb the cravings and lose the weight, then continuing with any well balanced diet and exercise plan is easy to maintain.

    • Luke says:

      Hi Bobby, thanks for your comment – Sorry I didn’t get to it promptly.

      At the moment, the food diary is only in this online format, but we’re looking at ways of making it easier and more portable.

      I think your comments are very true, and really hit the nail on the head. Keeping things the same creates consistency, and with consistency, you can get measurable results. With results comes discipline to continue, and the happy cycle goes on.

      All the best,

  • JH says:

    Hi Guys,
    Thanks for the great Diary. It helps in understanding the program knowing what others are doing. I am on my second day, and have experienced similar feelings as described above. I wanted to show you my plan over the next week, in hopes to gain some feedback, please see below;

    Two Hard Boiled Eggs, Lentils, Protein Shake
    Canned Chicken, little mayo, Lentils mixed in.
    Chicken Thighs, cooked broccoli and Re-fried beans.

    Also wondering if you think pork sausage is ok? I ate it tonight and am feeling like I over ate, I guess it’s just too greasy.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Luke says:

      Hey JH, thanks for leaving your comment.

      Really glad you found the diary useful – it was worth keeping not just so we can look back on it now too, but so everyone can get a feel for a couple of weeks of slow carb meals.

      With regards to your meals, I think it sounds like a really decent starting point. I have a few little comments, but I want to say nice job on getting this planned out!

      Breakfast – include a vegetable – spinach (frozen and microwaved) is quick and easy, and is good fibre, and good phytonutrients.

      Lunch – not sure how much canned chicken you will bring, but make sure you’re getting a minimum of 25g of protein in every meal. Try going without the mayo, maybe lemon juice instead, or even mix in the lentils with some garlic. Remember to include a really decent serving of veges in here too – if you’re going raw (salad style), think carrots, spinach leaves.

      Dinner looks good – cycle between chicken and fish if you enjoy the flavor.

      You may well want to add another meal in here somewhere.. 4 meals a day, 4 hours apart is what has worked well for me. It does depend on your schedule, but it can be tough to go for longer than 4 hours, especially across the afternoon. Think about a turkey breast salad for Lunch number 2 – something like 4 slices turkey breast, spinach leaves, lemon juice, olive oil, 1 cup black beans (rinsed from a can) is really tasty and has proven to be an excellent portable meal for me lately.

      Pork sausage probably isn’t ideal.. best protein sources are eggs, chicken, fish and lean red meat (organic or at least free form medicines).

      All the best, and let us know how you’re doing!


      • JH says:

        Luke, really appreciate your timely feedback, I will make the adjustments to my meal plan as you have suggested! I will write back in a couple weeks time, and let you know if I experience weight loss. Little concerned about this cheat day though, feels as I will reverse any headway I may make…. Cheers, Joe

        • JH says:

          Sorry Luke, once last question, what amount of exercise should I do? I am interested in cardio and cross weight training. My ultimate goal is to loose body fat and tone…..

          • Luke says:

            Hey JH, thanks for your question.

            I’d suggest the kettlebell workouts mentioned in the book. Keeping it simple is the key, and make sure you document every workout. You could walk once or twice a week x30 mins to get some motion in your body too but that’s not necessary.

            Monday – Wednesday – Friday

            - Kettlebell swing (maybe 53 pounds or lighter to start with) – at least 75 reps
            - Myotatic Crunch – 10-15 reps

            - Dumbbell incline bench press
            - Yates bent row with EZ bar
            Do these alternating – bench press x5, rest 2 mins, yates row x5, rest 2 mins, repeat this 3 times.
            Then do:
            - Reverse ‘drag’ curl with a thick bar x6, rest 3 minutes, repeat 2 times.

            - Kettlebell swing (maybe 53 pounds or lighter to start with) – at least 75 reps
            - Myotatic Crunch – 10-15 reps

            Every second week include single arm kettlebells – 25 min on each side.

            This is likely to stimulate some muscle growth, but nothing too bulky. It’ll also help with fat loss. Combined with the slow carb diet, you should get some really good results.

            All the best,

  • Darren says:

    I’ve been following the slow carb plan from the four hour body for the past 4 weeks. My starting weight was about 77.8kg and 19.4% body fat (according to my hand held analyzer) I was seeing good progress at points and reached 75.7kg / 18.6% body fat at the end of last week. Cheat day was the usual crap food all day trying to cram in all the rubbish that I was not able to eat all week. I did not have a slow carb/high protein breakfast which I have since discovered perhaps I should be doing. I do drink plenty of water too. After my cheat day my weight has shot back up to 75.6kg/19.2% body fat. This is really disheartening as I’ve been working really hard and things are right up there were I began.

    I have breakfast around 7:30am which usually consists of 3 scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, beans (black or soya) & mixed veg
    My lunch is at around 12 noon which I usually chicken breast with lentils or beans and mixed veg.

    I’ll have maybe a hardboiled egg as a snack around 4 or 5pm but don’t eat tea until about 6 or 7pm. (by which time I’m usually starving) tea will be chicken breast with beans, lentils, mixed veg

    I also take “Weider fat metabilizers” every morning

    Workout are as follows:

    Mondays & Fridays – high rep Kettlebell swings & Myotatic crunches.

    Wednesday – Incline bench press, Rows & drag curls.

    I weight myself & measure body composition (with hand held analyzer) as soon as I get out of bed and empty my bladder.

    I’m sure I’m doing something wrong, maybe because I’m getting to the stage of hunger? Maybe cheat day wrong?

    Your advice will be greatly appreciated!


    • Luke says:

      Hi Darren, thanks for leaving your comment.
      First off, let me tell you that you’re doing a lot of things right and need a pat on the back for that.

      I have a few suggestions for you, that I think will point you in the right direction:
      - Cheat Day – Always have your regular breakfast of high protein, slow carb food. Have a coffee mid morning with grapefruit juice, and then start your cheat foods at lunchtime. Keep on the cheat foods through to bed time. Have a look at this cheat sheet we made: http://is.gd/P4138j
      - Cheat Day – Make sure you’re drinking 10 glasses of water
      - Weigh-ins – Though it’s great to measure, it sounds like daily weigh ins are causing you some grief. There’s a lot that changes with your body that’s not obvious, day to day, and daily weigh ins tend to drive people to worry. I suggest once per week weigh ins, perhaps on cheat day morning, or the day before. If you’re keen to weigh more often, go to a twice a week schedule – one day before cheat day, and two days after. Water weight due to carb loading can affect weight and bodyfat measurements for 2 days after cheat day – definitely don’t weigh the day after, or the day after that. Everybody gains on their cheat day, but most are lower than they were after 4 days.
      - Hunger – This is definitely a problem. The sign of hunger is not a good one, and feeling starving hungry is much worse. There are chemical changes your body makes when it gets to this stage, and this can affect what’s done with the next bit of food that comes in. I suspect you’re under eating for your size – I was 70kgs and not doing workouts, and was eating 4 slow carb meals per day (of 1 cup beans, protein, veges). Can you possibly change that snack to a slow carb meal? Ideally, if you could, it’d be breakfast at 7.30am, lunch at 12 (perfect), lunch #2 at 4pm, dinner at 7.30 or 8pm. Is that possible for you?
      - The fat metabolizers – I’m not familiar with this product, but I do know that it’s outside of the recommendations of the book, and could be playing a part in getting different results. You could try staying on them though, as you change other things, and then assess whether you want to go off them. If they play with your metabolism, this could be affecting results.
      - Your workouts look really good
      - Water – make sure you’re getting 8 glasses a day http://is.gd/cGb3H4

      So that’s it, I think you’re really close to the slow carb program, just how it’s described in the book. I think you are on your way to achieving what you want. There will always be tweaks along the way.

      All the best,

  • KellyS says:

    So…..I have silly questions and somehow cannot find the answers, maybe you can help. I am unsure if you ran across similar questions but my husband and I are on our second week and I want to know if certain foods are okay. We are still trying to find meals that we like and can repeat and get everything in…..and I apparently suck at making lentils (probably need to find split red) and beans are hard with every meal. Anyway here are the questions so far, LOL…. Lima beans, are they okay and are they a bean or a veggie in the diet (I know it’s a legume, but?)? Corn, is it okay (I make a tex mex chicken chili and like to add it)? At work if I make a salad in the cafeteria they sometimes don’t have beans, but have chick peas….okay as a bean in the meal? Finally, all the ham and turkey sausage I am finding has some form of sugar in it….is it not enough to matter, or do we avoid it? Sorry there are so many, but grocery shopping is my least favorite thing to do and is worse when I get home and bought stuff we can’t have.

    • Luke says:

      Hey Kelly, thanks for writing!
      Questions are a great sign that you guys are involved, so first off, congrats on getting going with it.
      With regards to the food:
      - red split lentils cook in about 10-15 mins, others take 40mins +
      - my beans of preference are black beans, red kidney beans, white beans – have you tried these? Some beans I find are not great (like pinto), but cycling them keeps things interesting.
      - I’m not sure about Lima beans – but here’s what I’ve done at the grocery store when in a pinch – check the nutrition label vs black beans. Black beans have been noted as one of the best for results. If the nutrition looks almost the same, I think they’re ok, but I’d still lean towards mainly black beans and red kidney beans
      - Corn isn’t good with slow carb – it’s still quite starchy, so it’s best avoided
      - Chick peas, in a pinch, are a good substitute for other beans.. but they are slightly different, so if every lunch was chick peas, it would likely slow progress.
      - The sausage – try switching sausage for sliced/cut lunch meat – but pure turkey breast/ham/chicken breast.. not a meatloaf or compound meat.
      - It is best to avoid anything that has sugar as an ingredient – with slow carb, you body may go into a state where you’re burning fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates – sugar will change this state

      I know what you mean about grocery shopping.. if you can get a routine shopping list, and a routine time of week, it tends to go by pretty easily!

      All the best,

      • KellyS says:

        Thank you for the fast reply! I thought corn was too sweet, LOL….oh well:) Black and kidney beans have been the staple these last two weeks, just thought lima beans would be nice in the rotation since it’s a little different. I’ll do the comparison and see, thank you……I probably should have though of that, but didn’t:) If not the red lentils sound easier, so we’ll add them! Too bad so much is processed with forms of sugar, definitely makes it harder. I’m sure it will be better once we have the routine and meal plan established. Thanks again!

    • Sam says:

      Lima beans are listed in the four hour body on page 84 as a good source of potassium, they are ok.
      Here’s a great creamy recipe to make them into a spread, obviously got to ignore the part about the baguette, i tryied making this YUM

  • Benjamin says:

    Cheat day – Hello,

    I was just wondering if anyone else is having the experience on cheat day as I am. All week long I am able to eat a pretty good volume of food. On cheat day however, even though I look forward to having those treats that are high in sugar, fat, and white carbs, my body just can’t seem to process it.

    One of the things I look forward to is going to get a fresh pastry in the morning. It’s a great treat, but it just sits in my stomach for hours. I feel a little uncomfortable and it takes several hours before I feel like eating anything else. During the week I am able to eat four good sized meals a day and when it’s mealtime I have a healthy appetite. On cheat day I struggle to get half as much food down.

    Has anyone else experienced the same thing? Is my cheat day less effective because I’m not eating as much?


    • Luke says:

      Hey Ben,

      Thanks for your question. I’m interested to hear about other people’s experiences – but I know personally I start my cheat day (today in fact) with my regular slow carb breakfast meal, otherwise I just don’t feel right. Once lunchtime comes around, I start with the starches etc, and I can tell you that I have also found a lack of appetite once I get some white carbs in my system. It’s a little strange, but I also seem to not have the craving for sugar like I used to.

      Your experience may be a combination of a few things – much lower fibre in your breakfast would cause things to move more slowly through your digestive system, and then in turn that would reduce your appetite. Also, carb heavy and starchy foods, particularly sugary ones, tend to have many more calories than the slow carb foods, for the amount you consume. So, for example a cinnamon bun can have up to 350 calories – which would be a lot of slow carb food (1 cup of beans is about 200 calories, 1 portion of meat approx. 200 calories). This means the amount of food might be smaller, but it’s more calorie-dense – ie it has more calories per mouthful.

      For my cheat days to be a success, I have found that I’ve needed to fine tune and find a way to keep things ‘moving’ throughout the day, to avoid what you’re talking about. I have a bowl of natural yogurt in the mid-afternoon, and may also have a couple of cups of popcorn (high fibre) with a lot of water, because I know those two things have that effect on me. Before that, I had tried salsa, curry, etc, but nothing moved for about 36 hours!

      All the best,

  • Sherry says:

    I’ve been on the Slow Carb Diet for 1 week now and have lost 5 lbs! Although I am happy with the results, I have very low energy and have an increase in headaches. I’m a Chronic Calorie Counter and I’ve been keeping my Calorie intake at about 1300 calories a day. I just noticed that Tim mentioned in the book, not to count Calories. Is this true? Should I really be eating a cup or can of beans with a meal? Please help! Thanks!

    • Luke says:

      Hi Sherry, thanks for your comment. And congrats on your results so far.

      The Slow Carb Diet is all about the beans (or lentils).. you may want a little less than a cup per meal, as that’s what I was eating (6ft, 155 pounds), however they need to be included with each meal for real success on the diet. Counting calories is more hassle than it’s worth when eating these foods, it’s just not needed because following the food types, and the schedule is more than enough. If you are familiar with counting calories a lot, then you may be familiar with lack of energy, headaches, confusion, lack of decision making ability, and irritability. The Slow Carb diet should not give you any of these symptoms. If you’re not including beans/lentils with each more, you’re actually on a low-carb diet, and most people experience tiredness and headaches with this style of eating, because your body gets in lower amounts of food that it can readily use for energy. Do everything you can to give up the calorie counting!

      Calories are a unit that were created quite a long time ago, based on the burning of foods, to simulate digestion. This is mentioned in the book, though the importance of it is easy to miss because there’s so much information in those pages. Basically, a calorie unit of food is a good measure, outside of the human body. Once that food goes in, calories are only part of the equation of how food works with your body to build muscle, store fat, etc. Much more important is having good energy to be active, find good routines in your life to include healthy foods, and working with the least processed whole foods you can, to get great nutrients at every meal that support your body’s natural balance. For example, I’ve gone from slow carb meals (and perhaps 1800 calories per day) to including rice and protein shakes, and recently have been topping 3000 calories a day.. but haven’t gained a pound in a whole week.

      Try to include those beans or lentils – I prefer lentils in the mornings. Black beans and red kidney beans are my favourites.

      All the best,

      • Sherry says:

        Hi Luke,

        THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU! What a difference! I’ve added the Red Beans and Lentils, as well as a full egg to the egg whites at Breakfast. Today, I did not have any headaches and have way more energy. I’ve also added white chicken breast and lean ground beef. I did not need to snack and continue to use my PAGG supplements. I’ll be sure to update you on my progress by the end of the week.Thanks to both you and Kat for this site!

        • Luke says:

          Hey Sherry, looking forward to hear how you’re doing. We’re really glad to be able to help! That’s great that you’re feeling better :)

          • Sherry says:

            Hi Luke,

            This week past, I was up 2lbs. However, I did lose almost a total inch off of my waist. Tim speaks about the importance of measuring yourself and it’s so important. The scales tell only part of the story. I had tremendous amounts of energy and increased concentration throughout the week and was able to curb my sugar cravings by eating a little bit of sugar free Jello here and there. I have been using AGG and PAGG supplements like clockwork and have been taking Calcium Magnesium and B Complex Supplements as well. I added an egg to my egg whites in the morning, stopped the calorie counting and ate more beans and lentils with every meal. I did have a few stomach issues throughout the week. I know why. My meals consisted of more beans, lentils and less the lean meat and veggies. My goal for this week is to incorporate more veggies and add more lean meat to my meals. Thanks for the advice, Luke! So glad to see you and Kat take this site to the next level by offering Coaching Packages. Keep up the amazing work you two!

          • Luke says:

            Hey Sherry, it’s really great to hear from you! Thanks so much for keeping us up to date, and I’m really happy to hear that things have switched around so positively for you. I can hear your energy in your writing!
            It will be very interesting to hear about your results for that off week! You’ll probably find you have energy to burn, but try to resist and keep true to a full week off exercise!
            All the best,

          • Sherry says:

            Hi Luke, I should also add to my last post that I Muscle Train and do Cardio 5 days a week. So perhaps this is why I gained the 2 lbs. and lost an inch. I am about to take a week off from exercising, as I have been training for 9 weeks straight now. I am curious to see my results from the diet alone. I’ll keep you posted!

          • Sherry says:

            Hi Luke,

            I did adhere to my week off of working out. However, I caught the flu from co-workers and did not eat much on Monday and Tuesday. I also ingested my vitimin C thorugh drinking grapefruit juice. I stuck to the slow carb diet the rest of the week and lost 2 lbs. I’ve since added vitimin C to my supplement mix. This week, I’m back to working out and I’m eating every four hours. I feel energetic and my concentration is way up!

          • Luke says:

            Hey Sherry, thanks for getting back to us!
            Sorry to hear you caught a bug, but it sounds like you managed the situation well, and did the best you could, considering – perfect! I’m really pleased you lost that week, and getting into things this week you probably feel great :)

            All the best,

  • marissa says:

    I really enjoy looking through your website. Thanks so much! I have been following the 4hb for about a month now. I really don’t have weight to lose, just want to look leaner and lose some fat. I’m 5’3″, 125lbs, 46yr old woman and i am already quite fit.
    I have definitely had constipation issues with this diet. I do get protein, veggies and beans in each meal and drink plenty of water but it seems to have clogged the pipes!
    What do you think about edamame, particularly the dry roasted ones? also, i used to always add flax seeds – ground and whole to my yogurt – do you think flax seeds are ok on a slow carb diet?
    thanks for the help!

    • Luke says:

      Hi Marissa, I’m glad you’re enjoying our site! You’re very welcome.
      Its a little surprising that things aren’t moving well for you, but this could be due to fibre, or perhaps a change in routine (like bigger meals and no snacking?). I would test splitting a couple of meals in half, and eating them across the day.. just to see if that helps. I also find hot water with lemon juice is great to have before a meal.
      I tend to stay away from soy, and there’s some comments about it in the book. I think in moderation it’s OK, but the times I’ve eaten it I find it’s too easy to start relying on it for convenience, and I definitely don’t want that much in my diet.
      I think flax seeds are fine on the slow carb diet, in moderation. The keys to success really are the beans, the protein and the veges.

      All the best!

  • JJ says:

    Hi there – just came across your blog after researching the 4 hour body slow carb diet as was mightily impressed by your advise and comments. Right now im in the middle the HCG diet but its really tough going and have had to make alot of sacrifices to my normal operating basis….diet/exercise

    Im coming up to the next phase of this diet which is supposed to be a maintenance phase but im switching to the slow-carb diet so i can follow it for another month without blowing my brains out – continue to loose weight and exercise

    I did have a couple question. I im looking forward to cheating once a week but do you take the PAGG stack just on the cheat day or throughout the week. Im also thinking of trying the CQ that he talks about in the book. Do you have any experience with this? Also do you just take that on a cheat day or continually through the diet.

    Last thing – I loooovveeee chilli and considering my chili has a shed load of kidney beans/re fried beans/veges i thought i would be a great thing to make a huge cauldron for the week. Can i use lean ground beef? i haven’t it listed anywhere in any menu but im sure you can get organic ground beef. I just wouldnt be the same without it.

    thanks and love the blog

    • Luke says:

      Hey there thanks for leaving your comment!

      Coming onto the slow carb diet I think will be a nice change for you.

      PAGG, if you’re taking it, is something to take all through the week, except for one off day. I have heard of people taking CQ just on cheat days, or days when they have no option but to go off the diet. I haven’t tried it yet, however plan to include PAGG, CQ together in my final month of slow carb, after the muscle building phase I’m in currently.

      Beef chili is awesome!! And Slow carb friendly as long as you are careful with what’s going in. We did an amazing batch one day – loads on lean ground beef, loads of red kidney beans, some black beans, some tomato salsa (no sugar added), and some taco seasoning, plus some celery and I think cauliflower. It was delicious. We had a sprinkle of parmesan on top (not slow carb friendly) and savoured it! Enjoy :) Like you say, organic/grass fed beef is the way to go.

      All the best!

      • JJ says:

        Hi Luke -

        Quick question do we get to see your guys progress in pictures…would love to see

        Also i keep reading no dairy but keep seeing cottage cheese/ parmesan cheese/ Sourcream….

        When is it ok to have these and in what amounts. Im also hooked right now on this no sugar jalapeno greek yogurt a kind of humus form i mix in with my eggs every morning. Can i carry on with that or is this going to be too much ‘ dairy’ . I’ve not started the diet yet just trying to cover all my bases before we hit the ground and get all our vitamins ready.

        • Luke says:

          Hi guys,

          Thanks for your comment.

          We did include cottage cheese and parmesan cheese:
          Cottage cheese can be used as a last resort, as it has very low (almost zero) lactose.
          Parmesan, where noted, is a deviation from slow carb, however the sprinkling we used wouldn’t be enough for a mouse-sized pizza, so we weren’t concerned.
          We didn’t use any sourcream, and I don’t think it’s allowed on slow carb.

          I have read about people saying greek yogurt is ok, but I don’t think there’s agreement on this. It really is best to go with beans/lentils + protein + veges for every meal.

          Though we understand people are keen to see our results, there’s lot of great examples around online, and currently we are still works in progress. I prefer to the impact of a true before and after, rather than progress shots.

          If you have more questions, please let us know, or check out our ‘Slow Carb’ category posts for more info.
          We are currently running a Couples Challenge on Facebook – with video updates each week, that you might be interested in watching – http://www.facebook.com/FourHourBodyCoupleCouplesChallenge?v=app_201293096576814

          All the best!

      • Sirrell says:

        Hi Luke love your site and you are amazing at returning answers for everyone..Much appreciated.
        First off I’m a chilli cookin’ fanactic and I make mine with Ground Turkey Breast, 3 kinds of beans, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, squash, mushrooms, onions, garlic, spinach, red/green peppers, lots of spices including red pepper flakes & cumin…
        Does all those ingredients look ok to you???
        I’ve been on the diet for 1.5 weeks had a ball on my cheat day but have only lost 3.5 lbs..kinda been stick with the same weight since before my cheat day about 5 days..is that normal?
        Thanks so much

        • Luke says:

          Hey Sirrell,

          Thanks for your comment! Those ingredients look great to me.. depends on the amount of diced tomatoes, but looking at the other ingredients I think they’d be fine to have in there in moderation. Double check your chicken broth for any hidden ingredients that might not be OK, and also check the sodium level.. lower salt is better for fat loss. Think about adding some cayenne pepper too, if you like the flavor/spice.

          People find their cheat days have different impacts on weight. Some people gain a lot of water due to a carb increase, other people don’t change much. For most people, the average seems to be around a 2-4 pound gain, which can take until the Wednesday to fully disappear (if cheat day is on Saturday).

          Keep at it for a few weeks, and you’ll probably start to see a pattern emerge. Then you’ll be familiar with your baseline, and will see how other things affect your progress.

          All the best!

  • Frederik says:


    I never read something about soup.
    What about soup it?
    Off course i will make it fresh w/ pepper, salt, and vegetable bouillon.

    • Luke says:

      Hi Frederik, good question.
      Soup is totally allowable, think about lentil-based soups, especially. We just don’t make any because I find the solid foods more satisfying. There are a range of soups that can be made, in the same proportions of a regular, plated slow carb meal, that can be very tasty! Think about curry powders, cajun spices, lentils, chicken, and vegetables of course!

      All the best,

  • Bill says:

    I started the diet on Monday, the best day for my cheat day this week will be on Saturday (Hockey tournament) will it matter that it’s not a complete week?

    • Luke says:

      Hi Bill,

      Shorting a week by one day isn’t ideal, but it also won’t do too much damage. After a week or two, it will be a small blip on a good solid routine of good food that should result in fat loss.

      All the best,


  • Raj says:

    Great work guys! I just started the diet Monday March 11th…….umm…that would be yesterday. I’ve been trying to figure out a few things and maybe you have the answers:
    1) Are almonds ok….I understand Tim says yes….but in moderation…what does that mean…5 per day?????? 10???? They are a tasty snack!….but probably not the best slow-carb snack.
    2) Is Salami as a snack ok????? Not Ideal I know…..as it’s fatty…but a 5 slices per day? It is a pork afterall.
    3) I ordered 2 orders of Chipotle yesterday…..put on the beans, chicken, salsa, and that’s it. Are the corn kernels ok? I would guess not….but just thought I’d ask as it is a veggie.

    That’s all for now….day 1 and 2 went well….light cravings for basmati rice…..love to eat it with chicken..but held off.


    • Luke says:

      Hey Raj, thanks for your comment!

      Congratulations on getting started.
      1/ Almonds are ok (5-10 per day), but in general, slow carb works best if you don’t snack at all. This may sound a little strange, but ideally, you work over the next week to adjust your meal sizes to the point where you’re not hungry between meals and have plenty of energy.
      2/ Salami is probably not great to have, as pork isn’t one of the better protein sources. Of course, if you’re stuck then it’s better than lots of other foods out there.
      3/ Good question – corn is out unfortunately, in all shapes and forms. That goes for sweet potato and yam too, in case you were wondering.

      All the best with it!! A couple of weeks and you’ll be feeling great, and most likely seeing some results too in measurements or on the scales (doing both is the best way to track your progress, along with a ‘before’ photo).


      • James Taylor says:

        Hi Luke! Just discovered your site (my 1st week on slow-carb diet!) – fantastic resource – thanks! I have a question about corn – you say here that it’s out, but I’ve been eating quite a bit on basis that I thought it was a vegetable – and also Tim suggests having salsa with corn included (p91). What’s the reason for avoiding it? I’ve had it frozen (it’s included in a bag of mixed frozen veg here), tinned, and wanted to get some on-the-cob….

        • Luke says:

          Hey James,

          Thanks for your comment. Congrats on getting started on slow carb! Hope you’re doing well with it.
          Corn is quite starchy, and actually has pure sugar in it, as well as simple carbohydrates, both of which will bump up your insulin levels. Eating salsa with a few pieces in it won’t destroy things, but eating a cup of it, as a primary vegetable means you’re taking in a lot of starch and sugar, that could otherwise be green nutrients like spinach or broccoli.

          All the best!

          • atom says:

            would you think that corn tortillas would be okay as opposed to flour tortillas or would i be best to avoid both? its gonna make it hard, because tacos and burritos are my favorite food,

          • Luke says:

            Definitely avoid both. Corn is close enough to a white starch to be best avoided during the week. A great treat on cheat day though!
            All the best,

  • Gio says:

    Hi Luke,
    I am a 23 year old female. 5’5″ and 160lbs and looking to lose about 30 lbs. So I have been doing the 4 hour body for about 2 and a half weeks now. I love the energy that I have been gaining but I seem to be lacking on the results end… But I have yet to see any results… I was a little confused by this but still pushed forward. I have been following the schedule and diet very strictly: Heres what my schedule and meals look like:

    6:20am Morning: 2 hard boiled eggs, cup of coffee with (cinnamon only) and AGG supplements 15 prior to eating (this is all I can usually scarf down and prepare this early in the morning lol I am not too much of a morning person) =P

    10:30am: Lunch: Chicken or lean beef, black beans, broccolli or carrots. 15 min prior AGG supplements

    2:30pm: 2nd Lunch: Smaller version on lunch (AGG supplement?) I am a little confused if I need to take it at this meal also?

    7:30pm: Dinner: Chicken or lean beef, black beans and broccolli or carrots. 15 min prior AGG supplements.

    9:30pm: maybe glass of red wine. PAG 15 min before bed. ( I just re-read the book again and didn’t realize that you should not take the mega green at night…opps! So I stopped doing that as of this week also)

    I just started this week to workout as well in hopes that this might help kickstart the weight loss. I am doing 30 minutes on the tredmill or eliptical. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

    Any ideas what I can do differently to boost my fat loss results? Or am I just being impatient? lol! Thanks so much! =)

    • Gio says:

      Also I didn’t realize that you need to be taking a day off of the PAGG a week… So maybe that might be why? hmmm…

      • Luke says:

        The day of PAGG gives your body a chance to ‘reset’, as there’s a combination of changes that the PAGG makes. Though safe, it’s good to give your body a rest once a week, and a whole week off once per 8 week cycle.

    • Luke says:

      Hi Gio,

      Thanks for your comment. I want to congratulate first off, on getting started, and on putting the principles into action so well! Your routine looks really great. I know morning food can be difficult, but I’m thinking your 2 eggs aren’t getting you the critical 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up.. in fact you have around 12 grams in those eggs. Not including some beans in the first meal too could be a problem, as this is the meal that tells your metabolism what to expect for the day, and the message it is getting is that food will be scarce, especially as it needs to last 4 hours until it gets some carbohydrates for energy.

      I would suggest a couple of things; if you really have trouble with preparing the food in the morning, pre cook something the night before, and microwave it in 5 minutes in the mornings. If it’s a problem with eating that much food early in the morning, then I would recommend looking at ways to include more protein without a lot more food, ie add in two egg whites to your eggs for a total of 24 grams of protein, and think about cooking some spinach with them (microwave). Then think about adding a bean based snack a couple of hours later. Although this goes against the ‘no snacking’ rule, I think it’s important to give your body plenty of calories earlier in the day.

      You don’t need to take the AGG at your second lunch – your other times are good, as they will add to 4 times per day. The other suggestion I have is to really make sure you’re getting 8 big glasses of water every day. Lack of fluids can halt fat loss.

      All the best! I’d love to hear back from you in a couple of weeks. Though it’s early days and you’d love some results, everyone is different, and some people react after 4 weeks or so, some people even 6 weeks, though that’s rare.


      • Gio says:

        Hi Luke,

        I will definately do what you pointed out. Your site is great! It’s nice to have all these questions answered by someone that has actually done it! Thanks so much! I will check in with you in a few weeks and let ya know how it goes! =)


  • Matt says:

    Just getting into this site and sorting out my food plan.

    Is there any sauces we can have on this diet or is gravy allowed, finding these diners very dry.

    Also i’m doing Occam’s Protocol which allows me to eat some carbs, just want to clarify on the ones I’m allowed and when I’m allowed them.

    Brown rice
    Wholemeal bread
    Wholemeal pasta

    Your website and advice is priceless so thanks for your time.

    • Luke says:

      Hi Matt,

      Thanks for your comment.

      The meals can be a little dry sometimes, and for that reason in fact I tend to have a large glass of lemon water with my food. There aren’t any sauces or gravies that I know of that are made with slow carb friendly ingredients, but I’m sure there’s some options out there. Pureed black beans with some onions and water, for example, could be quite nice.

      With regards to the Occam’s Protocol food regime, you’re right that it is effectively the slow carb diet, plus some brown carbs. The only ones suggested in the book, however, are brown rice and quinoa. Definitely not bread, pasta, or potatoes.

      As for when to have the carbs, it is suggested to have them with 2 meals daily – I go with with two middle of the day meals (12 and 4).

      All the best!

  • Chelsea says:

    Thanks for all the info. One question, what about healthy fats like coconut oil, butter, olive oil, grass fed bunless burgers? What about nitrate free organic bacon? The menu ideas seem very low fat…

    • Luke says:

      Hey Chelsea,

      Lean protein is recommended as the main source, however cooking with some good oils is OK – think about macadamia oil and ghee. Beans are naturally very low fat, and Tim Ferriss recommends lean protein sources such as turkey, chicken, fish and extra lean red meat as the best options.

      All the best,

  • Amber says:

    I have been doing the four hour body for 2.5 weeks. I am 5′ 7 and starting weight was 134. The first week I lost 4 lbs. Last week my weight stayed at 131.5 the whole week! Not a single pound lost. This week I’ve been down to 130 and up to 133.
    My diet is this:
    Breakfast: 2 egg whites, 1/4 cup egg beaters, 1 whole egg, salsa, 1/2 cup black beans and spinach.
    Lunch: salad consisting of spinach, broccoli, carrots, cucumber, salsa, chicken (or packet of tuna), 1/2 cup beans
    Dinner: veggies (either a salad, green beans, or mixed veggies) and a protein like chicken, hamburger, or steak.
    snack: carrots and hummus or 1 tbsp peanut butter.

    My question is am I not eating enough? Or too much? What can I do to increase my fat loss. I have been measuring my body as well. I have lost a little in inches but nothing extraordinary. Please help! Thanks.

    • Luke says:

      Hi Amber,

      Thanks for leaving your comments.
      Your food looks really great; I noticed you didn’t mention beans for dinner? Is there a reason you’re not including them there?
      In these portions, I could imagine that you could stand to include another slow carb meal each day, and cut out any need to snack. This will depend a little on your daily schedule, but 4 meals, 4 hours apart is ideal. Going longer than that, you might start feeling hungry, which is not a good sign – that means you’re not eating enough. You could try going to 1 cup beans at breakfast, and lunch, and 1/2 – 1 cup of beans at dinner.
      You didn’t mention if you’re active or not? At 5’7″ and 134 pounds, you’re already very much on the lighter side of things, so most likely your losses in pounds and inches will be smaller than those who have more to lose. You may want to consider getting a bodyfat measurement done in a BodPod or DEXA scan, and from there, decide what your ultimate goal is.
      The Last Mile chapter in the book may also give you some more insights, if you’re looking to really cut as much body fat as you can. Otherwise, if you’re feeling healthy and full of energy, consider some other goals, like training/strength goals, or muscle development!

      All the best,

      • Amber says:

        Hi Luke,
        Thanks for your comments. I was not including beans with dinner because I have read in other peoples four hour body blogs that people were not eating the beans with dinner because you don’t need slow carbs for energy when you are sleeping? I guess I was just trying to reduce my daily caloric intake.
        I used to do insanity, p90 x, or running most days of the week but reduced my workouts when I started the four hour body to see what diet alone would do for fat loss.I worked out a couple times the first few weeks on the diet but nothing too strenuous. I have started doing kettle bell swings, riding a bike, or lifting weights a couple times per week. I have contemplated starting the Occam’s protocol just to maintain my current muscle or tone up a bit. I don’t want to bulk up though and gain too much muscle. Would you recommend I stick with kettle bell swings and ab work? I guess I am a little confused on what exercise is recommended in the book. Is the kettle bell for fat loss but the Occam’s protocol for big muscle gains?
        Thanks again,

        • Rachel says:

          Hi Amber:
          We are on the same boat.
          I am on my 10th day of 4 hour body.
          On my first week (weighing myself on my “cheat day” before cheating) I had lost 2 pounds. I made it to 130lbs with minimal body measurement loss.
          According to my OMTRON I went from 23% to 21% fat loss.
          I am doing the slow carb diet and the VERY FEW exercises that Ferris point out on his “Posterior” chapter.
          What has been working for you?

  • SoCal says:

    Great info, really glad I found your website!

    I am trying really hard to make this 4Hr Body diet work but am finding that beans are not working well with my digestive tract.

    Do you have suggestions for bean replacements on this diet?

    Thank you!

    • Luke says:

      Hey thanks for your comment!

      Glad you’re getting good value from the site. I know what you mean about the beans.

      I have a few suggestions;
      1/ If you’re not already, try using canned beans. These have been soaked, and have then been sitting in the can with juice, which is a good thing. Also, make sure you cook them as well, and you might find them easier to digest.
      2/ Try a hot glass of lemon water just before and as you eat.
      3/ Thinking about subbing beans for red split lentils, boiled in water for 10 mins and then drained. Start with 1/3 cup (uncooked) and see how you go. There’s a lot more water content there and they work better in the mornings for me.
      4/ Another consideration, if the above ideas don’t work for you, is that the beans aren’t totally crucial to success, but you will be eating a lot more protein, and vegetables otherwise. There are other compromises that aren’t strictly 4HB, but some people have tried adding almonds instead of beans, to equalize calorie intake. Nuts do have more fat and less protein, however, and don’t have the fibre, so you’d need to get extra veges.

      All the best, I hope it works out well for you.

  • Rachel says:

    Hi Luke:
    Love your site…I am not feeling all alone all of a sudden :)
    Its a great reference and awesome complement to the book!
    On my 10th day. I have been having one Myoplex (42g protein 24g carb) 1/2 hour on waking up. This is my only breakfast.
    What is your take on protein shakes?

    • Luke says:

      Hi Rachel, so glad to hear that! :)

      Congrats for getting started! How have your results been so far?

      In general, protein shakes aren’t ideal, especially if they have any sugar in them. Artificial sweetener is also best avoided. I have a feeling that Myoplex shake is like a meal replacement style shake, considering it has 24g carb. If you want to start the day with something liquid, I would opt for an unflavored whey protein powder, to give you around 25g of protein, and mix with water (and cinnamon to taste). This is a very ‘clean’ start, however you still need to eat a complete meal soon after taking this, as you’re missing the fibre, the nutrients from the vegetables and the slow carbs from the beans. If you can find a way, having a whole food breakfast might make you feel great!
      Technically, protein shakes are out on slow carb, though Tim has now mentioned a couple he sees as OK because they don’t have any sugar, or artificial sweetener (both of which bump up your insulin response which can lead to fat storage).

      All the best,

  • Paige Stoffel says:

    I have been trying to eat breakfast within the first half hour of waking up, but I’ve noticed that many people believe that you should get your workout or run in before you eat. What are your thoughts on this? Can’t seem to find anything in the book that address’s this.
    I also am a bit puzzled in what is happening with my weight loss vs. my pant size. I have gone down at least one to two sizes in pants since I’ve begun the Slow Carb Diet, but I’ve lost maybe 5 lbs. I feel as if I’ve lost a lot more then that. It’s as if my scale is stuck!! Several years ago (two babies ago) I did Body For Life and was wearing a size 8 and weighed 35 lbs less then I do know. The thing is, right now I’m wearing a snug 10? Don’t get it. I’m shy of 5’11 and size 8 is like a 4 for a 5’6 person. The darn scale shows I should be wearing a 13 or 14!!! Could this be muscle weight? As of right now, I’m doing no weight training what so ever, all I’m doing is running about 12-14miles a week on the treadmill.
    Thank you for your wonderful website!

    • Luke says:

      Hi Paige,

      Some people get a little anxious over timing of exercise, and the short answer is that its a 1% difference. You want to get your food, with 30g of protein, with beans and veges, within 30mins of waking up. That’s a key. Drinking water is a key too, and making sure that exercise is moderate only- 2 or 3 times a week. Your running sounds like more than enough exercise, some people are walking 3 times a week for 30 mins and losing plenty of fat.
      With regards to your weights and fat loss, they key here is to look to measurements for truth. Weight is not a good indicator of fat loss, as the slow carb diet is protein heavy, and may indeed mean you gain muscle as you lose fat. It’s quite normal for scales to not change much, but changes in measurements to continue to fall – we saw this quite a lot with our coaching clients. Focus on your measurements for progress, not your weight, as water retention, water loss, muscle gain and other things can affect weight.

      I’m glad you enjoyed our website, all the very best!

      • JOANNE says:

        Hi there

        My scales are also stuck!! if anything there going up!!! I have done 2 bodpods at the beginning and a month later my fat as gone up only a fration but hey!! lb is a lb and ive gained 3lbs, I do 2 1 hour workouts which include 20 minutes of the 4 hour body workout and 30 minutes on the treadmill is this normal???

        • Luke says:

          Hey Joanne,

          Its sounds like you might be gaining muscle? But you mention your bodpod results show no fat loss? Is that right? If this is the case, how long have you been on the diet, and do you feel that you’re able to follow all the principles outlined in the book? If you’re doing 2 1 hour workouts per week, this is fine, everyone might do slightly different workouts according to their taste.
          Think about keeping a food diary for 3 days, and take a look at that. If it all looks fine, then look elsewhere – check your water intake, and then check your sleep (is it enough?), and after those things I’d start checking ingredients of any prepared food you eat for hidden sugar or carbohydrates.
          Depending on your age, many people have found this style of eating takes some time for them to begin losing fat – up to 6 weeks. And for some people, it can be slow going too.

          All the best,

  • Cameron says:

    Hello -
    Great site w/ great info – nice to have support. I’ve been doing the slow carb diet for 6months & have lost all the weight I want to loose. I’m still loosing about 1/2 lb a week. Now my muscles have started to show as well as my abs. I’ve lost 14 lbs so far. all good stuff. Question: should I look to add more food or cut back on workouts to level off? I’m afraid of changing anything for fear of reversing my hard work. And do I need to take PAAG for the rest of my life?

    • Luke says:

      Hey Cameron, great job!!
      Sounds like you’ve reached a point where you need to be ‘maintaining’ not losing. If you’re not keen to lose any more, I recommend including some more food with your meals. Start with regular slow carb meals, and consider adding in specific things, like brown rice, to 2 meals per day. See what your results are like. You’ll learn quite quickly (a few weeks) what has the effect of stopping your fat loss, and then you’ll know just the right amount your body needs to maintain. After that, then you can adjust each day, depending on if your activity level is higher or lower, and then you’ll really be living a very healthy and easy to maintain lifestyle!

  • Shannon says:

    Hey Luke,

    Great website! Lots of useful information. I’m starting the diet tomorrow and now I feel like I have some guidence to help me out a bit. :-)

    Question I’m so used to trying to NOT eat dinner or anything past 6 and have been a low carber for a while. I typically eat breakfast at around 8:30 or 9 and I’m not sure how I’m going to get in 4 meals by 6 or 7? Does that rule of thumb not apply in this diet protocal and sort of go out the window? Should I just space it out every four hours from the time I eat breakfast?


    • Luke says:

      Hey Shannon, thanks for your comment.

      Congrats on getting started!

      If you can at all, try not to mix slow carb with any other protocol like low carb, or any other rules of thumb or dieting principles. It works when followed 100%, and doesn’t need any other modifications to be effective.
      Give yourself 4 weeks to see results, and then re-assess from there if you want to fine-tune things.

      If I were you and your routine allows, I’d go 8.30, 12, 4, 8pm with my meals.

      All the best!!

  • Janeen says:

    Hi Guys…love your site. Thank you so much. Ok, I’m gonna TRY to make this Short N Sweet…emphasis on “try”. Me…40 yr old female; hover around 137-140…want to be steady 130, 5’9; Flight Attendant that has always packed a pretty big lunchbox (now a portable pantry). Main problem is waking for a trip one day at 3am, the next, it could be 11pm to work an all lighter. Throw in no scheduled lunch break, just when you can stuff your face between services, call buttons, chasing the next plane, mechanical and weather delays, etc. etc., eating carefully planned out meals, whereas is my desire, stresses me out to no end (i want to be SO by the book), but is nearly close to impossible. Throw in a 3day trip, no refrigerator overnight, no ice bucket big enough; you may be able to understand how I’ve gotten hooked on bars, protein shakes (ALWAYS cramps me up), and nuts! Also, am a chain gum chewer, and have even began eating pork finds just to get my crunch fix (btw, before this…my 2nd stab at it…I hadn’t eaten porky for like 10 yrs!). This go round I have been doing my Umpteen pills of PAGG in addition to my other handful of supplements, downsized my 6 day a week workout schedule, have become even more constipated (did not think that was possible!) despite copious amounts of water, fiber supplements, tons of beans, veggies, and other protein sources than ever. And since my last Cheat Day on Saturday, I’ve thought I was still holding onto water weight, but it actually looks as if its moved back in! One last thing..:o..I’ve been diligent with the KB training though tree trunk legs run all through my bloodline…and based on my Favorite pair of “Dang, I look HOT Jeans!”, I feel soon I’ll be needing to take. Trip to the store and see if they have the DILHJeans in the next size UP! Is there any hope for me??? Well, I know that’s a pretty large nutshell, but I would SO appreciate Any feedback…thanks ;D

    • Cindy says:


      I can see how frustrated you MUST be! I do not know how realistic this may be for you, but my sister in-law came for a visit with all her 4HB fixin’s in a cooler. I had never heard of the diet at the time. But she brought the cut up veggies and diced chicken with her. Now, I understand that refrigeration seems to be your biggest problem, but she brought all that stuff chopped up and in big ol’ gallon sized ziploc bags so she could prepare what she needed. Do you have access to refrigeration in the plane? Are you able to use the microwave for yourself? You could do the celery and almond butter thing when you are starved instead of a powerbar. You can look up recipe’s you can cook in the coffee maker at your hotel. Canned chicken, canned beans and lentils, cut up celery sticks and a jar of almond butter. I bought a bag of crumbled bacon from Costco. Because it’s cured it doesn’t need as much refrigeration as some other things and that with the beans is divine. Bags of jerky (watch out for MSG) Bags of cut up, raw veggies. I am certain that with some support you can do this! Try again! Also, my cheat days are awful! In the book, Tim mentions something about women maybe not being able to do a cheat meal every week. He says “meal” but I think he meant “day”. I’m going to go for it every two weeks this time because I couldn’t lose the weight automatically that I put on after my first cheat day.

    • Luke says:

      Hey Janeen, sorry it’s taken so long to reply to you.
      I totally hear how difficult it is for you in your circumstances. I think it was a great move to cut down the workout schedules. I’m going to pretty direct here and let you know that the job you do makes it difficult for you to succeed as easily as if you were working at something else. Not impossible though, with some changes.
      Though doing the kettlebells is a great idea, you are most likely quite physically active through your work, and most likely this is activity enough for your system, which is constantly trying to regain its balance with all these changes in routine, location, time, schedule, etc. So I would recommend trying a month of no training, no kettlebells, continuing being busy with working, and then enjoying some relaxing physical recreation when time allows. Removing stress is actually a huge factor for losing fat. Exercising is a smaller factor (yes I know some people will disagree).
      Food is obviously a difficult thing for you, due to location and routines. My first suggestion on this is to cut out all bars/protein bars/etc. None of them have complete nutrition, most of them pack in more calories than you know you’re eating and generally they don’t offer much that’s positive, unless you’ve just done an intense weights workout.
      Nuts are a good snack, but going overboard with them will likely result in weight holding, or gain. They are incredibly calorie-dense foods and I find I never feel like I’ve eaten as much as I have, in calories.
      If I were you I would look to canned meats for a way of including non-perishable but clean protein in your diet. I would then look at methods to add in vegetables to get your fibre. Eating beans you should not need a fibre supplement. This could actually create constipation (though so could stress and changes in routines). With regards to the beans, they’re a little more tricky, but they will keep, can opened and drained, and perhaps portioned into tupperware, for a day or two before they go bad. Be careful to check with guidelines on how long they can be unrefrigerated, or another option is to find bean cans with pull-tops, or carry a can opener with you.
      Obviously it’s not an easy situation to be in, and I think that including beans is most likely one of the more difficult components. Due to your extreme schedule and location changes, I think it’s worth considering a low carb diet too – but be away that for the first week or two you might be very low on energy, however after that you can easily survive on protein and fats, effectively, whilst perhaps including a piece of fruit daily. This could work out to being more portable, as it puts your body in a fat-burning state, which means you can rely more on nuts, nut butters, fats and proteins as energy sources, without gaining fat from them.

      I hope that helps!

  • Janeen says:

    Diligent…not Daily. Oops! So KBs 2-3x/wk…

  • mike says:

    Wow. you guys are great. thanks for the inspiration

  • Kristal says:

    Just found your blog, love the menu!

    I have a tip for the spinach, if you don’t like the taste, put some Tabasco (red) on it, or there’s little peppers in a jar of vinegar & you just sprinkle the vinegar on, it’s very good on the spinach.

  • wesleyann says:

    Hi Guys!

    Thought I’d share a quick tip for those like me who don’t like preparing breakfast in the morning. Make a fritata Sunday night and just heat a slice in the microwave or toaster oven in the morning – it saves time and is so easy. I use 1/2 egg whites and 1/2 egg beaters spinach, black beans and sundried tomatoes but modify it however you choose. I really don’t cook by recipe so I can’t give you proportions or cooking times other than I just know what it looks like and know when it’s done. You can find recipes online to give you proportions and cooking time – just eliminate the cheese.

    Another trick is to make the fritata in muffin tins and then you’ve already got portions sized out. (A friend of mine came up with the muffin tin idea while trying to feed her kids a good breakfast on the go and the kids love it!)

    • Luke says:

      That’s a great tip!! Thanks so much. I will try the muffin tin idea this week. This would be especially useful for taking portable, slow carb snacks to work, where there might only be a microwave, as well as having a handy breakfast to-go.


      • wesleyann says:

        Happy to share :-) I should point out that you should only fill the muffin tins about 3/4 full since the eggs expand – think souffle – otherwise you may have overflowing mini-fritatas.


  • Ellie says:


    My husband and I are thinking about starting the slow-carb regimen but I’m still a little confused about portions and meals. From what I’ve read it seems we need to eat 4 meals a day, each consisting of 1/2-1 cup of beans and/or lentils plus 30g of lean protein plus veggies. Is that correct? A few additional questions:
    What constitutes 30g of protein?
    Can peanut butter or almond butter be eaten and how?
    Are all veggies okay?

    I really appreciate your help.

    • Luke says:

      Hey Ellie,

      Thanks for your questions.

      Firstly, the total meal protein needs to be minimum 25g-30g. So that includes protein in the beans. This means eating less meat/other protein source than what you might be thinking of.
      Great choices include lean red meat, sliced ham, turkey breast, chicken breast, salmon, tuna, and other lower-fat cuts of meat. You’re spot on with the bean amount, and the number of meals.

      30g of protein will be different according to what protein you’re eating. If you’re looking at canned tuna or salmon, check the nutrition information and use that accordingly.
      For meats, for example cooked lean ground beef, around 3oz (85g) will yield around 20g protein. A pretty good amount (check out http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/beef-products/8000/2)
      Likewise, a half chicken breast (around the same serving size) will yield a little more protein – http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/poultry-products/703/2

      Most meat you purchase will have a nutrition panel, then you just need to make sure your portion sizes line up with what you calculate.

      Peanut butter is only OK on cheat days – and almond butter really is a last resort backup if you’re very hungry before bed one night. But it shouldn’t be added to a regular routine. If you’re regularly hungry before bed, eat more at dinner.

      All veges technically aren’t OK. The best ones are cruciferous (broccoli, cauliflower) and leafy greens. Red and green cabbage are great too, peppers in moderation. Stay away from all starchy veges like sweet potato, potato, corn, yams, etc. And keep tomatoes and other veges that are sweeter in moderation. Carrots for example are great, but don’t eat them with every meal.

      All the best,

  • Amanda says:

    Hi there:
    This site has been really helpful in assisting me in losing 10lbs. I’m keen to lose my final 5 and I’ve been at a stall for 4 weeks. I’ve been racking my brain to change something in my diet and I was wondering if you guys can offer some help. Here’s a typically day for me:

    Breakfast: 1 whole egg + 150 grams of egg whites, 50 grams lentils, raw homemade salsa (tomatos, onion, cilantro, lemon juice), spinich and a couple of sprinkles of franks red hot sauce (totally sugar free).

    Lunch 1 and 2 consist of: 100 grams of chicken, salsa, fresh spinach, 30 grams of lentils, 30 grams of avacado


    raw broccoli, 30 grams of lentils, 100 grams of chicken, and a dressing of 1tbsp of oil, 1/2 tbsp of seeded mustard (sugar free) and white wine vinegar.

    Dinner: 150 chicken, 200 grams of cauliflower, (sometimes a tbsp of homemade pesto dairy/sugar free) and some spinich.

    Do I have too much fat in my diet? Not enough carbs? Gah! Please help! Thanks again!

    • Amanda says:

      Oh! And I forgot to mention I am taking the PAGG stack. Thanks!

    • Luke says:

      Hey Amanda,
      Thanks for your questions.

      Congrats on the progress so far!

      There’s a couple of things I have to suggest.
      Firstly, you didn’t mention activity level – not sure if you’re working out, walking, or too busy for anything? If you’re doing a lot of exercise, I’d recommend reducing it somewhat for a couple of weeks. If you’re not doing any, then look to include something moderate 2-3 times per week for around 30 minutes.
      Your meals look good, but there’s no beans/lentils in the evening meal.
      Also you might try doing 4 meals a day, and dropping the daily avocado. Though the fat won’t hurt the process, it’s an addition and providing calories that you wouldn’t need if you had another meal between lunch and a later dinner, for example.
      30 grams of lentils – cooked from raw (red split lentils for example)? or from a can? Cooked from raw, I generally recommend 1/4 to 1/3 cup.. and canned lentils have less nutrition. So it’s possible you’re not getting enough calories for your body to drop fat.

      I hope those suggestions help you out!
      All the best,

  • Donnie says:

    Great site…I love it! I just had a question about spaghetti sauce. I make a mock pasta with spaghetti squash instead of noodles and then add chicken or lean beef with some other veggies like onions, asparagus, mushrooms, etc. I then top it with 1/2c organic no-sugar added spaghetti sauce. I also eat a side of 1/2-1c of beans just to make it a complete slow carb meal. I have seen in your comments that you say to avoid tomatoes or eat sparingly. I don’t remember reading that in Tim’s book. I assumed they were ok with Tim’s suggestion of eating salsa (which is tomato based), so I usually end up having tomatoes at almost every meal. What are your thoughts and suggestions?

    • Luke says:

      The main issue with tomatoes is their natural sugar content. If you’re eating them with each meal, you’re taking in a lot more sugar than someone who is eating broccoli and spinach at most of their meals. For example, Ragu Light No Sugar added Basil (http://www.ragu.com/index.php/nosugarbasil) still has 8g of sugar in each serving, and in total more carbohydrates than many green vegetables, without much fibre. If you are getting good progress, then keep it up! If you find your fat loss plateauing or not moving, then you could try removing tomatoes. Everybody’s tolerance level for carbohydrates (and sugars) is slightly different.
      All the best!

      • Donnie says:

        Thanks for the info, Luke. I’m going to steer clear of the spaghetti sauce for a while and see if any big improvements are made. Thanks for responding and keep up the great work with the website.

  • Michele says:

    Hello! My friend had followed this diligently last year, for she was getting married this past summer! She lost a total of 22 pounds! So of course I asked her how she did it, since I am getting married this July. She gave me the book, a few meal ideas, and suggested your website. After researching a bit, I understand you should have protein (25-30 grams) per meal, which includes both the meat and the beans, and veggies (brocoli, cauli, leafy greens). I see that salsa is very popular, and egg beaters. I also saw the 4 meals should be 4 hours apart, and breakfast should be within the first 30 min of waking, which I understand. I am having a tough time creating a menu with correct measurements. About how much egg beater, sliced ham, beans, etc. at breakfast? Basically, could you share a great example for meals in one day (breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner)? I am the kind of person who needs to be told to “try this menu” with all the measurements of food and a list of the food, and try it/adjust it as needed. Would you be able to do that? Thanks!!

    • Luke says:

      Hey Michele, thanks for leaving your comment!
      You’ve done a great job summarizing the basics of the slow carb diet – salsa is popular, though make sure it’s the kind that doesn’t have any sugar added, and make sure you keep the serving size quite small, if you’re going to eat it regularly.
      You might like to check out our meal diary – we documented our meals for a couple of weeks, and included all the ingredients we used. To be clear, everything we ate at that time was included, so you can follow along as closely as you like!

      All the best,

  • Terry says:

    I have found a product by TatsytBite at Costco. Madras Lentils.
    Ingredients: Water, Tomatoes, Lentils, Red Beans, Cream, Butter, Salt, Sunflower Oil, Chiles, Cumin

    It is 10 oz which is a bowl size of lentils and is delicious and comes in a microwavable pouch. I could eat it everyday as a snack as it is soooo convenient. Would the fact that it does have a bit of cream in it go totally against the 4 hour body diet? Or could the small amount be overlooked because of the convenience and all the other great ingredients?

    • Luke says:

      Hi Terry,

      Sounds delicious! I’d be a little concerned about eating this every day for a couple of reasons – with tomatoes being the second ingredient, you’re likely to be getting in some sugars that you may slow you down, as Tim recommends tomatoes only for occasional meals. It depends a little on the quantities involved of cream, and butter, however adding in the sunflower oil also means quite a lot of fat, which you wouldn’t get if you were eating home-cooked red split lentils, with a lean protein source, such as chicken, and a vegetable like broccoli. If you were to use this meal, I’d recommend eating it with a very lean protein, like turkey, or chicken breast, and add a green fibrous vegetable, like broccoli to bring in some extra fibre and nutrients.

      All the best,

  • Hello there, I discovered your web site via Google at the same time as looking for a related subject, your web site came up, it appears great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  • Terry says:

    I have read in the 4-hour body book. don’t drink your calories. But for convenience and for added protien I have tried to find a drink that I could do for an occasional supplement. Found an Egg White Protein protien powder by Jay Robb. 24g protien per serving. Ingredients: Egg Albumin, xylitol, natural flavor, xanthan gum, lecithin, and stevia. What is your take on an occasional drink with this powder?

    • Luke says:

      Hi Terry,

      Thanks for writing us. The egg ingredient is a great start, but the xylitol is a sugar alcohol, which still has an impact on blood sugar, albeit quite a low one. It has a Glycemic Index of 13, which is low on that scale, however natural protein powder by itself doesn’t have an affect on blood sugar, or create an insulin spike. Also try to avoid products with lecithin – it’s derived from soy.
      I’d go for an unflavored whey protein isolate powder, which you can flavor with cinnamon, and/or vanilla essence if you like. Alternatively, some people use instant coffee to mix in with unflavored protein powder, which can taste nice. Stevia has zero impact on blood sugar and therefore you could buy some, in liquid form, and add it to your drink.

      All the best,

  • Paleoproff says:

    I have read the 4 hour body, the main thing I disagree with Tim is the inclusion of legumes on any kind. They are very high in lectins. I would include safe starches before I would ever eat beans of any kind. have you read http://perfecthealthdiet.com/ I do crossfit 5 days a week and run ultramarathons. Oh yea I am 51 years old. Dont take take my word for it just look into it. Good Luck, Cool Blog

  • John says:

    Hey Luke, I’ve just started the ” Slow-card Diet ” and I must admit I’m beginning to struggle already.. I don’t mind the drinking water and the proteins and my breakfast is working out fine.. here is basically my meal plan.. I was wondering what you think of it.. if it’s to the rules and still a healthy plan..

    BREAKFAST – 3 egg whites and one whole egg scrambled (no butter or milk but maybe use clarified butter or macadamia nut oil to scramble the eggs)
    3 rashers of bacon.. fat taken off and grilled in george foreman.. alos have half a tin of pinto beans for extra caloric intake and energy
    drink water with that.
    LUNCH – chicken breast with mixed vegetables (put in steamer) half a tin of pinto beans and a small portion of spinach.. drink water with that.
    DINNER – pork (no sauce) with mixed vegetables (put in steamer) half a tin of pinto beans and a small portion of spinach.. drink water with that.

    The thing I’m stuggling with is the veg.. it just seems really bland.. is there any sauces or any different ways to prepare/cook the vegetables? the steamer doesnt do it for me lol oh and another thing.. could i also add anything to the pinto beans as they are rather tasteless too.. but my main concern is the veg.. if I get that sorted I’m sure I’ll be able stick to it.. Thanks :)


    • Luke says:

      Hi John,
      Thanks for sharing your meals.
      1/ Breakfast looks good but add in some vegetables like spinach (easy if you use frozen and microwave it), green beans or broccoli – you could switch up the pinto beans for black beans, red beans, white beans or red split lentils (buy the lentils dry, and boil in a pot of water for around 10 mins – approx 1/3 cup dry lentils)
      2/ Lunch – looks perfect. I don’t like pinto beans though, so I would go with red kidney beans, black beans or white beans
      3/ Dinner – Looks very good too – switch pork for lean ground beef, chicken, fish, etc, from day to day (pork isn’t a recommended meat as it tends to not be as lean)

      Currently, you could be adding an extra meal – 3 meals per day is good, but 4 tends to be better for energy, etc.

      Think about different spices and herbs for your meat, beans and veges. Don’t necessarily cook everything together, so you can have a few different flavors. Sometimes though, do a ‘stir fry’ with the meat, beans and veges together, perhaps with some cayenne pepper and other associated spices. Just be sure to check for sugar, salt, and any starch of any kind in spices you buy that are pre-made mixes.

      All the best!

  • Ryan says:

    I had a quick question about the red lentils in you diet. You say ‘uncooked’… do they come from a can then?

    Any idea why the calories on canned lentils is so much lower than dry lentils? The difference is crazy!


    • Luke says:

      Hey Ryan,
      The uncooked lentils I’m talking about are bought either in a packet, or from the bulk section of a grocery store – in both cases totally dry. Any beans/lentils in a can I believe are technically cooked to one point or another, in preparation for canning.
      I’m not sure about the difference between canned and dry – but that’s why I don’t use canned.. there’s not enough good stuff in them! Could be due to the variety they use. Try 1/3 cup (uncooked) of red split lentils -boiled for around 10 mins, just until they’re soft. I don’t like them when they’re cooked more, as they become a watery, mushy mess. Strain them so there’s no excess water, and enjoy with some herbs/spices.
      All the best!

  • IsabelG says:

    Hi, 2 questions:

    For a 5’8″ 125lb female, is it all right to expect a drop 20lb drop in weight just like the other ones who tried this diet but with a higher starting weight?

    What does Tim mean when he said “eat as much as you want” per meal? (and then on a separate page he said 20grams of protein per meal). I find it quite contradictory.

    Help please!

    • Luke says:

      Hey Isabel,
      Thanks for your question.
      At 125lb and 5’8″, your BMI is already down at 19.0, which is only barely in the ‘healthy weight’ zone. Any lower and you’d be into the ‘Underweight’ zone. Therefore, you couldn’t expect to lose 20lbs, like someone who is 250lbs and very overweight. You will, most likely, however, gain a little muscle, and also gain better health from following the slow carb diet, compared with traditional western eating of a high carbohydrate diet. So it’s worthwhile considering that.
      With regards to meal sizes, what he means is ‘eat as much as you need’ to get to the next meal without feeling much hunger at all. Getting a minimum of 20 grams of protein per meal is important, because if you got less than 80 or 100 grams of protein per day, it would upset the balance of the slow carb eating program, and may not provide enough protein to your body.
      There are some areas in the book that are contradictory, which is one reason we started this site!

  • Robert says:

    I turned the above, just for Luke (easier) into a PDF for printing if anyone finds that helpful.


  • Lisa says:

    Is it okay to eat fat on this program? If so how much is okay per day?

    • Luke says:

      Hey Lisa,
      Fat is kept to a minimum on Tim’s slow carb program. A little bit of healthy fats, like olive oil, or ghee can be used for cooking, or 1 tbsp as a dressing with some lemon juice, however in general, fatty foods are avoided. Stick with the equation of beans + lean protein + green veges as your base for eating and you’ll do great!
      All the best,

  • Wow after reading Kat’s meal diary, I don’t think I’m eating enough. I need to eat bigger portions then I won’t feel the urge to snack.

    Kat thanks for sharing your meal portions. It’s a big help to actually see what another girl eats on the slow carb diet.

    I kinda thought I was overeating now I know I’m under eating.

    Thanks again!

  • Sonja says:

    Hi Kat- I’m on my fourth day and waiting for my book to arrive- I’ve just been going off of what I read on this site to help me get a start on this diet. My question in the mean time is, how long did it take you to get used to all the beans! I’m good in the morning but right after lunch, my gut is killing me and it lasts through the eve. I just get really uncomfortable, you now? Is it important eat them with every meal? Could I skip them at lunch? Does it get better? Woman to woman.. Thanks in advance! :)

    • Kat says:

      Hey Sonja,
      How did you go with the book?
      The beans can be tough to get used to, and not everyone eats a lot of them. As you might have read, beans are necessarily eaten at every meal, or they might be eaten in small quantities if you’re a smaller person. Don’t force-feed yourself to the point of being uncomfortable, try to just eat enough to satisfy your energy needs for the following 4 hours or so.

      I hope you’re doing well,

  • RJ says:

    I am 5′ 10″ 185. With each meal what is the portion of protien i need to be having? my thought was 4 to 5 oz per meal. Veg the same question? For beans i am a big fan of black beans, but how much again? a cup?

    I do work out everyday, but do not want to gain wieght, if anything move down to 175 lb, and body fat below 10 %. On work out days should I add a 1/2 cup of oat meal?

    • Luke says:

      Hey RJ,

      Your thoughts on protein sound about right – I got with the 1 gram of protein per lb of bodyweight, if you’re training/exercising at all. For veg, around 1 cup per meal is good. For beans, between 1/2 cup and 1.5 cups of beans seems about right for most people – the key is to go with your hunger levels between meals.
      If you’re looking to lose 10lbs, or get below 10% bodyfat, I would suggest cutting workouts to 1 every 2 to 3 days, making them very high intensity weights or short interval training (around 20 mins) to a max of 3 workouts per week (ie 2 weights, 1 HIIT, 1 weights, 2 HIIT), get plenty of sleep, eat plenty of protein, and stick with slow carb, without any other carbs (like oatmeal, quinoa or brown rice – none of these).

      All the best,

  • Joel Forthe says:

    Hey guys,

    found a nice tool to look up foods you can eat on the slow carb diet. It’s found at http://www.eslowcarbdiet.com and called the slow carb diet reference. You just type in a food or drink and it gives you the low down. it’s been useful for me and thought I’d share.


  • RJ says:

    Thanks for the reply. Noteded on all. As for cardio, what would you suggest? Doing 30 min to 60 a day at this point. Low impact, treadmill 3.6 to 4 mph. Different elevations.

    • Luke says:

      Hey RJ,

      I’d suggest you could scrap such long cardio sessions, and go for 2 sessions per week, intervals/high intensity. Check out our article on fast cardio – http://www.fourhourbodycouple.com/2011/07/20/learning-fast-effective-cardio-from-a-body-master/ for an idea of how to do that.
      As you’re talking about doing weights a couple of times a week, I’d set out a routine like weights one day, rest the next, cardio the next, weights the next, rest the next, rest the next, cardio the next, repeat.
      This should give you adequate time to recover from workouts, before cardio sessions, but try to mix up your cardio sessions. The double rest day should come after a leg workout, because most cardio involves legs, therefore the extra rest is good to have.
      All the best!

  • Anna says:

    hello Luke,

    I saw that in the food diary Kat used parmesan cheese in some of her recipes… is that a dairy that doesn’t effect weight loss, like cottage cheese? I was also wondering if greek yogurt would be detrimental to the diet, its high in protein so i just thought i’d inquire. Thanks!

    • Luke says:

      A hint of parmesan can be used sparingly, though not with every meal. Almost using it in spice-like proportions.
      Greek yogurt is discussed frequently, but the consensus is that it’s best avoided, as in fact is cottage cheese, until a baseline of fat loss has been established.
      All the best!

  • paisano says:

    Great website. Love it. Quick question… what’s a good natural sweetener that’s allowed on the 4HB diet? I’ve found some organic ones like Stevia and Agave nectar.

    What about creamer for coffee?


    • Luke says:

      Hey thanks for your question! Go for stevia – agave nectar is actually very high in sugar. Stevia is natural and 0 calorie. There’s some studies that show it has a positive effect on blood sugar control, and none I know of that says otherwise (like artificial sweetener).

      All the best!

  • Crystal says:

    Hi there! I’ve been following the 4HB diet for about two weeks now and have only lost 3 pounds. Although I did read that for women, you really start to see results after 4 weeks so I am trying to be patient. Here is an example of my meal plan:

    BF: 3 hard boiled eggs and Tomato slices

    Lunch: 2 pork chops, peruvian beans, and green beans

    Dinner: Chicken breast or beef, peruvian beans, broccoli or green beans

    Also, can I incorporate bacon or sausage with BF?

    Thanks for your time!

    • Crystal says:

      Is my meal plan ok?

    • Luke says:

      Hey Crystal, thanks for getting in touch.

      Getting some progress is better than none! But I understand if you’d like to get faster results. Your meals look like a good start, but there’s a couple of suggestions I have;1

      - At breakfast time, include beans with your eggs and tomato. Also, consider switching tomato for spinach, green beans or another green vegetable.
      - At lunch consider switching pork chops for chicken, turkey, lean red meat
      - Your dinner looks great
      - Consider adding an extra meal, so that you’re eating once every 4 hours

      Best to leave bacon and sausage out – bacon has a bit too much fat, sausage could have fillers, and a lot of fat.

      I think with these tweaks, you should feel some more energy, and perhaps get better fat loss too.

      All the best,

  • Dee Evans says:

    Hi Luke, I have been reading your web site and i am going to give it a go. I don’t have much to loose but the last 5 – 7 kg are the hardest. I have some friends that have been going for 6 weeks and have lost 5kg, which is great. In reading your blogs, if people want inspiration for recipes try http://www.supercook.com where you can build recipes with the ingredients that are on your food list. I will keep in touch and let you know how I go……

    • Luke says:

      Hi Dee,
      Good for you! Those last kgs can be the most difficult. I can give you a tip – the slower you creep up on your final goal, the better, because it means your lifestyle is more closely matched to one that you can live with in an ongoing way, to maintain your new low weight. Crash dieting down fast inevitably means using methods that aren’t sustainable long term, and so then you need to find another new routine once you reach your goal, which doesn’t work. Thanks for your suggestion on the website – looks like a handy one, especially if you use the ‘exclusions’ to block out things like potato, rice, quinoa, bacon, etc.

      All the best! I look forward to hearing about your progress.


  • Robyn says:

    Hi Luke – I’ve been reading thru all of the posts and comments and just absolutely love all the info I’ve found here! one thing I am wondering about is excercise…I read that you shouldn’t do too much. i am starting my 1st day of the slow-carb tomorrow and am wondering what kind of excercise routine i should do.
    i normally go to the gym 3-4 times a week, 30 min of running and 20 min of weights during each session. i see that kettleball is really popular to do with this diet. can running/elliptical be added, if so how much should i do per day/week? is it true that too much excercise can hurt your results as to how much weight/fat you lose? i guess i’m basically wondering what an ideal workout would be for someone who is active, but wants to lose 15-20 lbs. thank you!!

    • Luke says:

      Hey Robyn,

      Thanks for your comment!
      You’re right about exercise – just enough is what you want.
      I suggest you split up your weights sessions from your running sessions. If you’re already lifting, take a look at Occam’s protocol, and include that 2 days a week. Then you could include 1 or 2 running sessions per week too – making them either HIIT, 1 min intervals, or ‘fast cardio’ that’s described on the site here.
      You could do the kettlebell workouts as an alternative, however you probably would want to expand on the basic swing and include some other actions, for a full kettlebell workout – see ‘the Kiwi’s’ workout in the book.

      Too much exercise can absolutely slow down fat loss – it can cause chronic inflammation, overproduction of stress hormone which blocks fat loss, and other problems the body doesn’t need to contend with. Plus, exercise does increase your hunger levels, sometimes beyond how many calories you’ve burned, so you eat more because you’re exhausted.
      Sleep and rest in general is one key factor to fat loss – a good 8 or 9 hours per night, even if it means trading a gym session to be able to get that, will get your body healthier over the longer term. Extra running will do very little for lasting fat loss results.

      All the best!

      • Robyn says:

        thanks for the help! i have one more question – yesterday i ate lentils and really did not care for them…i found some canned non-fat refried beans and had them for breakfast today and really enjoyed them. are non-fat refried beans ok? ingredients: cooked beans, water, salt, natural flavor, chili pepper, vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder,autolyzed yeast extract and hydrogenated soybean oil. my concern was the last 2 ingredients…is this ok?
        my breakfast consisted of 3/4 cup refried beans, 2 egg whites + 1 whole egg and 1/2 cup of spinach.
        thanks for the help!

  • Donald says:

    Thanks for the great advice. however I need to know if shrimp is ok as well as salsa. if you could answer this my wife and i would be extremely grateful! thanks!

    • Luke says:

      Hey Donald,
      Thanks for your question.
      Shrimp should be OK – as it’s mostly protein. Salsa – be careful with – a little tomato salsa may be OK, but its definitely a grey area. Make sure there’s no sugar added, and no corn. Use only 2 tbsp a day.

      All the best to you and your wife!

  • Alison says:

    Hi there,

    I have been Doing 4hour body for 3 weeks and am concerned that I am not eating the best assortment for weight loss. Here is what I am eating-let me know what revisions you have-thank you!


    2 full eggs and 2 egg whites, 2 small chicken sausage
    Coffee with cinnamon and a dash of half and half

    Chicken with black bean dip and lentils

    A spoonful of hummus here and there (used to have Saloni but read to nix that)

    Chicken/shrimp/Tuna with avocado and a vegetable

    Every other day
    A little cottage cheese

    1-2 glasses of red wine per night

    Thank you!!!

    • Luke says:

      Hi Alison,

      Try building your meals around a template of: Beans/lentils, lean protein, green vegetables. Eat 4 meals per day, 4 hours apart, all similar sizes. Avoid snacks, avoid prepared dips, and sausages.

      All the best!

  • Melissa says:

    Thank you so much for all the information you’ve shared! I do have a few questions as well.
    I started this diet two days ago and all i feel is hungry! Is this normal for the beginning? I’m trying to eat as much as possible, but the legume portion of the diet physically makes me sick as I’m eating them; is there anything else I can do to substitute those? I’d really like to stick to the beans/lentils, protein, greens plan but I can’t bring myself to eat more than 1/4 cup beans at a time. Is this enough?

    • Luke says:

      You’re very welcome Melissa!
      Sounds like you’re not eating enough beans, plain and simple, but it sounds like you have a real challenge eating them. You’re hungry because you’re not intaking enough food energy to get by, which is not normal with this diet. Beans a lentils really are the foundation, and there aren’t any other items that substitute for them in an easy way. Effectively, they offer a unique combination of protein, cabs and fiber, whilst also having certain micro-nutrients that can positively affect some processes in the body which affect fat loss.
      I’d suggest trying red split lentils – buy them dry, and boil them for 10 minutes. They taste quite different, and the texture is different too. For canned beans, most people eat 1/2 – 1 cup of beans at each meal. And for red split lentils, between 1/4 – 1/2 cup dry before cooking.
      All the best, I hope it gets easier for you!

  • Peter says:

    I am finding this site very informative. I’ve been on the slow carb diet for exactly two weeks yesterday. I’ve been really disciplined w/ it. As a result, I’ve lost 10 lbs so far and so I’m really psyched. However, tonight I may have had a slight set back. I was at work dinner and ordered some oven-roasted Turkey w/ a side of broccoli. Unfortunately, The restaurant had no beans or lentils. When they brought me the meal, the turkey was covered in gravy. I scraped off the gravy as best as I could. I ended up eating the turkey w/ some small ruminants of gravy. How bad is this for my weight loss progress and also would this now affect my cheat day? Should I now wait at least 5 days before my cheat days instead of the three that were suppose to be left b/c of this meal screw up? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    • Luke says:

      Hey Peter,
      Sounds like you did the perfect thing given the situation. Where you can’t get beans or lentils, include extra protein and veges. Scraping off the gravy is a good thing to do, and remnants shouldn’t upset ongoing fat loss too much at all.
      All the best,

  • Rosa says:

    Hello Luke!
    I Read through months of comments back and forth and learned a great deal. I was pretty amazed to get down to the bottom and see that you are still posting. Lucky me :) I’m on my fourth day of the slo-carb diet and am feeling great so far. I love all types of beans unlike many of the posters here so its been pretty easy so far. The one thing I’m curious about is my 30G of protein first thing in the morning. I’m up at 5am and have a double serving of a natural whey PureProtein shake by 5:30am. One serving is 15G of protein. Sounds like that might not be the best way to go. The nutritional info says there is 3G of sugar per serving. Should I do one serving of the protein shake along with some breakfast? My first dose of food hasn’t been till I get to work which is at 8:30am. Thats when I have my beans,eggs,turkey,broc,cauli breakfast. What do you suggest? I want to get the most out of this and will toss my $18 whey shake if necessary.. lol
    thanks a lot!

    • Luke says:

      Hi Rosa,
      I try to keep up to date with all comments, as I realize not everyone becomes aware of a new weight loss/health option all at the same time, and I believe everyone deserves support!
      Good question, as this affects quite a few people who rise early and get going, then eat breakfast a few hours later.
      In all honesty, I would suggest testing an alternate scenario – where you don’t touch food until your breakfast time. If you do this regularly you should find you don’t have hunger until breakfast, and for your body, it will be more like how it operates while you are sleeping – that is, burning your own bodyfat for energy.
      If you find skipping this early morning protein slows fat loss, or leaves you ravenously hungry, then it’s not a good option. Worth trying though, and generally I don’t recommend anyone use a whey protein powder if the goal is fat loss!
      All the best,

  • Peter says:

    I was wondering about Athletic Greens . I am thinking of trying it out and so I was wondering what people’s experience has been w/ it. Also, how do you take it? Should it be in conjuction w/ your breakfast? Should you take an hour to two hours after breakfast? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

    • Luke says:

      Hey Peter,

      I haven’t taken it myself, but some people really trust it and use it every day. You’re best to use it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. They will have the best, most up to date information to go by!

      All the best,

  • Lita says:

    Thank you for this site. I loved the book, but it is really nice to be able to clarify things and ask for advice! I have a quick question, can you give a couple quick packed lunch ideas (no fridge and no microwave)? Also, until reading through this I thought I had the right idea with a whey protein shake (made with water, not milk) for breakfast…no wonder I was having trouble!

    Thanks again!

    • Luke says:

      Hey Lita,
      Thanks for your comment!

      For a lunch where there’s no fridge or microwave, here’s what I’d rely on:
      Canned Tuna, Canned 4 bean mix (no oil), Canned green beans, or asparagus in a jar.
      I would also mix it up with Canned beans (of any kind), canned chicken breast or canned salmon, plus some fresh (bagged and washed) spinach.

      I hope that helps!

      The protein shake can work for some people, but I’ve heard it’s been a problem for other people.
      Good idea to try something different!

      Cheers and all the best,

  • Joe says:

    I have found many sites and this seems to be the most updated one. Thanks for that.
    I started this diet yesterday.. not so easy cause I am used to bread and Cheese. But up to now all is fine.
    I have not been able to find if I can use olive oil? I live in Sweden and it is very hard to find all those other oils.
    Does any one know if olive oil is ok??
    Thanks for any information.

  • cc says:


    This is a really informative site, hope you are still posting.

    I am doing running on treadmill for 30 minutes once or twice monday to friday then I do a 10 to 15km run on weekends outdoors.

    does this running affect the SCB Diet which I intend to start next week
    i am 5ft 3in, 60kg female and my planned menu is as follows:

    Breakfast around 7am : 1 whole egg and 90ml liquid eqq white(eq to 3 egg white), scrambled or microwaved, half can of chickpeas, bell peppers

    lunch 1pm: chicken, leafy lettuce, half can chickpeas

    snack 5pm : smaller portion of vege, some beans

    dinner 9pm: chicken or fish, vege and chickpeas or blackbeans

    would love to hear your feedback

    • Luke says:

      Hi CC,

      Sounds like you’ve got a well balanced active lifestyle. Not too much is ideal. Your running is right in the good zone as far as exercise goes. If you said you were doing that, plus weights, plus a yoga class, I would have said it’s way too much. The only thing I’ll mention is that you could trade one of the weekday runs for a weights session, and have a more balanced and more muscular body, which is good insurance for weight maintenance and good health. Running and not doing resistance training can lead to some muscle wastage, and then it can be easy to gain a bit of fat, but not have lots of muscle.

      Your menu looks really good. Your 5pm snack will probably do you fine, but you might want to add in a little can of tuna to get around 10-15g protein with that meal.

      All the best with it!

  • Omeany says:


    Have done the 4 hour body for six weeks once before with strong results. I am just starting another 4 week program and I forgot one thing- that my energy for tennis matches is low while on the diet. Problem being I am on a team right now that plays one night midweek each week far away from my Saturday cheat day. Is there anything I can do to boost my energy for a match a week without falling off the program until my body adjusts a few weeks from now ?


    • Luke says:

      Hey thanks for your comment.

      Sounds like you might have adjusted by now, but in general, including extra protein and extra beans in every meal that day, before the tennis match should give you some extra energy that you need. You might find your performance is increased compared to how you were eating previously, that’s certainly been the case for my tennis, and workouts.

      All the best,

  • Jess says:

    Thanks for this blog! My parents are considering starting on the slow carb/4hb diet after watching my success on it for several months and asked me for advice. However, i was already eating a diet pretty close to this one and only had to make some minor adjustments (lose the morning toast or 1/2 cup pasta at dinner, add beans instead), so it was really helpful to see someone else’s work with it, especially in terms of trying to make it “portable,” which usually isn’t an issue for me unless i’m camping or hunting. So thank you for your help! In my experience, larabars (not the ubers) adhere pretty closely to 4hb– far more so than any other bar– and work great in addition to a salad and a few boiled eggs when beans aren’t feasible for a meal on the go. But this is, after all, all about self-experimentation! Glad you guys have seen the improved energy levels and weight loss that I have…most of my close friends and family are now also on board! :-)

    • Luke says:

      Hey Jess,

      Thanks for sharing your experiences! That’s really great that your folks are on board, along with your friends. They might be interested in the free 1 week Kickstarter course I put together than explains the fundamentals in videos (www.completebodyfatcontrol.com).
      Like you say, it is all about experimentation, and different things work for different people. If you’re hovering around your goal weight and bodyfat percentage, using things here and there, like Larabars, are a great solution compared to other alternatives, or simply assuming that it’s ‘too hard’ to find a good solution.

      All the best!

  • sara says:

    Hi, i am on my 3rd day of slow carb diet trying to abide by the rules but still a bit unsure and confused… i breastfeed firstly just to throw that out there , i was a 192 a week ago but i have gained i am not 198 … extremely bothered and confused what im doing wrong . i am also due to get my period (tmi) like tomorrow… not sure if that could be affecting me as well but i look bloated i assume from beans . Firstly how many beans are to many beans? is a can and a half to much? i am going to try an eat less beans i think .. i am super confused though here is what i been eating

    2 bottles of water
    3 eggs 1 whole egg 2 white
    1/2 cup black beans
    tbsp salsa
    a bit of coconut oil so they dont burn in the pan
    mushrooms a handful

    lunch usually consists o same thing just no eggs and i use turkey
    and spinach with the black beans and maybe do a full cup of beans

    dinner well i had about a can of refried beans and a spinach salad with a few tomato slices

    ok so what am i doing wrong pleasee help because if i go back to 200 im going to freakkkkk i have lost 34 pounds in the past 6 months but the diet was just to open for me an i cant handle eating any processed foods without the craving beginning

    sincerely stressed out mom …

    • Luke says:

      Hey Sara, thanks for writing.

      First up, I want to mention that if you’re breastfeeding, I have to assume that you’re discussing any dietary changes and potential affects on nutrients for your baby with your health care provider. That’s certainly not something I can take into account.

      With regards to your questions:
      - around the time of getting your period, it’s recommended you don’t weigh in for 1-2 weeks – as water changes can cause big issues.
      - Your amount of beans looks good to me
      - Your meals look like you’re making good choices in general – congrats with that!
      - You may want to consider throwing out your scale if a number changes your mood severely. I say this with no amount of comedy intended. Weight is a terrible measure of health, and of your complex body that features many complex systems. In the last 50 years, people have tried to summarize nature in ways that are far too condensed, and inferring any kind of meaning about a human being’s weight, other than that is how much the person weighs, is a dangerous game to play.

      My suggestion: keep up eating great meals you know are healthy, and that have been shown to help people be healthier and lose weight in the process.
      Take up some light activity if possible, 3 times per week. Working up a sweat is a good indicator that it’s a good intensity. For around 20 minutes each session.
      Focus on maintaining healthy habits (keep the water up, that’s a great idea!), and check in with your scales one time per month.

      I sincerely think that the free videos on my other website will help you feel a lot more relaxed about all this. You can check them out by clicking here.

      All the very best,

  • Craig says:

    Wondering if this site is still up and running…. It seemed impressive in 2011

  • David says:

    Hello there,

    I have just finished reading the four hour body and have committed to trying the eating plan. I STARTED WEIGHT WATCHERS A WHILE AGO AND YES, WHILE I HAVE LOST 25LBS NOW, I FEEL IT ISN’T FOR ME. COUNTING POINTS MAY WORK FOR SOME, BUT DEFINITELY NOT FOR ME.





    • Luke Starbuck says:

      Hi David, thanks for your comment.

      With regards to headaches, there’s a couple of main causes. It could be lack of food in general, or switching from higher carbohydrates to a lower carbohydrate, more sustained energy release. If it’s this, then you should adapt in a week or two.

      The other common cause is not drinking enough water. Try to hit 2.5 liters per day, every day, evenly across the day.

      All the best,

  • Pingback: Slow-Carb Diet | Slow Carb Experimenters

  • Shannon says:

    I just started the diet and I eat out alot. Beans are usually not an option at most restaurants we go to unless its bake beans. what are some option when eating out? what are some dressing i can have on salads other than oils which most restaurants don’t have? any help would be great
    My meals include only had 2 days of this
    7:00-3 eggs with black beans
    10:30-atkins shake
    1:00-white fish and green beans
    4:00-atkins shake
    7:00-chicken and refried beans

    • Luke Starbuck says:

      Hi Shannon thanks for your questions;
      1/ Eating out – focus on getting extra healthy fat and protein if beans aren’t available. Things like nuts, avocado are good to look for, with dishes that are high in meat as well. As for dressings, normally a balsamic vinaigrette is the closest to an oil dressing you’ll find.
      2/ Meals – it’d serve you well to immediately dump the Atkins shakes. They’re probably not going to help things along with slow carb. Focus in on meals with lean protein, veges and legumes whenever possible. If you’re hungry between, go for larger serving sizes. It can take a little bit of getting used to.

      All the best,

  • Sophie says:

    Hi Luke!

    I’m on my first day and always worry about if I’m doing things right. So…

    Breakfast at 8am (I get up around 7) – 2 eggs cooked in ghee, spinach, black beans (1/2 cup)
    Lunch at 12 pm – chicken salad (based in olive oil and white wine vinegar with celery, tarragon, onion) and butter beans. I do have these Natures Promise Lentil soup that I intend to throw sausage and spinach in most days but wasn’t 100% sure it was ok.
    Dinner at 5:30 – chuck roast with tomato, green beans, onion, garlic.
    After dinner – glass if dry Pinot noir

    I only did a 10 minute workout (it’s Mitch Gaylord’s 10 minute melt it off). I usually do 20-30 minutes of Pilates.

    So… My main questions- do my meals look ok? Is it ok that I only ate 3x? Should I have a snack with my wine? I have about 15-20 pounds to lose.

    Thank you so very much!!!

    • Luke Starbuck says:

      Hey Sophie,

      Wanted to comment on the workout as well.

      Doing a really intense 20-30 minutes, 3 times a week is advisable. So, either heavy weights, or intense exercise that is in intervals, or spurts. Always avoid something like steady treadmill jogging, or cycling.

      All the best,

  • Sophie says:

    Hi, thanks for all this info! I thought I wrote the other night but it must not have gone through…

    Anyway, i’m on day 3 of 4hb and have some questions. I’m 5’2, 145 and have 20 pounds to lose. We will be planning on a nother baby soon and want to be sure I get to at least my prebaby weight (130) to avoid complications that I had in my 3rd trimester.

    I am sedentary most of the day (desk job). I do about 30 minutes of pilates a day but just ordered kettlenetics from Amazon prime. Do you think that is sufficient?

    For food – i’m having 2 organic eggs, frozen spinach with a small amount of ghee and 1/2 cup of black beans and black coffee at 8 am (I wake up between 7 and 7:30).

    Lunch (12 pm) is natures promise lentil soup with added spinach, cayenne and small amount of organic sausage. Or I made a white wine vinegar and olive oil based chicken salad with celery, tarragon and onion and ate it with butter beans.

    Dinner (5:30 pm) is typically a paleo recipe. Meat and veggies or salad. I dont always throw in beans.

    I have a hard time snacking or adding a 4th meal. Is it necessary? Should I add a snack when I have my wine at night? Would a handful of mixed raw nuts be ok/enough?

    I have one 12 oz diet coke a day and 2 glasses of red wine 4x a week.

    If I stick to this am I doing a good job? My belly seems quite big the past couple days… I’m also taking the pagg.

    I really appreciate your advice :)
    Thank you so much,

    • Luke Starbuck says:

      Hey Sophie,

      Thanks for your comment.
      It looks like you’re doing great! The only suggestion I have is the diet soda – these aren’t a great health-promoting thing. You could switch to black coffee (decaf or caff) with cinnamon, or try Zevia cola instead.
      As for the rest of what you’re doing – it looks good! A handful of raw nuts in the evening is OK, but only if you feel hungry.

      All the best with the diet, and the soon to be new baby!

  • Ron says:

    I have been on the diet for about 2 months now. i have lost about 22+ pounds and i have felt great (good energy levels, no headaches, no hunger). i exercise regularly and stick to the diet. sometimes it is hard to find food which follows the diet and this gives me a hard time. I plan on keeping with the diet for some more time until I reach my weight goal. I have heard that people who kept with diets like the slow carb diet, gain the weight they lost rather quickly once they left the diet. I have been thinking that someday Ill definitely grow tired of the same meals, and a change in food would certainly be welcomed. What could i do to maintain my weight but still be able to eat from a broader selection of food? I don’t want to go crazy once i reach my weight, i just want to be able to calmly eat with more variety and in moderation, without the fear of regaining my previously lost weight. What guidelines should I follow? How? I would really appreciate your insight.

    • Luke Starbuck says:

      Hey Ron, thanks for your comment!

      Great results, I’m so glad to hear!! If you leave the slow carb diet, and go back to a lifestyle that is the same as what you previously did to gain weight, you should expect that same result. Any lifestyle has an outcome.

      To maintain your goal weight and stretch your food choices, you need to learn a little bit more about how the slow carb diet works, and then you’ll be able to easily select foods that are good ones to eat. The general guidelines are that slow carb is a Low GI diet, and that other Low GI foods, in moderation, are likely to support your new low weight, as long as you don’t eat to excess. You can check out Low GI cook books for some ideas. Generally, using high fibre carbohydrates, like legumes, is a good option, and sticking with low sugar fruits like berries, protein sources and healthy fats. If you followed these guidelines, you’d probably have good success, and if you start gaining weight, go back to slow carb for a week or two. That’s the best way to do it.
      For much more detail, you could check out Module 6 of Complete Bodyfat Control (the video course I created) – check it out herehttp://www.completebodyfatcontrol.com/single-module-purchase/ (scroll down to Module 6 – Future Control).

      Cheers and all the best!

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