DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME! I am a completely untrained amateur and even I think this was a bad idea, but hey, all in the interest of science!
Since about the beginning of this year, I’ve been trying out a new diet called the The 4-Hour Body. You can find more details about it in these posts but to summarize, the 4 hour body diet emphasizes an almost complete elimination of carbs (Tim Ferris, the diet’s originator, calls it the “slow carb” diet), even fruits are not allowed, and a very high emphasis on proteins. It also includes a very interesting item called the cheat day, a single day a week during which you can eat anything you want. I saw some great results on this diet, about 3lbs lost on average per week.
Is It Magic?
Personally, I believe there’s very little magic to this diet. It works because it eliminates all the junk from your diet and leaves you with lean proteins, legumes and vegetables. That means you eat far fewer calories (I was averaging about 1500 to 2000 per day). The once a week cheat day allows you to maintain this diet by supporting you psychologically with the realization that “if I just keep this up for a couple of more days, I can pig out as much as I want”.
The above is not a condemnation of Tim Ferriss or his diet. The fact is that this diet works and it works well so no complaints here. In fact, it fits quite well into my “good diet” guidelines. However, it left me wondering, is it really the “slow carb” aspect that makes the diet work or is it the low calorie part? That is, did Tim discover some magic metabolic effect or did he just find a clever way to get people to cut down on how much they eat?
So, since I am a very inquisitive person, I decided to put this to the test. Over the past two weeks I’ve been eating for two. I’ve been eating healthy, not binging out on candy, but at dramatically higher quantities. I did this because I wanted to get back to about where I was two months ago when I started Tim’s diet. I am (not so) proud to announce “mission accomplished!” I am now back at 230lbs, proving once again that weight gain is far easier than weight loss. This by the way is why I would emphasize to all of you that you should NOT do this at home. Such drastic weight fluctuations are not the healthiest thing in the world.
However, what’s done is done and now it’s time for my experiment to commence. For the next six weeks I will eat “healthy” but at drastically reduced calorie counts. That means fruit and a very limited selection of breads are back in while the heavy emphasis on protein is out. I will still avoid junk such as candy and French fries and I have decided to retain the cheat day aspect of Tim’s diet. I will carefully monitor the amount of calories I eat and try to keep them under 2,000 per day. I’m curious to see how difficult this will be with a different diet and how well the overall eating plan works even if I do keep under 2,000 calories per day.
As always, will keep you up to date here at 60 in 3. Wish me luck!