Why I Abandoned the 4 Hour Body

As some of you had noticed, after a great start on the 4-hour Body, I abandoned the blog without explanation. For those who are perusing and following the 4-Hour Body, I wanted to come back and let you know why, so that you can have as much information about your journey as possible.

The primary reason I decided to abandon the concepts, diet, and philosophy was, in a nutshell, that it is not a sustainable way of life (for me). I don’t want to eat beans with every meal for the rest of my life. I don’t want to be tied into a an unrealistic and structured eating schedule that demands I eat at set intervals, regardless of whether or not I’m hungry. And cheat days where you go all out? Sorry, but you just can’t convince me that gorging your body with crap once a week is a good thing.

Now, I haven’t stopped trying to live a healthy, fit lifestyle centered around proper nutrition and exercise. Instead, I’ve found something that I think works better for the long term as a way of life and that is helping me to get where all other diets and plans have failed. For me it is Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint.

Eating the way man has evolved to eat over millions of years just makes more sense to me. Anyway…I’ve been following the Primal Blueprint for eating (all nutrient rich foods: meat, veggies, some fruit, nuts and seeds, and plenty of good healthy fats — very similar to Paleo), and the Fitness Blueprint (move slowly but frequently, lift heavy things, and sprint), and have been having tremendous results.

I typically only eat twice a day now. And intermittent fast at least once per week….usually unplanned. I’m busy and not hungry, so I don’t eat.

My original (and unrealistic) goal of losing 35 lbs in 60 days before I flew out to California? Well, I went and got my tattoo after losing 23.7 lbs in 60 days:

My Mike DeVries gorilla tattoo

Mike DeVries is an amazing artist

Oh, and here’s my daily weight loss chart for the 60 days (after resetting my goal for 20 lbs weight loss):

I’m extremely encouraged about continuing to eat, live, and train in a Primal lifestyle, and hope to be down to what I think is my natural, lean body weight of about 195 lbs by the end of the year.

I hope that whatever it is that your doing to try to live a healthier, fitter, and happier life is working for you. I’ve found what works for me (Primal). Beans every meal wasn’t working for me.

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Day 16 — A Turning Point

A big part of Tim Ferriss’ magic is his meticulous record keeping — tracking and recording, analyzing, then more tracking and recording of data.

I’ve been doing them same, keeping three different spreadsheets tracking weight, fat, inches, food intake, types of foods, supplements, and exercise. I’m a bit of a data geek, so this part of the 4-hour body has been fun.

But it’s also been extremely informative, even with the relatively small amount of data points I have. And what I’m learning right now is that no single thing is the answer; I can’t just rely on the slow carb diet; I can’t just rely on a little bit of exercise; I can’t just rely on better-living-through-pharmaceuticals. I have to put it all together.

Which is what I’ve started to do this week, and I’m feeling like I might have turned a corner, and am finally doing “the 4-hour body” as Tim describes it. The only thing I need to give a try now is the cold therapy…

Anyway…today was filled with good food choices, doing the  GLUT-4 exercises before each meal, taking my supplements, and drinking lots of water. Now…just got to keep it up.

Oh, and here’s tonight’s food porn:

Smoked brisket, spinach, butter beans (w lots of garlic and onion), and some homemade guacamole.

Posted in Food Porn | 4 Comments

Day 15 — Making Good Choices

Disappointing results from Week 2, so I was committed to get Day 15 and Week 3 off to a good start.

Mission accomplished.

Breakfast

Up early and knocked out my AGG stack of supplements before consuming 3 whole raw eggs, 1/2 cup of pinto beans, and half a red bell pepper (raw) for a quick and easy breakfast.

On the way to work I had a cup of black coffee and then a bottle of organic raw kombucha.

Lunch

Planned ahead and brought my workout clothes and my 20kg kettle bell. Warmed up with 15 hard minutes on the stationary bike before knocking out the following short  mini-CrossFit WoD:

For time, 21-15-9 reps of the following:

  • Russian swings
  • Power clean and press (switch arms every 4-5 reps)
  • Sumo Dead Lift High Pulls

Time: 7:49

A quick shower and then had smoked brisket and pinto beans (w/ 1/2 cup no-sugar added salsa).

Dinner

Feeling energized and good today. So I made sure to have a great dinner:

Smoked chicken, pinto beans (w/ 1/2 cup of homemade tomatillo salsa), and a bunch of kale (sauteed in bacon grease, garlic, and sea salt)

Did forget my PAGG and PAG stacks for lunch and dinner today, so I’ll make sure to take ’em tomorrow.

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4-Hour Body: Week 2 Recap

Disappointment. If I had to sum of Week 2 in a word, that would be it. First, a tale of the tape:

  • Starting Weight: 265.5
  • Current Weight: 258.2
  • Weight Lost: 7.3
  • Pounds to Go: 58.3
  • Body Fat%: 33.1
  • Body Fat% lost: n/a yet

My goal for the week was an ambitious 7 lbs lost. Actual result: .2 lb lost. Which means that I am way off track to lose the 35 lbs in 60 Days I’m shooting for prior to flying out to LA to get my new tattoo:

So…what happened?

The Bad/Lessons Learned

Tried a few things differently this week, that really did not work for me, to include:

  • Protein shakes for breakfast instead of whole food — might be convenient, but I never really felt full, and I don’t think it aided in fat or weight loss.
  • Changed my re-feed day — I thought that Thursday might make a better re-feed day for me, so I went off on Thursday. You can see for yourself what happened in the chart. I’m back to Saturdays from now on.
  • Too much booze on re-feed day — my re-feed day coincided with a Boyz Night Out, which entailed a whole lot of pints of Guinness (and some chicken wings doused in blue cheese dressing). Both re-feed days included me getting fairly plowed on booze, which really derails me for more than just the one day of re-feeding I’m discovering. This week, I’m laying off the booze on my re-feed day to see how much more quickly my body recovers. I’m 42-years old, not 24. My body does not recover as quickly (or painlessly) as it used to.
  • No exercise — made excuse after excuse about getting started, without ever actually, you know, getting started. I know that diet alone will not get me there. I have to start exercising. That changes this week. I brought my 20kg kettle bell to the office, along with workout clothes to use in our fitness center at lunch all week (along with some cycling and bit of rowing on our C2 erg).

What Went Right

Somethings had to go right, right? Well trying to keep a positive outlook, so here goes:

  • I lost weight — albeit it was only .2 lbs, it’s better than gaining weight.
  • No cheats outside of my re-feed day — stayed on track the entire week, though I need to eat more veggies.
  • Supplementation — my PAGG stack supplements arrived on Saturday, which means I’ll be able to see how these work now.
  • Fat Loss Monitor — My new Omron HBF-306C Fat Loss Monitor arrived, so I can start tracking more than just weight. I used it this morning and my starting point is 33.1% body fat, which is just ridiculous.

Goals for Week 3

Gotta have goals if you’re going to reach them, right:

  • Weight Loss: 5.7 lbs — that want get me entirely back on track for my ambitious 35 lbs in 60 Days goal, but it will put me right back on the linear line to the goal weight.
  • Start swinging kettlebells — start with the 75 American (no wussy Russian swings for this guy) swings x 3 per week, plus a dynamic warmup before each workout. Mix in some cycling at least 3x per week as well.
  • Lose some body fat — I’m not sure yet what a realistic goal is, as I have not used the fat loss monitor  before to understand how much I can expect to use. I’ll have more accurate goals as the weeks go by.
  • Blog more often — I was avoiding the blog this week because I knew I wasn’t doing well. My way of avoiding accountability. Regardless of my results, I’ll post ’em more frequently, which I found is a great motivation to make me have GOOD results to post.

I hope all of you who are participating in this journey are having some luck, too.

Posted in Weekly Summary | 2 Comments

4-Hour Body: Day 9 Results

It’s taken me 3 full days to fall back below my weight prior to my re-feed day. I thought it would only take 2 days at the most.

At this point, I shouldn’t really be calling it the “4-hour Body,” as really all I’ve implemented so far is the slow-carb diet. I’ve yet to initiate the prescribed workouts, my PAGG stack supplements still haven’t arrived, and I haven’t introduced any of the other fat-burning tips described in Tim’s book, such as cold therapy.

And I’m realizing what I’ve known all along: diet alone — even a perfectly healthy, clean eating, whole foods-only diet — is not enough. You need to exercise, too. Which starts today, no  matter what.

Here are my Day 9 Slow-Carb Diet results so far:

  • Starting Weight: 265.5
  • Current Weight: 258.4
  • Weight Lost: 7.1
  • Pounds to Go: 58.5

I’m on track (barely) to meet my 35 lbs in 60 Days weight loss goal — not on the target weight (I’m 1.5 lbs from being on target for today), but below the linear path to the target weight:

Weight loss chartAfter careful tracking of the last nine days, it’s abundantly clear to me that the only way I’m going to get and stay below that solid blue line is by adding regular exercise to my daily activities.

I’m happy with the 7.1 lbs lost in just 9 days….don’t get me wrong, but I think I can do much, much better.

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Week 1 Results on the Slow-Carb Diet

This morning marks exactly 7 days since starting the 4-Hour Body experiment. Here’s my results so far:

  • Starting Weight: 265.5
  • Current Weight: 260.2
  • Weight Lost: 5.3
  • Pounds to Go: 60.3

I’m slightly behind my 35 lbs in 60 Days goal. though:

Tattoo 4HB goalMy target weight for today was 258.8, which I’m certain I would have hit without the 2.6 lbs gained on Saturday’s refeed day. But I’m definitely not discouraged after one week and am committed to giving Tim’s plan a much longer test period than one week.

I’ll get some Week 1 Pictures taken when I get home this evening.

The good

  • I didn’t do any of the workouts this week, other than some long (and fairly strenuous) hiking with my dogs 4x this week. Why is this good? Because I still lost over 5 lbs by simply eating clean. Starting today, I’m starting  the Kettlebell program.
  • My energy levels are up (especially since starting the Kombucha with breakfast 3 days ago).
  • I’m sleeping more soundly.

The Bad

  • I didn’t do any of the workouts this week, other than some long (and fairly strenuous) hiking with my dogs 4x this week. This is on the “bad” list too, because, well…I freak’n didn’t exercise as recommended in the plan.
  • No supplementation — I’ll also be starting the PAGG stack once my shipment arrives from Amazon.Wish I’d had it from the get-go.
  • Body fat composition is unknown — I wish I’d had a way to measure inches and body fat before starting, but I’ll get that done as soon as my body tape arrives from Amazon, too.
  • 2 unplanned cheats: On Thursday morning, I ate 2 flour tortillas with my eggs and bacon and on Friday I had a piece of cornbread with my lunch.

Goal for this week

  • 252.8 lbs, which means I need to lose 7.4 lbs…a lb per day. Which is very doable for me.
  • Start swinging kettlebells — start with the 75 American (no wussy Russian swings for this guy) swings x 3 per week, plus a dynamic warmup before each workout.
  • Experiment with protein shakes for breakfast
  • No cheats (ZERO) until my planned refeed on Saturday

What are your goals for this week?

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Day 7 Food Porn

My post from this morning showed my breakfast on the Day After Refeed™. Here’s lunch and dinner:

Slow-carb lunch

Lunch: 2 boneless/skinless chicken thighs, 1/2 cup pinto beans, 1/2 a red bell pepper (diced and raw), 1/2 cup sauteed spinach (sauteed in bacon fat) w/ almond slivers, a dab of homemade guacomole, and a spoonful of no-sugar-added salsa

Slow-carb dinner

Dinner: 1 boneless/skinless chicken thigh, 1/2 cup canned black beans, 1/2 cup spinach, dollop of homemade guacomole, spoonful of no-sugar-added salsa

Probably not enough protein in dinner. Might need to go grab another chicken thigh out of the fridge.

I’m still a little hungry after dinner. Based on past experiences with Paleo eating while CrossFit training, this usually means I need a little more healthy fat on my plate. Maybe half an avocado sliced would do the trick.

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