4-Hour Body – Slow Carb Diet

4 hour body

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman is the latest book from Tim Ferriss, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Work Week.

Tim Ferriss says that 4-Hour Body is the “result of an obsessive quest, spanning more than a decade, to hack the human body. It contains the collective wisdom of hundreds of elite athletes, dozens of MDs, and thousands of hours of jaw-dropping personal experimentation.”

Subjects covered include everything from weight loss to sex and just some of the claims made by Tim Ferriss are that you can prevent weight gain while binging, increase fat loss by 300% with a few bags of ice, sleep for two hours a day and feel completely rested and achieve your genetic potential in six months.

4-Hour Body Diet Basics

Tim Ferriss says that by following the diet outlined in The 4-Hour Body you can lose up to 20 pounds in 30 days. The eating plan is described as the “Slow-Carb Diet” and basically involves the intake of lean proteins, legumes and green vegetables.

Five simple rules are presented for dieters who are looking to reduce their level of body fat.

  1. Avoid “white” carbohydrates. The following foods are to be avoided with the exception of up to 30 minutes after a strength workout: bread, rice (including brown), cereal, potatoes, pasta, tortillas, and fried food with breading.
  2. Eat the same meals over and over again. According to Tim Ferriss the most successful dieters, regardless of whether their goal is muscle gain or fat-loss, have limited variety in their meals. You can eat as much as you like but you should restrict yourself to three or four meals and repeat them.
  3. Don’t drink calories. Milk, soft drinks and fruit juice should be avoided. With the exception of red wine, alcohol consumption is not permitted.
  4. Don’t eat fruit. Says Ferriss, “Humans don’t need fruit six days a week, and they certainly don’t need it year-round. 4-Hour Body says if your ancestors were from Europe, for example, how much fruit did they eat in the winter 500 years ago?”
  5. Take one day off per week and go nuts. Dramatically increasing your calorie intake once a week increases fat loss by preventing the metabolic slowdown that often occurs with long-term calorie restricted diets.

In addition to dietary recommendations the 4-Hour Body includes information about a range of subjects related to the body. Tim Ferriss suggests that you don’t read the 4-Hour Body from start to finish but instead pick the chapters that interest you and select just one appearance goal and one performance goal to start.

Slow Carb Diet Foods

Egg whites, chicken, grass-fed organic beef, pork, fish, lentils, black beans, pinto beans, red beans, soybeans, spinach, asparagus, peas, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, sauerkraut, tomatoes, avocados, red wine.

Sample 4-Hour Body Meal Plan


Scrambled egg whites with one whole egg
Black beans and mixed vegetables

Chicken thigh, black beans and mixed vegetables

Grass-fed organic beef, lentils and mixed vegetables
1 glass red wine

Exercise Recommendations

Tim Ferriss says that you can lose weight without doing exercise simply by following the “Slow-Carb Diet” but the 4-Hour Body does provide exercise recommendations for both fat loss and muscle gain. Also included is an example of the exercise routine that Ferriss used to gain 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days.

Costs and Expenses

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman retails at $27.


  • Encourages the intake of green vegetables and legumes, which are associated with a wide range of health benefits.
  • Contains a lot of information for those who are new to dieting and fitness.
  • 4-Hour Body is Presented in a format that is user-friendly.
  • Will appeal to dieters who prefer simple meals and don’t want to spend much time cooking.
  • Allows the consumption of 1-2 glasses of wine a day.


  • Fruit can only be eaten on one day of each week.
  • Most dieters will experience gas, bloating and digestive discomfort when eating legumes at every meal.
  • Does not adequately address the emotional reasons why people gain weight.
  • Much of the information in 4-Hour Body has been reported in other publications.
  • Many of the claims made in the book are exaggerated and will promote unrealistic expectations.
  • Exercise routine is better suited to those new to fitness rather than advanced exercisers.
  • Tim Ferriss is not a qualified health professional.

Slightly Exaggerated, but Useful

The 4-Hour Body covers a wide range of different topics related to the body including diet, fat loss, muscle gain, sleep, sex, injury reversal and athletic performance.

While many of the promised benefits appear to be exaggerated, most dieters will probably find some information in 4-Hour Body that is interesting and helpful in regards to the achievement of their ideal physique.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Popkin, B. M. (2012). Sugary beverages represent a threat to global health. Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, 23(12), 591-593. link
  • Van Duyn, M. A. S., & Pivonka, E. (2000). Overview of the health benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption for the dietetics professional: selected literature. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 100(12), 1511-1521. link
  • Li, H., & Förstermann, U. (2012). Red wine and cardiovascular health. Circulation research, 111(8), 959-961. link

2 Comments or Reviews

Comments now closed
  1. Tresa

    Is cheese allowed on this diet?

    • Anne

      No dairy. 🙁

Last Reviewed: March 28, 2021