4HB: Final (or are they?) Thoughts

(Quick plug: If you like my blog, would you nominate me for the Women’s Health blog roll? I’ll reciprocate! http://www.womenshealthmag.com/features/blogcontest If you do, please leave me a comment and I’ll nominate you right back.)

I think the book is listening to my thoughts.

Katy-Cartoon-2

How else would it know EXACTLY what to do to make me doubt my decision?

Here’s where the cartoon comes in. I was celebrating the end of 4HB, thinking that it hadn’t worked for me anyway, so I might as well move on. Then I went to change into workout clothes…and my jeans fell off my waist. No unzipping. No wriggling. I bent down to get my running shorts and the jeans just sort of fell. I don’t need a scale or measuring tape to tell me that something is going right.

If you’re catching up:

Here’s how this week, Week 4, of 4-Hour Body went.

Saturday: Cheat Day! Whee! Per my plans, I approached Cheat Day of Week 3 a bit more cautiously — enjoying things that were off-limits during the week, but not going nuts. That worked well until about 9 p.m., when I went to the bar to visit Lucas and all.eating.hell.broke.loose. Beer, ice cream pretzels…ugh.

Sunday: Ate a 4HB breakfast but in protest — I was feeling very rebellious and craving peanut butter and chocolate like nobody’s business. So I ate it. Lots of it. Figured I’d gone off the rails and proceeded to eat and drink everything I could get my hands on. Felt sick. Felt sad. Didn’t care.

At this point, I made a crucial decision. I declared that I was NOT going to go back on plan.

Then I changed my mind.

I had to remind myself that one day of damage would not set me back forever, but quitting was something I couldn’t live with.

So, Monday-Friday: Totally on plan, drinking a TON of water (more than I had been — about 120 ounces a day!) and avoiding even the should I/shouldn’t I treats that are a bit controversial on plan.

Overall

  • This week was a very rocky start, and I really thought about giving up. But hate the idea of quitting, and knew that continuing to overindulge wasn’t going to get me any closer to goal, so I might as well get back on track.
  • I had a series of great conversations with people who are also on 4HB, and they encouraged me to do two things:
    • Drink much more water (I did, and ended up in the bathroom every 20 minutes!)
    • Consider switching the fat loss track to the strength training track (which involves a variation on the diet and allows for things like brown rice and oatmeal) — I have not made that change yet, but if I went back for another round of 4HB, I most likely would.

Diet

  • The beans seem to be settling in my tummy a little better! A friend suggested that I take a fiber supplement at night, which I considered but figured it might wreck the experiment at this point. If I went back for another round of 4HB, I probably would consider the supplement.
  • I’m getting really sick of eggs — although adding avocado this week made a big difference. I’ve never been a big egg fan, anyway, so if you like them — you’ll be fine!
  • I played around with smaller portion sizes this week, reminding myself that I can always go back for more. It seemed to work.

The Good

  • I am still feeling in control — something that helps me clamp down on my tendency to overeat.
  • The plan still seems pretty manageable, even as a vegetarian.
  • The cheat day worked in THEORY — I was able to stay reasonable until 9 p.m., but I chalk that up to my own lack of willpower.

The Not-So-Good

  • I really miss oatmeal and bread, and have struggled with creative recipes that fit 4HB. I have some form of beans and veggies for three meals a day and I’m just not looking forward to meals anymore (which, I suspect, is part of the plan).
  • I’m still not seeing a ton of results (see the details below) and given the fact that I have been on plan (except for Sunday’s slip), I’d expected to do better.

The Results*:

4hb-Tummy-Week-4

4hb-Side-Week-4

  • Start
    • Weight X
    • Measurements X
  • Week 1
    • Weight -2lbs
    • Measurements n/a
  • Week 2
    • Weight -3.8lbs (total since start)
    • Measurements
    • Left Arm same
    • Right Arm -.25
    • Waist +.25
    • Hips -.5
    • Left Leg same
    • Right Leg +.5
  • Week 3
    • Weight -2 (+1.8 from Week 2)
    • Measurements
    • Left Arm -.25 (-.25 from Week 2)
    • Right Arm-.25 (same as Week 2)
    • Waist +.5 (+.25 from Week 2)
    • Hips -.5 (same as Week 2)
    • Left Leg (+.5) (+.5 from Week 2)
    • Right Leg +1.5 (+1 from Week 2)
  • Week 4
    • Weight -1.6 (+.4 from Week 3)
    • Measurements
    • Left Arm -.25 (-.5 from Week 3)
    • Right Arm -.25 (same as Week 3)
    • Waist -1 (X from Week 3)
    • Hips -.5 (X from Week 3)
    • Left Leg +.5 (same as Week 3)
    • Right Leg +1 (same as Week 3)

Overall:

Inches at start: X

Inches at finish: -.5

Yikes. I saw a bit of down and up and some decent improvement in my waist (I can see it in the pictures). My leg measurements are up, but (unless I’m nuts) I think that can be attributed to the fact that I’ve been lifting REALLY heavy weights and increasing my run distances. I never got officially measured for body fat, but I believe I’ve seen a drop in that, too.

But it sure would have been nice to see better results on the scale. I actually *gained* weight after a nice drop in the first week.

*I don’t have a problem sharing my weight or my exact measurements, but I’m sensitive to the fact that for some, the numbers may be a trigger or a way to compare their numbers to mine. So I’m not posting them publicly. If you are just DYING to know, email me kwidrick at gmail dot com and I’ll share.

BOTTOM LINE:

I pledged to do 4HB for 4 weeks and I have. I’ve decided that for me, it’s not the right time to continue strictly on the plan. I have a half marathon to complete, dance classes to take and Body Pump to rock. All of those require specific fueling and nutrition, and I don’t think the slow-carb plan supports those goals.

However, I do plan to take some points from the plan and work them into my diet, moving forward, including:

  • LOTS of water every day
  • Staying away from artificial sweeteners
  • Substituting some grains/carbs with legumes and other protein-rich foods
  • Smaller portions
  • A “treat” day to use as incentive for making good decisions during the week

Do I recommend the plan for you? It depends on your goals (see above) and how flexible you are with your food. I know that Lucas made sacrifices — either eating what I was eating (yucky for him) or making separate dishes. He had to understand that going out to eat was even trickier than normal for me. He had to put up with my cravings and mood swings.

Read the book. Soak it in. If you’re intrigued by the idea of experimenting with your body, go for it.

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    I really appreciate how you emphasize that it isn’t right for you but you saw the results. Fueling your body the way you need to so you feel at your best is important.

    These posts were interesting to read and help me see it from a perspective more like my own.

  2. 4

    says

    I nominated you! If you wouldn’t mind reciprocating, that would be great :)
    It’s interesting to hear your thoughts on the diet – like you, I find its better for me to have general principles of eating that I stick to most of the time, rather than a particular diet.

  3. 6

    says

    I nominated you. You don’t have to nominate me back.

    I’m glad that you found some aspects of the plan that you like. I do think it’s very hard to train for a distance race while eating low-carb.

  4. 7

    says

    Hello! I have been silently reading your blog for awhile and absolutely love it! I seriously look forward to reading what information you have to share everyday. So I definitely nominated you for the Women’s Health Blogroll. :)

    I am not sure 4HB is for me, but it looks like you found some great take away points from the plan.

  5. 10

    says

    I love seeing your take on 4HB. For me, I really like rules and I already don’t have many carb options since I’m allergic to Gluten AND Corn. I’m starting on my third week and as of right now, think that I could eat like this indefinitely. I find though that the “cheat day” is better if it’s just a “cheat meal” with fruits and other carbs thrown in that day. Kombucha, chocolate, Larabars, and fruit are my go to things on my DORA (Day of Reckless Abandon) and then I chose one meal to seriously eat whatever (including Gluten). I’ve only had 2 DORAs but the second (where I did what I just outlined) was SO MUCH BETTER and took NO recovery. My first DORA required recovery and I felt like I was hung over. In fact, yesterday, I STOPPED eating my cheat meal because I was full. That is amazing for me :)

    I have to agree with you though, training for endurance events and low carb DO NOT mix well! You looked fantastic before and you still do :)

    • 11

      says

      DORA — I love that and I’m totally stealing it. Much better than a “binge” or “treat” day.

      BTW, this really stuck with me yesterday. I went to the movies and rather than bringing a ton of candy in, I picked one delicious type and got an individual portion. That made me feel like I got a nice treat but didn’t eat to the point of feeling sick.

  6. 15

    says

    I really like how you break the diet down. Easy to understand. I don’t think its for me. But its great learning about other things out there.

    I’ve voted for you! Will you vote for me? I’ve never entered anything like this before, secretly hoping and wishing I get nominated. :)

  7. 17

    says

    I love you blog so I nominated you, but you don’t need to nominate me.

    I am pretty much “over” diet plans, but it is interesting to see the different focus of different ones. Since I have to feed my meat-eating, bread-eating son, it is really hard to follow plans that cut out those foods. I would be drooling over his plate. ;-)

  8. 21

    says

    It’s great to hear your feedback on 4HB. I’d heard a bit about it from No Meat Athlete, but these details have been really interesting. The cheat day is still a bit weird for me (honestly, I think I’d eat everything in sight and have worse cravings than ever if I did a big cheat day) but I do like your future approach on having a treat to look forward to.

    If beans are still giving you a hard time, you might also make sure that you rinse and/or soak them thoroughly before cooking them. Adding a little bit of a sea vegetable can help too!

    Aaand I nominated you!

  9. 23

    says

    you hit the same 3-4 week wall that i did, and only half way through your post did i see you were veg, me too – no weight lost, or barely, and i kept slipping up on corn chips/popcorn. doing better now, aiming for 6 weeks, then gonna use it as a template but not a bible. thanks girl!

  10. 24

    Molly says

    Hey Katy -

    I found your update and was encouraged by your photos. I will continue on an give it a try, starting slowing though as yesterday, I did EXACTLY as prescribed and I, unlike you, was STARVED. I think I am having a super carb withdrawal. Anyway, I appreciate you sharing your experience.

    All the best!

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