So, I am making a calculated decision to review my first three weeks of the 4-Hour Body BEFORE I do my weekly weigh-in and progress photos…because I don’t want the results to muddy up my review of the plan itself — the nutrition, the side effects and more. But don’t worry! The results will be posted below.
(Speaking of results, a brief update on my half marathon training — still on track! Getting nervous at how quickly April is approaching…click image to enlarge)
And make sure you catch up:
Here is my review so far, at the end of three weeks.
- This has been an amazing opportunity to refocus my diet — I’d really been struggling with late-night snacking, overeating at some meals and undereating at others and more. Because I’m staying true to the plan — I’ve really reset my intuitive eating instincts, and that’s something that I think is a definite plus.
- I chose to do the fat loss track, but because I still work out a LOT, I’m wondering if I might have been better served by the strength training portion of the book.
- Beans, beans…oh, the beans. Pinto beans for breakfast. Black beans for lunch. Lentils for dinner. I’m so.sick.of.beans.
- I’m still struggling with vegetarian options on 4HB. There is a controversy when it comes to which soy products are OK and which aren’t. For these three weeks, I have been very conservative and have cut out ALL soy products, including tofu and tempeh. I am considering building these back in to the diet because, frankly, I am out of options.
- I am eating a ton of eggs, which I normally don’t love. So far, it’s OK, but I really do miss my sweet breakfasts.
- I have not felt hungry for even one moment on the 4HB plan, which shocks me. I’ve been putting my stats into SparkPeople just to track the nutrition, and I’m hovering between 1,300-1,700 calories a day. Again, the 4hb plan does NOT ask you to count calories, but I find it interesting that by upping my fiber and protein levels, I’m feeling much more full.
- I continue to have terrible stomach distress, gas and bloating — I know it’s gross, but you want the dirty details, right? I blame the beans. (see diet above)
- THE BINGE — or, in more pc terms, “refeed day.” This might shock you, but I think refeed day is grossly overrated. GROSS is the key word. I went a little nuttso last week, eating everything that wasn’t nailed down. Waffles (4), beer (lots), ice cream (3 scoops), pizza (yup, a whole pizza), candy hearts (half a bag) and more. About halfway through the day, I was feeling sick to my stomach, totally disgusting and really looking forward to eating clean once again. Now, I will say — although there are no rules when it comes to this one treat day, I think that for myself, I need to think of it less as a free-for-all, and more as a day to enjoy a few things that I don’t get to eat during the week. That’s my plan for later today, and I’m hoping that it makes the day more enjoyable than last week.
- I did go off plan twice during the week (that I know of). I had some steamed skim milk in my coffee and I used agave nectar in my cabbage.
The Results (So Far)*:
- Weight X
- Measurements X
- Week 1
- Weight -2lbs
- Measurements n/a
- Week 2
- Weight -3.8lbs (total since start)
- 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)
- 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)
*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.
Now that I’ve written my review, what do I think of the results?
If I were going by pictures and how I feel alone — I’d be thrilled. I really do feel fitter, tighter, “cleaner” and more in tune with my body’s intuitive eating needs. I’m lifting more weight in Body Pump, sticking with my half marathon training, feeling rested and drinking lots of water.
But by the scale and measuring tape — the true tools — I’m not that impressed. 2 pounds lost in three weeks and very little movement in my measurements (in some cases, I’m up!) are a little frustrating. I have to admit up front — despite Tim Ferriss’ urging that people doing 4HB should invest in a series of BodPod sessions, I did not. I wish I had, but it was too hard to schedule (and would have cost about $250 out of pocket). I think that my body fat is down, although I’m eyeballing by photo alone. I estimated at the beginning that my body fat was about 24%, and now I’d guess closer to 21%.
- I am going to continue with Week 4 as planned. I committed to a full month on the plan for a complete review AND I have read that for some women, especially those who were fit going into the plan, don’t see results until after Week 4.
- I think I can be even more diligent on the plan — measuring my cream in the morning (the only “dairy” allowed), watching portion sizes, etc. I’d like to give it one really good try before finishing my review.
- I am going to be much more conservative on today’s “cheat” day. Rather than eat everything in sight, I’m going to eat what I am *really* craving, when I’m craving it. No more eating for the sake of eating. It made me feel crappy, and I think it really set me back for the week’s progress.
If you’re looking to start 4HB, yes it is a fad-based, trendy program…but it’s one that is designed with enough science that I think it’s worth trying. For me, it’s been a jumpstart to get back into higher protein and fewer carbs, and a reset of my system in terms of portion sizes. I don’t know if I’ll call it a home run after Week 4, but no matter the results, it’s been a totally worthwhile experiment.