What is the Slow Carb Diet & Is It Right For Me? A Look into the Four Hour Body Diet from Author and Bio-Hacker, Tim Ferriss
I've been a fan of Tim Ferriss's for a little over a year now after discovering his podcast. His lengthy and in-depth interviews on anything and everything from Ketosis talks with Dominic D' Agostino to speaking with Cal Fussman about his time spent with Mohammad Ali has gotten me through many a lawn mowing session and road trips.
Just recently I came across his book from back in 2007 called the Four Hour Body. The only reason I started even searching for it was become on one of the his Drunk Dialing Episode Podcasts, one of his callers was asking him about the best diet to get back on track (or something like that...) and this is the type of meal plan that Tim recommends for a few reasons, the biggest reason is that it has a low barrier of resistance.
There are so many different things in other meal plans that cause people to fail relatively quickly. For example, in a ketosis diet, people often fail after just a week or two because they end up not being able to really get into a state of ketosis. In something like the 21 Day Fix Porton Control, I have many clients who either just can't restrain themselves to eating that amount of food or find the idea of using the little containers ridiculous or time consuming to plan all of that out (often it's guys). And I totally get it. We're busy, we don't have time to count out containers (or to wash all of those dang containers!) So there's a lot of what we call resistance.
So it really resistance or do we have to just "suck it up"?
So how does it work?
Portion control is an effective and easy way to get started tracking what goes into your body. But when we eat out, sometimes it's not as appealing to measure everything according to your palm and hand size or pull out our containers! Here's a simple method that you can use based on your plate size that can keep you on track!
Below is what the USDA now recommends based on their MyPlate initiative:
Although it's a long way from the old food pyramid, it's still not ideal... Remember the days they taught the food pyramid in schools? Ah, the good ol' days...
Here's a better way and more balanced macronutrient way of portioning out your plate at each meal so you can hit your fitness goals:
So along with using the portion control containers, here's another way that you can still stay on track when you are dining out with your friends or going out for a surprise lunch at work.
Want to focus on just your nutrition this month? Click here to check out the Portion Control Fixate Program!
Yours in Fitness,
Every guy wants 'em and every girl loves to touch 'em: Abs! But as summer starts to wind down and most guys prepare for the "winter bulk", is it even worth it at this point?
Of course it is!
Abs can be a year-round event if you plan your meals right, balance out your workouts, and this is true even if you are "bulking".
Typically, most of us divide up our year like this:
Jan-March: Bulking, lifting weights, eating whatever we can put in our mouth
April-June: Spending a lot of time on cardio, cutting down on carbs, and "cutting"
July-August: We're outside enjoying our hopefully "shredded" bodies, enjoying our foods that we deprived ourselves of from April-June as we were getting beach ready. So this typically includes the ice cream, the "adult" drinks, the bbq ribs, hot dogs, burgers, you name it.
Sounds about right, doesn't it?
But what if you have a quick event coming up that you want to look good for and you only have 21 days to get "beach" ready (or "event" ready)?
This could be your weddings, your high school reunions, etc. that either you want to make someone jealous (maybe the bride at the wedding you are heading to dumped you for the chump of a groom), or you want to show off your new body to the homeroom hottie from your sophomore year of high school.
Whatever the occasion is, here's a plan that you can begin right away.
The Meal plan
For this plan we're going to do a simple carb cycling plan, with low carb during the weeks Sunday-Friday and a carb refeed on Saturday.
I'm going to suggest you use an app like MyFitnessPal to track your food and balance out your macronutrients.
For macros, we're going to set them as the following:
Low Carb Days Sunday-Friday: P 45% C 25% F 35%
Carb Up Day: P 35% C 50% F 15%
For proteins, stay with your lean proteins such as chicken breast, turkey (deli or ground), pork, eggs and egg whites (depending on your macros), and whey isolate or hydrosolate.
For Carbs, stick with light fruit, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, ezekial bread, and lots of veggies.
For Fats, avocados, almonds, coconut oil, seeds, and butter from grassfed cows.
For your calorie level, take your ideal body weight and multiply it by 11, plug in your calorie level and macros to MFP, and start planning out your day.
Now that you have the meal plan well under way, it's time to talk about the sweating!
This varies based on your schedule but ideally, in the morning you can do a light cardio workout 20-30 minutes in a fasted state (before breakfast). Walking, jogging, etc. are perfect for this.
Along with the Fat Burning Workouts I've already posted here I also suggest incorporating lots of full body circuits as well as my new favorite type of workout to add in once or twice per week---Hurricane workouts.
These workouts were first introduced to me through Martin Rooney, author of the book Training for Warriors, which is primarily an MMA training protocol.
So here's how the Hurricane Workouts work:
1. You select some type of cardio workout to raise the heartrate that you will do for 30-60 seconds, depending on the difficulty level. You can do treadmill sprints, elliptical sprints, hill sprints, or something as simply as jumping jacks or floor sprints. This move should get you gassed and breathing.
2. Immediately after your 30-60 seconds you'll move to two back to back strength exercises. These can be bodyweight moves like pushups, dips, pullups, crunches, etc. You can also add in weights, such as kettlebell/dumbbell swings, Squat/Presses, Bench Presses, Lunges, etc. The list and possible combination is endless!
3. Complete the circuit 6 times, rest for 2-3 minutes, and then repeat with two new strength exercises.
For this sample workout, I had access to a treadmill. After a good warm-up (5-6 minutes getting the heart rate up, lots of dynamic stretching, etc), I did a 60 second sprint (hard!) on the treadmill at 10 mph and a slight incline.
I let the treadmill continue going as I hopped off, grabbed a barbell and did 10 front squat to overhead presses, followed by 10 pushups on the barbell. I immediately jumped back up and repeated the sprint, squat/press, pushup circuit 5 more times.
For the next set I did reverse step back lunges with the barbell, followed by barbell curls as my strength moves (2nd circuit).
By that time, I was pretty gassed! If I had shortened up my sprints to 30 seconds I probably couldn't gone another round but the 60 second sprint intervals are difficult.
The whole point with these workouts is to tax your body, build endurance and strength, and prepare you for doing battle in the Octagon! So these hurricane workouts should only be done once or twice per week.
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Want an even more detailed, step-by-step plan to getting shredded in 21 Days? Check out the 21 Day Fix Extreme Program below for details on carb cycling as well as follow along workouts that will get your ripped in just 21 days. It'll be tough but worth it!
Everyone is throwing around the term “Portion Control” these days and there are all kinds of new gadgets and “concepts” that go with portion control. But as guys we just want to EAT, right? No guy wants to be seen going around with special tupperware or plates---it’s just not macho.
So how is a regular guy supposed to take advantage of all these portion control techniques and does it really work?
I was reading some reviews of the new Beachbody Hammer and Chisel Workout on Amazon.com (because, as a Beachbody Coach I like to do my research and see what others are saying about these programs since I stand behind them) and there were a few comments that I felt I needed to address.
Here's the first review (these are all taken right off of Amazon, some are good but there are very valid points brought up customers, which I wanted to speak to):
"Overall, I liked the workouts but I was disappointed in the program. Most all of the individual workouts were very good, and I was pleasantly surprised by how tough the Chisel days were, but as an overall program it seems poorly designed and underwhelming.
The main issue is that all of the workouts are total body. This is great for calorie burning, but had a couple problems. First, there was a lot of lower body (Iso Strength Chisel was one of the hardest LB workouts I have ever seen), but very little upper body, especially the chisel workouts. However, there was enough upper body to keep you from doing a targeted chest, arms or shoulder workout the next day. So, it is very hard to build upper body muscle, even if you sub in outside workouts. This problem is compounded by the lack of recovery days-you end up doing certain exercises (e.g., pull ups, lunges) several days in a row.
Second, the weights are pretty light throughout. I expected that in Chisel, but the Hammer workouts were also focused on surprisingly light weights. I was expecting more Body Beast style hammer days, but very few of them went heavy, focusing instead on pace, reps, etc... Again, great for overall fitness, but lousy for significant strength building.
I feel like I gained 6-7 good workouts that I can use as part of a larger hybrid program, but I wouldn't follow their calendar if you are interested in gaining strength and size (especially upper body)."
This user does bring up a great point---when you do the first week or two of H & C, it seems like it's all total body exercises and there is quite an adjustment to doing these types of workouts, especially if you are used to the Split Body Part focus of Body Beast. The focus of Hammer and Chisel isn't to just give you a better looking body---it's goal is to increase power, strength, endurance, agility, and athleticism. Beachbody is taking what you did in 21 Day Fix Extreme and Body Beast and taking it to the next level. If you are a Body Beast fan, though, don't worry---I hear there is a Body Beast 2 coming out soon still--this program doesn't replace that.
In regards to the calendar though, it does change up a bit as you get further into the program so trust the workout schedule---the initial week is tough!
I also included a link to the benefits of Total Body Workouts you may not have considered. Yes, Body Beast fans, it may take some getting used to but chances are if you've been doing Body Beast for a while, you may need something to break up the monotony.
Benefits of Total Body Workouts
"...My friend and I purchased this as soon as it came out and started immediately. We have both now completed every workout routine in the program and we are both disappointed. Total body workouts pretty much every day. For me, the workouts are not much of a challenge. I do not truly feel worked by the end. I feel more cardio has been added, there are a ton of leg exercises, and upper body gets left behind some. On the Hammer routines there is more upper body and weights mixed in with the legs. I do prefer the Hammer workouts to the Chisel workouts. Both of us having come from Body Beast are disappointed and already talking about going back to Body Beast and maybe just throwing in some of these workouts to add a little bit of extra cardio. For some people this workout may be great. Someone that has only done 21DF might love this. Someone who is not very active might have a harder time with these workouts. That is why I am giving it 3 starts versus one because I can see how this would be a good overall workout routine for someone who is not used to bodybuilding or not very active. However, for me, it was not a winner and I am disappointed."
I feel I addressed how this is different from Body Beast in the first question so let's tackle the part about the workouts being "easy". Chances are, if you are doing the workouts for the first time, you won't get the maximum effects and results from that particular workout. Just like with any workout, it takes three or four times to really get the feel of the moves, figure out what weight you need to do, and how the moves really fit together.
For example, the first time I did Sagi's Hammer Iso Speed workout, which was the workout they released as the Beachbody OnDemand Sneak Peek, I hated it. I didn't get the point of the Eccentric focused moves followed by the Speed reps. But when you combine after the Chisel Iso Workout, it's much more effective---it works the slow twitch muscles followed by the fast twitch muscles. There's a plan to the madness, but you have to the follow the program to see the bigger picture (plus, having a coach there helps as well)!
Try the workouts a few times before you make a judgement on them, get a feel for the weights, etc. I usually do a few weeks of previewing the workout before I even officially "start" a program.
"I was a huge fan of Body Beast and was very excited to see Sagi back in a new video series. I was extremely disappointed from the moment I started the first workout. This is definitely tailored to a wider audience. Body Beast was a weight intensive workout that focused on specific body parts in each workout. This series is more of a run-of-the-mill full body workout in EVERY video. I would rather just do 21 Day Fix or P90X3 or Insanity. I feel as though Sagi sold-out. I love Sagi, but he has taken a major step back from his day in Body Beast. As for the Chisel workouts, they are not bad by any means. However, again it feels too much like the "standard" workout found in 21 Day Fix and other BeachBody workouts.
In short, there is nothing really different about these workouts or anything that sets them apart enough from the usual full-body cardio half hour workouts.
This will appeal to some people, but for me, a big fan of Body Beast, this was not my cup of tea."
Hey now, lay off of Sagi! LOL! No, he's a Beast and he can take it. And honestly, as I said in the above response, if I just did the Hammer Iso Speed, I could see where this customer is coming from---he has a different "persona" than in Body Beast in some of the workouts. But it's no different than Shaun T---he's not the same trainer in Hip Hop Abs as he is in Insanity, and he's not the same trainer in Focus T25 as he is in Asylum. He's a person just like anyone else and has different sides to him. I think the biggest thing is simply that we've only seen Sagi in one workout program---Body Beast---so we don't have anything else to compare him to.
As far as the other trainers, we've seen Sagi the least compared to the other trainers and I'm glad that Beachbody is utilizing him more. As you see the different sides to Sagi you'll get more comfortable with him in other types of workouts.
Yes, this program is different than Body Beast, P90X3, 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme. What makes this unique is that there are two different trainers that take some of their strengths and you get the best of both worlds.
What I really enjoy about this program is that the focus is total body because from what I've been hearing in the fitness world, you can get results much faster doing Total Body Workouts versus focusing on just curls, presses, etc. However, in trying to locate that research to back this up, I'm still looking! LOL. Sorry!
I also really enjoy the Power Lifting Workout presented by Sagi, which is totally new to the home workouts offered by Beachbody. He goes through it very slowly and teaches it very well. And hey, I also love the fact there is no Yoga, Pilates, etc...
There will be workouts that aren't my favorites, I'm sure, but if you like Sagi and Autumn, and go in with an open mind, try each workout a few times, follow the calendar and the plan, jump in a Challenge Group, and you'll get results!
Yours in Fitness,
P.S. There's still time to join in my next Challenge Group! Register here now! Plus, I can show you how to save $75 on getting started with Hammer and Chisel as well as get one-on-one coaching, meal prep advice, and group accountability to make sure you actually get results with Hammer and Chisel.
I was touching base with one of my clients a week or so ago and she had some awesome results---she had lost 13 lbs, she felt amazing, and had been consistent with her workouts for the past 60 days! She had hit her goal!
But here's the dilemma... Now what?
I've just started reading Yuri Elkhaim's book The All Day Energy Diet and although I didn't much care for his review of Shakeology (you can check out my Soap box talk here), his book is actually really good :)
I've only made it through the first few chapters but so far he's really made a case for limiting grains and gluten, sugar, and even caffeine! Yes, the last one really got me because I typically have 2-3 cups per day, plus a pre-workout drink. And sometimes I have a recovery drink which is a high glycemic, high sugar drink to bring you back after an intense workout.
In case you missed it, here's what I shared on Instagram earlier this afternoon...
So what's the deal with these little boxes? Seems kinda gimmicky doesn't it?
That's what I thought, too...