I’ve been hearing a lot about this New York Times best selling book that promotes a new diet/lifestyle revolution called The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss, also the author of The 4-Hour Workweek. So, I decided to check it out. Before getting too deep into it, I’ve already added his name to the list of authors that keep me in business trying to undo the damage of misleading nutrition advice.
Ferriss is trying to capitalize on what all of us want, a quick fix for slimming down. However, the first red flag of any diet is if it promises results that sound too good to be true or if it looks or sounds too extreme. A few promises from the book include how to gain 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days, losing 20 pounds in 30 days without exercise, and being able to eat 6,000 calories in 12 hours while avoiding fat gain. Each of us respond better to particular eating patterns and foods, however this plan goes against several well-known laws of metabolism and physics while advocating dangerous behaviors that may ultimately be harmful and more than likely unsustainable. There is no magic solution for weight loss. It takes time, motivation, hard work and dedication!
Other claims are made outside of the nutritional arena that I cannot speak to, but I have a hunch they are overhyped as well.
Remember our tips for evaluating popular weight loss diets:
- Avoid extremes – if it looks and sounds extreme, it most likely is
- Avoid extreme weight loss – healthy weight loss over the long term is 1-2 pounds per week
- Avoid extreme calorie restriction – in general, don’t go below 1200 calories per day
- Avoid eating plans/diets that encourage eliminating whole food sources such as whole grains (or non-processed carbs), fruits, nuts and seeds, vegetables and beans/legumes
- Avoid “carefully crafted cocktails” with vitamin/herbal supplements
Is your eating plan right for you? Does it include?
- Foods from various food groups
- The right number of servings from each of those groups
- Food you will enjoy eating for the rest of your life
- Foods you can buy at stores that are convenient for you
- Some of your favorite foods
- Foods that fit your budget and lifestyle
- Promote balance, variety and moderation
As I get further into the book, I will update you on more false, misleading claims and bogus information that will only derail you from the progress you have already made.
Has anyone read this book yet and if so what are your thoughts?
Krista Haynes, R.D.