4 Hour Body video and photos

4 Hour Body book

In the middle of January 2011 I bought the US edition of the book The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss which was published in the US in December 2010, and at the end of January 2011 in the UK.

I started reading it right away and loved Tim’s style. I began his ‘slow carbs diet’ a few days later.

This works as follows…

For 6 days a week I do not eat any cereals, milk, wheat, grain, potatoes, fruit or rice. Instead, for breakfast I have 2 boiled eggs, baked beans, steamed spinach, and baba ganoosh (aubergine salad), with Lo Salt (potassium chloride).

For lunch I have a veg curry (no rice) with a chicken drumstick, or a can of tuna in tomato sauce with Thai red paste. That kind of thing.

For dinner I have tenderloin steak with green veg, salmon steak with veg, or chicken casserole with veg.

One day a week, as per Tim’s book, I binge…

Breakfast: muesli, Cheerios and Special K with soya milk; Marmite (Vegemite-like) on brown bread toast; tea with full fat milk.

Snacks: chocolate bar, biscuit (cookie), rice cracker, fresh fruit juice.

Lunch: a buffet lunch at a local hotel: lots of different meats, salad, rice, dates stuffed with almonds, mango mousse, fresh fruit, black forest gateau, etc

Dinner: similar to the rest of the week, but with brown rice or potatoes; fruit-flavoured yoghurt.

Supper: a cup of tea with full fat milk and 3 Chocolate Hob Nob biscuits (cookie)

Tim says the binge day is very important – so my body doesn’t adjust as a result of the diet and change my metabolism.

THEN… I do one exercise which takes 5 minutes maximum, 3 times a week as detailed below. That’s it.

I have used my iPhone 4 to log my progress using the Weightbot app ($1.99 / £1.19). This is what it looks like when I load it and enter my latest weight…

Weightbot-iPhone

 

This is what you see if you turn the iPhone anticlockwise: weight loss of 4.1kg (9 pounds), from starting at  66.7 kilos (10 stone 9 pounds). It shows that, at 62.6 kilos, I’m 0.6kg away from achieving my weight goal of 62kg (137 pounds; 9 stone 11 pounds), with 6 days left to go…

Weightbot-iPhone-2

Before I met my wife I weighed around 9 stone 11 pounds: my goal weight. I was vegetarian, though almost vegan as I rarely ate cheese, eggs or milk. A few years later I was eating a fair amount of meat, and eating more dairy, as that is my wife’s diet, which suits her body type and metabolism. However I’ve never been into sports or any physical activity which burns calories so, not surprisingly, with my largely sedentary lifestyle, my weight mushroomed to 11 stone 8 pounds (162 pounds 73.5 kilos), and stayed around 11-11.5 stone for the next several years.

I can’t remember when my weight went down to 10.5 stone (147 pounds / 67 kilos), but it stayed there for about 2 years until I began this diet.

As a result of this diet I now weigh 24 pounds (11 kilos) less than at my peak.

And here are 4 graphs shown side by side so you can see my weight loss from the middle of January when I started, and into Feb, March and half-way through April when I had pretty much reached my ideal weight. These graphs appear when you turn the iPhone clockwise, and you swipe to move between each screen.

I’ve had to shrink the third and fourth images vertically as Weightbot changed the scale. At least you can see the steady progress downwards to my target weight…

Weightbot-iPhone-3

Here are those 4 graphs, shown 2 at a time, so you can see them better…

Weightbot-iPhone-4

Weightbot-iPhone-5

What you will notice in the above screen grabs is the way my weight went up and down a fair bit, caused by my binge days on Fridays.

Tim talks about exercise and doing the MED: the Minimum Effective Dose. He recommends doing a simple exercise with a 40-pound (18 kilos) kettlebell. I didn’t own one, and neither does the gym at the Hilton Hotel in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, where I live with my family. So I use a set of dumbbells instead.

I took one look at the 40-pound ones and thought, “No way.” I started with a 9-kg (20 pounds) weight. That was enough for me! (Boy, my thighs ached for about 3 days after doing this simple exercise for the first time. But I never experienced any pain apart from a dull lower back pain, which lasted for the next week before stopping completely.)

Several days after I started this routine, I moved up to 25 pounds, and stayed with that for about 3 weeks, then progressed to 30 pounds.

Here are 2 photos of me doing the exercise with 30 pounds, at the bottom of the lift, and at the top. I do 3 sets of reps. For each set I lift the bells to the top position as many times as I can until my arms give in. Then I rest to get my breath and strength back by looking at top news stories on my iPhone, before doing the next set of reps and the next. At the moment I do about 90 reps in all per session, which I do 3 times a week…

Chris dumbbells

And here is a video which my 11-year-old son Toby filmed, with his voice at the end…

As I said above, I do 90 of these in all. I soon moved up to 35 pounds, then to 40 pounds. At first I could only lift the weight 20-25 times before my arms gave in, but now I can do as many as 60.

I should really have moved up to 45 pounds several weeks ago but my local gym doesn’t have 45, 50 or 55 pounds – the next weight is 60 pounds. I lifted that for a number of weeks, then stopped as I felt it is too much of a jump to lift.

One final thing… I popped into the main post office in April, and said hello to one of the young female Emirati staff who works there who I’m friendly with. Her first comment was “You’ve lost weight!” I don’t know how she could tell as I wear a loose-fitting short-sleeved shirt every day, which isn’t tucked in. She wanted to know how I’d done it so she and her friend wrote down The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss on a scrap of paper! :)

It’s now July, and I weigh 61.7kg (9 stone 10 pounds / 136 pounds) which is below my original target weight.

A young Filipino woman who works in the bread section at the local Lulu hypermarket, said the other day, “You’ve become thin now, sir.”

It will be interesting to see what happens to my weight while I’m in the UK for 5 weeks until the middle of August, surrounded by treats!