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on January 27, 2011
I would say that 2/3 of the book really appeals to me, and the other 1/3 does not, and yet I feel like the $24 I spent on this 500 page beast of a book was well worth the price. From reading some reviews and discussion surrounding this book, I've come to realize that a lot of people really seem to hate it and its author Timothy Ferriss. I've seen him being accused of hacking Amazon's rating system (check the article comments on TechCrunch) and it's been said that he's nothing more than a sleazy marketer who knows how to talk up a room. As for the book, there are some people who write it off as being "nothing new" or full of unsubstantiated claims. I'd venture a guess that 99% of those people haven't actually read it. The book does make a lot of bold claims, some which may seem unbelievable (gain 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days by only working out for 60 minutes per week? Yeah, right!) at first, but then become more plausible as you delve deeper into the book.

This is one of those books that has a little bit of something for everybody, and is not intended to be read from front to back. There are sections on how to build muscle, how to lose fat, how to get a 6-pack, and even how to improve your sex life.

I've learned a lot from reading this book, and one of the most important things I've come to realize is that what you eat, and when you eat it, matters a lot more than how many hours you spend on the treadmill. Exercise is obviously important, but ultimately it's all about what you eat. You can go to the gym everyday, run 60 minutes on the treadmill and lift a bunch of weights, but if you go home and eat a bunch of packaged foods and drink a keg of beer, you're going to get fat. Eating the right stuff at the right times throughout the day can really help you out, and help you reach your goals.

Some other things I've learned, had reconfirmed, or changed about my day-to-day life:

- Don't drink calories. Pop, juice and even milk are mostly just empty calories. Drink lots of water, and some green tea and a glass of red wine doesn't hurt.
- Eat carbs, but only after you've just worked out.
- Mixed nuts such as cashews, Brazil nuts, and almonds are great snacks and are full of stuff that is good for you.
- Vegetables are good for you, and should comprise the biggest chunk of your meal. Start with vegetables, then add protein.
- Fish > Chicken > Beef
- Eat a high-protein and carb meal within 30 minutes of finishing your workout.
- Don't eat a lot of dairy products. Cheese and milk might taste good, but they're not all that healthy for you. You can get the calcium and vitamins from nuts and fish instead.

There's a lot of information in this book, and it is actually a bit overwhelming. Anyone who's spent time in the gym or has even a bit of education in human kinetics will probably find a lot of the material is just rehashing things they already know. That being said, Ferriss' gift is that he puts it all in an easy-to-follow framework, with short chapters told through engaging stories. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in their own well-being and actually wants to think about what they eat and how to get the most out of a workout.
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on February 16, 2011
Well, one week into using this book with a focus on rapid fat-loss, I am down 5 lbs. That includes one binge day and six strict days. 15 lbs. to go and then I'll be focussing on muscle gain. The book is laid out so you only need to read the chapters necessary to accomplish your own personal goals. 4 chapters for rapid fat loss, a few chapters for rapid muscle gain, more chapters for optimum fitness. Cool concept that works, so I'm recommending it so far. More opinion to come later as I tackle more goals.
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on April 19, 2011
Love this book, it`s my bible now.
Sure the ways to lose body fat is eating repetitive meals but hey, it works.
I`m not too sure about avoiding fruits 6 days a week so
be sure to add multi-vitamins supplements if you`re following the fat-loss diet.
Make sure you drink plenty of water and most of all, feel great. (ok now i sound like some tv-advertiser lol)
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on August 12, 2011
Ferriss' book is easy to read, well organized and interesting enough that it usually can't be put down before finishing a chapter. So many of his plans seem so simple and yet they work so well. I especially like that Ferriss never tags plans as "his ideas": he observes and listens carefully to others and pounces when he sees something he'd like to test. The book is honest and real with no nonsense rules for losing weight, sleeping and getting stronger. I've been quoting it for weeks, trying to convince everyone I know to eat protein for breakfast.
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on January 11, 2011
I recently received this book as a gift (but had been planning to buy it anyway) and am very pleased with it so far.

As has been noted in other reviews, the book is not one that is intended to be read cover to cover. So far, I have implemented just one piece of advice from the book, and that was to eat two tablespoons of almond butter before bed to make waking up easier by combating low blood sugar. As someone who would wake up at 11 am if left to my own devices and still feel tired, I was thrilled with the results! I had an excellent night's sleep and woke more refreshed than I have in years.

Though I have yet to implement them, the chapters on muscle gain make sense for a hard-gainer like myself. The advice is very similar to what is written in Scrawny to Brawny, which I know from experience works for slight-of-build folk.

From my own experience so far, I would say this book does what it states and would recommend it.
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on May 8, 2014
I really enjoyed reading this book and have adopted a lot of Tim Ferriss' advice. That said, a lot has to be taken with a grain of salt - or, better yet, just testing it out to see what works for you because everyone is different.

The most intriguing to me was his approach to weekly cheat days, in particular how to binge without negative effects. A summary from conscientiousintrovert.wordpress.com follows:

Tim Ferris already does an amazing job of condensing key info so I won’t summarize his whole 4-Hour Body book. However, I find his advice on how to binge one day a week very interesting. His main recommendations follow:

1. Minimize insulin release by blunting jumps in blood sugar.

First meal of the day should have 30+ grams of protein with insoluble fibre, i.e. legumes. This is the only meal that won’t be a binge; it will be closer to 300-500 calories.
Consume a small amount of grapefruit juice before the second meal for its fructose.
Consume lime or lemon juices for citrus.
2. Consume caffeine (100-200 mg or 1-2 cups of coffee) with the biggest binges to help empty the GI quickly.

3. Do 60-90 seconds of muscular contractions (i.e. squats or even just tensing leg muscles while sitting) before and after eating. This is expected to help fuel muscle instead of fat.

Bonus: cultivate healthy gut flora with fermented foods and probiotics.
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on May 5, 2016
Great little book. Ok, it's a great, great big book. When used as suggested by the author it is an easy read. I don't see why some others are complaining about it. Tim Ferriss says right up front that his ideas 'might' work for you as they have worked for him, his family and quite a few other people. There are no guarantees even if you follow his plans to the letter. I'm on my second read through and picking up things I wasn't paying attention to the first time. Some naysayers claim he doesn't back up his ideas with studies and facts. Unless I have a different copy of the book, it is rife with links to studies for everything he discusses. I don't even care if you read it or not based on my review, but I intend to put some of his ideas to good use. Definitely NOT the same old diet and exercise ideas we all have heard enough of. Thanks.
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on February 20, 2011
My husband and I have been on the slow carb diet from 4HB for 3 weeks now and are very much enjoying it. What I love about Timothy Ferriss is that he's taking eating and exercising in a new direction, getting maximum results with the minimum amount of effort. To all the naysayers out there: Don't knock it until you've tried it.

I would like to add that my husband and I love the food we are able to eat; things like a simple steak salad with home-made guacamole, black beans, salsa and cilantro. Mmmmmm..... I can honestly say I have yet to feel deprived on this "diet". I have a hard time thinking of it as a diet as I am very much enjoying the meals and never go hungry. It took a bit of tweaking at first, but Tim isn't kidding when he says have 30 grams of protein within an hour of waking up, and if you're hungry throughout the day eat more beans with each meal. Re-fried organic black beans go great on eggs with a fresh slice of tomato! I thought for sure I'd experience some sort of withdrawal symptoms, at least in the first week, from giving up dessert every day and white sugar in my tea, and not to mention pasta! But to my complete surprise I had no problem with the transition. No cravings! I can only surmise it's because my body is still getting exactly what it needs, as long as I make sure to eat enough at each meal, and not skimp on the protein (or beans!). I think drinking black chai tea helps with the sugar cravings.

I love cheat day, as it's fun to eat chocolate guilt-free, but what we've found is that we don't go as crazy as we thought we would. It's basically our day to have a bowl of pasta, maybe pizza, or yummy Italian sandwich. I'm looking forward to having French Toast later today! But I have to say, I'm already craving a healthy green salad!
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on December 16, 2010
We are constantly criticizing ourselves for not having enough discipline when we are unable to accomplish our goals. That has caused a lot of depression, especially in North America!

We look to leaders in the field or people who have already accomplished goals we are looking to accomplish. So, we read books, watch their videos, attend their seminars and so on. Even if we follow instructions to the letter, we sometimes fail.

It's not entirely our fault. We are obediently following instructions! We can't all be lacking in discipline to such a large extent!

A lot of people at higher positions are afraid to tell the truth because of their reputation, or fear of being banned and so on. And so they just reiterate what everyone else has been touting! For example, you have to do a lot of cardio and reduce your daily caloric consumption if you want to lose weight etc.

That's where Tim Ferriss comes in! He is not afraid to speak his mind and tell it as it actually is. He says it's because he has nothing to lose! He is not a PhD where his colleagues may shun him out either!

Remember the 80/20 rule! 20% of the steps are responsible for 80% of results. But a lot of us give up because we are trying to go by 100% rule! We must take 100% of the steps needed. But that's fine if we are trying to be experts in something. But we can be quite good, even great at something if we learn the most important steps and ignore the rest of the fluff!

He makes everything quite simple. From gaining muscle, losing fat, and improving your sex life, he outlines his straight forward and simple methods and also stories of real people who have followed those methods.
I have been reading his blog for the past few years and I remember when he was asking all of his readers if we were willing to be guinea pigs for his experiments so I am quite sure stories in his book are legit!
And best of all, everything is quite simple!

And the book also reads like a story book. He also throws his own personality in there that makes reading and learning a lot more fun.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
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on February 26, 2011
So far the ideas in this book have been very interesting. Ferris challenges you to throw out your old out ideas and misconceptions of what you have to do to improve your body. Very informative and a lot of new ideas and old ideas that need to be looked at differently.
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