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Get Back on Track: Create your Harajuku Moment

I read a question earlier this week I planned to answer, but I can't find it now so I'll answer it here since I've seen a few similar questions.

The question was a statement about after being on vacation or having a cheat day or two they were having trouble stopping the cheating.

A big part of this is psychological. Here's why...if you've seen some success on the diet - lost 5-20 lbs and then cheated/fell off/went on vacation and then gained any portion of that back most likely you're going to put off getting back on track because you feel any "pain" or trouble you go through isn't worth it because losing the weight is only temporary. It can all be easily undone by a week off or something. So what's the point in starting again?

You need to get to the point of lasting change and commitment.

If you find yourself promising one more bowl of ice cream before you start or stuffing down one last hamburger----you're still associating losing weight to pain. You need to put yourself in a state where NOT losing weight NOT getting back on the diet is Pain. And Following the Plan and being Healthy is Pleasure.

The first thing you want to do to get back on track is to put yourself back in the state of what made you start in the first place---assuming that state was a "Harajuku Moment". For me what led me to lose 70 lbs in 3 months was several compounding events that all occurred just before Tim sent me the book. I literally thought if I didn't change I would die. And I knew how good I would feel and look when I changed.

The easiest thing I would recommend doing is going back and reading "Harajuku Moment" and "From Photos to Fear" in the book. Those are both great starting points. Retake those photos. Retake those measurements. Then as well look at all the progress you've made so far and what will happen if you completely go off the wagon and never get on track Imagine yourself seriously becoming 10 times as unhealthy and overweight as you are now. Then imagine the opposite side---all the reasons you want to change. The good and the bad.

Next you want to reset your goal. You probably wrote it down the first time. So write it down again. And this time---if you haven't set a "threshold' a top weight that you will allow. For me it's 180 lbs. If I'm over 180lbs I start to imagine all the hard work going out the door. (I picked this number because it's my maximum muscle potential at 6% bf---so whatever bf% I'm at 180 is the max.).



Being healthy isn't a diet. This is a way of life.

When I was first losing weight I would set a target weight for each week (similar to the graph example in the book). This target weight determined when or if I could cheat---not the day of the week. If I didn't reach that weight by Saturday, I would skip my cheat day and continue on until I got 1-2 lbs below the weight before I would cheat (as I never allowed myself to go back above the line.)

The 3rd thing you want to do---if you can afford it is get PAGG. PAGG is incredibly helpful in getting you back on track because it kills the cravings---and momentum is what you need right now. Seriously it kills cravings like no bodies business.

Next recommit to the rules. Reread the chapter if you need to. And Start with a big breakfast. Go back to the basics. Whenever I've gotten off track---it's always been when I've added something new into the equation (ie exercise, running, weight lifting, Intermittent fasting, dropped the legumes). Go shopping and stock up on the good food you need and throw out the bad food---(if you eat it with the attitude of "one last treat" --- you're still not at the point where your change will last.

Once you've gotten to the big breakfast you should be back on track. 30g protein.

You're going to have to continually recommit yourself to new goals and challenges as you progress. When it stopped being a new fresh game for me---is when I got off track for a moment. Sometimes I'd remedy that by adding a new variable. Be sure to go back and read the chapters on fat loss (if that's your focus). It's probably been several months since you've read it and it will rekindle your desire. Also check out one or two other chapters you maybe didn't read---there is good info that could help you scattered through out.

If you don't read anything else, just get started again.

Leave Your Best and Most Helpful Tips Below on How you've gotten back on track or been able to stay motivated after several months. Are there ways you've been able to "manufacture your own 'Harajuku Moment' ??


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Hey Justin, I think this was in response to my question...

My (Re-)Harajuku Moment was when my pants started feeling tight again. I remember feeling so proud that the pants that used to be so uncomfortable were now hanging off my hips like I was playing dress-up. I went down a size in a week and then those pants were getting loose.

My extended cheat day threw that all out the window. It was disappointing and there was no one else to blame but myself.

So here I go again!

  • ajgoldman commented Aug 13th 2011:

    I have been on Four Hour Body for about two months now, and I was a person who ate dessert every night and cappuccinos every day. I do not miss either. I don't even think about it most of the time anymore.

    For me, the real shock has been the result of two recent vacations. I was freaked out that I gained the weight back after an extended week of overeating. I tried to eat proper meals when possible, but ate plenty of off-limits food including one night of lots of chocolate. I lost it all after a few days of going back to 4HB, This has convinced me that this is a lifestyle choice. I can cheat here and there or go on vacation and still get back to my diet.

    In also weigh myself every day. Knowledge is power. It's easier to lose just a couple of lbs.

  • justin commented Aug 13th 2011:

    clothing is definitely a good wake-up call I got rid of my thin clothes 1 month before I started. After I lost all the weight I got rid of all my fat clothes. I ended up with only one pair of jeans ---that i kept up with a belt and some loose shorts---when those shorts got tight. time to get back on.

  • justin commented Aug 13th 2011:

    I've gained back some fat twice ---so the above is what I put myself through more or less each time.

  • justin commented Aug 13th 2011:

    and you made a good point---getting to the point where you have no one to blame but yourself is important.

All Answers


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Respect - well put, Justin.

A full length mirror is a great tool for keeping on track. Put one somewhere you will have to see yourself naked at least once/day (bathroom, bedroom, closet, etc).

While you are sticking to the plan, this moment of your day will be inspiring: you should be able to see constant progress while your fat stores decrease, muscle size increases, and overall body tone improves. I know for me, I have literally broke down laughing on a few instances due to how good I looked to myself compared with how I have looked my whole life up until current. Not a single time in the past ~10 years of various exercise and diet programs have I been able to reach or maintain visibly defined abs - and slow-carb has been the easiest "diet" to follow out of all of them, and requires such minimal work out effort to get there. Hell, even if you never break down laughing, it will at least put a smile on your face.

If you ever start to stray off track, this moment will be daunting: the mirror will quickly show you the negative changes straying is having on your body.

Just promise yourself you will never move the mirror, and will always look at yourself in it. Promises are infallible, so breaking one to yourself is destroying your own integrity.

  • justin commented Aug 13th 2011:

    good points for staying on track. also keeping a buddy---and just watching that graph go down every day is motivating. Taking the pictures each week---or even a new picture is a way to recommit. i've been writing down everything I eat for almost 9 months now LOL. I think taking the pictures of your food for a week when I started out created some good momentum.

  • justin commented Aug 13th 2011:

    and SCD is so simple it's crazy. it almost seems too easy to lose weight on it---which can be another excuse to fall off for a few days -- that I got to watch out for.

  • TheIronWil commented Nov 29th 2011:

    Usually the simplest things are the hardest so its good to see postings like this to keep things in perspective.


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Great post! I really appreciate your insight. For me, I generate Harajuku Moments by looking at web sites that show people whom have lost 100 pounds or more. Knowing it is not only possible but inevitable that I will lose weight by following a slow carb diet keeps me motivated. I look at people who have lost 100 pounds or more and think, "Heh, they did it, I can, too." I have lost 100 pounds thus far and I am working on the last 40 pounds. Thanks to Tim's book, it is all possible! All it takes is patience and commitment.

  • justin commented Aug 13th 2011:

    great job! who is your favorite example? one for me early on was actually watching 'The biggest Loser'. It wasn't motivating---but it was a wakeup call. When I realized the guy who won---had started out the same weight I was at the time. I got pissed off. I didn't even know I was fat. HA. But even that still didn't motivate me to do anything.

  • Britt commented Aug 13th 2011:

    I don't look to one example in particular. Here is the page I go to frequently: http://www.shapefit.com/weight-loss-success-stories-100-149.html Kinda cheezy web design but really inspiring stories. I like seeing that tens of people (at least) have done the same thing. I'll never meet any of these people but they inspire me, nonetheless.

  • messica25 commented Nov 29th 2011:

    That's a great site, thanks!

  • Jake commented Nov 30th 2011:

    As hokey as it may sound, the story in this video helps to keep me motivated: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7X38PCf7kao

    I still have days I cheat a little or fall off the wagon, but then I come back to how badly do I want to be fit? Do I want to be successful at this more than I want to use the vanilla coffee creamer?


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Justin, thanks so much for this post.

I've been on the SCD since Oct and I've already passed my original goal of dropping from a size 12 to a 6 and went from 32%bf to 21%bf in about 2.5 months.

But since then I've become a bit lazy about maintenance and also refueling my motivation to keep going.

Its like I need a new harajuku moment and also a new goal.

I had yet to set them and my cheat days were turning into cheat "weekends" and then into cheat "3-day weekends" etc ... you get the picture. :)

I've stayed at a 6 but I know if I don't start moving forward ill soon be very disappointed and will probably bee inthe same boat in a couple months that I started out in.

Your very well thought out post helped remind me to get back on track and be excited again and to really go for a goal with motivation and a sincere desire to care well for my body.

Now I'm going to work towards two goals :

1. Lose another 10lbs and down to 18%bf

2. Do 5 consecutive pullups without a band (so far I can just do 1 very awkwardly but at least I get up there)

Really, thanks again for your insight!!

  • justin commented Jan 12th 2012:

    Pull-ups are really about body weight. I remember 1st time I hit 5 pull-ups. I could only do one. I dropped 5 lbs and the end of the week I did 5. So keep plugging along. You can do negatives in the meantime. (jump up let yourself down slowly).

    Also I think this is a pretty good article, for those who have lost a bunch of fat and find themselves slowly gaining it back:



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go to the doctor!

I always get a physical every year and last September my doc failed to inform me that my blood glucose was 170, diabetes range. I started feeling diabetic symptoms, but figures it was just aging, every body says it is!

I finally decided to go in, my Blood glucose was 285, blood pressure 142/80. I has a fungus infection which was persistent due to the sugar in me.

My harajuku moment was created when they branded me type 2 diabetic and prescribed me pills!

I knew about Atkins and glycemic loads and clean eating, but since I had kept my cholesterol, blood pressure and sugar under control with exercise and limiting bad foods I figures I was OK.

I spoke to my Boss and he recommended the 4 hour body! I am 4 weeks in to it and have lost 15 lbs (265 at doctors), my blood glucose was below 120 in 5 days and after one more week below 100, and has stayed between 80 and 100 since. yesterday I donated blood and my Blood pressure was 117/72, mind you I was a little nervous about feeding the vampires.

so what i recommend is if you are having health issues, go see the doc!


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Thank you so much for this. So true. I started SCD (again) with wanting that "last treat" but now after a month, I am invested in my success, the treat can wait. :) If we think about it, treats will ALWAYS be there.

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