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I am Giving up

Its been two weeks, down 0 pounds and no change to my TI. I am about to quit this stupid diet.

I am following the guidelines and working out every day 14 days straight for an hour elliptical and weight training alternating arms and legs every other day. How come I am not losing???

I am INCREDIBLY dedicated to the rules and at this point I am more than frustrated.

Here's a normal day:

0-30 minutes from waking, 7:00: 1/3 cup egg whites with 2 whole eggs, 1 cup spinach 1/4 cup pintos. Coffee w/ cinnamon and 2 tbsp whl milk ( cut out the tsp. of stevia this wk)

Gym: 60 min elliptical (burn 640-700 cal), alternate arms/legs + abs on 8-10 diff machines.

11:30 after gym Snack: hard boiled egg.

12:30 Lunch: chic breast on 2 cups spinach tossed with 2 tabls of olive oil and 4 tabls balsamic. 1/2 cup pinto or black beans.

5:00 Dinner: chic breast or 1/2 pd beef, add sugar free salsa, hot sauce, red/green peppers, maybe sour cream, 1-2 cups spinach tossed with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 4 tablespoons balsamic, 1/2 cup blackbeans. 2 glasses red wine with dinner.

I drink close to 3/4 or a gallon of water a day. Include lemons.

Help!Also, can you direct me to page numbers that Tim talks to too much cardio...With great thanks!


The Best Answer

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I am sorry this isn't working, I'm sure it's incredibly frustrating for you.

If you haven't done it yet, I would post up a typical day's meals - what you eat and the amounts. People here might be able to identify what's going wrong.

I do want to mention also that if you have been working out every day for an hour doing cardio, you haven't been following the guidelines. Eating is one half of the deal, the exercise is the other. If you still have the book handy I would reread the sections on effective exercise, and why too much cardio can prevent you from losing weight.

  • Jake commented Mar 5th 2012:

    I can't send you to a page number - I checked out the electronic book from my library on my phone last summer and it expired. But I do have my notes. The exercise notes say:

    "exercise 3 times a week before breakfast. 50 kettlebell swings at least 20 lbs, 20 glut raises, 15 flying dogs." I don't personally do it before breakfast. I think he also said if you do occasional recreational sports in the evening that's fine, but don't do it as part of the "exercise" portion of the 4hb plan.

    Why too much cardio slows fat loss: http://www.androsform.com/2012/02/07/too-much-cardio-shed-fat/ and here: http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/too-much-cardio-followup.... and finally - http://www.daveywaveyfitness.com/cardio/weight-gain-after-cardio-wh...

  • Alane commented Mar 5th 2012:

    Thanks Jake, for all fo your inspiration and sorry to be such a downer. Great articles!!! Do you think I must do kettle bells?

  • Jake commented Mar 6th 2012:

    I didn't add kettlebells for the first month because I was on medical restrictions after surgery, so I'd say no, you don't need them!

    You can do some workouts that work your entire core, like squats and the bird dogs, and planks. And instead of the hour long elliptical, you could do a 20 minute session of HIIT on the machine three times a week (not daily!). Look up tabata intervals for some ideas on timing. The idea isn't to burn as many calories during that one hour as possible, it's to change your metabolism so increases overall during all the hours, which is a major change to what most of us have learned growing up.

All Answers


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Like Jake says, you're exercising too much.

Your not eating enough especially taking into account your workout schedule.

Cut back on the cardio. Even cut it out.

Make sure you get enough protein. 1-1.25 grams protein per lb of lean muscle mass.

Cut the red wine and the sour cream. Make sure there's no added sugar in the balsamic vinegar.

Consider drinking another litre of water.

Start with that for a few weeks and then tweak from there.

Good luck!

  • Alane commented Mar 5th 2012:

    What's a cheap way to find out my lean muscle mass?

  • Jake commented Mar 5th 2012:

    The food advice you're getting is excellent. Tim can handle 2 glasses of wine, but his metabolism is a lot faster than most of ours. I ended up dropping that after the first month or so. Drop the wine, drop the sour cream, the milk, and I'd drop the beans at dinner - you're eating a LOT of beans. 1/4 cup at breakfast and another 1/4 cup at lunch should be plenty. If these changes leave you hungry, switch to more fats to replace the beans. Avocados, nuts in moderation if you are able to do that, or frying things in butter/ghee/coconut oil are good options. You could also switch to darker meat chicken with more fat then chicken breasts.

  • Alane commented Mar 5th 2012:

    Thanks. I thought I was eating too many beans...I'll take your rec Jake. I'll take my work out down to 2-3 a week ( I love the stress relief benefits so I will miss it daily), also cut out sour cream, lemons and wine -how sad. I have the metabolism of a slug so probably was doing harm. Arti, my balsamic had 4g per tablespoon!!! Sabatoge! I bought a new one today, no sugar. Thank you both for your feedback!

  • Rocky commented Mar 6th 2012:

    Before 4HB I would lift weights 4-5 days a week for 1-2 hours a day, plus some cardio and stretching, I was spending 3 hours a day in the gym. The first several weeks of just once or twice a week felt really weird, but now I wonder how I got myself to go that often. Habits can be re-learned; when you're doubting the change just remember you're experimenting and if this isn't working after a month you can always go back to what you were doing.

  • hyperzx commented May 1st 2012:

    @arctichacker, looking at your site for %BF calculation and lean body composition, first off, AWESOME site! and I am looking at buying a caliper soon! there is though an option to input tape measurements to calculate your BF%. How accurate would you say these are compare to the caliper? I tried it and is about 2% higher than my scale %BF calculator (and I don't tend to trust it much). In your opinion, how good/bad is the taper measure calculator compared to caliper numbers?

    btw, big fan of the support and thanks for all the comments!

  • arctichacker commented Mar 5th 2012:

    Get a pair of fat calipers. They're under $10. I use this to calculate my BF% :http://www.linear-software.com/online.html

    They're not the most accurate but for this purpose, they're good enough. They're all I use for tracking my progress now.

  • arctichacker commented Mar 6th 2012:

    @Alane- You can have all the sour cream and wine and whatever else you want on Cheat Day =D

    That sucks about the vinegar. Reading labels is a must! There is sugar and starch added to EVERYTHING!!! :/

    You can do this! You're on the right path for the most part, you just needed some small adjustments.

    If you really need an intense workout, do it your Cheat Day.


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Also wanted to mention you might want to delete the lemon in your water, as well, as fruit is a no-no throughout the week except for cheat day. This, plus the excessive exercise, the wine (he says up to 2 glasses of dry red is allowed per night...is yours dry? I have also read on here where it did halt the progress of some so your body may just not do well with it) plus the couple other things that were mentioned might have just been enough to stall your progress... So sorry for you frustration. You are obviously committed so I hope you will give this another go with a few tweaks. Also, are you adding a cheat day? That is suppose to be very important for results, as well. Best of luck!

  • Alane commented Mar 5th 2012:

    Thanks Zumbaholic (nice handle). I do have a cheat day but I didn't do it right this Sat. I fording eat 30g for breakfast and didn't realize I had to do damage control until after my second meal. :( I'll nail it this weekend.

  • Alane commented Mar 5th 2012:

    * I forgot* spelling.


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Yeah man.....

Less cardio, much more water!!!


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As with other respondents to your issue, I agree with dropping the cardio. If your goal is to lose fat, the slow-carb diet really is only part of the "program." I do 20 minutes of high-intensity cardio twice per week, and I would think Tim may even suggest dropping that. One of the reasons this is called "4-Hour Body" is because Tim does 20 minutes of weight training three times during the SCD, totaling 4 hours per month. No matter what sort of calorie deficit you have with your diet, your body will continue to store your food intake in adipose tissue for fuel because it expects to need it for all the cardio you do. The calorie deficit myth is specifically addressed in the book.

As usual, arctichacker seems to have addressed the couple of small issues with the daily food regiment you posted. I would also warn against the sour cream. I am still kind of a newbie here, but I believe in Tim. Read through the slow carb chapters again, paying specific attention to the exercises (both those suggested, and those he warns to limit). And especially adhere to doing cheat day. If you miss cheat day, your body will turn off the fat-burning switch. Just remember to do damage control. I know its a lot, but its worth it.

Lastly, are you able to take PAGG as suggested? He warns of some medical issues that prevent PAGG use in the notes, but if you are otherwise healthy I would recommend it.


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Hi. Sorry you're having trouble with this. I have been on for several months and lose very slowly but I've lost over 20 lbs. now. For me, I discovered I absolutely cannot have tomatoes or I won't lose--so you might want to try cutting the salsa. Secondly, milk is a no-no, except for heavy cream. I have 2T of heavy cream in my coffee pretty much every day and do fine with that.

You also seem to be eating a lot more towards the end of the day. I weight my food the opposite: big breakfast; medium lunch; light dinner. Good luck!

  • Alane commented Mar 5th 2012:

    I will try these tweaks and let you know! Thanks for your feedback!


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Add some meat to breakfast (30g is pivotal)

Cut out the excess cardio (read this part in the book again, there is a very clear piece on it)

Cut out the milk and sour cream (no dairy?!?)

It may take more than 2 weeks to work.

  • Alane commented Mar 5th 2012:

    Thanks Beorne. I keep reading the 4HB page on the guy that ate Chipotle very day and included sour cream and cheese so I keep thinking I can have it. I'll make a change and be more PATIENT. ( not my forte especially since I have a lot of weight to shed)

  • Beorn86 commented Mar 6th 2012:

    One more q, are you female/have you had children? If so, it is particularly important to be patient due to the 5-6 week threshold. Best of luck


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Sounds like too much exercise. I know how hard that is to believe when you ate devoted to working out , but give it up for one week and see if you get results.

  • Alane commented Mar 6th 2012:

    Thanks PC. I have to retrain myself. I am addicted to watching the calories burned on these machines at the gym yet this diet isn't built on the calories. I appreciate the help and the encouragement. :)

  • Rocky commented Mar 6th 2012:

    The where was a part in the book where Tim mentioned the machines 'calorie counters' and he showed some math the difference between not doing the hour of cardio and adding it in was 7 calories! Because the machine is taking into account your resting caloric burn. Don't trust those machines!


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Did you end up sticking it out or quitting? I would love to hear about your journey.

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