The 4-Hour Body Million-Pound March (and $1,000,000 Pot)


Many readers have lost 150+ pounds using The Slow-Carb Diet®. How can you lose at least 4%?

What if you could make dieting failure-proof? What if I could guarantee that you’d lose that last handful of abdominal fat?

Today marks my best attempt to do just that. The target is to collectively lose 1,000,000 pounds of fat in the next 28 days. Along with it, I’d like to offer a $1,000,000 pot — one of several incentives.

Based on behavioral change research (by people like Stanford’s BJ Fogg), as well as my own experimentation with thousands of readers, there are three critical ingredients typically missing from dieting:

- Stakes — Some type of loss-aversion and real accountability
- Rewards — Reinforcement from support groups and finances
- Minimalism — Doing the least necessary, not the most possible. The latter fails quickly.

I’ve checked off all three personally many times. Exhibit A: Fat “Peanut Butter Sandwiches” Tim versus current Tim:

But now it’s time to check off all three on a massive scale. I’ve never seen it done before, and that’s exciting.

From 10/23 to 11/16 — Game Time

For the next four weeks, from Tuesday, October 23rd to Friday, November 16th, I’m partnering with Lift and DietBet to create The 4-Hour Body Challenge.

When you diet alone, nobody’s holding your feet to the fire. There’s nothing stopping you from saying, “I’ll do it next month.” But when you compete with others, especially with money on the line, it focuses you on a goal like nothing else. It’s strict accountability wrapped in a game.

Here are the steps and prizes…

Step 1: Lift

Download Lift if you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod (Android users, keep reading). Search for “4HB.” To search, click on the plus sign here:

Then, sign up for whichever 4HB habits you want. See the six below, The Slow-Carb Diet® being the most important. With no real promotion, the number of participants has exploded in our last 48 hours of testing:

If you’re on Android, you can use The 4-Hour Body App (though it has less community built-in), and all the below steps still apply. This challenge is designed for Lift but doesn’t require it.

Optional Step 2: DietBet

Optional but HIGHLY recommended: Sign up for The 4-Hour Body DietBet.

Even if you use a diet not in The 4-Hour Body, this is a powerful tool you can leverage for your own 4-week challenge. Vegans, paleo die-hards, and everyone in between — you’re all invited.

Studies have established that people work incredibly hard to avoid losing money. Much harder, in fact, than they will work to earn it. On this page, you can put your money where your mouth is.

To compete, players each add $50 to the pot, which is divided up among the “winners” at the end of the game. DietBetting is not winner-take-all like The Biggest Loser. Instead, everyone who loses at least 4% of their starting weight will get an equal share of the pot. DietBet supplies referees to verify weights using a photo-based weigh-in process.

If we can get 20,000 total people, which is totally achievable, that’s $1,000,000.

Here’s how the pot breaks down:

- 85% of the total is divided among the winners
- 5% goes to DietBet itself for credit card fees, etc.

- 10% would have gone to me but will instead be donated to The Gazzaley Lab, a cognitive neuroscience research lab at the University of California, San Francisco focused on studying the neural mechanisms of memory and attention, and how we might intervene therapeutically to alleviate memory and attention deficits.

DietBetting works. People, even wealthy people, keep their promises not to lose $50.

Since its launch in January, 33% of players have hit or exceeded their 4% weight-loss target, winning cash. On average, winners end up losing more than 8 pounds, roughly two pounds per week.

I think The 4-Hour Body team can beat all of those averages. If you’re up for some minimal stakes, which is massively to your benefit, sign up here.

Step 3: Educate Yourself

Use all the free tools and support at your disposal.

As a starting point, consider the forum 4HBTalk, which is extremely active with advice and community. Also be sure to read my previous posts on basics, like “How to Lose 100 Pounds on The Slow-Carb Diet” (features pics and case studies).

Of course, if you want to get uber-serious, I’d suggest reading The 4-Hour Body.

Optional Step 4: Automate Meals

If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’m piloting a Slow-Carb Diet® meal delivery service, licensed with permission to Evolution Meals.

There are only about 30 new slots per week available (it’s beta, after all), so first come, first served. You can sign up here. You can use code “SCD15” for $15 off your first order (no expiration date).

If you’re interested in licensing The Slow-Carb Diet® or its related trademarks, please fill out this form. Serious inquiries only, please.

Last but Not Least…

For the people who have the most amazing before-and-after transformations (take “before” pictures or you’ll regret it!), I’ll have many cool opportunities. There could be dozens of you involved.

The opps are top-secret for now, but they’ll be good.

For the one person who loses the most bodyfat percentage points (not necessarily total weight) by November 16th, I have another prize. I will fly you from anywhere in the world to San Francisco for a day with me, all expenses paid. We can hike Mt. Tam, check out my favorite restaurants, talk business, visit hot start-ups, grab drinks with my close friends… whatever you’d like. If it’s a weekend, I’ll also cover your hotel and meals for a second day of beautiful SF.

How to measure bodyfat?

I’d prefer that you use the most accurate tools, such as the below. Many of the above can be found at high-end gyms or nearby hospitals. No matter what, you must use the same tool (and ideally the same person) for your “before,” progress, and “after” measurements.

The most accurate tools:

BodPod (pay per session)
DEXA or DXA (pay per session)
Hydrostatic weighing (dunk tank) (pay per session)
Skin fold calipers – MUST use at least 7 points and ideally the Jackson-Pollock algorithm (pay per session)
BodyMetrix Personal (purchase) – This is the handheld ultrasound device that is used by the New York Yankees, AC Milan, and yours truly. It plugs into your laptop via USB. For 25% off of this device (so $100+ off), use code 4HOURBODY at checkout.

If you can’t find or afford any of these, just do your best to capture progress. For instance:

- Take good “before” pics (front, side, back) and weekly progress pictures.
- Take tape measure measurements before starting, then each week, per The 4-Hour Body instructions:

Get a simple tape measure and measure four locations: both upper arms (mid-bicep), waist (horizontal at navel), hips (at widest point below waist), and both legs (mid-thigh). Total these numbers to arrive at your Total Inches (TI). Changes in this total will be meaningful enough to track.

Regardless, eat smart (90% of fat loss), train well (10% of fat loss), and be safe, of course.

So what are you waiting for? Download Lift, sign up for the DietBet here if you can, and let’s get to losing 1,000,000 pounds!

That’s three entire blue whales, by the way. Or 35,714 honey badgers.

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Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration)

243 comments on “The 4-Hour Body Million-Pound March (and $1,000,000 Pot)

  1. Not sure where to post the results so will post them here:

    October 24, 2012
    BF%: 30.1 (Bioimpedance)
    Weight: 241.2
    Inches: 184.1

    November 16, 2012
    BF%: 26.6 (Bioimpedance)
    Weight: 225.8
    Inches: 175.6

    Bioimpendance is not the best measurement but it is what I had around. I also took before and after pics, however when I uploaded them to the 4HB app, it took them out of my camera roll library…. So it appears they are stuck in there. If anyone knows how to “unload” the pics from there that would be helpful, or perhaps it is a bug. If I am able to extricate them I’ll post a link.

    Either way, I am happy with the results and will keep on working it. Thanks for the contest Tim. Let us know if there are any next steps!

  2. Hello :)
    I just bought the 4 Hour Body book.
    I’m uplifted by the book, but a little disappointed to find that the links to all the wonderful additional resources don’t work…
    Is there any other way I can access the links please?
    Best regards,

    • Me too!

      Is there anywhere that I can find all the wonderful resources online mentioned in the book?

      I’m now completely hooked on the Tim Ferriss life philosophy and want to devour as much as I can.

  3. Hi all. I started out at 130 after two days of “freestyle eating” and this morning weighed in at 121. My measurements (girth total) went from 206 to 195, and my body fat percentage dropped from 25% to 20.5%. Woo-hoo!

  4. Here’s my results for the body fat challenge part of things: 5.8%

    Details are as follows:

    My Diet Bet Profile where I’m tracking everything:

    Oct 25th- 33% Body Fat – Picture here from my dietbet:

    Biceps (both combined) 31 in.
    Waist 51 in.
    Hips 45 in.
    Legs (both combined) 58 in.
    Chest (bonus measurement) 51 in.

    Nov 16th – 27.2% Body Fat – Picture proof (taken about an hour ago):

    Biceps (both combined) 29 in.
    Waist 48 in.
    Hips 44 in.
    Legs (combined) 54 in.
    Chest (bonus measurement) 47 in.

    Total Inches lost including from my chest: 14.
    Total Inches without chest measurements: 10.
    Total lbs lost to date: 15.4
    Total body fat % lost: 5.8%

    Some progress pictures (missing this most current week, but will have those in just a few minutes):

    I’ve been doing weekly pictures on my dietbet profile, but I have much higher resolution stuff from the entire process if you want. Hope this is enough to qualify me for the contest!

  5. What’s the real date for the end? Even the start of it all was one day later than what the blog post announcement was. So should it be today (17th?). Since we track it with DietBet, it’s misleading to ignore their countdown. Any clarification would be great.

  6. Okay. So. I’m feeling a little orphaned on this thread, Tim. Maybe you lost interest when the snowball failed to grow to the size you’d anticipated? Then again, maybe it’s a BRILLIANT IDEA that just needs to be refined and crafted so as to generate the numbers needed to actualize your vision of a million pound march. I could easily get behind that initiative and, in fact, would love to join forces with you to make it happen. Please take a peek at the now defunct site, theovereatingcuredotcom and/or go to my personal site and click on “join us” under events and read about the flying geese launch.

  7. A quick post to outline the progress I made over the period of the competition. I also kept a photo food journal using Evernote Food that I’ll share on my blog shortly. Link to blog post with before and after pictures below.

    Days in competition: 22
    BodPod BodyFat % Change: -.79
    Caliper BodfyFat % Change: -1.02
    Bodpod Scale Weight Change (lbs): -9
    Caliper Scale Weight Change (lbs): -10.7
    Average Bodyfat % Change: -.91
    Average Weight Change: -9.85

  8. Looking for a quick 30 g protein item that can be eaten within 30 min of arising and requires no preparation(wouldn’t be so bad if it tasted OK). Any help appreciated.

  9. Final stats for the contest are;

    Lost – 21.6 pounds
    Lost- 22.6 pounds of fat
    Gained – 1 beautiful pound of muscle.

    I will post pics on dietbet. Thanks for all of the fun!


  10. :( * sad face … there is no app for the Blackberry …. will there be one soon ??
    *hopeful face* :))

    thanks for reading …

    I can’t join your dietbet, but I started the 4HB diet with my daughter on jan 2nd, 2013 … fingers crossed it works ….

  11. Hi Tim,

    When I read about the 15 minute orgasm I thought you were referring to Dr. Patti Taylor’s Expanded Orgasm.

    Since it wasn’t I thought you might like her work on how to have orgasms that can last for hours.

  12. Hey Tim,
    My wife and I started on the slow carb diet on the 5th and I have lost 19 lbs and she has lost 10 lbs. We have a question. My wife just had our little girl 4 months ago. She is still nursing and wants to continue. Only problem she is having is that she is starting to lose Milk supply. We want to know what she can do to stay on the diet with the same results. But yet not lose milk supply. We tried adding one more meal to her diet so she gets more calories, but it doesnt seem to work or she just feels like shes eating way to much. Would you add more complex carbs? More Protein? Just need some insight, or if anyone else had had this same issue
    Brady and Jenn

  13. I tried 4hb, lost so much weight I scared my friends. I didn’t monitor my weight however, and proceeded to gain it right back, with interest. I’m now monitoring and watching my carbs and have lost 5% over 50 days and falling, steady monitoring is a powerful tool.

  14. Hello Tim

    Greetings from UK and congrats on the new book.

    I have just bought the 4HB book and started the slow-carb diet. It has given me lots of energy to wake up in the morning and I have lost 1kg in the first week (down from 74 to 73). My target is to be below 70Kg and reduce 20% fat (22%-24% now…)
    All in all, it goes fine because my breakfast has always had eggs – and I’m fine with meat/spinach combination. I’m in the 2nd week now and trying to fit the 4th meal in the day to avoid feeling hungry all day despite the lots of meat eaten…

    A quick question: You say we should avoid white carbs; but at the same time you do not recommend in your favourite lists any brown bread or pasta (I mean the real wholemeal ones!). Is there any particular reason?

    Other quick questions
    - is dark (70%) chocolate good as dessert during the diet days?
    - [Moderator: Link removed.] what is the recommended reps for pull ups to increase muscle gain?
    - you put hummus as worrying because of overeating – but I could not find the recommended amount (e.g. for a snack with celery or carrots)

    Many thanks!

  15. As a lawyer and person who has struggled with my weight my entire life, I was reluctant to even allow myself to imagine what Tim said was not only possible, but practically certain. My best friend bought the book for me and my wife as a gift, we read a few chapters and said we’d give it a try, together. After just 3 months my wife flew well passed her goal, lost over 25 pounds, and now is just maintaining. As for me, I’m down 55 pounds in 5 1/2 months, and I’ve never felt better or had so much energy. The sense of gratitude for what The 4 Hour Body has done for me cannot be fully expressed in the words of a blog comment (the only way I could figure out to possibly contact the author), so I’ll say just say, with the utmost sincerity and appreciation: Thank you!!!

  16. Love the slow carb diet. Did it just for the month of January, 2013 and lost 20 pounds – 210 to 190. Feel great and sticking with many of the diet changes because it just feels better.

    I wanted to start in on the Endurance 5K to 50K section now as I’ve signed up for a triathlon in Lake Tahoe in 4 months and really want to try a minimalist training approach to take it easy on my back and knees. (i’ve done many marathons, triathlons and even an ironman in the past, but it’s many years and the training for those took a toll).

    However, the book said I’d find the Tim’s results in his blog here, but alas I cannot find any information on how he/the training regimen did in the race??

    Any info would be appreciated.

  17. Tell me how to get your protein drink. I’ve been eating 2 eggs, black beans and green beans for breakfast since August and follow the Slow-Carb diet throughout the day. I was out of town two weeks ago and could not stick to my usual diet. The protein drink would have come in handy.
    Thanks, Pat

  18. Hi Tim,

    Just wanted to share with you. i am facing some rapid hair loss immediately when i stop the diet program, and the moment i begin it again it stops. Any thoughts on this as to how can this be controlled.

  19. I really appreciate this story, but I’m having trouble. This is the beginning of my 6th week. I can’t eat as much as you because I work as a server and can’t eat after 4pm most days. I have been following the diet to the letter and going crazy on my cheat days. I haven’t measured myself again, but today (after a cheat day) I weigh 170.2 lbs. five weeks ago when I started I was 169.8 pounds. I was 162.2 the day before my cheat day. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I’ve tried to get help on the blog but the only people who answered me had never read the book and gave their own advice that totally went against the book. I need a way to eat enough, but be able to stop eating early. I can’t eat at work. Maybe some snack ideas that don’t need to be refrigerated and I could take something with me. What I really need is to talk to someone who has been through it and get some real advice

    • Kris, I’ve lost 100+lbs in the last 2 years since reading the book. I’d be happy to chat if you need some advice from someone with proven experience and success.

      i’d prefer to not give out my email address, but if you use the contact form on my website (mitch zamara dot com) I’ll reply to you personally.

  20. I have the book and I need your take on this. So, I’m 22, and unfortunately because of having bi polar, I have to take a medicine called seroquel. I’ve gone through almost everything, and this is the only med that has worked. And it makes a big difference, But where it completely fucks me is in the fitness area. Not only does seroquel lower my testosterone to about 300 (blood tested), but it fucks my metabolism such that I have a gut and is extremely hard to lose weight, and it’s hard to gain muscle. I can’t work out as hard as I used to cardio wise thats for sure. And I’m afraid of eating too much to gain muscle as it’s really hard to lose weight on this drug once you gain weight. My goal is to get a bit buff, but not too much, and stay lean/cut. Right now my goal is to lose my gut. I currently weight 187lbs at 5,9 1/2. That’s a bit too much for me, and most of it honestly is fat. Unfortunately, there’s not much I can do about having to take the med. I definitely need it. Yet I want to achieve my fitness goals. Got any suggestions? It would be much appreciated.

  21. I had lost 4 lbs in a whole day before being 5’1 and 107lbs i done it through my freshman year when i wanted to wrestle. How we did it was 2 hours of our workout and didnt eat anything after words. Some people spit in cups the day of training. The next early morning i weigh in after i peed and i barely make it. The weigh in was what got me motivated. Also making it to the tournament, the feeling you get when there are so many people around you and your the spot light. Its a high feeling indoors that made me exude confidence only because i went undefeated in JV my first year and that i qualified in state.