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&#174 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&#174 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&#174 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.

Posted on: October 24, 2012.

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

  1. How strong is the research saying that diet betting works?

    I remember hearing that, I think William Hill allow people to bet on their own diets. And when a betting agency allows you to bet on something, it’s because the house is going to win, on average.


      • If you have Android, you can try Habit Streak. Its free, and I can’t vouch for it yet since I just got it, but it supposedly prompts you daily to ask if you are following the rules you set for yourself. We’ll see how it goes.


      • I actually like the 4HB app over the Lift app. The social aspect is nice and it’s well built, but it’s over-simplistic with it’s giant check-in button. DietBet, however, is freaking genius.

        Thanks for the kick in the ass Tim! Hope to see you around SF sometime soon.


      • Hi. I have just recently started the program and it works too well. However was hoping if there could be an application for the same made for blackberry users. I have one and lot of my other friends have em too. I loved the app available on android but a wish list with an app for blackberry users.

        A great book and excellent results.


    • It’s pretty silly when people put ios apps before android, since ios users are a small percentage of the total.:
      Android:104.8 million units, 68.1 percent share (46.9 percent a year earlier)
      iOS: 26.0 million units, 16.9 percent share (18.8 percent a year earlier)
      BlackBerry: 7.4 million units, 4.8 percent share (11.5 percent a year earlier)

      About 70% of mobiles are android, and about 15% are iphones… Even a year ago, a much larger amount of people had Android than iphones – so a LOT more people could participate with the more “feature rich” version.


      • It’s quite easy and enjoyable to design/build apps for Apple products. I find it much harder to develop apps for Android—there are so many different android devices and OS versions.

        Or perhaps there’s more money to be made with iPhone apps, even though Apple has a smaller market share. Android users expect free apps and often aren’t willing to pay for them, making it harder for developers to recoup their costs.


  2. Still hanging at net -16 lbs but this could be the push to get back down to the optimum weight I achieved when I went pretty hard core on the 4HB plan. I’ve eased +8 lbs back so here we go!


  3. Damn! I am a couple weeks too late, already in 17 days in and 10lbs down, just past my target weight. Good luck to everyone else, this is a killer program!


  4. Fabulous ideas, as usual, Tim! I’ve though for a long time that an approach like DietBetting would be perfect for many of us, including myself! If I had more than just a few last pounds to lose, I’d jump on this in a heartbeat!


  5. Absolutely amazing Tim!

    I don’t even get how everything like the weigh in works but I trust you. Going to dive right in. Let’s do this!

    I have no doubt this will explode. So good luck to everyone involved!


  6. Hey Tim,

    Great post! Quick question: do you have any recommended alternatives for Android users, or those wanting to *gain* weight instead of lose it?

    I tried setting up a Google Docs sheet with a few friends to utilize the competition aspect but it fell off after a few weeks. Also, I’ve done things like track my calorie intake with PaleoTrack and DailyBurn to no avail and tried GOMAD. I’m having tons of difficulty keeping my calorie intake up in suggested ranges (~3,500/day). Any tips for making sure to eat enough calories to gain weight?


  7. Tim,

    What can those of us with Android phones do? Is there some program we can use via a website or is it strictly an Apple only product?

    I’m down man! Hope you like Kokari a lot because that is where we are heading for a celebration dinner next month!



  8. Hey Tim, there’s not much of body fat you can lose if you are already below 10%.
    I know there are other categories but I think the prize for the most body fat points lost is amazing!