How to Succeed at the 4-Hour Body

We just finished a very successful four-week trial of the the 4-Hour Body diet with several thousand participants.

84% of people who stuck to the program lost weight and the average weight loss was 8.6 pounds. These numbers are very strong.

The diet is based on developing a few key habits: Slow-carb diet (no processed carbs or dairy), taking cold showers, eating 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up, exercising, and measuring your weight, body fat and total inches.

Below are the results and insights we found around what 4-Hour Body Diet habits led to success. We’re planning to do a lot more diet research and have included a section below about future directions. Even so, this initial trial was very informative.

The data we used comes from a large pool of Lift usage data (3,500 participants) and responses from a follow-up survey to Lift users in which 200 people participated.

Summary: 4-Hour Body Works

Not only did 84% of people who stuck to the diet for four weeks lose weight, 14% of people lost more than 15 pounds. That’s a lot of success for such a short amount of time.

Two habits correlated strongly with weight loss: eating a lot of eggs and eating veggies.

Two habits correlated with failure: heavy alcohol consumption and giving up on cold showers.

Defining Success: Lost Weight vs. Stasis

Across all our data, 16% of people didn’t lose weight. Let’s call this the baseline stasis rate. The margin of error on this survey is 5%.  We can use this to claim a correlation between sub-behaviors on this diet and success.

Eat eggs and veggies.

People who reported either eating two dozen eggs per week or “too many!” eggs had a stasis rate of 10% and 11%. That correlates with greater success on the diet (i.e. the data suggests you should be aggressively eating eggs for the purposes of this diet).

We saw a much bigger signal from people who weren’t including veggies in their daily meals. Their stasis rate was 25%. Your mom was right: eat your veggies.

Be consistent.

We asked a couple of questions that touched upon how consistently people stuck to their diet habits.

28% of people scrambled to find acceptable meals each day (presumably meaning that many meals weren’t strictly appropriate for the diet).

21% of Lifters maintained their regular, social drinking habits on the diet.  Tim recommends limiting alcohol and sticking to wine.

29% tried, but gave up on, cold showers.

You probably aren’t surprised that heavy drinking (25% stasis rate) didn’t help with weight loss. Haphazard eating also leaned that way (19% stasis). But what’s up with the cold showers?

Not taking cold showers and taking cold showers showed up evenly. It didn’t matter which one you chose as long as you stayed consistent.

But people who tried the cold showers and then gave up? They had a 29% stasis rate. This was the highest correlation of anything in the survey. Maybe it’s an indicator of weak wills or failure in other aspects of the diet. I’m one of them, although I managed to lose weight. I tried cold showers four times and then decided I didn’t have the heart to keep going.

Enjoy Cheat Day

I have good news: cheat day eating habits didn’t have any effect on success rate. It didn’t matter what you craved (61% of you crave sweets) or if you ate in excess (combining beer, cheese, frieds, and sugars).  So keep eating whatever you’d like on your day off.

However, I saw enough people who anecdotally reported massive weight gains on cheat day, that I’d recommend you to measure this for yourself.

Future Research

This was our first in-depth investigation into a goal and it’s associated habits.  There are a lot of ways we can strengthen our research, but I’m unapologetically excited to share these early results with you. As far as I can tell, this is already the most in-depth research into the Four Hour Body diet. Our plan is to do a lot more of this but better:

#1. How much weight will these people have kept off in a year or two years? We’re going to try to find out, although some of the best anecdotal stories were from people who’d been on the diet for several years.

#2. How does the 4-Hour Body compare to other diets? There’s definitely a bias in the Lift community toward high achievement. We can help control for that by running this sort of research across multiple diets.

#3. How does this diet affect other health markers like blood pressure and cholesterol levels? Muscle gain?

Thanks for reading and participating in the challenge. Even though the challenge is over, you can still sign up for Lift and search for 4HB.

Tony & the Lift Team