The 4-Hour Body

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The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman
The 4-hour body.jpg
Author Tim Ferriss
Country United States
Language English
Subject Health & Fitness, Weight Loss, Diet, Self-help
Genre Non-fiction
Published 2010 (Crown Publishing Group)
Media type Print
Pages 592 pp
ISBN 978-0-307-46363-0
Preceded by The 4-Hour Workweek
Followed by The 4-Hour Chef

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman (2010) is the second book by American writer Tim Ferriss.[1]


Ferriss's first book, and the one that made him well-known, was The 4-Hour Workweek. Two facts informed his choice for his new book's topic: Firstly, he felt he did not want to write another book on business, as "I've said what I have to say about business. [...] I don't want to be 'The 4-Hour Workweek' guy; I'd prefer to be known for the way I approach the craft of writing and storytelling."[2][3] Secondly, of the top ten Google searches bringing visitors to his weblog, four searches were some variation on "lose weight".[2] That, as he put it, left him with "no Option B. [...] my next book was going to be The 4-Hour Body, or I wasn’t going to write another book."[2]

Ferriss spent three years interviewing over 200 experts, from doctors to athletes to black-market drug salesmen.[4] He claims to have recorded every workout he had done since the age of 18, and from 2004 (three years before his first book was published) he had tracked a variety of blood chemistry measurements, including insulin levels, hemoglobin A1c, and free testosterone.[2]

The 4-Hour Body was published on December 14, 2010.


Ferriss describes The 4-Hour Body as "unlike any diet or fitness book...It's more like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book for the human body, full of ridiculous stories, practical philosophies, and larger-than-life characters."[5] The book covers over 50 topics, including rapid fat loss, increasing strength, boosting endurance and polyphasic sleep.[6]

Slow-Carb Diet[edit]


There are five main food groups that are consumed on a slow carb diet: animal protein, vegetables, legumes, spices and fats/oils/nuts. A typical slow-carb meal will consist of one portion each of the first three groups and small amounts of the last two. Examples of foods in these groups are chicken, eggs, lamb, pork, fish and beef for protein; broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, peas for vegetables; black beans, kidney beans and lentils for legumes; basil, garlic, ginger and salt for spices; coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, olive oil, almonds, brazil nuts, cashews for fats/oils/nuts.[7]

Cheat Day[edit]

One day per week is reserved as "cheat day" when all foods are allowed, similar to the carb-loading day in a cyclic ketogenic diet. As well as reducing the psychological stress of dieting, this serves to protect against the lowered metabolic rate that often accompanies dieting.[8][non-primary source needed]


Largely due to the author's earlier success with The 4-Hour Workweek, the slow-carb diet provoked much comment in the blogosphere, both positive and negative. Responses in mainstream websites and print publications have been more muted.

A review of The 4-Hour Body in WebMD was skeptical of the diet, quoting Barry Sears (creator of the Zone diet): “Skip the 4-hour body and opt for a 24-hour-365-day-a-year body, because you need a plan that makes sense that you can live with.” In the same article, Michael Aziz (creator of the Perfect 10 Diet) claims the cheat day is "dangerous". On the other hand, the review praises the avoidance of "white" carbohydrates and the recommendation to eat the same few meals repeatedly.

The Harvard Business Review quoted Dr. Tieraona Low Dog: "many people will lose weight if they follow it, though I don’t think that the diet is capable of all the claims in the book."[9] Dr. Low Dog also warns about "the very limited number of vegetables to choose from," though in fact apart from starchy vegetables such as potatoes the slow-carb diet allows free choice in vegetables.

U.S. News quoted Scott Kahan (codirector of the George Washington University Weight Management Program) describing it "as another cockamamie fad diet" and expressing doubts about its sustainability.[10]

The slow-carb diet has not been reviewed in any scientific or medical journals.


The 4-Hour Body debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List and spent 3 weeks in the top 3.[11][12][13] It peaked at #4 on both the Wall Street Journal and USA Today's lists,[14][15] and was one of's top 5 bestselling books for December 2010 and January 2011.[16][17]

Reviews for the book have been mostly positive. The New York Times review stated "it's among the craziest, most breathless things I’ve ever read, and I’ve read Klaus Kinski, Dan Brown and Snooki."[11] The book has been profiled in publications including CNN, The Huffington Post, Wired, USA Today, TechCrunch, The New York Post and Forbes.[2][3][4][18][19][20][21]

However, Ferriss was criticized for dispensing medical advice while not being a certified doctor or dietician.[4]

Marketing and release[edit]

The author's initial goal for The 4-Hour Body was to beat out the Guinness World Records for the #1 spot on The New York Times bestseller list for the third week of December, which Guinness traditionally dominated.[22] Two weeks before the book's release, he released a 60-second trailer for The 4-Hour Body, which he credits with pushing the book's Amazon sales rank from #150 to #30.[2][23] He focused much of his marketing plan on connecting with various bloggers within the fitness and exercise community, or as tech blogger Robert Scoble put it, "get drunk with bloggers."[24] One week before the book's release, he announced "The Land Rush", a promotion where he awarded prizes to people that bought one of The 4-Hour Body package deals.[22] His marketing efforts proved to be successful, as The 4-Hour Body beat out The Guinness World Records to debut at #1.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The 4-Hour Body
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Ferriss, Tim. The 4-Hour Body: How Do You Follow Up A #1 Bestseller Without Repeating Yourself? Huffington Post. December 14, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Keen, Andrew. Keen On...Tim Ferriss: How to Turn Your Body Into A Startup TechCrunch. December 13, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c Susannah Cahalan. The 4-hour body: Advice from the guy who knows everything New York Post. December 10, 2010.
  5. ^ Ferriss, Tim. The New Book Unveiled: The 4-Hour Body. Four Hour Work Week September 29, 2010.
  6. ^ The 4-Hour Body Official Website.
  7. ^ "Fairly Exhaustive Slow-Carb Food List - Finding My Fitness". Finding My Fitness. 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2016-05-17. 
  8. ^ Ferriss, Tim (2011). The 4-Hour Body: An uncommon guide to rapid fat-loss, incredible sex and becoming superhuman. New York: Random House. p. 105. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b Garner, Dwight. New! Improved! Shape Up Your Life! The New York Times. January 6, 2011.
  12. ^ Best Sellers: Hardcover Advice & Misc The New York Times. January 2, 2011.
  13. ^ Best Sellers: Hardcover Advice & Misc The New York Times. January 16, 2011.
  14. ^ Best-Selling Books Week Ended Jan. 9 The Wall Street Journal.
  15. ^ Best-Selling Books Database: The 4-Hour Body USA Today.
  16. ^ Bestsellers in Books for the Week of December 27, 2010
  17. ^ Bestsellers in Books for January 2011
  18. ^ Park, Madison. How one man’s shame sparked a 300-pound weight loss CNN. December 29, 2010.
  19. ^ Wolf, Gary. Tim Ferriss Wants to Hack Your Body. Wired Magazine Wired. November 29, 2010.
  20. ^ Book Buzz: 'Jeopardy!,' Patterson and '4-Hour Body' USA Today. Minzesheimer, Bob. December 12, 2010.
  21. ^ McNicholas, Kym and Jones, Laura. How to Become Superhuman Super Fast Forbes. January 13, 2011.
  22. ^ a b The Land Rush: 48 Hours to Claim $4,000,000 in Prizes Tim Ferriss Official Blog. December 9, 2010.
  23. ^ The 4-Hour Body: Official Trailer YouTube. November 30, 2010.
  24. ^ Boog, Jason. How Timothy Ferriss Hit the Amazon Bestseller List GalleyCat. December 20, 2010.

External links[edit]