4HB

I’ve moved all the 4-Hour Body posts into this section.

4-Hour Body: After

After twenty weeks, I’m going to call my 4-hour body experiment a success. I’m going to continue in maintenance mode and maybe drop another pound or three, but I’m pretty happy with where I got. It took a little longer than expected, but I eventually got to seven pounds below my initial goal weight, for a total of twenty pounds.

I mixed things up in my last week, just to see if it would make a difference. I added a 16-hour fast into the mix, that is basically skipping breakfast and otherwise sticking to the diet. It made a big difference – I dropped four pounds in that last week. This whole thing may have been over more quickly if I’d added this into the mix a few weeks into the diet.

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4-Hour Body: Week 17

Really taking my time between posts now. September was a bit of a rough month – I had two full cheat weekends instead of cheat days (first, a boys’ weekend in NYC, then my wife’s birthday weekend in Boston). However, things came together in this last week and I dropped a couple of pounds. I’m just a pound above my current goal; that goal may have to change downwards again depending on how I feel. I’m of two minds about it: I’m definitely in the home stretch now, but I hadn’t really expected to stay on the diet this long. My wife picking it up has definitely changed things.

I’m up to 90 kettlebell swings in my first set, followed by 40 in my second. That’s still sufficiently challenging that I don’t want to push it any further.

Next weekend will be another tough one: it’s Canadian Thanksgiving, which in the Shaw household generally means a full day of eating and drinking. Which would be fine, except that we’re planning on spending the whole weekend at the cottage and it can be tough to stay on the diet.

Maybe I’ll go another three weeks and see where we end up. That at least might be a good time to completely update my measurements.

Current summary:

Weight 155.8 lbs
Body fat % 22.5%

4-Hour Body: Week 13

Oops, I hadn’t meant to go so long between posts. The good news – I hit my weight target last week, and the weight continues to come off. I’m still carrying a bit more abdominal fat than I’d like so I’m going to keep at it for a little bit longer. My wife has been pretty impressed by my results and so she’s going to join me on the diet.

I was a bit loosey-goosey last weekend around cheat days – we were at the cottage, so Friday night and Saturday night were both cheatish, with more booze than I’m accustomed to recently. And this weekend is the same, but not quite as bad – I had two beers last night, and will be going to the Ex today, which will be full of junky food. But it hasn’t seemed to affect my weight loss, which bodes well for future maintenance.

I’m going to put my new target at 155 pounds, which might be reaching a little. I’d just like to get rid of this last vestige of love handles and then hopefully maintain a weight in between 155 and 160 pounds.

Finally, I’m up to 120 kettle swings (set of 80; set of 40), still on the 40 pound weight. I think I’ll keep adding reps instead of getting a bigger bell. I’m also doing 50 pushups on my off days, just to help with arm definition a bit.

Here’s the summary:

Weight 158.6 lbs
Body fat % 22.4%

4-Hour Body: Week 10

Wow, my weight loss has slowed right down. But my body fat percentage is dropping – I think I’m still seeing results. I’m still a pound away from my admittedly-arbitrary goal of 160 lbs, which would be another month if my current weight loss rate continues. I think I’m now in the week-to-week phase of this diet, though – there’s only so much I’m able to do with it, and it kinda sucks to deprive myself of things I like. I’m the sort of guy that can’t be around people drinking unless I’m drinking myself, so my socializing has dropped off a bit.

I’m vaguely considering trying something else. My friend Lee has pointed me towards some intermittent fasting material. It seems a little quacky to me, as well as being very similar to my eating habits before I got on this diet and started eating breakfast. Well, ok, my habits were more like fast for 16 hours and then eat crap, but I wonder what would happen if I simply dropped breakfast and went low-carb for the other two meals? I’d probably be grumpier.

Anyway, the semi-official results are 0.4 lbs and 1.6% body fat down. The body fat percentage measurement is, as always, suspect because it’s just a cheapish scale. That puts me at 12 pounds down and 3.5% body fat percentage loss in ten weeks. I did have to punch a new hole in my belt last week to wear with dress pants, which demonstrates that I’m cheap but I am losing weight.

I’ve settled in at 100 kettlebell swings, with 70 reps in the first set. That first set is still pretty hard going after about 50 reps, so I know it’s still working. I may start doing push-ups again on my non-kettlebell days.

Here’s the summary:

Weight 161.0 lbs
Body fat % 22.6%

4-Hour Body: Week 8

My weight loss has slowed down, although I haven’t plateaued. Updating every two weeks seems to be more reasonable. If (and it’s a big if) I continue at my current pace, I’ll hit my goal in two more weeks.

Since last time I’ve dropped almost two pounds and lost another half-percent of body fat. And since the last time I measured my waist, I’ve lost a couple of inches there. I haven’t really noticed my clothes fitting any differently, although because it’s been a hot summer I’ve been mostly wearing shorts and t-shirts so it’s not always obvious that they’re a little baggy – or more likely, fitting properly for the first time in a while.

I’m up to 100 kettlebell swings, and am still averaging 8 km walking per day.

I’m starting to get tired of the diet. I don’t miss the drinking as much as I thought I would, although I still miss beer on hot days. It’s lunch that’s killing me: I’ve got a pretty standard rotation of Subway salads, the salad place down the street, the bowl-less burrito, and a shwarma plate without any carbs on it. It’s too limiting. Breakfast (which is just fuel for me) and supper aren’t causing me any grief, though.

Which leads me to start making plans for the post-diet maintenance phase. Once I hit my goal, I’m going to ease back on lunch restrictions. Maybe a sandwich once in a while. I’ll still have breakfast and will continue with the kettlebell. And I won’t be afraid to go out to dinner or to the bar on a weeknight. And if I get some predetermined amount over my goal weight, then it’s back on the diet for a week or two.

Here’s the summary:

Weight 161.4 lbs
Body fat % 24.0%
Waist 36″

4-Hour Body: Week 6

I missed updating for a week. You didn’t miss much: I was out of town for the weekend, and my cheat-vs-diet days got a little screwed up. I weighed in earlier in the week and there wasn’t much change.

The news was a little better this weekend. I dropped another pound and a half, and BF percentage continues to drop (slowly). I’ll never be under 20% BF without a lot more strenuous workout program, which I don’t see happening. I am up to 90 kettlebell swings, currently 55 in the first set and 35 in the second.

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4-Hour Body: Week 4

A very quick update this week. The good news: lost another pound-and-a-half or so, and a drop in body fat percentage. I was a bad boy on Friday night and had a few beers, plus I moved my cheat day to Sunday (to allow for Canada Day/Pride festivities). But it’s a modified cheat day – normal breakfast, then letting loose for a few hours, then hopefully behaving normally by dinner time. Let’s see how that plan works out.

So far the diet has been very good to me. I’ve decided to stick with it for at least another two weeks. I’ll spend some more time tomorrow cleaning up some of these posts – it’s likely time to move the 4HB stuff off the front page into its own section.

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4-Hour Body: Week 3

The weight is still slowly coming off. I lost another couple of pounds and am definitely making progress with the kettlebell swings. Still doing 75 reps, but at least I do them in sets of 30/30/15 now. Within a couple of weeks I’ll have it down to two sets, at which point I may increase the reps to 100.

About the only interesting thing to report about this week is that it was extremely hot in Toronto this week and the urge to have a beer was overwhelming. I managed to resist.

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4-Hour Body: Week 2

Even though I feel like the diet was more successful this week (I’m starting to feel like my stomach fat is going away), I only tracked a weight loss of 1.2 pounds. But my body fat percentage dropped to 26.2% again, and I’ve lost an inch off my waist.

Things I did differently this week:

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4-Hour Body: Week 1

One week on the slow carb diet, and the basic result: I’ve measured a 4lb drop. I suspect part of that has to do with the time of day and my hydration status (I weighed myself as soon as I got up).

Finding appropriate food has been easy. Even though I always eat out at lunch, a combination of salads-with-protein and burrito-bowl type lunches has made it easy.

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