Recently, I started experimenting with Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Body program.
There are 5 rules of the 4-Hour Body:
#1: Avoid white carbohydrates (including all bread, rice (including brown), cereal, potatoes, pasta, tortillas, and fried food with breading).
#2: Eat the same few meals over and over again. The intention of this is to ensure you don’t get overwhelmed with needing to recreate the wheel every time you eat. Each meal is a combination of protein, legumes, and vegetables.
#3: Don’t drink calories. Water, black coffee and tea, and a glass of organic red wine in the evening are fine options.
#4: Don’t eat fruit. Except tomatoes and avocados.
#5: Take one day off per week. AKA “cheat day.”
I used to think of cheat days as a simple excuse to overeat, but after 1 month on the 4-Hour Body, I’m singing a different tune.
1 – It spikes your caloric intake + balances your hormones.
Prolonged caloric restriction can result in lower thyroid production, and overtime, decrease metabolic rate. This is of course, the exact opposite of what you want to happen when going on a healthy eating plan. One weekly cheat day resulting in a spike in caloric intake will assist your body to keep hormone production active and in turn, stay in fat burning mode.
2 – You won’t ever feel deprived.
No matter how “good” you are, everyone wants a sweet treat now and then, and consistently depriving yourself of these cravings can take a toll mentally. With a built in cheat day, you can have one day a week to indulge in your sweetest desires. As you move through the week, instead of saying to yourself “no, I can’t have that,” make a note of what the craving is and know that it’s on the table as soon as your next cheat day rolls around. Usually, the craving is gone by then, and if it isn’t, go for it! Which leads me to my 3rd point…
3. You can enjoy the treats you love…guilt-free.
Ah, guilt-free indulgence. When was the last time you ate a piece of bread or slice of cake without thinking, “I shouldn’t be having this.” Cheat day is an incredible day for some mental reprieve from the planning and intention that went into the week leading up. Anything and everything is on the table and the freedom that comes along with that is nothing short of….well, magical.
4. It will support your weight loss goals.
I know you fear that one full-on cheat day will undo all the hard work you put in that week, but not only will you feel mentally and physically satiated, it will also assist your weight loss and fitness goals.
Here’s why: you will stay on track longer. Without living from an all or nothing mentality, and getting to indulge here and there, you will stick to your food and movement plans for longer.
Longer adherence = greater results.
Have you utilized a cheat day in your wellness plan? Fan or no? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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