Uh-oh – for various reasons, this Spring of 2023 my weight has crept up over the unacceptable line – 200 lbs! Mermaid Jerilyn size 12

I’m 5’9″ with an hourglass figure and I tend to carry my extra weight
pretty well (in my opinion) – my figure always stays proportionate,
I have a perfect bosom and long legs, I sometimes act and model, and overall I think I look okay. I’ve never stopped expressing myself in my fun, creative fashion. I love myself and am grateful for my body. Here’s a pic of me as Mermaid Jerilyn in 2010 when I was founding my mermaid tail business, AquaTails. I believe I was a size 12 at that time in my early 40s, probably around 150-160 lbs. WOWZA! (Yes, I just “wowza’ed myself lol.)

Lately I’ve been maintaining a weight of around 190-195 for quite a few years, sometimes getting down to 185 or so. I’d prefer to be anywhere between 150-180, or a size 10 again. For most of my young adult life I was a size 10 Medium (even after birthing four large babies!) and I looked good in EVERYTHING. Now I’m a size 16 XL, and it feels unlike my true self, though this is where I’ve been for a while now in my late 40s and early 50s.

Mermaid Jerilyn size 16Here’s a 2022 pic of Mermaid Jerilyn size 16. I’m ready to get back to 10-12 again!

This Spring when I dipped above 200 I said NO. Yes I’ve tried most diet plans and just like everyone else I stopped after a while and gained the weight back. I need to tweak my own plan which works over the long run. I need something which will transform and most of all – STICK. It also has to take into account life events/meals like travel, potlucks, going out to eat, etc. And most of all, DESSERT. Lately I’ve also been gravitating toward gluten-free (except when I’m eating in Europe where it’s not a problem) to help with my very bad chronic acid reflux (which I personally believe is a result of carrying four LARGE babies in a row). My brother shared that after he got back to his normal weight again (185 at 6′) and in awesome shape (he’s a serious road cyclist), all sorts of health problems like acid reflux and his back pain went away. I NEED THIS.

Tim Ferriss Slow Carb Diet

Enter the 4 hour body slow carb plan by Tim Ferriss. I was already going to just cut back on carbs and sugar (I’m a sugarholic), and I decided to revisit his book, The Four Hour Body, since he excels at figuring out effective life hacks – the best results for the least energetic output. I’d read Tim Ferriss slow carb diet plan before but never tried it – what turned me off before was the fact that you eat the same basic meals almost all the time. I prefer variety and am a home gourmet cook, baker, and foodie! I can’t eat just protein, veggies, and beans at every meal!

Well, so maybe I can. I realized that for years now I’ve been eating the same breakfast every day: two fried eggs, sauteed veggies like onion and tomato, or whatever is fresh from the garden (goes so great with eggs!), often pork bacon or turkey sausage, sometimes juice, and always creamy sweet strong coffee from my espresso maker. Basically a traditional English breakfast (I favor onions and tomato) with traditional Italian-style cappuccino.

To give you a quick summary and 4 hour body review from a very thick book, Tim Ferriss’ Slow Carb Diet Plan has five basic rules to follow – it’s pure simplicity and some of these I also learned from eating and drinking in other countries:

  1. No white carbs (no rice of any kind, no bread or grains of any kind, no oats of any kind, anything that could be a white carb like potatoes, but cauliflower is fine since it’s a veggie).
  2. Eat the same basic meals: protein, veggies, beans (can eat just about any type of protein, veggies, and beans, and have as much as you want – but watch chickpeas/hummus and avoid similar “domino foods” which are too easy to eat too much of like nuts and nut butter).
  3. Don’t drink calories. I learned this in Portugal and Italy summer of 2022. They don’t consume giant sugary drinks over there. They drink VERY tiny espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos, and mostly drink water (you have to buy water at restaurants there). Their few soda options that we saw are made from real fruit and are in smallish bottles, and we only had those on very hot days when we needed electrolytes.Cappuccino in Italy
  4. Don’t eat fruit. The sugar factor. Tim shows that humans don’t actually need fruit very often (historically got it only seasonally). And on the cheat day, you can go nuts on fruit in any form.
  5. Take one day off per week and go nuts. This is the golden ticket. It solves the “cheating” problem – you get one whole day a week to have whatever you want – can even eat junk food, carbs, and candy until it makes you sick if you desire. This rule also plays into carb cycling, shocking our body so it doesn’t lower our metabolism threshold and stop weight loss. Tim usually has his on Saturday. I’ll go between Saturday or Sunday, depending on weekend social events. Whenever I crave a “cheat” during the week, I can write the food down to have it on the cheat day in a few days.

Slow carb diet menu

I also decided I can eat beans at most meals (it’s okay to not have them at breakfast). I grew up in Brazil and happen to love beans as well as Mexican food, which goes well with the Tim Ferriss slow carb diet. Beans are actually quite versatile. I learned that you can make mock garlic mashed potatoes from white beans.Chicken, spinach, white bean garlic mash

As far as variety goes, I do love a creative challenge. My challenge is to come up with plenty of variety in my lunches and suppers of protein, veggies, and beans. I’m ready to take on this challenge. I might have a few meals which are always favorites (like Taco Salad) which I can have regularly, too.

One of his suggestions for motivation is to go public with your 4 hour body progress. I wasn’t planning on doing that, but I’m already tracking several numbers like he suggested and felt inspired to do a daily blog on my weight loss journey, to include healthy low carb recipes, fast low carb recipes, slow carb diet recipes, and my real pictures and numbers. Can I indeed come up with variety in my slow carb recipes? In this series we’ll find out.

4 hour body book

That book by Tim Ferriss is quick thick, it has a LOT in it and he suggests no one just read it from beginning to end, but to go to the sections which a person needs at the moment. So besides those Five Basic Rules for the 4 hour body slow carb plan, he has a LOT of extra fine-tuning tips to help you become even more effective at losing weight on your journey. Some of these are especially needed when you plateau. I’ve decided to keep things simple and to start by just focusing on the five basic rules (no change in my light exercising), then gradually add in the other tips when I feel ready. I’m not going to list them all, but here are a few and you can read all the details in The 4 Hour Body Book. In my first week I’ve already added a few of the easiest ones like drinking cold water.

  • DAIRY: avoid milk and cheeses, can have a 1-2 Tb. of whole cream in coffee, can have butter and small amounts of sour cream on your food. Can have plain Greek yogurt, which helps with probiotics.
  • Take PROBIOTICS, either in pill form or in naturally fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchee or yogurt.
  • The COLD factor: several easy methods to expose your body to cold every day, which burns more energy and helps with weight loss. The simplest one: drink ice-cold water, especially upon first waking.
  • Make sure you drink lots of WATER and get plenty of PROTEIN.
  • Track lots of DATA, not just weight. He shows how to get the best numbers for BMI, body fat percentage, body water, BMR (base metabolic rate), metabolic age, and also total inches (biceps, chest, waist, hips, thighs and thighs together, all added up). I couldn’t afford his expensive ideas, so I opted for the highly affordable smart scale option. I’ve begun using and will soon review the Renpho smart scale and app. I really love all the data it gives me, including muscle mass, bone mass, and the kind of fat I’m carrying. It’s okay with me if it’s not as accurate as the more expensive options like body ultrasounds. I also really appreciate Tim’s advice for women not to pay too much attention to any weight gain the ten days leading to our moon cycle.
  • Make your diet journey a GAME and have ACCOUNTABILITY in some way; Tim provides several ideas.
  • EAT within 30-60 MINUTES upon waking in the morning. Tim has tried and tested many variables so when he gives advice like this, you can trust it’s important and makes a real difference.
  • Don’t work out too often, too long, or too intensely. (Read his book for details.)
  • Walk or move (he gives specific quick muscle contracting exercises) before and after meals, especially on cheat day (also called Binge Day).
  • Tim has a whole chapter just on extra tips like the one above on how best to navigate Binge Day, including a specific yet simple supplement routine.
  • CHEW 20 times per bite and eat slowly.
  • Don’t SNACK between meals. Don’t have sugar. (I’m using monk fruit sweetener, which is my favorite natural sweetener.)

Many of these are things we already all know from trying so many diets!

Mermaid Jerilyn, size 16, Inisheer in 2019

4 hour body review

So in this blog series I will share my journey, my data and pictures (be prepared for my raw Before Photo, next post), my slow carb recipes, slow carb diet menu, foods, and ideas. This will be an ongoing living 4 hour body review. If you’ve read this far you’ve gotten a basic idea of what is the 4 hour body diet. I highly recommend you read the slow carb diet plan in Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Body Book. Even better, try it out with me and introduce yourself in the comments! Or post any questions. LET’S DO THIS.

Zombie larping, size 14-16

2 thoughts on “What is the 4 hour body diet?

  1. Hi Jerilyn,
    I’m excited to see how this works for you. No cheese or bread of any kind – yikes!

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