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F, 43yo, aiming to drop 20 lbs, Start date Jan 3 2016

Create a log of your progress so others can see how you are doing and keep you motivated

F, 43yo, aiming to drop 20 lbs, Start date Jan 3 2016

Postby KC* » January 4th, 2016, 10:13 am

Not sure if anyone other than the spam bots are hanging around here, or the other 4HB forums, anymore. ...I'm very late to the party. :D

If anyone else wants to chime in who has recently discovered this program, or who has succeeded at it, feel free.

In any event, I will try to track my progress here, if only for myself. I started 4HB yesterday.

I am hopeful about the prospects of this program, after finding Tim's book at a thrift store a few months ago, and reading about success stories...a few here and the many who responded at Tim's blog, when he first published the program. If I can successfully and quickly lose the weight, keep it off, and not feel as if I am hungry, suffering, and "white-knuckling" it, I will consider this a near-miracle program.

I am pretty hardy. I have challenged myself in the past, years ago, with a 40-day juice fast, a nine-day water fast; and I did the Master Cleanse a few times. So, I do have discipline and curiosity for extreme ways to get results. But, I do enjoy food and don't want to feel miserable for the sake of losing a few pounds. I want something that will result in permanent weight loss, with concepts I can tweak to afterwards become a permanent and fairly enjoyable way of eating. I have certainly read and tried concepts from most of the modern gurus over the years. Like many people, I can get zealous for a program for a short-time, find it is not maintainable and is unrealistic; and then drop it.

I am 5' 4"/162.6 cm and currently at about 156 lbs/ 70.8kg, and about 30% body fat. I am fairly "dense," (not my intellect, but my body), so that weight can look fairly solid on me, and I can look "fit fat," as they say, when I do a bit of working out for muscle, under that fat. This falls, barely, within "average" fat % for American women, on some charts, and on some I am considered overweight; but of course, it is not "fit" nor attractive and not what I am happy with.

I had in recent months gotten down to around 145, by eating somewhat better over recent months and having a physical job. (I also believe that I've pinpointed and addressed that I was a bit of an emotional eater, as well. I've internally worked on and healed much of that--very important. That really has to come first, IMO: recognizing why you are eating, when it is not truly about hunger.) I found I could fit into size eight pants, which I hadn't done in over ten years. However, I managed to gain about seven pounds, just in the last month over the holidays. This includes me finishing off the half gallon of egg nog, mixed with Southern Comfort, left over from Thanksgiving...a glass at a time in the evenings. Oh, and drinking rum and coke. Oy. (Why I am taking up drinking as a hobby lately might be another mystery to solve.) This is pushing my clothes back up into size ten. While I can eat fairly decently, I can really easily stuff myself with junk, when I am not conscious about my eating. And at "that time of the month," forget it. For a day or two I am a bottomless pit and a crave-monster. A tube of Pringles, a 20-oz Coke, and a bag of peanut butter M&Ms is my dinner. ...That's after eating a McDouble.

I don't want to keep going up and down and worrying and being self-conscious about weight. I want a simple, fairly healthy, maintainable, and fairly enjoyable way of eating that keeps me in the shape I want. I hope 4HB is the groundwork for just that.


I started yesterday. I am using the PAGG supplementation. No structured exercise yet, but I did purchase the steel plumbing parts as suggested in the book, in order to concoct my own kettle bell! It was easy. Now I will buy an assortment of used weight plates, so I can gradually add weight.

I am intrigued by the thermodynamics acceleration ideas in the book and will probably incorporate several minutes of cold after my hot shower. I will also likely try the ice pack to the upper chest area as well. I also will try the concept of activating with exercise to get the glucose diverted to the muscle cells. Five minutes of squats and wall push ups, right before meals, is simple to try out.

I did take measurements of arms, legs, waist, hips. I will share that if/when I succeed noticeably in a few weeks. I also took body fat measure with Accu-Measure calipers. I only took belly measure so far, so it will not be an ideal computation of three or more areas, but it will show my relative progress and has been consistent.

I did read the helpful thread on the "Subtracting Fat" forum, which addressed common questions and mentioned that drinking enough water was what many people found they had to address. As well, eating within an hour of waking, preferably half hour, was deemed critical.


Also, many mentioned the importance of recording the tape measurements, pre-4HB. Many say that their clothes get loose, but they don't see the weight changing on scale; thus, it is reassuring to know that you are losing fat, when you can measure yourself as you go along and see that the inches are coming off.

I do see it mentioned that some women over forty, "premenopausal," had trouble losing on this program. And also that it sometimes takes them longer. I fall into this category, so we shall see...


Start date: Jan 3, 2016
Height: 5' 4"
Start weight: 156 lbs/70.8 kg
Start size: still squeezing into some size 8 pants, comfortable in size ten. My size medium work shirts are now unpleasantly tight. I feel like a sausage again.
Start Body Fat: ~30% (Using Accu-Measure skin calipers)
Last edited by KC* on January 14th, 2016, 6:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Posts: 6
Joined: January 4th, 2016, 8:05 am

Re: F, 43yo, aiming to drop 20 lbs, Start date Jan 3 2016

Postby KC* » January 7th, 2016, 9:06 am

Continuing with my own little journal here...

I am finding eating this way quite easy to tolerate; and am enjoying the feel of good, sustained energy, lasting from meal to meal. Not really craving anything. Had about four tortilla chips, on two days, for need of a little crunch. Also haven't been too militant. I did finish off some leftovers that weren't too off-plan, such as salad with a few "craisins" and cheese bits in it. Also finished off some cheddar by throwing it in eggs. I also have been using the canola oil I already had to cook things with, in addition to butter. I also have been having a bit of homemade plain yogurt each day (very easy to make).

Eating as much as I want to feel satiated during meals. I am actually kind of enjoying eating new combinations. I already ate more fresh vegetables this week than I have in a long time---some kale and some cabbage, spinach, and peppers. Not things I normally enjoy, but finding ways to mix with beans and seasonings makes it not too bad, and it's pretty easy to get veggies in there and made tolerable. Used ginger powder and soy sauce to make simple Asian flavoring for chicken and vegetable stir fry. Sometimes eating dinner leftovers for b'fast.

I did notice energy flagging as I approached lunch time a few days ago. I hadn't eaten beans with breakfast that day, so that lack of energy might have contributed. Also, on first night I did feel hungry in evening. I try to consider breakfast intake important towards whole day's energy, so I make sure I eat enough protein then. That seems to be true for me, anyway.

Weight is down about half pound each day, thus far. Today it remained the same. Last night, I did end up eating dinner at a friend's, which included breadcrumbs on the two pork chops I ate, and a small baked potato I chose to eat. I also ate a chocolate-chocolate chip cookie.

I also have had about 30 grams of a whey protein powder, often as the "2nd lunch," since I was sometimes on the road at those times and it was easiest and better than nothing.

I have been doing the squats and wall presses, before lunch usually. This takes less than five minutes.

I did try icing my upper back, and then my chest, for a while yesterday. This is an easy task while I am sitting around anyway. I will continue for now.


Current (Start)

Wt: 154.5 (156)
Posts: 6
Joined: January 4th, 2016, 8:05 am

The Shangri-La Diet by Seth Roberts

Postby KC* » January 7th, 2016, 11:34 am

The Shangri-La Diet

I have been reading with intense interest a part of the "bonus material" to the 4HB book, a chapter that didn't make it into the book, and that Tim offers at this page: ... ieting.pdf

An Alternative: The Body-Fat Set Point and Shangri-La

It is written by Seth Roberts, who then went on to write the book, The Shangri-La Diet, in 2006. I somehow missed hearing about this one when it came out, probably because I would have thought it absurd at the time, on first glance.

The concepts suggested in this piece were very intriguing.

I then found a more scientific piece at this page at his website.

What Makes Food Fattening? A Pavlovian Theory of Weight Control ... tening.pdf

This really fleshed out his hypothesis and gave the ideas much more credibility. He's really on to something.

It seems to me that he has hit upon some profoundly significant ideas here, that could potentially explain even the current obesity epidemic in quite simple terms. Understanding this simple combination of factors of why we compulsively overeat could lead to reversals of the issue, with relatively little effort.

...The forum at his site is largely inactive now. (I assume because Seth passed away almost two years ago.) But, there are lots of good threads filled with reports of those experimenting with the concepts, many with great success. (Again, I missed the party.)

I assume that because these findings point to an easy and simple solution of strategically ingesting a few cents worth of cooking oil each day, rather than an opportunity for a pharmaceutical company to make billions marketing a fat pill, there is no big research into the concepts. As well, our thinking is conditioned to perceive it absurd that consuming certain fats could contribute to losing body fat.


I was excited enough to introduce a tablespoon of unrefined virgin coconut oil to my plan yesterday. I took it one hour before lunch. I also took it with my nose clipped so as not to smell it. (Figure out the basics of the plan from the site and some of the forum pages, and you can understand the concept.)

...I do see mention around his forum of a second edition of his book, which supposedly included updates and revisions based on those experimenting with the methods. However, it seems difficult to discern which copies for sale online might be that more recent, updated, edition. (Someone at the forum mentioned it had a light green cover?) I will find it, with more searching. However, there seem to be enough online articles, and reporting by those who have used these methods to lose weight, that one might not need the book in order to understand the concepts and what works for fat loss.
Last edited by KC* on January 9th, 2016, 11:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
Posts: 6
Joined: January 4th, 2016, 8:05 am

Paring down methods

Postby KC* » January 9th, 2016, 10:50 am

I am choosing now to eliminate some of these variables and choose a few things to test that to me seem most promising for my fat loss goal.

-- Continue with Tim's "slow carb" eating methods from 4HB.

-- Add the oil consumption, attempting to have it be an odor-free event, based on the experimenting and success of those who worked with Seth Roberts' hypotheses.

-- Add a cool water bath, on as many days a week as I can.


I will eliminate the 5 minute squats and wall presses, and essentially all formal exercise, for now. I will save the muscle-adding with kettle bell until after some fat loss.

I will eliminate the PAGG supplementing. I will continue with the B-complex I began taking at the start of this.
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Joined: January 4th, 2016, 8:05 am

To the BAT cell...

Postby KC* » January 12th, 2016, 1:33 pm

I've been voraciously reading the recent research about cold thermogenesis (CT) as an untapped way to gradually ramp up metabolism and other bodily systems. In the science world, the study of BAT (Brown Adipose Tissue) has been the rage for the last few years, as a possible avenue to harness for obesity solutions. It apparently has been shown to be a type of cell that activates when environmental temperatures get colder, thus, it was rarely noticeable in various types of PET/ CT scans taken at normal room temps . When exposed over time to lower temperatures, BAT starts to burn WAT (White adipose tissue), the kind of fat we want to get rid of, in order to keep the body warm. The more time one spends in cooler temps, the more BAT one's body seems to activate. There is even developing research suggesting that cold exposure can turn WAT cells into BAT cells.

...And this doesn't mean necessarily needing to be extreme and take a Polar Bear plunge in icy waters. The BAT activity has been termed a type of "non-shivering thermogenesis." Research has shown increased BAT activity with subjects being in environments just a few degrees below normal (17-19 C/ 63-66 F) for a few hours. Research suggests that even at these fairly mild temps, metabolic rate increases 25-40%. And this is just from a one-time exposure. Long-term development of BAT could result in how much burn?

If you've read 4HB, you recall the chapter about Ray Cronise, the guy who accelerated his weight loss, losing 27 lbs (12.2 kg) in 6 weeks, after reading about swimmer Michael Phelps being able to eat 12,000 calories a day and realizing it had to do with cold exposure.

Here is an article about an experiment Ray does on the article's author. It includes a good description of the BAT concepts, as they were emerging in 2012, when this was written.

Hot Trend: Tapping the Power of Cold to Lose Weight

This demonstration showed that a 20 minute swim in 70 F / 21 C degree water was enough to start burning fat, rather than carbs. A device that measures one's respiration levels of CO2 out vs. O2 in is the commonly used tool to assess what type of energy one is using: Fats, proteins, or carbs. (Sounds incredible, but it is the case). The test showed that the subject was burning mostly fats for 15 minutes after leaving the pool. Twenty minutes swimming at 60 F/15.6 C resulted in only a tiny increase in fat burning, beyond that 70F/ 21C result. So, it seems to me that the MED (minimum effective dose) could be a much more bearable experience than suffering at 60F. ...No need to shiver.

The article cautions that we still don't know if it is the BAT cells that are responsible for this phenomenon, or a combination of things are. As well, the amount of BAT the subject (the author, in this case) already has might affect how much BAT activity was occurring here, assuming that is what is at play. (I am also starting to read through Jack Kruse's site and theories about Leptin and cold experiments.)

"The data confirms what Cronise has been saying: Water is an efficient way to force the body to produce a lot more heat for a sustained period of time. If my goal is to burn fat, I’m better off swimming—or even sitting—in San Francisco Bay than jogging or cycling, provided I let my body warm itself naturally afterward (no hot showers or sauna allowed)."

...Does this explain the Michael Phelps phenomenon? Just spend enough time in the pool and your body will develop enough BAT to keep you burning fat like mad? Hmm.

Research shows that thinner people have more active BAT than fatter people. The exciting part is that BAT levels can be enhanced with chronic (long term) cold exposure.

Also, more BAT is found in younger people, with levels on average decreasing as we age. It may be a "use it or lose it" scenario. We have it when young. Is that why many of us seem to be able to eat anything we want when young; and then later, say around age 30, it becomes hard to lose weight? Again, the exciting news is that it is possible to re-activate and grow one's amount of BAT.

For those interested, here is a good introductory article to BAT:

Yes, even human brown fat is on fire!


...Yesterday, excited by all this potential, I set the temperature in my apartment cooler--68F/20C, rather than the 72F/22.2C I normally keep it at. Then in the late after noon, I ramped it down to 65F. I put on a hat and finger-less gloves and extra socks, so the rest of my body could tolerate more cold. (Not sure yet if it is "6-in-1, half dozen in the other" regarding hat/gloves and cooler temp, vs. no hat/gloves and slightly warmer temp.) I live alone, so I have the luxury of experimenting with these wacky ideas and not inconveniencing others in the household. :mrgreen:

I also lowered the temp at night to 63F/ 17.2C, down from my usual 65F. I still sleep with covers on, but you can definitely feel the chilliness when you wake out of sleep and then try to get back to sleep.

I am serious about losing fat, in what seem to be the least painful ways. The large amount of research now proving this BAT/ cold phenomenon are enough to inspire me to sit in a slightly chilly room. Just sitting here passively in my chair, I can burn fat for hours on end. I also want to take advantage of it now, while I can... I am spending a lot of time at home during these winter months. My work is seasonal, so I am not working right now, and I have the time and capacity to create these unusual test situations in my environment.

I am sure I will be tweaking and trying other things along the way.
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How the plan is going for me so far...

Postby KC* » January 14th, 2016, 6:00 pm

Back on Saturday morning, five days ago, my first eat-anything-I-want day, I weighed about 154.5 lbs/ 70kg. I had lost about a half pound a day for the first few days, then I was at 154.5 for three days.

It was a PMS day, and as is usual for me for that time of month, my energy was quite low. However, I do think I must be entering "pre-menopause" or something, as my monthly cycle is now weirdly every 3 1/2 weeks, and I can seem to have some PMS-like symptoms at other times of the month. ('cause it's not fun enough having extremely low energy, intense moodiness and irritability, rage, weepiness, and backaches only once a month!) :roll: ...And of course, this might contribute to some weight fluctuations around these days.

It really is a confounding mystery to me. After more than 20 years of suffering with this, you would think I'd be used to it, but it seems to surprise me every month. It is frustrating and debilitating. I will be so happy when it ends. ...When will someone finally explain the reason for this?? I mean, really--the moon is responsible?! It must be the race of beings hiding on the dark side of it, then, who would inflict such suffering. :twisted: I'm now getting my period every 3 1/2 months--for two years now. Sooo, there a mysterious new satellite with a 24-day orbit that I'm tuning into?? Is it the mother ship of my people finally coming to claim me? :shock:

Anyway, on Saturday, after eating a TBS of coconut oil, and later a cup of chili for breakfast, I got dressed and dragged myself out around 2pm to go to McDonald's. I wasn't especially craving anything, but I wanted to do this correctly, since this free-day is supposed to be a necessary aspect of "resetting" one's system and keeping one on the plan.

I did manage to stuff in close to 3000 calories that day, from what I calculated:

--Cup of meat and bean chili for breakfast
--Quarter Pounder value meal with Dr. Pepper
--Fried fish, mashed potatoes, green beans, and Pepsi at a diner
--Small piece of cheesecake, 1/2 cup roasted cashews, a few "pigs in a blanket" (hot dogs wrapped with Crescent rolls), a chocolate chip cookie, and two glasses of red wine at poker night.
--half ounce of chocolate fudge

I have to say that it was kinda fun to have a license to eat anything as part of the diet. I didn't employ any of the tricks that were in 4HB to supposedly help mitigate the 'bad' effects of the pig-out day.

Sunday morning, my weight was 158.5/ 71.9kg. So, four pounds gained in a day.

However, if you trust the system, you know it will come off in a few days. The next day, Monday, I was 155.5, and by Tuesday I was at 154.

...Tuesday, I was unexpectedly called to overnight babysitting duties for my niece. Despite trying to plan, and bring appropriate food with me, I ended up not making time for lunch and just had a protein shake with a TBS almond butter added at 4pm. This left me quite hungry by dinner a few hours later, when I ate twice as much, and was still hungry. I later had a bag of corn chips (Dipsy Doodles!), then about 2 cups of buttered popcorn (well, I did have to enjoy a TV movie with my niece).

Wednesday I was pretty much back on track.

I was trying to keep up with my CT (cold thermogenesis) tinkering while at my brother's house, wanting to be in a cool environment during the day. But their heating system was wacky and unwieldy. I ended up just freezing my poor niece at night. :?

Anyway, after two nights there, I am at same weight as when I left my house on Tuesday: 154.

I am confident this will work, if I stick with it, since I am so determined at this time to lose fat and transform. It is also helpful to accept that resetting one's system takes time.

I am trying to observe what eating habits are making a difference in this plan working easily for my body or not.

It seems to be confirming what I had already perceived: eating within an hour of waking is significant, and eating enough at b'fast to sustain you until lunch is important. I also again today did not eat beans with breakfast, even though I had lots of protein. So, after just a few hours my energy was waning and I took a nap.

Eating at fairly regular times, with lunch being 4-5 hours after breakfast, is important for even energy, I have found.

I probably eat between 1300-1600 calories a day, which actually would be appropriate by conventional thinking to maintain someone my size on.

Also, being conscious of drinking enough water seems to matter. I can come to the end of the day and feel thirsty, when I did not drink enough.


Since it is winter here, I am taking advantage and having myself wear less outerwear when I go outside or drive in my car, in addition to continuing to have the temp in my apartment be around 65F/ 18.3C in the day.

Still jazzed about the BAT concept.


Current weight: 154
Start weight: 156
Posts: 6
Joined: January 4th, 2016, 8:05 am

Re: F, 43yo, aiming to drop 20 lbs, Start date Jan 3 2016

Postby sawd1216 » January 28th, 2016, 9:30 am

I too am new to this world. It was refreshing to read your post and know that you feel like you missed the party. I have had a hard time finding active blogs, etc. I started this new plan on January 4 (weighing in at 183) I am 5'7". My goal is around 145 (depending on how that looks since I have never been that light). I am doing the PAGG regiment with intermittent ACW exercise. I also do the 7 minute workout every day. My cheat day is Saturday and have enjoyed having that weekly change. I am incredibly militant about staying on the plan. I enjoyed reading your deep dive into various aspects of the program. I have approached this process in a similar way (not has deep) - I like to see what works with my body and what doesn't. I have not started doing any of the cold therapy as suggested.

I am in the middle of week four and currently weigh 174. The weight loss has not been as much as I thought but the changes in my clothing have been significant. I measured at the beginning but haven't measured again.

I have definitely had days of no weight loss or even a few pound gain. I struggle extensively with regularity - almost go a week sometimes. I am researching every option and trying them. Each time I get discouraged and weight changes, I re-read parts of his book or additional information online and it seems my progress is typical for a women.

I like Tim love wine so I continue to drink a glass at night. I tried to do red wine as he suggested but am very allergic so switched to a Sav Blanc (white). Not sure if it impacting my progress.

Thanks for posting your blog. It's nice to see someone currently doing this program.
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F 43yo aiming to drop 20 lbs Start date Jan 3 2016

Postby Dimabeereesty » March 21st, 2016, 4:23 pm

i think, Cornelius already did some research about this

would you please create a feature request?
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