The Mystery Of The Four Hour Body Diet And Quinoa

I have been reading the Tim Ferris book The Four Hour Body. This book is a follow up to his hugely successful best-seller The Four Hour Working Week.

The style is the same but the content is quite different. It is also in my opinion controversial. Nevertheless both books are very interesting to read and stimulate the reader to take action in their life.

My First Four Days On The Four Hour Body Diet

The Four Hour Body DietOne of the sections in the new book is the four hour body diet. I have put on a few pounds and decided to try it out for a month and lose the 20lbs that the book claims I will lose. After 4 days I have lost 6 pounds in weight. So that’s a good start. I am on my cheat day today. Then I will go back to six more days on the slow carb part of the diet.

The diet is a slow carb diet. This means you have to cut out all bread, rice, pasta and other starchy food. You also can’t eat any dairy foods or fruit. What you can eat is meat, vegetables, legumes and pulses. This is more limiting than it sounds but is quite workable. I had a bacon and spinach omelette for breakfasts, a salad and meat portion for lunch time and a stir fry meal for dinner.

The Mystery Of The Four Hour Body Diet And Quinoa

Being a Quinoa devotee I obviously turned my mind to including quinoa in this weeks menu. It turns out that quinoa is NOT allowed on the diet. You can only eat it on the cheat day. There is a post on Tim Ferris’s blog that tells you that certain foods are not allowed.

This is a mystery to me as I would say that quinoa is a slow carb food. I thought it would be ideal as part of the 4 hour body diet.

There is no explanation of exact why quinoa is not allowed. This is the mystery I am talking about. Why not eat quinoa?

Quinoa As A Slow Carbohydrate Food.

Most cooks think of quinoa as a substitute for rice or cous cous. In terms of cooking you can do this. In terms of nutrition quinoa is worlds apart from other seeds and grains. There are also 2 distinct types of carbohydrate. Rice and cous cous are soluble carbohydrates which can make you gain weight due to the way your body processes this type of carbohydrate.

Quinoa is an insoluble carbohydrate. This type of carbohydrate take a long time to break down in your body. Hence the name slow carbohydrates. There is little chance of your blood sugar going up. You will also not get hungry again when you eat quinoa and other slow carbohydrate food items.

Many experts consider quinoa to be a vegetable protein source, not a carbohydrate. Which again brings me round to ask the question – Why can’t you eat quinoa on the four hour diet? I might even join the Tim Ferris Forum to find out, we will see.

What I Am Going To Do?

I have decided to follow the example of Tim Ferris and use my own body as an experimenting medium. For next week I will not add quinoa to the diet and then check my weight next Saturday. Then I will add quinoa to one meal per day in the following week. I know its not very scientific but I want to see if quinoa really will have such a negative affect on my weight loss. Watch this space.

Recommended Reading

About Ken

My name is Ken and I am the author of The Quinoa Cookbook. My book is the top selling book worldwide on how to cook quinoa and has over 70 quinoa recipes included.
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15 Responses to The Mystery Of The Four Hour Body Diet And Quinoa

  1. Dan says:

    Also love quinoa. Would love to know how your inclusion of quinoa is going, as I am going to try this diet.

  2. Mike says:

    Ken, what’s the verdict ?!?

  3. Ken says:

    I’ll report back on saturday after my third week (The one with eating Quinoa)

  4. Pingback: The Four Hour Body Diet - Quinoa Mystery Continues | Quinoa Health Tips - Great Quinoa Recipes

  5. Mike says:

    Ken, how did the diet work for you using Quinoa? I’m anxious to know as I am on this diet now and would love to add Quinoa to it. Let us know!

  6. Mary Ellen says:

    I am also interested in this answer.

  7. Pingback: The Four Hour Diet Meal Plan – Including Quinoa | Quinoa Health Tips - Great Quinoa Recipes

  8. Lillian says:

    I’m just starting, and I’d love to know if Quinoa’ can be used…..since it’s a complete protein, it should be allowed…

  9. Your comments on Quinoa are interesting. I have listened to a lot of Tim’s interviews and it appears to me that he is trying to make The Four Hour Body as simple as possible. One of the psychological factors (and there are lots of them when it comes to Tim) of sticking to a diet are that the meals are simple and repetitive. He chooses legumes as the main source of carbs and insists on legumes+protein+veggies for every meal.

    However, more interestingly in Geek To Freak and Occam’s Protocol, Tim DOES include Quinoa. In Occam’s Protocol, a more advanced program where muscle building is the aim, the diet adds Quinoa, Brown Rice and optionally Milk to The Slow Carb Diet.

    I think if you know what you are doing it is absolutely fine to try substituting Quinoa for legumes. After all Tim advocates experimentation and working out what’s best for you. Experiment for a week WITH and a week WITHOUT and compare measurements, weight, total body inches, body fat etc.

  10. Ash says:

    I’ve done 4 days so far on this diet and I’ve eaten quinoa at every meal on 3 of the days! So far I’ve lost 7.2lbs which is awesome – especially as I really can’t be doing with lentils in the morning, no matter what I put them with.

    My advice is try it for 5 or 6 days and see what your body does. If you’re still losing weight at a decent rate then surely it must be ok, if not then omit it and carry on as before.

    Good luck, Ash in the UK.

  11. Pingback: Is Quinoa As Good As Manna From Heaven? | Quinoa Health Tips - Great Quinoa Recipes

  12. Pam C says:

    Thank you, for your post I am just starting the 4-hour diet and I made a meal that will carry me through 4 days of bag lunches it includes, ground turkey, lentils, Quinoa, tomato’s, green onions, and seasoning. When I read that Quinoa was a no no I was a bit bummed out because I love it so much, although I think what I have made is a powerhouse of protien and since the quinoa is paired with lentils I think I’m fine.


  13. Wadi says:

    I have been on the SCD since January and I have eaten quinoa for bantu months. It has not affected my success at all.

  14. Watson says:

    Is Ken alive? What happened to his update? I am on day two and eat quinoa at lunch and dinner. Should be allowed from what I have read, afteral it Is in the spinach family!

  15. Caitlin says:

    Hi guys

    I’m about to take on the 4HB challenge myself, and googled this quinoa question as I’m a hardcore vegetarian (no eggs) who relies on dairy and quinoa to make it from meal to meal without fainting;-) For what it’s worth, I skip read the Paleo diet, which I believe is one of Tim’s sources. The Paleo diet says ‘no’ to quinoa on the basis that it says no to rice etc – namely that grains AND quinoa both contain reactions that ‘fight’ being eaten and generate inflammation and general agro in your gut. I can’t remember all the terms but I do remember (because I was extremely disappointed at the news) that quinoa’s version of these little critters is called ‘saponins’. Saponins get released because once the quinoa’s eaten, it can’t propagate (unlike berries). So the plant is set up to put up a fight in order to ensure its survival. I’m sure a small amount of quinoa won’t be the end of the world and you’ll lose weight. No doubt Tim was just covering his bases since his whole modus operandi is to give us recipes for effective short-cuts. Eating quinoa lessens the impact of the short cut.

    I’ll be tracking my progress on my new blog which launches this week, so you can check in to see what happens with my experiment! ( Since I really am struggling to work out how to get enough calories on the 4HB, I’m pretty certain I will have to succumb to some quinoa action at certain times over the course of the next month …

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