4-Hour Body Plan

based on 1 reviews

Goal: To get a lower fat percentage and lose weight

Be aware: this is only the goal of this diet, not necessarily its outcome. Results vary from person to person. Consult your doctor or dietician before starting this (or any other) diet.

The 4-Hour Body Plan

This diet was created by Timothy Ferriss, the author of the book 4-hour body plan. The diet is low in carbohydrates, high in protein and has a few notable aspects, for example, that 4 hours of exercise per month can be enough. 

The goal of the diet is to get a lower fat percentage.

On the homepage you can compare this diet with other diets.

Five rules

The 4-hour Body Plan has 5 main rules:

  1. Do not eat ‘white food’. By 'white food' Ferriss means products with a lot of carbohydrates, such as potatoes, rice and bread.
  2. Eat the same food all the time. You pick 3-4 meals and keep eating them over and over again. The meals should consist of protein, legumes and vegetables, but should be low in carbohydrates. Good examples are: eggs, fish, chicken, beef or pork (protein), lentils, chickpeas or beans (legumes), broccoli, spinach, asparagus or cauliflower (vegetables).
  3. Do not drink calories. You should not drink soft drinks, but for example water, tea or coffee.
  4. Eat little fruit.
  5. Eat anything you like one day a week.

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Intermittent fasting

Ferriss recommends fasting for 19 hours a day. In the remaining 5 hours you eat as much as necessary to satisfy your hunger. 

As an alternative to intermittent fasting, Ferriss gives the option of eating little every other day. On those days you would eat 50-80% fewer calories than necessary. Please note: consuming very few calories a day can be bad for you. 

Be aware

Consult your doctor or dietician before starting this (or any) diet, especially if you have diabetes.

Book about this diet

Timothy Ferriss wrote the 4-hour Body Plan (paid link). You can read more about this diet in his book.

Beyond the 4-hour body plan, Tim Ferris wrote several other books. We've listed them as ad links from Amazon, Apple and Ebooks below:

There's also a summary on the 4-hour Body Plan as audiobook. You can listen to a preview below.

This page has been checked, and warnings have been added by, Jolande, dietician. Read more here.

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  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower

Not allowed

  • Fruit (less)
  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Bread
  • Cereals
  • Frying
  • Pasta
  • Dairy products (except quark)
  • Fruit juice
  • Soft drink
  • Soy products


  • Lose weight
  • Less carbohydrates


Four hours per month or as you see fit.

Reviews (1)

Seems very one-sided to me, choosing the same thing all the time and only being allowed to eat in a 4-hour period. Hard to maintain.

https://selectyourdiet.com/en/diet/4-hour-body-plan Seems very one-sided to me, choosing the same thing all the time and only being allowed to eat in a 4-hour period. Hard to maintain. 1 out of 5
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With the professional help of a dietitian it should be easier to reach your goals. Please contact a dietician in your area or talk to a doctor before starting any diet.

General warnings

Please take note that most diets do not have a scientific basis.

Consult your doctor or dietician before starting a diet, especially if you have a chronic condition like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, lung disease or kidney disease.

Eating disorders

If you think you might have an eating disorder (like anorexia or bulimia), it is important to look for professional help. Contact your (house) doctor or find help elsewhere. Here you can find a list of several websites that can provide (online) help. These sites also provide information for people that know someone with an eating disorder.