The 4-Hour Body vs. EET Fitness
In my previous article, I mentioned that I was on a “Paleo diet” before trying out EET. This was not entirely true. I was actually on Tim Ferriss’ Fat Loss Diet at the time. The reason I mentioned it as a “Paleo diet” was because I didn’t want to drop names at the time. Anyway, I read Mr. Ferriss’ first book, The 4-Hour Workweek less than a year ago and very much liked it. I then became a regular reader of his blog where I became fascinated with his 4-Hour Body category. What intrigued me the most was the previously mentioned fat loss diet, so I wanted to try it out for myself.
The 4-Hour Diet
As a big fan of the 4-Hour Workweek, I was very much excited to get my hands on a copy of Mr. Ferriss’ new book. I opened it and immediately went to the fat loss portion. My laughably humongous grin slowly transitioned to depressing frown as I discovered that the diet he had hyped up so much was literally the one posted on his blog.
Why was I disappointed? Does the diet not, in fact work? Oh, it works, all right. Mr. Ferriss’ diet is sort of-but not really Paleo because it has lentils and/or beans as a regular component, so I suppose one could easily classify it as “modified Paleo”, with one cheat day per week containing literally only junk food that the participant likes to eat. Mr. Ferriss notes that he regularly makes himself sick during his cheat days so he won’t crave the treats he ate that day the rest of the week. This once-a-week-excessive-cheat-meal seems to work wonders for Mr. Ferriss, though others have expressed doubts about it.
The current plan that I’m on, EET Fitness, has guidelines not only for food consumption, but for exercise as well. EET has controlled cheat meals literally every day, as long as the timing guidelines with the proper exercise formats are met. The rest of the meals on EET Fitness are actually quite similar to the 4-Hour Body’s meals in that they could be considered “clean”. The meal guidelines on EET, however, never restricts any type of food during any time. There are recommendations, but it is up to the participant how close he or she wants to follow them. Finally, while the 4-Hour Diet is in book or blog form, EET Fitness has a consultant that helps the participant every step of the way and personalizes the plan to make it as comfortable and easy as possible.
I forget exactly how long I was on the 4-Hour Body Diet, but it was somewhere around 5 – 6 straight months. I was on it for quite a while, but immediately replaced it when I discovered EET Fitness. The primary reason I switched plans was because I saw, from EET’s initial claims, features that were absent from Mr. Ferriss’ diet that I longed for. I have now been on EET Fitness for 3 months now and feel that I can make a proper comparison.
The comparison will be broken up into rounds, each with its own category. At the end of the round, the author will score it to whoever he sees has the better components, diet-wise.
ROUND 1: THE DAILY MEALS
THE 4-HOUR DIET
I tried the meal format of the 4-Hour Body Diet for several months and had mixed results. I would gain results as advertised if I could summon up all my mental powers to follow the diet as written, but unfortunately, I just couldn’t. The problem was with the taste. In order for the diet to work as best as possible, it needs to be as clean as possible. This awarded me with the blandest tasting meals I ever had.
I’m no chef, so that means that I have no idea how to make something taste good unless it already does. That said, Whenever I tried something that wasn’t tuna straight from the can, would bathe it in sauces just so I wouldn’t go nuts. “Sauces.” Hah! I meant ketchup. I love tuna, though, and, I found, that was pretty much the only good protein source I could get my hands on that I could eat as clean as possible. Unfortunately, Mr. Ferriss’ diet has one eating meals 4-5 times a day. I like tuna, but not that much. I wouldn’t be able to take eating that 4-5 times a day, 6 days a week for uh, the rest of my life? Ugh. But you know what? I tried. I really did.
I’d like to clarify before continuing that I loved the rest of the components of the meals, though. I very much love eating beans and vegetables, which we have an abundance of in this country, so I didn’t lack in options with those and I could eat them all day every day. It was just the meat option in each meal that bothered me to no end.
EET is similar to the 4-Hour Diet in that it has “clean” meals as well. These meals would contain proper protein sources, vegetables, fiber, and water, and are very similar to the regular meals that the 4-Hour Body diet require. These meals are also eaten 7 days of the week, instead of the 6 that the 4 Hour Body require.
However, days on EET Fitness are not confined to just these meals, unlike in the 4-Hour Body Diet, where you eat literally only these types of meals all day for 6 straight days. There are daily treat meals on EET, if you meet all of the requirements to open the Metabolic Window. These treat meals are composed of literally anything the participant wants, as long as it at least contains the four major components of the clean meals: protein, vegetables, fiber, and water. Desserts can be added on top of this, as well as anything else the participant loves to eat. There are also other guidelines in placed to prevent participants from overeating during treat meals, such that they remain controlled and sustainable whenever they are scheduled.
AND THE FIRST ROUND GOES TO …
EET wins this round, since the daily meals require no arduous mental toughness as opposed to the 4-Hour Body Diet. I must point out, though, that there are people out there who like the type of meals consumed 6 days a week on the 4-Hour Diet, to the point that they really wouldn’t mind consuming them all day every day. Obviously, Mr. Ferriss is one of them, but I, however, am not, so I have to score the round to EET Fitness. EET Fitness is now ahead 1-0.
ROUND 2: POST-WORKOUT MEALS
THE 4-HOUR DIET
The diet also states that you can eat larger meals with white carbohydrates after “sports training”. I mentioned in my previous article that I was already habitually working out every day, primarily because I had gained an honest taste for it over a decade ago. This meant that I could have these larger meals every day, which was a definite breather for me, given the choice of meals I had the rest of the day.
Since I did all of my workouts in the afternoons, all my large meals were dinners. I realized that I’d read before that if you consume a lot of calories in the evening, your body would store it as fat, since you’re not as active during that time anymore. However, Mr. Ferriss placed his large meal as dinner in the article as well (a pizza), so I figured it was all right.
Unfortunately, since my meals the rest of the day were so bland (or too repetitive, at the very least), I went nuts every time I ate a big meal. I would just take more and more portions of stuff I liked, just to satisfy the cravings I held back the rest of the day. This didn’t happen every day, but it happened often enough that it did way more bad than good.
EET Fitness has very specific guidelines for working out. Like the 4-Hour Body Diet, larger meals are permitted after each workout, but, unlike the 4-Hour Body Diet, these are true cheat meals where the participant can eat literally whatever he or she wants as long as the basic components previously mentioned are present. This allows for events where the participant would want to fully indulge in the foods he or she loves, but without needlessly bingeing.
And the Second Round Goes To…
EET Fitness once again, primarily because, if the participant wants to overindulge in foods he or she wants after a workout, he or she is fully permitted to because of EET’s timing guidelines. In the 4-Hour Body, if one overindulges in post-workout meals that aren’t within the specifically designated cheat day, more harm than good can be easily done, so plenty of mental toughness is still required. EET Fitness goes up another notch to 2-0.
Now, on to the cheat day! You’d think I’d have been relieved to have this all-you-can-eat junk food haven that lasts exactly 24 hous on the 4-Hour Body Diet, and to be honest, I was at first. Unfortunately, I realized that I just didn’t have it in me to make the most of the cheat day as Mr. Ferriss does. Mr. Ferriss says that he regularly “makes himself sick” on Saturdays by indulging in all the treats he held back on for the rest of the week. I could do it. One large meal, sure. But meals for the entire day composed of just junk food? I couldn’t do it for some reason. I kept wanting healthier options in at least some of the meals. That was very interesting for me to discover during this trial.
The cheat day also failed its primary purpose: to prevent my cravings for the next 6 days. Sure, it would do that for the next 1-2 days, maybe even 3. But after that, the cravings would return as normal, especially considering the bland meals I was constantly having.
There are no cheat days on EET Fitness, only cheat meals, and those are permitted literally every day if the guidelines for the Metabolic Window are met. This fit me like a glove because, as I mentioned, I found myself incapable of eating myself sick for an entire day like Mr. Ferriss does. I just didn’t have it in me. Eating some treats every day felt much more comfortable and natural for me than over-stuffing myself for an entire day once a week.
And the Third Round Goes To…
EET Fitness once again because of the way it distributes its cheat meals. EET Fitness leaves the 4-Hour Body in the dust 3-0.
EET WINS BY WAY OF KNOCKOUT
Here’s a quick recap of how EET Fitness dominated the 4-Hour Diet for me:
1. Eat treats literally every day, thus silencing any and all cravings and mental anguish
2. A consultant that helps you every step of the way and more, takes away all the guesswork, and clearly evaluates your progress
THE LOSER’S CORNER
To recap, this is the stuff that didn’t work for me on the 4-Hour Diet:
1. Bland meals literally all day 6 days a week
2. A post-workout meal that invited overeating but wasn’t supposed to
3. A Cheat day that never did what it was supposed to do
4. Lose a ton of weight after 30 mentally agonizing days then gain it all back plus a couple more a few weeks later
TO BE FAIR …
Just to be fair, EET has its own set of weaknesses and difficulties that I need to point out. I went through these, though others may not and some may encounter different sorts of weaknesses on the plan:
1. There are quite a bit of guidelines, and though all of them are very flexible in their own way, it will take a bit of time to learn and properly apply them all.
2. There is a huge risk of overeating during the first few weeks or so on the plan, when one hasn’t yet gotten used to the daily treat meals.
3. EET recommends one work out in the morning before the first meal of the day at least a few times a week for best results. I had a lot of difficulty with this guideline since I was so used to eating breakfast at the start of the day.
But… Doesn’t The 4-Hour Diet Work?
Oh, yes, as I’ve mentioned before, it definitely does, no questions asked. It worked very well for Tim Ferriss, on many commenters on the blog post, and, if you pick up the book, there are about a dozen stories there of different people who have tried, and succeeded, at it.
Unfortunately, though, it didn’t work for me. I tried my best for several months, but it just didn’t stick. Should you try it out? I honestly don’t know. I can’t say whether you’ll wind up with results like mine or like Mr. Ferriss’. Hopefully, though this article will have at least pointed you in the right direction of whether the 4-Hour Body diet is right for you or not.