"How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise" Does this diet have any merit?

Diet described here.

“How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise”

It’s decent basic diet except that he says

1: “Eat as much as you like of the above food items” and he sets aside Saturday as a day where you can go nuts and eat whatever you want. I could easily be quite satisfied with a diet like this, but beans and lentils have a big calorie load and if I ate as much as I wanted I would imagine I could easily gain weight.

2: Re a diet free Saturday beyond the big calorie load of a “go nuts” day when I have a big calorie day in the middle of a diet it spins my appetite way, way up the next day or two so I’m dealing with insane hunger pangs until my stomach shrinks again.

Does this diet make any sense at all? If I followed this diet I see myself getting as big as a whale.

It is possible that for some people, this would work. Notice how there are no carbohydrates listed? Also, the food items listed provide high degrees of satiety : for at least some people, their sense of hunger will be greatly diminished by eating small quantities of this kind of food.

The problem is that as you lose mass, your body will detect this dangerous condition*. This will trigger many complex behavior adjusting events in your brain. You’ll probably get almost uncontrollable urges to eat things not on the list. For me (I am moderately overweight), I get cravings for chocolate.

*From your body’s perspective, losing mass is as dangerous an event as “coolant level LOW” is in a nuclear reactor.

Another fad diet, which have been shown countless times to be ineffective for long term weight control, because no one can stick at them.

Eat healthily and watch your portion sizes is the only long term solution. Weight Watchers is very effective in this regard.

Legumes and peas are highly carby, they just also happen to have a large amount of fiber to them.

[when calculating insulin you can take the number of carbs and subtract the number of grams of fiber in one form of calculation, which is how some high carb stuff gets dragooned into the all you can eat of these lists]

Since New Year I have lost 17lbs. The only changes I’ve made to my diet are cutting back (but not eliminating) on bread and pasta and controlling the sizes of my portions when eating. Stopping eating when I’m full, rather than forcing myself to eat everything, has also helped. I also log what I have been eating each day so I have a rough estimate of the calories I’ve been eating.

Other than that, I still eat the same kinds of things I was eating before: I’ll still eat biscuits, for instance, with a cup of tea if I’m not too close to my calorie limit for the day. I’ve tried these weird diets before, and tried diets where you live the life of an ascetic, never eating chocolate or biscuits, and they never work as your body starts craving food and particularly junk food. The best sort of diet is one where you don’t feel like you are dieting.

I think it’s hilarious whenever someone posts about how they lost a lot of weight in a short time.

The hilarious thing is that there are always people who will post in their thread and tell them the approach they took is just terrible and they should never do that but should do some other approach instead.

If you find an approach that works for you, I suggest you should be happy but keep it to yourself. Otherwise some fool will always have negative things to say and will try to knock you off your game. Just let them go their own way and wish them luck. But keep it to yourself.

I think your last paragraph is probably true unless the recommendation is simple calorie reduction. Calorie reduction is a surefire way to lose weight and people who say “but I only eat 1000 calories a day and don’t lose anything!” or the even more ridiculous “I actually GAINED weight” are full of shit. If calories in < calories out, you lose weight.

Restrictive diets like the one in the OP make no sense to me. If my net goal for calorie intake in a given day is 1200, I’m going to spend those calories however I want to. Just like with money budgets, you learn fairly quickly that convenience is going to cost you and wasteful spending probably isn’t a good idea in the long term. So maybe I got that chocolate cake I wanted so badly at noon. Now I’m done eating for the day and/or I have to spend an extra hour on the elliptical. That’s not smart spending and I probably won’t do it again tomorrow. Just like with my dollars, I’m going to find the best way to stretch my calorie budget which pretty much requires healthy eating. So now I’m losing weight AND eating better food.

Calorie counting works, if you’re honest about it. Controlling portions, even without actually counting, is a good start unless you’re measuring a serving and then going back to measure out more.

People eat too much food, period. If weight loss is your goal, it really doesn’t matter WHAT you eat, just that you eat LESS. That’s not at all true from a health perspective, of course; you could probably lose weight on a chocolate cake diet but it wouldn’t be good for you at all.

To narrowly address the op - no it is not true.

The medically supervised very low calorie diets, 800 calories a day of less, might get that much weight off over one month (and then slow down to averaging less than half that rate from there) and that weight loss is not all fat; some lean body mass is lost too, especially with rapid loss and not including resistance exercise. The claim of 20 pounds of fat in 30 days without exercise is complete bull.

That said lots of people find great success with nutrition plans not too dissimilar to that. It’s a relatively high protein, low fat, high fiber plan. The carbs are complex ones, not highly refined ones. Okay most who do similar plans successfully long term also add in some nuts and fruits and root veggies but otherwise it is similar to a version of the trendy paleo plus legumes. High satiety.

I’ve always thought that a lot of these plans sometimes work because they make you conscious of what you’re eating. If you’re watching fat intake, counting carbs, logging WW Points, eating a veggie with each meal etc it probably has the effect of cutting down on impulse, automatic eating because you are being more deliberate about what you are eating at any moment.

Cutting down on impulse eating can ultimately reduce calories, leading to weight loss for those people.

For me, it wasn’t until I started doing Weight Watchers did I realize how much impulse eating I was doing. When I had to log it all, I wouldn’t eat as much because I became more aware that I was eating it or it wasn’t worth the effort to find something that fit in the plan, as I wasn’t really all that hungry.

Does he even try to prove the loss is all fat? Any exercise/diet program that involves zero exercise generally means muscle tone will be lost unless you’re already inert.


Honestly, losing weight is pretty easy if you actually want to lose it enough to put a small amount of effort into it. I say this as someone who thought for years that it was near impossible.

Because in fairness, while an approach may work, it may not always be the most healthy. In a discussion mostly surrounding health, it’s beneficial for people to highlight the downsides of certain programs or explain why and how they work.

Low carb - no exercise diets can be an effective way to force your body to consume fat reserves. But the main way you consume fat as energy, is to do something which requires energy, like placing physical demands aka exercise-- if you remove this from the equation, you’re forced to further compromise your diet to create the necessary deficit, especially over a shorter period of time. There is also the fact that your body will adjust for your new calorie intake vs the actual demands it’s seeing…and that’s not touching on the types of calories.

Again, it’s doable, and I’m not specifically talking about the plan in the OP…but the fast/easy way isn’t always best. When talking about goals behind personal health, why not explore better ways to treat yourself?

Now commenting (but not judging) the actual plan, the interesting part about it all, is that a good exercise program would actually make the overall process faster and healthier. You could even end up changing the weight from excess fat, to weight from muscle (meaning lbs. don’t always tell the entire story).

Just to be clear the diet plan author’s calculation of total fat lbs lost (for himself at least) is actual measured weight loss he ascribes to fat, AND he also deducts what he determines/estimates/reckons his lean muscle gain during that period was, so 15 lb weight plus + 10 lbs est. muscle gain = 25 lbs of actual “loss”.

It is my belief that when these restrictive or elimination diets work, they work because they force people to pay attention to what they’re eating. And if the elimination diet is one that a particular person can stick to, they can lose weight that way.

To lose weight you need to eat less and exercise more. Diets work when people stick to them, so a diet you won’t actually stick to is worthless, the only diet that will work is one that you actually follow. If a particular diet tricks your particular brain into eating less, then that’s great. If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t.

He lists “mixed vegetables” too, which I’m interpreting as that frozen US-standard bagged mix which invariably contains carrots, corn, and peas, and sometimes lima beans. All very “carby” foods.

Yeah, he’s delusional.

Just a note, this all comes from The 4 Hour Body, which includes a lot of extra weight loss stuff outside of just dieting, and has a bit more substance than the “One crazy trick!” stuff. I tried it, lost about 25 pounds in a month (although I’m sure half of that was just water weight). I ended up going off of it because I love carbs (and dairy) too damn much. I remember the craving got so bad that I ended up shoving flour tortillas in my mouth one night.

I will say that having a large, protein heavy, no carb breakfast is probably the most effective part of the diet, just based on my experience.

Just using some basic math and science here: 20 lb at 3500 cal/lb = 70,000 calories of fat he would have to burn in a month.

Assuming a month is 30 days, that is (70,000/30) = 2333 calorie per day deficeit.

With no exercise, a generous basal metabolic rate for a sedentary adult male is 2500 calories per day. Interesting that he only got 170 calories of energy per day from all that food.

However, if he’s doing no exercise, as stated, the advertised muscle gain is certainly magical.

So, yeah, it’s bullshit.

The unglamourous answer as others have said is counting calories. Nobody want to hear this though and they’ll make every kind of excuse, most of which break the laws of thermodynamics.

In my personal life, I can be hard to take, because I’m very blunt about these things. I speak as a 41 year old male who has heard all the excuses because he has made all the excuses. I was overweight from my late 20s to my mid to late 30s. It wasn’t until I saw a certified nutritionalist and learned calorie counting/portion control that I lost 50lb, going from a chunky 6’1" x 225lb to where I am now. It sucked, I was hungry and hated it, but I learned how to eat properly and have kept the weight of with minimal effort since then. Limiting calories within the confines of a balanced diet is the key.

My motto: If your diet as a name it’s a bad diet.

Side note: I saw this one literally yesterday: 2 twin brothers tried different diets - one cut out carbs, the other fats. The results were completely as I would have predicted.

Really, the title of the post doesn’t match the article. He posts his schedule:

10am – breakfast
1pm – lunch
5pm – smaller second lunch
7:30-9pm – sports training
10pm – dinner
12am – glass of wine and Discovery Channel before bed

I’m not sure what “sports training” is other than exercise.

One voice of small disagreement as already expressed. Yes the persons claims are complete bullshit, but no it is NOT true that only calorie counting works. The result needs to be fewer calories and more activity (preferably some resistance training in the mix to help at least maintain muscle mass during weight loss) but counting the calories is not the only way to achieve that goal. Low carb people end up there as well and so do quite a few other approaches. Individuals need to find the approach that they can live with which is not a one size fits all.

The delusional blog poster’s plan would very likely produce good results. Again, high satiety foods and a limited (boring) selection of them will very likely result in significantly reduced intake without counting calories at all.