We got this question from Donna H:
Hi, I’m about to start the four hour body diet for the second time. The problem I had last time was that I REALLY struggle to eat breakfast and end up only managing a very small amount of protein! I’ve seen that some people use protein shakes which I would find much easier to tolerate but I’m not sure which you recommend. I live in the UK and the one I have heard others talk about ‘primal fuel’ doesn’t seem to be available here, could you please advise what I should be looking for? I know shakes aren’t ideal but at least I’d manage to get some protein down! Thanks.
I completely sympathize. I was never a “big breakfast” kind of guy (unless we’re talking a massive brunch with eggs benedict and waffles on the weekend, and I’m still a fan of that on cheat days!), so transitioning to eating big breakfasts shortly after waking up was definitely a challenge. Frankly, although protein shakes are a “third choice” according to Tim, I think everyone would agree that we shouldn’t let the perfect be the enemy of good here. It’s far better for you to be at least getting the protein than skipping it altogether. As Tim said in the story about his father who was postponing breakfast, when he postponed breakfast his weight loss dropped to 5.5 pounds per month; when he started consuming the protein again, it more than tripled to 18.75 pounds per month. And that was with the protein shake!
The the protein shake that Tim’s father drank in the book is Myoplex. This is really convenient: you can get it off of Amazon (both in the US and UK) and is ready-to-drink. It has a ton of protein (42 grams) and comes in a couple flavors. And as protein shakes go, it doesn’t taste bad. However, it is no longer considered “on” the slow-carb diet, since it supposedly has a number of things (sweeteners, dairy, higher carbs) that are not slow-carb friendly in it. The hard-core slow-carbers now recommend Nature’s Best Isopure Unflavored. This doesn’t have the additional vitamins and minerals that Myoplex has, but it also doesn’t have any carbs, sweeteners, soy, etc. And since it’s virtually flavorless, I’ve even heard about people adding it to their coffee in order to get their protein!
You’re not just limited to these two. As a general guideline, look for
whey protein that:
- Is unsweetened
- Does not come from soy or dairy sources
- Has little to no carbs
- Has 30g of protein per serving (or at least really close)
That said, these two are good ones to get you started. As Tim says, The 4 Hour Body is intended to be a manual and starting point for self-experimentation, so try these out and see what your mileage is. Some people can’t drink Myoplex and lose weight, while others (like Tim’s dad) can. But if you do give protein shakes a try, come back here and let us know what works and doesn’t work for you!
(Updated 04/07/15: fix the confusion about non-dairy whey protein which obviously doesn’t exist — sorry for the mis-type!)
Update 03/10/18: We’ve had a LOT of readers talk up using a BlenderTop for their protein shakes. I’ve checked it out and definitely like it! The one I like is the BlenderBottle Classic Loop Top Shaker Bottle – super easy to use, cleans well, and it’s cheap 🙂