The Tim Ferriss Four Hour Body Protein Shake

A NOTE ON SKIPPING BREAKFAST

If you skip breakfast even once a week, or opt for a non-breakfast like coffee and toast even once a week, make the blender your first stop after getting out of bed. The following recipe can also be used as a meal replacement or pre-bed snack:

  • 24 oz (3 cups) 2% or whole organic milk
  • 30 g whey protein isolate (chocolate tends to work best)
  • 1 banana
  • 3 heaping tbsp almond butter with no added sugar, maltodextrin, or syrups.
  • 5 ice cubes

Caloric and protein profile with 2% milk (approximate): 970 cal, 75 g protein

 

*If you can afford it, a Vitamix blender is a great tool. It is expensive, but it is a good powerful blender. Another (cheaper) option is an immersion blender. This is actually my personal favorite as it is super easy to clean and stores nicely. I use a Cuisinart immersion blender almost every day and I absolutely love it!

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

julianfstr August 29, 2012 at 3:03 am

I’m not sure I understand how that’s an acceptable meal (replacement) with milk, banana and maltodextrin — as well as 1tbsp more than the recommended max 2tbsp almost butter per day? Please advise? (It *sounds* delicious though.)

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Stephen August 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm

This is part of the feeding program from “Geek to Freak” and “Occam’s Protocol”. You are right to point out that this would not fit in with the slow carb diet. It is an interesting point, yet this is the exact formula Tim recommends in the book. The point here is to FEED not just replace a meal. So if you are not following one of his “bulking” protocols I would personally advise one to follow a more modest approach :).

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julianfstr August 29, 2012 at 3:04 am

*almond not almost

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julianfstr August 30, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Thanks for the reply. Right — I haven’t read that far into the book as I have been following the rapid fat loss path. Thanks for setting me straight. I’l move on to bulking prob pretty soon… Losing fat pretty quickly (~20lb in 6wks with a few days being knocked off track by unexpected travels). So, time’s a-comin to pack on some muscle…

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Stephen August 30, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Awesome work! What an impressive first 6 weeks!

Stephen

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Buck November 13, 2012 at 9:12 pm

This diet just works like a darn. 55 years old, got to 240 before starting. 6 weeks in now @ 216. I’m never, ever hungry and just go to town on cheat day. Down 2 belt holes, my XL shirts are getting baggy and down one size in jeans (with room). I know this will slow down, but I can really see being under 200 by the holidays. I’d like to add 20grams via a shake with my eggs and lentils for breakfast, but from all I’ve read I’m hesitant.

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Cherri January 14, 2013 at 10:18 am

How can this protein shake be adapted if your lactose intolerant?

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Stephen January 14, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Hi Cherri, Great Question.

So lets look at the ingredients:
1. 24 oz (3 cups) 2% or whole organic milk
2. 30 g whey protein isolate (chocolate tends to work best)
3. One banana
4. Three heaping tbsp almond butter
5. Five ice cubes
Caloric and protein profile with 2% milk (approximate): 970 cal, 75 g protein

Obviously, the main problems here are #1 and #2. So here are some workarounds:
1. Take Lactase Enyme before the shake (may or may not work) or choose a lactose free organic milk. http://www.organicvalley.coop/products/milk/lactose-free/
2. Use milk alternatives such as soy milk or almond milk.
3. Get rid of the milk altogether.
4. Whey protein can often be tolerated because of it’s relatively low amount of lactose, but often this is not the case. I am a real big fan of rice protein (even if you are not lactose intolerant)! http://amzn.to/VXxnCa
5. Egg, hemp and buckwheat protein are all god alternatives as well.

The million dollar question is protein… I made a small graphic showing the comparison of protein composition of soy, regular milk and almond milk. I was truly surprised to see how low the protein content was of almond milk. You just taught me something valuable! So soy milk may be a better option, or the lactose free milk.

Rice protein has 12g of protein per heaping tablespoon.

Let me know how it goes, if you come up with a great combo let us know!!

Best of luck,

Stephen

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Protein diet shakes January 30, 2013 at 6:57 am

Replacing certain meals with protein shakes may help you reduce your daily calories, which can help you lose weight. If you rely on protein shakes to replace regular meals, however, you’ll miss out on the nutritional benefits of whole foods. And since protein contains calories, consuming too much protein can actually make losing weight more difficult especially if you drink protein shakes in addition to your usual diet.

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Troy February 10, 2013 at 7:18 am

You should try eWhey. It’s a whole foods-based meal replacement containing organic whey protein, healthy fats, and low-glycemic carbs, enhanced with probiotics, digestive enzymes, and colostrum.

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Stephen February 10, 2013 at 8:12 am

I will check it out Troy, thanks for the recommendation.

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Giorgios February 11, 2013 at 4:35 am

Hi,

I was wondering if you could recommend a substitute for almond butter. I can’t find that where I live.

Thanks!

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Molly February 17, 2013 at 4:04 pm

I need a protein shake that I can buy that is allowed on the
SCD. I often have to get up a 4am for flights and
I am traveling non-stop. In order to get in the 30/30,
this can be difficult at times. I don’t want dairy, sugar. Etc.
is there anything that I can buy for while traveling that
I can use just for these 4am days? Thx Molly
Ps. Love this program!

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Stephen February 19, 2013 at 12:12 am

I would recommend either Vega One http://amzn.to/Xq8Ftu or Matrix Meal http://amzn.to/XK1Z73 . They should both fit the bill!

Stephen

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Molly February 24, 2013 at 8:26 am

Thanks Stephen! Going out to find it today. What are your thoughts on protein bars as well? Seems like Tim thinks overall they should be avoided but the Quest Bar and POSSIBLY the Thin Bar might be OK. The Quest is the best because the Thin Bar does not list sugar but sugar alcohol (11). Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Another very ODD observation. BTW going into week 5 today.

Saturday is my GWD and my weight was up 3 lbs the morning before I started cheating. Then I weighed this morning AFTER my cheat day is it was down 2 lbs. On Friday before before my cheat day, I ran 1 hour then did an intense spin class. All while drinking a lot of water and not cheating that Friday. Maybe water retention even though I drank over 8 glasses of water total? I can’t that figure out that one bit.

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Stephen February 24, 2013 at 9:10 am

Hey Molly,

I think protein bars can be a good snack. I like to use them especially during a long hike, trail run or bike ride. I am not very particular when it comes to a specific brand, and because I use them while working out I surely don’t mind (in fact I actually prefer) some amount of carbohydrate. That being said, my sister has made me a fan of Luna Bars http://www.lunabar.com/ . Mostly because I am always steeling them from her when we are on rides. They are tasty and sold all over the place.

As far as your weight fluctuations don’t be concerned, some of this may depend on your menstrual cycle as well.. Many women will have shifts of 10 lbs. or so in a given week based on this. I recommend tossing the scale out the window and weigh yourself once a month 1-2 weeks after your period. (if you are menstruating) and at the same time of day (probably best in the morning). My patients who have had the most success actually dieted without weigh ins for 30 day periods at a time.
May be something to consider.

Stephen

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Molly February 24, 2013 at 11:21 am

Stephen,
Thanks a TON for your comments. They really made me feel better. I was very disappointed yesterday. VERY. I have been a saint for a month and I would guess that I am down just around 4-5 lbs. I am hoping for around 8-10 more. Not a ton but significant considering I am only 5’4. I am a classic case of an over exercising and that is what made me really think about the 4 Hour body. I have cut back my workouts but a typical week NOWis the following:
3-4 times of bikram
2-3 times running (1 hour-6 miles)
1x a ten mile walk
2-3 times Tim’s kettle bell workout (I run for 15 minutes first then after each set-which I add other things-arms, crunches, etc.) I run for 3 minutes between the 3 sets I do.

So to be a saint (not even sugar free gum) and only around 4-5 lbs in a month is a bit depressing. People will say 5 lbs in one week and my story is different. BUT yesterday is a perfect example to not let the scale tell the story. I LOST 2 lbs after a day of having two slices of pizza, graham crackers and topped it off with a half of a very sugary cupcake. I felt SICK at the end of the evening. I don’t drink alcohol so that is never an issue. I am 11 days before my cycle so that might be a factor. I am in it for the long haul and I need to remember that as well. Not the quick 10 lbs in one month and to only gain it back in two weeks.

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Hemendra Kumar September 29, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Stephen,
Thanks for the protein shake recipe!
Can I drink that everyday as the first thing to kickstart my metabolism? I see banana and milk that’s why I ask.

HK

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rob rivera November 10, 2013 at 9:35 pm

im in a country outside the us where protein powder is quite expensive.

is there any substitute to protein powder that i can use to make daily morning protein shakes?

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C117 April 13, 2014 at 10:19 pm

Would this be a good thing to have before/after a work out? I’ve been trying to find an easy thing to have before I go exercising (I’ve lost my 4HB book!). Would you recommend this?

Thanks!

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Stephen April 14, 2014 at 11:51 pm

Definitely best to drink your shake after your workout.

- Stephen

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neroli April 24, 2014 at 8:18 am

Hi there,

I’m just trying to find out some stuff about the 4 Hour Body morning protein shake…are you allowed to put banana in it? I think the answer is already no…from what i can gather, it’s no sugar at all unless sweetened with stevia…is that right?

cheers, neroli

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Stephen April 24, 2014 at 8:41 am

Hi Neroli,

Nope, no banana sorry… As 99% monkey this makes me very sad as well :-). And yes, you want to avoid all sugar, stevia is a wonderful option, although when you are shopping make sure to find a product that does not have a “filler” these are often in the form of maltodextrin which is basically sugar. You may be best to go with liquid stevia.

- Stephen

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neroli April 24, 2014 at 6:36 pm

That’s unlucky for me isn’t it Stephen : / Well, thanks for confirming my suspicions & for getting back to me so quickly. Whilst I’m at it, coconut milk…I read that that’s ok to use in a 4 hr body breakfast smoothie…or it was coconut something else?…can you set me right on that distinction? I can of course go and research this again myself, but if you already know – I’d love to find out :)

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