With its increase in popularity, the 4 Hour Body slow carb diet has definitely spread across North America, in many different forms.
But while it’s easy to exclude all cheeses, as you hunt for different flavors you might be tempted by some familiar cheeses, or you might like to try something new. Cottage cheese has been mentioned by Tim Ferriss, and others, to be OK as a last resort, or backup. Feta cheese has been argued by some people as being OK, because true Feta is made from goat’s milk and will be different to dairy cheese. My comment about fat refers to slow carb preferring legumes + vegetables + lean protein sources..
Hey Jessica, it’s up to you, but technically, any cheese is not part of the Four Hour Body slow carb diet.
Hey Jessica, it’s up to you, but technically, any cheese is not part of the Four Hour Body slow carb diet. One of the things that Tim mentioned was the problem with cheese is the lactose, a milk sugar. I think avoiding the lactose is one key aspect of it, however cheese sits somewhere between providing protein, and providing unneeded fat.
Going off cheese is tough for a lot of people, and you’re right about it being linked to the lactose. The comments I make about calories and fat allude to the fact that cheese is very dense in calories and typically high in fat. I agree that it’s not fat that makes you fat, however the optimum slow carb diet is low in fat because it still includes carbohydrates.


The Atkins principle works on the same science, but avoids carbohydrates almost entirely, so that insulin is never a consideration. What about cheese substitutes, such as almond milk mozzarella cheese, which is both low fat and higher in protein (also avoids the soy factor). Lots of people are now eating bean and protein based diets, and finding great ways to make them taste fantastic. Obviously, it is a dairy product, unless it’s goat cheese, or sheep cheese, or another variation. In general, cheese packs a lot of fat, a small to moderate amount of protein, and the potential to delivery a lot more energy than you’ll notice, making it easier to overeat. So even lactose free cheese is less ideal than a lean protein source, like fish or chicken. I think in general, the slow carb diet works well because the food options also naturally limit your ability to take in calories (even though you don’t need to count), and this helps fat loss.
But then you say that the foods listed in the diet are naturally less calories and less fat, implying that less calories and fat are good. Though the carbs are digested slowly, in some cases some insulin will still be released, and if there’s higher amounts of fat in the bloodstream, from dietary intake, that fat will be stored. In its original form, the slow carb diet basically rules out cheese for all days but cheat day, but as more people have adopted it’s principles, more recipes are showing up online including some kinds of cheeses.
It means in a pinch, it’s better to get protein than not get it, and cottage cheese is high in protein and low in fat. I do make it a part of my diet as I find it hard to get enough calories although I eat tons of protein, veggies and some beans.


This is why cottage cheese is right on the borderline, as it provides a huge amount of protein with very little fat. Ferris loves Mexican food and said its probably the easiest type of food to eat out slow carb style.
He specifically says not to worry about calories, and I have been tracking what I eat, following the diet precisely as written, and I’m easily consuming twice the calories I normally would. My diet, in terms of calories, is about 60% fat, 30% protein and 10% carbohydrates – mostly from legumes. According to the book, cheese is out, with all other dairy, because it contains lactose, which is identified as slowing fat loss.
A ketogenic diet (one where fat is used for energy, not carbs) like slow carb does rely much more on the kinds of foods that are eaten, rather than the total calories consumed, however, that doesn’t mean calories are totally irrelevant. We could also argue that cheese is one of the most high calorie foods available, and one that’s easy to go overboard with. Tim mentions not counting calories, because that is not a foundational pillar to success, however in the book, his results show the average loss for people who counted calories while on slow carb to be 35% more (27lbs vs 20lbs), so when considering modifying the diet (eating cheese is a good example), then it means you need to pay a little more attention to calories, as the simplicity gets complicated.
Heck, I was off the diet for 2 months, but still ate the same 30g protein breakfast and didn’t gain a pound.



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