The 4 x 4 Diet: 4 Key Foods, 4-Minute Workouts, Four Weeks to the Body You Want

The 4 x 4 Diet: 4 Key Foods, 4-Minute Workouts, Four Weeks to the Body You Want


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Discover the 4 key foods and the 4-minute workouts that will change the way you look and feel in just 4 weeks.

Celebrity trainer and former marine Erin Oprea's motto is "lean and clean." Her unique 4 x 4 diet shows you how to get clean by reducing the 4 major hitches in most diets: sugar, starch, sodium, and alcohol. She also tells you how to get lean, using her 4-minute tabata workouts: 8 repititions of 20 seconds of high-intensity moves, then 10 seconds of rest.

Within 4 weeks, the average person will be able to reduce bloating and belly fat; gain increased muscle definition in the arms, legs, and stomach; improve cardiovascular endurance; and break sugar and sodium addictions. Complete with meal plans and recipes, The 4 x 4 Diet is perfect for anyone looking to streamline your body and lifestyle.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101903100
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 12/04/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 32,176
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

ERIN OPREA is a NESTA- and AFAA-certified personal trainer as well as a former marine who has served two tours of duty in Iraq. She has been Carrie Underwood's personal trainer since early 2007, and has earned the title of "Trainer to the Stars." She currently lives in Nashville with her husband and two boys.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The Road to Living Clean and Lean

I grew up in Sacramento, San Diego, and then Nashville, playing sports like soccer and swimming all along the way. I was constantly active starting at a young age, thanks in large part to my dad--he’s the one who introduced me to soccer, and he later coached my high school team. (I still play competitively, and I even met my husband on the soccer field. He’s also a personal trainer and fellow fitness freak.) My dad was always moving, whether it was tackling a 150-mile bike ride or opting for the stairs over the elevator. Our lifestyle wasn’t simply about being athletic--it was about being active.

As a teenager, I was eager to finish high school. I knew I wanted to share my passion for fitness with all kinds of people, so I graduated at sixteen and became a certified trainer within two years. By this point, I had honed the “lean” part of my clean and lean philosophy: The more you move, the more you stay lean. It was simple and clearly effective--all anyone had to do was look at my dad’s and my trim physiques, which we attributed to our active lifestyle. I preached this motto often.

But I was also eager to keep challenging myself physically. So when I was twenty, I enlisted in the Marines, and I served two tours in Iraq between 2003 and 2005. The day before I was scheduled to leave for my second deployment, a group of friends and family gathered at my parents’ house for a going-away cookout. At one point, my dad walked over to my mom and told her that his chest hurt. The two of them went inside, and she turned around to get something for him--and that’s when he suddenly fell over and died. Instantly. The doctors later told us that he was dead before he even hit the ground. Within three minutes, he went from feeling ill to suffering a fatal heart attack.

My dad was just fifty-two when he passed away. He had been trim and strong his whole life--he’d thrived on being physically active--and he’d never had any major health issues. So how did this happen? The answer was crushing: for more than five decades, he had eaten whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. He’d never been told to watch his diet, to eat certain foods, and to avoid certain others. For me, it was the hardest way to learn that being thin doesn’t necessarily mean being healthy

My father’s sudden death changed everything for me. After I took ten days of military emergency leave, duty called. It was heartbreaking to leave my family--especially my mom--when the pain was still so fresh, but I had to follow through on my commitment and return to Iraq.

Upon arriving, I threw myself into work. This was 2004, and Fallujah had been shut down. When Iraqi citizens were finally being let back in the city, every individual had to be searched. Men weren’t allowed to physically touch the women, so the Marines’ first-ever all-female platoon was created--and my superiors appointed me as the sergeant to train and lead that search force. One of my main duties was to look for suicide bombers, contraband, and guns at various checkpoints around Fallujah. It was intense--and I loved every minute of it. I actually tried to extend my stay, but my commanding officer made me come home.

After returning to Nashville, I finally started to process my dad’s death. My way of doing this was by learning everything I could about food and how it affects your body. I took nutrition seminars, experimented endlessly with recipes, and eventually became certified as a nutrition coach. One of my biggest revelations was that I began to see food as fuel for your body--not as a reward or as a hobby--and I set out to discover the most efficient ways to use it. The answer, in short, is to maintain a diet with as many whole foods and as few processed foods as possible. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, legumes, nuts--these are what your body should be running on. My findings ultimately became the “clean” part of my clean and lean philosophy.

Over the next few years, I began training elite clients and instilling in them the virtues of being clean and lean--not just one or the other. In my own kitchen, I continued to experiment with all kinds of recipes and ingredients, working toward the cleanest and best-tasting diet possible. The process is ever-evolving, but I’ve pinned down four key eating habits: cutting out starches at night and cutting back on your sugar, sodium, and alcohol intake. Practicing all four of these habits regularly has produced the most dramatic effects on my own body and my clients’ bodies. Meanwhile, I also discovered an innovative four-minute workout called tabata that shocked me with its (science-backed) effectiveness. 

Grabbing onto the “4” element of each discovery, I developed the 4 × 4 Diet. The combination of these four clean eating habits and four-minute workouts has been a game-changer for me as well as for my clients, who span just about every age, body type, and fitness level. Listen, I am always excited to eat healthy and try new exercises. It’s my job, it’s my passion, and it’s also my lifestyle. But the 4 × 4 Diet has gotten my clients--people who have struggled with weight loss and motivation for years--to be excited to clean up their diet and work out. And now I want to share it with you.


Excerpted from "The 4 x 4 Diet"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Erin Oprea.
Excerpted by permission of Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Foreword Carrie Underwood xi

Introduction xiii

Part 1 The Clean and Lean Lifestyle

Chapter 1 The Road to Living Clean and Lean 3

Chapter 2 What Is Clean and Lean? 6

Chapter 3 Overcoming Excuses 18

Part 2 Eating Clean

Chapter 4 The 4 Clean Eating Habits 27

Clean Habit #1 Cut Out Starches at Night 29

Clean Habit #2 Cut Back on Sugar 34

Clean Habit #3 Cut Back on Sodium 40

Clean Habit #4 Cut Back on Alcohol 46

Chapter 5 All-Star Ingredients and Kitchen Tools 55

Chapter 6 Prep Day 70

Chapter 7 Recipes for Every Meal 75

Breakfast 76

Lunch 81

Dinner 86

Sides 96

Snacks 98

Desserts 101

Smoothies 104

Chapter 8 Recipe Variations and Substitutions 107

Part 3 Getting Lean

Chapter 9 The 4-Minute Workout 119

Chapter 10 The Equipment You'll Need 123

Chapter 11 Before and After Every Workout 126

Chapter 12 Mastering the Three Levels of Tabatas 132

Beginner Tabatas 134

Intermediate Tabatas 157

Advanced Tabatas 177

Chapter 13 Tabata Variations and Modifications 192

Chapter 14 Exercises for Injuries and Ailments 197

Part 4 The 4×4 Diet

Week 1 Beginner Tabatas + Cutting Out Starches at Night 208

Week 2 Beginner/Intermediate Tabatas + Cutting Back on Sugar 212

Week 3 Intermediate Tabatas + Cutting Back on Sodium 217

Week 4 Intermediate/Advanced Tabatas + Cutting Back on Alcohol 222

Epilogue: now what? 229

References 231

Index 235

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