The PAGG Stack – Tim Ferriss’ Secret Supplement Stack for Fat Loss

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Tim Ferriss is a legendary self-experimenter, always on the look out for the next best way to lose fat and gain muscle. Tim has tried EVERYTHING when it comes to fat loss.

He has worked with the top researchers in the world, and has tried numerous supplements and diets on himself. Tim released his ground-breaking research to the world in his New York Times best-selling book, The 4-Hour Body.

All of Ferriss’ research and self-experimentation has culminated in the ultimate supplement stack for fat-loss – the PAGG Stack. 

PAGG – The Four Horsemen of Fat-Loss

In the late 1990’s, Ferriss experimented with an effective, yet somewhat dangerous cocktail for fat-loss known as the “ECA” stack. This stack was composed of ephedrine hydrochloride, caffeine, and aspirin. Tim used ECA to be able to produce veins on his stomach for the first time in his life.

While the ECA stack produced fantastic results, it was marred with side effects. On the stack, Ferriss was consuming well over 600 milligrams of caffeine per day. Tolerance soon developed, and according to the 4-Hour Body, “withdrawal pains lead to a domino effect of stimulant use. Either people never stop taking ECA or they substitute in equally strong drugs to avoid chronic fatigue. “

Following the ECA stack, Tim removed stimulants and had to completely “reset” his adrenal system. Tim realized he need a more sustainable approach to fat-loss, one that wasn’t riddled with stimulants and side effects. This gave way to the PAGG stack.

What’s in the PAGG Stack?

Let’s take a closer look into what’s actually in the PAGG stack, along with the exact brand of supplements Ferriss takes according to the 4-Hour Body.

Daily PAGG intake is timed before meals and bed – producing the following schedule:

Prior to breakfast: AGG

Prior to lunch: AGG

Prior to dinner: AGG

Prior to bed: PAG (omit the green tea extract)

So prior to meals, you will take AGG, which is simply PAGG minus policosanol. Follow this dosing schedule six days a week. Be sure to take one day off each week and one week off every two months. Tim emphasizes that this week off is critical.

Now, let’s take a deeper dive into what the PAGG stack’s ingredients.

Policosanol

The P in PAGG stands for policosanol, which Tim says is the most controversial element in the stack. Policosanol is an extract of plant waxes, most often sugar cane. Tim originally experimented with policosanol at low and high doses to increase HDL cholesterol and decrease LDL cholesterol. In Tim’s famous “Geek to Freak” project, he lowered his total cholesterol from 222 to 147, while almost doubling HDL by taking policosanol before bed.

In addition to completely transforming his cholesterol levels, Tim noticed an unintended, but significant reduction in bodyfat. After these findings, Tim further tested policosanol and concluded that he experienced far superior effects for fat-loss vs. AGG alone. He tested three different brands of policosanol and three dosages (10, 23, and 40 mg per day). Based on his studies, Tim found 23 milligrams of policosanol to be optimal for fat-loss. Tim specifically takes Nature’s Life Policosanol.

Policosanol dosage: Take 20-25 mg of policosanol prior to bed.

Alpha-lipoic acid

The second ingredient in the PAGG stack is alpha-lipoic acid (ALA). A powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger, ALA has a multitude of benefits. ALA has been proven to regenerate vitamin C and vitamin E, restore levels of the antioxidant that declines with age known as intracellular glutathione, and increase the excretion of harmful and toxic heavy metals such as mercury.

ALA first gained popularity in the 1970’s as a treatment for chronic liver diseases, reversing disease in 75 out of 79 subjects! Tim began taking ALA for its incredible impact on glucose uptake and reduced triglyceride production. ALA increases muscular absorption of calories and supplements, allowing less calories to be deposited as fat and faster strength gains.

In addition to increasing glucose and nutrient absorption, ALA demonstrates triglyceride inhibition – reduces what the body stores as fat. A 2009 article from the Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics goes into further detail saying:

Livers from LA [lipoic acid]-treated rats exhibited elevated glycogen content, suggesting dietary carbohydrates were stored as glycogen rather than becoming lipogenic substrate.

So to some up the science, ALA helps you store the carbs you eat in your muscles and/or liver instead of being stored as fat. According to the 4-Hour Body, Tim uses the ALA supplement by Vitamin Shoppe.

ALA dosage: 100-300 mg of ALA with each meal and prior to bed

Green tea flavanols (EGCG)

EGCG stands for epigallocatechin gallate, which is a catechin and flavanol found in green tea. Some of the benefits of EGCG are decreasing the risk of UV-induced skin damage, reducing mitochondrial oxidative stress (a fancy way of saying anti-aging), and inhibiting cancer growth.

Tim tested green tea and EGCG for the underreported benefits related to body composition. First EGCG carries the ability to inhibit the storage of excess carbohydrates as bodyfat – and like ALA – diverts these carbs to muscle cells. Another awesome benefit of EGCG is that it increases programmed cell death in mature fat cells. By killing off these mature fat cells, EGCG helps to prevent people from regaining fat. People regain fat due to what Ferriss describes as “fat memory” (basically the size of fat cells decreases, but not the actual number of them). By helping to kill these stubborn mature fat cells, EGCG literally helps to prevent regaining weight.

Human studies have shown increased fat-loss with using as little as 150 milligrams of EGCG, but increasing the milligrams also increases total fat-loss. Ferriss advises taking 325 milligrams three to four times per day in order to maximize fat-loss. Tim also suggest getting EGCG from decaffeinated green tea extract pills, because using tea leaves will be too imprecise and will leave you feeling ill due to all the caffeine you would be consuming. Tim specifically takes Mega Green Tea Extract, 325+ mg, decaffeinated.

EGCG dosage: 325 milligrams with each meal and before bed

Garlic extract (Allicin Potential, S-Allyl Cysteine)

Tim actually implemented the last step of the PAGG protocol from an encounter with a homeless man. The man claimed to have lost over 100 pounds from eating garlic. “Clove after clove. It’s that simple,” said the man. At the time, Tim had been researching garlic for it’s fat loss purposes, and this encounter was the final push.

Garlic extract and its parts have been used to manage cholesterol and even treat staph infections. Of course, Tim uses garlic extract for fat-loss purposes. He has had the best fat-loss results using extracts with high doses of allicin. Allicin is an enzyme found in garlic, and when delivered in a stable form, has the benefit of inhibiting fat regain.

Tim recommends using an aged- garlic extract supplement with high allicin potential that includes allicin’s precursor, S-Allyl cysteine, which exhibits an oral bioavailability of almost 100%. Ferriss tried eating clove after clove of garlic, but for obvious reasons doesn’t recommend it. Tim recommends taking 650+ mg of garlic extract with each meal and before bed. Ferriss’ brand of choice is Allicin 6000 Garlic – 650 mg.

Garlic extract dosage: 650 mg with each meal and before bed

PAGG Stack Summary and Cheat Sheet

There are a lot of details to follow in the PAGG stack, so let’s do a quick review of what is in the PAGG stack and the dosing schedule.

What PAGG stands for:

Policosanol

Alpha-lipoic acid

Green tea flavanols

Garlic extract

PAGG Dosage

Prior to breakfast, lunch, and dinner take:

100-300 mg ALA, 325 mg Green Tea Flavanols, and 200-650+ mg Garlic extract

Prior to bed take:

20-25 mg policosanol, 100-300 mg ALA, and 200-650+ mg Garlic extract

PAGG dosing schedule:

Take six days a week, taking one day off per week. Take one week off completely every two months (Ferriss says this week off is critical).

Where To Get The PAGG Stack

To get the correct dose of everything in the PAGG stack, you’re going to need to take supplements. Thankfully, in the 4-Hour Body, Tim list exactly which brands he takes. Below you can find some links to the exact supplements Tim takes during this stack on Amazon.

Nature’s Life – Policosanol, 60 tablets

Vitamin Shoppe – Alpha-Lipoic Acid, 100 mg, 60 capsules

Mega Green Tea Extract – 325+ mg EGCG, 100 capsules

Allicin 6000 Garlic – 650 mg, 100 caplets

Another option is to buy the PAGG Stack by NewHealth Solutions. This popular option is extremely convenient as the dosages are already precisely measured. You can pick up the PAGG Stack by NewHealth on Amazon.

Precautions

Ferriss also had a little section of warnings so we will just cover that real quick. While on the PAGG stack, ensure you are getting an adequate amount of B-complex vitamins. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, do not use PAGG. Also, be sure to consult your doctor if you have a medical condition before taking PAGG.

PAGG Stack Resources and Studies

If you want to channel your inner scientist and take a closer look at the ingredients in the PAGG Stack – look no further. Below you will find relevant resources and scientific studies regarding ingredients found in the PAGG stack and their effect on fat-loss. We also highly recommend picking up The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss.

2017 Alpha-Lipoic Acid Study by World Obesity Federation

Green Tea Extract May Be More Effective Than You Thought

Policosanol Benefits for Cholesterol & Weight Loss

Does Garlic Burn Fat?

The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss