About the Author:
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IAN K. SMITH, M.D., is the number one bestselling author of The Fat Smash Diet, Extreme Fat Smash Diet, The 4 Day Diet, Happy, and The Truth About Men. He is a medical contributor on The Rachael Ray Show, host of nationally syndicated radio show HealthWatch, and served as the medical/diet expert for six seasons on VH1's hit Celebrity Fit Club. He is also creator/founder of two national health initiatives: the 50 Million Pound Challenge and the Makeover Mile. A graduate of Harvard, Columbia, and the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Dr. Smith was appointed by President Obama to the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.
The SHRED Concept
SHRED is a revolutionary diet plan that combines several different strategies in an effort to help users lose weight, increase confidence, and improve overall wellness. Unlike many other programs that simply focus on how many pounds are lost on the scale, SHRED also improves other health factors, such as reducing risk for high blood pressure, decreasing the risk for diabetes, and improving energy levels. With so many programs available it is reasonable to ask why one would choose SHRED over another popular diet. The answer is simple. SHRED allows you to eat normal food that’s inexpensive. It is extremely simple to understand, and it does not require perfection for you to find success. Another important aspect that many SHREDDERs have liked is that the diet can be customized based on the results you’re looking for or any dietary preferences you might have. You will find that making substitutions while SHREDDING is not only allowed but encouraged, as it will not impede your success in any way.
There are many programs that can help you lose weight, but there are few that combine the appropriate balance of challenging you while at the same time not making it too difficult to follow for the long term. One major problem with many diet plans is that while they can help users lose weight, they are so extreme, difficult, or uncomfortable that dieters are unable to follow the guidelines for an extended period of time. The second you stop following the plan, the pounds that were lost pile back on with a vengeance, and often, then some. This is not the case with SHRED. The vast majority of those surveyed who tried the early versions of the program repeatedly commented that unlike other plans they had tried, SHRED was one they could see themselves following forever.
There are many principles at work in SHRED that lead to the tremendous success that so many experience. Ease of use is at the top of the list: each day is thoughtfully planned out so that your need to think about what works and what doesn’t is kept to a minimum. Ironically, many who have been asked about programs that give them the greatest level of flexibility in choosing the foods they can eat say that too much flexibility can actually make the diet more difficult. It’s a struggle to have so many choices in front of them. SHRED spells out in detail each meal you will consume for six weeks, but it also gives you plenty of room to make substitutions so that you can swap out meals if you like.
SHRED is a six-week program. You may well stay on SHRED for more than six weeks, but each six weeks is considered to be a cycle. Based on the hundreds of SHREDDERs who have tried the program and provided feedback, the average weight loss for a cycle is between 18 and 25 pounds. Results, as with any diet program, will vary from person to person for various reasons, but more than with any diet I’ve developed or been aware of, what has been amazingly satisfying is how consistent the weight loss has been. Ninety-three percent of the people who have been on the program have lost weight each week of the cycle. Even better, many who had been using other diet plans and had hit a plateau found that just a week on SHRED got them losing weight again.
In general, those who are closer to their target weight will definitely lose weight but tend to lose weight a little more slowly. This is to be expected, so if you fall into this category, don’t be disappointed if you don’t see the numbers on the scale drop quickly or significantly at first. Look for any progress, whether it be increased energy or losing inches. However, those who have more than 30 pounds to lose will typically start seeing results right away. The average results on SHRED are 6-4-2. In six weeks most people who closely follow the program lose four inches and two sizes.
Once you have completed an initial six-week cycle, if you still have more weight to lose, the program is designed for you to cycle again. After the first cycle, you can reorder the weeks of a new cycle in any fashion that works best for you. This is only one way in which SHRED can be customized to fit your needs. I recognize that there’s no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to diet plans, but SHRED comes close.
Each week of SHRED is designed to stand on its own and to be different from the weeks before. Each of the six weeks has a name that reflects the theme for that week. The weeks are Prime, Challenge, Transformation, Ascend, Cleanse, and Explode. While each week represents a leg in your journey, it also builds on those that precede it. The program teaches you how to make smarter choices and has specific strategies embedded in the daily meal and exercise plans: sometimes you will recognize them and other times you will not. The overall effect, however, is that you will continuously SHRED fat. You will see the declining numbers on the scale and a reduction in inches wherever you need to lose them: whether it be in your waist, thighs, or hips.
It has been my experience that programs that start out asking followers to make extreme changes in their dietary and/or exercise habits are least effective over the long term. Users either can never fully engage the program, because it’s asking too much of them, or they are able to do some of the program but not all of it, leading them to become discouraged and drop out altogether. SHRED acknowledges some very basic facts. First, losing weight is not easy and quite often is extremely frustrating. Second, no one is a perfect eater or exerciser and expecting someone—anyone—to be perfect and not have bad days is completely unrealistic. Third, success comes from following a program that one can ease into, rather than a program that starts out too aggressively rigorous and restrictive. People don’t always want to feel like they’re on a diet!
Prime. These seven days prime you for the rest of the plan. This week is an induction into SHREDDER Nation. You’ll learn about the importance of meal spacing, proper snacking techniques, and suppressing hunger without consuming too many calories. The average weight loss this week will be 3.5 pounds. This could be less if you’re within 20 pounds of your goal weight. The further you are away from your target weight and the worse your habits have been prior to starting the program, the more weight you will lose. Many who fit this description have lost as much as 8 to 10 pounds during Prime. One hundred percent of the people who have been on the program—regardless of how much weight they needed to lose—answered in their survey that they had enough to eat, some going so far as to say that there was so much food they couldn’t manage to eat everything on the daily menus.
Challenge is a week that asks you to demand more of yourself. It asks you to release some of your bad habits and adopt some new behaviors that you will have for the rest of your life. This week says that you can do better: you’ll learn after a couple of days that despite early doubts you might have about yourself, you actually can rise to the challenge. This week is a confidence booster, because it shows many dieters that despite their failures in the past or what they have previously perceived to be difficult, they actually have what it takes to succeed. At the end of the Challenge you will be motivated more than ever to truly make a commitment to a healthier lifestyle and to reach the goals you have set forth prior to starting your SHRED.
Transformation week is a critical seven days where most SHREDDERs start truly noticing a difference. Not only will the scale reflect your hard work, but many realize for the first time at the end of this week that they have dropped a clothing size, their energy levels are much greater, and their outlook about their success on the program heightens dramatically. Transformation is designed to be the toughest week of the program. You will be challenged the most during this week, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. Knowing this week is the toughest is half the battle. The other half is putting your head down and getting through it. If you focus, this week will be your best friend. Every day visualize the fat being SHREDDED and your body’s appearance changing.
Ascend is an important turnaround week. Imagine that for the last three weeks you have been descending into a pit. Last week you finally reached the bottom and started to regain strength so that you can climb your way out. The seven days of Ascend have been specifically constructed so that you are now exiting the darkness and ascending toward the light. You have already completed the toughest week of the program, so Ascend will come as a relief. You will continue to work hard, but the work will not feel as strenuous as it did the week before. Reinvigorated after three weeks on the program, you are now energized to finish the rest of the cycle at full speed.
Cleanse is a week that pays special attention to enhancing your liver’s ability to detoxify your blood. All of us—even those who eat as healthfully as possible—accumulate some level of toxins in our bodies. We want to eliminate these toxins as efficiently as possible. Sometimes livers can be overwhelmed, so occasionally it’s beneficial to give them a little boost in carrying out their jobs. Certain foods can provide this boost by activating special enzymes in the liver that facilitate the cleansing process. There are also foods that work to increase the activity of the gastrointestinal tract. This creates a physical cleanse. This week you will do both. Not only will you improve your physical health this week, but you will continue your weight loss: some will lose their largest amounts during these seven days.
Explode is the last week of the cycle. It’s meant to help you end the cycle with a bang. For some, this week will be their last and they will have reached their goal. For others, Explode is a launch...
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