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The Promise

If you’re ready to “smash” bad eating habits in favor of building good ones, The Fat Smash Diet might be for you.

The name may sound radical, but the plan is based on healthy principles. For instance, you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.

It's not an overnight fix. Give it 90 days, and you'll change your relationship with food.

The plan comes from Ian K. Smith, MD, who serves on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition and is the author of other diet books including Shred and The 4-Day Diet.

What You Can Eat and What You Can't

This diet has four phases:

  1. Detox: The program starts with a 9-day vegetarian “detox” phase based on meals of mostly produce. Meat, fish, pasta, and alcohol are forbidden.
  2. Foundation: This phase loosens up. You can have meats, fish, and some alcohol and healthy grains and fats. You exercise a bit longer, too.
  3. Construction: You add more variety to the diet to sharpen your focus on portion control.
  4. Temple: You keep adding more foods, and work to get back on track if you had any slip-ups on the plan earlier.

Level of Effort: Medium

The plan starts out strict, but it becomes pretty easy to follow later on, and it leaves you with good habits that last.

Limitations: You have the most limitations during the diet’s first phase. It only lasts 9 days, but it's a big change from the typical American diet.

Cooking and shopping: You can buy many foods ready-made. But preparing at home is recommended so that you control portion sizes and know exactly what's in it. The book includes easy sample recipes for each phase.

Packaged foods or meals: No.

In-person meetings: No.

Exercise: Exercise is required, and you'll work out longer and harder in each phase. You start with at least 30 minutes of cardio training, and gradually add more time. You start weight training in the last phase of the plan.

Does It Allow for Dietary Restrictions or Preferences?

Vegetarians and vegans: Yes. You just need alternate proteins to substitute for the meats, eggs, and dairy products.

Gluten-free diet: Gluten isn't the focus of this diet, but if you want to go gluten-free, you can make that work.

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