The 4 Day Diet
The 4 Day Diet: What It Is
Are you tired of strict diets that offer the same foods every day? If you like variety and a focus on winning mind games, The 4 Day Diet may be the diet plan for you.
You're not going to lose weight in just four days, as you might infer from the title. Instead, The 4 Day Diet plan is a series of seven phases or modules, each lasting four days, with an expected weight loss of 10-12 pounds over 28 days. During each module, you focus on specific foods or food categories (no calorie counting) and exercise recommendations.
"People often quit their diets because they get bored with the monotony of eating the same foods," explains Ian K. Smith, MD, author of the book The 4 Day Diet. Smith is also a diet expert for the VHI show Celebrity Fit Club.
"The 4 Day Diet keeps things changing while focusing on helping dieters cope with food triggers, tame temptations [and] cravings, and other issues that derail efforts to lose weight and improve health," says Smith, who created the 50 Million Pound Challenge, an initiative encouraging African-Americans to unite to lose a collective 50 million pounds.
The 4 Day Diet provides tools to help dieters deal with the psychological factors of weight loss. It recommends strategies such as using affirmations to reach your goals, thinking like a thin person, and looking beyond the scale to measure success.
The 4 Day Diet: What You Can Eat
Meal plans vary substantially between the seven modules.
Phase 1, the "Induction" module, is designed to remove "toxins" that have accumulated in your body. During this phase, dieters can eat fruits, leafy greens, and other non-starchy vegetables, beans, brown rice, and low-fat or nonfat yogurt or milk. No meats, poultry, or fish are allowed. The only added fats come from low-fat or nonfat salad dressing and a small amount of oil in one of the recipes provided in the book.
There is no scientific evidence that our bodies need to detox. But Smith says this module is more about quick weight loss and wiping the slate clean.
"Whether the first few pounds are water or fat or a combination, when you see the numbers on the scale go down, it serves as a motivator to continue on the plan," says Smith.
Here's a sample daily meal plan for the Induction phase:
- 2 cups coffee (limit sugar to one packet; limit cream or milk to one teaspoon per cup)
- 2 cups green, leafy vegetables, raw or cooked
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemonade with no more than 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon psyllium husk
- 4 servings fruit
- 6 ounces plain, fat-free yogurt
- 2 cups green salad with 3 tablespoons fat-free dressing
- 1 cup cooked beans (chickpeas, lentils, etc.)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
- Unlimited plain water