The 4 Day Diet
The 4 Day Diet: How It Works continued...
While the book doesn't address maintenance, Smith says he hopes that spending a month on the program will help teach dieters to eat healthier and become more active for the long term.
Smith suggests keeping a food diary before starting The 4 Day Diet to get mentally ready for the task of weight loss.
"As much as most people want to focus on calories and exercise, unless you are mentally prepared and keep a journal for about 10 days before starting, you are less likely to succeed," he says.
He also notes that it's OK to allow yourself small portions of decadent foods once in awhile.
"Eating the extra cookie on occasion won't sabotage your diet, as long as 80% of the time you are eating healthy and only 20% is off the program," he says.
The 4 Day Diet: What the Experts Say
American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Elisa Zied, MS, RD, applauds the diet's emphasis on healthy foods in modest portions. She also likes the fact that dieters are encouraged to update their goals throughout the weight loss period.
Still, she notes, this is a low-calorie, somewhat restrictive diet.
"It restricts certain foods, and skimps on some key nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D," she says. "And some days are too low in calories, which won't allow dieters to meet their daily nutrient needs without vitamin/mineral supplementation."
While calorie levels of the recipes, menus, and modules are not listed in the book, Zied estimates that the calories in the various modules range from 1,000 or less to as much as 1,800 per day.
Her advice: If you want to try this diet, include adequate amounts of whole grains and low-fat or nonfat dairy each day to meet your nutritional needs.
Zied also notes that we all have unique calorie requirements for weight loss, so a one-size calorie approach for both men and women may not work for everyone.
The 4 Day Diet: Food for Thought
This month-long diet plan will teach you useful strategies for setting realistic goals, and give you motivating mental tactics to help you control your food choices.
Going back and forth between the different modules may be confusing for some people. Others, who are easily bored or prefer variety, may enjoy this approach to weight loss.
Although the diet plan is a short-term approach with no plan for maintenance, the tips and tricks can serve you well as you transition into your long-term, personal approach for weight control.