According to Dr. Ian Smith, the author of The 4 Day Diet, successful weight loss is only 20 percent physical. The other 80 percent, he says, is all in a person's head. Many people do not fully prepare themselves mentally when they begin a weight loss journey, and Smith says that factor is the biggest mistake a person can make.
The 4 Day Diet brings to light the concept of retraining the brain for successful weight loss and health maintenance. It also claims to help eliminate boredom-induced failure. One major component, for example, encourages dieters to change their menus every four days so they don’t lose interest.
Contrary to popular belief, The 4 Day Diet is not a quick fix. In fact, it is touted as the beginning of a lifestyle change that is designed to enhance metabolism. The diet consists of a series of seven different four-day modules, which Smith says will boost the body’s metabolism by forcing it to constantly readjust to new conditions. Each module is designed to serve a different purpose, but all are directed toward helping dieters lose weight and stay in shape in a healthy manner.
The Transition module slowly reintroduces the previously restricted food groups back into the diet. During this phase, dieters may drink coffee or diet soda and water; eat legumes, salads, and other raw fruits and vegetables; and eat fish and lean poultry. Two reduced calorie snacks are allowed each day, and cardiovascular exercise is continued.
Next, the Protein Stretch module is designed to combat weight loss plateaus. As this phase increases proteins and healthier fats within the diet, it theoretically fires up the metabolism, allowing a person to burn calories at a faster rate. Plus, the exercise portion is changed during this module by slightly reducing cardiovascular activity and adding light weightlifting. Allowed foods include protein shakes, eggs, turkey bacon, raw and cooked vegetables, legumes and brown rice, and sandwiches made with lean meat.
The Smooth module reintroduces formerly forbidden favorite foods back into the diet. Though this phase does not eliminate the need to eat healthy, it allows certain indulgences like burgers and pizza. Exercise includes weightlifting and cardiovascular workouts.
Next, the Push module is a somewhat restrictive phase designed to drive the metabolism higher and promote weight loss. During this segment of The 4 Day Diet, dieters are allowed to eat mostly lean protein, eggs, legumes, fruit, and green leafy vegetables. Cardiovascular activity is increased and weightlifting takes a backseat to walking at least 8,000 steps each day.
The Pace module is less restrictive than its predecessor. It allows a person to consume cereals, low-fat yogurt, lean meat and fish, vegetables, legumes, and brown rice. Exercise includes both weight training and cardiovascular workouts.
Next, the Vigorous module is the final piece of the puzzle. This phase is designed to help dieters shed the last few pounds. Food choices include soups and salads, lean meat and poultry, raw and cooked vegetables, and low fat yogurt. Exercise during this segment of the program centers strictly on cardiovascular activities.
The modules are flexible, too. They can be used in succession for one month, or can be tailored for individual needs. In general, Smith recommends that the first two modules are followed in order, but the remaining five can be used in any sequence.