Photo Credit: St. Martin's Press
As long as you eat vegetables, lean means and fresh fruit, you'll be on track to weight loss, right? Sort of. In the same way you need to vary your workout to see results, you should also switch up your food intake to boost your metabolism and increase weight loss. "You should change the types of food that you’ve been eating," says nutrition and diet guru Ian K. Smith, M.D. Altering what foods you eat every few days throws a curve ball at your metabolism and can really speed up your weight loss and keep you off the dreaded weight-loss plateau. Called diet confusion, it's one of the key concepts outlined in Dr. Smith's new book, SHRED: The Revolutionary Diet -- Six Weeks, Four Inches, Two Size.
A six-week program, the plan calls for three snacks and four meals a day with the promise of losing four inches and two clothing sizes! And "Shredders" swear the plan works with incredible results. I recently sat down with Smith to get his top tips to shred weight:
Confuse your diet
When you eat different types of food (and in different quantities) you keep your metabolism revved up, preventing the metabolic plateau that occurs when you eat the same foods regularly. The idea is to keep your body off-kilter by switching up the nutrients you consume. Change things up at least every couple of days.
Space out your meals
Eat four meals daily and space them out every three to four hours. This will not only keep you fueled, it will also keep your hormone levels stable and prevent the insulin spikes that lead to weight gain.
Drinking enough water will not only keep your skin looking healthier, it will help you consume less calories by suppressing your appetite.
Snacks are an important bridge between meals, but they aren't meals themselves, so keep your snacks to 150 calories or less. (Smith has 200 snacks ideas in his book).
Detox twice a year
A seven-day cleanse twice a year can make an incredible difference in your health. Detoxing your body means activating enzymes in your liver to help clear toxins from your blood. Rather than a juice cleanse, eat foods that detoxify your body, such as beets, Swiss chard, dark green leafy vegetables, flaxseed and lemons. Also, increased fiber can clear the toxins and create a physical cleanse.
The SHRED diet is a six-week program. If you have reached your goal after the first six-week cycle, you move into the maintenance phase. If you haven't reached your weight-loss goal, start a new cycle, this time jumbling the weeks in a different order. Keep notes throughout the first cycle so you look back to see what worked best for you.
Don't scale obsess
Weighing yourself is important, but limit it to once a week. Weighing yourself can be misleading and psychologically disruptive because the body naturally fluctuates in weight several times a day. Be kind to yourself and stay off the scale.