The 4 Day Diet

The 4 Day Diet

by Ian K. Smith

Paperback(First Edition)

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Take weight off fast with Dr. Ian Smith's Customized 4 Day Diet Modules!

You can follow The 4 Day Diet straight through for a month with stunning results. But only you know how you eat—and how you diet. Customize your own program in whatever order works best for you—or just repeat the modules you like best. Only the first two are doctor's orders:

Induction (detox/cleansing)

Transition (to reintroduce food groups)

Protein Stretch (to avoid plateaus)

Smooth (eat pizza or even French fries!)

Push (the sprint—you're almost there)

Pace (catch your breath and keep going)

Vigorous (lose those last few pounds—for good!)

Dr. Ian Smith's diets really work. And his motivating tips and tricks will help you stay on the program, enjoy your progress, and feel your success from day one.

Features more than 60 recipes for meals and snacks—food that will make you forget you're on a diet!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312605599
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 12/22/2009
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 513,726
Product dimensions: 5.52(w) x 8.32(h) x 0.67(d)

About the Author

Ian K. Smith, M.D., is the number one bestselling author of The Fat Smash Diet, Extreme Fat Smash Diet, The 4 Day Detox, Happy and EAT. He is a medical contributor on The View and The Rachael Ray Show, the diet expert on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club, and host of the nationally syndicated radio show Healthwise on American Urban Radio Networks. He writes a medical column for Men's Health magazine. He has written for various publications including Time and Newsweek, and been featured in People, Essence, Ebony and Cosmopolitan, among others. He is a former medical correspondent for NBC and for NewsChannel 4 in New York, where he filed reports for NBC's Nightly News and The Today Show. In 2007, he created the 50 Million Pound Challenge, a free national weight loss initiative with a growing list of more than 1.9 million people registered. Dr. Smith graduated from Harvard College with an AB and received a master's in science education from Columbia University. He attended Dartmouth Medical School and completed the last two years of his medical education and graduated from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. A native of Danbury, Connecticut, Dr. Smith currently resides in Manhattan.

Read an Excerpt

The 4 Day Diet

By Smith, Ian K.

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2008 Smith, Ian K.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780312373580


Sense of Where You Are


One afternoon I was rummaging through my uncle’s vast attic filled with dusty memorabilia, the equivalent of gold to an adventurous teen. I came upon a box that had been pushed into a corner underneath a tangle of dust and cobwebs. Hoping for collectible baseball cards or rare coins, I was disappointed to find a pile of books most of whose titles were so worn I couldn’t read them. Those I could read I couldn’t understand. But midway through the stack I was drawn to a skinny paperback that featured on its jacket a photograph of a young man dribbling a basketball. The title is what caught my attention: A Sense of Where You Are.

A serious athlete myself, I plucked the book from the box, brushed off the dust, and lost myself in its sepia-colored pages. The book was about former presidential candidate, three-term U.S. senator, and one of Princeton University’s greatest basketball players, Bill Bradley. From his childhood as a banker’s son to his storied career at Princeton, the book told the story of a hardworking, disciplined, intelligent ball player whose tremendous success on the court was largely attributed to his awareness at all times of his position in relationship to the basket, thus the title A Sense of Where YouAre.

It is this understanding of one’s relationship to the ultimate target that became the blueprint for this chapter. Regardless of how fatigued he was, how outmatched athletically, or how fast the pace of the action, Bill Bradley always had that sure sense of where he stood relative to his ultimate goal: scoring a basket. This understanding is also critical for anyone trying to lose weight. Regardless of what’s going on in your life, whether it is stress at the job, a busy day of running around with the kids, or traveling for pleasure or business, you must always know where you are relative to your goals. It’s not about obsessing over your goals but, rather, having them readily present at least in your subconscious so that when you come to one of those proverbial forks in the road, you don’t even have to think about the right choice. The right choice becomes a simple reflex of your body.

You will often hear people say that they don’t go to the doctor for annual checkups or don’t undergo recommended screening tests even though doing so could possibly catch illnesses in their earlier stages when they’re most curable. Why don’t they want to know what’s going on with their bodies? One of the most common and equally mystifying answers is "If there’s something going on with me, I don’t want to know."

What will best guide your success during THE 4 DAY DIET journey is complete honesty and knowing fully what’s going on. You will have to face the truths that you discover along the way. Rather than run from these truths or try to bury them, you will learn how to embrace them—starting right now. There are some tough questions that you must answer. Write your answers down in order.

Why are you currently overweight?

Why have previous weight-loss efforts failed?

How does your weight influence your self-esteem/self-image?

What are your strengths related to sticking to a weight-loss program?

What are your weaknesses related to sticking to a weight-loss program?

Without weighing yourself or looking at a Body Mass Index (BMI) chart, how many pounds away do you think you are from your target weight?

Once you’ve answered these questions, take some time to consider the answers. These answers are critical not only to give context to your current situation but to serve as a springboard moving forward.

Now there is a second set of questions whose answers will give you a better sense of where you are. Weigh yourself on a reliable scale, one that is convenient and that you’ll be able to use throughout your journey. Once you have the number, use the BMI chart in this chapter to help you answer some of these questions:

What is your current BMI?

What does the chart say is a healthy weight for your height?

What are your bad habits when it comes to exercising/eating right?

What are your good habits when it comes to exercising/eating right?

When was the last time you were at a weight you were happy with?

Keep these answers stored in a place where you won’t lose them. You will need to refer to them throughout your weight-loss journey.


Let’s get down to work. Every journey needs a starting point, so let’s establish yours right now. Your current weight and BMI are a good place to start. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Body Mass Index (BMI) is calculated from a person’s weight and height and is a reliable indicator of a person’s body fatness. The BMI is used to determine which of four major categories you fit into: underweight, normal, overweight, and obese. Determining which category you fall into is critical because it can help indicate your risk for certain diseases and health conditions.

Your BMI can be calculated or simply found on a BMI chart readily accessible on the Internet. Let’s do the calculation here:

So let’s take a man who is 5' 10" (70 inches) and weighs 200 pounds.

You can also get this number by simply using the BMI chart in the Appendix, page 216. Once you’ve figured out your BMI, you can look to see which category you fit into.

The man in our sample would be considered overweight according to his BMI. Why does this matter, since he’s clearly not obese? His being overweight increases his risk for certain medical conditions and even death.

Diseases and Health Conditions Related to Obesity

Hypertension (high blood pressure)

Dyslipidemia (for example, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides)

Type 2 diabetes

Coronary heart disease


Gallbladder disease


Sleep apnea and respiratory problems

Some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)

Source: Centers for Disease Control.


It’s important to distinguish between the medical definition of your weight and the visual interpretation. These can be very different and thus very confusing. You’ve almost certainly heard the expression "She wears her weight well." This typically refers to people who are overweight but don’t look overweight, because they are either very tall or their weight is distributed throughout their body in such a way that no one area looks particularly alarming.

The visual interpretation of weight can be a tricky thing. Just because someone doesn’t look overweight doesn’t mean that he isn’t. Sometimes a person won’t appear to be heavy, but then she steps on the scale or calculates her BMI and realizes she is not only overweight, but in some cases obese. I had this happen with a famous plus-size model who insisted that she was "curvy and voluptuous" and not overweight. She was one of the contestants on my show, Celebrity Fit Club. Her argument was that she didn’t look overweight, that she was full-figured and attractive, and men found her curves irresistible. But her BMI actually pegged her as obese. She not only refused to accept her BMI but even went so far as to suggest the BMI chart was wrong and it didn’t apply to her or others like her. In her estimation, the BMI chart had a bias against ethnic women.

The BMI chart is certainly not perfect, but it is the best tool we have to approximate a person’s degree of overweight and obesity without a more thorough body fat test in a specialist’s office. It was not designed t


Excerpted from The 4 Day Diet by Smith, Ian K. Copyright © 2008 by Smith, Ian K.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xiii

1 Sense of Where You Are 1

2 Make Realistic Goals 13

3 Activate Your Motivational Engines 31

4 Resist Temptation 49

5 Think Thin 61

6 Every Bite Counts 81

7 Reward Yourself 93

8 The Modular Eating Plan 97

9 Healthy, Low-Calorie Snacks 139

10 Recipes 143

Appendix 215

Body Mass Index (BMI) 216

Fiber Content of Foods 217

How to Read a Food Label 218

Caloric Expenditure During Various Activities 220

Index 225

Customer Reviews

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The 4 Day Diet 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 106 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've been on many diets over the years and have gained and lost stupid amounts of weight. But my best success was almost three years ago, I bought Ian Smith's book, The Fat Smash Diet and lost 60 pounds. I was able to keep it off until six months ago and have gained 25 pounds. I promised myself that I would lose the weight in the beginning of the year, and wanted something new to try.

The 4 Day Diet rules!!!The first part--motivating us to lose--is exactly what I needed. I've done the detox and two of the seven other 4 day diets and they are all easy to follow.

I would also like to recommend yoga to help stay motivated. It's what I stopped doing when I gained the weight. I'm doing it again and it reminds me to take care of my body, to treasure it.

Here's another weight loss tip for those searching to keep on your diet. As an interior designer, when I help clients get rid of clutter, make their homes beautiful, they feel pampered.I have seen remarkable changes in clients--weight loss, meeting new partners, etc. when I help transform their homes. One book that helped me learn a ton is HARMONIOUS ENVIRONMENT: BEAUTIFY, DETOXIFY & ENERGIZE YOUR LIFE, YOUR HOME & YOUR PLANET.

Anyway, I am really enjoying The 4 Day Diet because each module is so different and I crave that. Nothing is worse than a diet consisting of eating the same old stuff day in day out.

I have also tried several of the recipes and they are quite good--good enough to eat when you are not even dieting!

Buy this book--Smith motivates you to diet and provides lots of good stuff to eat!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I ordered this book after reading an abbreviated version of the diet in Grazie magazine. The first half of the book is mostly motivational. Some of the tips are good, but if you have ever read a dieting article or website you've heard most of it before. However, it is nicely packaged and easy to read. The real reason most people will be interested in this book is the 'modular eating plan' that takes up the third quarter of the book. The 4 day diet is really a series of 7, 4-day eating plans. Some of the modules contain a food list for each day, on some modules you eat the same basic foods for all four days. The modules vary in intensity. All of the modules rely heavily on fruit, vegetables, and legumes, with some lean meat or fish and brown rice thrown in here and there. In some modules, this is pretty much it, but in others, you get to relax a little and eat pizza, pasta, even burgers. The food lists are fairly detailed, but they can be ambiguous. There is not much counting or complicated measuring, which makes things simple. But if you just followed the food list exactly, your food would be incredibly bland. I'm pretty sure it is ok to add, for example, some ginger and garlic to the 2 cups of leafy green vegetables, or some ground cumin to the brown rice, but there is no mention of this in the book. I think that if I didn't add some flavour to the foods listed, I might not want to eat some of them. Who eats plain, boiled beans? Especially four days in a row? Luckily I am used to making food from scratch and I am pretty comfortable in the kitchen. Otherwise, I might not know what to do to make the food taste decent. There are some recipes in the back of the book which look good, but they appear to be completely unrelated to the eating plan outlined in the book. I guess you could cross-reference the ingredients with the foods prescribed for each day, but this would be really time consuming, since every day is different. Also, some of the recipes contained ingredients that were not in any daily plan OR the snack list. So I'm not really sure what the point of the recipe section was. Also, the book doesn't seem to be edited very carefully. There are things like a "vegetarian" soup calling for chicken broth and references to things that haven't previously been mentionned (juice from the cooked vegetables, when no vegetables have been cooked). After all that, the diet plan is good. I'm not a nutrition expert, but it seems like the plan is well-balanced. I like the emphasis on real, whole, foods as opposed to diet products. I also like the shift towards legumes as an alternate source of protein.
sweet-november More than 1 year ago
I have lost 18 pounds reallly EIGHTEEN, and I started on July 1, 2009 Wednesday. I weight myself every Monday morning. I started off at 278, on July 6, I was 270 yep! I didn't feel sick just a little tired. July 13, 268. July 20, 263. July 27, 260.5 If this keeps up, well what can I say I will be one happy, healthy person. What have you too lose, a little time reading on how to lose some of those pounds, read it and do it. and oh I didn't get paid one red cent for this, and I don't know the guy, but the way things are going so far I do love him, and his book...
wait-n-see More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book with the attitude of it not working but to my surprise it did. I followed the modules as directed and in 1 week, I lost 6lbs. I didn't do the exercises but had I followed them, I probably would have lost more. There is no calorie counting but I do recommend keeping a journal to jot down what you're eating. The best part about this book is that if you mess up, you can always start over and no one will ever know. I would recommend this book if you're trying to get the weight off without surgery or medications.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed Dr. Smith's realistic approach to food. Denying some foods only causes dieters to crave those foods once the desired weight has been achieved. I also agree that some dieters are not able to afford to purchase organic food. He has dealt with this issue very tastefully. Thank you for this book, Dr. Smith.
SiempreMariposa More than 1 year ago
I purchasaed the 4 Day Diet and lost 2 pant sizes by the end of the second phase. I have more energy throughout the day and actually look forward to preparing my meals and completing my workouts. Before taking the 4 day challenge, I was having problems with acne and damaged hair. I instantly saw an improvement in my complexion. I am beginning to see a change in my hair but not as soon as I did with my skin. I am encouraging my family to try the program as we move forward in breaking the curse of heart disease and other health related issues.
fpj More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent source for the weight conscious person. I would like to delete some of the Legume (bean) consumption. I would also like to have additional Bran added, as well as, milk or yogurt.
Cherita Cook More than 1 year ago
I absoultely love this man for making this book! It changed my way of thinking when it came to exercise, food and most importantly myself! I highly recomend it to anyone wanting to change for the better!
KatieG802 More than 1 year ago
I saw Dr. Ian Smith on the Rachael Ray Show a few times and I liked what he had to say. I tried other diets that try to help you change your life style but I could never stick to them for more than a few days-I would just get bored. I love how he gives you 4 day modules. The diet is really for the rest of your life, but it's broken up into modules to step you up to better eating habits. I really enjoyed the book and all the motivational stuff at the beginning, which I usually regard as frufru but it was very nice and informative. So far I'm through 2 of the modules and I haven't been hungry yet. It looks like a very little amt, but I never felt starving/deprived. I also have a job where I sit all day (definitely not active) so that might make a difference. but I also didn't eat everything in the list for the day and wasn't hungry. My biggest hurdle has been cheese-I LOVE CHEESE. And that's really the only thing I've missed despite my wicked sweet tooth. Hope that helps. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends/family.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this diet plan because everything is so well laid out that it made it so easy to follow. Tip: I took the food lists from each phase and put them in a spreadsheet so I could keep track of what I could eat each day. It really helped me stick to the diet. I will admit that the first 4 days are the hardest and you'll want to give up, but don't! You'll be happy when you see the results! The list of snacks is awesome, too! I found things that I really like to eat and didn't feel deprived from the junk that I loved. I found that at the end of the whole plan (28 days), my body was better programmed in figuring out how much I should be eating. It actually made me feel sick if I ate too much! This sounds gross, but I think because of the cleansing your body goes through, your typical bodily functions don't smell as badly. :) In the end, I lost just under 20 pounds and my husband lost somewhere between 25 and 30 pounds. We took a break from it this summer but are starting back up again soon!
ScissorHappy More than 1 year ago
I'm on day 25 of the diet & I feel as though it has changed my life drastically. I've lost 17 pounds. This is the first diet that I have stuck to. I've been trying to lose a little bit of weight for years but I have had a hard time sticking to a specific regemin. I love that Ian has each day spelled out for you. This book is meant for serious dieters... you really have to stick to the plan and measure out your food. There are ways to give yourself variety between snacks, different salads, and switching up the fruit and vegetables. The first couple of days are the hardest -- but if you stick to it you'll have no regrets!
why27k More than 1 year ago
So, I have been on this weight loss journey for about 6 years. So far I have lost 75lbs and I still have a ways to go. I was losing at an OK rate, but I really wanted to step it up! So my sister recommended this book. I read and then WORKED 2 of the 4-day modules and I lost 6lbs. PLEASE, try this book if you would like to change your lifestyle but not give it up. about the book The book is a good read if you're new to weight loss. The beginning of the book devotes a great deal of time into the how's and why's of weight gain. This part may not be what you want to hear but it really helps pin-point a couple of problem areas in your diet and/or exercise routine. By the time you finish reading all the fat info, you're ready to get on the modules. The modules are really just for four day each, but the idea is to keep the modules going. Anyway, read, do the modules, and you'll be dropping weight left and right. Also, the recipes in the back of the book are yummy! Well, as least the three I have tried.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want to lose some weight in a short amount of time--four days, to be precise--then this might just be the diet for you. I really like Dr. Ian and his advice and thought the diet was good, but maybe a tad too disciplined for me. But, I do think it will work for others who want to put in the time and effort.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The 4 Day Diet is easy to follow, if you have the discipline. Dr. Ian teaches you how to mentally be prepared to reach your goals. Don't consider this a diet, but rather a way of learning how to make wiser food choices.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like that is spells out exactly what to eat and drink. Not only am i loosing weight but learning how to eat more healthily. So even when im not specifically following the diet in the future, i wll be more concious of what im eating and how much. This is defenitely a good guide for people who generally dont diet but want to shed some pounds and learn how to incorporate more healthy food choices in their diet.
Jeannelle Stevens More than 1 year ago
Helped my father lower his blood pressure and to loose 30 lbs. Helped me lose 16 lbs and fit into 2 size smaller jeans. Easy to follow and not too restricted that you cant enjoy foods:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am still in the early stages of reading this book, but so far so good. I seriously need to shed weight, not only for a "better" body image but for my health as well. What I like so far is how Dr. Ian Smith asks the reader questions in order to identify WHY one may be overweight. As they say, "Knowing is half the battle." I especially like how the weight-loss effort is scaled into small victories that add up over time. For example, saying I'd like to lose 50 pounds seems overwhelming. Saying I'd like to lose 50 pounds in 5 months seems a little more feasible but still hard to achieve. But saying I'd like to lose 10 pounds a month, for a total of 50 pounds in 5 months time is certainly attainable. It's the little things (like this example) which make this book a great read in anyone's effort to lose weight. I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want to lose some weight in 4 days, then this book is for you. I really like Dr. Smith. But, I do think this will work for those who want a lifestyle change and effort. It will be my back up when I put on few pounds after vacations.
MZDoc More than 1 year ago
The 4 day Diet is a great read and inspritational to the soul. It is clear and understandable why so many have lost so much weight by following Dr. Ean path to self discovery. I have only read 4 chapters thus far and I am proud to say this will give the modivation to make the changes I need to succeed at my weight lost goals.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book for new dieters
marylasko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The only diet that really worked for me. I lost 50 pounds and have kept it off for a year and a half now. This book taught me a new way of eating and staying satisfied all day long. Add a regular regime of exercise, starting with walking, and you have a very healthy lifestyle.
06nwingert on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Four Day Diet is a good diet book for those who want to lose weight. For those who are skinny and want to keep up their healthy lifestyle, this book might not necessarily be for you. While it does contain some good, healthy recipes, and nutritional and exercise charts, I already have all of these recipes and charts from other diet books.
krissa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am finding this book hard to review. Do I judge it on if I enjoyed the read, or if I lost weight? Well, I decided I should finish the book before I started the diet, so I have yet to lose any weight (but I did start this morning, and am so far, not struggling to follow it.) It was easy to read, easy to follow (the book itself), and educating. It was inspiring, and I think when I get stuck, if I go back and read some, it will be motivational. It was well laid out, and the `rules¿ are clear. It is full of examples and anecdotes. It has pages of recipes, many of which look yummy, and you are allowed snacks, which there is also several pages of choices. And not all vegetables. Some of the snacks are also protein or carbs. My one big complaint would be that, the charts and diagrams seem to be stuck in randomly. Often they are paragraphs, or even pages later then the corresponding paragraph. Not unsinkable, but it did irritate me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago