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Dr. Ian Smith: 'The 4-Day Diet'

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Dr. Smith says losing weight is 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical. People don't spend enough time training the brain to take on one of life's toughest journeys. He says that lack of mental preparation is the first and biggest mistake people make before starting a diet program. 

Over the past 20 years, Dr. Smith has worked with thousands of patients who have struggled and succeeded with their weight loss efforts. 

“I have learned a tremendous amount from their personal experiences,” he says. “If you don't get your mind right, it will only work against you.”

The mental game he believes is largely ignored because everyone is eager to focus on calories and an exercise regime. While those are important aspects that are vital to weight loss, focusing on them is like putting the cart before the horse. He says to mentally prepare and journal for ten days before starting a diet program.

Once you have started, Dr. Smith says he has a simple guide that helps you set goals, stay motivated, and resist temptations that will threaten to get you off track. His 4-Day Diet is composed of modules to avoid boredom from eating the same foods day after day. 

“People get bored with dieting,” says Dr. Smith.

The 4-Day Diet is not a crash diet – you actually change the type and quantity of food every four days. 


The Induction Module helps remove toxins that have accumulated in your body. It will clear your mind and body for the changes that come next. The Induction Module is written as a 4-day plan, however, you can make it longer by repeating some of the days. It includes fruits, vegetables, yogurt, salad, legumes and brown rice. 

The Transition Module reintroduces foods into the meal plan. All four days are identical. 

The Protein Stretch Module is 4 days of loading up on protein. 

The Smooth Module gives you 4 days in indulging in some of your favorite foods, like pizza, hamburgers, French fries and hot dogs, without overindulging. It will give you a taste of the old and a greater appreciation for the new way of eating. 

“Permanent weight loss occurs really with a lifestyle change of eating habits,” says Dr. Smith. 

The Push Module is easier to follow than the other modules and helps keep you motivated. 

The Pace Module keeps you moving forward but at a speed that will help you finish strong during the later stages of the diet. 

The Vigorous Module is designed to challenge you and includes foods to help you towards the final lap of victory. Dr. Smith says that it doesn’t mean you have actually reached your goals.  However, you can go back and do the modules again from the beginning or even switch the order. 

“Just remember, each module has a purpose,” says Dr. Smith.

Dr. Smith highly recommends psyllium. The husk of the seeds from this plant are an important source of fiber. One tablespoon is equivalent to 14 tablespoons of oat bran. It also mops up various toxins and helps clear them out of your body. It is recommended to take psyllium mixed in 6 to 8 ounces of water.

In April 2008, Dr. Smith launched the 50 Million Pound Challenge. In a two-year initiative, Dr. Smith is encouraging 5 million African-Americans to lose 10 pounds each. There are high rates of obesity in the black population (45 vs 32 percent of Americans). 

“This is about taking a better look at health,” says Dr. Smith.

To date, over 3 million pounds have been lost, a total which is updated hourly on their website,

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