Created by well-known professional Dr. Ian K. Smith, the 4 Day Diet is targeted toward people who are sick of dieting and sick of the monotony of it. You’re not going to lose weight in 4 days. The 4 Day Diet just has several different cycles, each of which is about 4 days long. What are these cycles?
Stage 1: Detox
The induction phase or detox phase supposedly removes toxins and other things that could cause cravings and yoyo dieting. It focuses on fruits, leafy greens, and other non-starchy vegetables along with beans, brown rice, and low-fat or non-fat salad dressing and milk. It’s a quick way to lose weight and get your diet started.
Stage 2: Transition
Transitioning you into a new way of eating, this second phase focuses on unprocessed foods that are high in fiber and can help you to feel full on about 1300 calories a day. It focuses on 3 servings fruit, 4 servings raw vegetables, 1 cup beans, 4oz fish or poultry, 1 diet soda, and 2 snacks from about 50 options such as low fat cheese, fruits, nuts, lean roast beef, etc. As you can tell, this is extremely controlled, and so far, no sign of that non diet diet plan.
Stage 3: Protein Stretch
The “protein stretch” phase allows you to add more lean meats, fish, milk, and eggs to your diet to avoid weight loss plateaus (and you should have protein to support healthy muscles too). In this phase, you get 4 days of 2 eggs or egg whites, 1 strip turkey bacon, 2 servings fruit, 1 cup raw and 2 servings cooked veggies, 1 sandwich with lean meat an 1 tablespoon low fat mayo, 1 cup beans, and 1 cup brown rice. Again, what’s with the specifics! Isn’t this supposed to be the fun diet? Most people don’t like dieting, because all of the restrictions make it boring!
Stage 4: Smooth
This stage allows you to make some actual choices, adding in some pizza and turkey burgers an assuming that you know a little something about dieting
Phase 5: Push
Phase 5 is meant to get you back into a more diet like diet for the final stretch. This phase allows you 3 servings fruit, 1 cup beans, 2 cups green salad, 2 cups carrots, 1 cup fresh lemonade, 5oz skinless poultry, and 2 servings cooked vegetables. This is looking a bit bleak. Were you supposed to gain weight back during stage 4?
Phase 6: Pace
The “pace” phase allows you to have a few more not completely healthy foods. You get 2 pancakes, 2 pieces of fruit, green tea, 2 cups green salad, 1 cup veggie soup, 2 servings cooked veggies, 5oz fish, and 1 diet soda. And I should mention this, interestingly enough, diet sodas have been clinically proven to contribute to obesity. It’s better for you to just drink your regular soda. So I guess Dr. Smith didn’t get everything.
Phase 7: Vigorous
The final phase is mostly meant to help you to shed the last few pounds, and it focuses on a much stricter plan….again. This phase limits you to 3 pieces of fruit, half a cucumber, 1 ½ cups broth based soup, 2 servings cooked veggies, and 2 snacks. Can you say starvation?
Should You Use the 4 Day Diet?
With the exception of the final stage, everything else looks relatively healthy, and all of these stages only have a 4 day life. But if anything, you should decide if this kind of diet is something you can handle. It is rather extreme and it is only meant for short term use a few weeks at best. Yes, you can lose weight. But hopefully, you are also learning new habits along the way. Otherwise, you will not keep it off.