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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Weekend Cooking- Shred by Ian K. Smith, M.D.

Shred: Revolutionary Diet by Ian K. Smith, M.D.
Published by St. Martin's Press ISBN 978-1-250-03586-8
Hardcover, $24.99, 259 pages

Sometimes a diet book breaks through the clutter to become popular- think The Scarsdale Diet back in the 70s. One that has caught the zeitgeist recently is Dr. Ian Smith's Shred Revolutionary Diet- 6 Weeks, 4 Inches, 2 Sizes.

The book evolved from Smith's Twitter feed, where people who had hit a weight loss plateau had been asking him for help. After getting many requests and hearing back that many of them had lost up to 20 pounds, he created Shred.

Shred is a six-week program that must be followed exactly to obtain the maximum effect. Each week is designated- Prime, Challenge, Transformation, Ascend, Cleanse and Explode- with its own goal. Prime sets you up to begin the program, for example.

The book is well-laid out. Each chapter takes you through every day with specific instructions as to when to eat the four meals and three snacks, giving you the options for each meal and snack and choices for the exercise requirement for the day.

While Smith is very rigid in his instructions, there seems to be enough choices that make it doable for most people. He gives you the calorie counts for each meal and snack, and options to get to those calories. Fruits and vegetables are key, as is drinking a cup of water before each meal. I think it would easy to follow this book day by day.

I talked to two women who are in the fifth week of this program and they generally had good things to say. They both found the most challenging part was to eat at the specific times required- 8:30am, 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, 3:30pm, 7pm, 8:30pm. It requires a lot of planning, and you must stick to these times to be successful.

On the flip side, the schedule means you don't have to think about it; you know you will have to eat at these times. One woman believes this plan is best for someone who has "hit a plateau or just wants to reset the kind of food" one eats. It has helped her break her addiction to sugar, and she has cut way back on drinking diet soda. She has lost 9 1/2 pounds, and may do another six weeks to continue her progress.

Another woman I spoke with says she feels great. Her skin and hair look better and she has been "sleeping better than I have in a long time." She does wish that the portion sizes were more specific and the week where you have to drink the pure cranberry juice was very difficult (the Cleanse week). She has lost 7 pounds and believes that if " you are willing to put in the time, money and energy" you can be successful.

I think if you are the kind of person who follows instructions closely (say someone who attended Catholic elementary school), this diet will work for you. There are enough options for your meals and snacks, and Smith lists lots of 100, 150 and 200-calorie snacks in the back of the book that I found so helpful even if you are not on the diet.

He also has several Smoothie and Soup recipes (both are big options in the diet) that look wonderful too. You don't need to be on the diet to find these delicious and helpful.  The Raspberry-Orange Elixir is calling my name now.

Raspberry-Orange Elixir
Under 200 calories
1 cup diced orange slices
1 cup raspberries
1 tablespoon honey or sugar
1 cup of ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

For more information about Shred- Revolutionary Diet, visit Dr. Ian Smith's website here. 

rating 4 of 5

This post is part of Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking.  If you have anything related to food, cookbook reviews, novel or non-fiction book reviews, recipes, movie reviews, etc., head over to Beth Fish Reads and add your post. Or, if you want to read food related posts, head over to read what some interesting people have to say about food.


  1. Sounds encouraging but I totally fail at anything that requires me to do things as specific moments of the day. Hummm. No wonder I've been freelancing for almost 30 years!

    1. I do think that you have to have the right personality traits to make this work.

  2. Interesting! That is a very rigid eating plan. I don't think I'd be able to stick to those specific eating times - I am so busy running about after my children that I couldn't commit to such regular eating through the day - I'd be sure to forget/miss some. That drink looks yummy though :-)

    1. It would hard to do this chasing after little children, although one of the women I talked to has five young children. How did she do it?

  3. I wouldn't like doing something quite as rigid - I don't eat after 7pm (mostly) anyway - although some people swear that you shouldn't eat any carbs after 4pm! Like the sound of the elixir - it is a bit like the non-smoothie I posted.

  4. I think I saw this guy on TV talking about this book. The biggest challenge for me would be to eat at 8:30 p.m. Don't like eating that late.

  5. I have seen Dr. Smith on tv. Thanks for a nice review. I'll have to see if my library has it and see if its something my hubby would be interesting in doing.

  6. I'll see if my library has this one. I love reading diet books just to get some new ideas. This would be too rigid for me to follow, I think.

  7. The Raspberry Elixir sounds delicious and perfect for a snack. I couldn't follow through on those set eating times but would love to browse through for ideas.

  8. I'm intrigued by this. I liked the plan that was in the book that the doctor from The Biggest Loser wrote, but it was so difficult, I didn't think that anyone who didn't have a ton of support (like, say, the crew of The Biggest Loser) could do it. Since The Shred has become an internet phenomenon, there would be lots of support for anyone trying this.

    I was successful at losing weight by being much less rigid and losing much more slowly. It worked for me. But I try to be open-minded about what might work for others.