Hello readers! Today, I wanted to do a review on a recent diet I completed at the end of the year. It is the SHRED diet and the book is available here. The author is Dr. Ian Smith and if you are a regular Rachael Ray Show viewer than you have likely seen him often. The science behind the diet is pretty simple. Most of us have heard of muscle confusion in order to tone and continue to gain muscle throughout our body. This same concept has been applied to food throughout this plan. So for example, every day is a different calorie count and different foods. Each week there are some new restrictions and the calorie count gets slightly lower. Again, all of this is in order to confuse your body, keep your metabolism revving and prevent hitting plateaus. In addition you also eat small meals and snacks throughout the day to ensure your hormones and blood sugars are staying level and avoiding spikes and a roller coaster ride that usually leads to most of us reaching for a snickers bar (or 2) by the time 3:00 rolls around. For me, the science completely makes sense and is very interesting so I was willing to give it a try.
I had hit a plateau before starting this diet so I was hoping this would get things rolling again. So how much did I lose? I lost 13 pounds over the course of 6 weeks and was pretty pleased considering I was doing this through Thanksgiving and leading up to Christmas. (Yea, great time to diet, right?) I also lost inches in my arms, hips and thighs but since I got a little lazy with my measurements I can’t give you the exact number. If you have more weight to lose you would easily expect to see at least these results if not more….in my opinion. Since I had already been exercising and strictly dieting prior my results were not as insane. However, 13 pounds in 6 weeks was great and it broke me through my plateau.
So who is this right for?
Ummm……any living, breathing, human being who wants to be healthier, more fit and lose those love handles that you just aren’t “loving” anymore. Seriously, the foods are real, easily accessible and there is a lot of flexibility with snack choices. You can even have dessert, as long as it fits into the calorie requirements. I mean who isn’t sold at the word DESSERT?!?!?
Alright, Alecia, what’s the catch?
Honestly, you all know I’m really straightforward with stuff and I do not get endorsed or any kickbacks for writing this stuff. Therefore, I would totally tell you if something was terrible….but honestly I can’t say that about this plan. Now don’t get me wrong this isn’t some “let’s eat 10 cups of cheetos and 4 fudgesicles and lose weight” type of plan. This also isn’t a “sit around all day and watch primetime television” plan either. It takes work, dedication, stamina and self control……but nothing good comes to anyone who doesn’t do that.
So what tips did I learn?
This diet does require planning. I think a healthy lifestyle in general requires a lot of planning. On Friday or Saturday nights I sit down with my book and plan my meals for the next week. I write them down each day, all the way down to my snacks. This allows a perfect shopping list and I don’t have to think about food for the rest of the week. I can just look at my sheet and know exactly what I’m supposed to eat. This also makes next day planning a breeze. If I’m working I can pack everything the night before and it’s already done. I never even thought about going through a drive thru because I already had stuff planned to eat. Victory!
You also need to plan your workouts. He recommends exercising 5 days/week minimum. He has recommended rest days but you can adjust all of this to your schedule. So look at your weekly events and plan workouts around the stuff you have going on. Just get them in. If I can’t get to the gym then I do squats and lunges at home as well as run up and down my stairs for 20 minutes. Yes, my kids think I’m crazy but their giggles and squeals are the best workout mix a mom could ask for.
See it through. Too often we give something a week or maybe two and then give up because we didn’t wake up with a magical 6 pack or a thigh gap. First, off those are unrealistic and you didn’t gain weight overnight so you’re not going to drop it overnight either. Losing weight is likely the HARDEST thing you will ever do. It’s a constant 24 hour commitment and you have to face a lot of challenges along the weigh. However, your body is changing even when you can’t see it and the scale doesn’t reflect it. Trust me, I get very discouraged when I don’t drop pounds in a week or go up a few ounces. But I try to always remember that my muscles are stronger, my heart is healthier and my brain is sharper. These things keep me motivated……as well as wearing a pair of pants I haven’t been able to wear in 4 years. Anyways, I say all this to say, nothing comes EASY but you have to stick with it and trust the process. Follow the plan to a T and you’ll be happy at the end result.
There is a second plan to this whole SHRED diet called SUPER SHRED that is a 4 week plan that is much more strict and promises fast results. I am currently in week 2 of the SS diet and will do an update when my 4 weeks is up. If you are new to dieting and exercising I recommend doing regular SHRED first and then venturing into the SUPER SHRED world.
No matter what you choose I hope you are all finding strength and health you never knew you had. Don’t give up and remember all the reasons you started in the first place. If you have questions or need advice feel free to ask in your comments below and as always you can follow me on instagram (@aleciaharris88) for more tips and posts. Happy Shredding!!