TV star and best-selling author Dr. Ian Smith said calorie cycling and high-intensity interval training can help you lose weight more quickly than conventional, linear dieting or long, drawn-out cardio workouts.
In an exclusive interview Thursday, Dr. Smith explained why calorie disruption delivers rapid weight loss, and how his new book, Super Shred: The Big Results Diet, can help you lose 20 pounds in four weeks.
"When your body gets the same amount of calories every day, you increase your body's efficiency at burning calories and decrease calorie burn," said Dr. Smith, a nationally recognized obesity expert and frequent guest on the "Dr. Oz Show."
Calorie Disruption Revs Up Metabolism
Dr. Smith said changing up your caloric intake every day keeps your metabolism stoked. In his "Super Shred" program, dieters consume 900 calories on some days and 1,600 calories on other days during a four-week period. The calorie intake changes daily.
What this does is keep your metabolism revved up by confusing your body so it never gets used to one diet. The result is rapid weight loss in a short amount of time. "This is a program if you want fast results, like if you want to look good before a wedding or a beach vacation," he said.
Dr. Ian outlines the meal plans in his program, so there's no guess work involved. "I do the calorie-counting for you, so you don't have to," said Smith, who said his meals combine a healthy mix of protein, fat and carbohydrates so you feel satisfied.
While low-carb diets have become extremely popular as a way to drop weight quickly, Dr. Smith isn't a fan of extreme carb restriction. "We need carbs, but you should focus on choosing the right carbs," he said.
In addition to calorie disruption, another component of Dr. Ian's program is meal spacing, or eating small meals frequently throughout the day. In "Super Shred," dieters eat four small meals and three snacks spaced two to four hours apart to curb hunger.
"Meal spacing is extremely important because it keeps your hormones and insulin levels even to prevent blood-sugar spikes," said Smith, author of the No. 1 New York Times bestseller, Shred: The Revolutionary Diet. "It also prevents you from gorging on your next meal, which happens a lot on other diets."
HIIT Burns More Calories and Torches Belly Fat
Smith, a Harvard University alum who graduated from Dartmouth Medical School, is also a proponent of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which has been shown in numerous studies to burn more calories and belly fat than long, drawn-out cardio sessions done at a middling pace.
Dr. Smith, who offers his "Shred 27 Burn Workout" exercise DVD on his website, said HIIT also helps you burn more calories for up to 24 hours after you stop exercising.
"After following my Super Shred program for four weeks, hopefully you will adopt lifestyle changes that will keep you fit and healthy for the rest of your life," he said. "That is my goal."
Yummy butternut squash and apple soup recipe from Super Shred
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 red onion or other sweet onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup cubed, peeled apple (Fuji or Gala)
- 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 3 cups low- sodium chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ cup fat- free evaporated milk
- Salt and pepper
In a large saucepan or pot, melt the butter over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the nutmeg on the apples and add to the saucepan. Stir constantly for 2 minutes.
Add the squash, stock, and cumin, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until the squash is tender. Transfer to a food processor or blender, add the evaporated milk, and purée until smooth. Return to saucepan and let simmer on very low heat for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.