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Weekly Diet News Digest

by John McGran, Columnist

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How would you like to be thinner by Friday… or to diet for just four days a week?

“Losing weight is 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical,” says Dr. Ian K. Smith, the diet expert on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club.

Smith wants you to think thin… and to get thin fast! And he's here with insights from his hot new bestseller, The 4 Day Diet.

The man behind the 50 Million Pound Challenge says we can use a tool called visualization to literally think away our extra weight.

"People trying to lose weight can benefit greatly by making this a daily part of their regimen," he says. "Seeing and feeling yourself already achieving your goal can make your brain believe that actually attaining that goal is possible."

Smith’s diets work. America has lost millions of pounds following his Fat Smash and Extreme Fat Smash diets.

Now, in The 4 Day Diet, Smith has developed a program that allows readers to avoid the normal (and fatal) pitfalls of dieting: boredom, no treats allowed, too much repetition, plateauing.

The 4 Day Diet involves these dieting modules that last only four days each:

Induction (detox/cleansing)

Transition (to reintroduce all food groups)

Protein Stretch (to avoid plateaus)

Smooth (when you can have some formerly forbidden foods like pizza and French fries)

Push (the sprint just before the final stretch, back to a stricter eating plan)

Pace (a comfortable module for you to catch your breath)

Vigorous (the final module to lose those last few pounds)

The following book excerpt comes courtesy of Dr. Ian Smith and St. Martin's Press.

Visualize The Thin You

I first heard of the concept of visualization when chatting with a sports psychologist who was sitting next to me in the green room at NBC. Being an avid sportsman, I was interested in his take on what separated the great players from the good ones.

He talked about his personal experiences working with thousands of athletes who wanted not to be just good at what they did, but wanted to master the game. Then he talked about some of the greatest names in golf â€" players like Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead â€" whose ability to focus on the golf course had won them more championships than anyone in the history of the game.

Visualization is commonly used in sports. It’s the art of creating a mental model or image of an event or situation before it actually happens. It’s just not seeing the image, but actually feeling the experience that makes a difference. Experts in the field of visualization believe that there is truly a physiological response within the body when someone correctly visualizes. Thoughts and images can establish neurological patterns and these patterns can cause muscular reactions that lead to the desired response.

According to Performance Media: "Vivid and detailed visualization can create a powerful effect on the body. Vividness and precision in visualizations create a physical sensation in the body. This kinesthetic or 'feeling' component of the visualization is of vital importance. Feeling and sensing the experience as it is being pictured signify that the muscles and nervous system are strongly imprinted by the visualization."

I believe that visualization can be equally effective outside of the sports realm.

There is no singular visualization technique that is far superior to all others. You should choose what you’re comfortable with doing and proves to be effective. I have found bits and pieces from various strategies and melded them together in a technique that I like.

I like to think of visualization as creating a colorful movie. The key, however, is to see the movie not through someone else’s eyes, but your own. It should be a first person experience and not a third person experience. Once you close your eyes, the darkness should immediately fill up with colorful images. Make your short movie as vivid as possible. You want all of your senses to be involved. If you’re standing near the ocean, smell the damp salt. If you’re standing near a road, hear the rubber of car tires rolling over the pavement. If you’re standing in your bathing suit on a hot day, feel the sun bead sweat against your skin. Whatever the scene you’re part of, make sure you observe and feel all of it.

Let’s say you want to lose twenty pounds. Try to see and feel yourself twenty pounds lighter. Imagine standing in a dressing room surrounded by new clothes you want to try on after losing weight. See the drab color of the walls in contrast to the bright colors of the clothes hanging on the hooks on the back of the door. Hear the soft bells of the department store as well as the opening and closing of doors of the other dressing rooms. Smell the newness of the clothes and the age of the carpet. You take your clothes off and see the physical changes in your body. Your stomach doesn’t bulge like it used to and your legs actually have definition along the muscle planes. The back of your arms don’t jiggle like they used to but instead are more firm.

You pick up a pair of jeans â€" two sizes smaller than what you’ve been wearing the last four months. You move the hangtags so that they’re not in the way and you lift your first leg into the jeans then the second leg. You slowly pull them up your legs and they feel more snug as they run over your thighs and being to settle around your waist. This is a nice feeling â€" snug but not too tight, form fitting but not transparent. You are now facing the mirror admiring your physique and how great those jeans look and feel on your new body.

This is just one scenario, but there could be thousands you create to visualize your weight loss success. Seeing and feeling a thinner you is critical and can create those neurological patterns that lead to muscle responses that lead to behaviors that bring about your goal. Some people may want to visualize what they look like in a bathing suit while others may choose to visualize a thirty minute exercise session and the gratifying exhaustion after completing their workout. You don’t always have to visualize the same scenario, rather you can visualize different ones depending on what you want to focus your mind on at the present time.

I recommend finding a quiet area where you won’t be interrupted or easily distracted to perform your visualization. Spending fifteen to twenty minutes every day visualizing ...    Continue

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@ 8:29pm ET on January 25, 2009
i agree but what strict diet???? what do u suggest i eat??? email me back at alexislitson@yahoo.com

@ 3:58pm ET on January 26, 2009
I want something that u get for free and u can loose weight with not something u have to buy

@ 11:25pm ET on January 26, 2009
I agree with Amber I want a diet programe you get for free to help me loose the weight.
I am on a pension which doesnt stretch to purchasing all these diet books. So how about it a free diet for people like us

@ 12:05am ET on January 27, 2009
ohh yeah i agree too.. please send to my e-mail

Thank you

@ 1:13am ET on January 27, 2009
This 4 day diet sounds great, 8 things to do, 7 of them 4days each and the 8th one, visualizing yourself thin until it manifest,sounds like something i can really do. The problem is i'm in the same boat as the rest of these ladies. I am unemployed and, at this time, i cannot afford to buy a book or pay to be in some diet program.
looking for a job is a job in and of itself. It can get very depressing which leads to weight gain. While i'm home and looking for a job i can put these steps into action. Can you help me make that possible? (for free)moniquehicks65@hotmail.com

@ 1:30am ET on January 27, 2009
the funny part about this visualization process to loose weight in 4 days is that by spending 15-20 mins visualizing then i will not be eating for those 15-20 mins. sounds great! can't waiT!

@ 6:58am ET on January 27, 2009
When something appears to be too good to be true it usually is. I need more info before I bite into this diet! Foods you eat, daily workout plan? You can not lose without exercise. And is it really free? So many tell you it is then ask for $. So what is the real deal?

@ 12:44pm ET on January 27, 2009
Ladies, There are 270 public libraries in the US that own this book. There's no need to buy it. Just go to the library.

@ 5:21pm ET on January 27, 2009
i would love to loose weight?

@ 7:37am ET on January 28, 2009
You're right. Dr. Smith's diets do work. I just have not tried them. I have not read the 4 Day Diet book. I may have to check it out.


@ 8:15am ET on January 28, 2009

@ 4:21pm ET on January 30, 2009
Do you need a book to lose weight? Weight gain/loss is pretty simple. calories consumed - calories burned = +/- fat stored.

Burn more calories than you consume and you lose weight.
Consume more calories than you burn and you gain weight.
Burn as many calories as you consume and you maintain weight.

Write down everything that you eat to keep track of the amount of calories that you consume and stay active to burn calories. Just eat healthier and stay active - who needs a book?!

@ 4:15pm ET on May 31, 2009
omg is this is true give me the list of food and i will try in this e mail: x_emomegi_x@live.it tnx

@ 8:30pm ET on May 31, 2009
Hi ladies. There is an excerpt from this book on page 78 of the 'GRAZIA' Magazine, May 25 2009 edition. You can perhaps try to get a copy of that issue, or have a look at www.grazia.com.au. Dont know if the website shows previous issues, but you could prob email them. The article has eating plans for all 4 days of every module of the "Thin by Friday Diet" It actually looks really good, and seems fairly easy to follow.

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