4 Day Diet Plan

4 day diet

The 4 Day Diet may sound like a fad diet in which you lose lots of weight in such a short period of time. Or you might assume you eat whatever you want for four days and then fast for the remaining 3 days in the week.

Perhaps eat only one food for four days and then normal for three days. It could even mean that you lose 4 pounds in 4 days (don't we wish).

You will be surprised to learn this is no crazy fad diet where you only eat certain foods for 4 days, or fast for 4 days or anything that extreme. Instead, you will have a healthy variety of foods to select from so you won't get tired of the same old stuff.

The title alone is not enough to know what you are in for. If the name has got you curious, then keep reading to learn more. You might be surprised to see how it really works.

How It Works

Despite the name, this is not a 4 day crash diet. In fact, the plan lasts for a full month in which you have different phases. There are seven phases and each one will last for 4 days.

Before starting the 4 Day Diet by Ian Smith, MD, you have some work to do first. You will need to keep a food diary, record your exercises and record your mood for 10 days prior to starting the program.

You will need to do some self-evaluation to determine why you are overweight and what has prevented you from losing weight in the past and what challenges you may face.

Once you have set your diet goals, then and only then do you begin the plan. So what’s in the 4 day diet that has been successful for so many people?

This plan works to reprogram your body for better eating. With the 7 phases (or modules) you are changing the food choices often.

The 4 Day Diet eliminates the boredom and routine that many other plans consist of.

The Phases

1. Induction Phase

This first phase is the strictest and is similar to the South Beach Diet. These 4 days are designed to eat foods that help detoxify your body. The thought behind detoxifying is to rid your body of the bad stuff before you can begin eating the good foods. The allowed foods and meals are detailed in the book.

2. The Transition Phase

With the second phase you begin to change your current eating habits and are at the start of your transition. New foods are added like grains and vegetables that were not in the induction phase.

You know you are on a diet, but the point is not to deprive you but to teach you to become satisfied by eating healthier.

3. The Protein Stretch Phase

With the third phase, proteins added. The foods on the protein list encourage eating lean meats, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fish as well as dairy products like eggs and milk. The protein in these foods helps to build lean muscles and speeds up your metabolism.

4. The Smooth Phase

In the fourth phase, this plan really lets you go crazy.  With this module you can eat whatever you want – no restrictions - but in moderation. It assumes you have learned some healthy eating habits so allows you to introduce your own choices. Remember, the plan stresses moderation during this phase.

Although you may be tempted to eat non-stop during this point in the 4 Day Diet, don’t forget the healthy eating you have learned with the first few modules.

5. The Push Phase

With module five you are back to a stricter eating plan again. It could be to combat the effects of module four or just a reminder of how you should eat. Either way, it seems to work for many.

6. The Pace Phase

As with the second module, this phase introduces a few more foods that you were not allowed in the push phase.

7. The Vigorous Phase

This last phase takes you back to a strict plan for the final stretch of the program. It will help you shed those last few pounds as you complete the last module.


The 4 Day Diet does incorporate exercise in the plan. Exercise is required and each day has specific workout goals. You will be required to do cardio, strength and resistance training. Your workouts will last from 40 minutes to 70 minutes each day except for the days of rest.

Dietary Restrictions

If you are a vegan, vegetarian or looking for gluten free, you can easily adapt this plan to meet your needs.

The low fats, salt and carbs in this diet can help promote heart health by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.

Although weight loss and exercise can help with glucose levels and prevent diabetes, if you are already being treated for diabetes check with your doctor first as the 4 day phases could cause dangerously low blood sugar levels.

4 Day Diet Summary

This plan is fairly easy to follow although some of the phases will require some will power as the foods are fairly restricted in certain phases.

You will need to make time in your day to prepare foods and for the exercise requirements. If you have been fairly inactive, then the exercises may give you a bit of a challenge. For those of you who have been inactive or have a physical limitation, please check with your doctor first.

To sum up this program, it's a plan designed to teach you healthy eating and staying active.

In addition to this review of the 4 Day Diet, read all about the Biggest Loser Diet before making your diet plan selection.

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