A couple of days ago, one of my lifelong friends who is also an accomplished musician called me and asked if I could create a diet/meal plan for him. This call was precipitated after I had commented on a social media post that if he wants to continue and to grow in his success, then he had best lose his gut. I told him this was not to be insulting, nor because of any type of fat shaming. The reason I had told him this, and then reiterated during our phone call, my comment about his weight was purely out of love for a life long friend whom I consider as my brother.
I explained to Doc, that at David’s Way, we do not give people diet plans/menus. Instead of giving anyone a complicated diet plan, we inform people what not to eat – refined sugars, anything that contains simple carbohydrates, and to stop eating junk foods of convenience.
Simply put, I have faith enough in people to believe that no one needs to be told what to eat. Additionally, I also know that these diet/menu plans are almost always something that no one is actually going to stick with, and that they will become a part of the statistical 95% of dieters who fail to either reach their goal weight, or once there, they put all of their lost weight back on and usually a little more.
At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we provide one of the largest and most comprehensive nutrition and fitness websites for weight-loss in the world. And being far different from most others, we are not only allowing this educational material for free, we are not selling anything to anyone that would tarnish our reputation as being a world class weight-loss site. And we guarantee that the plan we teach will result in healthy and permanent weight-loss.
Be leery of the many organizations out there among us who only want to extract as much money from your pocket as they can before you wise up to them. Additionally, just because the author, such as Ian K. Smith has M.D. behind their name, it DOES NOT mean that they are selling anything worthy to the people who need to lose weight.
The SHRED Revolutionary Diet Review.
First, a word on the cover – if a diet book advertises that in 6 weeks that you will lose 4 inches and 2 sizes, either do not buy it, or just chuck it into the trash if it was given to you. Authors that advertise like this do not give a hoot nor a holler about your weight nor your health. What they care about is your dollars jumping from your pocket directly into theirs.
Always read the pages before and after the meat of the text. Most of the time you will find that the author really does not believe their own BS. On page vii in Mr. Smith’s book, there is a note to the reader that I will quote right here:
“This book is for informational purposes only. The author has endeavored to make sure it contains reliable and accurate information. However, research on diet and nutrition is evolving and subject to interpretation, and the conclusions presented here may differ from those found in other sources”.
When writing evaluations on people, the word “endeavored” is not a good thing. It means that the individual might have tried really hard, but their efforts did not produce intended results.
The words “subject to interpretation” should be a humongous red flag that if you do not find success on this plan, then you must have interpreted it wrong.
Telling the reader that conclusions “may differ” from those in other sources should also tell you something. It should tell you that the author is likely to be counting on you not verifying what they have told you.
“As each individual’s experience may vary, readers, especially those with existing health problems, should consult their their physician or healthcare professional before adopting any nutritional changes based on information in this book. Individual readers are solely responsible for their own healthcare decisions, and the the author and the publisher do not accept responsibility for any adverse effects individuals may claim to experience, whether directly or indirectly, based on information contained herein“.
In the introduction, the author describes a friend who, after losing 30% of their body weight in 18 months, she couldn’t lose the last twenty pounds. He states that his “first instinct was that there was nothing left to do except for her to work harder, exercise more, maybe take in fewer calories“.
The author then goes on to say that he had to create a program for his friend “that used all that I knew about strategic dieting and combined it into one plan”.
If he initially could not think of anything more for his friend to do than work harder, exercise more, or take in fewer calories – that should tell you already that he is not going to produce a quality program. And once the reader gets further into the book, the reader should be able to tell that was all the information the author knew in the first place.
Chapter 1 The SHRED Concept
SHRED is a revolutionary diet plan that combines several different strategies in an effort to help users lose weight, increase confidence, and improve overall wellness. Unlike many other programs that simply focus on how many pounds are lost on the scale, SHRED also improves other health factors, such as reducing the risk for high blood pressure, decreasing the risk for diabetes, and improving energy levels.
The author of this program talks a good talk, but the question is – does he walk the walk? He goes on about how your health will be improved, yet the diet plan within, is not likely to improve your health. The calories per day are too low for healthy weight-loss, the nutrition is not well balanced, and the rapid weight loss will also cause the dieter to lose lean muscle mass along with body fat. This only serves to lower your metabolism and will wreck your metabolism even worse when you will eventually put all of your lost weight back on.
There are many programs that can help you to lose weight, but there are few that combine the appropriate balance of challenging you while at the same time not making it too difficult to follow for the long term. One major problem with many diet plans is that while they can help users to lose weight, they are so extreme, difficult, or uncomfortable that dieters are unable to follow the guidelines for an extended period of time.
And if you believe that you might receive something different with this program, you are sadly mistaken. With too few calories and not being nutritionally well balanced, you will find this program to also be extreme, difficult, or uncomfortable. Which means that even on this program, you will also be unable to follow the guidelines for an extended period of time.
If you want to lose weight while retaining your health, you have to have a change of lifestyle regarding your nutrition and physical fitness. This lifestyle has to be for life as you will most certainly put all of your lost weight back on if you revert back to your old ways. The author only creates a 6 week program for you to follow. Ask yourself – is six weeks anywhere remotely near a lifetime change of lifestyle?
SHRED is a six week program that the author states that you can remain on for more than six weeks. The claim that chaps my bottom hide, is that the dieter can lose up to and between 18 to 25 pounds in that six week cycle. A medical doctor really should know better than to promise a dieter that they can lose 18 to 25 pounds in only six weeks with no negative impact.
With any diet, it is not uncommon to lose ten pounds in the first week. However, that first ten pound loss is near entirely nothing more than a loss of water weight and not body fat.
No dieter should ever attempt to lose more than one or two pounds of body fat per week. Anything more is far too rapid and should be monitored and under the instruction of your physician or a registered nutritionist whom the physician recommends to you.
The author has you losing between three to a little over four pounds per week. You need to know that losing weight too fast may increase your risk of side effects which include; muscle loss, lowered metabolism, nutrient deficiencies, gallstones and many other risks. This is especially true if you try to lose weight quickly without support from a health professional.
“Results, as with any diet program, will vary from person to person for various reasons, but more than any diet I’ve developed or been aware of, what has been amazingly satisfying is how consistent the weight-loss has been. Ninety-three percent of the people who have been on the program have lost weight each week of the cycle. Even better, many who had been using other diet plans and had hit a plateau found that that just a week on SHRED got them losing weight again”.
Consistent weight loss is not necessarily a good thing. This is because with the very low calories the author has the dieter eating, part of this weight loss is only water weight, and along with fat loss there is also muscle loss as a result of too little protein in the plan.
He then goes on to state that those who have been on his program have lost weight each week of the cycle. Big whoop-de-doo, ninety-three percent of how many are we talking about here? Ninety-three percent of five dieters is still only a very small handful as opposed to ninety-three percent of one thousand dieters. He is telling the dieter nothing at all using that percentage rather than hard numbers.
He also tells how someone who has plateaued on another plan can begin losing weight again in the first week.
Why is this a disingenuous claim you ask?
Because when you cut calories and carbs for weight loss, the first place your body dips into for extra energy is glycogen, which is housed in the liver and skeletal muscles. Glycogen is usually stored with lots of water, so tapping into it releases a lot of water. Fat mass doesn’t change overnight, but you can lose as much as five pounds of water in a day. If the weight loss is not body fat, it does not matter as you will replace those pounds of water as soon as you begin consuming fluids.
The SHRED Cycles:
There are six different SHRED’s designed for each of the six weeks of the cycle:
- Prime. This first week is to prime you for the rest of the plan. During this time, you are going to learn some stuff that really makes little to no difference for healthy weight-loss. He goes on to tell the reader that “ 100% of the people who have been on the program – regardless of how much weight they needed to lose – answered in their survey that they had enough to eat, some going so far as to say that there was so much food, they couldn’t manage to eat everything on the daily menu.
- Again with the percentages with no hard numbers to really tell the reader any actual usable data. 100% of how many? There is no way that 100% percent of the people who have been on this program felt they had enough to eat. And once you see the menus, you will really come to understand exactly how absurd the claims are that the dieters feel as if they have enough to eat. You would be eating under 1000 calories per day on a cookie cutter diet, that is nutritionally unsound with not enough calories to not wreck your metabolism, and, by not having a good balance of macronutrients. This diet is high carbohydrate, low in protein, and really low on the fats that we need for good health.
- Challenge. This week will have you demanding more of yourself by releasing some of your bad habits and adopt new behaviors that you will have for the rest of your life.
- And would you believe that at the end of this week you will be more motivated to make a commitment to a healthier lifestyle? I can guarantee you that before you reach the end of this phase, your cravings for carbohydrates will be driving you crazy with hunger. It is at this point in time that only those who are stuck on stupid will continue this program.
- Transformation. Well, this week is allegedly going to be the toughest for you. However, you are supposed to begin seeing the fruits of your efforts with your scale reflecting such, and you will have dropped a clothing size.
- Yes, you will see a drop in weight on the scale, and while not entirely impossible, it is unlikely that you will need smaller clothing just yet. And by no means should you throw away your fat clothes, you will need them again once you get off of this absurd program.
- Ascend. In this week, you are supposed to have passed through your darkest point in this program, and will now begin to feel reinvigorated and energized to finish the program.
- I swear, I believe that by reading this book and typing some of these bold statements that I have now lost a few IQ points. With the super low calories, and high carb diet that also receives a good percentage of calories from liquid sources, it is highly doubtful anyone will feel reinvigorated to finish the diet. And what is this finish the diet malarkey? If you want permanent, and healthy weight-loss, there is no finish point because it takes an entire lifestyle change of nutrition to make this happen. This kind of thinking about just getting through a short number of weeks is why so many dieters remain fat for life.
- Cleanse. This week is supposed to pay special attention to enhancing your liver’s ability to detoxify your blood. The author then goes on to state that even people who eat healthy will accumulate toxins in the body. He claims that sometimes the liver can be overwhelmed and needs a boost in carrying out their job? He also states that your health is going to improve during this week by consuming the lame, and very weak diet menu where the items listed will really have negligible effect on your health.
- Seriously, every class in every school has one student at the top of the class in grades. Conversely, every class also has one student who is academically at the bottom of the class. A medical doctor should know better than to make the absurd claims he has made in the Cleanse phase. If you have a healthy liver, it will not require any type of boost to make it more efficient. Your liver does a remarkable job at what it is supposed to do unless it has been harmed through substance abuse and/or poor nutrition. He also refers to the liver needing a boost to carry out their job. We only have one liver, maybe he is referring to the kidneys… At this phase, the severely low calories which you will be consuming will have you feeling like crud, and cravings for simple carbohydrates will be eating you alive. I truly doubt that anyone will actually feel as if their health has improved.
- Explode. Oh boy, you are going to finish the sixth week with a bang. In the words of the author, if you didn’t achieve your weight-loss goals, you will explode right back into another six week cycle. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat….
Mr. Smith next addresses Meal Spacing which is a another total load of BS. Meal spacing does not matter. What does matter is that your diet is nutritionally sound, and that you are not consuming more calories in a day than you are burning.
Mr. Smith in the Diet Confusion section goes on to say that we need diet confusion in the the same way that those who really have no understanding of weight training say you have to change things up for muscle confusion.
I just consulted with my five year granddaughter about this – she said that was a dumb thing to write…
Okay, she didn’t say this, but the thinking here is at a low grade understanding of nutrition and weight training. This is the dumbest nutrition advice I have ever read other than when I read about the Cotton Ball and Olive Oil Diet.
Out of a two hundred and sixty eight page book, the bulk of the instructions cover only the first thirteen pages. After the foolery of diet confusion, Mr. Smith goes into what he calls “The SHREDDER Mentality” In other words, he gives himself an out for a dieters failure by essentially saying that they did not have the right mentality. You have to have the mentality that includes willpower, discipline, and motivation to find success on this load of crap of a program. You are the one to blame for failure, since he must believe that this low calorie, high carb, low fat diet is just fantastic for healthy weight-loss.
The few pages that make up the second chapter of this book are spouting gobbledy goop about how and why the program works. Then, the remainder of the book gives meal plans for each meal and snack that you will consume over the next six weeks. The problem besides too few calories and unbalanced nutrition is the menu barely changes from day to day, and week to week. There are only small variations to what you can drink as a beverage, two choices for protein shakes or a smoothie. As for food, most of it is high carb items with very few choices for you to choose from.
The types of diets like this that get published on a regular basis really piss me off because these people are taking advantage of people who are desperate to lose weight. Weight-loss means nothing if it is not sustainable for life, is not nutritionally sound, does not provide for enough calories nor macronutrients, and may only serve to cause the dieter health problems at a later date and time. Or, if they had health problems before beginning the SHRED diet, their problems could actually become worse over the course of six weeks.
If you want to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way, subscribe to David’s Way to Health and Fitness where you can find close to 1300 articles and recipes to help you in your endeavor. We do not charge anyone a single penny to access our work, nor do we charge people to subscribe in order to receive each new article straight to their email just as soon as we publish them.
Just quit with thinking that weight-loss requires that you do anything special. All weight-loss requires is a true commitment to change your nutritional lifestyle for the rest of your life. Instead of telling what to eat, we tell you to quit eating foods with added sugars and also to quit eating processed foods.
All that you need to eat is healthy and wholesome food choices that can be found in the produce, meat, and dairy sections of your local grocery store. The only thing that you should do is begin tracking everything you eat in a free app such as MyFitnessPal. Tracking like that is too easy and takes no time at all to do.
In closing, the price listed on the inside cover of this paperweight of a book is $24.99 US. Fortunately for me, I bought it as a used book from my city library for only twenty five cents. For the worthless information contained within it, that was really too much money, other than it was a good price for a review.
3 Comments Add yours
First of all, good luck to your friend, David.
Secondly, I always applaud your efforts to educate the public about false claims of various diets, but,..
Thirdly, my husband did lose 30 pounds in one month, following a diet prescribed by a nutritionist. Eventually, he lost 80 pounds.
Thank you Dolly. The key word for your husband is “prescribed”. I would assume that if he had a nutritionist that his weight loss was under supervision. Most people who undergo radical weight loss on their own will ultimately fail – 95% of dieters do fail. People who skip around from one poor diet plan to another are at a higher risk of suffering health consequences at some point as a result. While there might be some who could follow this SHRED diet without complications, these folks would be the exception and not the rule. These types of programs will cause the dieter to lose muscle with body fat which serves to actually slow the metabolism down rather than the desired opposite effect.
I agree with you, David, and yes, my husband was regularly monitored by both his physician and the nutritionist.