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SHRED by Ian K. Smith (2012): What to eat and foods to avoid

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Shred - diet book by Ian K. Smith of Celebrity Fitness ClubThe Shred Diet Cookbook by Ian K Smith MDSHRED (2012) is a 6-week diet cycle that spells out in detail each meal you will consume for six weeks, giving you room to make substitutions.

  • Low calorie
  • Low fat
  • Diet confusion
  • Some liquid meals
  • Meal spacing

Below is a description of the food recommendations in the diet. Summary  |  General guidelines  |  Week 1: Prime  |  Week 2: Challenge  |  Week 3: Transformation  |  Week 4: Ascend  |  Week 5: Cleanse  |  Week 6: Explode.  There’s a lot more in the book.

Get a copy of SHRED for the meal plans, exercise plans, recipes, and full benefits of the plan.

Get a copy of SHRED for more details.

Get The Shred Diet Cookbook for recipes (for both Shred and Super Shred).

Also, see Super SHRED, the follow-up diet book by Dr. Smith for 4 week very rapid weight loss.

The reasoning behind SHRED

Shred is a six-week cycle diet that claims to teach you how to make smarter choices and has specific strategies embedded in the daily meal and exercise plans. It guides you what you eat, how much you eat, and how many calories you consume, as well as spacing of meals (it says research has shown that distributing the calories over more meals and snacks is advantageous in keeping hormone levels even). It suggests that you should vary your nutritional choices to keep the body guessing, to help you lose weight, decrease your chances of food boredom, and possibly increase your metabolism – this is called Diet Confusion and is similar to muscle confusion in weight lifting. The detailed meal plans are intended to help you lose weight by giving detailed prescriptions of what to eat and when.

SHRED diet plan – food guidelines

SHRED is a six-week program. You can stay on the diet for more than six weeks, but each six weeks is considered to be a cycle. Once you have completed an initial six-week cycle, if you still have more weight to lose, the program is designed for you to cycle it again. After the first cycle, you can reorder the weeks of a new cycle in any way that works best for you.

  • General guidelines – to follow throughout the diet
  • Week 1: Prime – Introduction – learn about the importance of meal spacing, snacking techniques, and suppressing hunger without consuming too many calories
  • Week 2: Challenge – asks you to demand more of yourself, releasing some bad habits and adopting new behaviors that you’ll have for the rest of your life
  • Week 3: Transformation – the toughest week
  • Week 4: Ascend – a turnaround week
  • Week 5: Cleanse – pays special attention to enhancing your liver’s ability to detoxify your blood, by eating certain foods which activate special enzymes in the liver
  • Week 6: Explode – last week of the cycle

For maintenance, once a month you should choose a SHRED week and stick to that week vigilantly. After six months of maintaining your weight loss, you can move this to once every two months.

SHRED General guidelines

These are constant throughout the diet. See below for additional details for each week of the diet.

General guidelines – What to eat

  • Meal guidelines
    • Eat something every 3 to 4 hours even if you’re not hungry, but don’t stuff yourself – eat until you’re no longer hungry, but don’t eat until you’re full
    • Times to eat: 8:30am Meal 1; 10:00am Snack 1, 11;30am Meal 2, 1:00pm Snack 2, 3:30pm Meal 3, 7:00pm Meal 4, 8:30pm Snack 3
    • You do not have to eat all the snacks
    • Eat your last meal at least 90 minutes before going to bed. You can eat a 100-calorie snack before going to bed if you want
  • Liquid meals
    • Soups can be consumed with 2 saltine crackers if desired
  • Beverages
    • You must consume 1 cup of water before eating a meal; you must consume 1 cup of water during your meal. You can add lemon or lime to your water and you can drink fizzy water if you desire. Drink as much water as you like per day
    • Flavored waters are allowed, but keep them under 60 calories
    • Other suggested beverages include: 1 cup of juice (not from concentrate), 1 cup of lemonade (freshly squeezed preferred), 1 cup of low-fat, reduced-fat, or fat-free milk, unsweetened soy milk, or unsweetened almond milk
  • Fruits and vegetables
    • While fresh fruit is always preferred, canned and frozen fruit are allowed. Just make sure they are water-based and there are no added sugars
    • Canned and frozen vegetables are allowed. Be aware of their sodium content
  • Proteins
    • Meal plans include limited amounts of lean proteins. In some weeks there are more options.
  • Carbohydrates
    • Meal plans include limited amounts of carbohydrates, varied each meal and each day: oatmeal, sugar-free cereal, beans/legumes, pancakes, sweet potato. In some weeks there are more options.
  • Spices and condiments
    • Spices are unlimited

General guidelines – What not to eat / Foods to avoid

  • No meals or snacks outside the meal plan
  • Meal guidelines
    • You don’t have to eat all of the food on the day’s menu if you don’t want to, but no skipping meals, no doubling up on meals (eating the same meal twice in the same day), and no exceeding the meal guidelines in size and volume
    • Don’t eat the same breakfast every morning if possible
    • Don’t drink the same drink with all meals if possible (except water)
  • Beverages
    • Avoid added sugars in your shakes and smoothies if possible if you buy them in stores
    • Limit coffee to 1 small cup per day. Your coffee should contain no more than 50 calories. Stay away from fancy coffee preparations that have a lot of calories – lattes, frappucinos, etc.
    • No regular soda
    • Diet soda – limit to 1 can per day
    • Sports drink – limit to one per day, under 60 calories
    • Juice should be fresh, not from concentrate
  • High-fat foods
    • No fried foods
    • Chicken and turkey should have no skin
    • No full-fat milk – should be fat-free, skim, or 1%. No full-fat yogurt – low-fat or fat-free only. No cream or butter. Limit cheese to when it is suggested in meals
    • No whole eggs: egg white only, 2 egg whites max
  • Soups
    • Avoid high-salt soups – should be low in sodium
    • Soup should have no potatoes or cream
  • Avoid chips and donuts and candy; you can have them some of the time, but don’t eat them often. If you must have something like these items, make it only one of your snacks for the day and use healthier options for the other snacks
  • Condiments like ketchup, mayo, mustard, and soy sauce are allowed in limited quantities – no more than a teaspoon at each meal
  • There are no desserts in the meal plan

SHRED week 1 food list

Week 1: Prime – What to eat

  • Liquid meals
    • One per day – smoothie, protein shake, or soup
    • May not exceed 300 calories
    • Must be eaten with either 1 piece of fruit or 1 serving of vegetables
  • Other meals
    • Follow the guidelines in the meal plan – each meal of each day is different, and shows portion sizes
  • Snacks
    • 100 calories or less
  • Beverages
    • Limit alcohol to 1 mixed drink twice a week, or 3 light beers per week, or 3 regular glasses of wine (red or white) per week
  • Carbohydrates
    • 2 slices of 100% whole-grain or 100% whole-wheat bread can be consumed at any point throughout the day – only 2 slices

Week 1: Prime – What not to eat / Foods to avoid

Eat only the meals and snacks in the suggested meal plans, with some substitutions allowed
See general guidelines above
Do not exceed the calorie limits for this week

SHRED week 2 food list

Week 2: Challenge – What to eat

  • Liquid meals
    • Two per day – smoothie, protein shake, or soup
    • May not exceed 250 calories – pay attention to the lower calories this week
    • Must be eaten with either 1 piece of fruit or 1 serving of vegetables
  • Other meals
    • Follow the guidelines in the meal plan – each meal of each day is different, and shows portions
  • Snacks
    • 100 calories or less
  • Beverages
    • Limit alcohol to 1 mixed drink twice a week, or 3 light beers per week, or 3 regular glasses of wine (red or white) per week

Week 2: Challenge – What not to eat / Foods to avoid

Eat only the meals and snacks in the suggested meal plans, with some substitutions allowed
See general guidelines above
Do not exceed the calorie limits for this week

SHRED week 3 food list

Week 3: Transformation – What to eat

  • Liquid meals
    • Three per day – smoothie, protein shake, or soup
    • May not exceed 200 calories
    • Must be eaten with either 1 piece of fruit or 1 serving of vegetables
  • Other meals
    • Follow the guidelines in the meal plan – each meal of each day is different, and shows portions
  • Snacks
    • 100 calories or less
  • Beverages
    • Have one cup of lemon water with breakfast – 8 ounces of water (hot or cold), juice of half a lemon, ½ teaspoon of sugar if you like
    • Limit alcohol to 1 mixed drink twice a week, or 3 light beers per week, or 3 regular glasses of wine (red or white) per week

Week 3: Transformation – What not to eat / Foods to avoid

Eat only the meals and snacks in the suggested meal plans, with some substitutions allowed
See general guidelines above
Do not exceed the calorie limits for this week

SHRED week 4 food list

Week 4: Ascend – What to eat

  • Liquid meals
    • Two per day – smoothie, protein shake, or soup
    • May not exceed 200 calories
    • Must be eaten with either 1 piece of fruit or 1 serving of vegetables
  • Other meals
    • Follow the guidelines in the meal plan – each meal of each day is different, and shows portions
    • This week, you can have some slightly higher calorie foods, where shown in the meal plans a few times in the week – e.g. small bowl of pasta with marinara sauce (no cream sauce), small cheeseburger or hamburger, small portion of French fries, chicken fingers, chicken stir-fry, spaghetti and meatballs
  • Snacks
    • 100 calories or less
  • Beverages
    • Limit alcohol to 1 mixed drink twice a week, or 3 light beers per week, or 3 regular glasses of wine (red or white) per week
    • Have one cup of lemon water with breakfast – 8 ounces of water (hot or cold), juice of half a lemon, ½ teaspoon of sugar if you like

Week 4: Ascend – What not to eat / Foods to avoid

Eat only the meals and snacks in the suggested meal plans, with some substitutions allowed
See general guidelines above
Do not exceed the calorie limits for this week

SHRED week 5 food list

Week 5: Cleanse – What to eat

  • Liquid meals
    • One per day – smoothie, protein shake, or soup
    • Some of these are 200 calories, others are more
    • Must be eaten with either 1 piece of fruit or 1 serving of vegetables
  • Other meals
    • Follow the guidelines in the meal plan – each meal of each day is different, and shows portions
  • Snacks
    • There’s more variation in the snacks, and the book includes a number of alternate suggestions of what is allowed
  • Beverages
    • Have one cup of lemon water with breakfast – 8 ounces of water (hot or cold), juice of half a lemon, ½ teaspoon of sugar if you like
    • One cup of hibiscus tea every day
    • Once cup of 100% pure cranberry juice every day

Week 5: Cleanse – What not to eat / Foods to avoid

Eat only the meals and snacks in the suggested meal plans, with some substitutions allowed
See general guidelines above
No alcohol this week

SHRED week 6 food list

Week 6: Explode – What to eat

  • Liquid meals
    • One per day – smoothie, protein shake, or soup
    • May not exceed 200 calories
    • Must be eaten with either 1 piece of fruit or 1 serving of vegetables
  • Other meals
    • Follow the guidelines in the meal plan – each meal of each day is different, and shows portions
  • Snacks
    • Snacks suggestions are different each snack of each day – some are 100 calories or less, others 150 calories or less, and others have suggestions of alternatives
  • Beverages
    • Limit alcohol to 1 mixed drink twice a week, or 3 light beers per week, or 3 regular glasses of wine (red or white) per week
  • Carbohydrates
    • 3 slices of 100% whole-grain or 100% whole-wheat bread can be consumed at any point throughout the day – only 3 slices

Week 6: Explode – What not to eat / Foods to avoid

Eat only the meals and snacks in the suggested meal plans, with some substitutions allowed
See general guidelines above.

Health benefits claimed in SHRED

The diet in this book claims to reduce the risks for: diabetes, high blood pressure, low energy, overweight/obesity

As always, this is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical diagnosis or treatment for a medical condition. Consult your doctor before starting a new diet. This page describes what the authors of the diet recommend – Chewfo is describing the diet only, and does not endorse it.

For meal plans, exercise plans, and recipes, see SHRED book and SHRED Kindle Edition.

Get a copy of SHRED for more details.

Buy now from AmazonSHRED diet book
Get The Shred Diet Cookbook for recipes (for both Shred and Super Shred).

Buy now from AmazonSHRED cookbook
Ian K. Smith’s website for this book is http://www.doctoriansmith.com/books/shred-the-revolutionary-diet/. He’s on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Dr.IanKSmith and Twitter at https://twitter.com/doctoriansmith.

How has this diet helped you? Please add a comment below.

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{ 68 comments… add one }

  • katie cotten March 22, 2013, 12:00 pm

    Thanks for this. I am going thru my 2nd cycle- difficult at times because of all the specificity. :/ But getting there– wish there was a good blog for help/advice from others- that’s what I liked about South Beach.

    • Penny Hammond March 24, 2013, 4:05 pm

      You’re right, there doesn’t seem to be an official blog or forum for this diet. However, Dr. Ian Smith’s twitter feed (which right now mostly contains his comments on SHRED) is https://twitter.com/doctoriansmith – you could tweet him with questions and/or read what others have said.

    • Robin June 21, 2013, 3:00 pm

      Check out Happy Shredders on facebook. I just started week3 cycle 1 so I knew I would have questions and they have helped alot. https://www.facebook.com/groups/Happy.Shredders

    • Ashley August 24, 2014, 10:24 pm

      A good support group that I have found is on Facebook and is called SHREDDER Nation.
      It is very helpful and motivating.
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/491124047602159/

      • p October 9, 2014, 1:00 pm

        I have completed the first week and have not lost weight, but feel better and can tell my stomach is shrinking. Some foods I use to like – I dont like anymore. It’s interesting.

    • Michelle February 13, 2015, 10:08 am

      Look up Shredder Nation on Facebook. It is an awesome support group!

  • Jenna White March 28, 2013, 9:09 am

    Do I eat a bun when it calls for a veggie/garden burger or cheese burger or do I eat it plain without the bun that would normally be consumed with this type of food item. I want to make sure that I am not over eating, or eating anything wrong or bad for me, however I did buy Nature’s Own 100% whole wheat buns?

    • Penny Hammond March 28, 2013, 11:16 am

      The recipes and meal plans are very specific; you’re supposed to eat exactly what’s recommended on each day (with some substitutions e.g. for vegetarians).

      If there’s no recipe, and the menu doesn’t include a but, I’d guess no bun!

      To be certain, you could check with Dr. Ian Smith – shoot him a question on Twitter at https://twitter.com/doctoriansmith.

    • Chrysa March 24, 2014, 9:37 pm

      I have the same question about including the bun.

  • Annette Latta June 2, 2013, 5:00 pm

    I wish he gave us a list of fruits and veggies and how big the portion is supposed to be. Is a potato a veggie and how big? How much watermelon etc?

    • Chrysa March 24, 2014, 9:40 pm

      A potato is a vegetable (but high in carbs and starch)……. not a smart choice where
      diet is concerned.

  • Letha frizzell June 12, 2013, 12:09 am

    You might try Sparkpeople.com (?) and see if they have a group, there are a lot of diet benefits to joining.

    • Penny Hammond June 12, 2013, 11:56 am

      I didn’t have any luck finding a SHRED group on SparkPeople…

  • Julia jones July 12, 2013, 10:37 pm

    Can you have a serving of corn or corn on the cob? The serving portions are not given in the diet, but what I do is follow the serving size given on the package. I’ m also a diabetic. In addition to getting the serving size correct, I also have to count every carb I eat. Add them up for each meal and program the number along with my blood sugar level into my diabetic pump in order to get the correct amount of insulin units for each meal and snack. This really is a lot of work, but if I can drop some weight and some inches, it will be worth it all. I hope this will help other dibetics. If someone out there have a better way to do this for dibetics let me know.

    • Penny Hammond July 13, 2013, 2:50 pm

      If a food is listed in the diet, you should be able to eat it unless you have a health reason not to (e.g. an allergy or intolerance).
      According to the USDA, a serving size is 1 ear of corn (about 8 inches or the length of a pencil) or 1/2 cup of corn.
      It must be frustrating to have to count all the carbs you eat as well as working on a new diet – I hope it helps you lose weight and feel better!

    • Ellen August 23, 2013, 2:05 am

      Try low carb for keeping bs low. My endocarditis dr is all for low carb with diabetes. Im able to lower both insulins.

  • Lucinda August 15, 2013, 9:30 pm

    Just for those who thought there wasn’t a guide in the book as to the serving size for fruits/veges/salad…. its the size of your closed fist :-)

    • Penny Hammond August 16, 2013, 9:19 am

      Thanks Lucinda!

  • Lucy August 27, 2013, 10:41 pm

    I’ve just started week two, and am finding it quite hard to eat as much as I’m supposed to be eating! For example, at breakfast time, I am usually just eating oats or toast, not both, and when having soup or a smoothie, I am not eating the fruit or veggie portion too. Do you think this will have a bad effect? I know I should be following it very closely but it’s a lot more food than I normally eat… Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    • Penny Hammond August 28, 2013, 11:09 am

      If it’s too much food, try cutting back on the portion sizes of all of the recommended foods – for example have a smaller portion of soup and a smaller serving of fruit or vegetables.

  • Marilyn September 6, 2013, 3:47 pm

    This is a terrible diet. He doesn’t say anything about all the chemicals and preservatives in our diet. Diet soda, condiments like ketchup and mayo, 100 calorie snacks, are you kidding me. You can eat something that is 100 calories of pure crap, like diet cookies or crackers. Read the labels first. These things have so many artificial ingredients, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, flavors, etc. Also, if you are not eating organic meat and dairy products you are ingesting a large amount of hormones and antibiotics. The research about how diet soda makes you fat is abundant. It makes you hungry and your cravings will increase. I have cut out artificial ingredients and preservatives as well as all high fructose corn syrup and sugar…the weight just melts off. I don’t have cravings and it is not difficult. Never felt better.

    • tracy September 14, 2013, 3:49 pm

      If you really read in the book, he encourages whole foods. By 100 calorie snacks he doesn’t mean the 100 calorie snack packs! There is a whole list in the back of the book containing snacks that are one hundred calories and it is mostly whole food. This diet encourages whole unprocessed food but also leaves a little wiggle room for Times when that is not possible. You should be more thorough in investigation before you criticize.

  • Holly Crawford September 16, 2013, 4:30 pm

    I’m in week 1… need a few classifications…

    small salad – what is allowed in the salad? veggie wise
    Turkey / chicken sandwiches – is this packaged or deli sliced? what kind/how much?

    Thanks for any and all help…

    • Penny Hammond September 18, 2013, 8:55 am

      Small green garden salad – could be any green leafy salad vegetable – lettuce, mesclun, spinach, arugula, chard, beet greens, anything that’s a green leaf.

      Turkey/chicken sandwiches – The meat should be lean, not fatty. It also shouldn’t have any sugars in it if possible. I can’t find clear guidelines on how much chicken or turkey to put in the sandwich – you’ve got 2 pieces of bread, he doesn’t say an overstuffed sandwich, so I’d guess a few slices.

  • Megan Lyons October 13, 2013, 7:35 pm

    Hi,

    I am in week one. Will I be able to eat Yoplait Yougart? Is that allowed? Thanks!

    • Penny Hammond October 14, 2013, 10:20 am

      The meal plans on several days in week one include low-fat or fat-free yogurt. The book isn’t clear about whether these can be flavored or if you should only have plain yogurt. But there are a number of recipes with flavored yogurts, so it looks like they should be okay as long as they’re low-fat or fat-free.

    • Renden H October 27, 2013, 1:22 pm

      My husband and I started this plan 4 days ago. Hubby is a big guy with a big appetite, but he’s trying to follow with me, and doing really well! To answer whether Yoplait is acceptable, the way I read it, you should be okay with the low fat or non fat versions. I mostly see the yogurt in the smoothies, so maybe eat it then?

      I saw somewhere in the book that you can eat anything you want as long as you generally stick with the prescribed plan. As a Type II diabetic, not insulin dependant (yet), I cannot drink all of the juice. That caused me some really big problems the first three days. So be smart, and make adjustments. Dr. Smith gives us plenty of flexibility.

      I too wish he was a little more specific about quantities., and I wish there were a forum on his website.
      Good luck, everyone!

  • SHANAN November 1, 2013, 6:45 pm

    With every food there is a serving size, if you don’t know then go by what the serving size says about that certain food.

  • Nancy November 4, 2013, 3:05 pm

    Just started diet today – no mention of oil – can you sauté veggies in a little olive oil???

    • Penny Hammond November 4, 2013, 3:25 pm

      You’re right – most meals give you the option of servings of veggies, but there isn’t any clear guidance on how to prepare them.
      Most of the diet is low-fat, although there are a number of meals that ask you to include oil, especially olive oil.
      As there’s nothing in the book saying you can use oil/fat preparing the veggies, I’d guess you’re probably not supposed to.

      A serving size is the size of your fist.
      Canned and frozen vegetables are allowed, but watch out for the amount of sodium.

      • Kristina January 6, 2014, 1:50 am

        i don’t know what Dr. Smith is thinking about it, but you should put oil in your salad. How will you get the fat-solubled vitamins ?

        In his book is a dressing reciepe, but in it is no oil. So, i think he is against it, but in this case, i would better safe the 50 kcal on another meal.

        • Penny Hammond January 6, 2014, 8:29 am

          This is a low-fat diet, and Dr. Smith asks you to have fat-free dressings with salads.
          In general, the salads are eaten with meals, so perhaps he assumes there will be at least some fat in other parts of the meal.

  • Patsy January 17, 2014, 9:36 am

    I’m a busy working girl, is there any ‘grab n go’ protein shakes I can pick up at the store that are good for the Super Shred diet? I’m talking about a Slim Fast, Special K, Boost, any of those, as I won’t be able to make a fresh smoothie while I’m at work. I read the guidelines about no sugar added shakes and looking at the ingredients in a Slim Fast shake, the 3rd ingredient listed is sugar, so I’m guessing that’s out???? Any help would be appreciated.

    • Penny Hammond January 17, 2014, 3:36 pm

      Okay, so here are the restrictions for the Super Shred diet protein shakes – they should be 200 calories or less and not contain any added sugar.

      On some forums, brands that people have suggested include Atkins shakes and EAS. If shopping online is convenient for you, try doing a search for low-carb shakes; check that they meet the restrictions.

  • Mike January 17, 2014, 1:22 pm

    The Shred diet say you can have two pieces of pizza that are 5 inch wide and 5 inches long, is 5 inches for one piece or both pieces.

    • Penny Hammond January 17, 2014, 4:20 pm

      In the Shred diet, I see 2 places where it talks about having 2 small-to-medium slices of pizza (triangular cut: 4 inches width across crust, 6 inches in length).
      In Super Shred, there are quite a few times when you’re told you can have 2 slices of small cheese pizza (no larger than 5 inches across the crust and 5 inches long)

      So, I get out a ruler and I draw both of these sizes. They’re about the same volume/amount of pizza overall. If you get a 10 inch pizza and slice it into 6, that’s about the size for each of the slices. If that was the size for both slices together, they’d be absolutely tiny. So I’d assume that’s the size for each slice.

  • Terry January 23, 2014, 10:53 am

    Im interested in learning how to eat to maintain the weight loss. I am coming close to my goal and want to prepare my eating habits to maintain my weight while having a normal lifestyle.

  • Dani January 25, 2014, 3:45 pm

    This may sound silly but can I drink green tea whenever I want?

    • Penny Hammond January 26, 2014, 12:46 pm

      It’s not really clear in the book. When it gives serving sizes in the meal planner it says water is unlimited but you should have only 1 cup of unsweetened ice tea or any other type of tea.
      I had a look at Super Shred as well, as that’s more restrictive – if you’re allowed something in Super Shred you’re probably allowed it in Shred as well. It says – water, as much as you want; must have (limited portions of) hibiscus tea or green tea.
      And there’s no mention on the website.
      So it looks like you shouldn’t have green tea whenever you want. You could try double-checking with Dr. Smith on Facebook or Twitter – please let us know if you get an answer!

      • Dani January 26, 2014, 6:19 pm

        Thanks :)

  • Noel Estrada February 25, 2014, 10:14 pm

    I am on week 4 of the Shred Diet. I just realized that on the protein shakes it says 200-250 calories on most of them, but then says 2 servings. What does that mean? I’ve just been following the protein shake recipes and drinking what I make. Am I consuming double what I am supposed to? Please give me your opinion/advise.

    Sincerely,

    Noel Estrada

    • Penny Hammond February 26, 2014, 7:58 am

      Yes, nutrition facts panels can be confusing. The FDA have a webpage on “How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label,” which you may find useful.
      Look at the Serving Size information at the top of the panel. All the calorie and other information in the panel is based on that serving size. “2 servings” should tell you how many servings there are in that container.
      In most cases, the recipe for making up the shake will be for 1 serving, but it’s a good idea to measure what you make to ensure it matches the serving size. So, if it says that a serving size is 1 cup, measure the amount of shake you make to be sure that the amount that you drink is 1 cup, in order to know that you’re drinking 1 serving worth of calories.

  • LK March 16, 2014, 7:37 pm

    I am confused about “veggies”. Are pinto beans etc considered a vegetable choice or are they too starchy to be considered a vegetable?

    • Penny Hammond March 17, 2014, 8:32 pm

      Dr. Smith lists beans and vegetables separately in the book, so I’d assume that beans such as pinto beans should not be considered a vegetable choice.
      He’s not clear about what’s considered a veggie and what isn’t – although for one meal he does suggest that “one of the vegetables must be a dark-green leafy vegetable, such as spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, collard greens, chicory, or Swiss chard.”(p.134).
      Super Shred, the follow-up book, lists these vegetables: avocados, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, corn, cucumber, garlic, green beans, leeks, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes.

      • Altuna July 12, 2014, 1:03 am

        First of all, corn is a grain not a vegetable, and tomatoes and avocados are classified as fruits. And oddly enough, if you eat healthy non-processed foods in reasonable quantities and reduce your caloric intake by 1/4 after your first week on ANY sensible diet with proper exercise you will lose weight. Weight watchers does the same common sense approach to eating as a lifestyle change, plus you have a support group in meetings.

  • Lin Harris April 30, 2014, 4:05 pm

    Is unsweetened coconut milk an acceptable alternative to soy or almond milk?

    • Penny Hammond April 30, 2014, 6:41 pm

      Unsweetened almond milk (2.5 grams of fat per cup) is mentioned in the book over 100 times, unsweetened soy milk (4.25 grams of fat per cup) 99 times, and unsweetened coconut milk (57 grams of fat per cup)… once, in a tiny amount.
      This is generally a lower-fat diet, especially when it comes to saturated fat, so it looks like unsweetened coconut milk wouldn’t be an acceptable alternative on this diet.

      • Lin Harris May 1, 2014, 1:38 am

        Thanks. One more question, are gluten free products acceptable as grain alternatives? If so, are there any special brands recommended?

        • Penny Hammond May 1, 2014, 12:07 pm

          Dr. Smith doesn’t really talk about gluten-free products in either SHRED or SUPER SHRED. Many gluten-free products are higher in sugars and carbs than the “originals”, so you should watch out for that as they wouldn’t be direct substitutes.

  • plush May 28, 2014, 8:20 am

    I’m going to start the Shred diet next week, and am preparing myself by going over the menus.
    In many of the meals, he says to eat a 5-oz piece of chicken/turkey/fish, and he specifically says no frying.
    But what about a light sauteing in a teaspoon of olive oil? Is that OK? I have no idea how to prepare chicken without using any olive oil at all….

    • Penny Hammond May 29, 2014, 6:48 pm

      That would probably be okay, as long as you keep an eye on the amount of oil – I think he’s referring to deep frying.
      Other alternatives would be to broil/grill or bake the chicken.

  • Jessica D. June 4, 2014, 8:42 am

    I’ve read through a lot of comments on here, and the main theme I see is a lot of people stressing out about the specifics. The reason he doesn’t always specify a fruit or veggie serving size and he lets you choose a lot of your snacks is for the flexibility factor. Over time, you’ll learn to make the best decisions for yourself. For my first week of the program, I definitely chose crackers and pudding sometimes for my 100 calorie snacks, but I started to discover that they didn’t keep me full and satisfied. A whole medium tomato sliced with a sprinkle of parmesan and broiled, though? That will tide me over forever! Carrots and hummus has become my new and favorite go-to. I also had my one diet coke a day for a while. Coming from someone who used to drink 2 or 3 every single day, I felt like I needed it. By week 3, however, I kept “forgetting” to have it and automatically opted for green tea or water with lemon instead. Don’t stress out over whether your turkey should be pre-packaged or from the deli, or if your brand of yogurt is acceptable. Experiment and if you aren’t seeing the results you want, change something. When you stop pumping your body full of fat, salt, and sugar, it will tell you when it doesn’t like something. Trust me!

    I just finished my first 6-week cycle and to celebrate, we went out to my favorite restaurant that I have been craving over the course of the plan. That was 14 hours ago, and I still feel like crap! I can’t wait to eat my turkey sandwich and protein shake today. On a brighter note, in my first cycle I lost 21.2 pounds and 34.5 inches overall. I feel AMAZING and I would highly recommend this diet to anyone! If you have your doubts or reserves about it, I suggest just giving it a try. The book is cheap and if it doesn’t work for you, then so be it. But you just never know until you try.

    • K.M. July 25, 2014, 2:57 pm

      That is totally awesome. I just started week 4 and im finding myself a little hungry sooner than the last 3 weeks (before it was maybe 15 min before I ate, now 30). Did that happen to you? My theory is that my metabolism is increasing, but I could be crazy.

      • Penny Hammond August 4, 2014, 6:00 pm

        There could be other reasons, such as hormonal cycles – see if this trend continues over time.

  • Kristen June 10, 2014, 10:00 pm

    What equals a piece of fruit? A slice or small sized fruit? Wanted to clear that up, about to start diet.

    • Penny Hammond June 11, 2014, 12:58 pm

      Dr. Smith gives some examples – a grapefruit, a pear. He’s not really more specific than that. For veggies, he says a serving size is the size of your fist.

  • Barb August 24, 2014, 8:23 pm

    I thought a garden salad was lettuce and all types of veggies. Tomatoes ,cucumbers, mushrooms , green peeper ect Am I correct with this assumption !

    • Penny Hammond August 25, 2014, 8:37 am

      Yes, that’s probably correct.

  • Lisa August 29, 2014, 4:39 pm

    Thanks for all the commentary here! I just finished super shred and am going to go to the shred diet now. Down 21 lbs! 40 more to go.

    • Penny Hammond August 29, 2014, 6:49 pm

      Good luck!

  • Jean Montgomery October 25, 2014, 11:20 pm

    Thanks for the great diet information, Dr. Smith.
    I have both books, “Shred” and “SuperShred”, and plan to start your Shred diet plan on Monday with the hope of losing a few pounds quickly before an event on November 8th. I’m 69 years old and weigh 147 pounds, having gained 5 pounds over the summer. Since I’ve gotten serious about trying to lose weight over the past two weeks, I’ve walked over 10,000 steps six days a week and take Tai Chi classes five days a week. I eat well — clean, no desserts and few carbs — but I’m still gaining rather than losing.
    I have a few questions. 1) I’m afraid that if I eat what’s recommended, even following the exact Shred meal and snack schedule, I may continue to gain weight. In order to maximize my weight loss, shall I start Shred at week one or go right to week two?
    2.) Please list the specific vegetables I can choose from for my servings — are starchy vegetables such as plain baked sweet potato, acorn squash, black beans, and peas allowed, or should I choose only from less starchy vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, carrots, green beans, snap peas, and tomatoes?
    Thank you,
    Jean

    • Penny Hammond October 30, 2014, 9:45 am

      Hi Jean,

      If you’re trying to lose weight, Dr. Smith suggests that you start with Super Shred first – this is designed for very rapid weight loss.

      The books aren’t particularly clear about which vegetables to eat. Starchy vegetables are listed. You might find that you lose more weight if you eat less starchy vegetables.

      If you want to contact Dr. Smith, I don’t see an easy way – there’s no Contact Us section on his website and no way to post on his Facebook or Twitter pages (unless you comment on a post in Facebook).

  • Td February 3, 2015, 10:47 am

    I’m a big black coffee drinker. can I have more than a cup black?

    If not, why? No extra cals…

    • Penny Hammond February 3, 2015, 5:49 pm

      There isn’t an explanation in the book of why you can only have 1 cup, it’s just repeated many times!
      I checked Dr. Smith’s later book, Super Shred, to see if it gave any explanation – it doesn’t, but that diet allows 2 cups of coffee a day.

  • Tracy February 13, 2015, 5:27 pm

    I’m on week three of Super Shred and my weight loss has tapered off significantly (about 5 and a half pounds the first week and less than 2 the second). Is this normal? Also, I actually find that I’m not hungry and I feel great. I’m wondering if the regular Shred book has a maintenance plan to keep the (hopefully even more) weight off.

    • Penny Hammond February 15, 2015, 10:38 am

      Tapering weight loss is common when you’re losing weight – after you make the initial change your body loses water or has some other initial reaction, and then that “easy weight loss” has gone and the rate slows down.

      The regular Shred book is for long-term weight loss – Super Shred is for 4 weeks only.

  • catherine April 10, 2015, 7:58 pm

    hi penny, it’s catherine & I’m reposting my Shred query here from the Super Shred website (March 20, 2015)

    Fact: Under ‘Guidelines’, every chapter shows the same ‘timing’ bar chart …
    (Meal 1, Snack 1, Meal 2, Snack 2, Meal 3, Meal 4, Snack 3 (& Snack 4 sometimes))
    (8:30 am, 10:00 am, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, 3:30 pm, 7:00 pm, 8:30 pm)

    Fact: There is a Snack #3 everyday, of each week, on the Shred six week program.

    ?? Question 1: Why does the timing of Snack #3 change between Day 1 and Days 2-7.
    As per the daily detailed list of meal & snack choices…
    *Day 1, Snack 3 is listed last … AFTER Meal 4 (just like the timing bar chart)
    *Days 2 – 7, Snack 3 is listed BEFORE Meal 4.

    ?? Question 2: Do I follow the bar chart timing or do I follow the Meal/Snack sequence as listed
    on the daily detailed food choice lists?

    ?? Question 3: What is the sequence/timing on the days when there is a Snack 4?

    Thanks, I am assuming the sequence is an important part of the program
    … just need some clarification.

    • Penny Hammond April 12, 2015, 3:52 pm

      Hi Catherine, thanks for re-posting your question!

      I had a closer look at the details.
      Dr. Smith says “A sample day’s schedule during Prime might look something like the grid below [the ‘timing’ bar chart you refer to], but for each and every day, the order of the meals and snacks is both intended and critical. And on some days, there’s a bonus fourth snack, so follow each day’s directions carefully.” (p.14).
      He doesn’t give an actual reason for the variation between the days; it might be something related to starting the diet and moving smoothly between the weeks.

      So you’re supposed to follow the meal order for each day:
      Shred week 1, day 1: meal 1, snack 1, meal 2, snack 2, meal 3, meal 4, snack 3
      Shred week 1, day 2: meal 1, snack 1, meal 2, snack 2, meal 3, snack 3, meal 4
      Shred week 1, day 3: meal 1, snack 1, meal 2, snack 2, meal 3, snack 3, meal 4
      Shred week 1, day 4: meal 1, snack 1, meal 2, snack 2, meal 3, snack 3, meal 4
      Shred week 1, day 5: meal 1, snack 1, meal 2, snack 2, meal 3, snack 3, meal 4, snack 4
      Shred week 1, day 6: meal 1, snack 1, meal 2, snack 2, meal 3, snack 3, meal 4, snack 4
      Shred week 1, day 7: meal 1, snack 1, meal 2, snack 2, meal 3, snack 3, meal 4

      You’re correct, there aren’t clear guidelines on what times to eat meal 4 and snacks 3 and 4.
      He says in the general guidelines “pay close attention to the timing of your meals, making sure that you eat them about every three to four hours. Your snacks — if you chose to have them — will come between the meals, but no sooner than an hour after eating a meal.” (p. 14).
      That contradicts the sample day’s schedule, where the snacks are 1 1/2 hours after meals.
      In the Shred week 1 guidelines, he says “You must eat something every 3 to 4 hours even if you’re not hungry, but don’t stuff yourself. Eat until you’re no longer hungry, but don’t eat until you’re full. If you need less than what’s recommended, then great, go ahead and eat less, which is even better. If you want to switch meals, that is permitted, but try to switch as infrequently as possible… the meals are every 3 to 4 hours and the snacks come between the meals. Snacks are not a meal.” (p. 15).

      So, my take-away is:
      Follow the meal guidelines for each day, as closely as possible, although you don’t need to eat absolutely everything if you no longer feel hungry.
      The timing given was a guideline, you don’t need to follow it exactly – just make sure there are 3-4 hours between meals, and the snacks fit in between those meals (or an hour or so after your last meal for snack 4); you can skip snacks if you’re not hungry.

      I hope that helps!

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