The Fat Smash Diet, written by Ian K. Smith, is a 90 day diet consisting of 4 phases which build upon each other. They are appropriately named detox, foundation, construction, and the temple. Smith stresses the importance of exercise throughout the program, and includes plenty of advice in that direction. This is refreshing, considering that many popular diets only casually mention exercise in passing, and never really explain that it is necessary. Smith promises that his diet and exercise program are simple to follow, and result in the last diet you will ever need. That sounded worth investigating!
We read the book and we liked most of the ideas behind the diet, but we were left a little confused. Smith gives great advice throughout the book, regarding portions, exercise, good food tips, and more. The book itself is very thin, compared to most diet books. He left out the fluff and got straight to the point. Unfortunately, he seems to have left out a little too much information. When we decided to follow the diet, we scratched our heads more than a few times when trying to plan our menus.
The first thing we noticed when we began reading this book was that Phase 1, Detox, stated “For the next 9 days, you will eat fruits and veggies ONLY and clean your body and mind of impurities in a natural way without fasting or putting any “bad” toxins into your system.” This led us to believe that we would eat just fruits and vegetables for 9 days. He goes on to say that there was no limit to the amount of fruits and vegetables we would eat, just eat the amount that fills us up. Ok. There was no mention of other foods until the end of the chapter when Smith provided the food list. He then adds to the food list several items that are not fruits or vegetables. Two cups of brown rice per day. Two cups of low fat, skim, or soy milk per day. One cup of oatmeal. Six ounces of low fat yogurt, twice per day. Four egg whites per day. Are those required amounts, or maximum amounts? Smith doesn’t explain it at all, and we’re confused. We’ll assume that it is required eating. It sounds boring, but keep in mind that you can use plenty of seasonings and cooking techniques to turn your vegetables into delicious meals. Few foods taste better than vegetables cooked on an outdoor grill.
The next chapter covers Phase 2, Foundation, and begins with a pep talk to encourage us to stay on track and not skip meals. Smith says we can start to add in some of the foods we missed during detox. We can have cold cereal, artificial sweeteners, and even a small amount of meat if we wish. He provides a new list of approved foods that expands on the list given in Phase 1. But here’s another confusing part – He says we can continue to have 2 cups of brown rice, but only every other day instead of every day, and only if desired. Why would we limit brown rice during Phase 2, if it was suggested we eat so much during Phase 1? It’s OK to do this, we just want to know why he makes the suggestion because it’s important to understand a diet to make it work for us. He includes several lists of proteins to add, but doesn’t specify how much to choose from each list.
After 3 weeks of Phase 2, we are ready for Phase 3, Construction, which will last 4 weeks. It is much like Phase 2, but some of the portion sizes are slightly larger. We are also allowed whole wheat pasta, and even desserts such as 2 cookies or a scoop of ice cream. During this phase, we learn the importance of self control and portion sizes. It’s ok to have occasional treats, as long as we are careful with the amounts we eat. We will need to master this by the time we reach goal and progress to the next phase.
The last phase of the diet is aptly named the Temple, which is where you will stay for life. Smith tells us that we’ve built the temple of good eating behaviorsand a physical activity program, so now we can admire and appreciate it. He also lets us know that we may have to tweak this phase as we go along, because our lives are constantly changing. Smith also lets us increase our portion sizes to maintain our weight and stop the weight loss.
The rest of the book includes recipes for each phase, and a few blank pages for notes. We would have loved a few sample menus, and a little more information. Otherwise, we thought the program offered an easy to follow diet plan that sounded balanced and would guarantee success, but only if we are supposed to eat from each food group. Smith labeled each section of foods “Allowed Foods” and not “Required Foods” so many members assumed they were optional. They assumed that they did not have to eat any of the foods if they didn’t appeal to them. Some members at nothing but fruit and yogurt. Others ate plenty of veggies, but completely eliminated the rice. Our own thought is that we should eat from each of those groups so we get a balanced diet. Otherwise, it’s just another weird fad diet. We emailed Smith for clarification, but did not receive a reply.
What we like about this diet: Phase 1 reminded us of the Mediterranean diet, which is mainly plant based, though the Fat Smash Diet isn’t quite as lenient. You’ll stay full because of the large amounts of brown rice nad oatmeal, but you’ll have plenty of variety to keep it interesting. We noticed that we were never hungry on this diet, and most of our forum Fat Smashers felt the same way. The other phases are balanced enough so that you won’t feel deprived, and Smith shares delicious recipes to get you started with each phase. Smith also provides some helpful tips and encouragement throughout the book.
What we didn’t like: We were a little confused and found ourselves spending more time searching the net for answers than it took to read the book. We also would have liked more variety in whole grains instead of just boring brown rice. What about barley? Or Quinoa? We assume Smith has reasons for his limitations, but he doesn’t explain them. However, he has stated elsewhere that other grains may be acceptable. Maybe a revision is in order?
Final thoughts: We think this diet is worth considering, if you like diets with specific food lists. You’ll eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. If you have found certain other diets too restrictive because they limit the types of fruits and vegetables you can have, you’ll find the lenthy choices refreshing. We’ve heard from a lot of people that have lost weight with this diet and had no complaints. If you do decide to give the Fat Smash Diet a try, please post in our new 3FC Fat Smash Diet forum and let us know what you think!
The Fat Smash Book can be purchased at Amazon