Excerpt: 'The Four Day Diet'

Are you one of the many Americans who've tried diet after diet, just to end up putting the weight you've lost back on? Dr. Ian K. Smith, known for "The Fat Smash Diet" book and for being the diet expert on VH1's "Celebrity Fit Club," has designed the "Four Day Diet," a new weight-loss plan that he says helps you overcome the mental obstacles to weight loss by switching the foods you eat every four days.

Here is an excerpt of "The Four Day Diet:"

Resist Temptation


Is it easy resisting temptation? Absolutely not, but this chapter will help you stay

VIDEO: ABC News Now GMA Health 02.18.09

resolved in the face of it. Let's establish context first. Temptations are abundantly and conveniently located throughout our environment. Whether it's that expensive designer scarf that you want so badly but know it's beyond your budget, eavesdropping on a conversation between an arguing couple at the table next to yours, or a piece of double fudge chocolate cake—the temptations are endless. The good news is that we are successful more times than not at resisting the urges to indulge in these forbidden callings. So why do we lose on occasion and give in to temptation? What happens late at night when you can't stop yourself from downing a handful of chocolate chip cookies or plucking off the lid to that pint of butter pecan ice cream? It's about the mind losing its competitive edge.

One way of thinking about temptation is as a fierce conflict, one that you can win if you focus mentally and train properly. When it comes to resisting temptation, your mind is locked in an epic battle with your anticipated sense of physical satisfaction. Your body knows that buying that scarf, eavesdropping on the juicy details of that argument, or biting into that double fudge cake will produce a physical response of pleasure. Your challenge is to convince yourself that the brief reward you get from the indulgence will be less pleasurable than the reward you get from abstaining. In other words, you have to train your mind, strengthen it, and prepare it to recognize and seek the more enduring pleasure—a pleasure that does not provide immediate gratification but can be extremely satisfying over the long term.

Before we begin to train your brain, you must first be convinced that you can resist all those temptations lurking in vending machines, bakeries, and fast-food restaurants. If you believe that it's possible to develop the mental willpower to succeed, then this increases your chances dramatically. Any doubt or skepticism will only reduce your chances of ultimate success. Keep telling yourself that your mind is strong enough to keep your body under control. The discipline you learn and exhibit in this phase of your program can prove useful not only in your weight-loss efforts but on the larger stage of life.

Train Your Brain

Understanding The Physical

Why do we eat foods even when we know they will keep us from losing weight? Getting to that answer means understanding pleasure and the body's physical response to it. Scientists have believed for years that the neurotransmitter dopamine, a chemical found in the brain, is the brain's "pleasure chemical," sending signals between brain cells in a way to reward a person for a particular activity. The precise details of this pleasure loop haven't been completely determined, but enough of it has been clarified to give us an idea of why the body commits us to actions that are against what we know makes sense for that body.

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