Diet

Get Rid of Stubborn Belly Fat With This Intermittent Fasting Plan

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Harvard-trained Ian K. Smith, M.D., has discovered that combining the slimming effects of clean eating with the fast results of intermittent fasting turbocharges metabolism. Women are losing nearly 2 pounds a day!  

Beverly Simon was shocked and thrilled. After months of steadily losing weight following the diet advice of weight-loss expert Ian K. Smith, M.D., the 60-year-old retired engineer had hit a plateau. But then—as if by magic!—she dropped 15 pounds in just three weeks. And that wasn’t all: Her energy soared, her sleep improved, her blood pressure evened out and her painful body-wide arthritis subsided. “My doctor was amazed,” says Beverly, who credits her 100-pound weight loss with helping her avoid knee replacement surgery. The only change she made to Dr. Smith’s clean-eating plan? Introducing intermittent fasting. She couldn’t believe how easy it was, and she wanted to tell others about her success, so Beverly sent a Facebook message to Dr. Smith, who also hosts the syndicated radio show HealthWatch. “I know Dr. Smith’s passion for helping people,” Beverly says. “I thought, If anybody can get the word out there, it will be him.

Dr. Smith wasn’t a fan of intermittent fasting — he had heard from too many women who struggled to get positive results. But he says that Beverly’s success led him to take another look at the research on intermittent fasting. What he found surprised him: Women struggle not because the popular strategy is too hard or doesn’t work but because many intermittent fasting plans overstate what — and how much — women can eat while following the plan. Dr. Smith explains, “While intermittent fasting allows you to have more calories than normal, it does not allow unlimited calories — and that’s a major misconception that prevents weight loss for many women.”

So why did Beverly experience such a dramatic change?

Following a clean eating program (cutting out processed foods) eliminates the synthetic ingredients, refined carbohydrates and toxic compounds that hamper the body’s detoxification abilities, notes Dr. Smith. Replacing them with whole, unprocessed foods provides all of the vitamins and phytonutrients the body needs to improve detoxification and optimize its slimming systems. And restricting meals to just 10 hours daily challenges the metabolism, keeping it revved up. “When you take one program that’s very powerful, like intermittent fasting, and combine it with another program that’s very powerful, like clean eating, you’re attacking weight loss from different angles—and in this case, the benefits are cumulative,” he says. It’s like having two weapons instead of one in the war against fat. Those weapons became the foundation for his new book, Clean & Lean.

Dr. Smith put his plan to the test—and the results were astounding.

More than 1,000 people tried the formula and reported benefits including weight loss, lower cholesterol, more energy and improved moods. And science backs up their success: Research published in The Journal of the American Medical Association by scientists at Stanford University revealed that subjects who ate plenty of the whole foods featured in Dr. Smith’s plan lost 266% more weight than those who focused on counting calories or limiting portion sizes. And researchers at the National Institutes of Health found that overweight women who practiced intermittent fasting lost 50% more fat than those on a traditional calorie-restricted diet. And unlike dieters who count calories, women who follow Dr. Smith’s plan report feeling full and satisfied as they lose. “Anybody can do it,” cheers Beverly, whose 27-year-old daughter, Nicole, lost nearly 50 pounds following this approach. “It’s so worth it. There are so many benefits. Not only did it give me the weight loss I was hoping for, it also gave me health benefits.”

The fat will keep falling off your frame even after the 30-day plan is over. 

“Once the body has freed itself from the toxic by-products of processed foods and chemical-laden drinks, everything—from your digestion to your metabolism—will function better,” asserts Dr. Smith. Ready to start your transformation? Read on for the easy-to-follow plan!

Combining intermittent fasting with a clean food formula is a surefire way to boost metabolism and power off the pounds. 

And according to Ian K. Smith, M.D., who outlines his plan in Clean & Lean, it only takes 30 days! “Intermittent fasting is a proven weight-loss tool, and clean eating also promotes weight loss,” he says. “It turns out, the benefits are synergistic—and it’s easy enough that anyone can follow the plan long enough to get results.” Throughout the 30-day plan, you’ll enjoy three meals and three snacks each day. “It’s important to distribute your calories throughout the eating window so your energy doesn’t fade,” he explains. That said, if you’re not hungry, it’s okay to skip a snack here or there—just make sure you have a healthy nosh (like an apple with almond butter or a hard-boiled egg) at the ready in case hunger strikes.

At mealtimes, you’ll fill your plate with Dr. Smith’s 30 Clean & Lean Foods (see list below). Don’t see your favorite food? Dr. Smith says the list is flexible, but the key is to focus on natural, minimally processed foods and avoid harmful additives and synthetic chemicals that can sabotage your weight-loss efforts.

You’ll aim to eat all of your meals and snacks between 9 AM and 7 PM, but you can shift those hours to fit your needs and lifestyle, says Dr. Smith. “Just remember, the smaller the window, the better chance you have of getting good results.” Throughout your fasting period, Dr. Smith recommends drinking plenty of water and herbal tea as well as black coffee. And for your speediest slimdown, incorporate these simple success strategies:

Keep your eating window early.

“This sets you up to burn more fat and feel less hungry for the rest of the day,” Dr. Smith explains. In fact, researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, report that dieters who ate their last meal earlier in the day had significantly lower levels of fat-storage hormones than those who started fasting closer to bedtime. The reason: If the body is still digesting when it’s time for bed, it can’t easily switch into detox mode, slowing weight loss. But you don’t have to be an early riser to get the benefits: Even eating a larger lunch and a lighter dinner has been shown to speed weight loss.

Go for crunchy snacks.

This is a great way to suppress your appetite,” asserts Dr. Smith. Indeed, gastrophysicists at the University of Oxford in England report that the brain correlates crunchiness with abundant nutrients, triggering the release of satiety hormones, while a study in the journal Food Quality and Preference showed that enjoying a crunchy snack can reduce subsequent hunger by 43%. To get the benefits, choose “noisy” snacks like carrots, celery, apples or nuts.

Keep your glass full. 

Dr. Smith recommends consuming at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water or unsweetened tea each day. Not only does liquid fill you up, he says, it also plays a vital role in ferrying toxins out of the body. He suggests jazzing things up by soaking lemon slices, watermelon chunks or mint leaves in your water.

Recruit a friend. 

Having a “diet buddy” makes it easier to succeed, says Dr. Smith. “Life transformations are not easy. Having someone who is going to lift you up when you want to quit and keep you accountable—that can make a big difference.” In a study at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, dieters who recruited three friends to assist in their weightloss efforts were 20% more likely to succeed and 40% more likely to keep the weight off than those with no support system. No buddy? No problem! Download the “hiitide” app on your cellphone and sign up for “Dr. Ian’s World” for access to message boards, a dedicated expert coach and opportunities to connect with Dr. Smith.

A sample day to get you started

Breakfast

Prepare a 2-egg omelet, folding in chopped red bell peppers, shredded cheese and baby spinach. Serve with a small fruit salad.

Lunch

Broil a 6 oz. beef burger and top with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pickles, if desired. Serve on a whole-grain bun with a side salad.

Dinner

Top 1 cup of whole-wheat pasta with 3⁄4 cup of tomato-based meat sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Garnish with basil.

Snacks

Options include 1⁄3 cup of guacamole or hummus with veggie sticks, 1 cup of roasted chickpeas, a handful of nuts or 3 cups of air-popped popcorn

This story originally appeared in our print magazine

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