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If weight loss is at the top of your list of New Year’s resolutions, then Dr. Ian K. Smith (pictured) has just the prescription for you. The New York Times-bestselling author has just released “Shred: The Revolutionary Diet (pictured below),” which is the No. 1 book in the nation. His latest diet pledges to help people lose four inches and two sizes in as little as six weeks.

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Best known as Dr. Ian, he told NewsOne that his new diet is a great way for people jump start their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and begin an exercise plan because it allows dieters to slowly change their habits.

While most people give up on their weight loss resolutions because diets and workouts are too grueling, Dr. Ian insists that his Shred diet is different. Shred’s food choices include grains, skinless poultry and fish, and fresh fruits and veggies, with exercise including walking, jogging outside, swimming laps, and attending spinning classes.

“People get excited when they see a loss of 4 or more pounds in just the first week and this motivates them to shred even harder,” he says.

National TV talk show and radio host Steve Harvey recently announced that he lost 4 pounds during his first week on the diet and is determined not just to finish the 6-week cycle, but to make it a way of life.

Here, NewsOne talks to the diet guru, whose list of bestsellers include “The Fat Smash Diet,” and “Extreme Fat Smash Diet,” about his new book, obesity in the African-American community, and healthy living.

NewsOne: What led to the development of “Shred? Can it help people jump start their diet and workout plans for the New Year and put them on a path for lasting change?

Dr. Ian K. Smith: I created this program for friends who had lost weight on my Fat Smash Diet, but had hit a plateau. They asked me to create a customized plan for them that would get them losing weight again. Thus was born the first iteration of “Shred.” This summer, I tweeted to my followers some of the diet to help them lose weight before the New Year’s weight loss panic hit. After 5,000 tried the program, the results were amazing. The average results were 20 pounds, 4 inches and or 2 sizes in six weeks.

I wanted to simplify dieting and make it accessible to everyone. The food can be purchased at any grocery store and is extremely affordable. The plan is portable, meaning whether you’re in an airport or a restaurant or on vacation you can still follow “Shred.” Diabetics, vegetarians, those with other medical conditions or allergies have been successful on “Shred” because it’s extremely flexible and encourages substitutions where necessary.

You can get diet and health tips from me by following me on Twitter @doctoriansmith.

NO: Statistics show that African Americans are 1.5 times as likely as

Whites to be obese. Is something going on in the Black community that is causing obesity and impacting the overall health of the community?

IKS: Yes, we are making poorer food choices. We are not as physically active as we need to be. We have a sense of resignation when it comes to disease, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. To some degree, we give up because a family member has it and we expect to get it also, so we don’t take precautions. We have to change our attitude about disease and do a better job of taking the necessary steps to prevent it. All of America is overweight and has problems. African Americans are often culturally entrenched in issues such as self-image and food that have become problematic.

NO: What are the greatest misconceptions and misrepresentations about African Americans and obesity?

IKS: We tend to think that the BMI chart or other measures of obesity don’t apply to us. We, too, often confuse what is aesthetically pleasing with what the medical definition is for being overweight or obese.

Just because you’re confident in your body and others like the way you look, doesn’t mean that you have a healthy weight.

The same rules of obesity that apply to others must also apply to us. Our bones aren’t larger and we are not genetically predisposed to being larger than others.

NO: What is a simple way of starting a fitness plan and how can dieters

avoid overeating at a meal?

IKS: You have to put one foot in front of the other — literally. Take your time. Don’t start a program that calls for changes that are too drastic. Being overwhelmed at the beginning of a plan means you’re less likely to follow it. Start walking or playing a sport or moving in a way that’s fun. Sometimes the gym is not for everyone. Also, start exercising with a friend. Do it in small intervals at first, and then as you get better conditioned, increase the duration of your exercise. Most importantly, challenge yourself a little without overwhelming yourself.

NO: And finally, what is your secret? How do you manage to stay healthy and fit with such a busy work schedule?

IKS: I wrote “Shred” not just because it is a great way to lose weight, but because it is a state of mind. I am constantly working on shredding my body and making choices that give me the best chance at having the body that I want. I don’t advocate perfection and am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I try to be healthier on balance and make smart decision most of the time, and still enjoy the times when I don’t.

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