If Thanksgiving and Christmas took a toll on your waistline, you might now be scrambling to drop the pounds -- after all, bathing suit season is only six months away.
But how do you know which diet to choose? Every year brings a new fad or variation on the old diet-and-exercise regimen, like the protein-heavy Atkins diet, the caveman-like Paleo diet and the liquid-only juice diet.
But this year's newest fad diet isn't as limiting as it is regimented, and it promises a lofty weight loss goal: 20 pounds in just four weeks. It's the Super Shred.
Created by Dr. Ian Smith, the low-cost diet relies on portion control with nutrient-dense foods. It's detailed in his new book, released on Dec. 31, titled "Super Shred: The Big Results Diet: 4 Weeks, 20 Pounds -- Lose It Faster!"
IBTimes briefly reviewed the diet, and it looks to be all about timing, portion control and some calorie and sodium monitoring. Best of all, the diet allows coffee for those of us doing the 9-to-5 grind, as well as three alcoholic beverages per week and one diet soda per day.
"Counting every calorie you eat in a day can be extremely difficult to do," Dr. Smith told the Examiner. "Measuring is a completely different proposition and easy to accomplish."
Dr. Smith says the regimented plan involves scheduling meals, mainly of plant-based foods in controlled portions, to create a "negative energy balance… where your body extracts energy from stored fat, thereby boosting calorie burn and reducing fat."
"Most dieters don't realize that simply by cutting back as little as 20 percent at each meal, they can lose a significant amount of weight," he continued.
For those interested in giving the Super Shred a try, ABC News has posted an excerpt of Dr. Smith's book, with tips for starting, the importance of the first week, a detailed grocery list, and a meal plan with bonus recipes.
You can read another excerpt here on Amazon or purchase the book in hardcover for $14.87 or on Kindle for $9.59.
Nadine joined IBTimes in July 2011 and is the editor of the Continuous News Desk, which covers trending news. She writes about retail, the fashion industry and pop culture...