By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — 9,000 SEPTA employees are being challenged to join a new weight loss plan called the shred diet. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has an exclusive look at the best selling plan that might help you too.
SEPTA employee Maxine Dobbins does some jumping in her office – suit, pearls and all. She also curls a few weights and instead of snacking on junk, she eats a banana.
She’s on the Shred Diet, developed by her cousin Dr. Ian Smith.
“The fact now that his book is a best seller, I couldn’t be more proud,” said Dobbins.
Dr. Smith, who has written other diet books, says he came up with the Shred Plan to help his Twitter followers get past weight loss plateaus. It soon became so popular on Twitter, he decided to write a book.
He monitored 5,000 people on the plan for six weeks and found the average weight loss was 20 pounds and four inches, or two dress sizes.
“You’re shredding the pounds, shredding the fat,” said Smith.
Dr. Smith is now challenging all SEPTA employees to join what he calls the “Shredder Nation” and lose weight, which can be a special challenge for people who are sedentary, like drivers.
“I sit on my big butt and drive,” said SEPTA driver Rhonda Bell.
“I think this will be a really good way for me to just structure eating,” added SEPTA driver Lucille Songhai.
There are a lot of different healthy foods to choose from on the six-week Shred Plan, leading to something called diet confusion.
“If you introduce different calorie amounts, different types of food, they keep your body off kilter,” said Smith. “It is this off kilter in my opinion that keeps your metabolism revved and keeps you burning more calories.”
Meal spacing is another primary component of the Shred Diet. Smith recommends eating every three to four hours.
Janet McHugh, a working mom of three who lives in South Jersey, lost 14 pounds in three and a half weeks on the Shred Diet.
“I get full and I feel it, and I’m fine,” said McHugh. “And I’m not constantly thinking ‘OK I need to eat something.’”
Each week of the diet has a new phase to maximize weight loss.
You get between 1,100 to 1,400 calories a day and there is a minimum of 30 minutes of daily exercise.
Bell, lost 45 pounds on one of Dr. Smith’s previous diet challenges and now she wants to lose more on the Shred Diet.
“I learned that I can be full and still eat healthy foods,” said Bell. “I’ve got about three to four inches of space in these pants that used to be tight on me.
SEPTA’s shred challenge starts on Monday, February 4.
You can see some of Dr. Smith’s plans online here.