Blast the Sugar Out!: Lower Blood Sugar, Lose Weight, Live Better

Blast the Sugar Out!: Lower Blood Sugar, Lose Weight, Live Better

by Ian K. Smith M.D.


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Do you want to lose weight?

In BLAST the Sugar Out!, Ian K. Smith, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Shred Power Cleanse, will guide you to eat well—and frequently—while controlling carbohydrates and dropping pounds to get to goal. You will lose weight on this diet—and start losing fast.

Has your doctor suggested you get your blood sugar numbers down?

This 5-week plan comprised of simple, affordable, accessible food as well as more than 50 sugar swaps will immediately lower your blood sugar levels painlessly and easily.

Do you need a plan that will decrease your fat and increase your lean muscle?

The BLAST the Sugar Out! five-week program is structured and clear about what you must eat at meals and for snacks every day to keep on track. There’s no meal skipping, plenty of food, and short bursts of exercise to super-charge your results.

You won’t be hungry on BLAST the Sugar Out! You’ll eat, drink, and learn to really taste good food again.

Features more than 45 recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and smoothies to satisfy every craving.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250130136
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 04/25/2017
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 1,240,680
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Ian K. Smith, M.D. is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of SHRED, SUPER SHRED, THE SHRED POWER CLEANSE and other top-selling titles. He has created two national health initiatives—the 50 Million Pound Challenge and the Makeover Mile—and has served two terms on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. A graduate of Harvard, Columbia, and the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine, Smith is an avid fitness enthusiast and sportsman.

Read an Excerpt

Blast The Sugar Out

Lower Blood Sugar, Lose Weight, Live Better

By Ian K. Smith

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2017 Ian K. Smith
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-13014-3



My brother, Dana, without my knowing, decided that he was going to drastically reduce sugar in his diet. He felt like he had been eating too many sweets — powdered donuts, candy bars, and sweetened drinks. A supreme athlete his entire life, he felt like his body was not responding like it always had and his energy levels were down. He had an overall feeling of discomfort and wasn't sure what was causing it.

After an exhausting day, he sat down on his couch and thought about his diet and exercise plan. He is a marathon runner and runs several miles a day as easy as the average person walks up a flight of stairs. The exercise wasn't his problem. So, he took a closer look at his eating and started realizing that he was snacking out of convenience or as a result of urges, and grabbing sweets around the clock. A candy bar between meetings, donuts late at night on the way home from work, his day was literally covered in sugar.

The next day he used the same determination that had powered him through many successes throughout his life to eliminate the added sugars from his diet and quit cold turkey all bingeing on sweets. He later explained to me that it was not exactly easy at first. His body was so accustomed to its daily sugar hits that when it no longer received them it let him know. Mild headaches, lagging energy levels, and stomach discomfort was all the evidence he needed that his body had become addicted to those hidden sugars. In just a couple of weeks, however, it all changed. The headaches and stomach discomfort went away and his energy levels soared. He told me that he felt brand-new — as if he had been given his life back. He ran stronger, wasn't feeling sluggish in the middle of the day, and even felt like his mind was sharper and more productive.

My brother recognized what so many health experts have been trying to convey for so long. Sugar is addictive and powerful and in excessive quantities can take a toll on your health. My brother had not reached the stage where he was diagnosed with any medical condition, but a steady march of weeks and months and years of sugar overindulgence will surely take their toll even on the most chiseled and athletic body. Imagine what it can do to those who are not so athletically inclined and who don't have anything to offset its impact.

The simple truth is that many are not as fortunate as my brother and have been diagnosed with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. But it's important to emphasize that these diagnoses are not a death sentence; they are a wake-up call. Your body is telling you that you need to eat differently, exercise better, and make smarter lifestyle choices. Those who have been diagnosed with diabetes are not alone in this fight by any stretch of the imagination. In the United States, an estimated 29.1 million people have diabetes, and 8.1 million of them are walking around with the disease and don't even know they have it. Every year, an astounding 1.4 million Americans are newly diagnosed with the dreaded statement, "You have diabetes." But as enormous as those statistics are, there's one that's even bigger. Eighty-six million Americans aged twenty years and older have prediabetes, which means they're on the fence. If they don't change the way they eat and become more physically active, they will develop the full-blown disease and carry the diagnosis. What should be extremely concerning to everyone is that these numbers over the last ten years have gotten worse, not better. And if the physical and mental costs that come along with the disease are not enough, the financial cost is also staggering — $245 billion dollars a year, with $176 billion due to direct medical costs and $69 billion due to reduced productivity in the workplace.

Blast the Sugar Out! is specifically designed to help those who are prediabetic, diabetic, or anyone who simply wants to reduce sugar consumption and lose weight. This five-week plan has been built with three major tenets in place: simple, affordable, and effective. Millions of people have followed and lost tremendous amounts of weight on my SHRED Diet series (SHRED, SUPER SHRED, and SHRED Power Cleanse). Many of them were diabetics who took those programs and modified them to make them fit what they needed to do within the restrictions of their condition. Not only did they lose weight, but they lowered their blood sugar levels and their need for medications and felt so much better. Well, Blast the Sugar Out! is a plan that is built specifically for those who have been warned that they are prediabetic and need to make changes, as well as those who have been diagnosed with the full-blown disease. Diabetes is preventable and controllable, and over these next five weeks you will learn how to shred the disease!

Each week is composed of daily meal plans that are straightforward and laid out in a way that gives you flexibility. You will be given choices throughout the day to accommodate food/drink preferences as well as convenience factors, such as what you have readily available to eat and what is most affordable on your budget. No two diabetics are alike, and you know your body and disease better than anyone. So if you need to avoid certain foods that are on the plan, you should do that. If you need to modify the quantities or preparation of the menu items, you should do that as well. You know your triggers, so take those into consideration as you follow the plan.


Each week starts out by helping you focus. All of us have good habits, bad habits, and habits that we can improve. Each week we are going to work on the 1–1–1 process. Break one bad habit; add one good habit; and improve one habit. It's important that you not just think about these three habits, but that you actually write them down on day 1 at the beginning of each week. By the time you have completed the five weeks, you should have broken five bad habits, added five good habits, and improved five habits.

Here is an example of what it might look like:


BAD HABIT: Eating too much fast food.

CHANGE: Reduce the weekly number of fast food meals in half.

GOOD HABIT: Not skipping breakfast even if I'm running late.


CHANGE: Exercise 4 times a week instead of the 2 times a week that I currently do.


When it comes to controlling diabetes, it's not just what you eat and how much, but when you eat, that can make a big difference. Consistency in your meal timing can be extremely important in keeping your blood-sugar levels stable. Although it might not be possible to eat at the same time every day, consuming your meals within 30 to 45 minutes of a regularly scheduled time can make a difference.

Create a schedule that works for you. A simple guide that you might try to use is to eat your breakfast at least within an hour of getting up. Try to position your snacks directly between your meals. If you have breakfast at 8 A.M. and lunch at 12 P.M., try to have your snack at 10 A.M. Your dinner might be at 7 P.M., so the snack between lunch and dinner should be around 3:30 P.M. If your day calls for a third snack, you can have that at any time after 90 minutes past your dinner. In the example below, the snack would be 8:30 P.M. or later. Please note that not all days call for a post-dinner snack, so make sure you pay attention to each day's plan.

The example below is just one possible schedule, but you should adjust your timing based on when you wake up in the morning and set the rest of the day from there.

Try to stick to your schedule as closely as possible, and do your best to avoid skipping meals. Your body will grow accustomed to eating at certain times, but consuming your meals and snacks irregularly will get in the way of you regulating hormones, sugar levels, and your metabolism. Please note that in week 4 you will have a very different schedule than in the other four weeks. A sample time schedule is included in that week's chapter.


You have choices for your main dish. If none of the choices are available to you, please try to make a substitution that is as close as possible to the choices. If you have an allergy or a dietary preference such as vegetarian or vegan, you can make the appropriate substitutions. Salads and vegetables are always acceptable as a substitution for a meal. For example, if the meal plan calls for a chicken sandwich or turkey wrap, you can opt for a salad or three servings of vegetables. You can also opt for one or two cups of soup.


The Power Ups are like side dishes. They are part of your meal. You can have them if you'd like or not have them. You can eat part of the serving or all of it. Eat until your satiated, but don't eat until your stuffed.


Snacks can be extremely helpful when losing weight. They can help prevent you from overeating during mealtime, which is important because overindulging at one sitting can disrupt hormone levels as well as destabilize blood-sugar levels. Each day has snacks built into the program. These snacks are optional but highly recommended. Chapter 8 has more than 100 snack options that you can choose from. These snacks are broken down into how many carbohydrates they contain. If you prefer to eat a snack that is not on the list, you are free to do so, but you must follow the carbohydrate guidelines of the recommended snack. If the snack during a given day calls for 10 grams or less of carbohydrates, make sure you look at the total carbs number in the nutritional label of your substitute.

It is important that you consult your health-care team to make sure you are still following the guidelines and suggestions that were made. You should team up with your health-care provider; as a team, you know and understand your diabetes best. Diabetics respond differently to therapy and nutrition. How your blood sugar levels fluctuate can be completely different from someone else who takes the same medication or eats the same food or does the same exercise. It's important to monitor your blood sugar levels while on the plan and make adjustments if necessary.

This book is a well-researched, scientifically-based guide, but not the final word on what you should and shouldn't do. Pay attention to your body and the way it responds, and that will help you make smart decisions.


It's important to make smart beverage choices. Your goal should be to drink plenty of water each day — as much as 6–8 cups. You should avoid sugary drinks that have little, if any, nutritional value. Sodas are a prime example of what you want to limit or avoid altogether, even if it's diet soda. Fruit-infused water is always a great option if plain water is simply too bland for you. You can also try sparkling water, as the fizz is often more satisfying to many. When shopping for canned or bottled drinks, please be careful of the carbohydrate and sugar content. Our aim is to reduce the amount of unnecessary carbs and unfortunately, many beverages have lots of hidden sugars that you don't need and should avoid. Fruit juices have sugar in them. However, they are natural sugars and they are part of a larger package that is healthier than soda. Fruit juices contain vitamins, fiber, and other important phytonutrients, but make sure you are drinking 100 percent juice. Fresh juice is always best and you should choose those fruit juices that are clearly marked "No Sugar Added." Depending on your blood sugar levels, you should monitor how much fruit juice you consume as even the natural sugars can cause a spike in your levels. However, if the option is soda versus fruit juice, the choice is very clear — fruit juice. Coffee is allowed. One cup per day, as clean as possible. A little sugar and milk/cream is allowed, but very small amounts. Teas are allowed, but opt for unsweetened teas. If you drink alcohol, try to limit the amount you consume to no more than 1 drink per day. One drink for the purposes of this program would be 1 glass of wine or one bottle of beer or one mixed drink. Please don't overdo it as alcohol can contain lots of sugars and calories.


This is a critical component to any successful weight loss strategy, and it is a critical one for anyone trying to lower their blood-sugar levels or reduce the effects of excess sugar on their body. You can decrease your percentage of body fat, increase the effectiveness of your insulin, and prevent wild swings in your blood sugar levels by following the exercise plan in this book. Each day provides the amount and type of exercise that you should do. Some days, there will be just a cardiovascular/aerobic suggestion, and other days there will be resistance training added. There will be some days when you have a rest day. The exercise times provided are minimal suggestions. By all means, if you want to exercise more, go ahead and do it safely. The appendices, here, contain suggestions for the types of exercises that fit the categories of cardiovascular/aerobic and resistance training.

Choose exercises that fit your lifestyle and that are fun and challenge you without being too difficult to accomplish. Try a variety of exercises. Doing the same thing all the time not only can get a little boring, but it can lose its effectiveness over time as the body becomes accustomed to the same type of exercise. If for some reason you miss your exercise on a day that has it listed, no problem. Do that exercise the next day and move the other days accordingly.

Rest days don't mean sit on your couch and do nothing. These are days when you allow your body to recover because your body needs time to heal and rebuild even after small amounts of exercise. A rest day still means that you can go for a nice walk and get your heart rate going and your muscles contracting. It's just not as intense and concentrated of an exercise session as you would typically have during one of the active exercise days.


The major goal of the five-week plan is that you develop a lifestyle that includes making wise nutritional choices along with establishing a regular, enjoyable regimen of exercise. After the five weeks, if you have not hit your weight goal, feel free to do another cycle, but this time switch the order of the weeks that you follow. If you are happy with your weight, simply continue to eat and exercise the way you now know how to do without necessarily following the program strictly as written. This is about you learning how to live the rest of your life so that you can prevent the onset of diabetes, or if you already have it, so that you can control it and not be constantly burdened.

If you decide not to do a second cycle right away after completing the first, that is not a problem. But what you shouldn't do is return to eating how you were in the past and not exercising effectively. This will only bring the weight back and cause havoc on your blood sugar levels. You have worked so hard to make progress; don't just throw it all away.

Remember, this is not about making quick changes that you won't stick with. This is all about making lifestyle changes that are going to keep you healthy and active for the rest of your life. Once completing a cycle or two of the program, you don't need to follow the book verbatim. I want you to be able to make smart decisions based on your new knowledge and what you've learned over the last several weeks. But just as a car needs to go to the repair shop periodically for tune-ups to check the tires and brakes and change the oil, the same is true when it comes to our bodies and how we nourish and move them. It's easy to get a little off track — all of us do. But when you find this has happened, don't get discouraged and down on yourself. Instead, pick one or two weeks of the plan and follow those weeks as a tune-up. This book is now your trusted companion; you should refer to it in times of need or doubt or when you simply need a little reassurance!



Sugar is everywhere. Cookies, cakes, soda, fruit, salads, cereal, juice — it's almost impossible not to sit down to a meal and not have some amount of sugar on your plate. The United States, like many other countries, has become a sugar nation. Our consumption is the highest that it's ever been, with some reports revealing that the average American consumes 156 pounds of sugars each year — the equivalent of thirty-one 5-pound bags. Sixty-six of those pounds come in the form of added sugars that carry with them no nutritional value. For a little perspective, the American Heart Association recommends that men consume no more than 36 grams of added sugar each day and that women consume no more than 24 grams. If you were to drink just one 20 oz can of soda, which has as much as 60 grams of sugar, you would be well over the recommendation and that's before taking your first bite of food.

What is sugar? Although to most it's the white granular crystals that we sprinkle on our cereal in the morning or pour in our coffee, it all starts with plants. Sugar is a type of carbohydrate. If you remember your old science lessons, plants make carbohydrates through a process called photosynthesis, where they take CO (carbon dioxide) from the air, water from the ground, chlorophyll (green pigments that give plants their color), and sunlight. The results of photosynthesis are sucrose (sugar) and oxygen.


Excerpted from Blast The Sugar Out by Ian K. Smith. Copyright © 2017 Ian K. Smith. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 How Blast the Sugar Out! Works 1

2 The Skinny on Sugar 11

3 Week 1: Calibration 27

4 Week 2: Focus 43

5 Week 3: Breakout 59

6 Week 4: Challenge 75

7 Week 5: Blast 91

8 Blast the Sugar Out!Snacks 107

9 Recipes 115

Epilogue 203

Appendix 1 205

Appendix 2 209

Index 213

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