ReShape: The Six Week Turnaround

What is Kathy Smith’s ReShape?

ReShape is a total body approach to fitness.  It’s based on the concept of increasing lean muscle while eliminating excess body fat.  If you are overweight, ReShape can help you lose the extra pounds.  ReShape will teach you how to replace the junk food in your diet with healthy choices.  If you want to be stronger and sleeker, ReShape will teach you to develop and tone your muscles without having the bulky physique commonly associated with weight lifting.  If you don’t feel like you are at your best emotionally, ReShape will teach you how to improve your mind and body’s balance by creating a foundation that you can rely on every day.

How to use the Six Week Program

The six week ReShape program is designed to be followed in order from week one through week six, but I encourage you to become familiar with each week’s information right away.  I don’t want to keep any secrets from you, but I do want you to follow the progression of the first few weeks closely in order to maximize your results.  Feel free to skip back and forth via the weekly menu on the left side of this page as much as you need.  Don’t forget to bookmark important sections for easy future reference.

It’s About Balance

ReShape isn’t about fad dieting or workouts.  ReShape is about training yourself to balance what you eat, with what you do and how you feel.  It’s not about depriving yourself of your favorite things and pushing yourself through torturous workouts.  ReShape is about recognizing the things that you need to do differently, so you can meet your fitness and weight loss goals.

What type of eater are you?

It’s important to understand what kind of eater you are.  You may find that you fit neatly into one of the categories listed here, but you probably fit into more than one category depending on your circumstances.  Don’t worry! It’s all about indentifying your own behaviors and understanding why they exist and how you can manage them.

Emotional eater:

Is it a need for comfort that starts you eating? Stress? Anxiety? Around 60 to 70 percent of people have an emotional attachment to food. There is a clear biological reason for that: When you were a baby, you got your nourishment from Mom’s breast or a bottle. It was also your way of receiving love, so food became associated with positive emotions. The trick now is to know whether you eat for nourishment and fuel or just for that feel-good sensation that often accompanies eating. For the emotional eater keeping a journal will be an important way to track feelings and begin to see patterns in eating behaviors.  The Downloadable Journal will help you identify better ways of dealing with emotions that don’t include overeating.

[stextbox id=”custom-2″ float=”true” align=”right” width=”300″]Fat Fact: A 100-pound person and a 300-pound person can have the same number of fat cells. But the 300-pound person is likely consuming too many calorie-dense foods that feed the fat cells, causing them to get bigger—and therefore heavier—than they are in the 100-pound person.[/stextbox]

Volume eater:

This type of eater is often an emotional eater too, although not always. Many people fill themselves with food to avoid uncomfortable feelings such as exhaustion, pain, and stress. Downing an entire bag of potato chips when you are under stress is a classic example. For others volume eating is just their style of eating. They prefer to eat large portions spaced far apart with little or no snacking in between. This kind of eating is not necessarily tied to emotions.  I recommend that you see your doctor to share your weight loss goals prior to beginning my program. Make this a team effort. Your doctor also can help you address any special medical needs or issues unique to you, as well as determine an ideal weight goal that will guide you as you follow the diet.


If you are a multitasker who tends to be time-conscious and deadline driven, you might be a grazer who grabs food whenever you can. Grazers skip large meals, preferring to eat mini meals every two to three hours. Grazers will love my Feed Muscle, Shrink Fat program because it recommends eating every three to four hours to keep metabolism humming and blood sugar balanced.

Off-balance eater:

When you work 10 or more hours a day and don’t have much control over your meals, it is easy to become an off-balance eater. You may avoid eating during the day and then arrive home on empty—physically and emotionally. At that point the house gets eaten. For the off-balance eater, it is either feast or famine. The off-balance eater will benefit tremendously from journaling.  It will help you zero in on what is happening in your life to sabotage weight loss goals. On the Feed Muscle, Shrink Fat plan, you learn how to stock your kitchen so when you have an off-balance day, you are prepared to feast on a nutritious meal.

Be Consistent

When people ask me for the secret to health and fitness, I advise: Be consistent, be consistent, be consistent. Self-care should not be an on-and-off proposition. Unfortunately people fall into the trap of repeatedly neglecting themselves. If they don’t have time to do a regular workout, they abandon the whole thing and lose momentum for days or weeks. If they see food only in terms of good or bad, they fall into long cycles of overindulging and undernourishing. I eat and exercise in a way that serves me, my health, and my body, without ever going to extremes. This is the kind of consistency I’m talking about, and it is what I will help you achieve for yourself.

Finding your own unique version of consistency will be key to your success. Ideally you will figure out within the menu plans and recipes what works for you. Then you can adapt this program to your life and maintain it on a consistent basis.

How do you find consistency? By having motivators. Motivators can be anything— an upcoming trip to Hawaii, the desire to run a 10K, or even a medical scare in the family that made you think about your own health. Whenever people start a weight loss program, I ask them to write down all the reasons they want to lose weight. It is likely that they begin with simple reasons like “I want thinner thighs.” But when pushed they add other reasons like “I want more energy,” “I want better sleep,” “I want to spend more quality time with my kids,” “I want to live longer,” or “I want a better sex life.” I encourage you to look at the big picture.

This nutrition and exercise program affects much more than your weight; it affects your entire life. When you’re feeling low your motivators will remind you why you have decided to make these changes. Have faith in your power to change.

Writing it Down – Your Diary

Click Here for a copy of my Downloadable Journal

Keeping a journal can maximize your fitness and nutrition results on this program. You can download a Total Control Nutrition & Exercise Diary template [here], or create your own journal using any notebook. Divide your journal into sections that cover the following:

  • Foods.  Keep track of what you eat every day.
  • Workouts.  Enter what workouts you do. Be sure to include all physical activities because they all have an impact on your fitness level and weight loss.
  • Hunger levels.  Record your hunger levels before and after meals. Use a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 means “stuffed” and 5 means “starving.” A 3 is “normal,” and that is where you want to be most of the time.
  • Weekly goals.  Set as many goals as you like, but be realistic.
  • Emotions.  Record what is happening in your life too. Write down your thoughts, what mood you are in, what life events are most affecting you, and so on.  Your mental attitude has a lot to do with your physical energy, and you can learn to use happiness as a motivator in your success.

Think Muscle

[stextbox id=”custom-2″ float=”true” align=”right” width=”300″]Muscle Fact: One pound of muscle burns approximately 35 to 50 calories a day. A pound of body fat uses only 3 to 5 calories. Muscle burns calories; fat stores them.[/stextbox]

Developing and enhancing your lean muscle mass is the critical component of the ReShape Six Week Turnaround program.  Even when a muscle appears to be at rest, a certain amount of sustained contraction is going on in its tiny fibers.  This is called muscle tone, and it is a response to nerve impulses originating in the spinal cord.  Muscle tone is what allows us to maintain posture and hold our heads up.

What does all this mean for weight loss?  Simply put the more lean muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be.  High metabolism boosts your body’s constant burning of calories, which ultimately, leads to fat loss.  Your muscles will burn calories whether you swim laps or just sit on the couch watching television.  The amount of lean muscle mass you carry relative to the rest of your body weight is a huge factor in whether your metabolism is moving along at 25 mph or zooming up to 500 mph.

What to keep in your kitchen

A big part of successfully transforming yourself is to evaluate the things around you that may be bad for you.  The items that you stock in your kitchen become the foods that you eat most often.  A critical step will be removing the bad food items and replacing them with these key items to keep stocked in your kitchen and pantry:

Water and Hydration

Water is the key to life, and staying properly hydrated is critical for your health and weight loss plans.  I’ll go into hydration’s benefits in greater detail in our week one hydration section.

The Basics of Food Science – Protein, Vitamin C and Fiber

  • Protein:

Protein is the most important nutritional element for molding your body. Proteins are broken down by the body into amino acids, the “building blocks of life.” Proteins repair and rebuild muscle tissues, grow hair and nails, create enzymes and hormones, and maintain the health of internal organs and blood. Your body also needs protein to break down fat. Just as water provides transport, so does protein.  In order for fat cells to open their doors and let the fat out to be burned as fuel, protein and water must be handy.

[stextbox id=”custom-2″ float=”true” width=”300″]Muscle Fact: Eating protein at every meal builds lean muscle tissue, improves recovery from workouts, stabilizes blood sugar, helps avoid cravings, and makes you feel less hungry between meals.[/stextbox]

Specifically protein consists of 22 amino acids. Eight are “essential,” meaning that your body cannot manufacture them sufficiently or at all. It has to get them from the foods you eat. The others can be made by your body but are also found in food. Protein supports weight loss because it causes you to feel full, making it much easier to leave the table. This is partly due to how much effort it takes your body to break down and utilize protein. It is work (and work means energy) for your body to divide proteins into amino acids that are absorbed and transported by the blood to cells for use. So the mere act of breaking down protein is burning calories and keeping your blood sugar stabilized in the process.

Foods high in protein also help you feel full because they usually contain fat as well. The combination of fat and protein can keep you less hungry between meals. Because protein is necessary to build and repair muscles, it is critical that you have a sufficient intake of protein to improve recovery from workouts. Without it not only will you feel low on energy and experience more muscle soreness, but you will also increase your risk for injury.

  • Vitamin C:

Vitamin C is another key in the weight loss formula. Recent research suggests that you might be more successful at weight loss if you eat more fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C. According to a 2006 study at Arizona State University, individuals consuming sufficient amounts of vitamin C oxidize (burn) 30 percent more fat during moderate exercise than those who consume insufficient amounts. Too little vitamin C in the bloodstream was shown to correlate with increased body fat and waist measurements.

In another study published in 2003 at the University of Colorado at Boulder, researchers showed that taking more vitamin C may help older adults combat oxidative stress in their cells that may damage tissues and interfere with normal physiological functions. “Oxidative stress” is what happens when destructive molecules buddy up with oxygen in the body and hinder normal functions, some of which lead to lowered resting metabolisms. The Colorado study demonstrated that one group’s metabolisms burned an average of almost 100 additional calories per day after an infusion of vitamin C directly into the veins.

Vitamin C is by no means a wonder drug for weight loss. But the reason I designed my program with a spotlight on this essential vitamin is clear: When you seek good sources of vitamin C, you find the highest-quality foods that offer a host of health benefits. The standard American diet is so stuffed with processed foods that many of us lack a sufficient supply of necessary vitamins and minerals. A report published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2005 notes that one in five Americans is vitamin C depleted and an additional 12 to 17 percent are vitamin C deficient. The report indicates that adults ages 25 to 44 have the worst vitamin C levels. A full 18 percent of adults get fewer than 30 milligrams per day when the recommended allowance is a minimum of 75 for women and 90 for men. Some experts argue that the low-carb craze may be partly to blame as people push vitamin-C-rich fruits and vegetables aside.

Vitamin C is essential to the body’s breakdown and utilization of food. The body can neither manufacture it nor store it. On the Feed Muscle, Shrink Fat plan, you will get crucial vitamin C from wholesome, nutrient-rich foods that will aid in your weight loss efforts and support your health. But if you want to take a supplement each day just to be sure your body is getting all of the necessary vitamins and minerals, that is perfectly fine.

  • Fiber:

Science has proven fiber’s many benefits: It improves heart health and can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, blood pressure, and the risk for developing diabetes and some types of cancer. This is reason enough to love it, but there’s more: Fiber keeps metabolism maximized. It allows the digestion of food to slow to a speed that supports muscle feeding and fat shrinking. It keeps you feeling fuller longer. Let’s explore this idea further. As I said before, timing is a key factor in what you eat. Because foods enter your bloodstream at different rates—some enter it in as little as five minutes, while others can take up to two hours—they change the chemistry of your hormones and either satiate you or stimulate you to want more.

If you eat a food that is high in simple carbohydrates and is quickly digested, it will enter your bloodstream quickly, causing a spike in insulin that is largely responsible for making you feel hungry for more. Foods that satiate you take longer to get into your system, somewhere between 30 and 120 minutes. They help prevent insulin surges and maintain a healthy blood sugar balance. This ideal window of 30 to 120 minutes is created when you eat proteins and high-fiber vegetables, fruits, and grains. Because they take longer to enter your bloodstream, it actually requires more energy to break down. The body needs to process those protein and fat molecules and expend energy to do so, which is like exercise for the body without you physically moving. That is the science of food.

Fiber becomes a key player in creating a meal that will be digested slowly and is less likely to be converted to fat. Glucose in the presence of fiber will be released gradually into the bloodstream, providing continual bursts of energy over time while you’re still feeling full. In fact you can combine a quickly digested food with a slowly digested one that has fiber and change the entire chemistry of a meal. Here is an example: Top a whole grain bagel or English muffin with peanut butter and a spoonful of flaxseed. The fat and fiber in the peanut butter and flaxseed will stop the glucose in the bagel from getting hurriedly digested.

The Workouts

[stextbox id=”custom-2″ float=”true” align=”right” width=”300″]Muscle Fact: Men have 10 times more testosterone than women. That is why men can build muscle more easily. Women are not likely to bulk up by virtue of their physiology. When women build muscle it shows up as a toned and sculpted physique.[/stextbox]

Muscle enhancing exercise is the second component to my ReShape program.  I’ve designed ReShape’s workouts to become increasingly more challenging as you progress through the program.  During the first two weeks, the workouts are designed to get you back into a groove of exercising on a daily basis.  Don’t worry if you struggle at first, or if the workouts are too easy for you either.  You can always adjust your exercise duration to coincide with your current activity levels.  However, you need to follow the daily exercise plans if you want to get the most out of my ReShape program. After a few weeks, my ReShape workouts get progressively more demanding and will require a greater time commitment from you.  The goal is to make physical activity part of your daily routine.  Don’t worry, you won’t have to exercise for hours a day because my workouts are designed for you to maximize your effort in less than an hour’s time per day.