Flat Belly Diet Review
The temps are rising and it is officially bathing suit season. You may be tempted to try to “Flat Belly” diet to whittle down for your favorite suit. Beyond the bathing suit, reducing your waistline is important for preventing heart disease, diabetes and some cancers as abdominal (belly fat) puts you at higher risk for these conditions. But does the Flat Belly Diet work? Here’s a quick review.
The diet is based on a 32 day plan (4 days are a “jump start” and the remaining 4 weeks are the regular plan). The jump start/”anti-bloat” phase includes bulky foods (beans, cucumbers, whole grains) and lots of water with a reduced calorie level of about 1200-1400 calories/day. Your initial weight loss will be mostly water, but you may see a change in numbers on the scale. A small number of volunteers had less constipation and reduced bloating during this phase.
The 28-day phase is based on a 1600 calorie diet divided up into four, 400 calorie meals. The meal plan is plant-based, which means you’ll be consuming less cow and chicken and more beans, grains, fruits and vegetables. The meals all include MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids such as avocado, almonds, olives and other heart-healthy fats), which are prevalent in a Mediterranean diet. While dieters don’t count calories on this diet, they should not go overboard on fats since they’re calorie dense.
What you shouldn’t eat on this diet is what you’d normally cut back on for waist management: refined grains, soda, alcohol, processed/fast food, etc. That’s a no-brainer. Exercise is optional, though research recommends regular exercise to maintain muscle mass during dieting and to help maintain weight that is lost. The diet claims you can lose up to 15 lbs in 32 days, but we can’t imagine you’d lose that much with diet alone. Even with intense exercise, 2 lbs every 2 days is a stretch.
Bottom line? The flat belly diet is a reasonable and healthy way to lose weight with calorie options for all sizes. There are flat belly cookbooks available and plans for both men and women. In addition, flatbelly offers a web site to submit questions and seek support while following the diet. Log onto www.flatbelly.com for more information. And don’t forget that sunscreen along with your new bathing suit.