Flat Belly Diet
|Flat Belly Diet!|
|October 28, 2008|
Flat Belly Diet (or Flat Belly Diet!) is a diet book by Liz Vaccariello (vice-president and editor-in-chief of Prevention) and Cynthia Sass (Prevention's nutrition director). The book was first published Rodale Books in October 2008.
The book contains a 32-day diet plan that the authors claim can help dieters lose 15 pounds in that time, as well as several inches of belly fat, the body fat many experts now claim is particularly unhealthy fat, especially for women. In only 96 hours a dieter can lose 7 pounds and over 5 inches. All of this, according to the book and the advertisements, can be achieved without exercise or without giving up favorite foods.
Though the book has spent 12 weeks on The New York Times Bestseller List in the Hardcover Advice section, many are critical of the diet, though most critics find fault with the claims made by the book about how it targets belly fat rather than the diet itself. Fans of the diet cite things like the ability to eat certain foods prohibited on other diet like nuts and chocolate, as well as the emphasis on whole, natural foods over things like pre-packaged diet foods and artificial ingredients.
The Flat Belly Diet begins with a 4-day jump start, known as the Anti-Bloat Jumpstart. The first 4 days are the most restrictive of the diet. The book gives a very specific menu for those 4 days with the focus on foods the authors claim will immediately relieve “belly bloat” and prepare the dieter to embark on the regular diet starting on day 5.
One of the major components of the 4-day anti-bloat jump start is "Sassy Water," named for Cynthia Sass. This water which contains things like cucumber, ginger and other natural ingredients is supposed to aid the dieter in getting a good water intake as well as providing nutrients.
After the 4-day anti-bloat part, the dieter begins the real diet which stresses a MUFA at every meal. MUFAs are mono-unsaturated fats like those found in some oils like olive oil, some chocolate like semi-sweet chocolate, some nuts and seeds, olives and avocados. The authors claim that it’s this regular ingestion of MUFAs that helps target belly fat and is credited with helping the dieter feel more full and satisfied after each meal.
Other key principles of the diet include eating 4 meals a day, instead of three, with the daily calories of about 1600 spread evenly between the 4 meals, for 400-calorie meals. While 1600-calories a day is a standard amount many weight loss diets aim for, the Flat Belly Diet encourages things most other diet don’t, like including chocolate in your meal plans to benefit from the MUFAs contained in the chocolate as well as keeping the dieter from becoming discouraged at the idea of not being able to enjoy favorite foods like chocolate (and peanut butter, another high-calorie but MUFA-rich food that’s allowed on the Flat Belly Diet! and typically left out of other weight loss diets).
As of February 12, 2009, the Flat Belly Diet! has spent 12 weeks on The New York Times Bestseller List under hardcover advice books. A companion book, The Flat Belly Diet! Cookbook, will be released in August 2009.
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