Flatten Your Tummy with the Flat Belly Weight Loss Plan
With a 1,600-calorie Mediterranean-style diet, the Flat Belly Diet promises a weight loss of up to 15 pounds in 32 days. The pounds are supposed to melt away from the waist. Usually these extra pounds located in the midsection increase the risk of heart and other cardiovascular diseases.
The diet was created by Liz Vaccariello, editor-in-chief of Prevention, along with Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD and it includes 2 stages: a four-day anti-bloat jump-start period and a 28-day 1,200- to 1400-calorie plan.
During the anti-bloat period dieters drink 2 liters of daily “sassy water,” which is a blend of 2 litres of water, 1 tbsp of fresh grated ginger, 1/2 lemon thinly sliced, 1/2 of a cucumber, thinly sliced, and fresh spearmint leaves. Everything is mixed and left over night in the fridge.
The Anti-Bloat Menu can include:
- Breakfast: 1 cup Rice Krispies, 1 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup pineapple, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- Lunch: 3 oz chunk light tuna in water, 1 cup carrots, 1 light string cheese
- Dinner: 3 oz chicken breast, 1 cup mushrooms sauteed in 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 cup brown rice
- Snack: pineapple smoothie (1 cup skim milk, 4 oz. pineapple, and 1 tablespoon flax seed)
- 2 liters sassy water.
The diet continues with the 28 day flat belly diet, when people eat usually 4 meals per day, of 400-calories each, at every other four hours. The calories are not counted, but the structure of the meals from the diet has to be strictly respected. The meals are chosen from a list of 28 interchangeable mix-and-match breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snack packs. Because there are more options, the diet is suitable for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Knowing the portion sizes and the calorie amount of each food on the list allows the dieters to create proper meals. Eighty recipes are included with nutrient analysis of calories, protein, carbohydrates, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and fiber. Up to 40% of the meals’ calories can be provided by fat if for dieters who choose the higher fat menu items.
The secret ingredient in the Flat Belly Diet which is supposed to take away belly fat is a monounsaturated fat (MUFA), at every meal. MUFAs are found in olives, avocados, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, soybean, flax, and olive and sunflower oils. These fats help control satiety, so by adding in one MUFA at meals it is easier to stick with the plan and lose belly fat.
Sample Flat Belly Menu
Breakfast: Apple almond oatmeal
Lunch: Pesto ham and cheese sandwich on whole-grain English muffin with lettuce & tomato and 1 cup grape tomatoes
Dinner: 3 oz grilled salmon steak with 2 tablespoons almonds, 1 1/2 cup green beans
Snack: 1/4 cup hummus with 2 tablespoons pine nuts and 1 cup red pepper strips.
Arguments pro Flat Belly Diet
- It includes natural, non-processed foods rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Since the number of calories is specified for each food included in the diet plan, it does not require dieters to count calories.
- The diet menu is very flexible. For each meal there are several options which can be interchanged.
- It is not a very low calorie diet. Nutritionists usually recommend 1200-1600 calories /day during weight loss programs.
- Consuming foods that are rich in monounsaturated fats can help improve your cholesterol levels.
Arguments against the Flat Belly Diet
- Must purchase the book and follow the prescribed meal plans, although you are allowed to mix and match meal options.
- There aren’t too many studies to prove the way the monounsaturated fats help de-bloat the stomach.
- May require dieters to eat a higher caloric amount than is prescribed by most diets.
- Some of the food items for the diet may be difficult to find in regular grocery stores.
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