Proponents of the flat tummy diet say you can lose 15 pounds in about a month. This Mediterranean-style diet calls for consuming 1,600 calories a day. Rules include consuming no more than 400 calories per meal and not going more than four hours without eating. Certain foods are important to eat when following this diet.
Monounsaturated fatty acids or MUFAs are a cornerstone of the best-known tummy program, the Flat Belly Diet. In fact, 35 percent of your daily calories should include the fats and dieters are advised to one during each meal in Liz Vaccariello’s “Flat Belly Diet: Pocket Book.” Avocados, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate and olive and canola oils are all MUFAs. According to University of Maryland Medical Center, fats are an important source of energy for your body. Fats also are important for healthy hair and skin. They help your body absorb and utilize vitamins A, D, E and K as well.
Unprocessed whole grains are important if you want to get the most benefit from your MUFA-rich foods, Vaccariello claims. Wild rice, whole wheat, quinoa, popcorn, spelt, rye, brown rice, barley, buckwheat, bulgur wheat, millet and oats are encouraged. According to the American Heart Association, dietary fiber, B vitamins, iron, selenium and magnesium provide health benefits such as lowering your cholesterol and aiding your metabolism. The Flat Belly Diet calls for getting 45 percent of your calories from carbohydrates.
Lean proteins are another cornerstone of this diet. Fish is considered a superstar meat, especially if you choose wild over farm-raised fish or canned in water as opposed to oil. Vegetarian sources of protein such as edamame also are encouraged. Meat such as chicken or turkey should be 95 percent lean. Red meats, however, only should be eaten once a month. About 20 percent of your diet should be proteins.
- “Flat Belly Diet: Pocket Book;” Liz Vaccariello; 2009; Pages 20 to 23, 39, 44
- “Flat Belly Diet”; Liz Vaccariello and Cynthia Sass; 2008
- Good Housekeeping: “The Flat Belly Diet”; Kathleen Zelman
- American Heart Association: Whole Grains and Fiber
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Heart Disease and Diet