The Flat Belly Diet, from Prevention magazine, is a diet plan that claims it can help you reduce bloating and lose stomach fat. You can pay to get a detailed meal plan and join the online club, but the Flat Belly Diet website provides enough information about the diet so that you follow it on your own. Before starting any diet, get your doctor’s approval.
The Flat Belly Diet includes a 4-Day Anti-Bloat Jumpstart Phase before you start the 28-day segment. You eat four times per day on the Flat Belly Diet, and each meal should have a source of monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFA. MUFAs are heart-healthy fats that may lower your cholesterol levels, and sources include olives, olive oil, flaxseed and flaxseed oil, nuts, peanuts, seeds and avocados. You need to join the diet to get complete meal plans and access to community discussion boards.
The Flat Belly Diet advertises that you can lose up to 15 lbs. in 32 days when you follow the diet through to the end. During the jumpstart phase, you can lose up to 7 lbs. The diet claims that this phase targets belly fat, eliminates food cravings and increases your calorie burn. According to MayoClinic.com, you will likely lose weight during the 4-Day Jumpstart because you are reducing your calories, but there is no science to back claims that you will lose belly fat specifically.
A sample day on the 4-Day Anti-Bloat Jumpstart phase of the Flat Belly Diet has cereal, milk, pineapple, Sassy water and MUFA-rich sunflower seeds for breakfast; string cheese, carrots, Sassy water and tuna for lunch. Dinner is tilapia, green beans, potatoes with olive oil and more Sassy water, and you might have a blueberry smoothie with milk, blueberries and flaxseed oil for your snack. The Flat Belly Diet also provides free recipes for pineapple, peach and strawberry smoothies. These can serve as your snack for the 4-Day Jumpstart. You can eat 1,600 calories per day on the 28-day part of the Flat Belly Diet. A sample day could have waffles with banana and pecans for breakfast, tacos for lunch, salmon with green beans and almonds for dinner and oatmeal with blueberries and almonds for your snack.
Every day during the anti-bloat phase, drink a full recipe of Sassy water, which contains 2 liters of water, cucumber, grated ginger, spearmint leaves and a sliced lemon. The Flat Belly Diet states that water hydrates you, prevents fatigue and reduces water retention and your risk for constipation. Drinking this recipe not only encourages you to increase your water consumption each day, but the Flat Belly diet also claims that Sassy water soothes your stomach because of the ginger.
- MayoClinic.com; Flat Belly Diet: Can It Help You Lose Weight?; Jennifer K. Nelson; July 2010
- Flat Belly Diet: Flat Belly Science
- Flat Belly Diet: Cynthia Stirs Up Sassy Water
- Flat Belly Diet: It's About Food
- Flat Belly Diet; Satisfying Smoothies; Cynthia Sass
- MayoClinic.com; MUFAs: Why Should My Diet Include These Fats?; Katherine Zeratsky; November 2010