Regardless of the method, the goal is the same -- to lose weight and keep it off. The key to staving off unwanted fat -- especially around the waistline -- is to lower insulin, claims Jorge Cruise, author of "The Belly Fat Cure." In his book, he urges readers to choose foods that have less impact on insulin -- a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar. This type of diet is known as low-glycemic.
Theory and Evidence
High-glycemic foods trigger a larger insulin release, and your body absorbs them more quickly than low-glycemic foods. The low-glycemic theory suggests foods that have a minimal impact on insulin secretion aid weight loss. High-glycemic foods do increase abdominal fat in mice, according to a study published in the February 2010 edition of the journal "Nutrition Research." In addition, a human study found low-glycemic diets are more effective at reducing body weight and controlling insulin than high-glycemic diets. The results were published in the April 2014 issue of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition."
Vegetables recommended in "The Belly Fat Cure" are nonstarchy and have a minimal impact on insulin. Acceptable veggies listed are artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, lettuce, mixed greens, green peppers, mushrooms, red onions, spinach and zucchini. Cruise urges readers to choose fresh vegetables whenever possible. Frozen veggies are the next best choice. Check labels for sodium content if you choose the canned variety, and choose for low-sodium or no-salt-added options.
The Belly Fat Cure Diet severely restricts foods that contain sugar, both added and natural. This extends to fruits, and because fruits are naturally sweet, it means your options are limited. Acceptable fruits for this diet are avocado, tomato, lime, apricot, fresh raspberries, fresh blackberries, grapefruit and cherries. The recommended serving size for fruits contains about 15 grams of carbohydrates. For the fruits listed, that equals about 1/2 cup.
Benefits and Drawbacks
"The Belly Fat Cure" focuses on fresh whole foods, lean meats and a moderate amount of low-sugar carbohydrates. While this eating pattern has benefits over eating processed, nutrient-poor foods, the severe limit on sugar excludes many otherwise healthy fruits, vegetables and some high-fiber foods. Short-term adherence may not cause problems, but over the long term you may be missing out on nutritious foods due to exclusion. In general, it's best to have a balanced diet that includes a wide variety of healthy foods.
- Nutrition Research: Consumption of a High Glycemic Index Diet Increases Abdominal Adiposity but Does Not Influence Adipose Tissue Pro-oxidant and Antioxidant Gene Expression in C57bl/6 Mice
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Effect of the Glycemic Index of the Diet on Weight Loss, Modulation of Satiety, Inflammation, and Other Metabolic Risk Factors: A Randomized Controlled Trial
- The Belly Fat Cure; Jorge Cruise