Flat Belly Diet, How Promising is It?
The new book Flat Belly Diet! has arrived and in this article we will walk you through the good and bad points of this diet, as well as what research says are the facts about losing weight successfully.
This diet consists of simply eating a mix of unprocessed foods such as whole grains, organic fruits, nuts and no meat along with one “MUFA” (food containing monounsaturated fat) at meals. The premise of the diet is that MUFA’s are the key to shrinking abdominal fat and will keep the stomach lean and over distended. The claim that MUFA’s can flatten the belly could not be found in any medical research. The author claims that dieters can lose up to 15 pounds in one month!
The book begins with a comprehensive discussion about the two types of body fat: subcutaneous and visceral. Subcutaneous is under your skin and the visceral fat is surrounding your organs. There is no dispute to the fact that the one most dangerous health wise is visceral fat, but it is not the most difficult to lose contrary to their statements. The writer would have you believe that you can get rid of visceral fat by adding monounsaturated fats to your diet. Research proves that the best approach to eliminating visceral fat is to add to increase your physical activity, decrease your intake of white sugars, increase your intake of complex carbohydrates, eat foods high in fiber and lean meats, limiting your alcohol intake and replacing unhealthy saturated and trans fats with healthy polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats.
Monounsaturated fats are the basis for this plan. The claim is that these fats will fill you up and reduce your belly fat. According to research, there is no truth to the statement that fat has any impact on satiety. The only nutrient that will increase fullness is protein.
This book gives a fleeting mention of polyunsaturated omega-3 fats. These healthy fats not only have an impact on weight loss but have positive health benefits as well. Studies have shown they have an instrumental in controlling blood pressure and lower the risk of cardiac disease and stroke. They seem to induce a feeling well-being to fight against depression and other depressive disorders. There is a reduction of auto-immune disorders such as joint pain and diseases of the skin. Studies have been so persuasive that the American Heart Association (AHA) has developed recommendations of the amount of Omega-3 fat we need in our diet. Those who are not high risk for heart disease the AHA suggests eating at least two servings of fish per week, as well as nuts, and oils such as canola, soybean and flaxseed. For those who have heart disease the advice is to eat 1 gram daily. Scientific evidence indicates the average American diet is seriously lacking in this essential nutrient.
The Four-Day Jumpstart
The book hypothesizes that you will lose several pounds and almost 6 inches in just 4 days. The goal is to eliminate gas and excess fluid. A sample of a typical 1,600-calorie diet provides instructions to avoid sodium, carbohydrates, raw foods such as raw vegetables, gas-inducing foods, chewing gum, refined sugar, carbonated drinks and alcohol, coffee, tea, hot cocoa and acidic fruit juices. In preparing foods, avoid fried foods and spicy meals. The book suggests taking a five- minute walk after eating.
Your ideal caloric intake is determined on height, weight, age, gender and activity level. To lose weight you need to take in fewer calories. If you cut 500 calories daily you lose one pound per week; 1000 fewer calories equals 2 pounds lost per week, etc.
The Four-Week Plan
The first part of this diet lasts for one month. The 1,600-calorie plan is suggested for a “40+ female of average height, frame and activity level. This diet can be modified for your body type. The three “musts” for this eating plan are; one serving of monounsaturated fat at each meal, consume 400 calories at three meals a day and two snacks and do not eat any refined carbohydrates. You can choose many recipes for the 400-calorie meals. No nutritional guidelines are provided for these meals! It is important to be on a diet that fits your lifestyle. Once it becomes difficult to follow, you will not continue for long. It must also be nutritionally adequate.
The five monounsaturated-rich foods are oils, nuts and seeds, avocado, olives and chocolate! The oils allowed are olive, canola, flaxseed, peanut, safflower, sesame and soybean. One tablespoon is one serving. The nuts include almonds, cashews, peanuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, and nut and seed butters such as peanut butter and tahini. A serving is two tablespoons. A serving of avocados is a half of cup. For a serving of olives, it is 10 large olives. For chocolate, you can have one half cup, limited to dark or semi-sweet and eaten at one meal.
The book mentions an emotional component to eating some people need more support and guidance then recommended in this book. The cover of the book states”Not a single crunch is required” to flatten your belly but there is a chapter on exercise. Dietary changes will enable people to lose weight; but exercise will flatten your tummy. Successful weight loss and maintenance requires a nutritious diet, exercise and behavior modification. There is no other way, despite what this book promotes!
Written by Lisa Roberts