The Flat Belly Diet Review
What You Should Know
The Flat Belly Diet is a diet book co-authored by Prevention editor-in-chief Elizabeth Vaccariello and nutritionist Cynthia Sass, claiming to flatten the belly and help dieters lose up to 15lbs in one month by following their simple diet plans. The diet plan is not as extreme as other diets, and has less restrictions compared to the South Beach Diet — simply eat a mix of unrefined foods such as whole wheat, organic fruit, nuts, and essentially no meat, along with one “MUFA” (food featuring monounsaturated fat) at each meal. Vaccariello claims that MUFAs are key to diminishing abdomen fat and keeping the stomach lean and unbloated, revealing a slimmer, washboard appearance. Another staple claiming to de-bloat the belly is “sassy water”, water mixed with spices, citrus fruits, and cucumber. Better yet, exercise is optional.
The variety of non-processed, vitamin rich foods is a plus for staying healthy, but some question if the diet — and its high caloric amount (dieters each roughly 1,600 calories per day) — will provide any short term or long term benefits. Furthermore, some are skeptical this can be implemented for long term weight loss. The claimed weight loss is a bit unrealistic given the time frame and the amount eaten per day, but according to Vaccariello, it is realistic and the plan does work, provided you stick with it.
The Flat Belly Diet requires dieters to consume a diet of unprocessed whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, dark chocolate, and soybeans. Eating foods rich in monounsaturated fats is also highly encouraged, along with regular consumption of “sassy water”, water mixed with spices, herbs, citrus fruits and cucumber.
The Flat Belly Diet requires dieters to eat a mostly vegetarian, unprocessed food diet, with heavy emphasis on MUFAs, Vaccariello’s moniker for foods rich in monounsaturated fats. She regularly recommends dieters include one MUFA with each meal, which includes dark chocolate and nuts. Meals are spread out with four 400 calorie meals, which she says helps regulate appetite while increasing the metabolism — and keeping your pooch from being unfavorably plump. There is evidence showing that eating smaller meals helps increase the metabolism, but as for the story of the overgrowing belly, there really isn’t any concrete evidence available.
The biggest (and most curious) claim Vaccariello makes is that MUFAs help flatten the belly, an undocumented claim she continuously makes throughout her book. No word if that claim is actual fact, but most of the food Vaccariello prescribes contains naturally-based food that does not promote bloating. Most of the food is also low in calories, meaning more food can be eaten without nudging up the caloric intake. Still, she prescribes a large daily caloric allowance for dieters, strange considering the norm is 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day. Evidence backing this up is minimal, but there are numerous testimonials available on The Flat Belly Diet website stating they lost over 10lbs in one month.
- Includes natural, non-processed foods rich in vitamins and minerals.
- No exercise is required to complete the program, and does not require dieters to count calories.
- There is little evidence showing a focus on 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. (See reader comments.)
- Must purchase the book and follow the prescribed meal plans, although you are allowed to mix and match meal options.
The Flat Belly Diet comes from the minds of Prevention’s top leading diet experts, but some question if this is more hype than fact. Nevertheless, the naturally-based diet scheme is a plus and the foods involved in the diet won’t cost too much to purchase. We still recommend dieters search for diet plans with a proven track record.