Updated: 05/16/2017

The Flat Belly Diet Review - Does This Weight-Loss Plan Work?

  • 73 User Comments
  • Rating: 3.1. From 21 votes.
By Sean McNamara Apr 25, 2017

Well over half of all diet plans on the market have absolutely no scientific backing. Let’s see if the Flat Belly Diet is one of those. We went on a fact-finding mission looking into the ingredients, side effects, customer service and clinical research. We took into account hundreds of dieter reviews. We then gathered all the details, condensed and refined to give you the info you need.

The Flat Belly Diet Readers: Click here to find out why we're giving away samples of our product, Dietspotlight Burn.

What is the Flat Belly Diet?

First off, The Flat Belly diet is a book written by Liz Vaccariello. The plan aims to increase weight-loss by reducing calorie intake, increasing healthy fats and taking out processed foods and some other “unhealthy” items. You can prepare meals at home and take them to eat anywhere.

The book, which was written in 2012, does support healthier food choices, a biggie. You can order the it online or follow the diet via the website. We like the reasonable sounding weight-loss claims and the price is affordable, but read on…

Results – “Not What Customers Want?”

The first problem we came across was Flat Belly Diet results, based on customer reviews. “Eating reduced calorie will likely work to help you drop pounds,” says our Research Editor. “But this theory is no good if the plan doesn’t work for dieters.”

“Like some other readers, I was disappointed in Flat Belly Diet, and I feel like a complete idiot for wasting money on something that made me suspicious when I first read about it,” one dieter explained.

“This book is stupid. So you lose water weight only… I don’t see how this can make you slender. And I also don’t see the benefit in being on a 1600 calorie diet after the first month and yet they tell you no exercise is needed,” another reader says.

Not all readers felt the book was a waste of money.

As one said, “This book is really good. I like that it has all of the basic information about the Flat Belly Diet in the beginning.”

Another shared, “I bought both the Flat Belly Diet Guide and the Cookbook. Both have been very helpful.”

Recipes – “Overpriced Ingredients”

The Flat Belly Diet menu offers quite a few meal ideas that leave the dieter wondering just how high the grocery bill will climb. “I can’t eat that kind of food for the rest of my life. Ingredients that were complicated and expensive… recipes that were not easy,” a reader explains.

“The first 4 days grocery list was not too bad, but when I tried to follow the recipes, I could not find food and ingredients that they recommended and when I did, it was expensive – had to go to specialty stores,” says another dieter.

There are dieters who took the recipes by the horns and loved them.

“I decided to cook every recipe in this book for my new years resolution. So far I have made 40 recipes from this cookbook, and we have loved all but 2,” said a reader.

One more review offered, “I have tried several recipes and they have all been very good.”

Our research has found that it takes something that seems small, like complicated recipes, to reduce chances of long term success. If the Flat Belly Diet is difficult to follow, what’s the incentive for dieters?

The Science – “Clinical Evidence?”

There’s a lot of good advice within the Flat Belly Diet menu. You should steer away from frequently eating processed foods or carbohydrates from pasta or bread. You are supposed to increase healthy fats and eat every four hours. The trouble with all of these claims is that the plan does not offer any proof it works better than the traditional “eat healthy” options. At DietSpotlight, we believe science is critical to help dieters see slimming results. Without that, there’s no reason to spend the time changing your life.

The Bottom Line – Does the Flat Belly Diet Work?

Let’s get right to the conclusion about the Flat Belly Diet, shall we? We like the idea of reducing calorie intake to improve weight-loss and the company offers a professional headquarters and strong BBB rating, but we have trouble getting behind a supplement that doesn’t have customer support and fails to back up claims with clinical research.

If you’re ready for a body transformation, we suggest you go with a product that’s supported with clinical research, priced right and backed up by a dedicated customer service team.

Among the best products we’ve seen this year is one called Dietspotlight Burn. The formula is a clinically tested proprietary blend designed to help boost fat loss and increase metabolism. When we put our ear to the ground we heard nothing about harmful side effects, but we did find many dieters talking about achieving great results.

Also, the producers of Dietspotlight Burn are confident in the product so they’re offering a Special Trial Offer, impressive to say the least.

The Flat Belly Diet Questions & Answers:

We condensed hundreds of user comments about the Flat Belly Diet into this helpful FAQ.

What are the side effects of the Flat Belly Diet?

Flat Belly Diet side effects may include dehydration, upset stomach, nausea, irregular bowel movements and decreased blood sugar levels, as reported by some dieters.

What are the ingredients in the Flat Belly Diet?

The Flat Belly Diet ingredients are common foods. The eating plan details the foods you can and can’t eat during the course of the program.

Does the Flat Belly Diet work?

There’s no scientific research proving that the Flat Belly Diet will help users lose weight. Considering the daily caloric intake is 1,600; there’s a chance you could lose some weight if you eat healthy and exercise.

You may want to consider mixing things up a little and replace the Flat Belly Diet with a supplement like Dietspotlight Burn. User reviews talk about some amazing results.

How much does the Flat Belly Diet cost?

The Flat Belly Diet costs $7.99.

How should I take the Flat Belly Diet?

You should eat four times per day on the Flat Belly Diet. Each meal consists of 400 calories.

Can I do the Flat Belly Diet if I have a health condition?

Women who are pregnant or nursing, those taking prescription medications of any kind, people with health conditions or those under 18 years of age should contact a healthcare professional prior to starting any weight-loss plan, including the Flat Belly Diet.

What do users like about the Flat Belly Diet?

Some users reported like that the Flat Belly Diet offered a variety of food options and that the cost of the plan was reasonable.

What do users NOT like about the Flat Belly Diet?

We found that users didn’t like the food restrictions on the Flat Belly Diet and that the eating plan didn’t help dieters lose more than water weight.

How do I contact the Flat Belly Diet customer service department?

There’s no way to contact the Flat Belly Diet customer service department. Considering the author is the Editor-in-Chief of Reader Digest, you can email her at letters@rd.com or call 1-800-310-2181.

Does the Flat Belly Diet offer a membership plan?

Yes, the Flat Belly Diet offers a membership plan. You can join for $19.95 per month or $49.50 for three months.

How many calories can I eat on the Flat Belly Diet?

You can eat 1,600 calories per day on the Flat Belly Diet. Each meal consists of 400 calories and you eat four times per day.

Do I need to exercise on the Flat Belly Diet?

No, you don’t need to exercise on the Flat Belly Diet. The authors do recommend adding fitness as a way to improve results.

How much weight will I lose on the Flat Belly Diet?

According to the Flat Belly Diet, you will lose 15 pounds in a little more than one month.

Does the Flat Belly Diet come with a guarantee?

There’s a guarantee with the Flat Belly Diet. You can return the book within 30 days for a full refund.

Do you know of any special deals or discounts on the Flat Belly Diet?

The only mention of special deals or discounts on the Flat Belly Diet is the free trial for the online membership. However, the last several months have flown by, considering our readers have been taking advantage of Dietspotlight Burn’s Special Trial Offer, which is simply the cost of shipping and handling. Click here to try it out.

Previous The Flat Belly Diet Review (Updated June 25, 2014):

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. This is interesting seeing as how many diets have caloric and food restrictions like The Fat Diminisher. 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.

Product Features

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. It's much less demanding that other diets like Body Lab 7 Day Ultra Fast, requiring a complex kit. We still recommend dieters search for diet plans with a proven track record.
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About the Author:

Sean has been writing professionally for over 7 years, taking part in hundreds of projects and providing thousands of articles, blogs and reviews for clients and celebrities. Because of his undying love for anything related to the written word, last spring he decided to dip his toes into the health and fitness hot tub. Here, he discovered a passion for providing honest and informative reviews to a world of dieters seemingly lost in a sea of misinformation – and he hasn’t skipped a beat. full bio

Rating: 3.1. From 21 votes.
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User Comments

73 Comments on "The Flat Belly Diet Review"


Any substitutions for the grape tomatoes for those of us who have severe allergies to tomatoes?

Mary Hunter

I have read the book but I cannot eat tomatoes. Can I swap out the tomatoes for any other food on the anti-bloat jumpstart?


Do I have to buy lactose free milk or can I just use regular skim milk? Does the diet recommend lactose free for a specific reason?

Hi William. For detailed instructions, please refer to the The Flat Belly official website for more information.


Lactose free milk helps because of less bloating than regular milk


I need something to substitute milk… no lactose free milk either… any recommendations???


You can try almond milk. I prefer Blue Diamond to the Silk brand. Also, Lactaid, although it is lactose free, is not too bad. It’s pretty thick so the 2% was pretty good. Soy is good, but I personally do not like the taste.


Soy milk is a good alternative to milk.

It is very tasty and fits into this diet.


Can u split the snack. I get hungry at 10:30 and 3. Can i do 200 calories at those times?

Hi Sanny! For detailed instructions, please refer to the The Flat Belly official website for more information.


I think its an ok book, but I have read better ones

Dorathy Racanelli

Hi There. Excellent blog. I definitely am in agreement. You have gained heaps of brownie marks. Have a great day.


My thanks go to Dr. Mark Hill When I first opted for this spell, I did not expect much from it, until when I saw so many testimonies on internet I manage to apply for a spell on Dr Mark Hill spell temple, at first I was not having that believe that he can solve my situation and this time things was getting waste every day, my problem increases my weight every day I can’t move from one place to another I was like living amount the dead. To my greatest surprise after every thing DR Mark Hill ask me to do e.g. sending my picture and other things, after some weeks I was noticing some changes in my body system every morning, until my body return to the normal position. And I we stop publishing his testimony, if you need his help Email markhilltemple@gmail.com


I am 5’3″, started at 129 pounds and wanted to lose around 5 pounds. It is hard for me to lose weight and would expect to lose one pound a week on a very strict 1100 – 1200 calorie a week diet. In 7 days I lost 4.9 pounds. I wasn’t hungry either. My husband went on the diet, weighed himself at day 5 and lost almost 4 pounds. We stayed pretty true to the plan but didn’t give up coffee altogether!


I live in South Africa. I love this diet to bits. I eat in my two tea breaks at work. I don’t know another person using this diet. I’ve been on it a year now. Its a way of life. It’ a great diet! I LOVE how it’s changed my eating h

glenda wright

please dont tell me flat belly works if it doesent. I just spent 50.00 on diet products that dont work. I am only fat around the middle. I( use to be 22″ now I am 30|I want to lose 5″


2 questions –
1 Are you to continue drinking the Sassy water after the 4-day diet?
2 I usually take vitamin C, Cod liver oil, Calcium, Glucosamine, and a multi-vitamin supplement. Can I or should I continue with these during the diet?


I, too, need vegetarian substitutions for the chicken in the Jump Start portion of the diet. Is tofu a good substitution? I do eat seafood and fish, so how about salmon and shrimp. I get that we are trying to avoid foods that cause any bloating, but I don’t know if tofu and seafood/fish causes bloating. HELP! I am really, really ready to get started.


i am a 21 yr grl.i am healthy not fatty.i hv a nice messuremenr of my body.but little worried about my tummy.my belly is 30″ & i wana decrease dat.d problem is m staying in india & dont know where to find this book.& because of i am student i wana know how much it costs? & plz dnt forget to mention the name of this book.


I have been eating the foods recommended in the Flat Belly Diet for about a month now. Have incorporated nuts (mostly almonds, natural Smart Balance peanut butter), olives, olive oil, avocado (I’m a guacamole junkie) and dark chocolate into my diet and eat at least two of these a day. I am forty years old and my stomach is as flat as it was when I was 18! Grant it I’m very active and exercise 3-5 times a week but the recommended foods in the diet have definitely made a difference in my abs – more toned and taut, less bloated, waist is about an inch smaller and my complexion is amazing. Highly recommend trying the diet or at least incorporating these foods into your diet.


Hi Tammy, I am on day 2 of the jump start diet. I am over weight for being 17. I want to lose 20 lbs by march 31st this year, is this a good stable diet?

Helen Hooker

still waiting for my book.All else is well,lost 5lb. in two weeks.


I just started the jumpstart program. I have been full and not able to eat all the food, will this affect my results?


I prepare meals for my husband 4 children from ages 10, 11, 20, 24 and myself. I am noticing that I can make a family meal from the Men’s Program to feed the family but I cannot seem to find a way for my program to fit into theirs. The end result is that I am so tired by the time I make their meal that I do not want to eat anything by the time it comes around to my meal. I know this is not good because I need to eat. Please advise how perhaps I can take his meal to curtail mine? Other wise I am only eating about 600 to 800 calories per day and I know I am going to CRASH! Thanks,


The book, “Well Fed” by Melissa Joulwan saved me, especially her hot plates ideas. Fantastic!


One thing you could do is prepare your food on a day you have off, and then freeze it. This way, you only have to cook one meal a day and you can just heat yours up. 🙂 hope i could help

manjula Garg

please give the vegetarian options in place of meat. I am a vegetarian who eats dairy and egg, but no meat and seafood.


I am also a vegetarian. I replace the meat portions with veggie burgers, smart choice deli meats (made from all protein and no meat found near the tofu) and also morning star vegetarian alternatives. Make sure when you make the veggie burgers you dont use bread, its just as good plain and has many less calories.


The diet seems low on fruit portions .. cantaloupe is never mentioned as an option. Has anyone tried cantaloupe ? And does it matter?


The jumpstart doesnt have cantaloupe and i havent really looked at teh rest of the meals. I am just trying to get through the jumpstart!

sonia chaccour

the food and the progrm diet on flat belly diet