Tips to help you lose weight on the Flat Belly Diet plan  |  Photo Credit: Thinkstock
New Delhi: Banishing that stubborn belly fat isn’t just about fitting into your skinny jeans or making you feel and look attractive. Research has proven that carrying excess fat, especially around the middle, can increase your risk of serious health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc. The Flat Belly Diet promises quick weight loss and claims to trim your tummy fat and waistline without crunches in 32 days.
The creators of the diet, authors Liz Vaccariello and Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, claim that the plan can help you lose up to 15 pounds (6.8 kg) and drop belly fat in about a month, without exercise. If you’re looking for a weight loss plan that doesn’t require you to exercise or hit the gym every other day, this diet might do the job and make it easier for you to get rid of those extra kilos. Read – 3 simple steps to permanent weight loss and a flat tummy- Tips to trim belly fat without hitting the gym
What is the Flat Belly Diet? Does it help with weight loss?
The Flat Belly Diet is an aggressive weight loss plan that focuses on consuming certain foods rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which you’ll find in olive oil, nuts, and other plant-based foods. The meal plan also emphasises eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
The eating plan has two phases:
- The first phase, which is a 4-day anti-bloat plan, aims at consuming 1,200 calories each day. During this phase, you must not add salt to your diet and avoid eating certain food groups – such as processed foods, carbs (pasta, bananas, bagels), gas-producing foods like onions, beans, broccoli, etc. Dieters are also recommended to drink 2 liters of ‘sassy water’- water mixed with ginger root, cucumber, lemon, and mint leaves.
- The second phase, a four-week eating plan, increases calorie intake to about 1,600 a day. During this period, you must include a MUFA in each of your meal. You’re also advised to never go more than four hours without eating. Read – The Fast Metabolism Diet for weight loss: How does it work & tips to follow this meal plan to lose belly fat
How to lose weight fast on the Flat Belly Diet plan
Here are a few tips to help you lose weight and flatten your tummy fast on this diet:
- The first 4 days are very restrictive, allowing only 1,200 calories a day.
- Include monounsaturated fats in every meal.
- Dieters are instructed to avoid salt, processed foods, high-carb foods like pasta and bagels, and gas-producing foods such as cabbage, onions, and legumes during the anti-bloat phase.
- They must drink two liters of ‘sassy water’ every day and avoid alcohols, and carbonated drinks instead.
- After that, they can eat about 1,600 calories a day – 400 calories per meal and four times per day.
- Dieters need to watch their portion sizes to avoid consuming too many calories as they eat MUFAs at every meal.
Technically, exercise is not required on this plan, however, the book includes a ‘flat belly workout’ to support the diet, as per WebMD. Read – Weight loss: Not shedding pounds on a vegetarian diet? Nutritional tips to help you burn belly fat fast
How safe is the Flat Belly Diet? Pros and Cons
The biggest advantage of the Flat Belly Diet is that it is very similar to the Mediterranean diet, a heart-healthy eating plan that’s been shown to help people lose weight and boost health. Replacing saturated fat with healthy fats in moderation means you’re making healthier food choices. It helps lower high cholesterol, reduces your risk of heart attack or stroke. Limiting intake of saturated fat will also reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, etc.
Rapid weight loss diets can have negative effects. One major concern about the Flat Belly Diet is that it only focuses on eating monounsaturated fats and claims that you don’t have to exercise to shed the flab. The diet also recommends cutting back on high-fibre foods like beans and broccoli, which are excellent food choices for healthy weight loss. Moreover, consuming 1,600 calories per day may not enough for some people. Furthermore, there’s no scientific evidence that drinking ‘sassy water’ can help boost your fat loss. So, there is a lack of research that this diet works better than any balanced, calorie-restricted diet to zap belly fat.
The Flat Belly Diet might help you lose weight as it limits total calories and discourages unhealthy eating. However, the extreme cut in calories in this plan can leave you disheartened instead of slimming down. The bottom line is that you can succeed in long-term maintenance of weight loss through a lifelong commitment to healthy eating and exercise.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.