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The Promise

Eat fat and lose weight. That's the promise of the Flat Belly Diet.

Now for the fine print: The kind of fat matters. The plan focuses on monounsaturated fats, which you get from olive oil, nuts, and other plant foods.

Authors Liz Vaccariello and Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, claim that in 32 days, you can lose up to 15 pounds and drop belly fat by following their plan:

  • Eat 400 calories per meal, four times per day (daily total: 1,600).
  • Don’t go longer than 4 hours without eating.
  • Eat monounsaturated fats at every meal.

Does It Work?

Any weight loss plan can help you whittle your waist. But no diet is proven to specifically target that area, and monounsaturated fats don't have any special effect on belly fat.

It's likely that if you do lose 15 pounds in 32 days, you're mostly losing water weight, which you may regain. Losing 1-2 pounds per week will take you longer to reach your goal, but you're losing actual fat.

What You Can Eat and What You Can't

First, you target bloating for four days. During that time, you can't add salt to any food and you must avoid:

  • Processed foods
  • Foods that can make you gassy, like beans, broccoli, and onions
  • Carbs like pasta, bananas, and bagels

You must also drink 2 liters of water mixed with ginger root, cucumber, lemon, and mint leaves, which the book calls "sassy water."

After that, you eat a Mediterranean-style diet for 4 weeks with 1,600 calories per day. The menu includes items like Greek Lemon Chicken and Pumpkin Maple Cheesecake.

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