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Weight Loss & Diet Plans

The Flat Belly Diet

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Level of Effort: Medium

The diet loosens up a little after 4 days. You'll still need to eat often and include monounsaturated fats, and hit the calorie mark precisely every day.

Limitations: The first 4 days are very restrictive. After that, you must eat 400 calories every 4 hours and include monounsaturated fats with every meal. A busy or unpredictable schedule can make this challenging.

Cooking and shopping: The diet includes recipes, ideas for snacks, and tips for ordering fast food. 

Packaged foods or meals? Certain brands of food are recommended, but not required.

In-person meetings? No.

Exercise: It's not required. But the book includes a “flat belly workout” to support the diet.

Does It Allow for Dietary Restrictions or Preferences?

Vegetarians and vegans: The plan suggests substitutions that work for these diets.

Low-salt diet: You're not supposed to add salt to anything you cook. You still need to check the label on other foods to see how much sodium they have.

Low-fat diet: This is not a low-fat diet, but the type of fat is heart-healthy. You eat monounsaturated fats at every meal, and you need to watch your portion sizes so you don't get too many calories.

What Else You Should Know

Cost: None except your groceries. Olive oil, nuts, and avocados may add to your bill. You could save by cutting back on other foods that the diet doesn't emphasize. 

Support: You do this diet on your own.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on December 04, 2013
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