The Flat Belly Diet
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.