The Flat Belly Diet
The Flat Belly Diet: What the Experts Say continued...
"There are so many variables associated with weight loss that it is premature to associate belly fat with a specific food or diet plan," Jensen says.
Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RD, Georgia State University professor emeritus, also questions some of the advice in the book. "The science behind the jump-start plan associated with stress, gum chewing, bulky raw foods, drinking carbonated drinks, alcohol, coffee, tea, and acidic fruit juices is pure speculation and not based on scientific research," she says. "There is not adequate scientific evidence to link lack of sleep, stress, or MUFAs to a reduction in belly fat."
She likes the addition of the healthy fats because they make dieting easier and deliver important nutrients like fat-soluble vitamins. But she cautions dieters to watch the portions of high-calorie fats. "Monitor your portions because it is so easy to overeat things like nuts and guacamole and if you are not careful, they will cause weight gain instead of helping you lose weight," she warns.
Losing 15 pounds in 32 days is most likely the result of losing water weight, not the fat loss that dieters seek. "A pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, so to lose 15 pounds in 32 days of real fat, you would need to burn off 1,640 calories each day and that is not likely," she says. Losing weight quickly can be a real motivator as long as dieters recognize that real fat loss is slower and more likely to be at the recommended safe rate of 1-2 pounds per week. Additionally, Rosenbloom notes, research does not support the notion of spot reduction for losing belly fat.
Rosenbloom says, "To keep your belly in check, remember the acronym SED: Strength training to preserve muscle mass, Exercise aerobically to burn fat, and your Diet should be healthy, calorie-controlled, and include heart-healthy fats."
Flat Belly Diet: Food for Thought
You can lose weight on The Flat Belly Diet plan, but don't be fooled into thinking MUFAs have magic belly-flattening nutrients capable of melting away belly fat.
It is a calorie-controlled, Mediterranean-style diet plan that can help you lose weight in a safe and effective manner. The Mediterranean diet has been proven to be a nutritious and healthy plant-based plan that is good for your heart and overall health.
What will melt body fat, including belly fat, is losing weight on a well-balanced plan like this one or any other healthy, calorie-controlled eating plan.
Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, is director of nutrition for WebMD. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.