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The Lean Belly Prescription: Diet Review

The Lean Belly Prescription: What You Can Eat

Anything you want. Nothing is off the menu, but Stork suggests replacing sugary beverages with unsweetened drinks and eliminating highly processed refined foods.

Five foods are called out as nature's perfect foods; nuts, milk, eggs, berries, and tomatoes. Lean protein (20-40 grams per meal), whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, water, and legumes are also encouraged.

The only calories mentioned in the book are the suggested 200-calorie snacks, including a source of protein and two other food groups. Snacks are recommended midmorning and mid-afternoon to control blood sugar and cravings and reduce the chance of overeating at lunch and dinner.

Alcohol is permitted in reasonable amounts: one drink for women and two drinks for men.

Here is a sample meal plan:

Breakfast: omelet with ham, onion, mushrooms, spinach, and slice of cantaloupe

Snack: orange, Greek yogurt, and trail mix

Lunch: whole wheat quesadilla with chicken, mozzarella cheese, roasted vegetables, and sundried tomato pesto

Snack: strawberries, cottage cheese, and mixed nuts

Dinner: shrimp, bell peppers, asparagus, and onions over brown rice

The Lean Belly Prescription: How It Works

The Lean Belly Prescription works by chipping away at your unhealthy behaviors and replacing them with positive eating habits that will lead to weight loss.

Eating on a schedule, every couple of hours, will help reduce cravings and encourage readers to get in touch with hunger and satiety.

At the core of the diet plan is the NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) principle of burning calories without exercise. NEAT is a strategy that's about active living: park further away, take the stairs, avoid escalators, and stand while talking on the phone, for instance.

Exercising 30 minutes per day is ideal, but regular walking and being more active in general is enough to be healthy, Stork says.

The Lean Belly Prescription: Experts' Views

Elisa Zied, MS, RD, New York nutrition consultant and author of Feed Your Family Right, gives Stork's book a thumbs-up for its motivating and well-researched content.

"There are lots of positive aspects to this book, from the author's cheerleading for weight loss, illustrations of exercise, attention to moving more in the day to the solid nutrition and lifestyle advice," Zied says.

Simple, small, and practical tips, Zied says, can make a big difference and offer a new way of thinking about how to lose weight.

Since calories are nowhere to be found in the book and the plan has not been tested, Zied says it is hard to predict if the weight loss promise of up to 15 pounds is realistic. "Bottom line: how much weight you will lose depends on your genetics, current weight, calorie intake and physical activity," she says.

Zied takes issue with the title, choppy layout of information, and lack of recipe nutrient analysis. "Not everyone who loses weight will have flat abdominals and be free of belly fat," she says.

"It claims, on the book cover, to be a diet and weight loss plan, so the recipes should include the nutritional information so dieters know what is in the food they are eating," Zied says.

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