This book is based on Prevention’s Flat Belly Diet! which identified food and attitude as the secret ingredients to targeting belly fat. Designed as a journal, the book includes a “4-Day Jumpstart Menu,” MUFA Serving Chart and “Flat Belly Workout Basics.”
Author: Liz Vaccariello; Pub. Date: September 2009; Publisher: Rodale Press, Incorporated; Format: Paperback, 224pp; Estimated price: $7.99; ISBN-13: 9781605294032/ISBN: 1605294039; also available in hardcover format
ACE Expert Review
Flat Belly Diet is another of those all-too-common “magic bullet” diets that promise astounding results because of a scientific breakthrough that “you won’t find anywhere else”—always a dubious start. In this case, the magic comes from eating a diet high in monounsaturated fats. No calorie counting or exercise required.
While some of the basic guidelines offered in this book are good—keep a food journal, maintain social support—the overall premise is based on a single piece of research published in 2007 that stated that “eating diet rich in monounsaturated fat can actually help prevent weight gain in your belly.” This is hardly the body of research that experts need to draw logical conclusions and build consensus. The Flat Belly Diet is simply a low-calorie diet (1,600 calories)—at first, it’s a very low-calorie diet (1,200 calories)—disguised by the concept of eating monounsaturated fat with every meal. Unfortunately, while monounsaturated fats are healthy, they are also calorie-dense, so it’s very easy to unwittingly eat too many calories at each sitting.
The truth is, if you stick to the author’s low-calorie diet plan, you will probably lose weight (and inevitably some belly fat), but it probably will have very little to do with eating olives and avocados each day.
What we liked:
- Each meal is accompanied by a “reflection” that is designed to help readers think about their relationship to food and their own body.
What we didn’t like:
- This book makes a series of unreasonable, and unhealthy, promises: lose inches in four days, lost 15 pounds in 32 days, and never feel hungry.
- Though a chapter on workout basics is included, the authors claim that exercise is not a necessary component of a weight-loss program.
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