The decision to lose weight is the first step to a healthier life. Choosing which diet to follow, however, can be difficult. The Flat Belly Diet, which incorporates the use of a diet book, exercise and specific food choices, is an option for anyone who wants to lose weight.
The Flat Belly Diet was written by two former editors of Prevention magazine. It is based on several factors including counting calories and monounsaturated fat consumption. Typically, followers of the Flat Belly Diet are encouraged to limit calories to 1,600 a day. In addition, the calories should be divided into three 400-calorie meals and 400 calories in snacks.
Diet participants are also encouraged to eat monounsaturated fats including canola, flaxseed, olive, safflower and peanut oil. These oils can be found in various foods such as almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pecans and pine nuts. According to the Flat Belly Diet website, the diet is similar to the Mediterranean Diet when it comes to fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
In addition to following a 1,600 calorie-a-day diet, authors of the Flat Belly Diet recommend that participants exercise on a regular basis. The purpose of exercise is to strengthen muscles, tone the body and increase metabolism. The program provides exercise recommendations and a few cardio workout routines.
The Flat Belly Diet works as far as losing weight goes, according to Dr. Ed Zimney, who also says the actual claim that the Flat Belly Diet targets belly fat is untrue. According to Zimney’s blog, anytime people put themselves on a 1,600-calorie-a-day diet, there is a strong possibility that they will lose weight. Incorporating exercise to the diet will speed that process. The issue Zimney has with the Flat Belly Diet is participant belief that the diet specifically targets the fat in the belly and reduces it.
In his blog he asks how and why following the Flat Belly Diet methods would target the belly. According to Zimney, following the Flat Belly Diet causes participants to lose weight overall, including the belly area, but because of the focus on the unhealthiness of having excess body fat, it is marketed as a “flat belly diet” to make it popular.
Zimney believes the claim works for participants because many of the foods recommended on the diet are typically known as non-bloating foods. Eating the foods helps participants feel less bloated and in turn feel that they are losing excess belly fat. The end result of sticking to the diet will be belly reduction but at the same rate that any low-calorie diet would cause, according to Zimney.
Even though scientific evidence has not proven that the Flat Belly Diet specifically targets belly fat, the diet itself is a healthy lifestyle choice, according to Zimney. The foods recommended on the diet are healthy, the exercise will help strengthen muscles and the end result should be weight loss.
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