The flat belly diet is a MUFA-based diet that aims at shedding belly fat and having a trim waistline. Should you follow this diet? Here, we focus on the main benefits and drawbacks of this diet. Belly fat can be dangerous. It is visceral fat, which accumulates deeper in your body, around vital organs like the heart, kidney, and intestines and can cause major health problems.The flat belly diet The flat belly diet is a 32-day diet plan. It includes two phases. In the first phase, there are strict restrictions on the kind of food you eat. This period of four days involves elimination of all salt, cutting down on carbs, staying away from prepackaged foods, gas-inducing foods, sodas, carbonated drinks, coffee, and tea. Your calorie intake is limited to 1,200 per day. In this period, you need to drink a special concoction of water mixed with lemon juice, cucumber, mint, and certain spices. This drink, called the Sassy Water, is said to make you feel satiated with the reduced calorie intake and it also enhances your metabolism. The second part of the diet starts from day five. You will eat four times a day, with four-hour gaps, each meal comprising of 400 calories. The focus is on foods that are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) as this type of fat is considered healthy and helps to metabolize fats stored in the body
The pros of the flat belly diet
- This diet encourages you to eliminate unhealthy fats (saturated fats).
- Saturated fats are more prone to getting stored in the body and contribute to visceral fat.
- By eliminating saturated fats, you also reduce LDL cholesterol, often referred to as “bad cholesterol”.
- This diet encourages you to eat lean meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and legumes.
- These healthy foods aid in weight loss.
- This diet induces a calorie deficit, enabling the body to metabolize stored fat which aids weight loss.
- The flat belly diet can lower blood pressure and also reduce the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
- There are flexible meal plans to accommodate special diets for vegetarians and vegans.
The cons of the flat belly diet
- Experts point out that MUFAs are not the magic bullet that can destroy fat.
- The study supporting this diet does not take into account the benefits of polyunsaturated omega 3 fats that have been proven to help reduce belly fat.
- There is also no research to support the claims about the benefits of the Sassy Water that is consumed for the first four days.
- Experts note that the best way to reduce visceral fat and is by working out regularly, which is not a part of this diet.
- Reduced calorie intake may not suit all women, as some might need more calories to stay healthy based on their height and weight.
The flat belly diet eliminates saturated fats and encourages you to follow the healthy and proven Mediterranean diet. As with any diet plan, it has its drawbacks. However, combining this diet with a good exercise regimen can help you shed weight and stay fit. It can also help you to consume healthy, natural foods.