Monday, March 9, 2009

Book Review: The Flat Belly Diet

Prevention Flat Belly Diet Prevention Flat Belly Diet by Liz Vacariello

rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you need structure to eat a healthy, balanced diet and lose weight than I would definitely recommend The Flat Belly Diet. The main focus of this plan is eating a measured portion of foods that are high in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs like olives, oils, nuts and seeds, avocados or dark chocolate) at every meal. The first four days are a very restrictive anti-bloat plan followed by 28 days of three 400-calorie meals and one 400-calorie snack pack to be eaten as and when you like.

The book is full of pages citing studies that prove why MUFAs are healthy and can help to reduce body fat, especially "visceral fat" which is the fat that accumulates around our organs and cause a variety of diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and liver function problems. It's a bit of a dry read and to be honest, I glazed over a more than a few times and had to go back and re-read the information.

Unlike other diet books, The Flat Belly Diet stresses how important exercise is to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. It also talks about conquering emotional eating and that in order to lose weight you can't let yourself get hungry, which means never going more than 4 hours without eating. The meal plan seems well thought out, though that much structure takes the fun out of the kitchen for me. I will be copying down some of the breakfast ideas (which sound fantastic) before I return the book to the library.

I liked the chapters that talked about how the low-fat craze sparked an obesity epidemic and how good fats are the key to healthy weight loss. I will be more conscious of adding a MUFA to every meal and I can't wait to make up a batch of "Sassy Water" for my fridge. The Flat Belly Diet is definitely worth reading for the information, even if you don't want to follow the plan to the letter. Fat equals flavor and fullness and that's one point that I can heartily agree with.

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