What Is Flat Belly Diet & What Are Its Benefits

What Is Flat Belly Diet & What Are Its Benefits

Image Shutterstock

Wondering about the flat belly diet! Conscious to know what is it all about! Here is an overall review on flat belly diet that will help you in understanding its essence.


There could be nothing more tempting than losing belly fat without exercising. Most of the fad programs make tall claims up front, but end up disappointing once you read the details and conditions of the diet. Here is the perfect diet plan to help you lose the belly fat, even without doing a single crunch. The Flat Belly Diet program promotes eating a low calorie diet, high in monounsaturated fats in order to flatten the belly.

The Claim:

The Flat Belly Diet is a diet book written by Liz Vaccariello, the vice president and editor-in-chief of Prevention. The book was first published in 2008. It provides a 32-day diet plan, claiming to help the dieters lose weight and several inches of the belly fat in just 32 days. In only 96 hours, the dieters can lose 7 pounds and over 5 inches of their waist line. All these can be achieved without working out and without giving up on your favorite foods.

The Theory:

There are two primary kinds of body fat- subcutaneous and visceral fat. The subcutaneous fat lies underneath the skin while the visceral fat surrounds the organs. Visceral fat is extremely dangerous to the health. It can lead to diseases like heart problems, cancer and diabetes. Visceral fat, at the same time, is easier to lose than subcutaneous fat. According to several researches, moderate exercise and a diet low in sugar and refined carbohydrates can help you lose belly fat.

The Flat Belly Diet is based on the Mediterranean diet program. It revolves around the theory that monounsaturated fatty acid, also known as MUFA destroys melts the visceral fat, while keeping you full for a longer time. Monounsaturated fatty acids are found in nuts, seeds, chocolates, avocados and olive oil. The Flat Belly diet calls for a serving of these foods after every meal of the day. Monounsaturated fatty acids, unlike the saturated fats, keep the blood vessels soft after digestion. The key foods of the diet like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and olive oil can help keep the weight off.

The Five Major MUFAs Groups Are:

  • Oils
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Chocolate

How Does The Flat Belly Diet Work?

The Flat Belly Diet works in two parts- the four-day anti-bloat diet plan that is supposed to flush out the system, followed by the 4-week eating plan. The book also gives suggestions on intense meal plans, grocery list, and recipes.

A) The Four Day Anti-Bloat Regimen:

The Flat Belly Diet begins with a 4-day anti-bloat regimen. The regimen is the most restrictive part of the diet. The goal of this diet plan is to eliminate the foods that promote unnecessary fluid retention and gas. The book gives specific menu for those days, focusing on foods that claim to relieve the belly bloat. The limited calorie intake is 1200 calories for a day. Each day you are supposed to eat four 300 calorie meals that adhere to the rigid list of acceptable foods and drinks. You can eat a lot of baby carrots, cucumbers, skim milk, extra virgin olive oil, chicken breast, applesauce, turkey and herbs. The dieters are advised to avoid salt, raw, bulky foods, excess carbohydrates, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, carbonated drinks, fruit juice and spicy foods. The dieters are also instructed to take a five-minute walk after every meal.

Sassy Water:

Sassy water is one of the major components of the 4-day anti-bloat jump-start regimen. The diet recommends drinking 2 liters of “sassy water” daily to soothe and calm the gastrointestinal tract. The water is made by combining cucumber, ginger, mint leaves, which will help the dieters to get the essential nutrients, while staying hydrated.

B) The Four-Week Eating Plan:

After the four-day anti-bloat diet plan, the dieters have to begin with the real diet, rich in MUFAs based foods. For the four-week eating plan, you get to eat three 400-calorie meals and one 400-calorie snack each day. You should never go more than 4 hours without eating anything. Each meal is well designed to include the right amount of MUFAs. You should not consume more than 4 grams of saturated fat per meal. The salt intake should be below 2300 milligrams a day. This will prevent water retention, eliminate trans-fat and avoid artificial sweeteners and preservatives. The menu includes pumpkin Maple Cheesecake and Greek Lemon Chicken.


Alcohol is allowed, but in moderation. One drink a day for women and two for men. If you drink more than this, then you will have to compensate by doing heavy exercise or by reducing 25 calories from each meal.


The book Flat Belly Diet Cookbook is packed with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack recipes. It provides a wide range of choices like crab primavera with spaghetti to blackberry parfait. The recipes provide information on the protein, fat, calories, sodium, fiber and other nutritional value. The book also provides sample menus, but you are free to create your own meals.


The Flabby Diet online membership includes tips from diet experts, message board, shopping lists, food journal and success stories.


The online membership costs $19.95 per month and $49.50 for three months subscription. The Flat Belly Diet, an essential guidebook costs $15.99. The additional books on this diet range from $7.99 to $26.99.


Even though the book states that not a single crunch is required to flatten the belly, there is a chapter devoted to exercise. The Flat Belly Diet outlines an exercise plan, including workout description, duration and intensity. The book recommends cardiovascular exercises to burn off calories and shed fat. The strength training exercises help to build muscles and boost metabolism. The core focused exercises, on the other hand, help to tone and tighten the midsection.

Foods to Avoid:

While following the four day anti-bloating diet, you have to avoid adding salt to your foods. The other foods to avoid are:

  • Processed foods
  • Foods that encourage gastritis like onion, beans, cauliflower and broccoli
  • Refined carbohydrates like pasta, banana and bagels.

Benefits of The Flat Belly Diet Plan:

1. Weight Loss:

According to a research commissioned by the Prevention magazine, Flat Belly Diet helped nine overweight women to lose an average 33 percent of their visceral belly fat. The participants also lost an average of 8.4 pounds and 2 inches off their waist during the study period.

2. Cardiovascular Benefits:

The MUFA rich diet is believed to have positive effects on the heart health. It decreases the risk of heart diseases by reducing the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. According to a research, people following the Flat Belly Diet noticed a drop of 21 points in their total cholesterol level. The bad cholesterol also dropped about 9 points.

3. Diabetes:

According to recent studies, a diet rich in MUFAs can help prevent insulin resistance, thereby reducing the possibility of diabetes. People with belly fat are much likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes. The Flat Belly Diet helps to lose the belly fat and keeps it away, reducing the risk of type two diabetes.

4. Healthy Food Choice:

The Flat Belly Diet is based on healthy eating patterns. It encourages the dieters to eat olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fish and avoid red meat and saturated fat. This will help prevent the possibility of diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer’s.

5. Fullness:

The Flat Belly Diet will not let you go hungry. The 1600-calorie diet is rich in MUFAs that will slow down the digestion, keeping you full for longer time. The diet also recommends eating foods rich in fiber that can help to stave off hunger.

Cons of The Flat Belly Diet:

  • The diet does not emphasize on exercise, lifestyle and stress management. It claims that MUFAs can magically help to lose belly fat without doing even a single crunch. This sounds far from being realistic.
  • The diet lacks research to support its claims. There is no evidence that sassy water jumps start the metabolism, aiding the body to burn fat.
  • People can have a hard time-consuming a 400-calorie meal all day. The Belly Flat Diet fails to adjust calories according to factors like height, gender, weight and activity levels. For example, 1600 calories would not be enough for an athlete.

Sample Diet Plan:

Early morning- 7 am

  • A glass of warm water with juice of 1 lemon

Breakfast- 8 am

  • One bowl of oatmeal topped with flax seeds, pecan, cinnamon and nutmeg
  • One glass of avocado smoothie

Lunch- 1 pm

  • One fillet of shallow fried chicken breast
  • Four small corn tortillas with salsa

Evening snack- 4 pm

  • Hummus with carrot sticks
  • 1 bar of dark chocolate

Dinner- 8 pm

  • 3 ounces of grilled wild salmon with one bowl of brown rice
  • One bowl of yogurt with berries for dessert

To conclude, the Belly Fat Diet might sound appealing, but in reality, long-term weight loss requires a commitment to healthy eating and exercise. Try to eat a balanced and healthy diet, rather than focusing on a single component like MUFAs.

Hope you will try to follow this diet plan to meet your desire for a flatten belly. However, it is good to consult your physician before you plan to take up the diet. Don’t forget to share your valuable feedback with us if any.


Leave a Comment.