If you have watched Oprah or read any health magazines lately, I’m sure you have heard about the flat belly diet. It is quite a simple plan that works on the basis that monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA’s) will reduce abdominal fat.
If you are a woman over 40 and have excess abdominal fat you are at risk for several health problems. Those pounds can contribute to diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
The claim made by this diet is that you can lose 15 pounds in 32 days, no exercise required.
MUFA’s can help to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol, lower blood pressure and lower your risk of parkinson’s disease. These natural plant fats also help you to feel full longer so your calorie intake is lowered, assuming you are not an emotional eater.
There are five major categories that MUFA’s fall into, oils, nuts and seeds, chocolate, avocados and olives. Examples of foods that fall into these categories are:
The basics of the diet are to eat 1600 calories a day, three meals and one snack each consisting of 400 calories. Each meal must contain at least one MUFA. It may sound difficult but it is much easier than it sounds to make simple additions to your meal. Some ideas for incorporating MUFA’s into your diet are:
*Add nuts or seeds to your salad
*Saute almonds in olive oil and add to green beans for green bean almondine
*Add chocolate chips to your yogurt
*Add nuts or dark chocolate to wholegrain muffins, pancakes or waffles
*Add olives to whole wheat pasta and toss with pesto sauce
*Add peanut or almond butter to smoothies
*Add flax seed to your salad or yogurt for a satisfying crunch
*Add nuts, seeds or chocolate chips to your cereal
A sample menu for a day would consist of:
*1 slice of whole grain toast with 2 Tbs. natural peanut butter
*1 cup fat-free milk
*Veggei burger with avocado and salsa on a whole wheat bun
*3 oz. grilled chicken breast
*salad consisting of fresh greens, cucumbers, onions, corn and tomatoes topped with balsamic vinegar and olive oil
*1 cup yogurt with 1/4 cup chocolate chips
*1 cup cherries
The diet also boasts that you can lose up to seven pounds and 5 3/4 inches in just four days using the jumpstart program. One of the key ingredients to this program is “Sassy water”. You can make this water yourself by mixing the following ingredients:
*3 1/2 quarts of water
*1 thinly sliced lemon
*1 peeled and thinly sliced cucumber
*1 tsp. fresh ground ginger (not the powder from your pantry)
*12 fresh mint leaves
**Leave this concoction sitting in the fridge overnight and be sure to drink all of it the next day. Each night make a fresh batch for the following day.
The bottom line is that you replace “bad” animal fats with “good” plant fats to help reduce your abdominal fat. Everyone I have spoken to about this diet has had great results, of course any time you restrict your calories to 1600 a day you should see some kind of results.