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Flat Belly Diet Hardcover – October 28, 2008
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From the Back Cover
Join the million-plus people who have found the answer to losing their belly fat while eating satisfying and delicious foods.
With the Flat Belly Diet you can:
- Lose inches in just 4 days
Drop up to 15 pounds in 32 days
Boost your energy as the weight falls off!
Prevention, America's most trusted healthy-living magazine, presents the New York Times-bestseller Flat Belly Diet in mass market--now with a new foreword by Dr. David L. Katz describing new research about the many health and weight loss benefits of this amazing eating plan. Enjoy delicious dishes such as Seared Wild Salmon with Mango Salsa, Slow Cooker Chili, and Pumpkin-Maple Cheesecake--and you will lose belly inches and greatly enhance your likelihood of living a longer and healthier life.--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
About the Author
LIZ VACCARIELLO is the vice president and editor-in-chief of Prevention, the #1 healthy lifestyle brand and the tenth largest magazine in the nation, with nearly 11 million readers. She resides in New Jersey.
CYNTHIA SASS, MPH, RD, is Prevention's nutrition director. With master's degrees in nutrition science and public health, Sass has more than 10 years of experience in helping women lose weight. She lives in New York City.
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Top Customer Reviews
First off, I study the major medical changes in diets. That means, I scoff at the "university studies" you see in the news or magazines with "shocking" news that was only done in limited time on a limited number of people, not using things like a hyperbolic chamber to measure caloric expenditure etc. Some diet news is simply not regulated and only done to MAKE the news.
However, there are other medical studies that are accepted as fact and have changed dieting as well as updated medical journals of physicians...because they are done as long as an 8 year study with almost a thousand people or with major medical controlled studies at, for example, Johns Hopkins University.
These I discuss with clients and these go into the medical journal as fact and working.
And this book took ALL of them into each meal.
I am small, I work out often, I have never been able to go over 1,300 calories per day however when I want to lose weight. And I'm always hungry...so much so that I used to break my meals into 6 small meals to rev my metabolism and keep up energy. I know how to lose weight so when I kept hearing about this I said it would work on heavier people due to the 1,600 calorie per day intake...with my small frame and short height...that doesn't coincide with what I know I need 1,200-1,300 for 2 lbs per week.
So why does this diet of 1,600 calories a day amaze me?
1. They combined ALL the major medical studies of recent years into ONE diet whereas other diets simply incorporate part of the principals. Those who believe this is simply about adding MUFAs (monounsaturated fats) or counting calories are completely missing the mark. That is one small component of this diet and no, you cannot eat anything you want as long as you add a MUFA regardless of what anyone tells you. It's the combination of components that does the major work in fast weight loss on this diet...which is why the very book tells you not to go over the 1,600 calorie per day limit.
2. For the first time I can remember, regardless of my constant running around or even when I worked out hard, I was NEVER hungry. I can honestly say I don't ever remember not being hungry in between meals. I said "no way can I now cut down to 4 meals per day when I am used to 6 small ones to keep me going for the last several years." I thought it would take an adjustment. There were times, however, I didn't feel like I even needed to eat! I was always perfectly satisfied.
3. Here's part of the rest of why it works: It's not just a 1,600 calorie per day diet. Try that on your own with eating out or frozen meals and you simply won't get the same results...even if you add a MUFA each time. It'll help, but not the crazy fast loss you are likely to see on this diet because of a few things...
*** It's a low glycemic diet...Your blood sugar won't spike and drop. High glycemic diets (simple starches, white flour, sugars, white bread) aren't always more calories, but they are high glycemic so your body digests the food quickly and you are left with none in between meals, dropping your blood sugar and playing havoc with your metabolism and hunger. Which brings me to:
***Like the "volumetrics diet" it stacks up the meals with low-glycemic veggies. These not only keep you full, but these kind of veggies take as many calories to digest as are in them, so you actually essentially fool your body into eating less calories while eating more food. That's one of the reasons you'll see a faster loss on this kind of diet. The fiber in these kind of veggies also is another component of keeping you full. These veggies are low starch, high water, high fiber. (red and green bell peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, cabbace, broccoli, mushrooms, celery, onions, etc.) Your plate will have a huge serving via these recipes. And you'll likely aquire a taste and cravings for things full of energy and good things for your body even if you add things you hadn't thought of before; the ideas in the book will change the way you think of eating.
***A MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acid) is added with every meal. Large diet plans like Weight Watchers incorporated adding a MUFA as part of the requirement when several studies (undisputed) not only showed the health benefits of these good fats (olive oil, olive, avocados, dark chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, pumpkin seeds etc.)when added to the daily food intake, but that participants over an 8 year study who incorporated these into the same diet intake as the other diet participants lost MORE weight overall but specifically from their belly fat. Meaning you can't eat a whole cake and add an avocado and lose weight but if you are dieting, counting a MUFA into your 1,600 calorie intake will create a greater loss and specifically in one area in addition to having loads of other health benefits.
***The diet consists of all-natural, "whole" foods and whole grains. Major diet plans have also taken in this as fact after massive studies now show that we actually have a greater loss with the same amount of calories if we don't eat processed foods and artificial ingredients within that caloric intake. This is why diet plans did a rehaul, including Weight Watchers, to build points and suggestions of what to eat around this way of eating. America has not begun taking in more calories. There was an EXTREME upward trend in weight gain when artificial ingredients that are cheap for manufacturers but harder on our bodies, were introduced into most grocery store foods. Countries who shun these have far less obesity. Why do we know this helps you lose MORE weight in the belly area?: A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that a calorie-controlled diet rich in whole grains trimmed extra fat from the waistline of obese subjects. Study participants who ate all whole grains (in addition to five servings of fruits and vegetables, three servings of low-fat dairy, and two servings of lean meat, fish, or poultry) lost more weight from the abdominal area than another group that ate the same diet, but with all refined grains. And this is one study among many. Note: vegans and vegetarians can get the pocket guide for substitutions but most recipes are pretty easy to sub on your own if needed.
"Eating a diet rich in whole grains while reducing refined carbohydrates changes the glucose and insulin response and makes it easier to mobilize fat stores," says study researcher Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD, a distinguished professor of nutritional sciences at Penn State University.
"Visceral fat is more metabolically active and easier to lose than subcutaneous fat, especially if you have plenty of it and the right conditions are met, such as the ones in our study."
***4 meals per day rather than 3, and 4 hours apart (I eat at 7am, 11am, 3pm and 6 or 7pm)Why? This keeps your metabolism revved because you don't have any blood sugar dip and also stops cravings as the food digestion takes about that long.
***You are asked to journal your food and hunger during the first 30 days. All studies show that people totally aware of what they are taking in can lose up to twice as much weight and keep it off as compared to those who aren't as mentailly aware.
***The components of these meals are high fiber. This keeps you full in between meals and digests slowly. AND up to 10% of all calories we eat at each meal go through our bodies undigested (can be as low as 5%)...BUT the more fiber you eat, the higher this number climbs. Update the same day I posted thie review from Science Daily: A FIVE YEAR Medical Center obesity study was recently completed: According to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the way to zero in and reduce visceral fat is simple: eat more soluble fiber from vegetables, fruit and beans, and engage in moderate activity. The study found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber eaten per day, visceral fat was reduced by 3.7 percent over five years. In addition, increased moderate activity resulted in a 7.4 percent decrease in the rate of visceral fat accumulation over the same time period. SO Flat Belly was on the cutting edge...one more reason this diet results in greater losses than usual, especially around the belly.
***The diet has a limited caloric intake. It takes a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose one pound. Meaning that we have to expend more than we take in by that amount ot lose a pound. That may mean 500 fewer calories per day to add up or 100 calories per day to take longer to lose that pound...but you can't eat as many calories as you want regardless of the above mentioned weight loss boosters. But here's the thing...because this is so full of the aforementioned "goodies" of weight loss boosters, you are eating a heck of a lot of food in this 1,600 calorie per day diet so even little people lose a lot of weight and big people lose a GREAT deal of it faster.
Because, unlike most diets that pick one of the above components or utilize a small percentage of it (for example, Weight Watchers only asks that you take in a few teaspons of oil per day. Far less than this diet does that makes it work.) this diet coincides ALL of the major diet breakthroughs to create this crazy high fat (but only GOOD and beneficial fats--very different!!), crazy filling, low glycemic, loads of food, low calorie, low sugar, low salt (no water weight!)major good food diet.
Even I scoffed that it could make THAT much difference when merely combining the components together at EVERY meal. It made a HUGE difference. I can't normally lose weight this fast...no, I can NEVER lose weight this fast without working out and I did. I lost a pound a day the first week and I did NOT have time to work out and I was busy and I have hardly any weight to lose and I'm short. My friends who tried it lost 8 pounds in one week. We are on the second week and down a dress size.
I know diets. It's what I do. I know all the medical facts. I already worked incorporating MUFAs, veggies, whole foods...I just never did it to this extent...every meal, in high concentration, controlled calories the same each meal so your body adjusts to that...
I thought I knew it all. I could talk for days about weight loss and never repeat the same thing twice...I can tell you all the stupid bogus stuff that is marketed and people believe. But the way they wrapped it all up in a neat and tidy bow for maximum loss...yes, it makes a HECK of a lot of difference in no hunger, loads of energy I mean like twice as much) and RAPID loss...for some twice the amount or more they normally lose.
I tried it as an experiment. It is DA BOMB! I'm a huge fan.
Negatives: The organization of the book. Sometimes it's hard to find the recipe again and the index doesn't always help since you can't look it up by the name of the recipe. Also, someone familiar with cookbooks didn't write out the recipes which can cause confusion. For example, one recipe uses soy crumbles and it says to add "half a bag of soy crumbles (12 oz). In recipe lingo, that means to add 12 oz. But they don't make 24 oz bags of soy crumbles so they weren't telling you to add 12 oz but that the bag size is 12 oz. Also there will be a recipe that feeds 4 people (some feed one or two, some 4 etc.) and it says to "add 4 wasa crackers to make a meal" 4 per person or 4 for the meal that feeds 4? I had to add up the calories to discover it was 4 per person.
How are the meals? While they may not have all been created by someone with cookbook writing experience they were obviously created by a chef. Even with my own culinary background I remain completely WOWED with the little things they do to make the tastes seriously good enough to serve at a dinner party. I am not at all reaching when I say that.
But if you have no time they give you components of fast meals you can simply put together that incorporates the plan.
Does this create long term change? Yes, you are told the calorie count of each item so you learn to do counts in your head for meals you wind up inventing on your own in the future. You journal--and writing it down means you bear it to greater memory and recognition of what's working and things you may have done wrong if you didn't lose or changed food around incorrectly, you learn correct portion sizes, you learn to eat whole foods and see the energy difference and your body will crave them, you get variety in what you eat so you are more likely to stick with it, you LEARN.
I recommend: the separate cookbook. It's easier to navigate through and gives you loads more ideas so there is never boredom. I have the yellow cover one but just now ordered the family cookbook just so I can cook one bigger meal and have leftovers and hardly cook at all during the week.
Conclusion: Genius. The weight I lost is nothing compared to how fast my belly shrank. I would normally have to lose twice that amount to have my belly be this tiny. I kid you not, I measured daily and the measuring tape actually went down around my waist twice as fast as normal.
Note: I did NOT do the first week anti-bloat part of the diet. High blood pressure runs in my family so I already take prescription diuretics to rid my body of salt and excess water. So none of my weight loss was water weight. This held true in body measurements...I did lose more belly fat, as promised.
Yes, I was one of those people who scoffed at this and said "Just reduce calories." But combining the biggest finds in ramping weight loss, and specifically those that target a high reduction in belly fat (yes, it really is possible.) result in more fat loss all over, faster, with less hunger.
TIP: It calls for 1/4 cup avocado but for the calorie content listed that is 1/4 of a medium avocado. If you cram avocado into a 1/4 cup measuring cup you'll wind up with 2-3 times that. They should have specified slices filling up the cup or chunks. At any rate, cute a 1/4 and you will equal the calorie count they want you to have, without measuring. I also counter-checked this with a scale comparing oz. to calories in avocados per ounce.