We've mentioned that there is a certain amount of flexibility with the Flat Belly Diet. While there are certainly restrictions that some may find hard to follow, you should be able to stick to the plan and still eat a varied diet.
During the four-day, anti-bloat jumpstart, you'll face the most restrictions. This phase does offer quick results, but it will also be the biggest test of your willpower. During this time, you're supposed to eat between 1,200 and 1,400 calories each day while drinking two liters of "sassy water," a concoction of spicy citrus water (see sidebar for more information) [source: Zelman]. Consumables to avoid include:
- Soda and carbonated beverages
- Gassy foods (like broccoli and cabbage)
- Anything spicy or fried
- Sugar substitutes
- Bulky raw foods (raw vegetables as opposed to steamed/cooked)
After the anti-bloat portion, you're allowed to increase your caloric intake to 1,600 calories day, preferably split evenly among three meals and a snack, eaten in four-hour intervals. Besides offering recipes that stick to the guidelines, the Flat Belly brand also has replacement options to add a level of flexibility aimed to make following the plan easier. When needed, you can opt for meal-replacement bars, frozen dinners and even some fast food as long as you add in the ever-important MUFA [source: Flat Belly].
Speaking of MUFA, how can you be sure to include it? Here are some foods with MUFA content:
- Healthy oils: canola, olive, flaxseed
- Nuts and seeds: pistachios, almonds, dry roasted peanuts
- Dark chocolate
[source: Every Diet].
The diet does not provide much nutritional information regarding the allowed foods, including protein and fiber content. These are important aspects of any diet, so be sure you're monitoring your intake. And as always, you should check with your doctor before embarking on any diet plan.
For even more information on the Flat Belly Diet and related topics, check out the links on the following page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Every Diet. "Flat Belly Diet" (Accessed 03/23/2009) http://www.everydiet.org/diet/flat-belly-diet
- Flat Belly Diet. "Food Flexibility of Every Front." (Accessed 03/23/2009) http://www.flatbellydiet.com/article_template.asp?keycode=0A1230&sname=DefaultOffer&mktSSOfferId=PVN17769&mktBKOfferId=PVN21802
- Flat Belly Diet. "Foods That Inflate." (Accessed 03/23/2009) http://www.flatbellydiet.com/article_template.asp?keycode=0A1230&sname=DefaultOffer&mktSSOfferId=PVN17769&mktBKOfferId=PVN17610
- Kovacs, Betty, MD, RD. "Flat Belly Diet! Does it Fall Flat on Its Promises?" March 24, 2008. MedicineNet. (Accessed 03/23/2009) http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=88098&page=2
- Oprah Radio. "Flat Belly Diet!" Oprah.com. (Accessed 03/23/2009) http://www.oprah.com/article/oprahradio/gking/20081110_oaf_gking
- Prevention. "5 quick and easy meals for a flat belly." MSNBC. Dec. 31, 2008. (Accessed 03/23/2009). http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28354965
- Santaniello, Amelia. "Putting the New 'Flat Belly Diet' to the Test." WCCO, CBS Broadcasting. March 12, 2009. (Accessed 03/23/2009) http://wcco.com/specialreports/flat.belly.diet.2.957809.html
- Zelman, Kathleen M., MPH, RD, LD. "The Flat Belly Diet." WebMD. (Accessed 03/23/2009) http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/flat-belly-diet