You’ve revamped your diet to include foods that fitness and health magazines swear will make your belly flat: Nuts and seeds, avocados, olives, and dark chocolate. Yet, your tummy still isn’t as flat as a board. What gives?
According to The Flat Belly Diet, the magic ingredient in these foods is mono unsaturated fatty acid (MUFA), and the diet requires that you add one MUFA to meals and snacks. “Research shows that MUFAs have health benefits and target belly fat,” explains co-author Cynthia Sass.
But adding these foods to your regular meal plan won’t cut it. To see results, you need to adhere to the diet’s 1,600-calorie Mediterranean-style meal plan. But if you’re on a calorie-restricted diet, you’re going to lose fat anyways–including the one around your belly, which is why the claims are misleading.
“There is no miracle cure for belly fat. Complex, restricted diets requiring calorie counting and MUFAs at every meal are bound to fail,” notes HealthTalk’s Medical Director Dr. Ed Zimney. “Eat a little less, exercise a little more. Lower your fat intake and replace some, or a lot, of your bad fats with MUFAs. But do it gradually, do it sensibly, do it over the long-term.”
Other plans have you eliminating foods that may cause bloating, such as dairy and carbonated drinks . While this may ease digestive problems, it doesn’t reduce belly fat.
Remember diets are a gimmick! Eat sensibly and consume 5 to 8 clean snacks and meals each day, have protein with each meal, and get your carbs from fruits and veggies. A wholesome meal plan and exercise routine will produce results. And most importantly, be consistent with these good habits.
Why does this matter to you? Because health is a lifestyle, not an 8-week plan you pay $30 for at the bookstore. Exercise and eat clean consistently for the best effects.