Flat Belly Diet

flat belly bookThe Flat Belly Diet is written by two editors from Prevention magazine. Liz Vaccariello and Cynthia Sass have modeled their diet around a traditional Mediterranean diet.

The diet claims that – not only will the scales go down – but “[…] it targets the second type of fat–visceral–which is much more dangerous and difficult to lose”.

Flat Belly Diet Basics

The Flat Belly Diet is based on monounsaturated fats (also called MUFA: Monounsaturated Fatty Acids). Every meal should have a MUFA component (that ideally replaces the saturated fat content).

Meal plans are set at 1600 Calories per day.

Look for low Calorie meal ideas here.

Recommended Foods Containing MUFAs

  • Oils
    Canola oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil, peanut oil, pesto sauce, safflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, walnut oil.
  • Nuts and Seeds
    Almonds, almond butter, Brazil nuts, cashew butter, chunky natural peanut butter, dry-roasted cashews, dry-roasted peanuts, dry-roasted sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, roasted pumpkin seeds, smooth natural peanut butter, sunflower seeds, sunflower seed butter, tahini (sesame seed paste), walnuts.
  • Olives
  • Dark Chocolate

The rest of the diet is very similar to a Mediterranean diet:

  • Fruit (in season)
  • Vegetables (in season)
  • Whole grains
  • Limited red meat intake


The program recommends exercise – and provides a series of cardio workouts, and full body resistance training exercises. However the marketing of the diet claims “no exercise required”.

These exercises could be used with the Flat Belly Diet.


The marketing claims surrounding the Flat Belly Diet are excessive at best, and false at worse. Example: Targets unhealthy belly fat first!, Lose up to 7 lbs and 5 3/4 inches in just 96 hours!, Zero Exercise Required! Eat the foods you love and never go hungry.

This market-speak is simply designed to sell product – without any firm evidence to back it up.

However, there is research backing up the claims made about MUFAs. In a number of studies it has been shown that replacing saturated fats in the diet with monounsaturated fats results in a small weight loss, and an improved cholesterol profile.

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Provided the marketing material is not taken too seriously, this is a healthy diet, and, when followed will probably result in weight loss. The claim that it will specifically target visceral belly fat seems to have little basis in research however.

This author also has another version for those with digestive issues.

The book is available for $25.95. There is also a cookbook for $27.95.

Available from Amazon →

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

33 Comments or Reviews

Comments now closed
  1. mim

    i am 35 yrs woman.my weight 50 kg.i want 5 kg down.i have
    a problem belly fat.pls help me.i want a diet that easy to follow.

  2. Lucy

    I tried the Flat Belly Diet and stuck with it for about 8 months (then I got pregnant…lol…) and I lost 43 pounds on it! I lost 6 pounds the first week alone! It is this diet’s simplicity that attracted me to it… If you follow the diet’s instructions and get a bit exercise as well, it should work for you too. Here is the biggest reason why most diets don’t work – we think of them as DIETS! Make the Flat Belly Diet food your LIFESTYLE – don’t be on a DIET but have a HEALTHY diet. Eat healthy and be healhy… It’s common sense, really…

  3. Joyce Budnick

    I have some questions about the 4 day jumpstart diet and am not able to find the answers in your book. Could you give me an email address I can direct these questions to you, or better still a phone number that I can speak to someone.
    Thank you.

  4. joyce

    im 75 yr old i have a apron stomach would like to reduce it

  5. Terry Ciaravalli

    I want to lose 10 lbs i am 55 yrs old and most of my weight is my belly fat can you help me

  6. Terry Ciaravalli

    I needd to lose 10 lbs most of it is in my belly. I am 55 yrs. old

  7. Aimees

    HI Debby,

    I’ve been fat/chubby since birth. I have been in and out of many diet programs. Some worked just for a few weeks only, very frustrating. What worked for me is the Banana Diet, with some variation. I started the diet February 18, 2009 and has maintained a good weight until now. Even if I have to eat bad sometimes, it’s so easy to lose weight again.

    You can check out my comment under Banana Diet here in this website.

  8. kitten

    hi this diet is a con i have done it and yes it works but u only put it all back on. i strongly reccomend u all try the body trim diet it is healthy sustainable and works i lost 16lbs in 4 weeks with no exercise and i have kept thw weight off its so easy to do great food and 6 meals a day.

  9. Debby

    hiii….im an indian and a problem….i really want a flat tummy….i cant able to wear t-shirts n some of the indian clothes… really have a problem wit it..i have tried so many diets n exercises but nothing works out…i gained lots of weight from 55 – 64 …please i require help….

  10. Abhishek Verma

    Hi, I’m a 22 yr old software engineer. As my job revolves around sitting in front of PC for hours, I’ve gained almost 6 kgs in last 3 months. Can anyone suggest me a diet and exercises to control the weight & have a flat belly. As of now, I play badminton & visit gym 4 days a week since last month. Currently, my height is abount 165 cms, wt is 66.5 kgs and a waist of 33…

  11. allie

    i need to loose thirty pounds. fast! can someone help?

  12. Sarah

    Im perfectly fine with my weight. i just have a pouch under my belly button that sticks out. and i cant stand it. ive been doing crunches and all these ab workouts and nothing is working. help!

  13. sarah

    over christmas i put on so much weight and when i went back to work none of my uniforms fit me,i was so disgusted…

    i went out and brought some opti fast shakes.

    for breakfast i would have cereal, and luch i would have a salad and for dinner i had my shake….
    and i also did sit ups and stuff before my bed time shower.
    it has been a week so far. and i now fit in to my uniform. woo.

    how ever im still a tad over weight so i will be trying the three day diet.
    my mum did it and lost ALOT of weight. so i am hoping it will work for me too!!

    hopefully then i can go to the beach and actually wear swim wear. 🙂

    good luck all. hope you find something that works for you… how ever i suggest not just dieting…but also excercising. other wise you skin sag where the fat use to live. 😐 so hoping that doesnt happen to me.

  14. The One

    This Diet really works! My Mum did in order to obtain,and maintain the flat belly you have to make this water it is call the sassy water a jug of water with lemons, ginger, and fresh mint drink 8 glasses each day,and it will flush away belly fat TRUST ME PLEASE TRY IT IT REALLY WORKS!

  15. meh..

    the basic is easy, eat monounsaturated fat.
    I think this diet has a hyped up marketing. Not only guarantees rapid weight lost but spot reducing is actually almost impossible

  16. Confused??

    Hey, im 14 and my height is 5ft6 nd i weigh 130pounds i know that’s healthy but i just want to know is it the normal weight for someone my age?? im juat really confused can anyone help..

  17. Lorraine

    Try the 3 day diet. It is healthy and balanced and you do lose weight. Just use for 3 days and watch your eating for the rest of the week and do it again the next week and your weight will be shed.

  18. brandy

    I agree with mom. when you look in the mirror you tend to see what u think and not how beautiful you are, so stop being so hard on yourselves. I do know that it is hard to lose weight and then to keep it off, but you have to look at this as a life style change and not as a “diet”. It is hard to fit exercise into our busy lives but we have to find time to cause in the long run it can cause health problems, not to mention it really helps with stress. I am a mom of a 15 month old and work at a busy office always being on my feet and still go to the gym on my lunch break. So ladies it can be done you just have to want it bad enough and be patient cause Rome wasnt built in a day.

  19. Mom

    I am shocked at the comments on this website…I have 3 teenage girls and of course they fret about they´re weight as well… Girls, Women, get your asses of the couch and computers.. go exercise and quit eating all the processed crap! Forget carbonated beverages (including diet) they just bloat you. Eat REAL food like apples and Chicken and veggies and exercise a little. Walk to school if you can, walk to ANYPLACE that is within 6 blocks from your house(just don´t hop in the car). Ride a bike and get a grip! There is no Permanant weight loss plan that does not demand something from you. BUT… very small changes can make a big difference. Cut out soda, mcdonalds and sweets and you young girls will feel better and look better. But the less you eat.. the more your body will crave sweets and sugar so eat 5 small meals aday. Please be realistic and take along hard look in the mirror, you may look better than you think!!!!

  20. michelle

    i’m 14 and in high school.you know where u are supposed 2 b extremely skinny in order to fit in and i gained a bunch of weight over da summer and need help to lose it all and much more i need some help!!!

  21. Liz

    I want to lose my belly but I have allergies, am hypoglycemic and have acid reflux… What a mess…

  22. Lulu

    I mean it all seems like great lifestyle changes I mean look

  23. jodie

    I really want to lose my belly fat,tell me how.

  24. need help

    am 22 and its like im an old woman with seven kids, hope this flat belly program works

  25. kay1425

    how did you lose the belly without workout

  26. Dee-Dee

    I need to 10lbs and would like a flat belly this will be my first time dieting what you suggest would be a good diet to try?

  27. wake up

    Its just wrote out in plain English that everything they are saying and your still gonna try this one??? Why?

  28. Jenn

    Speaking from a woman who’s tried everything, the cabbage soup diets, as well as the liquid diets are a quick fix but the weight will come back once you introduce solids into your diet again.(The cabbage soup diet also makes you skin, as certain elements are excreted through your pores). Weight watchers worked but i never understood why they charged so much to get weighed in.

    Dr B is the worst WORST diet anyone can go on.PLEASE TAKE THIS AS A WARNING DR. BERNSTEIN IS DANGEROUS. The results were quick and as promised but I don’t know anyone who hasn’t had some sort of side effect. For myself, I followed everyword of the diet, my hair started falling out and thinning, I would get black outs, popping more vitamin and potassium pills than a person should. I developed an allergy to the shot, i couldn’t exercise because they recommend you don’t because you’re living off 800 calories a day. Skin sagged and as soon as my family MD told me to stop the weight started coming back even though i was eating healthy. Skin sags etc. i’m 22!!! and had the body of a 35 year old when skin starts sagging.

    I’m going to try this flat belly diet and see how it works for me.

  29. Danny

    I need to lose 15lbs in 5 days….can it be done?

  30. ciara

    i really need to shed the pounds! i need a diet that will work for me. i hate when my thighs stick together. i hate having to wear the plus size juniors. i need help!!!

  31. melii

    omg i need a diet that is easy and effective because im in 8th grade and i have to have lunch at school and you know tht school lunches are horrible!! can anyone please help me out?? im 13 and im 130 and i want to lose 20 pounds and be like i was last year.

  32. Shirl!

    you should do the cabbage soup diet i went on it for for days and lost like 9 pounds, working out everyday helps BIGTIME!it was crazy,,i did gain back some weigh but if you really wwant it then you can do it i guess,, my frined did it and she still looks good! this diet is like a headstart to your own diet,,but u have to keep going or the fat will come back!!!!

  33. harriet

    i want a diet that is easy to follow that will gove me a body like a model and i feel that this diet is hard to understand and that it should be layed out easier.