Flat bellies. So, ya want one?
According to the folks at Prevention Magazine, it's pretty easy to own one of your very own. They've even got a picture of four ecstatic women cheering about their incredible results. (They all look far too happy, in my opinion, considering they're clad in work clothes, complete with stern-looking high-heeled pumps. Being a jeans and T-shirt person myself, this photographic evidence seems suspicious).
But lets say that even if they're only fake-happy, their results are real. From what I can tell without shelling out any money, here's what you need to do to lose the fat belly:
1. Don't get too stressed (stress=cortisol=belly-fat);
2. Eat lots of monounsaturated fats. (The magazine uses the acronym "MUFA," which doesn't sound very slimming, does it? They need to work on that.)
Where do you find MUFA's? Well, this part is good:
- Nuts and Seeds;
- Safflower, Olive, Flax, and Canola Oils;
- Dark Chocolate.
For an informative magazine, Prevention makes some annoyingly optimistic claims about this diet: "No Exercise Required," "Never Go Hungry" and "Slim Your Mid-section Almost Automatically" are just some of them. But Prevention often does that--they seem to have a sleazy product-promotion division dedicated to subverting the magazine's credibility (which is otherwise perfectly good) by over-hyping various get-slim-quick approaches. If you subscribe to the magazine, they stick these weird pamphlets in there sometimes and you wonder what the heck they're thinking.
But, that doesn't mean the diet is totally lame either.
Given that (a) less stress is good and (b) monounsaturated fats are satisfying and healthy, this may not be a bad idea. There seems to be some actual research behind it (which I should chase down and take a look at some point rather than just guessing about it).
So sure, more chocolate and avocados and olive oil, please!
As it happens, I've been pretty much accidentally on this diet for the past few years, (except for yucky 1600 calorie part). I've been reading forever about how healthy monounsaturated fats are, so I eat a lot of them. Coincidentally (or not)--I have less belly fat than I used to.
But this is one of about 800 nutritional and fitness recommendations I've incorporated into my diet and lifestyle over the last couple decades, so who knows if it's the MUFA's or the intervals or the whole grains or the broccoli or the bench presses that are helping with the belly fat.
Another caveat: even healthy fats have lots of calories--and I still need to have room left for things like protein and vegetables and whole grains and cupcakes. Yet I don't want to run ten miles every morning to fit it all in.
In general, I hate "simple solution" diets. They almost always turn out to be only partly right. Nutrition and weight loss are rarely simple.
But heck, if you're not getting many MUFA's now and have some bellyfat you'd like to evict, it could be worth a try.
Note: If it works, please send in your ecstatic picture (high-heels optional) and we'll we'll re-market the whole thing as the Cranky Fitness No-Belly diet. We'll throw in some high-MUFA cupcakes and cookies and brownies (which we'll sell for $5 each), and we'll all make a fortune!
So what do you all think about Flat-Belly or other "It's Simple!" diets? Worth a try?