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Flat Belly Diet: Can it help you lose weight?

Medically reviewed on December 7, 2017.

The Flat Belly Diet is a weight-loss diet from the editors of Prevention magazine. The diet promises quick weight loss — especially around the middle — in about a month. The creators of the diet say you don't have to exercise to achieve a flat belly but that exercise can boost your results.

The Flat Belly Diet has two phases, a four-day "anti-bloat" phase with specific foods and drinks, and a four-week eating plan during which women eat about 1,600 calories a day. There's a Flat Belly Diet for men that's similar, but allows for more calories. The Flat Belly Diet emphasizes eating foods that are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), along with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

MUFAs are part of every meal on the Flat Belly Diet. Such foods include olive oil, nuts, seeds, soybeans and avocados.

The Flat Belly Diet hasn't been shown in large clinical trials to work for weight loss better than any balanced, calorie-restricted diet does. You might lose weight on the Flat Belly Diet because it limits total calories and encourages a generally healthy way of eating. The Flat Belly Diet shares some similarities with the Mediterranean diet, a heart-healthy eating plan that's been shown to help people lose weight and avoid gaining weight in the belly.

Although a quick fix to your weight problem may sound appealing, the reality is that successful, long-term weight loss requires a lifelong commitment to healthy eating and exercise. Put your energies into eating a balanced, healthy diet instead of focusing on a single component such as MUFAs.

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