Star ratings reflect scores of 1 to 5 assigned to the Flat Belly diet in eight categories by nutritionists, specialists in diabetes and heart disease, and other diet experts on a ratings panel assembled by U.S. News. (See our Best Diets methodology.) Experts liked its nutritional soundness and safety but sent the plan squarely to the midsection of the 29-diet pack. The plan has a “nice name, but it’s based on faulty logic,” one expert said. Another warned that the Flat Belly diet isn’t a “magic bullet for reducing belly fat.”
Short-Term Weight Loss
The claim is that you can shed up to 15 pounds in 32 days, and a respectable score here suggests agreement among our experts that it is moderately likely to deliver quick results. Dieters who remain on the plan can expect to lose significant weight during the first year. The plan pulled in 3.1 stars.
Long-Term Weight Loss
“Long-term” in diet research generally means at least two years. Flat Belly earned an average of just 2.3 stars, and many experts gave it a single star. Compliance may become tedious. Don’t expect to keep weight off over the long haul, experts said.
Easy to Follow
The diet provides ample recipes and resources, aiding the plan’s simplicity and producing a rating in the “moderately easy to follow” range. But making sure each meal contains a specified amount of monounsaturated fat may grow old. That’s one reason the Flat Belly diet only scored a bit above average compared with the other diets and wound up ranked in the middle of the pack.
Flat Belly generally conforms to the federal government’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines, giving it a substantial nutrition rating of 3.6 stars. The plan emphasizes healthy choices like fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts, beans, seeds, and lean protein. You’ll need to pay attention to get adequate potassium and vitamin D, however.
Our experts gave the Flat Belly diet a 4-star rating, which is considered very safe. Those marks placed the diet above the average score of 3.7 stars.
The diet’s score of 2.8 stars was a bit lower than the average for the group, trailing many of the other diets. Still, if Flat Belly helps you lose weight and keep it off, that’s a major positive.
For Heart Health
While this diet is not specifically designed to improve cardiovascular health, it might result in your shedding a few pounds, which research suggests could lessen your risk of heart disease and stroke. The panel judged it moderately effective in this category and gave it a score exactly equal to the average for all 29 diets.
Last updated by Angela Haupt | January 07, 2013
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