The Flat Belly Diet is made up of two parts—a Four-Day Anti-Bloat Jumpstart and a Four-Week Eating Plan. The whole thing together takes just 32 days, which studies show is just enough time to make any dietary change a lifestyle. Then, after you've mastered the program and seen the desired changes in your weight and measurements, I give you the tools to keep your belly flat for life. Even though you may be tempted to follow one part without the other, I want you to start with the Anti-Bloat Jumpstart, then move straight into the four-week eating plan. Here's why:
The Four-Day Anti-Bloat Jumpstart isn't just about beating bloat; it's also extremely important in sparking your emotional commitment to the entire program. The four-day plan includes a prescribed list of foods and drinks you can eat that will help flush out fluid, reduce water retention, and relieve digestive issues like gas and constipation, which can make your belly puff unnecessarily. You'll drink Cynthia's signature Sassy Water and eat healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. When we tested this diet on our group of volunteers, one of the participants lost an amazing 7 pounds and 5 inches in the first 4 days.
Losing the bloat isn't just a way to fit into your favorite dress again. It's about feeling confident, powerful, and proud of your body. Dropping even a few pounds of unnecessary water weight can be thrilling and can give you a major confidence boost—essential for success on any diet plan. Plus, I've added a second element to the four-day plan: a Mind Trick at every meal. These quick and easy healthy-eating triggers will serve as mealtime reminders that you have embarked on a new way of life—a new way of living with and caring for your body.
The Four-Week Eating Plan begins the morning after you complete the Anti-Bloat Jumpstart, and it's the centerpiece of this book. Every day you'll enjoy three super-satisfying 400-calorie meals and one 400-calorie Snack Pack. Each meal and snack contains just the right amount of MUFA to make that belly fat disappear. How simple is that? No calorie counting. No math! We chose the quantity of 1,600 calories per day because that's the precise amount for a woman over 40 of average height, frame, size, and activity level to get down to her ideal body weight, while maintaining a high energy level, healthy immune system, and strong muscles. It also ensures you won't feel tired, cranky, irritable, moody, or hungry.
But because no plan fits all, we've provided two different versions: The first one's perfect for people who have little time to spend in the kitchen. In Chapter 6, you'll find 84 different 400-calorie, MUFA-packed Quick- Fix Meals and 28 different 400-calorie Snack Pack options. Choose three meals and one Snack Pack a day and you're done. In a month, you'll have a flatter belly and I'll have done my job.
Sometimes, however, you'll want a more involved home-cooked meal, whether it's family night, or the weekend, or you're just a good cook who likes to flex her culinary muscles now and then. In Chapter 7, you'll find more than 80 recipes that all provide the requisite number of calories and MUFAs per serving, so they can be swapped in for any of your required three meals a day.
What About Exercise?