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Flat Belly…and eating chocolates?


This sounds just too good to be true. A cure for belly fat! Weight loss of up to 15 pounds in 32 days, without performing a single crunch! Hard to believe? But then, it is always important to keep an open mind…you never know. This is what all the fuss around the Flat Belly Diet is about….

The Flat Belly Diet has been one of the top selling diet books this year. It was written by Liz Vaccariello, editor in chief of Prevention, along with Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, nutrition director at Prevention. The main focus area of this book is well chosen. Who doesn’t want a flat stomach?

The Flat Belly diet is in essence nothing other than a calorie controlled Mediterranean style diet, which has long been known to provide health benefits. So what made it so successful?
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Review of the South Beach Diet

The South Beach diet was developed by a practicing cardiologist, Dr. Arthur Agatston. Dr Agatston did not initially set out to develop a weight-loss plan. He simply got frustrated when his patients, when following the standard, low-fat American Heart Association diet, failed to lose weight or improve their blood chemistry. He then developed a new diet specifically for his patients, which later became the basis for The South Beach Diet, an international best seller. The South Beach Diet was first published in April 2003 and has been on the New York Times best seller list for more than 96 consecutive weeks, with more than 8.5 million copies in print. It was #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list for 38 weeks.

The diet is formulated on the premise that many of us are addicted to carbohydrate foods. Many experts commented that the South Beach diet is really just a revised version of the Atkins Diet. Both of these diets kick off with a first stage designed to get rid of addiction to high levels of carbohydrate consumption. The South Beach diet varies from Atkins in that it consists of three instead of four phases. While the first and last phases of both diets are very similar, the middle two phases of the Atkins Diet has been replaced by a single stage in the South Beach Diet. As result of this difference the typical rate at which South Beach followers lose weight is lower than that of Atkins followers, but fans claim that the South Beach diet is easier to stick to since it offers greater variety at an earlier stage in the diet.

The South Beach Diet is introduced as a balanced weight-loss and maintenance plan that encourages people to eat a variety of foods, such as lean sources of protein, reduced fat cheeses and dairy products, legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and good fats like olive and canola oil.  Snacking is encouraged along with approved sweet treats and desserts on a daily basis. The glycemic index (is a ranking system for carbohydrates based on their effect on blood sugar) plays a critical role in the diet, as it forms the basis for Agatston’s advice on how to choose the best carbohydrates to accompany a meal. The concept of the glycemic index (considered with the actual glycemic load) is generally accepted as a crucial component of healthy diets nowadays.
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Review of the Perricone Diet


Dr Nicolas Perricone M.D. is probably best known for his guest appearances on television shows such as Oprah, CNN, the Today Show, and Larry King. He is a respected physician, a research scientist, and a trusted expert on health and beauty. In addition, he is also the author of three New York Times # 1 Best Sellers, “The Perricone Promise” (Warner Books 2004), “The Perricone Prescription” (HarperCollins 2002), as well as the New York Times best seller, “The Perricone Weight Loss Diet” (Random House 2005).

Perricone achieved tremendous success with his book “The Perricone Promise”, which really tapped into one of mankind’s most basic fears, that of getting old. Many customers reported that they looked and felt younger following Dr Perricone’s diet, and that it delivered an added bonus…they lost weight! Dr Perricone subsequently expanded his portfolio of programs with his anti-inflammatory weight loss program that promises to accelerate fat loss by increasing the metabolism and building and maintaining muscle mass, while at the same time making you look younger and live longer.

In his books he explains to his readers how to lose weight, rebuild muscle mass, while avoiding the haggard, aging, and drawn appearance that typically results from many of the other weight-loss programs. “Treat yourself well and the weight will come off,” he suggests. As an added bonus, Dr. Perricone’s program will help you sleep better; you will have more energy and less stress, and experience greater mental clarity. Lose the weight, the wrinkles, and the years! He goes on to promise dramatic results in as little as 14 days.
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The Mediterranean Diet?


So what exactly is all this fuss about the Mediterranean Diet? Everywhere you go, the topic comes up in discussions as the solution to all our weight problems. The name itself conjures up associations of lazy summer holidays, sumptuous food, wine and good friends. How can a diet like this not be extremely enjoyable?

In a recent study the Mediterranean type diet was compared head on to Low-Carb and Low-Fat type diets. It came out with flying colors. Average weight loss on the Mediterranean diet almost equaled that of Low-Carb diets, while most definitely offering a more varied and exciting menu. Most importantly; the range of implementation options and food groups this eating plan offers makes it much easier to permanently change to your everyday eating habits for sustained weight loss.

The study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine (17 July 2008), found that participants in the Low-Carb group lost the most weight with a two year sustained average loss of 10.4 lb (4.7 kg). The group on the Mediterranean diet followed close on their heels with an average weight loss of 9.7 lb (4.4 kg). Interestingly, the average weight loss of those on the Low-Fat Diet was considerably lower at only 6.4 lb (2.9 kg). Women did better than men on the Mediterranean Diet, and the diet was also found to have definite general health benefits such as the prevention of Type II Diabetes and heart problems, as well as improved longevity.

Now that we know the Mediterranean diet warrants a closer look; what is it exactly?


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