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The Flat Belly Diet: Just Another Fad?

The Flat Belly Diet: Just Another Fad?

Q: I’ve been reading about this new Flat Belly Diet and it sounds too good to be true. What do you think?

A: The Flat Belly Diet is the hot new diet, and pretty much it details the basic premise for losing weight: Eat healthy whole foods in moderation. Do you need to buy another book to tell you that?

The gimmick of this diet (all diets have one) is the promise that eating a diet higher in mono-unsaturated fats will help you lose weight specifically in the abdominal region. This a very bold claim and unfortunately there is no evidence to back it up.

When body fat is lost it tends to disappear from all over the body. There has been one small study that showed that all things being equal, people who watched their calories and incorporated more fiber into their diet, did tend to reduce their waist size by more than people who consumed the same calories but less fiber.

Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food and raise goats on his farm in upstate New York by visiting

Got a health question for Dr. Brent? E-mail him at

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Dr. Brent

As an undergraduate, Dr. Brent Ridge majored in public health and environmental science, studying the way the state of the natural environment impacts our health choices. As a physician, he specializes in the field of aging. Send your health questions to Dr. Brent at


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12:18AM PDT on Apr 1, 2013


5:18AM PST on Mar 8, 2013

Thanks for the info.

7:37PM PST on Feb 13, 2013

There is one simple and completely undeniable factor everyone want to ignore and desparately so. It is the single most important reason.

Less calories in than going out=weight loss. Period.

You can rational this, cut in little pieces, pretend its not true, what ever. It is hard solid fact. There there is no substitute.

11:18AM PST on Feb 13, 2013

Thank you

8:37AM PST on Feb 12, 2013

Thanks. I can't say it any better than Rosa. Keep exercising and eat healthy, don't diet. Count your matter what you eat.

5:43AM PST on Feb 12, 2013


7:37PM PDT on Jul 28, 2012

Avocados ------they are also excellent for the skin and anti aging.

6:31PM PDT on Apr 14, 2012

There are foods that combat belly fat. They are also very successful at doing so. Avocados is one of them. I don't think going on a diet is good for anyone. Eating healthy and limiting bad fats is the best way to rid of belly fat, alright along with exercise.
Yoyo dieting takes a toll on our bodies. It not only messes up the system, it also weakens the elasticity in our skin.
Thanks for the article.

8:39AM PST on Feb 20, 2012

Probably a fad. There are lots of fad diets around.

4:26AM PDT on Jul 29, 2011

yeah, literally you can't choose where you lose the weight from even with targetted exercises. i wear a size 6 aus/2 US and i still dont have close to a flat belly, and i eat a nearly totally healthy diet. the best way is just to eat healthy to achieve a healthy natural size for your own body and you will just look good.

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