Belly Fat Diet For Dummies
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The Belly Fat Diet Gradual-Change plan is very much like it sounds: It allows you to make small changes over time that lead to big results. Not everyone is ready to jump in with both feet when starting a weight loss program. And there’s nothing wrong with that! Slowly making changes over time is a great way to make permanent lifestyle changes that help you keep the weight off for good.

Although the results of the Gradual-Change plan are a bit slower than some other weight loss plans, it’s still an effective weight loss program that helps you blast belly fat, improve health, and yield long-lasting results.

The basics of the Gradual-Change plan

The Gradual-Change plan shows you how to gradually improve your eating habits to make them more healthy and belly friendly. The focus of this plan is on consuming the proper portions from each food group each day, particularly fruits and vegetables.

[Credit: © Puccio 2007]
Credit: © Puccio 2007

The plan comprises the following two levels:

  • Level 1: This level, which lasts two weeks, starts out by encouraging you to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, which are low in calories, rich in nutrients, and quite filling. To help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed with the dietary change, Level 1 starts out by recommending you consume fewer vegetables than Level 1 in the Turbo-Charged and Moderation plans, but helps you build up gradually over time.

  • Level 2: As you become more accustomed to adding vegetables and fruits into your diet, you’ll begin to increase your daily amount in this level. This increase allows you to take in more fiber and belly-burning antioxidants to help you shed excess body weight and improve overall health. Your intake of whole grains and healthy fats also slightly increases in this level, which provides you with increased variety and satiety.

Consider these key principles of the Gradual-Change plan:

  • Pay attention to your plan levels. Level 1 is designed to last for only two weeks. At the end of these two weeks, you move into Level 2. You can stay in Level 2 of the Gradual-Change plan until you meet your weight loss goals.

    If your weight loss slows or stalls in the Gradual-Change plan, you may move into Level 2 of the Moderation plan to continue to promote weight loss until you reach your long-term goals.

  • Eat your nonstarchy veggies. Nonstarchy vegetables are unlimited in both Level 1 and Level 2, but you need to consume at least three servings per day.

  • Take notice of the differing starchy vegetable requirements in Levels 1 and 2. Starchy vegetables are considered a separate category in Level 1 to ensure you’re taking in enough nutrients, fiber, and healthy carbohydrates. In Level 2, starchy vegetables are included in the starch group and are optional.

  • Select your proteins judiciously. When choosing protein options, make sure to select mainly lean proteins. If you select medium/high-fat proteins, each ounce that you eat counts as one protein and one fat serving. Head to Chapter 6 for a full list of protein options.

  • Get the right kinds of fats. Aim to choose your daily fat servings from belly-blasting choices like monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Stay hydrated. Make sure to drink at least 64 ounces of water daily to stay hydrated and decrease belly bloat.

Who should opt for the Gradual-Change plan?

The Gradual-Change plan is the perfect plan if you’re looking to lose some weight, improve your health, and flatten your belly. This plan promotes all the principles of the Belly Fat Diet plan while showing you how to slowly transition your dietary habits to become more belly friendly. This plan is best for

  • Individuals with less than 10 pounds to lose and who want to shrink their waistlines

  • Individuals who are very active and have high energy demands

  • Individuals who get burned out when following crash diets and who instead want to make gradual changes

  • New mothers who would like to lose weight but are also breastfeeding

  • Individuals already at or near their weight loss goals but who want to improve their health and further reduce their belly fat

Women who are breastfeeding should wait six to eight weeks after birth before beginning a weight loss plan. To prevent a decrease in milk supply, don’t lose more than 1/2 pound per week when breastfeeding. Also, if you’re a new mom, be sure to check with your physician before starting any weight loss plan.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, is a nationally recognized nutrition and fitness expert who has contributed to national media outlets such as the CBS Early Show, ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, Fitness Magazine, and Prevention Magazine, among others.

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