The Flat Belly Diet is known as a "Mediterannean-style" diet with a focus on healthy monounsaturated fats and unrefined foods. But the diet isn't just about what you eat, it's also about how much you eat. The diet restricts your daily calories to aid with weight loss. Although the original diet based these calories on the average woman there is also a diet based on the needs of the average man.
Less Calories Equals Less Belly
The original Flat Belly Diet calls for three 400-calorie meals and two 200-calorie snacks per day for a total intake of just 1,600 calories. This meets the minimum calorie recommendations for men which is 1,500 calories per day according to Harvard Health Publications. But the diet isn't designed for the average man. This is because the original diet is designed for women. According to the book "Flat Belly Diet!" by Liz Vaccariello, editor of "Prevention" magazine and registered dietitian Cynthia Sass, the plan is designed for the average sized woman -- not a man.
Because the original Flat Belly Diet isn't appropriate for men Vaccariello produced a new diet with registered dietitian D. Milton Stokes, which was published as "Flat Belly Diet! for Men: Go from Flab to Abs with This Tested Plan." This new plan calls for five meals per day, each consisting of 400 calories. These meals are breakfast, lunch, supper and two "power snacks" between your meals. The book states, "this is how many calories it takes for a man of average height, frame size, and activity level to get to and stay at his ideal body weight."
Let's Get It Started
The Flat Belly Diet begins with a "four-day flat abs kickstart" diet. The men's version of this four-day diet calls for three 400-calorie meals and one 400-calorie snack per day. This gives a total of 1,600 calories per day. This exceeds the 1,500-calorie minimum that men should consume on a daily basis.
Talk to Your Doc
The men's version of the Flat Belly Diet is based on the average sized man. If you're not average sized then the calorie intake may not be appropriate for you. The book however, does not provide details for finding your personalized daily calorie needs. Before starting this diet, talk to your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider can tell you if the calorie intake is appropriate for your size and activity level or if your intake needs to be adjusted.
So You're Not Average
Assuming that you are moderately active -- meaning that you get 30 minutes of exercise a day -- you can estimate your calorie needs by multiplying your weight in pounds by 15. For instance, if you weigh 200 pounds then you'll need 3,000 calories a day to maintain your weight. According to Harvard Health publications you can safely cut your intake by 500 to 1,000 calories a day, so a 200-pound man can actually cut his calories back to anywhere between 2,000 and 2,500 and still lose weight in the range of one to two pounds per week.
- Flat Belly Diet!; Liz Vaccariello and Cynthia Sass
- Flat Belly Diet! for Men: Go from Flab to Abs with This Tested Plan; Liz Vaccariello and D. Milton Stokes
- Harvard Health Publications: Calorie Counting Made Easy
- Photo Credit Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images