Last August we came home from vacation and I stepped on the scales and gasped. My daughter was 3 1/2 and I hadn't lost the baby weight yet, but in August I realized I'd gained even more weight. A vacation spent in search of the best clam chowder in the Northwest didn't help. I found a wonderful cookbook at Borders a few days later: The Eating Well Diet Cookbook. I lost 5 pounds quickly, and another 2 pounds very slowly. The cookbook is full of yummy food, but it suits my husband's gourmet cooking style better than my own get-out-of-the-kitchen-quickly methods. My husband used to cook all our dinners, but his schedule this year keeps him too busy to do so.
By November I was ready to try something new. I wanted something I could stick to even if I was doing all the cooking myself. I'd looked at the Flat Belly Diet before, but there was something new: a Pocket Guide with four weeks of menus. The Pocket Guide promised to be a cheaper way of eating and a quicker way of cooking. And I could eat dark chocolate every day. I figured it was worth a try. I do not like to read all the whys and hows of a diet--just tell me what to eat and how to tweak it for my own likes and dislikes. The Pocket Guide is perfect for me. I looked at the menus and chose week 3 to start with, subsituting a few ingredients here and there. My husband agreed to eat the dinners in the menu plan. He grilled some chicken breast to add to a few pasta dishes. After that week I referred to the guide for calorie information and planned our meals, focusing on lean proteins and whole grains and those MUFAs.
The Flat Belly Diet is based on a 1600 calorie per day (4 meals, 400 calories each) plan, with a monounsaturated fat (MUFA) at each meal (nuts, pesto, olive oil, hummus, olives, dark chocolate, avocado). I find it's far easier to stick with a calorie plan when I look at it per meal rather than aiming at a daily total.
I lost 7 pounds in November, the scale went up and down in December, and now in the first week of February I've lost 13 pounds on the Flat Belly Diet...which makes me 20 pounds lighter than I was August 1st. To put it another way, on November 1st I couldn't zip my size 10 jeans. Now size 6s are a bit loose, and I can squeeze into size 4s.
I discovered early on that the 1600 calorie a day plan is great for maintenance for me, but 1400 calories is where I lose weight. This is easy to do by either cutting my snack to 200 calories, or cutting 2 meals to 300 calories each. I didn't do the 4 day Jumpstart with it's very limited menu until I'd been eating Flat Belly meals for almost a month.
My husband is following the Flat Belly Diet too now, and he's seeing great results. The men's guidelines are 2000 calories a day--4 meals of 500 calories each.
This plan really does seem to shrink my tummy. I can wear pre-pregnancy pants now even though I still weigh 12 pounds more than I did pre-pregnancy.
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