One huge issue with losing weight is how to target fat loss just in the belly region.
This is a topic which has been getting a fair amount of attention in recent days.
I discussed the Flat Belly Diet For Men only a few weeks ago, and now here’s Belly Fat Breakthrough, by registered dietitian, Karlene Karst,Much of the buzz around this topic of losing belly fat, is the result of a 2009 research paper, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which demonstrated the benefits of safflower oil for reducing belly fat. Karlene goes into detail on this subject in chapter 8 of her book.
Basically, this research found that 2 teaspoons of high linoleic safflower oil enabled the women in the study to lose 2 to 4 pounds of belly fat. They also gained lean muscle mass, and had lower fasting blood sugar levels.
Promotion of SafSlim?
The safflower oil used in the study is, however, not readily available — enter SafSlim — a “unique patented form of emulsified safflower oil,” now commercially available.
The final chapter of the book is very obviously promoting SafSlim, and I have since discovered that Karlene is affiliated with it. This isn’t mentioned in the book, which irks me slightly. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not totally against SafSlim, it’s just that I feel transparency is always a good idea.
Anyway, that aside, I do feel the book offers some very valuable information.
Main Diet Principles
Karlene talks about “belly-safe carbs.” These are whole grains, beans, legumes, and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. She also empathizes that refined carbohydrates, like white sugar, white rice, and white pasta, need to be decreased.
The importance of fiber for curbing appetite and reducing absorption of calories is also highlighted. I assume this is based on research by the University of Kiel, Germany, which found that for every gram of fiber we eat, we eliminate 7 calories. That means,
If you are eating the recommended level of 25-38 grams of fiber, you can subtract 175-266 calories from your diet each day. This alone will help you lose 0.5 to 1 pound per week. (Direct quote from book)
The overall macronutrient content of the Belly Fat Breakthrough is 15-20% of calories from protein, 45-50% from fiber-rich carbohydrates, and no more than 25-30% from fat (with the focus on mono and polyunsaturated fats).
Belly Fat Exercise?
The benefits of having a regular exercise program are also highlighted, with emphasis on strength training. The book also includes a circuit training program, with easier versions for beginners, which is a nice touch.
As a whole, the advice contained in this book is pretty sound. I do feel, however, that specifically targeting “belly fat” is a bit hyped. Again, the scientific research is rather scant on diets which lead to loss of belly fat.
I’ve no doubt you will lose belly fat on this diet, but perhaps more because you are restricting calories, making better food choices, and exercising regularly.
Belly Fat Breakthrough is available from Amazon for $10.