Sunday, May 05, 2013

The Belly Fat Diet

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I read through The Belly Fat Diet, by John Chatham, in just a couple of days. It was a quick and easy read, for sure. For the most part, there was no information in there that blew me away. I found most of it to be common sense, but I do love learning about nutrition, so maybe this could hold new information for the average person.

What I did like about the book is that it made the entire diet (lifestyle, rather) feel very low-pressure. What I mean to say is that it presents you first with information as to why having excess fat around your middle is unhealthy, tells you what in your body is responsible for collecting the fat there, then it tells you how to work to fix this.

The book instructs you to eat healthy, eat when you're hungry (up to 3 hours between meals), eat until satiated but not stuffed, and to exercise about 30 minutes six times a week. All pretty basic stuff, but there was no nagging and talking down from the author. It even gives you a plan of action for those times you're standing in front of the fridge, looking for something to chew in times of boredom.

The main things off limits are white potatoes and corn. Limit sweets to once a day from a provided list. Limit beef to once a week.

It does say to have the following supplements twice a day: Vitamin C and fish oil at specified doses, and a B-complex vitamin according to your doctor's recommended dosage. I don't feel too comfortable with these recommendations. For the C and B vitamins, they are water soluble (our body excretes excess and doesn't store it) but it is still possible to consume toxic amounts through supplementation. There is less information about fish oils in published literature, but I still hesitate to take the capsule twice a day. These supplements, however, are the only directions that worry me within the book.

There is, however, one other thing to be skeptical about. The author says that you'll easily and safely loose more than 2 pounds a week on this diet. Maybe if you're going from the fast-food and prepackaged diet to the eat-fresh diet this would be true. I know for myself, making most everything from scratch and only drinking water and coffee, that any weight loss like this would be unhealthy.

Overall, it was a good read. There was a lot of basic information reviewed in a manner that was easy to understand. The included recipes weren't very exciting to me. Most importantly, I felt like the book was telling me to relax and be better to myself. I don't think this book will make me look like the cover model, but according to some of the reviews on, it will get me a lot closer than I am now.