Make Muffin Tops Go Away

It looks fabulous to have a flat belly and it's in high demand at Healthtrax in Avon, Ct.  "That's probably our number one request," said trainer Amy Nelson.

A new book called “The Flat Belly Diet,” says you can get one by changing what you eat and your attitude -- no exercise required.

Although Nelson isn't betting on that idea.  "I think you'll be much more effective and efficient reaching that goal by combining both the diet and exercise," she said.

Nelson recommends cardio to lose the weight along with pilates and strength training to tone your belly.

The book does say exercise will certainly bring results faster, but it's not required.

The diet's magic ingredient is a diet rich in MUFAS or monounsaturated fatty acids.  They come in five categories: oils, olives, nuts and seeds, avocados and dark chocolate.

Uconn Health Center Dietitian Chelsea Fowler isn't convinced MUFAS alone will make your muffin top disappear.

"There's not enough research to support that, unfortunately," she said.

On the other hand, there are some foods proven to cause your belly to bloat.

"Salt is definitely a primary factor.  Any carbonated beverage definitely causes that bloating factor as well.  There's the air factored into the carbonation so that' where the bloating factor would come in there," Fowler said.

Other causes of beefy bellies include:

  • consuming too much alcohol
  • too much fast food
  • sugar alcohols found in fat free candy
  • and chewing gum, which can push air into your stomach

"That's a tidbit a lot of people are not aware of," Fowler said.

The book documents success stories with its diet-only approach.

But in your pursuit for the perfect six pack, Fowler and Nelson say stick to a combination of diet and exercise.

Then there's this sad reality:

"Not all of us have the genetic background of a washboard stomach,” Fowler said.

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