It seems that even when you’re a normal weight, there is always that one spot that is hard to flatten out, and that’s the stomach. Losing inches and pounds on your waist can be seemingly impossible, and just about everyone has tried to do it. Among the many diets that have tried to help people in this problem area is The Abs Diet. This plan was created by David Zinczenko, who founded a health media company and has worked with both Men’s Fitness and ABC News.

Zinczenko has written more than a dozen bestselling books with “The Abs Diet” being among the most popular. You might also remember the “Eat This, Not That” series, and “The Abs Diet” preceded that back in 2004. This program says that getting great abs will improve every aspect of your life without ever having to deprive yourself, count calories, measure foods or go from one phase to another. Let’s take a look at the aspects of the Abs Diet to see if it might be the right plan to kick off your weight loss in the new year.

Inside the Abs Diet

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While the Abs Diet doesn’t have phases like some of the other similar diets that have found popularity, it doesn’t only last for six weeks. During this time, you’ll be eating a series of foods that are said to promote a flat stomach and increased muscle without having to count calories. This means eating six times each day, as it has been found that eating multiple smaller meals is more likely to lead to a healthy weight than eating three larger meals.

There is an eating plan that is broken down into four parts called the Abs Diet Bull’s Eye. The outer ring are the foods that you should be eating rarely, then as you go inside it becomes occasional foods, foods that you should eat often and then the “Power 12”. The Power 12 foods are the ones that you should be adding to every meal with two or three servings. Here are some of the foods that fall under each category:

Foods to Avoid

  • Sugary Foods
  • Fried Meats
  • Frozen Dinners
  • Desserts
  • Crackers
  • Cereal

Rare Foods

  • Peanut Butter
  • Beer
  • Bacon
  • Jellies
  • Fried Vegetables
  • Margarine

Occasional Foods

  • Baked Potatoes
  • Lasagna
  • Coffee
  • Nuts
  • Rice
  • White Wine
  • Macaroni
  • Lunch Meat

Common Foods

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Lentils
  • Mushrooms
  • Peanut Oil
  • Popcorn
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Soup
  • Peaches
  • Peas

Power 12

  • Almonds
  • Beans
  • Spinach
  • Lowfat Dairy
  • Turkey and Lean Meat
  • Oatmeal
  • Olive Oil
  • All Natural Peanut Butter
  • Eggs
  • Berries
  • Whey Powder
  • Whole Grains

What’s on the Menu?

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The diet doesn’t sound all that hard to stick to as there are many great food options both within the Power 12 and the foods that you should be eating often, and you’re also not counting calories or measuring foods. The Power 12 foods are said to lower your blood pressure, build muscle and help improve your metabolism. There aren’t many calories in these foods outside of the nut-based ones, but nuts are considered to have a lot of health benefits overall.

Now you may be wondering what a normal day on the Abs Diet looks like, so let’s see what the sample menu includes:

Day One

Breakfast

Power Smoothie (Milk, Yogurt, Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, Whey Powder, Ice) – 200 Calories

Lunch

Salad (Grilled Chicken, Lettuce, Tomato, Carrots, Peppers, Olive Oil, Italian Dressing) – 240 Calories

Dinner

Lean Ground Beef Meatballs (With Cheese, Garlic and Onions) – 560 Calories

Snacks

2 Teaspoons of Peanut Butter – 70 Calories

1 Bowl of Oatmeal – 150 Calories

3 Slices of Deli Turkey – 90 Calories

Daily Total = 1,310 Calories

Day Two

Breakfast

Strawberry Smoothie (Yogurt, Milk, Strawberries, Peanut Butter, Whey Powder, Ice) – 185 Calories

Lunch

BLT (Tortilla, Turkey Bacon, Tomato, Lettuce, Turkey Breast) – 200 Calories

Dinner

Brazilian Chicken (Skinless Chicken Breast, Seasoning, Salsa, Tomato Sauce) – 200 Calories

Snacks

1 Ounce of Almonds – 163 Calories

4 Ounces of Cantaloupe – 40 Calories

1 Ounce of Raisins – 85 Calories

8 Ounces of Lowfat Yogurt – 150 Calories

1 Large Orange – 85 Calories

3 Slices of Roast Beef – 210 Calories

Daily Total = 1,318 Calories

The foods that you are eating at the meals during the Abs Diet are actually pretty filling, and are low in calories to make it easier to follow. The parts where you are going to lose weight come from the snacks. While it’s tempting to eat a lot from the snack department, you don’t want to do too much. However, you can still eat a lot of these low calorie snacks that should allow you to never go hungry throughout the day.

Exercise on the Abs Diet

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Of course, losing enough weight can make your stomach flatten out for the most part. However, this is the Abs Diet, so you’re probably wondering where the abs come from. Unlike some of the other diets that we have reviewed that promise the ability to not exercise too much, the Abs Diet requires working out. There are five required workouts per week with one required rest day. As for the seventh day, you can feel free to do some light cardio.

Two of the days will focus on ab workouts, with three that focus on total body strength workouts. The first day starts with the total body workout where you will be doing exercises such as curls, crunches, leg extensions, bench pressing and more. The ab days will keep most of the same workouts, but you will be doing a total of five ab workouts instead of just one. Here is what the standard week looks like:

Monday – Total Workout

Tuesday – Ab Workout

Wednesday – Total Workout

Thursday – Ab Workout

Friday – Total Workout

Saturday – Cardio (30-60 Minutes)

Sunday – Rest

The Ab Diet Resources

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We already pointed out earlier in the review that there are books available for the Abs Diet, with the core book costing very little since it has been available for so long. It can be found in bookstores and online for a couple of dollars, but more resources will end up costing more. The Abs Diet has an online subscription plan that will guide you through the diet. This involves consulting, eating plans and workouts that are added constantly.

If you’re worried about cost for these resources that aren’t likely to tell you all that much more than you can find for free, you might want to pass on it. The one month plan is about $15 and is charged to your card every 30 days while there is also a three month plan for about $35. The subscription will allow a more personalized weight loss plan, though thanks to the magic of smartphone apps, you can find some eating and workout plans for free.

Summing it Up

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One thing that people don’t like about weight loss plans is repeating the same foods over and over. Unfortunately, that’s going to be a big part of the Abs Diet thanks to the Power 12 foods that you will be focusing on for six weeks. There are also a lot of smoothies involved, and they aren’t the sugary kind that you usually find delicious at some of those chains like Jamba Juice.

Experts haven’t been too high on the Abs Diet as sticking to just one plan for six weeks doesn’t typically lead to long term weight loss. However, it has been received pretty well in quicker weight loss for those that want to lose inches around their waist in preparation for a big day that’s about two months away. The highest ratings for the Abs Diet have come from how healthy it is overall.

Since you’re eating the recommended amount of calories for weight loss and focusing on superfoods that include a lot of fruits in vegetables, it does have lot of nutritional benefits. It’s not going to be the easiest diet to follow since it also incorporates many tough exercises throughout the week, but you have to be pretty dedicated if you truly want some fantastic abs.

Overall, it’s certainly not the worst diet out there. You may find long term benefits from the Abs Diet if you can find yourself sticking to the 12 foods that are promoted. Zinczenko knows what he’s talking about when it comes to nutrition and weight loss, though this program leaves some to be desired since much of it is hidden behind a paywall. There are ways to save money and still find enough resources to get started on your own, so you don’t need to adhere to the plan 100 percent to see results.

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