Many are happy to have bulky arms, or a bit of extra weight in the rear, but a big belly? No, thank you. In recent years the diet book trade has focused on stomachs, and not just because we all want to bounce a quarter off of our abs: Many recent studies have shown that there’s a link between excess abdominal fat and health risks, especially heart attacks. But there are a lot of books out there to digest, and we’ve got the skinny on them.
“The Belly Fat Cure,” by Jorge Cruise
Jorge Cruise was overweight when young, so he knows the cost of carrying extra pounds. His five best-selling books focus on keeping metabolism rates high and eating smaller, more frequent meals. In “The Belly Fat Cure,” he advocates a low-carb/low-sugar diet as the way to shed pounds above the belt.
“Flat Belly Diet,” by Liz Vaccariello with Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD
According to the editors at Prevention magazine, if monounsaturated fatty acids are not your friend, you need to make them so. That’s because they help you lose and keep off belly fat, all without having to do crunches and starve yourself.
“The Lean Belly Prescription,” by Travis Stork
Travis Stork worked in the E.R. at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, TN, and also cohosted the hit TV show, “The Doctors” (he was also “The Bachelor,” though he’s now engaged to someone else). One of the things he looked for when someone came into his emergency room was how much stomach fat they were displaying–it’s a key marker for how well a patient will recover. His “Lean Belly Prescription” builds on that experience, and lays out a plan for small adjustments to one’s diet that can lead to big abdominal changes.
“The Belly Off! Diet,” by Jeff Csatari
Both Men’s Health and Women’s Health instigated online “Belly Off! Clubs,” where readers shared stories and advice. A book was sure to follow, and “The Belly Off! Diet” offers a 7-day quick start, a no gym-fitness plan, shopping lists, recipes and enough stories of weight loss to inspire the laziest among us.
“From Belly Fat to Belly Flat,” by C. W. Randolph, M. D.
C. W. Randolph argues in “From Belly Fat to Belly Flat” that when women develop the dreaded spread, it’s all down to ‘estrogen dominance,’ and that with an “anti-estrogenic” diet, pounds can be shed and stomachs can shrink (though you’re going to have to work on improving your sleep, upping your amount of exercise and lowering your stress levels, too).
“The New Abs Diet for Women,” by David Zinczenko
The good news is, once you’ve lost the pounds, getting a set of sexy abs is a real possibility. Editor-in-chief of Men’s Health David Zinczenko is also the best-selling author of the Eat This, Not That! franchise. He wrote “The New Abs Diet for Women,” which was recently updated with 40 percent new research, though it still focuses on the Power 12 foods such as beans, eggs and peanut butter.
“Wheat Belly,” by Dr. William Davis
According to Dr. William Davis, a Wisconsin-based “preventative cardiologist”, one food to avoid for the flattest abdomen is wheat. In fact, he attributes the obesity epidemic almost entirely to modern wheat products (they increase blood sugar more than any other food among other things). It’s a tough ask for some, but findings point to promising results. His book, “Wheat Belly,” details his work and how to go about eliminating the starchy culprit from your diet.