David Zinczenko created the Abs Diet, which can help women and men lose stomach fat. This diet aims to shrink the belly, making it leaner while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Besides that, there are other benefits, such as improved immune function.
How the Abs Diet Works
The Abs Diet is aimed at people with difficulty with weight loss or those who want a leaner stomach and visible abs. The diet comes with an exercise plan, and the overall program promotes flatter and firmer abs within six weeks.
For the diet component of this program, David Zinczenko explains that meals and snacks should be based around the 12 “Abs Diet Power Foods.”
These foods are outlined in his book, The New Abs Diet For Women: The 6-Week Plan to Flatten Your Belly and Firm Up Your Body For Life.
The 12 food groups to include in this diet are:
- Almonds and other nuts
- Spinach and green vegetables
- Fat-free or low-fat yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese
- Instant oatmeal
- Lean meats with healthy fats—turkey, steak, chicken, or fish
- Sugar-free and natural peanut butter
- Olive oil
- Whole grains—bread and cereals
- Whey powder
- Raspberries and berries
The diet also consists of three meals—breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and three snacks (one between each meal). The meals need at least three power foods, whereas the snacks need to consist of at least one.
Protein is one of the best power foods because it is excellent for metabolism. You will burn more calories while digesting it, and more protein can kick cravings by making you feel fuller for longer.
Also mentioned in Zinczenko’s book is an extensive guide to work-outs that can help flatten the belly. These include squats, push-ups, bench presses, and many more.
Overall, the diet works best alongside exercise; however, there are still noticeable improvements that can be gained from diet alone. For example, Zinczenko highlights the importance of breakfast and how people who eat breakfast are more likely to lose weight than those who do not.
The Diet Plan
The overall plan consists of evenly spaced meals and snacks. The aim is to eat smaller amounts often to feel less hungry throughout the day. Doing so will also help your energy levels, and you are less likely to feel tired in the afternoon.
The diet plan does require a starter kit. However, you might have most of these items already.
For example, to get started with this diet, it is recommended that you have a blender, ground flaxseed, and multivitamins. Plus, there is an essential shopping list based on the 12 power foods.
If you wish to follow Zinczenko’s meals, you will also need to buy all the ingredients if you don’t have them.
Additionally, Zinczenko also recommends investing in a floor mat or bench press for exercises. Alternatively, a gym membership would give you access to all the necessary exercise equipment.
This diet consists of three daily meals — breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and you need to follow this plan for at least six weeks.
Try to incorporate as much of the 12 power foods into each meal without eating more than the recommended amount. As a guide, you should consume no more than one to two servings per food group, per meal. Aim for at least two to three superfoods in each meal.
Additionally, it’s recommended that you don’t count calories because following the recipes and guidelines will provide you with the right amount of calories regardless.
Throughout each day, you will also need to incorporate three snacks. So again, include as many of the 12 superfoods as possible without exceeding the recommended amount. However, aim for at least one superfood in each snack.
One advantage of this six-week plan is the cost. Unlike most diet plans that require a weekly or monthly subscription, all you need to spend is a one-off payment on the book if you wish to purchase it.
However, suppose you don’t already have the required exercise equipment or a gym membership. In that case, there will be some extra costs for those items.
Zinczenko is aware that the costs involved aren’t ideal for everyone, so he has provided various diet and exercise options for people to choose from.
Some people have made their own plans from free resources on the internet. While that can deliver good results, Zinczenko’s book is worth reading because it concisely explains everything you need to know in one place.
Dos and Don’ts
- Follow the six-week plan closely
- Extend the program for longer if you want better results
- Base your meals around the 12 superfoods as much as possible
- Follow the exercise regime for the best results
- Eat breakfast, even if you don’t feel like it
- Eat three meals and three snacks per day
- Avoid exercise
- Count calories
- Overindulge in too much food from outside of the 12 superfoods
Sample Diet Plan
Instant oatmeal with almonds and berries. Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg for sweetness or additional flavor.
Poached chicken with salad greens, spinach, avocado, and brown rice.
Lean steak fried in olive oil, fresh vegetables, and a bean salad.
- Chopped banana covered in peanut butter
- A mixture of nuts and dried berries
- Low-fat yogurt with chopped fruit
Health Benefits and Drawbacks
Overall, switching to the Abs diet will enhance your health and wellbeing. Zinczenko’s diet book lists several health benefits throughout. Besides weight loss, there are several other benefits of the Abs Diet. These additional benefits include:
- Stronger muscles
- Stronger bones
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved immune function
- Lesser risk of cancer
- Lesser risk of heart disease
Besides, research has shown that excess belly fat can increase your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, having a leaner belly is also good for your overall well-being and might even reduce joint pain.
One drawback is that this diet is not suitable for everyone. For example, people with certain health conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease need to limit or avoid some superfoods on this list as some can aggravate the digestive tract.
Other than that, there aren’t too many drawbacks. Some people may find that they don’t have enough time to read the Abs diet books. However, while reading can take up time from a busy day, it’s a worthwhile investment if it improves your health.
The Bottom Line: Is the Abs Diet a Healthy Way to Lose Weight?
If the Abs diet is right for you, it is a healthy way to lose weight alongside exercise. Unlike most weight-loss diets, the Abs diet does not restrict meals, making it easier to adhere to a diet that works.
Meagan Morris is the editor in chief of Celebribody. She's veteran health and wellness editor with over 15 years of experience. Her work has been featured in The Atlantic, Yahoo Health, Cosmopolitan, SELF, and Women's Health, among others. She spends most of her time writing, but her favorite part of the day is spent under a barbell doing squats.