For the last year, I’ve been about four months pregnant–or so it would seem from my bulging belly.  Elastic waistbands have been my friends while my actual pre-baby clothes have been sitting up in the attic for years.  Although I’ve tried everything from exercise boot camps to Spark People, my body has stubbornly held those pounds and even added a few more.

I was almost resigned to accept my flabby-bellied fate until a friend of mine mentioned a diet she had just started.  It had no limitations, but required her to eat avocado, dark chocolate, nuts, olives, or olive oil at every meal.  Since those are some of my favorite foods, I checked out the book The Flat Belly Diet immediately from our local library.

Here’s the diet in a nutshell:  The yummy foods mentioned above are required because they’re high in mono-unsaturated fats (called MUFAS in the diet).  Those fats are known to help keep you full while eating less, thus slowly melting away belly fat.  You eat four 400 calorie meals during the day and always include a MUFA at each sitting.  This means pesto, peanut butter, dark chocolate chips, and guacamole are your mainstays.  Yahoo!

I have dropped ten pounds in a month on this delicious diet!  After feeling as though my scale may have been broken for all those months that the numbers didn’t budge, I’m now rejoicing that weight loss is not only possible, but fun!  The meals keep me satiated and I look forward to each one because the recipes are so delectable.  Since I’m breastfeeding, I do eat an extra spoonful of peanut butter here and there, and am constantly amazed to see the weight keep dropping off.

Although daily exercise is recommended, it’s not required.  I haven’t been able to get in my workouts most days, but am surprised just by how well the weight loss is working just based on eating habits.

Is the diet eco-friendly and budget friendly?  Yes!  Since it’s so full of nuts and seeds, it isn’t overly dependent on meats.  The meats it does recommend are organic and it has several vegetarian options.  It eliminates processed foods (which are both expensive and full of packaging) and focuses on whole foods that aren’t packed with artificial sweeteners or synthetic fiber.   There are also organic packaged foods that you can purchase such as Kashi frozen meals that will do the trick if you don’t have time to cook.  You’ll be surprised to see that the first few days of the diet require cornflakes, but don’t let that throw you off!  They tried to pick transitional foods that people would be comfortable with.

Plus The Flat Belly Diet was written by editors of Prevention magazine, so its focus is on healthy foods that pack nutritional benefits as well as taste.  I’m trying to hold back, but I feel so lucky to have discovered this diet finally.    I still have about five pounds to go before I can button up my old shorts, but it’s nice to know that success is within sight!