The Abs Diet for Women by David Zinczenko promises to be the “six-week plan to flatten your belly and firm up your body for life.” I admit, I did not have the dedication to do the actual six-week plan. This is not the book’s fault; I am just unfocused. The book is loaded with recipes, exercises, tips, and a comprehensive diet plan.
The diet plan itself basically focuses on smaller meals more frequently (six per day, not including snacks) and meals that are high-protein, high-fiber. There are about a hundred simple recipes in the book, covering breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and smoothies. Examples include feta and spinach omelets, whole-wheat spaghetti and meat sauce, reduced-fat Reuben sandwich, and PB&J smoothie. Sample meal plans are provided as well.
A wide variety of exercises are offered, along with sample workout schedules. The exercises are not just sit-ups and crunches. Lunges, bicep curls, squats, and side bends -- plus variations -- are just a small handful of the exercises offered. All exercises are accompanied by photographic demonstrations. Most of the exercises do require you to have equipment – dumbbells, step platform, medicine ball, balance ball. These are inexpensive and easy to store around the house. Sadly, there are an awful lot of exercises that require more heavy-duty equipment – things that you probably don’t have around the house, like a chin-up bar, slant board, barbell, and back extension apparatus. The exercises are derived from a variety of different programs: pilates, yoga, kick boxing, weight training, aerobics.
Peppered throughout the book are success stories, and tips and tricks so that your diet doesn’t run your life. There are tips to eating healthy while still eating out; health benefits of foods like olive oil, peanut butter, and leafy greens; tips for diet adaptations if you are lactose intolerant or a vegetarian, and more. All advice advocates a healthy balance of diet and exercise. There is no talk of starvation or limiting yourself. The one section that does worry me is the section about antidepressants. Some do cause weight gain, and the advice in the book is to ask your doctor to switch you to something “weight neutral.” Unfortunately, many of these “weight neutral” antidepressants are not as effective, or may not work for you. Mental health and stability should not be sacrificed to lose a couple extra pounds. Other than that, though, the advice seems sound, healthy, and logical.