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Weight loss expert Liz Vaccariello reveals 21-Day Tummy diet to blast belly fat

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Liz Vaccariello, the editor-in-chief of Reader's Digest, says you can accelerate weight loss and eliminate belly fat by activating your "skinny-gut" bacteria.

In an exclusive interview March 6, Vaccariello discussed how a diet high in fiber, healthy fats, and magnesium will activate your skinny-gut bacteria, and relieves the chronic inflammation that leads to weight gain.

Vaccariello (who has an enviably tiny waist) detailed her belly-blasting weight-loss secrets in her new book, the 21-Day Tummy, where she revealed how you can lose 10 pounds in 21 days without counting calories.

Liz, who also wrote the bestselling Flat-Belly Diet, recently appeared on the Dr. Oz Show to share her tips. She discussed her secrets with us today — just in time for spring and bikini season.

Question: How does the 21-Day Tummy diet work?

The 21-Day Tummy plan does what no other diet plan can do: it trims tummies while tackling the 'big five' most common digestive problems that no one wants to talk about: heartburn, gas and bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome.

The easy-to-follow plan focuses on carb-light, anti-inflammatory foods scientifically proven to balance gut flora, reduce inflammation, soothe the digestive system and shrink fat cells ('Belly Buddies'), while avoiding pro-inflammatory fats and foods high in rapidly fermentable carbs like fructose or lactose ('Belly Bullies')."

Question: I've read that the 21-Day Tummy diet is great for soothing indigestion and stomach problems, but is it also effective for weight loss?

Yes — I lost weight on it! After following the 21-Day Tummy meal plan, my bloating, pain and constipation disappeared, and I lost 10 pounds in just 21 days. I was embarrassed to talk about it at first, but now that I've realized how food-related these problems are, and that there is a real solution, I'm spreading the word.

The meal plan soothes the stomach and shrinks your waistline at the same time. Based on the research we found, the same foods that irritate our stomachs also pile on the pounds. Even better, the foods that soothe our belly also shrink it. That's why the 21-Day Tummy eating plan gets results in just three weeks. We had a test panel of 12 men and women try the plan. Every one of them lost weight and reported better digestion. Some were even able to stop taking prescription heartburn medications."

Question: Do you need to count calories or carbs on the 21-Day Tummy plan?

There is no counting on the 21-Day Tummy meal plan. We've done the work for you by carefully constructing meals that pull the Belly Buddies together into three delicious and satisfying meals each day plus one scrumptious snack. The plan includes carefully constructed meals to balance nutrients, along with some probiotic foods to help balance gut flora and reduce gas and bloating.

In order to balance gut microbiota and cool inflammation, the meal plan restricts Belly Bullies, including carb-dense foods. This means that the meal plan cuts out sugar, refined carbs and most grains. Instead it adds carb-light, natural food like bananas, potatoes and leafy green vegetables. Lean proteins and healthy fats are also carb-light."

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