Friday, July 8, 2011

FBD (Flat Belly Diet): 4 Day Jump Start

[Editor's note: This post is a couple of years old. After more research, I've learned a few things. For new information, CLICK HERE. ]

Photo Source:
I think this picture looks like it has a crab leg in it - - but actually it is Ginger! ha. One of the main features of the Flat Belly Diet's 4 Day Jump Start is drinking two liters each day of the "Sassy Water" which is:

2 Liters Water
1 Thinly Sliced Lemon
1 Thinly Sliced Cucumber
1 tsp Finely Grated Fresh Ginger
12 Small Mint Leaves

You make the water the night before (which, holy moly, is a lot of work for four people) and let it sit in the fridge.

But, the Sassy Water is NOT the only thing that makes the 4 Day Jump Start work. You only eat 1200 calories a day, following specific meal menus.

As I detail our journey with this program, I will answer several questions.
1. How much did it actually cost?
2. How hard was it?
3. Was the food delicious or choke-worthy?
4. Was it worth the effort?
5. Problems and/or successes ...

How Much Did it Cost?

Our GROCERY BILL for the four days, for four people = $140.52
For one person, that would be $35.13.

Now, considering you could go out to eat ... maybe twice ... at a restaurant for $35.13, this bill isn't terrible for four days worth of food. Especially considering Talipia, Turkey Breast, and Blueberries were purchased. But, the fact is, we don't go out to eat. So, this was a lot of money for us. Eating healthier is more expensive than eating processed cheap food.

Plus, we did already have several items (like raisins, cream of wheat, and brown rice) already in our pantry. So, that reduced our grocery bill.

I was concerned, knowing that I could not sustain that price tag for the entire program. We have committed to follow the program for the 4 Day Jump Start and then the 28 day program. Hopefully, it won't bankrupt us!

Picture Source:

How Hard Was it?
The book says that if you eat every four hours, you won't get hungry. Hmm. True AND false. My 16-yr-old son struggled with being very hungry between each meal. My stomach growled, but I was not miserable. My daughter (14-yr-old) and husband had no problems with hunger between the meals.

My daughter REALLY struggled to down the "Sassy Water" each day. It made her want to gag. She said if she didn't have to drink that, the four days would have been easy. My husband and son LOVED the water and want to drink it again as a "treat." I didn't mind the water, but I prefer plain water.  Oh ... and my husband said the water made him pee twenty minutes after drinking a glass, every time. Not me. I normally drink a lot of water, so I noticed no change in bathroom visits for me.

Was the food delicious or choke-worthy?

For the most part, the food was fine. It's always hard to make a dietary change. So, to go from milk chocolate any time I wanted it, to plain tuna, was a jump for me. Also, I don't do dairy (except for chocolate of course!), but luckily, there were dairy alternatives. Rice milk is not bad, but it is still not my favorite. The only food item on the menu I had trouble with was the plain tuna. I am used to slathering my tuna in a ton of Miracle Whip. That's not an option with this program. However, I by day 4 I was able to eat the plain tuna. It seemed as though my taste buds were changing, because day 1 we really noticed the lack of salt and sugar, but day 4 ... it no longer bothered us.

The food menus in the 4 Day Jump Start were repetitive and got old quickly, but knowing it was only for four days, we soldiered through it.

The fish was delicious. We seasoned the Talipia with lime and basil and grilled it. YUM.

I felt like there was a ton of food at each meal - especially when vegetables were involved.

Was it worth the effort?
My husband works at a movie theater as a part-time second job, and he came home after the 3rd day of the Jump Start and was in a rotten mood. I asked him what was wrong, and he muttered something I couldn't hear. Then he pulled out the scale and stood on it. I very politely reminded him that we were not going to weigh ourselves every day. He said (now with a smile on his face), "Well it's a good thing I did weigh myself, because I was ready to quit. But, now seeing I've dropped 6 pounds in 3 days, I guess I'll stick with the program."

The problem was, he is around food at the theaters, and it's hard for him to smell the hotdogs and popcorn and see people eating junk and just say NO. So, we've since decided to send him to work with an "approved" meal replacement bar and nuts. That way if temptation is striking, he can turn to a healthy choice instead.

So, all four of us agreed, it was definitely worth the effort. We all dropped between 5-7 pounds each. And, yes, I had a serious talk with my kids about weight loss. I don't want them to drop a lot of weight, especially not at a fast rate. We are keeping an eye on that.

Problems and/or successes
The grocery shopping was very frustrating for me. I was trying to find items I'd never purchased before and read labels to make sure they met the "no sugar added & no trans fat" requirements. I never was able to find Corn Flakes with no added sugar. So, we ended up having cream of wheat each morning.

I also wish I would have used a calculator at home to refigure the quanitites on the grocery list for four people. Doing it while standing in the aisle made me dizzy.

But, one of the reasons I wanted to do this program is because of the fact the weekly grocery lists are already prepared for you, along with the daily menus. The authors have made this very easy to follow.

The other challenge of the 4 Day Jump Start was making the Sassy Water each night for four people. It was time consuming, and because we each needed to drink our own 2 liters of it, we needed separate containers for each of us. This took up a lot of space in the refrigerator. But, it was defitinely worth the effort.

Bottom line: I'm only weighing myself once a week. So, for the entire week, which included the jump start eating change and four days of exercise, I dropped 7 pounds.

That was worth the effort.


  1. Wow, that's awesome! I think the Sassy Water sounds kind of good~ we drink mint water and cucumber water at my house sometimes. Way to be dedicated and stick with it! I'm curious to see what your energy levels are like~ are you supposed to gain energy as the program continues?

  2. Wow! Great job Margo. Great info!

  3. Good for you! Although, since your kids are also doing this with you, I'm hoping that you've talked to your family doctor about them, and how to best manage their weight loss; they're still growing (getting taller AND increasing their muscle mass, especially your son) and their bodies are going through puberty, which takes a remarkable amount of energy.

    The Sassy Water sounds yummy - I think I'll try making up a bit for myself, just to see. I get sick of plain old water all the time.

    My younger son is allergic to sugar cane, so we buy Nature's Path brand corn flakes. They do two kinds: one says "honey-sweetened" and it contains sugar, but the other says "Fruit Juice Sweetened" and has no sugar added. It comes either in a box, or in a large bag. I hope you can find it.

    Keep us posted on how things go!

  4. Wow! 7 pounds in just a few days? Congratulations! I'm not sure if the Sassy Water looks good or not. ;)

  5. Sounds like an interesting diet idea. I'll be keeping an eye on your progress. Me? I've just given up on another somewhat unsuccessful diet and moved over to the EtH (Eat the Half) diet.

    I.e. Eating HALF of what I usually eat. So far I'm losing weight and feeling great.


    Good luck with your diet!

  6. Wow! How great that you and your family can do this together. I'm so impressed and very proud of you!