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21-Day Tummy: The Revolutionary Diet that Soothes and Shrinks Any Belly Fast Hardcover – Dec 26 2013

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Readers Digest; 1 edition (Dec 26 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1621451119
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621451112
  • Product Dimensions: 18.1 x 2.3 x 26 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 930 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #81,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Liz Vaccariello is the editor-in-chief and chief content officer of Reader’s Digest, one of the world’s largest media brands, with 26 million readers. A journalist with 20+ years experience in health and nutrition, she’s also the coauthor of the New York Times bestsellers Flat Belly Diet!, 400 Calorie Fix, The Digest Diet, and 21-Day Tummy Diet. Vaccariello regularly appears on national programs such as Good Morning America and The Doctors, and has been featured on The Biggest Loser, Today, Rachel Ray, and The View. Previously, Liz was the editor-in-chief of Prevention. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and twin daughters. Her blog, Losing it with Liz, lives on She has over 3,000 followers on Twitter (@LizVacc).

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Judith on April 17 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An enjoyable & easy read. Good advice. Love the way the plans are laid out. Easy to follow. Well illustrated.
I would recommend this book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By City Girl on Oct. 19 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
All the information I was looking for in one book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sean on March 19 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is very informative and a good read. Thanks for sending it to me. It took a little while longer but it was worth the wait. Thanks.
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By Suzanne Hanna on June 26 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
pretty good !!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 316 reviews
216 of 216 people found the following review helpful
We see results!!! Jan. 7 2014
By Sassy C - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My Dr. wanted me to follow a low FODMAP meal plan because of my continuous problems with bloating and constipation. I dreaded starting such a plan because you cannot have what Liz (the author) refers to as Belly Bullies which include onions, garlic, apples, peaches and other yummy staples! I was ecstatic to learn that Liz came out with a book to address these problems because having been successful on The Digest Diet (also authored by Liz) I knew that the recipes included in this book would not disappoint.

The results are in:
I decided to recruit my mother and sister. We started on 1/1/14. We completed the first phase (5 days) ... I (age 36) am down 8.5 lbs, my mother (age 57) is down 6.5 lbs and my sister (age 28) is down 7.5 lbs. My sister and I can stand to lose between 15 - 20 lbs and my mother is about 50 lbs overweight. Both my sister and I exercised about 45 minutes per day for all five days and my mother only exercised one day for about 45 minutes. We all did light to moderate cardio such as elliptical and stationary bikes.

Meal Plan Insight:
I believe the book says that you can eventually add back "belly bullies" but I think it does a good job in helping you identify which of these bullies is the culprit of tummy issues. I have been 7 days and counting without them and I can say that I have ate delicious meals! I tried most of the recipes in the book but have created my own meals by using recipes in the book as guidelines and paying close attention to allowed portions. I agree the shakes are just OK so I just have them at breakfast. The first 14 days require you to have a shake as a meal. Sorry no way around them! On another note my husband who is not participating on this meal plan has enjoyed the onion-less/garlic-less meals.The recipes are quite simple to make my sister who does not cook managed to make the recipes in the book.

Rating explanation:
There are a few random ingredients in Liz's recipes that had me venturing to specialty stores. I only needed 2 teaspoons of Garam Marsala (what is this?!? --really do you have this in your cupboards???) and because I was so determined to follow the recipe to a "T" I went to 3 stores to locate it. There are quite a few recipes like this and YES it will make you crazy! This book is more deserving of 4.5 stars and I am comparing it to Liz's other book (The Digest Diet) because I recall the shake having over 10 ingredients and I found myself on the search for finding items I never heard of and only to use it once. Also, I can appreciate that in this book Liz does a better job of making sure those hard to find/items you had no choice but to purchase in excess (sorry but you just can't purchase two teaspoons of Garam Marsala!) get used more than once through different recipes. I see myself using some of these ingredients for my own creations. Also, like other reviewers it would be nice to have all the recipes separated by phases rather than by breakfast, lunch and dinner. I purchased the hard cover copy.

Liz gives you a meal plan for the full 21 days. I found it easier to stick with two snack choices and change out my meals once every couple of days. For example, I would make a large batch of soup and have it every other day for lunch. The same with dinner I would repeat it every other day or so. I have 2-cup servings of soup in the freezer so it's easy to grab them and thaw them as needed. The only requirement is to stick with meals in the current phase or in a prior phase. Go into this as using it as a guideline and pay special attention to the Belly Buddies (foods that you can have) and mock the portions and create similar meals to the ones suggested. As far as the shakes; I have been sticking to having banana/blueberries as a fruit and adding cinnamon/vanilla extract for flavoring. Also, I find that using flaxseed vs. chia seeds in the shakes give them a much milder taste.

Wishing you much success!!!
65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
Love love love the results! Jan. 14 2014
By Billie Jo - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition with Audio/Video Verified Purchase
I just finished day 9 and I have had 9 wonderful days with my tummy. Not one solitary issue and I deal with many digestive issues since I no longer have a gallbladder. I was uncomfortable almost all day every day with one thing or another. I am sure when I do the bully tests I will find out what is not agreeing with me.

I wish the layout of the book was a little better - I have put my meal plan on a spreadsheet with the location #s from the book for easy referencing.

My favorite breakfast is the banana smoothie Liz shared (I switched the pumpkin seeds with half chia and half flax seeds). (oh and freezing the banana before hand is a must - I forgot one day and I could barely tolerate the smoothie) The one snack I keep craving is the Mini Caprese Salad - it is to die for. The Curried Chicken Soup is wonderful. My kids loved all the meals so far with the exception of the salmon/cabbage meal - but I got smoked salmon by accident and the lemon was just way too much. I will try it again with chicken (or maybe tuna steaks) and switch the lemon out with something else...

I used to basically have coffee, lunch maybe once or twice a week, then at dinner a lot of pasta or bread meals. (strangely enough I do not miss bread or pasta) Then late night snacks with awful for me foods. I cut out the coffee and now my late snack is a handful of almonds or a piece of soft cheese which is not really part of the plan (to eat a late night snack). I lost 4 lbs the first 4 days. I have not done any exercising as of yet.

The trickiest thing for me was the fact I have 7 in my family and so the shopping list was something I had to tweak and my fridge can not hold a week's worth of the fresh veggies so I have to go shopping 2x a week instead of my usual 1 day a week.

This is the first time I have ever really worked on eating healthy and I hope to make my goal of feeling fit at 40. It is sad how just eating properly can cause weight loss. My weight has been slowly creeping up - like a pound a month for the last year so to actually lose weight is amazing - but honestly the best part is how my belly feels. I gave up ever feeling normal. I am so relieved that it is something I have achieved..and I don't have to sacrifice yummy flavors for it!

Edited to add: My husband lost 5 lbs and he still eats like before (skipping up to 2 meals a day and still having late night snacks and chips) all he does is the dinners.

After writing this review I was watching TV and absentmindedly grazed my face with my hands and notices my skin is softer and smoother than it has been in a while. I was also able to remove my wedding band from my finger with little effort and no dents in my skin - a difficult task when I go in every 6 months for cleaning and inspection. It was so bad the clerk suggested I re-size it cause I may damage the nerves. A lot of puffiness all over my body is gone and I have this general sense of well being.

I see a lot of people complaining about the lack of flavor - but what you need to understand is the flavors we eat on processed foods are artificial and preservatives. Once you get past the 3 weeks and can add garlic back in (if it passes the bully test) that may help - or you can add a tad more salt to the meals afterwards. The soups were really good - yes - a tad more salt would have been nice - but you have to weigh the pros and cons of extra salt etc and your health.

I do not miss garlic bread or bread at all. Nor do I miss pasta.... I am finding I am not missing the coffee so much either. The only thing I can't wait to have again is garlic and as a treat bacon maybe once a month...

Update: I am past week 3 and in the test phase. I lost a total of 8 lbs in the first 14 days and maintained my weight loss in the 3rd week. Now that I am on my own I went back to phase 2 and have lost an additional 1.5 pounds. Basically switching to smoothies for breakfast 5 days and regular breakfast for 2 and picking from the lunches during week 1 and 2 and I have just gone through the list of dinners that were not on the 21 day plan - like the ratatouille frittata and the spiced fish cakes and a few others for this week....
So, in 25 days I have lost 9.5 lbs and just did a before and after picture and was amazed at how different I look. It is hard when you see yourself everyday. The swollen face is gone!

Edited again to add the part about freezing the banana for smoothies and to update my weight loss - it is at 16 lbs now.
87 of 95 people found the following review helpful
Specific regimens not only for weight loss and wholesome eating, but also focused on digestive health Dec 29 2013
By Karielle @ Books à la Mode - Published on
Format: Hardcover
What I love about 21-Day Tummy is that it isn't just a book on weight loss and diet management; it's unique in that it also places importance on the digestive tract. Many of the recipes and theories revolve around the bodily chemistry regarding certain foods and exercises, so this diet plan is one that targets both shedding pounds and metabolizing your digestive system.

If you suffer from weight gain due to digestive slowdown, this is the perfect book for you. It is well backed and well explained, so anyone can follow and understand the logistics of the diet—even if you have minimal experience with dieting. That's what I love about Vaccariello's diet guides; they're so accessible!

The recipes, as expected, are amazing. Just looking at the photographs makes my mouth water, and I love how each ingredient is elaborated upon. There are helpful lists of digestive do's and don't's throughout the book, which are entertaining and useful for the kitchen. Other helpful tools include measurement conversion charts, grocery shopping lists, green lights and red lights of foods (regarding how they'll treat your stomach), and myths about certain foods busted or confirmed.

I find it really helpful that the regimen's goal is to not only flatten tummies, but also regulate the inner workings of the body. It takes the focus off the scale and tape measures, and places it onto feeling and being HEALTHY.

Pros: Methodical, biologically sound approaches to dieting and improving the digestive system // Lots of tried-and-true recipes that are worth testing // Real-life testimonies and weight loss plans and interviews of successful dieters included

Cons: Some recipes don't include pictures and are difficult to follow // I'm skeptical of the timeline. Although the book doesn't necessarily claim to change lives drastically in 21 days, it keeps dieters on a schedule that seems a bit too rigid

Verdict: I personally was not really able to follow this diet book because it deals a lot with digestive issues rather than just wholesome, healthy eating, but I appreciate how specific the regimen is. It isn't something I could actually stick with—in fact, it doesn't seem very lenient—but I recommend Vaccariello's newest diet book for those who struggle with acid reflux and eating the right way due digestive problems. With the perfect amount of motivation and realistic, delicious-looking recipes, 21-Day Tummy helps you look and feel your best by using a targeted approach of not only eating well, but also taking care of what's on the inside.

Rating: 7 out of 10 hearts (4 stars): Not perfect, but overall enjoyable; borrow, don't buy!

Source: Complimentary copy provided by publicist in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, FSB Media!).
50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
Kind of Mixed Review Jan. 6 2014
By C Quilts - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition with Audio/Video Verified Purchase
I'm a long time RD subscriber, so I had been looking forward to this coming out. There are a lot of things to like about the book. It is extremely well researched, and very informative. It is obvious they didn't just throw this together, but rather, took their time to study, document, and footnote what they are writing about. The recipe's are varied, and so far, the I have enjoyed several of them.

Here are the negatives. My main negative about the book is its organization. For me, I would have preferred that they did the intro and first chapter, and then went very specifically into what we actually have to do to make this diet work. I found the information helpful, but only after I made my first trip to the store, so putting it later would have been better, for me. I think there needed to be a separate chapter on just charts. I don't buy books anymore, because having everything right on my kindle is easier for me. I am finding it extremely difficult to flip back and forth to find what I need. A chapter on charts, and a shopping list for EACH phase would have saved me hours of flipping and writing. Despite the cheery claim of "most of you probably already have the ingredients in your kitchen" I think it is safe to say that most household's don't have chia or flax seeds, etc etc! LOL! So, more charts, and lists. **Edit--I did just find the weekly shopping lists at the end of the book. Again, I am on kindle, so did not see these!***

As to the food, I would have liked this to be organized differently. It is set up Breakfasts, Soups, Dinner, etc, and all 3 phases are in each chapter. Again, loads of time would be saved to have it organized: Meals, phase 1, meals phase 2, etc etc. It would also be helpful in my wished for chart chapter - chart, phase 1, chart phase 2, etc for shopping lists.

The belly-buster smoothies. Day 1- I followed the original recipe, and it was only tolerable. Day 2, I tried the "orange creamsicle" and it was vile. Really. Tasted like tree bark, with dirt. Today, I used the original with just blueberries, and it was the first one that was drinkable. (People that live on junk food don't like smoothies that taste like tree bark-- just sayin...) Read on, for the reason I went ahead and drank them very quickly! (except for the tree bark one - I just couldn't get that down....)

Now, to the question of does it work? Surprisingly, yes! I DO feel better! LOL!! And, I felt better on the first day, after the first smoothie that I choked down! I'm more concerned about the chemical reactions and they way they are causing my entire body to feel, and I do feel better! I'm not as concerned about weight loss, so I don't even have a scale, but more about how those potato chips are affecting they way I feel, so I think, on day 3, yes, it works!

So, since I've only done 3 days, I can say I DO feel a lot better! There is still a lot more flipping back and forth I'm going to have to do for my next grocery trip, so if you are just starting with the book, write down AS YOU GO the foods, and the "plan" for the first week. It will save you tons of time to do it now, instead of trying to remember where it was when you need the info. I think that my stomach acids have gone down probably about 80% now, so for that alone, I'm going to give it a go, and stick with it for the 21 days. I do appreciate knowing the how and why certain foods really make my stomach churn, and telling me why they do is very helpful, and a huge incentive to stay with this. I have more energy, and don't feel like I'm "bogged down" after 3 days. I will try to remember to come back and edit after I've done it longer.

Premise and research are very good, organization, could have been better. If you want to feel better, give it a go, just do it with pencil and paper in hand before you start reading. If you have the hardcover, putting labeled tabs on the pages would work also.
52 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Blech Jan. 14 2014
By MatiFam - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was SO looking forward to this. I have some gastro issues and need to lose 15 pounds and was hoping that it was going to be a success. The meals are bland to say the least. They were just not well flavored. Plus, there were barely any recipes! I tend to eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch (so I made the shake daily and made a soup to last the week) but even with that there were a handful of dinner options for each stage. It's also confusing how the recipes are laid out. I would have done by stage each section (ex stage 1 breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner). It would also help to know what foods are ok in each stage (are eggs ok in stage 1?). I didn't lose any weight, although I did have a little more energy. I personally would not recommend or do it again based on the flavor of the food, it was confusing and the fact that it didn't work for me.