by nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman, The Fat Flush Plan combines weight loss
and detoxification into a low-carbohydrate, restricted-calorie diet. Gittleman,
who has a Ph.D. in holistic nutrition, developed the diet after working at the
Pritikin Longevity Center, where she observed that many of her clients had
minimal success on the center's extremely low-fat diet.
introduced the idea of "fat flush" in her 1988 book “Beyond Pritikin.” The theory
behind the diet is that the liver is a "fat-burning furnace" and the
right combination of foods and a specific eating schedule will increase
metabolism and cause the body to burn fat efficiently. But first the liver and
lymphatic system must be detoxified for optimal functioning. There are three
phases to The Fat Flush Plan:
- Phase 1: This is the detox
phase. It calls for eight glasses of a cranberry juice and water mixture per
day to reduce water retention. Caloric intake is restricted to 1,100 to 1,200,
and wheat and dairy products are prohibited.
- Phase 2: Designed for
continued weight loss, this ongoing phase slightly raises the caloric allowance
and allows certain carbohydrates to be slowly added back into the diet.
- Phase 3: Called "The
Lifestyle Eating Plan," this phase is designed for lifetime weight
control. It, again, slightly raises the caloric allowance and adopts a diet
ratio of 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fat.
Limited dairy consumption is allowed.
is also an important part of The Fat Flush Plan. The first two phases call for
20- to 30-minute walks five times per week and 100 jumping jacks per day on a
mini trampoline. In the third phase, exercise is increased and strength training
(using weights) is added. Keeping a daily diet journal is also part of the
who wish to try out The Fat Flush Plan can buy kits containing various
supplements that are part of the diet.
Fat Flush Diet promises to cleanse the liver, which, in theory, will help melt
fat and cellulite away from the waist, hips, and thighs. The diet also promises
increased energy and metabolism, mood stabilization, and better sleep, as well
as "rapid weight loss" during the initial two-week phase and
healthier weight loss and management for a lifetime.
Pros and Cons
diet emphasizes healthy foods, such as cruciferous vegetables, fiber-rich
fruits, and healthy oils. Fat Flush also promotes an active lifestyle through
regular exercise, which is obviously a good thing, and there are plenty of
positive testimonials from people who have enjoyed varying degrees of success —
from weight loss to disease control.
of the regimented schedule and strict food restrictions (especially in the
first two phases), this diet takes an enormous amount of discipline and is
difficult to maintain. The caloric allowances are particularly low, especially
in conjunction with the exercise requirements. Eating out is virtually
impossible, and following the diet plan is costly because of the expensive
supplements it requires.
of all, as a rule, we tend to shy away from eating plans that eliminate entire
categories of food. We like balance in our healthy lives, especially when it
comes to food. Regardless of that, we have to admit that we're a little
confused by this diet. Gittleman apparently gained inspiration for this diet by
seeing numerous people fail on a strict, low-fat diet, so she created a strict,
low-calorie diet and threw in an intense workout regimen and a daily journal
assignment? Our confusion aside, there's little doubt that if you cut your
calories nearly in half and complete 30 to 45 minutes of exercise five days a
week, you're going to lose weight.
it's going to take some serious self-discipline, because lower calories mean
less energy to exercise, and extremely rapid weight loss can increase risks for
gallstones, electrolyte imbalances, and malnutrition. In addition, any
weight you lose on a strict diet is likely not all coming from fat, and you may
be risking losing valuable muscle mass along the way.
with most fad diets, the Flat Flush Plan highlights convoluted science and
gimmicky logic to sell its products (and Gittleman's books), and doesn't really
explain the basic truth of the diet — that any plan involving lower calories
and increased exercise is going to cause weight loss. Critics of The Fat Flush
Plan have pointed out that there is no credible evidence that proves
"detoxing" the liver results in weight loss or that the liver has
anything to do with weight loss. Experts also warn that mixing supplements with
certain medications can be a dangerous recipe for some dieters. That leads us
to Healthline's rule number 1 of dieting: Consult your healthcare provider
before making any changes to your eating or exercise routine.
no doubt that this diet works in the short run. If your doctor gives you the
"OK," if you are starving for some drill sergeant discipline in your
life, and if you've got some extra cash to spend, you can give this one a try.
But even then, you should skip Phase 1 and 2 and go straight to Phase 3. A
two-week juice fast is never healthy.