Fat Flush Plan
The Fat Flush Plan is a combination weight loss and detox diet. Developed by Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, a former nutritionist at the Pritikin Longevity Center, this plan promises to melt away fat in just two weeks while also detoxifying your body.
How Is This Diet Supposed to Work?
The premise of this diet is that we need to detoxify our bodies, particularly our livers, to lose extra weight. According to Dr. Gittleman, eliminating certain foods and adding others can boost the liver’s performance, flush fat, and accelerate weight loss.
Dr. Gittleman believes that there are five hidden causes of weight gain: liver toxicity, waterlogged tissues which cause bloating and cellulite, fear of eating fat, excess insulin and inflammation, and stress.
Her fat flush plan consists of three phases:
Phase One: Two-Week Fat Flush
This is a cleansing program designed to accelerate weight loss from hips, thighs, and buttocks, while detoxifying the liver.
Phase Two: Ongoing Fat Flush
This is designed for ongoing weight loss. Remain on this phase until you reach your desired weight loss, which can last two weeks to several months.
Phase Three: Lifestyle Eating Plan
This is the maintenance portion of the program.
In addition, the following dietary supplements are recommended during all three phases: dandelion root, milk thistle, Oregon grape root, methionine, inositol, choline, lipase, chromium, and L-carnitine.
This diet also includes an exercise plan that consists of bouncing on a mini-trampoline and walking every day, plus strength training 2-3 times per week. The other main focus of this plan is getting enough sleep. Dr. Gittleman recommends having a bedtime of around 10 pm.
What Does the Research Say?
There is no strong research to support the premise that we can detoxify our livers and thus lose weight. Moreover, the idea that you will be flushing fat away, as suggested by the title of this diet, is misleading. Dr. Gittleman also claims that bouncing on a mini-trampoline will help purify your lymphatic system, and thereby bounce off fat. However, there is no credible evidence to support this theory.
Are There Any Concerns With This Diet?
There are several concerns with this diet plan, including its severe food restrictions and focus on dietary supplements. The first two phases are so low in calories and carbohydrates that they are not healthy for anyone and downright dangerous for some. It should not be followed by certain groups of people, including women who are pregnant or nursing, the elderly, adolescents, or athletes.
In addition, the low-energy content of the diet in these phases may make it tough to do the exercises. Eliminating caffeine and alcohol also makes it hard to stick to this diet.
The focus on supplements is a concern because many are not yet well-researched and are unregulated in the US. Also, supplements can interact with prescription or over-the-counter medicines. Talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.
What is good about this diet, however, is its focus on eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, drinking adequate water, exercising daily, and getting enough sleep.
If you want to try detoxifying your body to see if you feel better, then you may want to try this diet. But overall, this diet is not recommended if you are looking for a healthful weight-loss plan. With the severe food restrictions, you'll lose weight because you'll be eating fewer calories. However, the diet is very restricting. This makes it unrealistic to follow for any length of time. Studies show that the most successful diets are those that you can stick to.
Most evidence supports that eating a balanced diet is just as effective at weight loss. Take time to do some research and talk to your doctor before starting any diet plan.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Weight-Control Information Network
Dietitians of Canada
Health Canada Food and Nutrition
Fat flush. Fat Flush Plan website. Available at: http://www.fatflush.com/ . Accessed February 14, 2013.
Fat flush diet. Every Diet website. Available at: http://www.everydiet.org/diet/fat-flush-diet . Accessed February 14, 2013.
Golay A, Allaz AF, Ybarra J, et al. Similar weight loss with low-energy food combining or balanced diets. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord . 2000;24(4):492-496.
Step away from the couch. Exercise and a balanced diet do more than fad diets to help you stay healthy and manage your weight. Health News . 2004;10(9):3.
Last reviewed June 2013 by Dianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN