The fat flush plan is a detox diet and exercise plan created by Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D. It’s a 3-phase program meant to boost metabolism and help reduce water retention, thus causing weight loss and promoting healthier living. Ann’s book, “The Fat Flush Plan,” is a New York Times Bestseller and has been featured in several magazines including Time and O magazine. O named it a “hottest diet contender.”
The Premise: The fat flush plan begins with a healthy and somewhat low calorie diet for quick results, then transitions into a stabilization phase where weight is still lost, but not as quickly. Once your desired weight is achieved, you switch into the maintenance phase to ensure the pounds stay off. Healthy eating and exercise both feature prominently in the fat flush plan.
The Diet: The fat flush plan comes in three phases, as detailed below.
Phase 1: The Two-Week Fat Flush. For two weeks, you’re restricted to 1100-1200 calories per day and are not allowed to consume:
- fats (other than flaxseed oil)
- vegetables (which are high in starch)
- dairy products
- certain herbs and spices
This temporary and extremely strict low calorie diet causes quick weight loss and reduces water retention.
Phase 2: The Ongoing Fat Flush. After the initial weight loss period, phase 2 lifts some of the restrictions and allows up to 1500 calories per day. This phase allows for slow, safe, and steady weight loss and lasts until you’ve achieved your ideal weight.
Phase 3: The Lifestyle Eating Plan. Once you’ve reached your ideal weight, phase 3 helps you stay there. Some dietary restrictions are gradually lifted and your caloric intake is allowed to exceed 1500 calories during this phase. The lifestyle eating plan is meant to help you maintain your weight in a healthy manner for the rest of your life.
During all 3 phases, light exercise is a factor. A 20 to 40 minute walk everyday is recommended, as well as weight lifting twice a week.
What to get excited over: The fat flush plan supposedly helps to balance hormones, keep your liver healthy, erase food sensitivities, and reduce excess insulin, inflammation, and stress. Even if these claims are exaggerated, the fat flush plan is still overall a healthy way to lose weight and keep it off. It’s more than a weight loss plan; it’s a healthy living plan.
Things to Consider: The first phase of the fat flush plan can actually reduce your metabolism by cutting calorie intake too severely. It may provide insufficient nourishment for the recommended exercise as well. Perhaps more so than other diets, the fat flush plan requires a lot of ongoing discipline.
Verdict: Recommend, with caution. The second and third phases of the fat flush plan are undoubtedly beneficial, as they are based on sufficient nutrition and exercise for weight loss and maintenance. The low calorie intake of the first phase, however, may be harmful to your overall health. If you don’t need to lose significant weight right away, it may be better to skip phase 1 entirely.