Fat Flush Diet

Developed 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. She 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.

Exercise 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 plan. Those who wish to try out The Fat Flush Plan can buy kits containing various supplements that are part of the diet.

The Promise The 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 The 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. Because 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.

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