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.

What’s Involved?

Dr. Gittleman believes that there are five hidden causes of weight gain: liver toxicity, waterlogged tissues (causing 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.


1,100-1,200 per day

Foods Allowed
  • Green leafy vegetables (eg, kale, collards, watercress, and broccoli) and other non-starchy vegetables
  • Certain fruits
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Omega-3-enriched eggs
  • Fish, lean meat, skinless chicken, and turkey
  • Unsweetened cranberry juice diluted with water
Foods Not Allowed
  • Trans fats
  • Caffeine
  • Colas, diet sodas, alcohol
  • Aspartame, sugar, and many spices (including curries, chili peppers, and black pepper)
  • Vinegars (other than apple-cider vinegar), soy sauce, mustard, and barbecue sauce
  • Grains, breads, cereals
  • Starchy vegetables (eg, potatoes, corn, peas, carrots, parsnips, pumpkin, winter squash, and beans)
  • Dairy products
  • All oils and fats other than flaxseed oil

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.


1,200-1,500 per day

  • Similar to phase one, with the addition of journal writing
Foods Allowed
  • Same as phase one, with the addition of allowing 1-2 “friendly carbohydrates” back on the menu each week, such as flax bread and sweet potatoes
Foods Not Allowed
  • Same as phase one

Phase Three: Lifestyle Eating Plan

This is the maintenance portion of the program.


over 1,800 per day

  • Similar to phases one and two
  • Also includes food combining (eg, only eating one protein per meal, eating flaxseed oil with dairy, and not eating vegetables and fruit together)
Foods Allowed
  • Same as phase two with the addition of more fruit and oils and limited dairy
  • Can now work up to a maximum of four “friendly carbohydrates” per day
Foods Not Allowed
  • Many of the foods that were eliminated in phase one remain restricted, including coffee, regular tea (herbal teas are okay), diet sodas, alcohol, sweeteners, sugar, and white flour

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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. (Although, it’s a fitting name for a fad diet.) 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 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.

Bottom Line

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.