Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher who writes about various subjects, including education and creative writing.
Promise of a Quick Diet Through Detox
Ann Louise Gittleman’s fad diet, The Fast Track One-Day Detox Diet, has a misleading title. The diet doesn’t take one day to complete, and it’s more about flushing “toxins” from the body. It may have short-term success as a weight loss program, but this diet depends too much on the concept of detoxification -- which has never been scientifically proven to be beneficial.
The Fast Track One-Day Detox Diet actually takes eleven days. In some cases -- as websites promoting it have claimed -- it can shed up to eight pounds in a short time. The diet program consists of three stages.
Who is Ann Louise Gittleman?
According to various sources, Gittleman is an author and proponent of alternative medicine. Much of her books focus on nutrition, dieting, and longevity. She has a following. In fact, one site refers to her as the “undisputed lady of nutrition”.
Aside from her books, she has a website, several blogs and youtube videos dedicated to her. Some are created by her, but a quick glance reveals that many of them were supposedly created by her fans.
Despite her popularity, Gittleman is a controversial figure that has been accused of promoting pseudoscientific claims. In addition, her credentials are questionable at best.
- Although she attended and earned a degree at Columbia’s Teacher College, Gittleman earned her Ph.d at the defunct Clayton College of Natural Health, an unaccredited holistic medicine school that was accused of being a diploma mill.
- She has been accused of pushing false information on various TV shows. This included dietary supplements and electromagnetic radiation.
- She promoted diets that were based on flimsy scientific evidence.
Numerous scientists and other researchers have lambasted her over her books and her “magical” claims of diets using such things as “fat flushing” and detoxing (more on that later).
Speaking of detox, Gittleman has been considered a pioneer in this process. Her most famous books, The Fast-Track Detox Diet and The Fast-Track One-Day Detox Diet are testaments.
The Three Stages
Despite its supposed simplicity, there are stages that need to be followed. The stages are as follow:
- Stage 1: The Prequel, which includes seven days of Detox support foods, will prepare the body for the one-day fast.
- Stage 2: It’s the one-day fasting phase (the act of depriving one’s self of solid foods). It involves drinking Gittleman’s “Miracle Juice” throughout the day.
- Stage 3: Called the sequel, this stage includes three days of incorporating “supportive” foods into one’s diet that's meant to keep the weight off. The final stage seems to indicate that the diet will have long term benefits for the dieter.
...things used for cleaning or brushing were renamed or repackaged as “Detox” for selling purposes.
The main ingredient that’s meant to flush out the system of toxins is the Miracle Juice. According to ABC’s 20/20 broadcast on the subject, Miracle Juice is a concoction of unsweetened cranberry juice, orange juice, and lemon juice that’s flavored with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
The diet portion for Stage 1 and Stage 3 center around eating lots of fruits and leafy vegetables, topped with flax-seed and powdered psyllium husks that, according to 20/20, is commonly found in laxatives.
The Concept of Detox
Detoxification (or Detox) is the belief that toxins and chemicals from environmental factors, foods or medicines are making people unhealthy. Often, the term Detox is confused with drug rehab. Detox referred to in drug rehab has nothing to do with Detox diets. The type that’s mentioned in Detox diets like Gittleman’s program center around cleansing or flushing certain chemicals out the body’s vital organs - in particular, the colons, livers and lymph nodes.
According to Kathleen Zelman, WebMd’s Weight Loss Clinic writer, a Detox diet will promote the use of herbs, pills, potions, colonics and fasting to rid the body of impurities.
The Fast Track One-Day Detox Diet doesn’t incorporate any pills. Instead, it relies on vegetables, Gittleman's Miracle Juice, and the one-day fasting upon which the name for the diet program came from.
... It is about a healthful diet, and we have science to back that up. But that isn’t sexy [for dieters]."
— Dr. David Katz, Yale University
The word “Detox” sounds exciting and important; it’s a word that gets thrown around as a selling point for many diets and health regiments that are sold to the public. However, the problem with “Detox” is that it is not scientifically proven to work or to have any medicinal powers.
According to the British website Sense about Science, several scientists and engineers who have studied Detox diets such as The Fast Track One-Day Detox Diet have found that:
- Diet and holistic medicine companies seem not to have the same definition of “Detox.”
- There’s little or no evidence offered by various companies to back up the Detox claims.
Many items, especially very common and mundane foods, or things used for cleaning or brushing were renamed or repackaged as “Detox” for selling purposes.
The Fast Track One-Day Detox Diet is a short-term weight loss. For that reason, trying the diet is not considered harmful; however, it’s not proven to be beneficial either. Also, its long-term effects have never been proven, and if someone was to stick to such a diet, it has potential of leading to health problems.
There are better, scientifically supported diets out there. Anything with the word “detox” should be regarded with a lot of skepticism. Possibly, a quote from the 20/20 interview on the subject with Yale Medical School’s Dr. David Katz, an expert on nutrition, has the best assessment of this diet and others and why they’re so popular:“You know it’s not about cutting carbs and it’s not about drinking miracle juice. It is about a healthful diet, and we have science to back that up. But that isn’t sexy [for dieters].”
- Ann Louise Gittleman — Lakanto
Undisputedly the First Lady of Nutrition, Ann Louise has continually broke new ground in traditional and holistic health and is internationally recognized as a nutritional visionary and health pioneer. She is an award-winning New York Times bestselli
- Ann Louise Gittleman - Wikipedia
- Debunking detox – Sense About Science
- Demystifying Detox Diets on MedicineNet.com
Can the Master Cleanse, Fat Flush, and other detox diets really help you lose weight and get healthier?
- The Fast Track Detox Diet - Integrative Medicine Center of Western Colorado : Integrative Medicine C
We like the Fast Track Detox Diet book and often use the protocol in our detox protocol.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2017 Dean Traylor