Monday, March 18, 2013

Diet Recipe: Lose 21 Pounds in 21 Days: The Martha's Vineyard Diet Detox

lose 21 Pounds in 21 Days: The Martha's Vineyard Diet Detox is not a traditional diet, but a detoxification program designed both to "cleanse" the body and cause weight loss. Author Roni DeLuz, a registered nurse and naturopathic doctor (not to be confused with a medical doctor) says she created the liquid diet when she was trying to heal herself.
Dieters are supposed to cleanse their bodies by drinking liquids every two hours. They choose from a limited number of options including water, homemade soups, juices made from fruits and vegetables, and powdered antioxidant berry and green drinks available from the author's web site.
In theory, once free of toxins, your body functions better and your metabolism soars so you can shed those extra pounds. According to the author, this "is not a so-called weight loss diet; it is a safe, 100% natural healthy detox that allows you to safely lose 21 pounds in 21 days."
The Lose 21 Pounds in 21 Days plan is based on three principles: rest, reduce, and rebuild. "Rest comes from not chewing and ingesting nutrients in liquid form. Eliminating toxins, resting the body and engaging in elimination therapy, you cleanse and rebuild the body so it can shed weight," says DeLuz.
Dieters choose between a two-day weekend plan, a seven-day plan, or the full 21-day plan, all with a similar schedule of drinking every two hours. DeLuz recommends a 21-day detox yearly, a seven-day cleanup each calendar season, and a weekend detox each week.
Supplements including enzyme capsules, an herb cleansing formula, and aloe vera, as well as services like lymph drainage massages, cellulite treatment, liver flushes, kidney cleanses, body wraps, detoxifying baths, and weekly coffee enemas and colonics are part of the plan.
Exercise is included, as long as it can be tolerated and is approved by your doctor. But the recommended physical activity is limited to walking, yoga, a chi machine (a so-called "passive aerobic exerciser"), or jumping on a trampoline, which is encouraged for lymphatic draining to help your body "oxygenate," according to DeLuz.
After 21 days, dieters go off the detox plan carefully, because their cleaned bodies will "no longer tolerate processed and junk foods, which will cause weight gain," explains DeLuz. The author recommends slowly awakening the digestive system with a daily protein powder supplement along with vegetables, soy milk, 3-4 ounces of salmon, and 1 cup nonfat yogurt. More nutritious foods are then added. Nutritional supplements (green drinks, berry drink, and protein shakes) continue to be recommended in smaller doses.

What You Can Eat

Every two hours, you drink a designated liquid. And at the end of the day, you've consumed 40-48 ounces of water, 32-40 ounces of herbal tea, 16 ounces of vegetable-based soup, and 32 ounces of either a green drink made from vegetables, vegetable juice, or a berry drink.

What You Can Eat continued...

"The plan provides approximately 1,000 calories and about 20 grams of protein per day, depending on your choices," says American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Amy Jamieson-Petonic, MEd, RD.
There are plenty of fruits and vegetables on the Lose 21 Pounds in 21 Days plan that are either juiced, pureed, cooked, or come in a powdered form. But there's very little else. Allowed foods include garlic, beans, carrots, cucumbers, celery, collard greens, kale, beets, sweet potatoes, summer squashes, most green vegetables, tomatoes, and purple cabbage.
Nutritionists are quick to point out that the Lose 21 Pounds in 21 Days plan is lacking in essential protein, fat, and fiber, which could be dangerous.
"Diet plans deficient in protein can lead to muscle wasting, and when you don't ingest enough essential fatty acids from fat, you also risk compromising your immune function," says nutrition and fitness expert Pamela Peeke, MD.
This plan makes it almost impossible to go out to eat, unless you take along your drink. Be prepared to give up coffee, which experts point out can result in headaches. Alcohol is also on the extensive list of foods and beverages to avoid until the maintenance stage, and even then it is very limited.

How It Works

"When you're trying to lose weight, your body is not metabolizing or eliminating correctly, so if you put back natural nutrition into your body, you will lose weight," says the author. She blames the "toxins" in the foods and beverages we consume for causing us to be unhealthy and gain weight.
Liquid foods are recommended in the Lose 21 Pounds in 21 Days plan because they allow rest from chewing and are better absorbed in the body.
Not so, says Peeke. There is no advantage to consuming foods in liquid form. In fact, it works against you. She says whole foods -- not pureed or juiced -- are the best form to eat.
"Your body needs whole foods to chew, digest, absorb to keep the gastrointestinal tract functioning well," Peeke says. "Every part of the intestine is designed to extract nutrients, so there is no advantage in liquefying them."
DeLuz thinks everyone needs to detox, and says that unless you have a medical condition, there are no consequences to the cleansing and detoxifying 21 day plan."
The Lose 21 Pounds in 21 Days plan would be difficult for anyone who is working or traveling to follow, Jamieson points out.
"It is unrealistic to follow the plan unless you are at home," says Jamieson.  She also thinks it is expensive, with all the recommended treatments, supplements, and the need for a juicer not found in most home kitchens.
A 21-day program plus nine-day maintenance pack is available online for $199 from the author. The web site estimates that the plan costs around $12 per day, but does not indicate what that amount include

What the Experts Say

Yes, you can lose weight rapidly with Lose 21 Pounds in 21 Days: The Martha's Vineyard Diet Detox. But experts say this is more likely a result of severe caloric restriction, rather than detoxification.
Peeke warns that this kind of 21-day detox can actually make you fatter in the end.
"You might lose weight because you are taking in so few calories, but most of the lost weight will be fluids and muscle," she says. "In the absence of adequate protein, your body has to get protein from some source, so it burns up its own muscle mass. And at the end of the fast, the dieter will weigh less -- but their body composition will be higher in fat and lower in muscle."
The principle of detoxification raises a red flag, says Michelle May, MD, author of Am I Hungry.
"The suggestion that we are filled with toxins creates fear that drives book and product sales," she says. "But in truth, our bodies naturally rid themselves of undesirable substances without any human intervention whatsoever."
Says Holly Wyatt, MD, an obesity expert with the University of Colorado: "If anything is important to weight loss, it is getting plenty of liquids and staying well hydrated so the liver and kidneys can function optimally, do their jobs, and rid the body of any toxins."
The detox diet is deficient in protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins, and certain minerals, experts say.
"The only positive thing to say about this plan is that it encourages plenty of fruits and vegetables, which most people don't get enough of in their diets," says Jamieson-Petonic.
Experts agree there is no credible science to substantiate the claims this plan is built upon, such as the need for detoxification, lymphatic draining, liquid nutrition, and frequent bowel cleansing. There are no studies available to document that dieters will lose 21 pounds in 21 days. Instead, this claim is based on testimonials from the author's clinic and her co-author's personal experience.
Unless you have a problem associated with your lymph system, this system does not need any help. "If you are concerned about your lymph system, the best thing you can do is get plenty of exercise and drink lots of water -- but you don't need to jump on trampolines or get lymphatic massages," says Peeke.
Another problem is that the Lose 21 Pounds in 21 Days plan is likely to leave you hungry. "When you drink most of your calories, you usually don't get the same satiety value as eating solid foods. So dieters may feel very hungry on this plan," says Jamieson.
And what happens when the 21-day period is over? "When using enemas and fasting techniques, the fluids you lose come back almost immediately when you reintroduce food and stop the unusual behavior," says Wyatt.
Wyatt cautions that this plan could leave dieters feeling dizzy, dehydrated, and light-headed. This, she says, is the result of an inadequate diet -- not as a result of feeling sick as your body dumps toxic residues as the author explains.

Food for Thought

While the plan may sound like a scientific approach to weight loss, it lacks the fundamentals that dietitians, doctors, and health authorities know are essential for good health. Further, drinking excessive amounts of liquids that are inadequate in many needed nutrients, along with taking such measures as enemas and lymphatic draining, could be unsafe.
If you want to lose weight safely and naturally and keep it off, find a plan you can stick with long term -- one that includes regular physical activity and a well-balanced diet.

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