Spend 3 days eating fruit, salad, and protein, and you'll cleanse your system, kick food addictions, and lose up to 9 pounds.
Plan developer Jay Robb, a clinical nutritionist, says Fruit Flush gives your digestive system a break from overprocessed foods; lets low-calorie, fiber-rich fruits (and some vegetables) clean your system; and puts your body into fat-burning mode.
What You Can Eat and What You Can't
The first day of Fruit Flush consists of a protein shake every 2 hours between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., followed by 8-12 ounces of water. Dinner is a raw salad (no starchy vegetables) with olive or flaxseed oil, or half an avocado, along with 3-6 ounces of lean protein or egg whites.
The next 2 days are all about fruit from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.: one 100-calorie serving of fruit every 2 hours. Dinner is either salad or half an avocado, plus one protein shake.
If you’ve got a caffeine habit or enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, you’re out of luck. Seasonings, sweeteners, and salt are off this plan.
Level of Effort: Medium
Though the time frame is short, the program’s laser focus means it’s a commitment. After the first 3 days of specific, regimented food choice, there’s a lot of freedom for variety within the rules.
Limitations: The list of allowed foods and specific times to eat them might mean a hassle to go to restaurants. You’ll also need to arrange your activities around when you're scheduled to eat.
Cooking and shopping: Besides buying fruits and vegetables, you’ll need to purchase protein shake mix based on Robb's recommendations. Keep in mind that fruit juice, dried fruit, and canned fruit don’t count, nor does anything cooked or otherwise prepared.
Packaged foods or meals: Robb sells protein shakes on his web site, but you're not required to buy them. You're allowed to choose your favorite brand as long as it meets certain ingredient requirements.
In-person meetings: No.
Exercise: This plan discourages exercise that's more intense than a leisurely walk. Your energy level might also be down because you're getting fewer calories.
Does It Allow for Dietary Restrictions or Preferences?
Vegetarians and vegans: This plan works for vegetarian diets. For vegans, look for protein powders that don’t contain whey, egg, or other animal products. (Some options: hemp, brown rice, yellow pea, or soy.)
Low-salt diet: Yes. This diet is naturally low-salt.
Low-fat diet: Yes. The amount and type of fat (mono- vs. polyunsaturated, for instance) can be adjusted to meet your needs. You have some leeway with your shake choices and whether to include avocado.
What Else You Should Know
Cost: In addition to investing in the produce, you’ll need to buy enough protein shake mix for 10 servings (Robb's brand costs about $24 for an 11-serving bag).
Support: Fruit Flush doesn’t offer much community or online support. The web site does offer downloads of the book.
What Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, Says:
Does It Work?
You will lose weight on this 900-1,000-calorie diet because of the extremely low number of calories -- not because the toxins are flushed out by fruit.
Most of the weight you lose would be from water, and you're likely to gain it back when you go off the diet. This plan isn't a long-term solution or lifestyle.
Whether you will lose 9-10 pounds in 3 days is questionable. The plan is not based on credible research or scientific evidence.
Fruits and vegetables are key parts of a healthy diet, and most Americans don't eat enough of them. Lean protein is also important, but so are many foods and nutrients not included in the plan.
Is It Good for Certain Conditions?
There are no conditions this diet plan is good for.
The Final Word
Following any kind of diet for a few days should not create serious problems for most healthy people. If you are looking for a short-term jump start to quick weight loss, this diet will move the needle on the scale. Any weight lost during this 3 day diet will most likely be regained. However, although this diet plan is not sustainable for many reasons, it may be a good motivator for someone who does this diet to live a healthier lifestyle.
Supplement with essential fats, calcium, and vitamins D, B12, and riboflavin during the very-low-calorie diet. After 3 days, find a nutritionally complete, calorie-controlled diet that will give you enough energy to function, and get regular physical activity.
Check with your doctor before starting this plan to be sure it is safe for you.