April 8, 2005 — -- Diane Amidon, a nurse from upstate New York, shrunk from 218 pounds to 130 by faithfully following the Fat Flush Plan, one of the big crazes of 2003 created by diet guru Ann Louise Gittleman.
"I started with a size 22 to 24, and now I'm between a size 6 and an 8. And I never thought I would tell on public television my size," Amidon said.
Her husband, Doug, wanted to shed some pounds too. Trouble is, he lacked his wife's discipline.
"We were going in different directions. I was getting bigger, she was getting smaller," he said.
But now Gittleman has a brand new diet that even Doug Amidon could stick to. It's called the Fast Track One-Day Detox Diet. For Amidon, it's the way to jumpstart weight loss. And see results fast. "I lost 13 pounds in the first 11 days, which was a real good feeling," he said.
Gittleman says her "One-Day Detox Diet" is a new twist on crash diets.
"This was my opportunity to use a crash diet, but turn it around as a healthy crash diet," she said.
Is there such a thing as a healthy crash diet?
Gittleman says she thinks so. "Because what we've seen with individuals that are going on the program," she said, "is that they start to incorporate some very interesting and new techniques into their lives."
Those techniques include eating lots of fruits and leafy vegetables, and sprinkling it all with flaxseed and powdered psyllium husks commonly found in laxatives. It also calls for drinking what Gittleman calls "miracle juice" -- a concoction of unsweetened cranberry juice, orange and lemon juice, all flavored with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
Yale Medical School's Dr. David Katz, an expert on nutrition, says Gittleman ignores the obvious: We're overweight because we eat too much and exercise too little. "You know it's not about cutting carbs and it's not about drinking miracle juice," he said. "It is about a healthful diet, and we have science to back that up. But that isn't sexy."
What is sexy? The lure of losing weight fast and easy.