Feast or Famine? Not So Fast!

March 13, 2013
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

intermittent fastingHow to incorporate “intermittent fasting” into your diet safely.

The latest diet fad centers around the age-old tradition of fasting. Commonly known as the 5:2 Diet, the basic premise of “intermittent fasting” involves five days of eating and drinking whatever you want, dispersed with two days of fasting (on 500-600 calories a day). The science referenced by its creators focuses on a “feast or famine” concept—gorging on food, followed by temporary periods of fasting during which the body goes into a “repair-and-recover mode” where it starts to turn off fat-storing and turn on fat-burning.

With the busy lives so many of us lead these days, it may seem like an attractive idea. And, a fast can be a terrific weight loss method because the body’s begins to burn fat as its primary source of fuel.

However, an improperly done fast can actually sabotage long term weight loss by disrupting your metabolism. The wrong kind of fasting can also threaten your health by stressing your liver, clogging your colon, and flooding your bloodstream with the oil-soluble toxins that your body has been storing in its fat.

Preparing to Fast
Healthy fasting—the kind supported by adequate nutritional preparation for the liver and sufficient fiber for the colon—is probably the best-kept secret I know for good health, long-term weight loss, and an overall feeling of well-being. Fasting may also be the secret to overcoming food cravings and other addictions, helping us to regain our natural hunger and restore an innate appreciation for the taste, smell, and texture of food.

Before you begin, however, it’s important to prepare your system and nourish your liver and colon with wholesome foods. Fasting without prior liver and colon support releases the toxins that were previously lodged in your fat cells into your bloodstream. These poisons can then relocate and settle in any number of organs, making you feel worse than when you started!

One-Day Fast
I designed my Fast Track Detox Diet with just this in mind. In order to adequately and safely prepare your system for fasting, you spend an entire week on the Seven-Day Prequel, eating liver-loving and colon-caring foods like leafy greens, green drinks, lemon and water, cruciferous veggies, whey protein powder, and chia or flax seeds to nourish the liver and help the colon purge excess toxins and waste.

You may also choose to supplement your diet with formulas like Liver-Lovin Formula, Super-GI Cleanse, and Flora-Key to provide additional support for your hardworking liver and colon at least one week before the fast—and two to three weeks thereafter.

Once you’re prepared, it’s safe to move on to a one-day fast. Fast Track features a deliciously spiced Miracle Juice, specially designed to stave off hunger pangs, boost your metabolism, keep your blood sugar steady, and flush toxins from your system. After the fasting day, Fast Trackers generally report feeling much more energized and centered. Whether through meditation, deep breathing, or journaling, fasting affords an awesome opportunity to detox both physically and mentally.

And the weight loss results are impressive—some have lost over eight pounds of bloat in just one day! Others have marveled at how the “cobwebs” get cleared from the mind—all by not eating and just sipping a delicious juice.

To get the complete fasting protocol, check out my Fast Track Detox Diet or The One-Day Fat Flush for the miracle juice recipe.

Breaking the Fast
Like preparation, it’s also absolutely critical that you don’t jump right back into your same old routine immediately after fasting. Fast Track includes a Three-Day Sequel designed to seal in the results—you’ll eat more liver-loving and colon-caring foods to flush out any remaining toxins and consume foods rich in probiotics to restore “friendly” bacteria.

Done right, I predict that this age-old tradition may become one of your favorite seasonal detox rituals just as it is mine. So let’s fast one day at a time—just for the health of it!

Note: Fasting is not for everyone…
Although fasting is an excellent link to better health for most people, there are some times in your life when you should not fast. You should not fast if you are pregnant, nursing, recovering from an illness or injury, debilitated, or malnourished, including severe anemia, AIDS, wasting states, or cancer. People with weakened immunity should not fast. You should not fast if you have cardiac arrhythmia, type 1 diabetes, congestive heart failure, ulcers, liver disease, or kidney disease or if you are struggling with mental illness (including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia), as your condition may worsen if you fast. You should not fast before or after surgery, as it might compromise your ability to heal.

For more fasting info, check out The Fast Track Detox Diet.

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Hope Brooks

    I appreciate all of your thoughtful and helpful information!

  2. Cara Craig

    Perfect timing for some Spring cleaning! A great way to start off a Spring diet. Thank you!

  3. Meredith Gustafson

    Thanks for your timely remarks and good information. I benefited by them.

  4. Mary Schumacher

    Very helpful & excellent advice on fasting from a life-long fat flusher!! Thank you Dr. Ann Louise!

  5. Shari

    What about NuNaturals Pure Liquid Alcohol Free Stevia?

    • Sierra

      Used sparingly it should be fine.

  6. helene stotz

    Can I open the capsules of the ParaKey to mix in food or juice for my child? She can’t swallow caps or tabs. She is soon to be 8.

    • Sierra

      Yes, that would be acceptable. Make sure to follow dosing instructions. Children 40-80 pounds need 1/4-1/2 of the adult dose.

  7. I Love Ann Louise

    I would so appreciate any feedback about the 500 calorie allowance during a fast. I try to not dip into that allowance however there have been times when I have needed to. I would like to know what foods I should include or avoid in that 500 calories during a fast? I am never sure if I am truly fasting when I have an avocado and maybe a small amount of roasted chicken breast under 500 calories during a fasting period. Thank you again for any information you are able to provide!

  8. Team ALG

    Hi there – when you add solid food during a fast, the detox stops. You are no longer fasting you are on intermittant fasting if you restrict your food intake to an 8 hour window. We don’t have a plan for 500 cal per day. This suggests a liquid fast for one day.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This