Developed by naturopath and nurse, Roni Deluz, the Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox plan is a fasting-type diet that claims you’ll lose 21 lbs in 21 days. The diet consists of a 21 day detox (recommended once a year), and shorter versions including a 7 day and a 2 day weekend detox.
The Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox Plan
It is a 21 day “detox” where you consume primarily soups and juices. During the course of the diet, you gradually add solid foods such as oatmeal for breakfast and stir-fried veggies for dinner.
The author makes many valid arguments including the health benefits of organic fruits and veggies, and the negative health consequences of processed foods that contain high fructose corn syrup, trans fats and artificial sweeteners. However the premise for this diet is flawed and will not result in any sustainable weight loss.
Weight Loss Claims
The author claims that “many people’s bodies become so overloaded with toxins that it is physically impossible for them to lose weight by using traditional dieting methods.” Although implicating “toxins” as the cause for obesity, the Martha Vineyard diet detox is actually a very low calorie diet. Consisting primarily of juices and soups over the course of 21 days, you can lose a substantial amount of weight, but it is a result of severe calorie restriction and not the result of “detoxing.” This type of diet will send your body into “starvation mode” where your body will not only use fat as fuel but also a substantial amount of metabolically active muscle tissue. While all diets will cause your metabolism to slow, very low calorie diets are particularly damaging to your metabolism. Once over, your resting metabolism is significantly slower because of the loss of muscle tissue, and you become prone to regaining the weight and then some.
The author talks about how the diet temporarily makes you feel “sick” as a result of your body dumping “toxic residues that have built up in its cells- free radicals, hard minerals, oxidized pollutants from smoke and fumes, herbicides, insecticides, food additives, and even cholesterol, for example – into the bloodstream and organs.” These symptoms are not from “detoxing” impurities as the author claims. These crash diets make you feel sick, because your metabolism is shutting down as your body goes into starvation mode. She calls this a “healing crisis” and acknowledges that clients may experience “acne, rashes, nausea, headaches, sleepiness, fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, runny nose, ear problems, and body aches.”
The author claims that one should drink fresh juice because processing kills “enzymes” found in store bought juices. While I agree that fresh-squeezed juice is healthier, it is not because of “enzymes.” Any enzymes found in juice will be quickly degraded by the stomach, making any potential benefits highly unlikely. Rather, fresh juices are healthier because extraction methods and heating will lower the antioxidant content of many store-bought juices.
The health and weight loss claims made by the author concerning colon cleansing and coffee enemas, that are part of her diet, have no scientific basis.
The Bottom Line
I would not recommend this diet, or any very low calorie diet, as it will promote a yo-yo pattern of weight loss and weight gain.
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