“Eat, Drink, Shrink.”
I have to admit, I think that’s a pretty clever title for a weight-loss book. So right off the bat, Danette May gets big ups from me for that. And if it works, well, even better.
But before we begin to learn more about Danette May and her popular weight-loss and exercise programs, I must say this: there’s no such thing as a “degree in pre-med,” as she claims to have. Pre-med is a course of study, not a degree—so for me, that’s a problem. And I cannot find the college or university where Danette May claims to have received “a degree in pre-med and nutrition.” 
That said, I don’t doubt she knows a lot about exercise, weight loss, and fitness in general. She describes herself as “America’s leading lifestyle expert.” Maybe she is. That’s a huge claim and I’m not sure I can prove or disprove it—and for the purposes of this review, it may not even be relevant.
Never heard of her? If you have any social media accounts whatsoever, search for “Danette May” and I can assure you you’ll find her. If you have watched cable and regular broadcast TV, you’ve perhaps already seen her. If you read popular women’s, family, and health- or weight loss-focused magazines, you’ve maybe seen her picture or read about her. You may even have one of her many books on your shelf. Danette May’s exercise and diet books, routines, and diet and detox programs are hugely popular, as is she.
A single mom who’s suffered a lot of loss, she says, Danette turned to fitness and nutrition to cope with personal issues and ended up finding she was pretty good at helping people lose weight, tone up and get a “bikini body.” And apparently after following strict nutritional plans and killer workouts to the letter, people do lose inches and gain muscle. So that’s all good.
Danette makes a lot of claims about what you’ll accomplish with her as your weight loss and fitness guru. 
Let’s take a look.
Danette May Claims
Starting here at Step 1, you sign up for her newsletter. Enter your email and you’re subscribed; you can always unsubscribe. 
I didn’t want to do this so I wouldn’t be inundated, but did anyway, for you guys. (I’ll check to see what I received via email after I finished writing this review and let you know, so read on.)
Step 2: “connect with Danette” through social media including Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. This I did not do, but it’s simply liking or following her pages. You can always unfollow or unlike.
But it’s Step 3 where you start to commit, by signing up for the 3-Day Detox. (When I was on the site and scrolled to the bottom of the page for the price, I found that the usual $27.99 was now 75% off with a ticker telling me how many minutes left I had for this deal of a lifetime; I’ll let it run out and see if I lose the sale price of $7.99.)
Known as the Bikini Body Detox, Danette May’s 3-Day Detox will
Flush away years of built up waste and toxins … skyrocket energy … melt away stubborn fat …in 3 days. …get rid of the dangerous toxins and substances out of your body …boost your energy levels fast so you don’t feel wiped out and utterly exhausted all the time…transform your body and hormones so that you no longer struggle to lose that stubborn excess weight…and ultimately, so that you avoid following the masses of ladies who are suffering daily from fatigue, skin breakouts and out-of-control cravings. 
All of this in 3 days. “That’s all it takes,” she claims. You get to eat, take no supplements or meal replacements and after just 3 days you’ll have balanced hormones, a stronger-working metabolism, all of your organs will be free of toxins, your skin will look better—and everything you need to know comes in a handy downloadable ebook (the original $27.99, now $7.99).
Folks, I actually found the entire 27-page book as a .PDF file online for free. Probably not fair to provide the link here, but an easy search turned it up for me.
This detox is very specific with a shopping list, instructions on what to eat and drink and when and how to prepare what you’ll be consuming (most quick and easy), starting with a warm-water wake-up concoction with lemon, cayenne and apple cider vinegar (ACV). You’ll learn more about these and other ingredients shortly. Breakfasts and lunches consist of green-ish shakes packed with her list of ingredients including kaffir, coconut oil, ginger, ACV, chia, kale, mint and more. We’ll get there in a sec. Also, a near-gallon of tap-warm water must be consumed every day.
Danette May’s 30-Day Challenge, which she runs every five or six weeks, is popular.
She says “many women fail to lose weight because they get stuck, overwhelmed, or confused” and that her diet is not only different, but she says she won’t let you fail. In this challenge, participants are called contestants. 
After paying $47, you’ll get access to her “step-by-step action guide”—meal plans with shopping lists and recipes and access to Danette’s “private” Facebook group where she says, you can interact with everyone else going through this challenge for a full 30 days, have constant support and reassurance from those struggling with the same challenges you are, get your questions answered in minutes so you’re never stuck wondering what to do next, be inspired by others which is a great way to motivate yourself and “even get direct access to myself and my team to coach you through any rough patches. 
And then she shares “success stories.”
Finally, the Danette May trilogy includes her workouts, which she says people “rave” about. She is popular for her fitness videos, for sure. Scores of her videos are available online for free. Her “Sexy Abs in 3 Minutes” video workout has almost 200,000 views. She says her workouts are easy on the joints, are fast and effective, and can be done anywhere at any time.
So there you go.
Danette May Ingredients
One of the elixirs in her detox and other diets is apple cider vinegar, in particular, the acetic acid in that and essentially all vinegars (I prefer red wine vinegar for taste.)
So your shopping list would include raw ACV and these other foods which Danette says will kickstart your metabolism, and help burn fat while doing a bang-up job of detoxifying the body. All these foods on your shopping list, which she says should be certified organic, as part of the 3-day detox or any and all of Danette’s meal plan suggestions include kefir, lemons, kale (or spinach), cayenne, bananas, pineapple, berries, cacao powder, quinoa, avocados, green tea, and chia. This is by no means a complete list, but these are key metabolism-boosting, fat burning, good-for-your-gut foods that create and help maintain a healthy bacteria level in your belly which helps you lose weight.
The Science (or Lack Thereof) Behind the Danette May Diet
About that elixir; there is some science about vinegar, though not specifically apple cider vinegar. Prevention magazine’s website has an article that cites a study which was published in 2006 in Medscape General Medicine:
“Acetic acid, the main component in vinegar, may interfere with the body’s ability to digest starch,” says lead study author Carol Johnston, PhD, associate director of the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion at Arizona State University.  
I must say that the nutritional information she provides is, for the most part, what you learn from many nutritionists:
- eliminate processed foods because they contain corn syrups and other sugars, some disguised and some not
- and in many cases, otherwise good-for-you foods, when processed, lose some or most of their nutrient value (concentrated fruits juices, for example; the fiber in the fruits is all but gone and often extra sugar is added). And ironically, these processed, packaged foods which sabotage weight loss are “diet” frozen or other packaged foods; check the labels.
- So no more sugar and preservative-packed all-aisle grocery store foods; rather consume healthy, fresh organic foods with emphasis on vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, legumes and healthy fats (nuts and seeds, for example).
She also throws in a number of foods known to boost metabolism and help block the absorption of starches that end up as fat, especially belly fat. Foods packed with antioxidants, probiotics, omega-3 nutrients and other blood sugar- and cholesterol-lowering, heart-healthy foods. Add a good workout (hers are, wow!)—if not daily then three to four times a week—and you’ll lose weight.
Here’s the problem: from the Mayo Clinic website,
Detoxification (detox) diets are popular, but there is little evidence that they eliminate toxins from your body. … However, there’s little evidence that detox diets actually remove toxins from the body. Indeed, the kidneys and liver are generally quite effective at filtering and eliminating most ingested toxins. … So why do so many people claim to feel better after detoxification? It may be due in part to the fact that a detox diet eliminates highly processed foods that have solid fats and added sugar. Simply avoiding these high-calorie low-nutrition foods for a few days may be part of why people feel better. 
Word on the Street About the Danette May Diet
So interestingly, a Danette May Facebook commenter actually verified what the Mayo Clinic advises. Under a July 28 2017 Facebook post by Danette which read “Stop Eating CRAP: Carbonated drinks, Refined sugars, Artificial foods and Processed foods” and liked by almost 800 people, “Charlotte Ann” wrote,
Never thought I could, but I’ve cut all that out for the better part of a year and I feel like a different person. So much more energy and motivation! Lost a lot of weight, too!!! 
So while committing to the Danette May Diet likely got Charlotte to cut out “crap,” it was over the course of a year that she did it; in other words, she changed her lifestyle. Just what Mayo suggests; a long-term—or even better, a lifelong—nutritional correction, not a quick-fix detox.
Danette’s book, Eat, Drink, Shrink on Amazon doesn’t have a ton of reviews—just a couple dozen, with many being a couple of years old—but of the 5-star ones, most agree that the recipes are good. 
But a very recent review by ‘KIM’ was critical of the book and the diet. “I was disappointed that I did her 30 day challenge and I already have these recipes. Thought I was buying this book to get more ideas.” 
Alternatives to the Danette May Diet
The Danette May detox diet is trendy and when folks are surfing for diets, the following also show up:
Trim Down Club vs Danette May
When it comes to the nutrition only, at least for the most part, the Danette May detox is similar to the Trim Down Club. But for so many reasons, I recommend Trim Down Club. Here's why:
What Danette May gets right (I only know this because it’s a post on her popular Facebook page) is her urging people to “Stop Eating CRAP: carbonated drinks; refined sugars; artificial foods;
and processed foods.” Otherwise, her quick-fix detox is a fool's errand, I’m sorry to say. Detoxes do not work. Yes, people say they feel better, but there’s little to no scientific evidence that detox diets actually remove toxins from the body, instead the mind-bogglingly efficient and miraculous body does that all on its own (hello kidneys and liver). It’s true that when you cut the crap, you’ll begin to feel great, get healthy, and lose weight. But it’s about a lifetime of change, a commitment to a whole new way of eating, moving, and living, not a finite number of detox days, people. That's what the Trim Down Club gets right and why I recommend it. The Trim Down Club, with thousands of members working on it together, teaches you to dramatically change what you eat. Ditch the forever “keeping you fat and unhealthy” processed and packaged so-called diet foods especially, also known as crap, and instead empty the pantry and fridge of the stuff that’s no good for you and prepare healthy and real food; fat-burning food. It’s a complete lifestyle change, but not just for you, for your family too. Plus, Trim Down Club offers real-life help to achieve this, and, as a club, you make the change with the support of a few thousand others doing the same thing. Oh, and it’s cheap; a freezer full of diet entrees costs far more.
Ketogenic Diet vs Danette May
The Ketogenic Diet pops up in searches for Danette May. I have done the homework on this and though I completely get the going into ketosis part of any diet that takes you off carbs—Atkins; twice. I lost 23 pounds and 7 years later, did it again and lost 19. But of course it was unsustainable and bad for my health and triglycerides. I know the Ketogenic is NOT Atkins, but the idea is the same: Send your body into an metabolic state where ketones (molecules of energy that are created in the liver from fat are used to fuel the body and the brain as they travel through the body) are raised in order to turn the body into a fat burning system. I do not doubt the Ketogenic Diet is an effective weight loss strategy for the obese, and science backs that up, which is important. However, as soon as one begins to eat carbs again, the body responds swiftly and the weight returns with a vengeance. It’s not sustainable. And this diet must be done under a physician's care, I contend.
Weight Watchers vs Danette May
Oh Weight Watchers, thanks for the memories. We did well together. But I had to leave you for good because your ‘smart’ crunchy snacks—crisps and crackers, chips—little chocolate cakes, frozen pizza, lasagna, and cheeseburgers are packed with GMO’s, artificial you-name-it, preservatives, and a dirty laundry list of ingredients that are just bad for us.  Period. (Oh, I know you have a new line: Smart Made where you sub out white rice for brown and the like, but still loaded with processed ingredients.) WW may be helpful for losing weight, but it isn’t as healthy as changing your life and eating right.
Beyond Diet vs Danette May
The Beyond Diet shows up in diet searches because it’s hot. Why? Author Isabel De Los Rios is popular and there’s celeb endorsements. Mostly nutritionally sound, it does, however, miss the mark as it eliminates all good-for-you grains. And, there’s not a thing in this diet plan that you cannot find online for free.
21 Day Fix vs Danette May
The 21 Day Fix naturally shows up in online searches. But it’s a popular quick-fix diet as evidenced by the name. Follow it for 21 days and you’ll drop weight. Stop drinking soda for 21 days and you’ll lose weight. Stop eating fast food for 21 days and you’ll lose weight. Stop eating processed foods for 21 days and you’ll lose weight. Stop eating white rice, white pasta, and potatoes for 21 days and you’ll lose weight. You get my drift. But on the 22nd day, when you sip that cola, or chomp those salty fries, or swoon over that pile of mashed potatoes, or order a hot dog with extra ketchup, the pounds, stealthily will return, perhaps slowly, but surely.
The Bottom Line: Is the Danette May Diet Worth a Try?
Depends. Everything you need to do is already online for free. That said, it’s not a fortune, and the support, motivation and camaraderie may be worth the cost. Me? I’ll save the few dollars.
Oh, and about that newsletter email: It was friendly, with no high-pressure sales pitches. Although she does explain in a separate browser page how to “whitelist and prioritise” emails from her; basically make sure her emails to you don’t end up as spam. 
And, you may click on “unsubscribe” at the bottom of the email. I did that and was taken to a screen that— for folks not too familiar with the process—might look like you’re opting out of receiving all emails from anyone. 
You’re not. Wasn’t a fan of that tactic.
Top 5 Diets in 2018*
6 Month MBG
|#1 PS1000 Plan||$$|
|#2 Trim Down Club||$||–|
|#3 Ketogenic Diet||$$$||–||–||–||–|
|#4 Weight Watchers||$$$$||–|
*Individual results will vary.
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