The Master Cleanse, also commonly called the Lemonade Diet, is a modified juice fast typically used for rapid weight loss and detoxification. The diet consists entirely of liquids and usually is done for 10 days. Some people report success with after being on the diet for as few as five days, while others have maintained it for upward of 40 days.
According to the creator of the Master Cleanse, the diet “provides a healthy amount of calories and nutrients specifically suited for cleansing, all while resting the digestive system and allowing the body to heal naturally.”
How Does the Master Cleanse Work?
The goal of the Master Cleanse is detoxifying the body, while also encouraging rapid weight loss. As mentioned previously, the diet typically is done for 10 days. Depending on your weight pre-cleanse, the results may vary. On average, participants report losing roughly two pounds per day.
This means that if the diet is followed strictly for the recommended 10 days, you potentially could lose up to 20 pounds.
The ingredients used in the Master Cleanse are known antioxidants and are thought to help flush excess toxins and waste from the body, beyond what the liver already is capable of doing. During the fast, the calories and nutrients in your regular diet are replaced by those in the specially prepared lemonade. The lemonade is to be taken a minimum of six times per day.
If you so choose, you can drink as much of the lemonade as you want, though that may affect weight loss results. It’s not recommended to drink any less than six glasses per day. Beyond the lemonade, no other food or drinks are to be consumed beyond water and occasional peppermint tea.
*Note: Many participants report their tongue turning white or gray after a few days on the cleanse. The official Master Cleanse website states this is perfectly normal and you should wait until your tongue turns back to the normal pink color before easing out of the cleanse.*
How Do I Do the Master Cleanse?
The Master Cleanse has three main stages.
The first stage, typically dubbed the “Ease-In”, is very important to help prepare your body beforehand. It’s recommended to spend roughly four days easing into the strict diet, to allow both your body and mind to adjust.
Day 1: Regular diet, though you should avoid processed foods, added sugar, caffeine, alcohol, meat, and dairy.
Day 2: Only fresh fruits and veggies, organic if possible.
Day 3: Only fresh fruit and veggie juice, or veggie broth.
Day 4: Only orange juice. It’s recommended you drink three one-liter bottles of fresh, natural orange juice. If you need more calories or energy, add a couple tablespoons of pure maple syrup.
The Master Cleanse
The diet itself consists of a daily saltwater flush first thing in the morning, followed by strict consumption of only the specially prepared lemonade. Then at night, you’ll consume a cup of herbal laxative tea.
For the morning saltwater flush, simply combine two teaspoons of sea salt (grey) or Himalayan salt (pink) with a liter of pure water. It’s recommended to do the flush first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach. This is because your body will be in a naturally fasted state. Try to drink the whole solution in less than five minutes.
The thought process behind the saltwater flush is that because you’re not consuming any fiber during the cleanse, your body may need help eliminating toxins and waste.
Be prepared for several significant bowel movements following the flush. Begin drinking your lemonade after the first bowel movement.
As for the lemonade itself, the recipe is as follows:
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/10 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1-2 cups pure water
When preparing the lemonade it’s best to prepare it as needed. If the lemonade is left too long, the cayenne pepper can steep into the mixture, causing it to be incredibly spicy.
→ For more information on how cayenne pepper can benefit you, click here.
Reported benefits of this mixture include:
- Increasing energy
- Balancing your body’s pH
- Rapidly losing weight
- Reducing inflammation, swelling and pain
- Alleviating allergies
- Flushing the colon
- Improving skin and hair
- Ridding your body of parasites
Similar to easing into the cleanse, it’s equally as important to ease out. In fact, it can be incredibly dangerous for your digestive system and body if you immediately return to a regular diet. For the most part, it’s virtually the same as the ease-in phase but in reverse.
Day 1: Only orange juice, it’s recommended you drink three one-liter bottles of fresh, natural orange juice with two tablespoons of pure maple syrup.
Day 2: Only fresh fruit and veggie juice, or veggie broth.
Day 3: Only fresh fruits and veggies, organic if possible.
Day 4: Regular diet, though you still should avoid processed foods, added sugar, caffeine, alcohol, meat, and dairy as much as possible.
Master Cleanse Reviews
Countless people have reported great success with the Master Cleanse, though there remain many skeptics as well.
One woman, as reported on Health.com, found great success with the cleanse, having lost more than 10 pounds. However, she reported having very little energy by day six or seven and experienced general feelings of fatigue and severe hunger pangs. Examining the aftermath of the cleanse, she stated: “While I managed to maintain my 10-pound weight loss for a few months, it wasn’t long before I started indulging in foie gras and chocolate cake again, and regained all the weight.”
Of course, it’s recommended to keep eating a healthy diet after the cleanse, so her results are a little skewed.
E Online reporter Diana Nyguyen also gave the cleanse a try in February 2017 after reading about Beyonce’s reported success using it to lose weight quickly for her role in Dreamgirls. She reported having lost eight or nine pounds after following the diet for just one week. However, similar to the previous review, Nyguyen felt extremely tired, irritable and, of course, hungry. She also gained the weight back within a few weeks as well.
Overall, the diet seems to be good for short-term weight loss, though it is hard to sustain unless your diet following the cleanse is extremely clean and you exercise regularly.
The following is one of numerous positive testimonials that can be found on the official website of the Master Cleanse, written by Noel Sieh of Plattsmouth, Nebraska:
“Hi Peter, I just have to send a note, and should’ve done it sooner, but was just thinking about it. I did the Master Cleanse for 31 days (waited ‘til my tongue turned pink again) this spring. I had never felt better! The amount of energy was endless, and I felt awesome!! On top of feeling great, I lost 80 lbs!! I couldn’t believe it when I started trying on my clothes! Thank you so much for sharing this incredible information!!”
The Master Cleanse is an effective weight loss solution, though the nutritional aspect still is questioned. While many people have reported success with the Master Cleanse, it’s still important to do your own research and determine what’s best for your body.
→ For more information on why it’s so important to do your homework before starting any detox or cleanse, click here.