Master Cleanse -- Cleaning Out For Better Health?

The Master Cleanse diet, sometimes called the lemonade diet, is an aggressive, immediate results weight loss regimen. Purported to eliminate toxins in the bowels, the Master Cleanse diet limits your food intake to multiple glasses of a lemonade mixture and twice-daily laxatives.  Practitioners love it, nutritionists hate it. Is the Master Cleanse diet right for you?

Take a glass of cold water, add a squeeze of lemon, a dash of cayenne pepper and a dollop of maple syrup.  Bam! You have the basic ingredient for the Master Cleanse diet.  This will be your sole source of sustenance for ten days. You can readily believe that you can lose weight with this program.

Master Cleanse purists suggest a three step diet program. Step one, called “ease in” prepares your body for the coming deprivation. For the first day of step one, you eat only fresh fruits and vegetables (with an emphasis on the veggies). No processed foods, no meat, no dairy.  Day two transitions you to a liquid diet, limiting you to juices, broths and smoothies.  For day three you only get orange juice. That completes step one.

Step two is the primary Master Cleanse event. During these ten days you drink at least six glasses of the water + lemon + pepper + maple syrup concoction.  You also take laxatives or drink a salt water solution so that you empty your bowels every day. During this phase, you should be losing weight rapidly.

Step three is the reverse of step one, so that your body can readjust to eating food again. First you have orange juice, then juices, broths and smoothies, then fresh fruits and vegetables. Congratulations, you have completed the Master Cleanse protocol!

Interested in more on this topic?

Read: Dr. Oz 3-Day Detox Cleanse
         The 3-Day Weekend Juice Cleanse
         Fruit Cleanse Dangers
Many people swear by this diet. Clearly, your daily calorie intake is extremely low, so your body must burn other sources of energy to stay alive.  Unfortunately, most doctors and nutritionists say that you will lose primarily water weight and muscle. Further, this diet supplies essentially none of the proteins, minerals, vitamins and other nutrients that a body needs, so prolonged use of this diet can lead to serious medical issues.

Proponents of the Master Cleanse diet suggest that out colons are storehouses of toxins, some of which have accumulated for many years.  They say that this cleansing eliminates these toxins, leading to better health more energy and vitality.  Unfortunately there is no scientific basis for these claims. The bowels are in a constant state of movement, with nothing sticking to the walls for healthy individuals. Plainly said, there are no built-up toxins to flush.

The Master Cleanse diet will certainly result in weight loss.  The body reacts to this near starvation diet in an attempt to prolong life.  That means that once regular eating resumes, the body quickly transforms any available calories into fat so that it can survive future periods of starvation.  That means that many Master Cleanse graduates face rebound weight gain that erases their losses with interest.

So is the Master Cleanse diet right for you?  If you absolutely must lose a lot of weight quickly, this might be the answer. As a longer term path to better health, there are many better diets to choose. Everyone agrees that dieting alone is very difficult. Get a diet buddy to share encouragement and support. If you don't have a diet buddy, go to to find a local diet buddy for you.

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  1. Has anyone tried this cleanse? The benefits sound good, but it sounds so extreme! Anybody have success with this?

  2. I only made it ONE DAY on this cleanse. Has anyone toughed it out to the end?