Master Cleanse (Lemonade) Diet: Does It Work for Weight Loss? - bluewaffleguide.com

Master Cleanse (Lemonade) Diet: Does It Work for Weight Loss?

How Does the Master Cleanse Diet Work?

The Master Cleanse diet is relatively simple to follow, but can be quite an adjustment from regular dieting since no solid food is allowed.

Easing Into the Master Cleanse

Since consuming a liquid-only diet is a radical change for most people, it is recommended to ease into it gradually over a few days:

  • Days 1 and 2: Cut out processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, meat, dairy and added sugars. Focus on eating raw whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables.
  • Day 3: Get used to a liquid diet by enjoying smoothies, pureed soups and broths, as well as fresh fruit and vegetable juices.
  • Day 4: Drink only water and fresh-squeezed orange juice. Add maple syrup as needed for additional calories. Drink laxative tea before bed.
  • Day 5: Start the Master Cleanse.

Following the Master Cleanse

Once you have officially started the Master Cleanse, all of your calories will come from a homemade lemon-maple-cayenne beverage.

The recipe for the Master Cleanse beverage is:

  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons (40 grams) pure maple syrup
  • 1/10 teaspoon (0.2 grams) cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
  • 8 to 12 ounces of purified or spring water

Simply mix together the above ingredients and drink it whenever you are hungry. At least six servings are recommended per day.

In addition to the lemonade drink, consume one quart of warm salt water each morning to stimulate bowel movements. Herbal laxative teas are also permitted, as desired.

The creators of the Master Cleanse recommend staying on the diet for at least 10 and up to 40 days, but there is no research to support these recommendations.

Easing out of the Master Cleanse

When you are ready to start eating food again, you can transition out of the Master Cleanse.

  • Day 1: Start by drinking fresh-squeezed orange juice for one day.
  • Day 2: The next day, add vegetable soup.
  • Day 3: Enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Day 4: You can now eat regularly again, with an emphasis on whole, minimally processed foods.

SUMMARYThe Master Cleanse Diet is a 10- to 40-day liquid fast. No solid food is eaten, and only a spicy lemonade drink, tea, water and salt are consumed. Since this is a radical diet change for most people, it is a good idea to gradually ease in and out of it.

 Can It Help You Lose Weight?

The Master Cleanse diet is a modified type of fasting, and typically leads to weight loss.

Each serving of the Master Cleanse beverage contains about 110 calories, and at least six servings are recommended per day. Most people will consume fewer calories than their bodies burn, leading to short-term weight loss.

One study found that adults who drank lemon water with honey during four days of fasting lost an average of 4.8 pounds (2.2 kg) and had significantly lower triglyceride levels (1).

A second study found that women who drank a sweetened lemon beverage while fasting for seven days lost an average of 5.7 pounds (2.6 kg) and also had less inflammation (2).

While the Master Cleanse diet does lead to short-term weight loss, no studies have examined whether the weight loss is maintained long-term.

Research suggests that dieting only has a 20% long-term success rate. Making smaller, sustainable diet and lifestyle changes may be a better strategy for weight loss (3).

SUMMARYThe Master Cleanse diet typically leads to weight loss and may reduce triglyceride and inflammation levels, but it is unclear whether these benefits are maintained over time.

The Master Cleanse diet claims to remove harmful “toxins” from the body, but there are no studies to support these claims (4).

There is a growing body of research that suggests some foods — such as cruciferous vegetables, seaweed, herbs and spices — can enhance the liver’s natural ability to neutralize toxins, but this does not apply to the Master Cleanse diet (45).

SUMMARYThere is no research to support the claim that the Master Cleanse diet removes toxins from the body.

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