Master Cleanse (Lemonade Diet)

lemonade dietFads come and go – but this one just keeps on coming. Stanley Burrough’s “Master Cleanser” (aka Lemonade Diet) continues to garner attention from all over the place.

Recently Beyoncé Knowles admitted to using a “Maple Syrup detox” (which led to a huge surge in popularity). Now the diet has even attracted the attention of the NY Times.

The Internet teems with testimonials to the cleanse, also known as the lemonade diet, claiming that it fights disease such as Candidiasis, clears the mind as well as acne, and increases energy. Bloggers chronicle their daily fasting. Master cleanse video diaries can be found on YouTube, and a cottage industry has developed with various companies peddling cleansing kits including all ingredients for the beverage except lemons.

The Master Cleanse appeared in a booklet by Stanley Burroughs in 1976. The booklet was called The Master Cleanser. The cleansing detox diet has always been popular due to word of mouth – but in 2004 was picked up and marketed by Peter Glickman.

The Master Cleanse

Indeed, the book states that at least 1/2 the weight will come back on after completing the diet. Many people incorrectly use this for fast weight loss. This is not what the diet is intended for.

Detox diets such as the lemonade diet are not for the faint-hearted. They are difficult to follow – typically because we are so addicted to food.

The Recipe

  • 60 oz spring water per day (spread over 6 10 oz glasses)
  • 12 tablespoons Organic Grade B Maple Syrup (or 2 tbsp. per glass)
  • 12 tablespoons freshly squeezed organic lemon juice (or 2 tbsp. per glass)
  • a little over half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper (or 1/10 tsp. per glass) or to taste

People experience varying degrees of success as their body begins to flush itself of toxins – but the first few days are hardest. Some only use the lemonade diet for 4-5 days, while others take it out to 2 weeks.

Lemonade Diet Kit

master cleanser diet

This kit includes everything you need to complete the lemonade diet or Master Cleanse.

  • All ORGANIC ingredients needed for the Stanley Burroughs’ Master Cleanse Diet (except lemons) including FREE BOOK: The Complete Master Cleanse by Tom Woloshyn
  • 32 oz Grade B Organic Maple Syrup (Bpa Free and Formaldehyde Free)
  • 8 oz Organic compliant Sea Salt- Selina Naturally
  • 90 capsules Certified Organic Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum annum) – Oregon Wild Harvest (1 Bottle – 90 GF, vegan capsules)
  • 1 Box Organic “Smooth Move” Laxative Tea – Traditional Medicinals (1 Box of 16 tea bags) and 1 Box Organic Peppermint Tea – Traditional Medicinals (1 Box of 16 tea bags)

You can order the kit here.

A typical herbal detox will do the following

  • Dissolves and eliminates toxins that have formed in any part of the body
  • Cleanse kidneys and digestive system
  • Purifies the glands and cells
  • Eliminate waste and hardened material in joints and muscles
  • Relieves pressure and irritation in nerves, arteries and blood vessels

Possible Detox Reactions on the Master Cleanse

  • Rashes and skin eruptions
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Aches and pains
  • Nausea
  • Food cravings
  • Insomnia

The only other foods consumed is a laxative tea (“Smooth Move”) twice a day, and a saline (sea salt) wash. The laxative may be required due to the lack of fiber in the diet that may lead to constipation.

Breaking the Fast

The Lemonade Diet / A Master Cleanse CDThe Lemonade diet is also now available as an audio CD

This must be done gently, by easing your way back into solid food. Vegetable soup is a good starter, and fruits and vegetables shouldn’t be started until the second day out of the juice fast.

Before doing the lemonade diet, Stanley Burroughs book (see below) is a must-read.

Master Cleanse Coach

master cleanse coach bookThe Master Cleanse Coach is written by Peter Glickman, who has been referred to as a modern-day guru of the Master Cleanse.

Glickman has personally coached over 2,000 people who have undertaken this detoxification program.

This book gives you all the information you need to undertake the Master Cleanse.

However, it is also written as a guide for those who wish to coach others through the procedure.

Nutritionist’s Warning

The Master Cleanse or lemonade diet should only be used for a short period of time or serious health problems could arise.

NOTE: You can get the full details of the Master Cleanse here.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Penniston, K. L., Nakada, S. Y., Holmes, R. P., & Assimos, D. G. (2008). Quantitative assessment of citric acid in lemon juice, lime juice, and commercially-available fruit juice products. Journal of Endourology, 22(3), 567-570. link
  • BLOOM, W. L., & AZAR, G. J. (1963). Similarities of Carbohydrate Deficiency and Fasting: I. Weight Loss, Electrolyte Excretion, and Fatigue. Archives of internal medicine, 112(3), 333-337. link
  • KATZ, D. L. (2003). Pandemic obesity and the contagion of nutritional nonsense. Public health reviews, 31(1), 33-44. link
  • Burroughs, S. (2014). The Master Cleanse. Manatee Media.

267 Comments or Reviews

  1. Jan

    Religious fasting is usually a one-day long thing, Christopher, or it is a partial thing (ramadan) and unless they had maple trees I’m unaware of in Israel, have nothing to do with The Master Cleanse. Jesus fasted, so you drink maple syrup, pepper and lemon juice for “religious reasons” – how does that make sense? If you wanted to be religious, you’d fast and just take water. What is next, a colonic in the name of the Lord?

    Alexis, I think it is people who can’t allow themselves a single bite of solid food to lose weight, doing a juice fast instead, that lack self-control. People who manage to lose and maintain weight through portion control have a whole lot more self-control than people who keep going on and off food. The Atkins diet has several flaws, but at least it is a diet people are supposed to be on forever, contrary to this crash diet sold under the guise of “cleaning your system” you love so much.

  2. christopher & Amani - Seattle

    I like the last post from Alexis. It is true, u should only critic something if you have completed it.

    As for the question of if i’m comparing myself to Jesus, once again we’re dealing with someone not too versed on the scriptures. When the disciples tried to cast a demon from a man and the man whipped the disciples out of their cloths, Jesus told the disciples, “these come but through fasting and prayer”! I cant count all of the hundreds of scriptures that tell us to be Christ like, Jesus himself told us that we had the same power that he had and commanded us to do as he did. To lay hands on the sick, to raise the dead, ect….. We have the same power today as 2000 years ago. Fasting works.

  3. Alexis

    I think the only people who should comment on the detox are people who have actually done the detox,then you would know how it feels to have your body rid of all it’s toxins.I did it to help my health and it worked.I was never able to sleep for 8 hours a night until I did this detox.My skin has always been a problem for me too,it was dry and just not good looking.This detox actually gave my skin a glow it hasnt had in a loooong time!If you feel better doing the detox and you know it’s doing wonders for body then you should not read the reviews of people putting it down.Why are all these people so against it,it cant hurt your body.Also it helped my boyfriend stop smoking,he had toxins that were in his body from smoking.If you are addicted to something it’s hard to stop,it’s in your blood stream and you will have withdrawl because your body thinks it needs it.The master cleanser cleans out your blood and he didnt even want to smoke any more.Most people who read the book realize how meat effects your body and they have no desire to eat it again.This is healthy for your heart and a great way to jump start a healthy life style.The people who do this just to lose weight probably had a difficult time losing weight with other methods and are looking for a quick fix.Thats not going to happen.And to promote eating pounds of meat instead,and letting your liver do all the work with no help,that is the most stupid comment of all.Maybe your on the wrong diet,try the atkins diet and you WILL lose weight and gain a heart attack.This detox is HARD to stick to but if you do,you know that it pays to eat healthy and exercise and you will want to! Dont listen to these people who have no self control with food and complain about the detox just as another excuse to why they cant lose weight.It takes alot of will power to do this detox.So just face the facts,that if you had will power you wouldnt be looking to lose weight!!!!

  4. Jan

    Christopher & Amani, I’m pretty sure Jesus wasn’t drinking maple syrup during his fast. And are you actually comparing yourself to Jesus? The lenght of his fast was mentioned as part of the proof he is divine. So unless you are divine, I don’t think you should be fasting for 40 days.

  5. christopher & Amani - Seattle

    I can’t believe how many Athiest are in this world. Not 1 person mentioned the FACT that Jesus, our savior, fasted for 40 days and for 40 nights without any problems and even suggested fasting for certain power.
    My wife and I have been doing the master cleanse for years and we have never gained any weight back. We eat healthy and we excersize most daily. It is not a fad, it’s a way to give your digestive system a rest and cleanse your organs. I know for a fact that it works and it is the most spiritual thing doing it. I’m pretty sure that most people not in agreement with the fast are probably not Christians either. 🙂

  6. picotrain

    I am on day 8 of the cleanse right now and I feel really good. Not only do I have a greater sense on clarity, i feel as though I have done something that many people (most of my peers) have deemed impossible. This “diet”, if anything else, is an outstanding mental check. I believe it not only aids in physical, but mental well being (which i suppose are closely connected) as well. During the cleanse, I was still able to exercise regulary (if not more than usual) and keep my normal schedule of sleeping, working and socializing. Sure there are some discouraging side effect’s such as stomach aches, and irritability, but the positives definitely outway the negatives in the long term. I would recommend this program to anyone, as I believe it offers a safe, contructive approach to overall health and well being.

    Then again I am only on day 8, so we will see how I feel once I return to my normal diet 4 or 5 days from now.

    Salt water sucks A…..

  7. poodle do

    I meant saline wash….

  8. poodle do

    Is the saline was really necessary?

  9. Michael

    I just finished the Lemonade Diet. This is my second 10-day stint in 3 months (I had some extra time off work so I decided to try it again earlier than planned). Although each time I have lost around 20 lbs, I’m not doing it for just weight loss. I have been on dialysis for 3 years, and like someone posted earlier, I’m trying to help my body repair itself for what my kidneys can no longer do. There’s a small shred of hope that I maintain that my detoxing might preserve my kidneys that much longer or even better reverse some of the effects of my kidney disease. Whether it happens or not, I know I need to develop way better eating habits. I realize my eating is largely emotional. The detox among other things has taught me about willpower, giving me the confidence to reinvent my approach to eating in general. Now I have a fresh start to healthy cooking and eating and definitiely cutting out the soda, chips and fast food. And since I look noticeably better, that’ll give me the extra incentive to get back into the gym (BTW–three years ago when I was diagnosed, I weighed 354 lbs and my weight goal was 260; today I weigh 245 lbs and now my ultimate goal is 200). Wish me luck!

  10. bb

    I’m on day 6. I wanted my appetite to shrink before starting a moderate calorie-restricted regimen. I’d been cleaning my toddler’s plate and not watching my own portions and I’d gained back 10 of the 30 pounds I lost postpartum.

    I had no expectations for this regimen, and I don’t really believe in its detox claims. I figured if I felt tired or miserable I’d just quit; a couple of days of abstinence would still serve my purpose of shrinking my appetite.

    I am very surprised to find that 8 pounds (my long term goal is 16) have dropped off, and that I feel fine and am able to do my usual 6 mile runs. The only problem is it’s really boring; I really like cooking and eating and the social interaction that come with them. I plan to finish the 10 days and then restart my old system of exercise and moderate calorie restriction, which should then feel pretty indulgent. I’m curious to find out how many of these pounds stay off.

    Oh, it’s true, the salt water is nasty. It’s easier to dissolve the 2t in 1 cup and drink that, and then to immediately chug 3 c water. The lemonade is fine if you mix in the cayenne at the last second; if you make it ahead of time it’s bitter and harsh.

  11. Boomer

    I just started the lemonade cleanse (water, lemon juice, real maple syrup & Cayenne powder) and I am already feeling better! Lately I have been very bitchy, irratable, tired, lazy and my skin hasn’t felt as good in the past and I do take care of my body! Yes I do eat fried food and crap on occassion but who doesn’t?! I am 22 and want my body to feel better! I am already feeling the benefits and I recommend this to anyone considering. Take it easy when you go off the cleanse because your body needs to take baby steps back into eating again. GOOD LUCK!!

  12. massgrrl

    I do a detox every year or so, as my digestive tract has never been particularly healthy, and after two c-sections, I find that a detox every year plus regular colonics every month really helps me out. Also, I drink apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and take ground flax throughout the year.

    It’s a detox, not a diet.

    P.S. The lemon, syrup, cayenne & H2O is good. The salt water almost made me vomit on the table. That shit is foul.

  13. big but proud

    this diet was radd
    i actually saw the kilos DROP OFF mann!!
    now i love my new life people actually look at me for who i am not just the fat lady eating all the cake
    try it!!!!
    it will work for u!!!

  14. Hope

    I agree with Keisha’s post. But I was wondering how long was it done for. I know you did it 3 months ago, but for how long? However, I dont think people need to begin eliminating meats from their diet. I think certain meets should be ingested sparingly, but that is about all the caution you need. I’m actually not one to say what works and what doesnt, cause all I’ve ever done is yo-yo, (mostly gain) but, I’m still in the fight after having 3 kids, oldest is nine, and I’m only 25-30 pounds from my idea weight. The most I’ve been is 65 ponds away (maybe 4 or 5 years ago, after having my last kid. So all I can say is that, the yo-yoing sure does loosen your skin, deplete muscles, etc. But if it weren’t for all the different diet techniques I’d propbably be a hundred pounds or more overweight. Because lets face it, losing weight is hard because everyone likes good food. They want to eat what they want, when they want. And if you grew up in a household like I did, where butter was put on evrything, extra ranch for this, juice for every meal and snack, etc., then losing weight and keeping it off is a huge battle. Because you literally have to throw away 20 years or more of bad eating habits out the back door and welcome in a new dietary regimen through the front. And I’ll be the first to say its hard as hell. So until I get it together, I welcome programs like the master cleanse. This is day 1 for me. Lets see what I have to say after nine more days.

  15. Peter

    Ok everyone! I did the Master Cleanser 6 months ago for 25 days and I lost 28 pounds and then I slowly, went back into a healthy eating and exercise pattern and I’ve kept the weight off. During the cleanse I felt fantasic and the drink is yummy! It really does taste like lemonade. I thing very clearly now and overall I just feel awesome! (I’m 18 so it may be different for younger people).

    Good Luck!

  16. cost

    Cider apple vineger is another coming up super star in the healthy diet, it was reported that it reduces cholesterol level and speeds metabolism.

  17. sarwalt

    Regardless of whether the Master Cleanser works or not, a lot of you keep referring to it as a diet. It is not a way to lose weight even if a few pounds are shed during the process. It is a detoxification process. Anyone complaining about how this ‘diet’ doesn’t work is misinformed. If you are considering the Master Cleanser, please consider it for the right reasons – not to lose weight.

  18. sophie

    Greeen tea.lemon and water.and vinegar and water(esp apple cider),all aid in detoxifying and weight loss,however i drank them before healthy meals,and didnt snack.By the way,for women with menstral problems i dont encourage lemon juice or vinegar during menstral cycle,it limits blood flow,so during this time try tea instead.

  19. Haven Logan

    Haven Logan said:
    Twenty-five years ago I had a friend who would go on the Master Cleanser for 30 days at a time. While on this fast he was filled with energy but once he started eating again he was completely out of control. I have seen the same thing happen with liquid protein diets. […]

  20. Lily

    Jan, I am going to the doctor and I’m NOT going to do the master cleanse,luv, Lily

  21. Jan

    Lily, losing more weight is not a good idea for you. Please go get a physical.

  22. M.D

    Firstly, i have a mind of my own and don’t often buy into “fads” i know well, via research the upsides and pitfalls of the master cleanse. I have also read countless testimonials before stirring a single batch of salt water, which, by the way is the most f#$%&*ng disgusting thing i have ever drank.
    But i do know this… only three days into the cleanse my skin looks healthier than it ever has in my life, i am no longer packing extra “water” pounds, i have become a much calmer person(though the first 2 days i though it was just starvation weakness).
    I quit smoking 2 days prior to the cleanse and it has helped push cigarette chemicals out of my blood fast and effectively , which in turn has assisted in my success.
    The key to quitting everything i hold dear….food, smokes, alochol…. is meditation. It has helped me immensely.
    Best of luck to other “Cleansers”.

    P.s…is that the same Nicole Richie who is 80 lbs soaking wet with clothes and a wet fur coat on the cover of tabloid magazines?

  23. Nicole Richie

    This diet has done wonders for me!

  24. Lily

    I am 85-trying to get back down to 80 and the Master cleanse seems like the best idea!

  25. Spectra

    Keisha–you have got to be kidding me.

    Keisha said:
    And the lemonade recipe that you drink while doing this particular fast gives your body all the nutrients you need to survive. You get vitamins, minerals and calories from the lemon juice and the maple syrup. So it is not unhealthy for you.[…]

    Um, whatever. Lemon juice and maple syrup gives you sugar and vitamin C and maybe a few other trace things. It’s not enough to sustain an active person for 3 months, pure and simple.

  26. Keisha

    I would first like to say that it doesn’t sound like any of you did your research about the “Master Cleanser” detox. I have a BS in dietetics and have always considered myself to be a healthy person who has a passion for making sure I take care of my body. But even though I ate healthily, meaning fruits,veggies, no red meat or pork, and exercised 4-5xs a week, I still saw amazing results with this detox. I did not do this to lose weight, I did it specifically to detox my body, because I understand that over the period of someone’s lifetime they will accumulate toxins in their body via junk food, pesticides, and pollutants. And if you read Stanley Burroughs’ book you will understand that yes, the body does naturally cleanse itself, but your organs won’t be able to work at their full capacity if they are bombarded with toxins and having to digest things that are bodies were not designed to digest. The purpose of fasting is so that your cells and organs can devote 100% to cleansing and repairing tissues to work properly and not on digesting food, particularly the wrong ones. And the lemonade recipe that you drink while doing this particular fast gives your body all the nutrients you need to survive. You get vitamins, minerals and calories from the lemon juice and the maple syrup. So it is not unhealthy for you. I completed the fast for the first time about 3 months ago. I noticed immediately a change in energy, I also noticed a tremendous difference in my skin tone and hair. I did lose weight, not sure how much since I didn’t weigh myself while fasting. I received numerous compliments while fasting that I looked great, and I still am receiving these compliments and I finished the fast 3 mos. ago! I have since given up chicken too. I still eat fish though. I did not gain any of the weight back because I maintained the good eating habits that I had from the beginning and I weened myself back on to food the way I was supposed to. I plan on doing this fast 2xs a year and will continue to promote this detox.

  27. Sadie

    It is true that the body naturally has the liver in place to detoxify itself. But that’s only when your body is in it’s natural healthy state. When you become unhealthy by putting loads of junk in your body it stresses your organs to the point where they become dysfunctional. That’s why people with kidney failure are put on kidney machines, in order to filter waste from the body, because their kidney is no longer capable of doing it for them.

  28. Keryn

    For the record, lose weight is the proper way to spell. Loose weight is not. I saw loose weight on an actual ad!! Would you call that company?

  29. Haven Logan

    Twenty-five years ago I had a friend who would go on the Master Cleanser for 30 days at a time. While on this fast he was filled with energy but once he started eating again he was completely out of control. I have seen the same thing happen with liquid protein diets.

    There is a fascinating book called “Holy Anorexia” which compares the saints of medieval times with modern anorexics. Many of the saints took their cultural imperative to fast to the extreme and ended up anorexic. At first they received admiration for their ability to fast, just we receive it today when we diet and loose weight. For some diets are the first step into an eating disorder.

    Fasting can be a slippery slope. For most of us moderation is safer both physically and emotionally.

  30. Dr.J

    Just some information..
    “In research settings animals that are intermittently fasted are fed every other day, so they eat whatever they want for a day, then they are denied food for a day. Interestingly, on feeding days most of the animals eat a almost double the amount that their ad lib fed mates do. Thus the IF animals eat about the same number of calories overall that the ad lib fed animals eat, but, and this is a huge ‘but,’ the IF animals enjoy all the health advantages that the CR animals do, and, in fact, are even healthier than the CR animals.

    Like caloric restriction, intermittent fasting reduces oxidative stress, makes the animals more resistant to acute stress in general, reduces blood pressure, reduces blood sugar, improves insulin sensitivity, reduces the incidence of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, and improves cognitive ability. But IF does even more. Animals that are intermittently fasted greatly increase the amount of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) relative to CR animals. CR animals don’t produce much more BDNF than do ad libitum fed animals.”

  31. Jen

    (This is a different Jen than the one above, btw.)

    Kailash said:
    Do you think Weight Watchers ever wants you to graduate? No, they want you to yo-yo, becoming ever more unhealthy by losing muscle mass and then blaming yourself for getting fat afterwards. They still look good for getting your scale weight down, and making you look temporarily “improved” to those who can’t properly judge health[…]

    I don’t think the term “graduate” is really appropriate. It implies that when you reach your goal, you’re done, and you don’t have to keep working at it, just as when you graduate from college, you don’t have to continue taking classes. And, we all know (or should know) that keeping it off means working at it for the rest of your life.

    From my own experience, I know that WW is an extremely effective program FOR ME. I know it doesn’t work for everyone, but it is one of the keys to my successful loss and maintance of over 100 pounds. And, I’ve at least doubled my muscle mass because I work out regularly, which is what WW recommends. So, I do not agree that they encourage yo-yoing. Yeah, they are a business and they want to make money, as all businesses do. But, that does not automatically mean that they don’t have a sound program. By using that logic, you can say that there’s no good hospital or nursing home or rehab center to go to, because all they want to do is make money, so they’ll encourage you to be sick all the time.

  32. sheila

    i tried this last year. i’m not sure if i did it correctly, but it tasted horrible to me, maybe i added to much cayenne. i felt really tired and weak… and could only stand it for 2 and 1/2 days.

  33. Lyn

    I see nothing wrong with fasting for health or religious reasons, but it is a complex and difficult process and should never be attempted without planning, research or -even better- professional guidance. Anyone who markets such an undertaking as a method of weight loss is entirely irresponsible and is in very real danger of doing harm to a gullible populace. But people will do anything for a buck I suppose. NB: I myself have done several fasts and found it a positive experience and I will continue to fast in the future.

  34. Patricia (Spain)

    Kailash …corn and potatoes are not vegetables[…]

    Oh, that’s a funny one! Well gee, just what are they doing in the vegetable markets? ;>D

    Surely ‘fresh corn and potatoes are not allowed’ is what was meant. Though corn is a grain and potato a tuber, sorry, they are still classified as belonging to the vegetable world…though I can see why they are not the best foods to include in a ‘diet’.

    Or have the diet pundits decided otherwise?

  35. Ross

    Russell – I think it depends upon your definition of detox.

    I am just in the middle of blogging the difference between fasting, detoxing and cleansing at the moment because I think it means different things to different people.

    To me – there is absolutely NO logic in fasting from a health perspective, and this is not what detoxing is all about.

    I just cannot see how any health benefit can be gained from starving your body of nutrients – especially when you are asking it to do the overtime it needs to rid your body of the toxins that have built up. Seriously, the Master Cleanse is the biggest pile of **** I have seen in a long while.

    How can consuming zero nutrition alongside 12 servings of pure sugar (in the form of syrup) be healthy?

    Does anyone who tries this diet have anything on their mind other than very short term weight loss?


  36. Russell Lawrence

    Detox is a bad idea!
    If you want to lose the weight for the long term and keep it off forever, you need to convert your MIND, not just your body, into that of a thin person.
    Once you believe you are thin, you will stay that way.
    There’s a new plan about to sweep the country and it helps you do just that!
    It called The Logic Diet.
    Check out

  37. Talia Mana, 2006 Weblog Finalist

    I don’t go for the whole detox idea, but I have to admit I always feel better if I start the day with warm water and freshly squeezed lemon juice. It’s very refreshing!

    The other old system is the vinegar and honey drink for health and vitality (and weight loss)

  38. dela

    I think reducing sodium alone makes a huge difference, and it might actually be the main reason people lose so much weight on a fast. I’ve been eating low sodium for two days now after I bought the “Rice Diet Solution” book, and I lost three pounds yesterday alone. I went to the gym today after a breakfast of fruit and hot cereal (no salt). I have never been aware of the amount of sodium I have been eating!

    Maybe the lemon just gets people off the sodium for a while and they shrink! In the book I bought it said you can expect to lose 20 to 30 lbs. in the first month, but some people have lost up to 80 lbs. in the first month. I’m amazed at how my hands have sort of deflated today, almost back to what they were 20 years ago! I may be able to put my wedding band back on!

  39. iFitandHealthy

    “Master cleanse video diaries can be found on YouTube…”

    I would love to see them. They are probably hilarious. As for “master cleanse”, it is a bona fide fad.

  40. Spectra

    Kailash said:
    Do you think Weight Watchers ever wants you to graduate? No, they want you to yo-yo, becoming ever more unhealthy by losing muscle mass and then blaming yourself for getting fat afterwards. They still look good for getting your scale weight down, and making you look temporarily “improved” to those who can’t properly judge health[…]

    Not necessarily 100% true…I did WW and I continue to loosely follow their guidelines, and I keep the weight off pretty easily. You don’t have to starve…you just have to keep track of your calories and not go back to your old way of eating. My mom is a WW “yo yo” because she goes on the program and eats well for a couple months, then goes back to eating thousands of calories worth of junk and gains the weight back.

  41. Lor

    When you did the meat and vegetables, did you put any butter on cooked veggies or salad dressing on the raw ones, or just eat them plain? Just wondering….thanks.

  42. Jen

    I agree with all the comments so far. Our bodies are very efficient machines; they have properties that will properly cleanse it periodically. I do not think our bodies are meant to fast, unless it’s for a brief period or religious reason. I agree that it’s all psychological and instead of fasting, why not eat things that grow out of the ground for a few days?

  43. Kailash

    A fast, or any weight-loss diet, without sufficient protein means you will lose muscle, meaning you will lose metabolism, meaning you will not be able to eat as much as you had before. Many people who had crash dieted have had to become rabbits or mice at the table, in order not to blow up again like a blubber balloon when they resumed healthy eating habits. And many more have blown up like a blubber balloon, becoming even worse off than they were before as only having lost muscle mass and replaced it with fat.

    The only crash diet I would ever do is a protein-sparing modified fast. Eat a pound or two or meat a day, depending on if you weight 100 or 200 lbs, or scale the meat to your weight being somewhere between or above. Eat as many vegetables as you like (corn and potatoes are not vegetables). Meat and vegetables for two weeks… Afterwards, I slowly added foods back into my diet: first nuts, then fruit, legumes, whole grains and finally the occasional starch such as white rice. Though I still try to eat starch only in the post-workout window, when the muscles are primed to absorb nutrients rather than the fat cells.

    I lost 15 lbs this way, almost all fat (some water). My arms and calves were the same size, so I know I didn’t lose my hard-earned muscle mass (bodybuilder). But I’d lost 2 1/2 inches on the waist, and was never hungry, having split up the 2 lbs of meat into 6 seperate meals.

    Eating more meals increases metabolism, btw, while providing a more constant influx of nutrients. Skipping meals decrease metabolism and is a horrible way to diet, if you care anything about maintaining a healthy body shape. You’ll end up like a waif after the diet, and a whale a few months later if you follow the typical advice.

    Do you think Weight Watchers ever wants you to graduate? No, they want you to yo-yo, becoming ever more unhealthy by losing muscle mass and then blaming yourself for getting fat afterwards. They still look good for getting your scale weight down, and making you look temporarily “improved” to those who can’t properly judge health.

    A waif, a whale or a wonderwoman (or man) – it’s not just a matter of discipline, but also dietary education. You’re on the right track.

  44. Kitty

    Spectra said:
    I would hate this master cleanse thing. Seriously, if you eat enough fiber and drink enough water, you’re colon cleans itself out. It’s lined with mucus and eating fiber helps clear any debris out of there. Plus, your liver/kidneys takes care of most toxins in your body. The only reason it makes you lose weight is because there’s no food matter in […]

    Not only that, the weight comes back with a vengeance.

  45. Spectra

    I would hate this master cleanse thing. Seriously, if you eat enough fiber and drink enough water, you’re colon cleans itself out. It’s lined with mucus and eating fiber helps clear any debris out of there. Plus, your liver/kidneys takes care of most toxins in your body. The only reason it makes you lose weight is because there’s no food matter in your system. It’s all psychological…there’s much more to health than weight.

  46. Dr.J

    Fasting may actually have some very beneficial effects on overall health and longevity. The area that needs to be explored is how long a fast is needed for the benefits. It may be as short a period as 12 to 18 hours. It was no accident that it was named Break–Fast!

  47. dela

    Kitty, It’s funny that you were probably less likely to get cancer after having lost the 40lbs, but you looked more like someone who does have cancer. Your post makes me want to try it! But I know better…

  48. Kitty

    This idea is older than I am. When I was 15 (in 1965) I unintentionally skipped a few meals once and noticed that I had lost 5 lbs in the process. So I decided to skip eating entirely and drank water with lemon juice — no sweetner. I dropped 40 lbs very quickly, which had everyone believing that I had cancer. I certainly looked like I did. My mother dragged me to the doctor who told me, in no uncertain terms, that I had better start eating if I didn’t want to ruin my health and looks. It took two weeks of trying to eat before I could keep a small meal down.

  49. iportion

    Knowles also says she hated it and it caused her to binge

  50. Mark

    “Cleanses” and “detoxes” are complete hokum, the placebo effect, useless unless you’re scheduled for a colonoscopy. No medical experts support them. The fact that the stuff that comes out of your colon looks gross, just means that you’re flushing the crap out of your intestines all at once before it forms into stools.

Last Reviewed: January 18, 2018