What is the Lemonade Diet, and How Does it Work?

If you are looking for a diet plan to follow for your weight loss program, you can try out the lemonade diet authored by the late Stanley Burroughs. Also called the Master Cleanser, the plan was formulated in the 1940s and remains well-accepted even to this day. However, if you want to lose weight quickly and permanently, this diet is not for you. The main goal of this diet is to cleanse your system of all toxins and accumulated fluid. The resultant weight loss is mainly due to the flushing out of water retained by your body under normal circumstances. In fact, the diet clearly states that once you have completed the course of the diet, at least half of your lost weight will return on discontinuation.


The lemonade diet is primarily a detoxification diet relying on fasting. It aims to remove all the toxins hoarded in your body due to years of sedentary undisciplined lifestyle, negative mentality and improper dietary practices. When you survive on nothing more than lemonade for days, weight loss is inevitable. Some give up only after 4 to 5 days while others pursue it doggedly for 2 weeks. Weight loss is quick as your body begins to flush out the toxins. However, this diet can be dangerous for your body as it lacks all the vital nutrients, calories, proteins, carbohydrates, dietary fiber and vitamins which are so essential for normal functioning of the body. Moreover, exercise is ruled out probably because you cannot really strain yourself physically when you are half starving. Success of weight loss varies from people to people with many finding relief from gout, arthritis and infections.


The lemonade diet has a strict and limited food plan. You can have no solid food or any other dietary supplements while you are on this diet. Lemonade is your only food to be consumed at least 6 times a day or even more. A single serving of the lemonade, also known as the Master Cleanse, can be made by mixing together 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice, 2 tbsp grade B maple syrup (organic) and filtered water (10 ounces). You can add 1/10 tsp of cayenne pepper as per your taste. Your only other option is salt water flush which you can make by adding salt (2 tsp) to two pints of water. The diet also includes a herbal laxative tea to be taken at night, probably to avoid the constipation problem which can be cause by the lack of fiber in your diet. The lemonade diet claims to flush out all the toxins built-up in your body for years, within 10 days of following the diet; along with increased energy levels. After about 14 days, you can gradually return to solid diet. Start with vegetable soup, and then eat some fruits and veggies. Gradually go back to your normal diet.


Though you do lose weight fast, the loss is more because of flushing out of water and some muscle loss; you do not lose any fat that you actually want to lose. Additionally, with such limited food intake, you are bound to feel hungry and can also experience fatigue, dizziness, headaches, lethargy, diarrhea and constipation. Experts are also skeptical about accepting the fact that such a sparse diet can actually increase a person’s energy levels.

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