The Lemonade Diet

What is the Lemonade Diet

The Lemonade Diet was originally put forth in a book called "The Master Cleanser" by Stanley Burroughs in the 1950s.  The diet hasn’t really changed much since then, and it has been altered very little, but is commonly known as the Lemonade Diet, the Master Cleanse, or the Maple Syrup Diet.  Despite the word "diet" being in the title, this isn’t a diet at all.

How the Lemonade Diet Works

The premise behind the Lemonade Diet (and all the others that are just like it), is that it can help cleanse the body of toxins, which makes it difficult for a person to lose weight, cause headaches, and a number of other issues that may be going on.  The idea is that a person will consume nothing but the lemonade drink each day for 7 to 12 days total before starting on an eating plan that is usually a low fat, low calorie menu.  The lemonade drink is said to have detoxification properties and it is supposed to set up the body for prime health and the promotion of weight loss. In addition to releasing toxins that are stored in fat cells, the Lemonade Diet is also supposed to give you clearer skin and improve your focus and concentration.

What Experts Say about the Lemonade Diet

The Lemonade Diet is usually criticized under its original title of "the Master Cleanse", and it has received almost nothing but criticism from doctors, dieticians, nutritionists, and researchers for a variety of reasons.  First, the Lemonade Diet is, essentially, a fast where people will lose weight because they are not going to be consuming a healthy number of calories.

Combined with this ultra-low calorie consumption of lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne peppers, and water is a regimen where one "flushes" the body with sea salt that hasn’t been iodized and drinks herbal laxative tea.  The sea salt, cayenne peppers, and laxative tea are all laxatives that, while they might be mild in many people on their own, combine to make one powerful laxative.  Laxatives are not recommended by doctors for detoxification, and they are certainly not recommended for weight loss.  They are used to treat constipation and empty the bowels and rectum for examinations and surgery.

As far as detoxification goes, it is generally considered a myth among most medical practitioners.  The research shows that the human body does a good job of removing toxins from the body on its own and that the "signs of detox", such as pungent body odor, bad breath, and strong smelling urine is likely due to ketosis (a body response by which fat is used for fuel when not enough calories are being consumed).  There is no scientific research that has been done to support these types of diets or any of the claims made by them - such as body purification, improved nervous system, and cleansing of the colon.

Another concern is that, while fasting should be safe enough for the proscribed 7 to 12 days, as Dr. Roger Clemens says, "if the diet is supposed to be followed for 10 days, someone might conclude that it would be even better to follow it for 40 days. That's when a serious medical situation could result."  Basically, anyone who ignores the fact that the Lemonade Diet is only supposed to last for an average of 10 days and goes on it for much longer (a common occurrence) can put themselves into a state of prolonged starvation which causes the body to begin to break down in very serious ways.

The sole claim that can be attributed to being scientifically backed up when it comes to the Lemonade Diet is that it can help relieve people who suffer from kidney stones as well as assist in preventing them.  There has been research that verifies that the natural citrate in lemon juice produces the same results as the potassium citrate prescribed by doctors for kidney stones.

Sample Lemonade Diet Menu Plan

Each day the dieter will need to intake 8 servings of the lemon concoction which consists of the following:

  • 4 Lemons, juiced
  • 8 - 16 tbsp. Maple Syrup
  • 1 - 2 tsp. Cayenne Peppers
  • 2L pPurified Water

The ingredients are to be mixed up in a pitcher each day and drunk as the day goes along.  In addition to the lemonade concoction, the dieter will also need to:

  • Perform a salt water flush upon waking.  This consists of dissolving 1 - 2 tsp. of sea salt (non-iodized) in one liter of room temperature water.  Shake or stir to ensure the salt is well-dissolved and proceed to drink the whole liter as quickly as possible.
  • In the morning after the flush and in the evening before bed the dieter can drink a cup of herbal laxative tea. (Optional)

Once the 7 to 12 day cycle is over, the dieter will gradually reincorporate food into the diet starting off with heavier liquids (such as broth soups or light cream soups).  By the fourth day after the lemonade phase of the diet is done, a person will have added fruit, vegetables, seeds, and/or nuts into the diet.  The fifth day should include normal foods, but it is recommended that the eater refrain from starches, caffeinated beverages, and animal proteins.

Last Updated: Sunday, November 13, 2011