Some individuals interested in rapid weight loss are intrigued by the lemon juice diet, also known as the Master Cleanse. Lemon juice diet was originally introduced by Stanley Burroughs in 1941.
According to the program, participants are to avoid solid foods for anywhere from ten to forty-five days and subsist on three things: (1) salt water in the morning, (2) homemade lemonade throughout the day containing water, fresh lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup, and (3) a herbal laxative tea at night.
The original aim of lemon juice diet was to detox rather than lose weight, but since going on the strict liquid meal plan can also bring about a noticeable loss in weight, many dieters have begun to swear by the lemon juice plan.
Here’s a look at the pros and cons of such a dieting approach by evaluating how effective, safe and smart the plan really is:
1. Weight loss seems inevitable, but it will likely come from losing water and muscle mass
While following the Master Cleanse, you will be living off of 650 calories a day, which is well below the advised allotment for an adult’s daily consumption of food. The combined effect of maintaining such a low-calorie diet while also taking laxatives delivers an almost-guaranteed amount of weight loss.
Unfortunately, the weight you’re losing comes primarily from getting rid of water and from losing lean muscle mass, which happens when you starve yourself and don’t eat the food that your body needs to function properly. If dropping pounds is your number one goal, this diet could produce results, but the outcome isn’t healthy.
A recommended approach to losing weight combines the thought of eating less with the idea of working out more in order to lose fat and build muscle mass. While on the low-calorie lemon juice diet, your eating routine isn’t conducive to adding in more physical activity because your body even in rest mode is still working on too little fuel to get through the day.
At the end of the diet, your weight will likely be down at least a few pounds, but once you start eating a recommended number of calories each day, you will easily gain the weight back and basically be where you started from; except perhaps now, your body will have weaker muscles, a compromised immune system and some nutritional deficiencies.
2. The lemon juice diet is really inexpensive, but that’s because you aren’t buying food
Many diet plans are expensive and so feel, at least financially speaking, exclusive and out of reach. You may be interested in some of the highly-touted juice diets but looking at the price tags to buy prepared cleanses or even just the fresh fruits and vegetables required for DIY versions have you feeling overwhelmed.
The lemon juice diet is ridiculously cheap since, instead of buying food for at least ten days, you realistically only need to buy five items: lemons, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, sea salt and herbal laxative tea.
Although the lemon juice diet sounds appealing because it’s so affordable, even those who are on a budget should still put the situation into proper perspective.
The diet’s cheap because you’re living off of 650 calories a day. You can pick up an official Master Cleanse kit with all of the ingredients besides lemons for $80, but putting together a DIY version with generic products will easily reduce the cost even further. However, if money is really the biggest incentive in determining your diet, you could get two cheeseburgers off of the dollar menu every day for ten days, which is admittedly a ridiculous example but hopefully still a helpful reminder that money isn’t everything when it comes to determining what’s best for our bodies!
3. The diet doesn’t require special culinary skills or fancy kitchen tools, but a lemon juicer will help
You don’t have to be a talented chef or any sort of expert in the kitchen to pull off the making of what you will consume on this diet. You don’t have to have a top-of-the-line blender in order to turn spinach and carrots into juice or slave over a hot stove to make just the right kind of diet-friendly stew. You don’t need to be able to follow elaborate and complicated recipes or clear out your schedule because mixing up your next drink will take a few hours.
Mixing together your homemade lemonade for the diet is simple and straightforward, something you could pull off even if you find yourself staying in a hotel for part of the week or having to stay at work for an extra long shift.
Since you’re supposed to drink at least six glasses of lemonade a day, you could make some extra servings in the morning ahead of time and fill up a few water bottles so you’re good for the rest of the day.
Although having a juicer would be handy for squeezing the lemons, you don’t actually need one to complete the task so even that cost is optional. If you are interested in purchasing one, though, you may be able to pick one up at your local discount department store for less than $15.
4. The liquid diet is easy to digest, but you might have problems when you go back to real food
The lemon juice diet is meant to cleanse your body and give your digestive system a rest from having to break down solids and deal with harmful toxins introduced by careless eating and lifestyle habits. The lemon juice, laxative tea and salt water flush are intended to work together in order to clean out your tract from all unwanted substances.
Unfortunately, some desirable components will also get flushed during the process like the good bacteria in your system that actually manufactures essential vitamins for your body’s proper functioning.
When going off the Master Cleanse, you’re advised to gradually wean yourself off of the strict diet and to take probiotics in order to help your body avoid the nausea and pain that can occur when you’ve returned to eating regular food.
As a side note, lemon juice is famous for its therapeutic qualities and is an excellent natural energizer. It hydrates and oxygenates the body making it refreshed and revitalized.
If your main goal is to lose weight rather than to cleanse your body and you have chosen to stay away from the lemon juice diet for the reasons mentioned in this article, drinking warm lemon water is still extremely beneficial for your body.
Here are some of the benefits of drinking lemon water:
- It boosts your immune system
- It balances your pH
- It flushes out toxins
- It decreases wrinkles and blemishes
- It is capable of relieving toothache
- It relieves respiratory problems
- It is capable of curing throat infections
- It is capable of reducing fever
- It purifies your blood