The Lemonade Diet
The Lemonade Diet has been around since 1976, when Stanley Burroughs introduced it to the world. Burroughs called the diet the “Master Cleanse Diet,” but it became associated with lemonade because of its regime. Instead of focusing on nutritious eating and exercise, the Lemonade Diet seeks to detoxify the body. Lemons are an important part of the plan.
When you follow the diet as instructed, it’s supposed to cleanse your digestive system, remove toxins, cause weight loss and increase your energy. A special detoxifying drink is the key to the Lemonade Diet. In addition to the drink, laxatives and salt water play a role as well.
To make the lemonade, you need the juice from half of a lime or lemon. Add two tablespoons of organic maple syrup and a dash of cayenne pepper to the juice. Measure out 1 or 2 cups of water and add it to the juice. You have to drink this mixture several times a day during the duration of the diet.
The Lemonade Diet: Stages
The Lemonade Diet isn’t a long-term weight loss plan. Following the diet for an extended period is dangerous. In fact, according to WebMD some health care professionals consider the diet as a dangerous fad. If you decide to follow this diet, make sure to follow the stages as instructed.
The first stage of the diet lasts for 3 days. It prepares your body to follow the liquid-based lemonade diet. Do not skip the first stage. If you do, your body won’t be prepared for the liquid-based switch.
- On the first day of stage one eat fruits and vegetables. No meat, dairy products or grain allowed.
- The second day of stage one requires you to drink fresh fruit and vegetable juice. You don’t eat any fruits or vegetables, just drink the juice.
- On the third day of stage one no eating is allowed. You’re only allowed to drink a mixture of orange juice and maple syrup.
The Lemonade Diet’s second stage lasts from 10 to 14 days. Dieters say this is the most difficult stage of the diet, and it’s the time when most people drop out. You must follow the directions as instructed without variation.
During the second stage, you start each day by drinking the lemonade mixture. You drink this mixture throughout the day, whenever you feel hungry or tired. You could end up drinking anywhere from five or more glasses per-day. You can balance out the lemonade intake by also drinking plain water.
In addition to the lemonade, you need to take laxatives and to perform a salt-water flush. Take the first laxative and perform the first flush in the morning. Take your second laxative during the evening, but don’t perform another salt-water flush. You will need to make your own flush.
For the salt-water drink, add two teaspoons of sea salt to four cups of water. You might have to visit a reputable health food store to find genuine sea salt. The sea salt mixture works as a laxative. It flushes waste from the body, and is strong. You will probably have several bowel movements during the day.
Some people report feeling weak and nauseous during the second stage of the diet. WebMD also reports that during the fast many people feel hungry all the time, have headaches, experience fatigue, dizziness and are sluggish. You could also develop bad breath or gallstones.
It’s not uncommon to hear health care professionals refer to the Lemonade Diet as a starvation diet. You lose weight because you’re not eating any food, but you might end up losing muscle and water weight instead of fat.
The final stage of the Lemonade Diet prepares your body for food again. One the first day of the final stage, you drink nothing but orange juice. The second day of the final stage adds fresh fruit and vegetable juice. Solid fruits and vegetables are permissible on the third day of the final stage. After that, you should gradually ease back into eating by starting with light foods, such as salads and soups.
The Lemonade Diet: The Final Verdict
Starvation diets are generally bad for you. They can work, but the results are often short-lived. Most people return to their bad eating habits, and regain all the weight they lost. There also isn’t evidence that detoxifying the body does any good. A better idea is to eat healthy foods and exercise at least five days a week.
Celebrities such as Beyonce and Jared Leto have spoken openly about success with this diet. It helped them quickly shed pounds, but it’s important to note they didn’t do it alone. Celebrities have constant access to personal trainers and doctors. It’s not the same as trying the diet alone without any help from a health care professional.
Can you lose weight on this diet? Yes, you can. You will notice the scale says you’re lighter, but that doesn’t mean you lost any fat. Losing muscle mass isn’t a good thing, and water weight quickly returns. The diet also could negatively affect your metabolism, making it harder for you to burn fat. Another downside is that people usually overeat following a starvation diet. They overeat and gain more weight than was lost.
If you insist on trying this diet, speak with a doctor first. You could have a health condition that would make the diet even more dangerous. Women that are pregnant or breastfeeding are advised to avoid the Lemonade Diet. Everyone else should approach this diet with caution.