The lemonade diet is probably one of the oldest weight-loss programs to date. Developed in the 1940s by the late Stanley Burroughs, the diet – also called “The Master Cleanse” – was first introduced as a detoxification and fasting program. Burroughs originally sought to rid the body of toxins brought by an unhealthy lifestyle with this regimen. Only later on did it become popular as a quick weight loss plan.

Recently, lemonade diet’s popularity soared when famous music artist Beyonce announced that she lost 20 pounds by following this program – a crash diet she underwent for her role in the movie Dreamgirls. This encouraged others to try the diet for themselves.

But what exactly is the lemonade diet, and does it work well for others, too? Read on to find out.

lemon(57195)Credit: Wikimedia CommonsCredit: Wikimedia Commons

The Lemonade Diet Explained

The lemonade diet is similar to a juice fast. The diet can run from 10 to 40 days, depending on your desired results. During this period, the only source of energy and nutrients you have is the lemonade, mixed with other ingredients to make the perfect concoction. In addition to organic lemon juice, you would need Grade B maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and distilled water.

Making the concoction is simple; all you have to do is take 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and maple syrup each and a 10th of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Pour and mix these ingredients in a glass of water. According to the program, you would need to drink at least 6-10 servings a day.

What Does It Claim to Do?

The diet’s main goal is to give the digestive tract a much needed break. It does so by mobilizing and eliminating the toxins stored in our body. Simply put, the lemonade diet cleanses our system of its impurities.

Weight Loss Claims

Weight loss during the program is not surprising, given the calorie restriction. With only 100 calories per glass, the total daily calorie intake of a person on the lemonade diet is 1200, at most. However, severe calorie restriction will lead the body to go into starvation. As a direct result, metabolism will shut down. According to Burroughs, weight loss is just a bonus – a natural by-product of the master cleanse. He also said that about half of the lost weight will be regained once the regimen is over. Clearly, there are a lot of misconceptions regarding the lemonade diet that must be straightened out. 

Lemonade Diet: Recommended or Not?

Crash diets have become more popular over the years, but we all know that while some of them do work, the effects are only temporary. Plus, there are a significant effects on our health that make them much less appealing. The lemonade diet is no exception. In this program, weight loss is credited only to serious calorie deficit. You might argue that weight loss is still weight loss, but with this diet, you lose only water weight and muscle – not the unwanted fat that you should get rid of. Headache, fatigue and constipation are some of the side effects you have to deal with during the program, too.

The lemonade diet also claims to rid our bodies of built-up toxins accumulated over the years. However, medical experts point out that our body is capable of naturally removing unwanted substances. This natural process is facilitated by the liver, whose main function is to detoxify the body.  

There is no easy way to achieve weight loss, so you might as well rule out fasting or detoxifying as your options. Not only do they perpetuate an unhealthy relationship with food, they also don’t work long-term. Exercise and a healthy, well-balanced diet plan always work best.