I stumbled on the Master Cleanse Diet on YouTube. It is said Beyoncé used this to lose weight for a video shoot, so if Queen Bey is doing it, it must be worth the try right? Then I watched Abigail Van Carder’s video and I was awe-struck. The difference in her weight between Day 1 and Day 40 was so vivid that I immediately decided to try it.
The diet was created in the 1940s by Stanley Burroughs, an advocate of natural health who believed in the body’s ability to heal itself.
The diet takes at least 10 days but many people do it for just 3 days and others, up to 40 days.
During this diet, the only sustenance you consume is a lemonade brew: lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water, 6 to 12 glasses per day.
Then a herbal laxative tea is taken at night and a litre of salt water (optional) is taken at dawn. This salt water is to induce bowel movement and eliminate toxins.
At the end of it all, after your last day, you get off the diet by transiting to solid food over a few days, preferably raw (vegetarian) food.
Master Cleanse Diet Recipe
Mix the following ingredients into a large glass:
2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup (Grand Square –Abuja, Ebeano Supermarket/ HealthPlus – Lekki, Lagos)
1/10 Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper Powder – or to taste (as much as you like)
250 milliliters of Water
- To soften the lemon (before cutting open) and make the juice extraction easier, roll each lemon firmly between your palm and the table/counter. Put pressure as you roll the lemon back and forth under your palm.
- For work, I like to mix a large quantity of the lemonade brew in a big Eva Water bottle, that’s about a liter. (So you multiply the recipe above by 4).
Salt Water Flush (Optional)
The Salt Water Flush is done in the morning on an empty stomach.
WARNING: It is not pleasant. You need to take the whole litre at once and be ready. This is not the type of poop you can hold or force back. Be sure you have immediate access to a toilet within the following hour. If you are hypertensive, this is not for you please. In fact if you have any medical condition with your heart, I don’t recommend this.
Sea Salt – 2 teaspoons
Water – litre of warm water
Mix a solution of sea salt and room temperature water and drink it all up.
My first experience with the Master Cleanse Diet was in 2012 for about 14 days, but this time around, I’ve done it for just 10 days. Honestly, no amount of prior experience prepares you for this kind of hunger. It is a spiritual test every time; a test of your will. I lost about 20 pounds (9kg) within that time. I did not use a laxative tea or the Salt Water Flush.
I will tell you now that I hate the Salt Water Flush. It works, a little too efficiently. The force of exit is exhausting, and my poop was all liquid, pale coloured liquid. It was very disgusting. Then I had to go like 2-3 times before it was over. I felt weak and almost too tired to go to work. Doing this daily just wasn’t sustainable for me.
Day 1- 3: These are the hardest days really. I suggest you start on a Friday (when work is light) and then, clear your weekend. It is easier to survive this diet by sleeping. I felt sleepy a lot, so Saturday and Sunday was very convenient.
Day 4-5: A lot of peeing. I had to pee almost every 15 minutes so I was dehydrated a lot. Then I had to attend my cousin’s wedding. This was the ultimate test, with food everywhere but I survived it! Somehow, I wasn’t hungry anymore, smelling the food was enough. I could taste it just by smelling it; the oil and curry in the rice, the cinnamon in the cake, and the nutmeg in the Chi-chin.
I had good energy levels too and even danced in church. But, I took the lemonade with me everywhere; to the church and the wedding reception just to make sure I didn’t faint.
Day 6: My parents started freaking out and made me promise to stop at 10 days.
Despite the lack of food, I was very mentally alert however. I was thinking very clearly, worked on numerous reports and other critical intellectual assignments. The challenges were with physical assignments like walking.
Day 7- 10: I was fed up with the taste of lemon. One more sip and I swear I would have lost my damn mind. I could drink water but not a drop of that lemonade. My slogan has been “Get skinny or die trying” but then I read about death by Ketoacidosis and decided I really wasn’t ready to die for this.
Right now, it’s Day 12. I’m still on a low calorie diet. I had a mango yesterday but that’s all. I just don’t feel hungry or ravenous like I used to. My appetite is very low and I feel full very quickly. I don’t think about food so much although I occasionally crave fried dodo or groundnut.
I’ve lost 13.4pounds (about 6kg) so far. I won’t be eating any starch or carbs till Day 40. I’ve still got 17kg to lose so, wish me luck.
(P:S If you have any questions, please leave then in the comment section below.)
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I'm Red and I like to read, write and shoot a few great pictures. A constant learner caught in wanderlust, I'm always looking for new ideas, destination or adventure! Best part it, I tell everyone about it on my blog.