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Master Cleanse Diet

A 50-year old approach to liquid dieting.

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Also known as the Maple Syrup Diet or the Lemonade Diet, The Master Cleanse is one of the most severe and popular cleansing fasts that has been used for decades to lose weight, detoxify the body or improve overall wellness. Rigorously followed by Beyonce Knowles and a legion of other celebrities, including Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, to shed 20 pounds for her role in Dream Girls, the cleanse has been followed by thousands of individuals from yoga practitioners to those desperate to lose some quick weight.

The Master Cleanse is a tonic of four simple ingredients - water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup - that is consumed throughout the day with no other food or beverages permitted. The intense fast can be followed for a minimum of 10 days or for a maximum of 45 days.

You can make your own Master Cleanse tonic or you can purchase a Master Cleanse kit at a health food store.

Health and medical experts are quick to criticize the Master Cleanse for its lack of scientific evidence, its starvation-like guidelines, and its potential for side effects.

  • Will lose weight
  • Cleanse followers claim an increase in energy, improvement of skin tone and clearer vision
  • No medical evidence that extreme diets like The Master Cleanse actually rid the body of toxins
  • Provides only a short-term solution for weight loss
  • May have adverse effects on your organ function, digestion and metabolism
  • Side effects include irritability, headaches, insomnia and possible stomach irritation

The Master Cleanse Diet has you drink anywhere from 6 to 12 glasses a day of this special concoction comprised of water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Each of the ingredients have a specific purpose:

  • Lemon juice is supposed to help your body detoxify
  • Maple syrup provides an energy source and added flavor
  • Cayenne pepper is supposed to boost your metabolism

Exercise is not addressed on The Master Cleanse Diet, but since your energy intake is so low, vigorous exercise is not encouraged nor will it likely even be possible.


Fasting, or "cleansing" diets, are alluring to people who are looking for a quick fix to their weight woes. Celebrities are drawn to it because they need to drop weight fast for roles or TV appearances. Maybe any possible health risks are okay for them, since they say the danger is a part of the risk they take for their career. But for the rest of us who should be thinking about a lifetime solution, look for something you can live with forever.

Common Misspellings

Master Cleaner Diet, Master Clenser Diet, Mister Cleanser Diet, Master Cleanser, Master Cleanse

Related Diets: Juice Diet, Liquid Diet, Maple Syrup Diet, Oprah 21 Day Cleanse, Sacred Heart Diet, CleanseRX, Hollywood Miracle Diet, Lemonade Diet

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(Page 1 of 2, 31 total comments)


I am 23 years old and decided to try this cleanse not only to live a healthier lifestyle but also to help me get to my ideal weight. I am a senior in college and I was so sick of the unhealthy lifestyle I was living. Lots of alcohol and fast food. I was starting to feel depressed, so I wanted a clean slate. This cleanse has been perfect for that, I am on day 4 and I am feeling great mentally. Physically, I could be better. I dont have much energy but it is still early in the morning and have noticed that this is when I tend to feel the weakest. I started off weighing 124 and am now down to 119. I havent really experienced hunger pains like others have mentioned but I am a little cranky and have experienced stomach cramping with the tea. I read that ginger will help relieve that pain so I will be purchasing some of that today. I believe that this is the perfect diet to kick start a healthier lifestyle and I look forward to making healthy changes once this cleanse is over. This is definitely not for everyone but I think that it will be a great sense of accomplishment once I have stuck through this and completed the mc.

posted Feb 7th, 2013 3:52 pm


Will I lose pants size dong the master cleanse?

posted Feb 3rd, 2013 9:23 pm


DAY 10: Hey everyone. It’s the evening on my 10th day. I am writing this as I drink my second to last cup of the lemonade. I am 27 years old and prior to cleanse I had lived a fairly unhealthy lifestyle mostly consisting of late night eating and alcohol consumption. However I often would go through healthy spurts of losing good amounts of weight -- eating right and working out 5 times of week. Before the cleanse, I was in one of my unhealthy modes. I decided I needed a big change for the new year (and for the rest of my life) so I started the cleanse. Day 2-4 were the worst for me. I think my detox period was longer than normal since I had many more toxins to rid of. I had headaches (not a coffee drinker), dry eyes, and occasional soreness in various body parts (that would only last half a day). This was all part of the detox. It wasnt until the beginning of day 6 that I started feel back to "normal." I didnt feel the stereotypical AMAZING energy that some people speak about after day 3. I went to the gym once after day 5. I found it difficult making the effort when knowing your body is hungry. I didnt do the salt water flush (since it was and/or with smooth move) but did the smooth move each night (generally had a bowl movement each morning and occasionally again during the night). I didnt weigh myself but my weight loss was significant (more than 15, less than 20). This evening (day 10), went to whole foods and bought 30 organic oranges to make the 2 liters of OJ for the ease out process. Day 2, OJ in the morning, juiced vegetables (ALL organic -- kale, carrots, celery, carrots, apples, cucumber), and organic broth. Day 3, juiced veggies, raw fruit, and salad (no meat, poultry, fish, cheese). Day 4, repeat. Day 5, okay for normal meal. My personal recommendation: FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS and DO NOT start eating sooner as you could do some serious damage to your intestine, colon, and digestive tract. Dont forget, this IS an intense cleanse that has great results but you must follow instructions during ease out process. You will find your cravings for your typical vices not as strong (or not there at all). I CRAVED enchiladas during my detox phase and now I CANT WAIT for day 2 broth and day 3 salad. My primary reason for doing this was to start with clean slate -- tabula rasa! After the cleanse, I didn’t want to JUST commit to going to the gym since I have been there before. I decided to try something that will help my diet going forward and my workout; I am doing the 90 day Body by Vi challenge (had a friend that did it who had such favorable results he is now rep for Visalus). One last piece of advice, if you plan to do 10 days DO THE 10 DAYS. Stick through it; if it was easy, everyone would do it. And if you give up in this, what other things in life are you giving up and not finishing? Reading people’s experiences often helped me during the detox phase so I hope this helps someone. STAY STRONG AND BEST OF LUCK.

posted Jan 12th, 2013 4:26 am


Instead of going 10 days, I've opted for 25 for convenience of schedule. I don't do the flush, but I'm happy all the same.
The hardest part is not hunger pains (I rarely, if ever, got them), but curbing the cravings! It's a 10 day mental battle over wanting to give in. It gets considerably easier on the 2nd and 3rd day, especially if you remove all tempting food from your pantry!
I did notice decreased energy- not because I felt slow or lazy, but because my heart rate would increase 10x faster, and I had less stamina. I'm also concerned about muscle loss, which is why I won't try it again, but for the purpose of losing weight and introducing me to a healthier lifestyle, it was wonderful! I lost on average a pound a day, and am cutting the unhealthies (sugars, coffee, soda, snacks) out of my following diet so I only gain a few pounds back in water weight, and maybe getting some muscle back!

posted Jan 5th, 2013 3:32 am


can i eat peanut butter for energy just started the cleanse and i am starving going to stick it out,,,i weigh 210lbs and im 5ft 9in but im stocky build...i want to drop down to it okay to eat a spoonful of peanut butter for energy? i have all of the other ingredients...i do the sea flush in morning, 6-8 cups of water with pepper and lemon juice and im taking the laxative before bed...but can i eat spoonful of peanut butter for energy

posted Nov 26th, 2012 1:33 am


The master cleanse this extreme cleansing diet will quickly expel the toxins from your body, help you lose weight and clear your skin all at once. Only the most committed are recommended taking part in this type of diet. These types of cleansing diet are great for your body.

posted Jul 17th, 2012 9:47 am


I am currently on Day 10 of my master cleanse journey and all I can say it "Yay!!!" On Day 1 I weighed in @ a whooping 187lbs, I know gross! I'll have you know I was @ 142 just 4 months ago, just a little fyi. Either way it is now day 10 and I am @ 176lbs, that's 11lbs gone in 10 days. As for side effects, I mean I get tempted and a bit hungry here and there but asa I drink my Lemonade mix, I feel better and refreshed. I mean I've been jogging 1/2 a mile and walking another 1/2 everyday, so that should tell you just how much energy I have. I would recommend the Master Cleanse to anyone and am extremely excited to get to Day 35 so I can ease in and then stick to a vegeterian diet and incorporate more exercise into my lifestyle. I am very happy and so far pleased with my results! Good Luck to anyone taking the journey and Happy Cleansing!!! ;D

posted Jul 5th, 2012 10:39 pm


I'm currently on my third or fourth cycle on the cleanse. Today is day 5 and all is well. I cleanse because I truly feel invigorated, enlightened and aware after a cleanse. My body aches go away and I don't feel any bloating. I'm having such a great experience this time and I think it's because I felt like I really needed it and I really psyched myself up! It's hard to not eat but it's bearable. I have no problem being around others while they eat and my fridge and pantry stays stocked because my husband still needs to eat! I usually plan the cleanse during a time when no events or parties are going on. I like to cleanse during the summer, it keeps my body heated. I'm able to stay pretty active and continue to do my 4 mile runs or hot yoga or MMA cardio sessions. I enjoy the lemonade drink, I've even thought about making a mixer out of it! I added chopped ginger to my Smooth Move lax tea after reading that it helps with cramping and it works! I'm also doing the sea salt flush in the morning and I think DRINKING THAT is the hardest thing about the cleanse. This cleanse is not for everyone. You've got to be mentally tough. You have to see this as a mind & body overhaul and not a "diet" or do it to lose some pounds because THAT mentality makes this cleanse unhealthy.

posted Jun 16th, 2012 6:40 pm


I did this cleanse last year. For 10 days I went through absolute hell.

First off, you NEVER stop being hungry. I heard all this rubbish about "for the first 4 days you're hungry then you're ok" NOPE! I was STARVING the ENTIRE TIME. Literally waking up in the middle of the night ever few hours with horrible hunger pains.

By day 1 I was so sick of the drink I couldn't even imagine drinking this crap for 10 days (don't know how I did it). I felt weak, hungry beyond belief, nauseous, irritable as heck....pretty much felt exactly like how you'd expect when a person starves themselves for 10 days.

And guess that the best part was? It was all for nothing! Did I lose weight? Yep I did but the second I went back to eating solid foods you better believe every single pound I lost went back on. Even though I ate healthy mind you. My skin didn't clear up at all, I felt no different physically or mentally afterwards. The only reason I was happy off the cleanse was because I was able to EAT again.

So in conclusion, the master cleanse is a complete and total waste of time. You put yourself through agony, starve yourself for 10 days, and in the end you realize what a worthless waste of time it was. I read all these reviews about how 'amazing' this cleanse was, how these people felt so 'mentally at peace'....Idk what they were smoking but I have never felt more mentally disconnected, since I was in fact STARVING. My mind was on nothing but food 24/7. I will never ever ever do this again. It was only after I realized I had been duped by another stupid Hollywood trendy diet scam. Never again.

posted May 25th, 2012 7:08 am


This really works. If you don't overeat after this, there is no yoyo right away.
Generally, you will lose every 1 pounds off every day.
I succeed and fail over and over again per year. But I will try one more time to lose another 7 to 10 pounds.

posted May 16th, 2012 6:26 am


I've done this once before back in December 2010 and I lost weight (I'd guess about 6 lbs in a week). I could tell because I look at pictures from then and my face is slimmer and stomach is flatter. I've attempted it several times again but haven't been able to go past 2 days. I'm going to start again tomorrow and stay on until March 6th (2 weeks)!

posted Feb 21st, 2012 5:34 am


hi im on my 7th day of master cleansing i loose weight and all my pimples are gone,this is my 3rd time cycle well,you can feel dizziness,weakness in the 1 to 3 days but on my 7th day i feel head ache,i called my doctor to have my BP but its normal i guess my 7th day is the day where toxins are releasing in my body.3 more days and im done with this

posted Jan 15th, 2012 10:26 pm



posted Nov 16th, 2011 5:58 pm


I did this master cleanse for 40 days.and no i did not i started i had fibromyalgia and bipolar.i was also allergic to antibiotics of everykind.i was on 22 prescriptions before i i am on 0.i did this diet exactely as stated in the book.laxative teas at night.warm sea salt water in the mornings and the water ,lemon juice and maple syrup mixture.and they is what i lived on for 40 days.I am here to tell you.I am no longer on any of those prescriptions and i no longer have fibromyalgia and i am no longer allergic to antibiotics.and something else as well.the doctor said my mitral valve prolapse he can barely hear .which means there is an improvement there as well.I have to say when i got done with the master cleanse.I did a colon clean a couple months later .i got in shape for the first time in my life.i should have stayed in shape haha.but all is well .So i hope this helps somebody out there.and not everyone is the same but for me this worked well.

posted Oct 29th, 2010 5:55 am


I've done this diet before..I agree with alot of the people, it really does work..however it was also the hardest diet Ive EVER been on..if you can clean out your cupboards do so..I have small children so I couldnt banish everything from the house..which was hard..I tried to avoid the kitchen like the about the 3rd day I swear I could hear the cookies calling out my name when I lay in bed at night!..I got a little cranky at times to say the least..and gawd forbid if my fiance was cooking something tasty..haha..and that salt water flush..ugh..awful..the first couple days I drank it warm cause thats what it said..thought there was a reason for it..I threw it up both times..3rd day I tried it cold and held it down..I contacted Peter through the website and he advised it doesnt matter what temp the water is, as long as you can hold it down thats what seriously..drink it cold..much easier to hold down!..I found it a really tough diet pain no gain right? I really want to try it again but find myself putting it off..and off.. :op..

posted Sep 29th, 2010 11:46 am


Nice post. Iā??ve been thinking about trying the master cleanse myself. It's a good idea to clear out all the junk once in a while.

posted Aug 24th, 2010 11:24 am


I am glad that I read the review, because I have been looking into this detox (I have done the Smart Cleanse only a couple of times and you are allowed to eat, but mostly organic veggies/whole grains, lean chicken and fatty fish). I was wondering about my excercise regimen, because I do work out and was wondering if I should adjust my regimen or suspend it altogether if I am not eating anything. I was also wondering about the functionality. Smart Cleanse was very gentle and I was able to function normally at work without too many "disruptions" to my day and I was wondering if this one would be more disruptive.

posted Jun 21st, 2010 10:14 am


I did the master cleanse for 10 days. My experience was just as Tom Wolshyn described in his book. I followed the directions closely using the salt water flush not the laxative. My psoriasis actually went away and stayed away for a month. I felt great the whole time and lost 8 pounds. I plan to try it again in a few months to see if my psoriasis will go dormant again. I wonder if how we experience the cleanse depends on our individual physiology is when we start!

posted Jan 17th, 2010 4:56 pm


I mentioned the idea of a Master Cleanse iphone app a while ago. Well, we made it and it's awesome. Check it out at We'd love to hear feedback about it. Cheers!

posted Nov 20th, 2009 7:10 pm


After doing the Master Cleanse for 15 days, not to loose weight or because celebs do it, I felt and still feel incredible. I hear a lot of comments our there saying how it's a quick weight loss fix and that weight is put back on soon after. It wasn't true in my case. I just became more mindful of what I put into my body after being on the cleanse and I've kept the weight off. Not so sure I agree with the conclusion of the entry, but hey, we are all entitled to our own opinions! Also, what do you guys think of a master cleanse iphone application? I saw one on the appstore but it was pretty awful. My friends and I are developers and thinking of making one - one that stays true to the Burrough's method, designed to really work. Think it would be worth making? Thanks!

posted Nov 17th, 2009 8:18 pm


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