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The Master Cleanse

What is it and how does it work?

The full version of the Master Cleanse diet consists of lemonade, laxative teas and saltwater. It's bound to cause short-term weight loss but is high in sugar and lacks food and important nutrients. It is also very powerful in setting the reset button on your eating habits. You can learn a lot about yourself using this as an experiment. As you observe your emotional and physical reactions to the drastic diet change, you'll learn about your will power, and how to cope when the body is undergoing change.


The Master Cleanse diet is relatively simple to follow. It can be quite an adjustment from regular dieting since no solid food is allowed. Note the Master Cleanse is not a traditional Ayurveda practice.

Master Cleanse as an option during the Perfect Timing Cleranse?

For the purposes of the Perfect Timing Cleanse, the cleanse can be used as an experiment to see how your body reacts - no more than two days for now.

- On the first day, take 1 glass of the lemonade (see recipe below) in the morning, preferably on a day prior to the final 4 day period of intensive work

- On the second day, take 2 glasses of the lemonade spread throughout the day

- Prepare in advance by ensuring you are taking care of your digestion, using one or a few of the following: Triphala, Aloe Vera, eating beets, prune juice, lighter foods and using the rehydration therapy.

- The body may react to this by tightening the digestion; if so, use warm to hot water to loosen movements.

- Once the Perfect Timing cleanse period is completed, you can choose to use this intermittently in your regular routine, or ease into a longer period.


Want to ease into a longer periods of the Master Cleanse?

Since consuming a liquid-only diet is a radical change for most people, it is recommended to ease into it gradually over a few days:

· Days 1 and 2: Cut out processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, meat, dairy and added sugars. Focus on eating cooked whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables.

· Day 3: Get used to a liquid diet by enjoying smoothies, pureed soups and broths, as well as fresh fruit and vegetable juices.

· Day 4: Drink only water and fresh-squeezed orange juice. Add maple syrup as needed for additional calories. Drink laxative tea before bed.

· Day 5: Begin the Master Cleanse.


How do I do the full Master Cleanse?

Once you have officially started the Master Cleanse, all of your calories will come from a homemade lemon-maple-cayenne beverage.

The recipe for the Master Cleanse beverage is:

· 2 tablespoons (30 grams) fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)

· 2 tablespoons (40 grams) pure maple syrup

· 1/10 teaspoon (0.2 grams) cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

· 8 to 12 ounces of purified or spring water


Simply mix together the above ingredients and drink it whenever you are hungry. At least six servings are recommended per day.


In addition to the lemonade drink, consume one quart of warm saltwater each morning to stimulate bowel movements. Herbal laxative teas are also permitted, as desired. When it was first created, the recommendation was to stay on the diet for at least 10 and up to 40 days, but there is no research to support these recommendations.


On the full Master Cleanse diet, no other foods or beverages are allowed.


Summary The only foods allowed on the Master Cleanse diet are freshly squeezed lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water. Herbal laxative tea and warm saltwater are used to stimulate bowel movements as needed.


Easing out of the Master Cleanse

When you are ready to start eating food again, you can transition out of the Master Cleanse. On top of the following recommendations, Ayurveda would recommend that you take extra time to work on maintaining your Agni, the digestive fire.

· Day 1: Start by drinking fresh-squeezed orange juice for one day.

· Day 2: The next day, add vegetable soup.

· Day 3: Enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables.

· Day 4: You can now eat regularly again, with an emphasis on whole, minimally processed foods.


Can It Help You Lose Weight?

The Master Cleanse diet is a modified type of fasting, and typically leads to weight loss.


Each serving of the Master Cleanse beverage contains about 110 calories, and at least six servings are recommended per day. Most people will consume fewer calories than their bodies burn, leading to short-term weight loss.


One study found that adults who drank lemon water with honey during four days of fasting lost an average of 4.8 pounds (2.2 kg) and had significantly lower triglyceride levels.


A second study found that women who drank a sweetened lemon beverage while fasting for seven days lost an average of 5.7 pounds (2.6 kg) and also had less inflammation.


While the Master Cleanse diet does lead to short-term weight loss, no studies have examined whether the weight loss is maintained long-term. Research suggests that dieting only has a 20% long-term success rate. Making smaller, sustainable diet and lifestyle changes may be a better strategy.


Can you exercise on the Master Cleanse?

Ask your doctor before exercising while on Master Cleanse. In general, adults on healthy diets are encouraged to get at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity activity (like brisk walking) each week, along with a couple days of muscle-strengthening activities.


Is the Master Cleanse dangerous if practiced long term?

Very low-calorie diets, including the Master Cleanse, can cause side effects in some people. The most common complaints are bad breath, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, muscle weakness and cramps, hair loss, poor cold tolerance and nausea.


Master Cleanse (also called the lemonade diet or lemon detox diet) is a modified juice fast that permits no food, substituting tea and lemonade made with maple syrup and cayenne pepper. The diet was developed by Stanley Burroughs, who initially marketed it in the 1940s, and revived it his 1976 book The Master Cleanser.


Resources:

Healthline

Mind Body Green

Cate Stillman

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