Stanley Burroughs originally developed the Master Cleanse, or lemonade diet, as a way to rid the body of toxins, according to Kathleen M. Zelman, R.D., director of nutrition at the WebMD website. The diet has since gained popularity as a weight loss tool as well as a method for toxin removal. The Master Cleanse involves limiting calorie intake to a lemonade drink recipe for 10 days.
The Master Cleanse causes weight loss primarily because of the extremely low number of calories consumed during the diet. The plan requires the dieter to drink a mixture of lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water six times per day. While this kind of fasting will cause weight loss, it will likely be muscle mass and water weight. When our bodies do not receive enough protein, says Pamela Peeke, M.D., a nutrition expert with WebMD and chief medical correspondent for Discover Health TV, our metabolism slows and our bodies start taking protein from our muscles.
While the Master Cleanse diet claims to remove toxins from the body, the liver and kidney perform this job already. No evidence exists to support the claims that such a fasting detox diet does anything to rid the body of built-up toxins, according to the American Dietetic Association. Instead of a drastic detox diet like the Master Cleanse, supply your body with a balanced and nutrient-rich diet to support overall health.
After a prolonged period of severe diet restriction, as in the Master Cleanse, your instinct is to reach for everything in sight. You will come out of the Master Cleanse having lost muscle mass and slowed your metabolism with the temptation to binge eat. Any weight loss and detoxification effects may be quickly lost once the diet ends. Instead, make sustainable, healthy modifications to improve your diet long term.