How To Master Cleanse and Lemonade Diet to Detox and Lose Weight “F.A.S.T.”

The Master Cleanse (also called The Lemonade Diet) is a modified juice fast that's often used for rapid weight loss which consists of 3 simple, but powerful Super Foods, and Water.

This Master Cleanser is a liquid diet that provides a healthy amount of calories and nutrients specifically suited for cleansing, all while resting the digestive system and allowing the body to heal naturally. The Master Cleanse has been tested and approved since 1940 by millions of people all around the world and is constantly reported as the most successful diet of its type.

Over the years, The Master Cleanse has gone by many names such as The Lemonade Diet, The Cayenne Pepper Diet, The Maple Syrup Diet (all from ingredients in the Lemonade). The Lemonade Diet is also known as the Beyonce Diet, thanks in part to the fame Beyonce brought to the cleanse when she did the diet to lose weight for the movie Dreamgirls.

More recently, many people refer to the broader regimen as The Master Cleanse, and to the narrower diet as The Lemonade Diet. In the end, it really doesn't matter what you call it, all you need to know is that it flat-out works –as evident by the millions of fans worldwide.


There are 3 Ingredients to the Lemonade Diet:

The Lemonade Diet is such a simple diet to teach and requires only 100 words to convey the basics:

  1. First, squeeze Fresh Lemons into 2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice
  2. Then add 2 Tablespoons of Rich Maple Syrup, and  1/16 of a Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper into 8 oz to 10oz of Pure Water.
  3. Drink a minimum of six to 18 glasses throughout the day whenever one is hungry

Every day you do The Master Cleanse you overcome the psychological need to eat, you feel a growing sense of control that motivates you to complete the process. The Master Cleanse is by far my favorite of all the detox diets I have tried, and maintains its place at the Grandfather of Juice-Fasting, and the predecessor to the Ketogenic Diet craze (as is Fasting in general).

There are 5 Phases to The Master Cleanse:

  1. Ease-In: The 3 days before and after The Lemonade Diet that slowly removes or re-introduces complex,
  2. The Lemonade Diet: 10 Days to Lose Weight Fast, and Feel Great At Last
  3.  Ease-OutThe 3 days after The Lemonade Diet that slowly removes or re-introduces complex,  processed (C.R.A.P.) foods from your diet.
  4. Daily Detox Teas: Every day a Natural Detox Method must be engaged to eliminate Waste such as Detox Tea
  5. The Salt Water Flush: Optionally, instead of the detox laxative tea, you can do the Salt Water Flush first thing in the morning (details below).

Each of these will be explained in detail, and it is very important to follow these directions carefully. If you read closely you shouldn't have many questions, but of course there is always more to know, so check out the comments. Most of your other questions will be answered there. Since I get so many of the same questions, I will be making a FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions page very soon.

OK, so that's the recipe, now what?

There are often questions regarding the precise ingredients for the Master Cleanser Recipe, as they can vary somewhat, depending on your experience and requirements. Be sure to choose which is right for you and learn how to best be prepared for The Master Cleanser Side Effects.

The best way to prepare for the Master Cleanse is to get educated about all the ingredients and  their purpose as well as the Cleaning process that takes place. Everyone goes through different, very individual healing process and this may prepare you for it's ups and downs.

 Ease-In – Starting The Master Cleanse

The Ease-In step of The Master Cleanse (Pre-Diet Routine) is not as important as the Ease-Out (Post-Diet Routine). In fact, you could skip the Ease-In completely and begin directly with The Lemonade Diet at anytime. In my experience, however, beginning The Lemonade Diet with the Ease-In routine not only prepares your stomach for less food, but your mind as well.

The purpose of Easing-into the Cleanse

I find by doing the Ease-In, the first two days of the Diet are not as shocking, and the impulse to eat is therefore more manageable. It allows you to prepare your body for the dramatic change in diet as you cleanse but it will also prepare you for the next 10 days : mentally and emotionally, which can prevent you from ending the Master  Cleanse too soon. Use the 3 days of the Ease-In to gather your ingredients for the Master Cleanser Recipe.

The Lemonade Diet

Whether you begin The Lemonade Diet immediately or Ease-In, the process of the Lemonade Diet is the same. You will however, need to make two decisions to suit your personal preferences and/or your daily work and family routines.The first Master Cleanse Variation revolves around timing your daily flush. Perhaps equally important as Ending The Master Cleanse is the Daily Detox Bowel Movement. It is crucial to flush out the toxins your body is eliminating, and since you are not consuming digestible food (fiber) to create a bowel movement, you will have to make that happen.

Awake, and prepare your Lemonade – this is your nourishment and energy source for the day.

Soon after arising you will prepare your daily intake of Fresh Lemon JuiceRich Maple Syrup, Cayenne Pepper, and Pure Water.

Master Cleanser Tip: Roll each lemon firmly between your palm and the counter. Put sufficient downward pressure as you rock the lemon back and forth under your hand. You are softening the lemon to make the extraction of juice more efficient. See this post for detailed tips on The Lemonade Diet.

How much Lemonade should you drink during the day?

You will drink between 6 and 12 glasses of Lemonade each day (some people drink as much as 26 glasses per day). The more you can drink, the better. I try to drink at least 8 glasses each day. This will depend on how big or small you currently are (caloric needs), your tolerance to physical and psychological urges to eat, and your desire to to lose weight.

Daily Day Detox

Most people think that Detox is an big procedure one must endure, but the truth is that we are constantly detoxing through our organs of elimination such as our liver, kidneys, and even our skin. Yes The Master Cleanse is a Detox Diet, which is to say a diet that produces rapid and more deep detox, which is precisely why, if we choose to engage in additional practices that also on their own aid our body's own ability to detox, we can deepen our Master Cleanse detox experience.

Of the many Daily Detox Methods we could employ, such as epson salt baths, tongue scraping, saunas etc., the most important are those that induce our “Daily Detox Bowel Movement”. It is this process that cleanses your body of the waste, and toxins since we are not producing any solid waste for our bowels to move on their own. There are two accepted methods to produce Daily Detox Bowel Movements:

  1. Salt Water Flush
  2. Nightly Detox Tea

Prior to your first day on The Lemonade Diet you should have taken your Nightly Laxative. On your first full day you do not need to do the SWF so you can start drinking your Lemonade immediately upon waking.

Ease-Out – Stopping The Master Cleanse

The Ease-out process of The Master Cleanse is the exact same as the Ease-In, but in reverse. This is also another reason I choose to do the Ease-In – it prepares me for the Ease-Out. You will be tempted to fast-track this process, but DON'T.

Why is the Ease – out so important?

Consider this step as ESSENTIAL. You can become nauseated if you start to eat too soon. Please don't underestimate the importance of this process. On the other hand, don't be scared of it either. You do risk some serious constipation or some of the worse Complications of The Master Cleanse – but if you eat something too soon, you will likely be okay in the long run. If you are unsure at any time – consult a doctor. My words here are opinion only, and should always be considered informational not medical advice.

Here is a quote from Tom Woloshyn's book The Complete Master Cleanse On the Easing – out :  ” The important transition period of moving from lemonade to food will prepare your digestive system for more and more complex foods so that it does not become overwhelmed. Just as you wouldn't try running a marathon after being a couch potato for three years, you wouldn't break a cleanse by launching into full-feasting mode. You want your digestive system to get well-deserved break so that your body can start back on the right track. “

The Results; Before and After The Master Cleanse

Naturally, and because many chose the Master Cleanse for it's rapid weight loss effects, many people want to know, how much weight they will lose, and how fast they can lose weight. While those types of questions can indicate an unhealthy desire to lose weight fast, that in itself isn't necessarily bad, or unhealthy. There are plenty of studies that show in the context of a controlled environment, that works with the bodies systems as fasting does, that rapid weight loss doesn't have to be a taboo subject or a scorned intention. Just take note of you broader reasons. If you repeatedly are gaining the weight back and are looking in the mirror at your waistline with anxiety, you might want to seek emotional cleansing first. Wellness is holistic, systemic, and so is disease. It's all connected. Take a look at the whole picture, and be honest with yourself about your wants, needs, desires and fears.

How much weight will I lose during the Master Cleanse?

Master Cleanse Weight Loss results vary according to your pre-cleanse weight, and can be managed, to a degree, by how much lemonade you drink. Obviously you can Drink more, for less weight loss, and drink less to lose more weight. It is not a wise choice to drink less than 6 glasses in an effort to lose “extra” weight. Weight loss (if any), should occur naturally. It is wise to drink whenever you're hungry, or when you feel a lack of energy (commonly felt as a weakness or mild shakiness), which is quickly corrected by drinking a glass of Fresh Lemonade. 12 glasses per day should be your starting point from which you will make adjustments.

How long should I do the Cleanse for?

Tom Woloshyn claims the longest he has heard of is 372 days straight with the second longest being 256. Some people do “Cleanse Stacks” where they will do 10 days followed by some regular eating and quickly going back on for another 10 days as many as 5 times. My suggestion is that 2 weeks is more than enough. There are reasons for Long Term Master Cleansing such as Disease Cleansing, but that topic is far outside of the scope of this article.

After The Master Cleanse

When you are done The Master Cleanse, the next and maybe most important step is to begin to Eat Wisely. This sounds so simple, yet so many people go right back to eating emotionally to sooth their daily worries. Choose to Eat Wisely and you will not put the weight back on. If you go back to Eating Poorly, you will gain back all the weight you just lost – and maybe more!

Make sure to start taking Probiotics after you finished the Cleanse. It is very important to replenish the good bacteria in your body that has been flushed out during the Cleansing process. The word “probiotic” means “for life.” Probiotics are good bacteria that provides many health benefits and are essential for many vital body functions, including healthy digestion.

Getting Started (For Newbie & Master Cleansers)

Now that you know what The Master Cleanse is, you might want to take that information and get started right away, and you'll probably do just fine going it alone, searching randomly for communities to join, resources to rely on and people to relate to. But, why would you? It's all right here.

Sign up now for our Group Cleanse, a free Cleanse Bootcamp, perfect for Newbie Cleansers, and Master Cleansers alike.


  1. Debbie

    Thanks for all the tips. Just startd the clenase today although I have fasted in the past. lease can you let me kow if it is okay to use ground pepper or do I buy it fresh and chop it up?

    • Mike Olaski

      Hi Debbie, it's Cayenne Pepper you need to use, and yes it should be ground. It can also be liquid (a special supplement).

  2. Johnny G

    Here we go. This will be my fifth go-around, I think. Maybe sixth. Some have been more successful/longer than others; the longest being maybe a month. In my late 50's now, started back in my early 30's. The first few days are always rough. Been juicing a couple days to prepare, then I'm setting sail day after tomorrow. Great to find this site! Every time I do it, I search the net for “Master Cleanse DANGER!” or “Master Cleanse DOOM!”, but I can never find anyone giving me any reason why not–and the results are always great. Weight loss, mental clarity, energy, spiritual rejuvenation. Harder now with a wife and kid, but it'll be all right. Hey–any newbies: LISTEN TO THE WARNINGS ABOUT COMING OFF THE CLEANSE. Slow and steady wins the race. Once I (felt like I) almost killed myself quitting after just three days, and figuring I wasn't on long enough to worry about resuming normal eating. Food tasted so awesome, I must have overdone it. I was on a job, double up on the floor in a back room, in total agony, THIS close to asking someone to call an ambulance. It's always been otherwise perfectly fine and I've always felt safe when I've done it right, but if you decide to bail anytime after more than a day or so, be very careful. It's no joke! Happy cleansing and be safe!

  3. JW

    I have done the cleanse numerous times. The first time, I dove straight in and completed 40 days without cheating or wavering to lose 35lbs. I was 220lbs and 25% body fat starting and 185lbs and 12% body fat ending. I worked a full time job, drove 40mi each way every day, and even did some working out. I did not feel any loss of energy and still remained moderately active, just like before starting the diet. I would add, that you should be using Organic GRADE B Maple Syrup over GRADE A, it has less sugar and you will find it at Whole Foods in a 1L brown plastic jug. I personally now prefer the grade B too because I always found maple syrup to be too sweet for my taste anyways. You will probably be going to Whole Foods anyways, because that is where you will find Smooth Move laxative tea to drink nightly.

    Some other tips:
    1. Pre-make your entire day's drinks in the morning and alternate between the lemon drink and straight water. I drank one 16oz glass of either lemon drink or water ever hour pretty much all day long.
    2. Fresh is the best but you can cheat. You can certainly use lemon juice from a bottle and yes you can make it ahead of time. Just obviously try to get the freshest lemon juice you can, not from concentrate if at all possible.
    3. Smooth Move tea is available in chocolate, peppermint, and calomel… because you are supposed to be drinking it at night only get calomel. Peppermint and chocolate can activate acid reflux or upset your stomach if you lie down right after drinking.
    4. If you take regular medication… BE CAREFUL. Your doctor prescribed you drugs based on your weight and diet, you start changing that and you could mess up the dosage. I am speaking from PERSONAL EXPERIANCE and not a theory. My father, who takes blood pressure medicine, passed out while cleaning dishes in the sink and slammed through a cutting board with his head he hit the ground so hard. BE CAREFUL. I would say consult a doctor first but no doctor is every going to put their medical license on the line for this diet… so instead I wouldn't say “consult a doctor” but “tell your doctor what your going to attempt” so that he/she can attempt to ensure it is as safe as they can make it.
    5. The first 7 days suck. There is no follow up for that sentence. It will suck, you will want to eat, you will be hungry, but you will push through it. You get hungry, you drink the lemon drink or water, don't go to lunch with people, don't cheat, don't wimp out. After the first 7 days I wasn't even hungry anymore, but I did crave chewing… weird I knew.
    6. Ohhh the morning flush. That is the most disgusting thing I think anyone could possibly do to themselves. All I can say is, you better be near a vacant toilet about 20min after finishing… the rest I am sure you will figure out.
    7. The more heat units in the Cayenne Pepper the better. I bought a number of different heat units off of Amazon. Keep pushing yourself to go hotter and you will get better and faster results. The purpose of the Cayenne Pepper is to increase your body temperature and increase burning things out of your body. Store bought Cayenne Pepper is probably around 30,000 heat units and better quality ones can be as high as 50,000… but you can step up to the big daddy of them on Amazon with 90,000 heat units when you are ready. Also, Peppers are one of the most polluted foods out there, so it would serve you well to pay the extra for organic peppers not only for this but any pepper use. Look up the 12 dirty foods and peppers have the highest amount of residual pesticides.

    • Mike Olaski

      Amazing! Thanks for sharing!


    • Teresa

      Wow, amazing info, super helpful, especially the info about the cayenne. I've always used store bought organic but generally use about 1/4 tsp per glass of lemonade and seem to do fine. Might up the ante this time. THANK YOU!

      • Kim Kimani

        I forgot my cayenne pepper can I still drink my mix? I dont have access to the pepper until this evening so that is 6 hrs from now

  4. Cynthia L Giacobbe

    I’ve been doing this since the 80s and have found the mix that works best for myself. I do this 2x a year just to keep clean if you will. I also use the molasses at times when I’m not feeling the sweetness of the maple syrup.. And now that I’m 50, I’ve added in Turmeric to the mix with the pepper.

  5. Francis

    After hearing all the testimonials, i think i should start the master cleanse program that you have recommended. Just need to know if it is safe to do this when you are working full time especially if the work is driving loading and unloading. I'm afraid that i might lose concentration on my driving and not be able to lift products in and out of the work van.

  6. location de voiture casablanca

    The longest I ever did master cleanse was 50 days a couple of years ago and it worked amazing. I am struggling this time now that I have kids
    Any pointers

  7. Ron Clark

    I have done the Master Cleanse twice before, going 21 and 20 days each time. I personally lose 2.5 pounds per day steadily for the first 10 days, then 2 pounds a day thereafter. It is very hard, but very effective.
    I am beginning my third round of the Master Cleanse today, and will be on the diet for some 24 days, with an anticipated weight loss of 45 pounds, from 220 down to 175.

  8. Jacqueline Carr

    Wow Josafa are you feeling ok and how much are you drinking a day..I want to do this cleanse first before my fast without food or liquid..I'm preparing myself for a spiritual fast.

  9. Shea

    The first time I did this cleanse, I kicked 15 lbs to the curb and it did not come back when I stopped the cleanse. Subsequent master cleanses have not been as successful for weight loss…my guess is that with the 1st one I was not losing fat, but cleaning a lifelong accumulation of old gunk out of my bowels (it was by far the darkest foul smelling cleanse). Since I now do a 7-10 day master cleanse at least once a year, the gunk does not have time to build up as much. So, it is still a health success! Most of the year I eat pretty healthy, but Halloween hits and it's junk junk junk til Christmas. Now I always do a master cleanse shortly after Christmas to cleanse AND as a “reset”: this stops the 2 month long habit of eating candy and junk, and the holiday habit of regularly eating until I'm overfull. Then its back to healthy eating and feeling good until I start breaking down at Halloween again. Looking forward to starting the master cleanse tomorrow and here's to hoping the junk cycle will wait until Thanksgiving once the kids are grown and out, or that we will become more dedicated to health and not bring the junk into the house in the first place :-)

  10. Josafa

    My name is Josafa werneck and am going on the 45th day of the Cleanse. Checked the scale yesterday and have loss 56lbs. Feeling great and plan to go for 3 months Let you know the results..HAPPY CLEANSING everyone.

    • Mashariki


      I am just starting the cleanse with my daughter who is home from college and I want her to cleanse before going back. Should we drink the lemonade from day 1?

    • Teresa

      Whoah that's amazing…45 days! Did you finish the 3 months? What were your final results?


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