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. Krystyna

    I went on the master cleanser forty years ago. I did it for 16 day to detox. It was and has been the best detox I've ever used. Felt great after the first four days. Did salt water flushes in the morning and enemas at night. Would recommend it to anyone for detox. It is very safe and highly effective. I am now 62, very healthy, and would do the cleanse again without hesitation.

  2. Kallau

    I boil my water and drink it hot like tea. I can't find anywhere if the distilled water is suppose to be room temperature, fridge cold, or kettle hot. Does anyone know if this matters?

  3. John Regan

    Why are there no studies on this practice? This is what all the mainstream sites say: there is no evidence that this lemonade fast accomplishes anything, such as a “detox”. Having been around for so long and having been done by so many people why hasn't anyone done a study?

    Full disclosure: I have been doing a very similar fast annually for more than 20 years and I think it's a good thing, but struggle with all the opposition and not being able to point to some acceptable study.

    • Mike Olaski

      There are literally hundreds of studies on fasting. The Master Cleanse is just a fast. Whenever anyone says there is no evidence of something, take whatever they say following that with an understanding that they are biased. It's more likely that there is SOME evidence of everything than there is NO evidence of something. They should say “There is zero evidence (that I can find or want to disclose)”. I have a report on all the studies on fasting in draft for years. I'll try to publish it. But to your point, definitely someone should study TMC specifically. Maybe I will someday. Lastly… people often forget (and a high percentage of them quote “no evidence”) that the scientific method is not just double blind placebo trials. That may be the gold standard. But it's still a flawed standard. Note the word “placebo” as evidence that NOTHING works for EVERYONE. That said, the scientific method is also anecdotal. You're experience is science. It is a study of your experience. And in aggregate with the millions who have done it, those experiences comprise a survey study of sorts.

      Here's one of the spreadsheets I was using to collect my thoughts on Fasting. It contains reference to 320 studies on fasting.

  4. Laurie

    Hi, I am on day 8 and feeling lightheaded and really irritable. I drink about 8-10 glasses of the lemon aid a day. I did cheat and had some coffee this morning. Could that be the reason?

    • Bill

      I did a number of cleanses with excellent results (I spit out metallic junk for days and felt much better, including better joint health). As an experiment, I did a cleanse and continued to drink coffee on the basis that the key element is a liquid diet (the digestive system has time to rest so your body can focus on other matters). After two days, the standard metallic detox started, so I have continued with the coffee and continue to reap the benefits. Are there other, more discrete effects that I am missing because I “cheat” with the coffee? Can't tell you.

    • James

      Yes absolutely. Caffeine is a super powerful drug, and after 8 days your body is highly susceptible to its affects, it’s actually highly HIGHLY discouraged that you do that again. I’m surprised that’s the only thing you feel actually. Not trying to scare you, but yes, that is absolutely the reason. Keep going your doing great!
      J J

  5. Cathy Pope

    I started the cleans 2 days ago without the maple syrup. Is the syrup necessary?

    • Hayley Chappel

      Yes, the syrup supplies the carbs that your body needs to function. It’s the filler to help sate your hunger.

    • Bill


  6. Michelle G

    I was only able to make it to the middle of day 2 but feel like i have much more energy. It was actually hard to go the sleep the night before cause even though I was hungry, I felt like my body had more energy.

  7. Ankita Tiwari

    This is really very nice so i would like to thanks for this blog good job

  8. Tom P

    I'm on Day 4 right now after a 3 day ease in. I have been on exactly 6 glasses a day for the first 3 days. Today I am going to up it to 8 as I have felt a little dizzy at time over the first 3 days. I'm down 11 pounds from the start right now (that's from the start of the ease in period). I plan on doing a green diet for a week after the ease out, then slowly start to bring in other things as part of a long time lifestyle change. My starting weight was 204 and by the end of my green week I would like to be at or closer to 180. The long term goal is 160. I think this is a great way to kick start a lifestyle change, but I think the ease in and ease out are a must. The reason i'm adding a green week at the end is to try and ease back in to a lifestyle change and not immediately go back to bad habits. Any further tips would be helpful :).

    • Mike Olaski

      Hey Tom, congrats. Please take note that if weight loss is your goal, it can be counter productive to take less lemonade. You're wise to increase the amount to 8 glasses, 10 or 12 won't change your weight loss. Paradoxically, it can expedite it. Good to hear your doing a “Super Fast” by stacking another FAST, the “Green Week' as you call it. Care to share your protocol?

      • Cindy Mitchell

        The article above says: Obviously you can Drink more, for less weight loss, and drink less to lose more weight. (Note – drink less to lose more weight)

        You said: Please take note that if weight loss is your goal, it can be counter productive to take less lemonade. (Note – counter productive to drink less to lose weight)

        The statements contradict each other. Which is correct? I am trying to jumpstart weight loss, but am having trouble drinking 64+ oz of lemonade drink daily.

        • Mike Olaski

          Hi Cindy, the key is “it can be” (and often is). You have to know everyone is different. But generally speaking if anyone is dead set on weight loss narrowly focused that can lead to a dysfunctional belief that less is more. What's more there is alway a point of diminishing returns, and that slope I find is different for everyone.

        • Giora

          I'm on the cleanse for the second time. In my first cleanse I reached a plateau on day 6 drinking just 8-10 glasses a day. I increased my intake to 12 or more glasses and was able to lose more weight. The reason being that my body needs 1200 calories per day to maintain a faster metabolism, so when it wasn't getting enough my metabolism slowed down and my body was holding on the weight.

  9. Claire

    Hi there, I eat vegetarian for a week and did 3days for ease in. Today is my third day of actual lemonade diet, but I stewed it up for eating a few shrimp dumplings. I regret for not controlling myself tonight. However I still want to know if I can continue the lemon diet after eating a bit? Look forward to your reply. Thanks a lot.

  10. ayushya

    Hello 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. This is great post thank for share your post


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