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 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 (fibre) 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 Juice, Rich 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. Paul

    Many years ago I read the Master Cleanser but I don’t recall clearly… does is say that you risk toxic shock or going septic if you fast for a long period without drinking Smooth Move or other laxatives? Thank you!

    • Ryan

      I s there something less acidic to supplement with the cleanse? Prob won’t matter because bowel movements do not happen often, pooping, acidic foods I’m sensitive to.

    • S

      No you cannot go septic on the cleanse. Septic means: infected with microorganisms, especially harmful bacteria. Unless of course your not consuming pure water or some other harmful substance, like bad food. This is a cleanse. What the article doesn’t cover is the symptoms. Everyone is different. But generally when the body is going through a cleanse different people will feel some or all of the following; Many individuals feel worse before they feel better. Symptoms can include exhaustion, irritability, achiness, flulike symptoms, diarrhea, rashes, sweats, chills, crying jags, insomnia, and more.

  2. Momof5

    Instead of the saltwater flush or the detox tea, will magnesium work? I don’t want to use saltwater because of my blood pressure. Magnesium, if taken in a little bit too large a dose, will definitely make your bowels loose.

    • Sibyl

      Yes- don’t do the salt flush! bc I have high BP also. I will use epsom salts instead, which lower pressure.

      • Mike Olaski

        Please don’t use epson salts internally. The SWF will not impact your blood pressure.

  3. Violet

    Can i make the lemonade with hot water?

    • Birdie

      I use really warm water and add my lemon and syrup after heating the water first. This way I feel I’m protecting any of the nutrients and enzymes that might be lost to overly high heat.
      I’m currently cleansing and drinking all of my lemonades warm. This is my 24th master cleanse since 2008.

  4. Jennie

    What if you experience diarrhea while on the 10 day portion of the cleanse? Is something wrong or need adjustment?

    • Birdie

      Nothing is wrong. Your poo will be like that until you start eating solid food again. Liquid diet = liquid poo. (That’s how the toxins get out!).

  5. Usama Ijaz

    Nice article. i really like it. keep it up.

  6. Shey

    Can someone please help me brake down how much of each do I but in a gallon , I read a comment that says multiply by 16 but I am a bit confused

    • Mike Olaski

      Hi Shey, you would multiply all ingredients by 16. That would be 16 servings, a bit on the high side for the day, but maybe that’s what you’re after. However the bigger problem is twofold: 1) if you premix, you’re cayenne will steep (like tea does), and will be VERY hot when you drink it. 2), the enzymes in the Lemon will denature, or become less active, and useful. Those enzymes are important to your results. You are far better off making each glass as you need to. If you can’t manage that, here’s a link to the concentrate trick that works for me really well.

      Happy Cleansing

  7. Suzanne Stradley

    What if you are not losing weight.
    I have bad flu and cold and will be taking prednisone and cough medication….will that screw up my detox …I’ve been drinking the lemonade and swf and detox tea…

    • Mike Olaski

      Hi Suzanne, the cleanse can work to help you recover from a cold and flu, it’s been documented to have this effect, however it can also bring about could and flu-like symptoms as you detox. And you should not do while on medication. You might consider waiting until you’re feeling better.

      • Eric Douglas Mayhew

        Hi Mike,

        I’m curious about reducing the amount of maple syrup. Is there any reason I couldn’t do a 2:1 lemon to maple syrup with the same amount of cayenne? I’d like to be able to drink more but have the calories spread out.

        • Mike Olaski

          Hi Eric, ya that’s cool. Manage how you feel, and you might think about testing glucose/ketones to see how you’re doing. You’ll probably end up in Ketosis more so than not.

  8. Kai

    Hi all, how do you make a gallon of this so that you don’t have to make it everyday? I want it to last at least 2 days or a day and a half if possible. Does anyone know the exact measurements for this gallon drink?

    • Corey

      Multiply it all by 16.

  9. Becky Hoogenboom

    If you do the cleanse from morning until evening and end the day with a fish dinner healthy one, what will that do? Is that alright?

    • Eric Douglas Mayhew

      you won’t be doing the cleanse but you’ll be doing a sort of intermittent fasting.

      • Mike Olaski

        Ya, and that’s cool. I call that Super FASTing! Get clear on what you want to accomplish, and make sure you have a system in place to get there (the protocols of each version of your fast).

  10. Sue K

    Since I do this only in Jan, I always drink it warm but the temperature of the water makes the cayenne hotter tasting. Therefore, if you make your warm beverage and take it with you in a thermos, you may want to add the cayenne right before you drink it.

    • John Smith

      My workouts have felt soooo sluggish recently. I drink tons of coffee in the morning to try and wake up for my early workout but it just leaves me feeling too shaky. Took me months to find a better alternative but I’m starting to see some improvements when I use mushroom coffee. Usually buy the Four Sigmatic kind from Whole Foods since that’s the only brand in stock, but I’m starting to see a lot pop up online. Just actually put in a pre-order for one at a company called RYZE Superfoods that I’m excited to try. Will write a review post as soon as I get it!

    • Ellen

      I take a cayenne pepper capsule with the lemon drink.

      • Mike Olaski

        That can work. I always advise that one should use their aversions to taste, and tolerance to citrus, or spice as possible mental blocks, limiting beliefs, and look at them as a challenge to their status quo of being, one that can be overcome. Also, the capsules can stimulate digestion, so should be used sparingly. I find if you add the cayenne to your drink in the last moment before you drink it, and then drink it quickly, it’s really just a few minutes of discomfort, limited to your taste. It can’t hurt you. It’s just taste.

        • Shauna

          Is the lemonade to be drank quickly? It was mentioned the lemon breaks down quickly

          • Mike Olaski

            Generally, yes. If you make 1 serving, no need to rush. But I drink mine in one go and on with my business.

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