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Common Mistakes of the Master Cleanse

There are a few pitfalls to beware for newbie and master cleansers alike. The most common Master Cleanse mistakes, while understandable, are certainly very avoidable. Experience will help to identify and eliminate the problem areas that people often fall into when doing the Master Cleanse for the first time.

Many Master Cleanse mistakes revolve around the preparation of the ingredients, materials and equipment needed during the cleanse. All are avoidable, but don't worry if you find yourself making them; every time we try something new, there is a learning curve. By the time you are done your first successful Master Cleanse experience, you will be able to post your comments and communicate your results to help new first-timers.




These mistakes are common, and seem to co-related to our the most frequently asked question, but not entirely, which is why we also made a “should” have asked questions list, make sure you check out both.

#1 – Fearing Misconceptions about the Master Cleanse

Master Cleanse, common mistakes

The misconceptions listed here are simply unfounded beliefs held by people, usually instilled by an ignorant population, parents, friends and rumors. Our lives are filled with these misconceptions, sometimes known as wives' tales.

The Best Way to Overcome Your Fears is to Get Educated

Master Cleanse is a great opportunity to uncover your belief system that is linked to food, eating and many other concepts. Some of those beliefs may be limiting and even based on old, outdated information or just not enough information. I see this cleanse as an excellent opportunity to learn about the way our bodies function and to get in tune with their natural rhythms. I have been moderating our Master Cleanse FaceBook Page for a couple of years now, and it is amazing to see how many people go on this Cleanse after they have spent a few minutes googling the recipe. It is very important that you understand all the Master Cleanse ingredients as well as the detoxing process that takes place once you start the Cleanse.

Download Our FREE Master Cleanse Road Map

We have put together this report so you could prevent many common mistakes and prepare mentally and emotionally for this amazing journey. It will greatly add to your successful completion of this cleanse and to creating as much of a pleasant, peaceful journey to healthier you as possible.

#2 – Understanding Cravings

It is important to understand the different kind of cravings we have. It is true that there is a physical desire to eat, an instinct as strong as flight from danger or procreation. What isn’t necessarily true, however, is that every sensation of hunger is related to that life-or-death instinct. Psychological cravings can be a part of our response. As we age, we begin to associate good or bad situations with eating. These associations — situations, smells, colors — are attached to emotions (good and bad), and then to eating.




overcoming your food cravings

When scenarios arise that carry these messages, we feel a craving to eat, in the manner of Pavlov’s Dog. In fact, almost all hunger pangs or cravings are psychological. You should not, however, ignore true hunger, which is difficult to describe other than to say: you’ll know it when you feel it. As you progress on the Cleanse, you will understand more clearly your limits and the messages your body is sending — which ones are real, and which ones make you eat with the fridge door open in your underwear at 11 pm because your girlfriend just hung up on you.

Recommended Resources to Learn about Your Cravings and How to Overcome them.

There are a few resources we recommend which may help you to understand your cravings better and allow you to explore your relationship with food. Master Cleanse is such a great opportunity to pay attention to your emotional attachment to some foods and also the psychological reason behind us reaching for certain foods in some specific moments. Here are two books we recommend :

  • Constant Craving by Doreen Virtue
  • Women Food and God by Gennen Roth : After three decades of studying, teaching and writing about our compulsions with food, bestselling author Geneen Roth adds a powerful new dimension to her work in Women Food and God. She begins with her most basic concept: The way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive. Your relationship with food is an exact mirror of your feelings about love, fear, anger, meaning, transformation and, yes, even God.

#3 – Buying Low Grade Maple Syrup

Don’t be cheap or lazy here. There is PURE, unrefined, maple syrup available somewhere nearby. The real stuff contains all the nutrients natural to the product, the “blood” of a tree. These nutrients are used directly by your body, and are combined and converted with the nutrients and vitamins from the cayenne and lemon juice to provide your essential requirements.

The Darker the Maple Syrup the better. You can’t use table syrup flavoured with Maple. All natural forms of Maple Syrup are acceptable, but do your best to find the highest quality you can. The darker grades have more nutrients. The first harvest takes syrup out of the tree that was stored all winter. Later harvests are freshly produced from the nutrients in the soil. During the winter, the stored syrup will lose minerals over time.

To learn more about all the specific qualities of maple syrup and its approved substitutes, please read our article on this topic.

#4 – Running out of Organic Lemons or Maple Syrup




This happens easier than you would think, especially if you are being strict and only using organic lemons. Many organic stores are closed on Saturday or Sunday. And sometimes there is no store open at all. If you find yourself without lemons, just drink the maple syrup. If you are out of both, and are feeling low on energy, find a natural, sugar-based liquid. You want to treat your body like a living IV (intravenous). Just get some calories in there without disturbing your resting system.

Master Cleanse, Common mistakes

Master Cleanse Mistake 5: Eating Other Foods and Cheating

You may think a little cheating doesn’t hurt. Well, it does, if it causes you to fail. Once you get your mind/body thinking more about other foods, your desires will increase. Nothing with make that happen more quickly than eating other foods. This cleanse is a difficult challenge, and I’ll admit to a few tricks. On days when it feels more difficult, I drink a herbal tea in the evening with a little maple syrup in it. You are allowed to drink any herbal, decaf tea (organic if possible) to soothe your sweet tooth. A small glass of pure, freshly squeezed orange juice can do wonders for the psyche. Just remember to wash it down with a lot of water.

Master Cleanse Mistake 6: Not Inducing Movements, Laxative and the SWF

Everyone Poops.I love the name of that book. And everyone must poop. You eliminate toxins by having bowel movements. Make it happen everyday, or at least every 18 hours. I would do it every morning. I like the sea salt internal bath (see instructions). You can alternate evening one day, miss a day and go morning next, then miss a day and go evening next. Make a habit out of seeing how much cleaner your movements become every day.

Master Cleanse Mistake 7: Breaking too Fast or No Ease-Out




Most information out there ends at this sentence: Make sure you don’t break your fast too early. Hello? Not enough information. And others have the nerve to add: “Or serious injury can occur.” Thanks for that! It is probably common sense that on day 10 of your cleanse you don't eat a Veggie sandwich from Burger King — although I witnessed a friend do just that. He was fine, however; maybe a little constipated for a few days. I also don’t have much more information on this, but please post comments with your experiences. This area of the Cleanse may be construed as medical advice. You should note, I KNOW nothing more than the understanding my experience provides. However, I can at least safely state this: just ease yourself back in. If you have to eat NOW, then choose something smart like an orange. Be careful about constipation. Moving back to solids will require a lot of water to keep you smooth.

Image courtesy of blogTO

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133 Responses to Common Mistakes of the Master Cleanse

  1. Christina Ørisha February 4, 2016 at 3:55 am #

    I’ve been doing cleanses since 2005, first the master cleanse then since then all juice cleanses. This year I decided to give another MC a try, using Vibrant Health’s Vibrant Cleanse, an organic powdered MC. I’m starting day 5, and by day 4, I added fresh lemon juice yesterday morning to my water drink and I felt more solid for the remainder of the day, just on one lemon. While my skin is clear, and it’s been relatively easy, I have a pallor on my skin, and wonder if a lighter greens juice (i.e. Cucumber, celery, maybe spinach) would be good to add for nutrients for the last half
    Of the cleanse. It’s still a liquid and I feel it’s ok, but am also open to feedback. What do you think, Mike? I did the powder as a matter of convienience, but can see now it needs to include fresh lemon too.

  2. Charlene August 9, 2015 at 10:24 pm #

    Exactly when can I begin taking Probiotics. I know that the instructions are to begin taking them “after” the cleanse. However, does that include during the Ease Out period or immediately after that? Thanks!

  3. Elizabeth July 31, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

    I have finished my 10 day cleanse. I feel so good to have finished it…although i wanted to go for another 7 days to loss a little extra weight. I lost 5lbs in total, might not seem like much but my clothes fits pretty lose. I was wondering…today will be day 2 on my second run…and i ate a granola bar. I hate that i got weak this morning but do you think i need to start all over…take a break and jump right back, or just keep going? Any feedback will be awesome.

  4. Nancy July 7, 2015 at 5:46 am #

    Hi, I started the master cleanse 14 days ago. I was planing to do it for 40 days but since day 9 I’ve stopped losing weight. What should I do? Should I stop the cleanse or What can I do to start losing weight again? Please help!

    • Mike Olaski July 9, 2015 at 1:36 am #

      Do you have more weight to lose? If so, re-align your expectations and reactions to realize that there is not clock/agenda to your weight loss. Let your body work through phases. That said, you can adjust the lemonade, try alternative detox practices along the way etc. Just don’t go beyond typical detox protocols because you feel you need to lose weight quicker than you are.

  5. Donna May 26, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

    Does anyone know if you can use a juicer and use whole lemons?
    My daughter used whole lemons with the skin on.

    • Charlene August 7, 2015 at 8:38 pm #

      Donna, I only use a juicer for my lemonade. I cut the lemons in quarters, place them into the juicer and because it also chops up the lemon peel the color and texture of the juice is lighter and somewhat creamy, as opposed to being a clear yellow color. Here’s just a few things that I’ve learned about the lemon peel: Lemon peel contains even more vitamins, nutrients, and health benefits than the lemon juice. Lemon peels contain about 5 to 10 times more vitamins than lemon juice. Hope that helps!

    • Ai February 4, 2016 at 11:08 pm #

      According the Burrough’s juicing the rind is ok too. He recommends it for women who are menstruating, there is something in the rind that helps with a heavy period which can happen on the MC. I just did a MC with limes and I juiced a few with the rind on, it offers a much better flavor too.

      • Ai February 4, 2016 at 11:08 pm #

        *According TO Burrough’s

  6. Donna May 26, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

    Does anyone know if you can use a juicer and use whole lemons?

  7. Jennilyn March 25, 2015 at 7:31 am #

    I have decided to ease off the cleanse on day 5 my children have had a terrible cold and I have now caught it. However I am doing the 4 day ease back to food. after reading everything I feel like a quitter I’m worried that I will get nothing out of this. I have lost a lot of inches but only about 2 pounds. do you think that my cold is just side effects or its pretty grose green runny nose and my throat is really sore?

  8. Toni Martin January 3, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

    I will be starting tomorrow, I currently take the Diamotaeous Earth every morning. Can I take this with the cleanse? Also can I use Organic lemon juice instead of real lemons?

    • DJ February 17, 2015 at 7:18 pm #

      I think that that messes up the active enzymes in the lemons. You really should use fresh lemons because they have all that good stuff that makes this cleanse work. I’m not an expert, but that’s just what I got from reading all about this cleanse.

  9. Nakeia October 26, 2014 at 8:58 am #

    Day 7, feeling constipated and only a 2lb weighloss overall. My products include Grade B Maple Syrup, Organic Lemons and Organic Cayenne, I do smooth move nightly and swf daily. Any suggestions, I’m very frustrated.

    • Ms. Cleanser May 20, 2015 at 11:33 am #

      Nakeia, it sounds like you’re not drinking enough of the lemonade. I had a similar experience of not losing much and it was because I wasn’t drinking enough lemonade and started a high intensity workout while doing the cleanse. It was probably too much.

      Just by drinking the 10-12 glasses per day and doing LIGHTER exercise like brisk walking, I dropped 5 lbs in just 2 days.

      I know this post was last year, but I’m hoping others with this issue may benefit from this tip.

  10. Linda July 20, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    Hi, Day 3 and have a horrible headache and wonder if it would really mess up the cleanse if I have 1 small shot of espresso (no milk or sugar) after the SWF just enough to alleviate the perpetual headache? Experienced this when I had to wean myself off coffee when I was pregnant…it had to be done gradually, dr’s suggestion.

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