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 Some of those beliefs may be limiting and even based on old, outdated information or just not enough information.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. JK August 5, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

    The first time I did the master cleanse was about seven years ago. I did 10 days with no ease-out and rewarded myself with fried chicken. The result of that was having one of the worst stomach aches and a few trips to the bathroom. I was fine the next day but wouldn’t recommend it and definitely won’t be skipping that process again. Because I do a cleanse just about every year, learning from my first experience I now include an ease-out with a glass of fresh squeezed orange or any other fruit juice, which I find extremely helpful and important before introducing solids back into your system. Good luck to whoever reads this and/or is interested in the MC!

  2. ISBN July 31, 2017 at 1:07 pm #

    I’m on day 3 and doing 10 days. Not hungry at all, and following the recipe. HOWEVER…. I’m not doing the salt flush. I feel like teh laxative tea is strong enough for me. It has me going at least twice during the night and maybe once the next morning. It also makes me crampy. I don’t want any more pain from the salt flush, or it may cause me to stop the cleanse. Is this ok? If I am pooping (Sorry–eliminating! ha!)

    • Emerald August 3, 2017 at 6:56 pm #

      The salt water flush is painless. If you don’t like the smooth move you can drink epsom salt water instead, that’s also painless and you eliminate much quicker.

  3. Amanda Davis July 1, 2017 at 5:40 pm #

    I am on day 11 and am not hungry at all! I am struggling to get in even 4 full glasses a day. I am drinking tons of water though. My concern is that my weight has been the same for 3 days now. Is my body in starvation mode because I am not consuming many calories. Should I force myself to drink it even if I am not hungry?

  4. Ray May 12, 2017 at 5:43 am #

    I made a huge mistake. I was mixing 2 cups of syrup with 2 cups of lemon juice with 1 gal of water. That was for the first 7 days until i thought “i have lots of energy, i don’t feel too tired, and i can definitely do this for a long time. And this lemonade tastes great”. Well, i reviewed the recipe and “of course” i was ingesting 2400 cals a day! What a joke huh?

    Anyhow, i am a massage therapist, so i am very active at work. I burn an average of 350 cals per massage. I have not exercise at all but still managed to lose 14lbs of which only 1% was body fat–no wonder why.

    Starting today i will add 5 more days to the cleanse and see how i feel and how much body fat i lose.

    Last but not least, i have a question and hope somebody can kindly answer it. Would my mistake mean that i have not been cleansing at all? Should i start from “zero”?

    • Giovi May 25, 2017 at 12:38 am #

      You have been cleansing if you are doing the salt flush or the laxative tea. And also if you do the cayenne. I too am a massage therapist I am on day 9. The only down side to mixing all the ingredients is that as soon as water is added, it is supposed to be consumed with in 10 minutes. What I do is mix the lemon juice and maple juice equal parts, put it in an easy pour container. Then I just measure out 4Tbsp of the mixture into another shaker with the pepper :-)

  5. Nina May 4, 2017 at 12:44 pm #

    Hello! trying the master cleanse for the second time. Last time only did it for 6 days but it helped so much! It reset my taste buds and I was really able to focus on eating the right foods afterwards. It killed my junk food cravings. fast forward a year- I’m trying the cleanse again after 4 months of almost non stop travel for work. I am feeling very weak doing the cleanse. I remember being able to work out when I did the cleanse last year. This time around my body kinda shuts down around midday and I am forced to take a nap. I’m on day 4, drinking 8-10 glasses of MC juice a day, with the nightly laxative and salt water flush when I can stomach it. I’ve been drinking as much water as possible. Why am I feeling so weak? I was hoping to continue jogging through cleanse.

  6. Dishon89 February 11, 2017 at 4:21 pm #

    I’m on day six and thinking about going 40days instead of 10. I’m really loving this, I personally can’t stand the strong taste of the maple so I only use 1 tbsp for every serving. So far I am down about 11lbs. In hoping to lose a total of maybe 60. I’m also going to re incorporate going to the gym and plan on sticking to the treadmill doing a brisk walk.

  7. Jerald September 14, 2016 at 4:37 pm #

    I did the cleanse for 8 days and stopped because of travel and work. I intend to start again and go for at least 14 days next month.

    My question is this, what effect will it have on me to drink the juice and eat also. I just want to use the juice as an appetite suppressant and keep me from eating throughout the day. I like the way it makes me fee.

  8. Doc_Em April 11, 2016 at 9:12 am #

    Hi guys! The reason you need to ease back slowly to a normal diet is to avoid what is called Re-feeding syndrome. Your body is used to taking increased amount of carbohydrates which stimulate insulin release from the pancreas, to help transfer the glucose into the cells. With the MC, you severely decrease the amounts of carbs, hence reduce the production of insulin. This reduction in insulin release causes a shift of phosphates from outside the cells to inside the cells. This results in low levels of phosphate in the blood. The body enters a catabolic (break down) phase.
    After the cleanse, if you were to start with heavy meals rich in carbs, the pancreas will release high levels of insulin and cause a major, rapid shift of the glucose into the cells, causing the body to enter an anabolic (build up) phase. This is coupled by a rapid shift of potassium, more phosphate and magnesium into the cells. The body detects this to be low levels of these electrolytes and these lead to serious complications. People present with symptoms such as confusion, coma, convulsions and cardiac arrhythmias, which can lead to death.
    So it is important to exercise cautious feeding.

  9. June February 24, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

    Can I have the swf instead of drinking that tea at nite. I don’t like the taste of the tea at all , but the swf is very good tasting. ?

    so will it still be a good cleanse without the tea at nite and just the swf in the mornings ?

    • Mi July 1, 2016 at 2:57 am #

      I finished the cleanse on the 6th day (Sunday), because I was experiencing a burning sensation in my throat, it seems that even though I didn’t eat for 6 days, I felt that there was something lodged in my throat. So when I quit on the 6th day, I drank chicken broth for breakfast and lunch, and ate yoghurt for dinner. that night before bed, I was experiencing very bad back spasm, to this day (Friday). Whenever I ate, I would feel these squeezing pain in the middle of my back right around to front of my below my chest, the pain is really bad enough to make me scream out, I also found blood stain after I went to the toilet. I think may have ulcer prior to or during the cleansing. I have nót been to the doctors yet. If I had ulcer prior to the cleansing that may explain why I always have problems with digesting my food. I don’t know, I think that the master cleanse with the cayenne pepper may have made it worse. I wanted to do this diet to cleanse and start new, but I ended up being in so much pain.

      • Mike Olaski July 2, 2016 at 1:31 pm #

        Hi Mi, you definitely should consult your doctor. While detox symptoms are very common, a detox such as TMC can reveal the presence of illness that has gone unnoticed previously, due to the hyper-awareness one has for their body during the cleanse, and the peeling back of symptoms. Make sure your doctor is a “Functional” doctor that seeks to find causes, and doesn’t first reach for a prescription and snap diagnosis. You can always come back to cleansing as part of your over-all wellness strategy defined by your ND/MD.

  10. Ai February 4, 2016 at 11:13 pm #

    I had a great MC, ended it on Day 10 due to and travel. I drank a ton of fresh squeezed OJ with a touch of green juice in it. At night I was so hungry and had brought the lovely broth I made so I had that, about 12oz. I also started probiotics. THEN I just wanted more and more food. I was scared to eat because of the warnings, but I had an orange…. then I was in Whole Foods and broke down and head a lentil burger, no bun, and brown rice/quinoa veggie sushi and some raw vegan lemon coconut macaroons. I feel fine but I hope I didn’t mess something up. There was no way I was going to make it 3 more days on juice and soup.

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