Does The Lemonade Diet Actually Work?


 Everyone wants to look great. Well, almost everyone. And those people who do are often willing to go to great lengths to drop the pounds for that fantastic body. Perhaps you fall into the same category. Today we will look at the Lemonade Diet. 

Maybe there is a wedding coming up you want to look good for or maybe you are you looking into cheap diet plans. Or you have a beach vacation planned and want to shed a few pounds before slipping into that bikini.

There are tons of diets out there pescetarian dietcardiac dietcarb backloading diet plan and so on…

Whatever your reasoning, you’re here looking up the Lemonade Diet, so you’re obviously interested in dropping weight.

Also known as the “Master Cleanse,” is the Lemonade Diet really all that great?

Naturally, it’s not something that is sustainable. You’re not going to be able to live off of lemonade for the rest of your life (if you tried to it would not be a very long life).

But will it help shed the pounds up until your important day?

We’re here to dig a bit deeper into the Lemonade Diet and find out if it really does work.

What is the Lemonade Diet?

If you’re like most people, you heard of the Lemonade Diet in one of two different ways. First, you heard that Beyonce was using the diet, and figured, “Hey, if she’s doing it then it must be good!” The second is you were at the office and notice someone just drinking some odd liquid all day. When you asked about it they said they were on the Lemonade Diet. And now, here you are. Regardless of how you found out about it, let’s take a closer look at what it actually is.

This is a liquid only diet.

Similar to when you have the flu and you have to sit on a liquid only diet for a few days, you will not be ingesting any kind of solids. At least that’s the plan. You “meal” options differ between three different beverages: the semi-lemonade drink, herbal laxative tea, and a salt-water drink.

Yes, it sounds incredibly appetizing, doesn’t it?

Basically, the idea is to stay on the diet for at least 10 days in order to detox the digestive system. By detoxing the digestive system, you’ll remove some of the build-ups that have occurred. The limited calorie diet not only helps you shed fat but by clearing out your digestive system, you’ll feel healthier, happier and lighter.

After the first 10 days, you’re allowed to start adding a few foods, but this begins with soup. From soup, you can begin to add on fruits and veggies. From here, you can continue on with it but you’re not supposed to eat meat or dairy (although the diet allows chicken noodle soups and others along this line into the latter days of the diet).

The Master Cleanser Diet

You might be surprised as to just how long the idea of this diet has been around for. In fact, Stanley Burroughs, the creator of “The Master Cleanse,” first published insights on the diet back in the 1940s. He then went on to update the diet in 1976 and make it the subject of his book “The Master Cleanser.”

Outside of the tea and the water, the “lemonade” is made up of lemon, lime, water, cayenne pepper and maple syrup.

The diet itself calls for “grade B maple syrup.” It calls for grade B because it believes that the darker maple syrup (grade B is darker than grade A) is less refined and so it would have more nutrients. The thing about it is no maple syrup is refined. Grade B and Grade A just are made at different times of the year by trees and the colder temperatures affect the color.

There’s no actual difference between different grades of syrup. So the very foundation of the diet is faulty and completely incorrect. That should shed some light just on the quality of the “scientific” backing behind this diet (there isn’t much in way of scientific support for using this diet in the first place).

If the faulty science in the diet recipe doesn’t point out just how bad the diet is, consider the fact that the founder was originally convicted of second-degree murder because people diet following Stanley Burroughs’ recipe.

The conviction was eventually appealed and reversed, but the fact that a conviction even went through, to begin with, is serious.

Do you really want to take up a diet that has enough people that a murder conviction came up?

You might as well just drink water and not eat. You’ll take in just about the same number of calories (Livestrong, 2017).

More About Stanley Burroughs

So, is there anything about Stanley Burroughs, the creator of the “Lemonade Diet” that warrants people listening to the guy regarding weight loss?

Let’s look a bit at his past to find out. First, he was originally born Aaron Hayes in New York back in 1903. He moved at a very early age to Detroit and then went to move to Portland, Oregon during the 1930s.

After marrying, having three daughters, divorcing and marrying again, he moved out to California and bounced between California and Hawaii to practice alternative medicine. This is what started to get him into trouble though.

Prior to his second-degree murder conviction, he was convicted of the unlawful sale of cancer treatments in the state of California, on top of being convicted of practicing medicine without a license (WebMD, 2017).

Is The Lemonade Diet Good For You?

If you look up the diet itself (right on it’s own website), it states that while on the diet you’ll experience some symptoms like tiredness and headaches. That’s not good. If your diet is giving you headaches you should probably stop.

But again, this is not a long-term diet and it is designed for you to drop last minute weight.

You’ll also crave food. With this kind of a diet, you’re basically starving yourself. The only actual calories you’re taking incomes from the small amount of sugar within the lemonade-like drink.

And sugar is not a great source of calories. In fact, you could easily take the calories found in the sugar and eat something far more nourishing.

Does The Lemonade Diet Work?

The biggest question about any kind of diet is whether or not it works.

Does the Lemonade Diet work?

Well yes, in a temporary kind of way. You’re not eating anything for at least 10 days. The calories found in the lemonade beverage is only a few hundred. You’ll burn more than this just sitting in your office chair, breathing.

But that’s probably all you’re going to be able to do because you won’t have the energy to do anything else.

And that really is the problem too. If you manage to stick with this kind of a diet for 10 days or more, your productivity will drop in just about everything. You won’t be able to complete as much at work, and your brain won’t function as well. Your brain still needs nutrients and energy from calories to function. The few calories you’re bringing in will go to fuel the light movement you’ll be performing, and so basically everything that requires you to think will start to suffer.

Yes, you will lose weight.

However, it won’t all be fat.

When your body discovers you’re no longer taking in calories, it will safeguard your fat storage. So you’ll end up burning more muscle than normal. You’ll see a rather startling drop off in muscle definition while on the diet. Plus most of the weight you do drop will be water weight.

And you know what will happen when you go back to a normal diet (because this kind of thing isn’t sustainable)?

You’ll begin to put on more weight in fat.

So not only will you cut out muscle weight, but in the long run you’ll probably put on more fat weight.

In the grand scheme of things, you’ll likely end up heavier than when before you started.

But The Body Needs To Detox!

The purpose of the diet, at least according to the founder Stanley Burrough, is two-fold: to drop weight and to detox the body.

After all, it’s good to detox the body, right?

Of course, it is. It is always important to have a clean body. However, you don’t need to stop eating and starting drinking some odd “lemonade” drink in order to detox your body. The fact is your liver and kidney’s do that for you. The best way to detox your body is to avoid saturated, processed foods and eat fresh vegetables (especially greens), 100% whole wheat grains and lean proteins.

By cutting out the processed foods and saturated fats, your body will take care of itself. You don’t need some funky diet to detox your body. Just follow this healthy eating recommendation, ditch the alcohol and cut out smoking.

Do this and you’ll feel great, not to mention you’ll clear out your digestive tract at the same time.

Who Should Avoid the Lemonade Diet

Alright, so let’s say you’re hellbent on testing out the diet.

Some of your friends swear by it and just won’t shut up until you do it.

Well, that’s up to you (don’t say we didn’t warn you). You can always tell the people who are bugging you that the guy who created the diet was originally convicted of second-degree murder and tried to pass it off as a treatment for cancer. Maybe if they know they were supporting the diet of a crock they wouldn’t do it themselves.

But that’s a different topic altogether.

If you really do want to move forward with the diet, go ahead, although there are some people who shouldn’t, under any circumstances, attempt this diet at all.

First, if you have any kind of major health concern or condition, do not partake in this diet. If you are diabetic, you should not follow the diet. All of your calories come from the sugar found in syrup, which can cause all sorts of problems with your insulin levels. This kind of diet could end up being deadly for you.

If you are battling something more serious, such as cancer, you need to avoid this as well. The person who died following the diet (under the direction of the founder) was battling cancer and stopped listening to actual doctors. If you have digestive problems, a heart condition or really any other kind of medical condition, do not follow through with this diet.

You need to be a, for the most part, completely healthy individual just to try the diet (E Online, 2017).

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This is a terrible diet idea. We can’t outline that enough. Terrible. Do not do it. Avoid it at all costs. There really is nothing good about the diet. For starters, it says you’ll drop the pounds. Sure, you’ll drop weight.

But the weight will be muscle weight and water weight.

As soon as you go back to a normal diet you’ll gain the water weight back, not to mention put on more fat weight. Second, it calls itself a “Master Cleanse,” but that isn’t necessary either. The body will naturally take care of itself as long as you put in clean, quality products into it.

So neither aspect of the diet is healthy for your body. When following the diet, you’ll be putting in anywhere from 800 to 1300 calories worth of sugar into your body. You can eat a healthy diet of 1300 calories that will leave you far more satisfied, cleanse out your body and give you the necessary nutrients you need on a daily basis. This diet will leave you underperforming at home, at work, and in your personal life.

All of this plus the fact the founder was convicted of killing a man he put on the diet to combat cancer. If you have read all of this and are still going to try the diet than there’s nothing we can say here that will change your mind.

So we can’t say enough times to not do this diet.

-Terry Asher

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Terry Asher

Owner & Founder at Gym Junkies LLC
After changing his best friend’s life by helping him lose over 70lbs, dropping him down to an amazing 7% body fat, Terry was inspired to be a full-time internet trainer knowing he could do the same for many more. In 2010, Terry published his own diet and fitness e-book that can be purchased on this website. Let Terry help you change your body for the better!
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