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The Master Cleanse Diet
by Kent McGroarty, Contributor

The first thing to know about the Master Cleanse Diet is that it is not a diet! It is a fast or cleanse and great for the body because everyone’s plumbing needs a good flush every so often. This cleanse is currently the big fad diet in Hollywood with celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Beyonce, and Robin Quivers of the Howard Stern Show raving about it. However, doing this cleanse for longer than ten days can prove dangerous.

Although similar to a traditional fast, this cleanse is also unlike fasts because calories are consumed. Anywhere from 600-1000 calories can be ingested on this cleanse, depending on how much lemonade one drinks. Lemonade is the only "food" ingested during this "diet"! The official diet recipe includes filtered water, fresh lemons, Grade B Maple Syrup, and Cayenne Pepper. It is important to follow the ingredient instructions exactly, i.e. using bottled lemon juice or unfiltered tap water is counterproductive. Also recommended is consuming 100 ounces of water a day while on this cleanse, as it will help flush the system, in addition to the 60 or more ounces of the lemonade concoction a day for the cleanse to work.

Many people have found this cleanse to be a natural laxative. It is also common to pass "large amounts of internal waste" while on the cleanse, and there is a big difference in the "waste passed on the Master Cleanse compared to normal eliminations." Such waste has been described as "heavy mucus or black sludge," and it is also common to pass gallstones.

Using this cleanse for longer than ten days is when potential health dangers arise. Those who stay on the cleanse for 30 or more days are risking some very serious health issues. The cleanse allows the body a vacation from its normal functions involving food such as digesting, detoxing, and filtering, giving the body time to focus on getting rid of "internal impurities." Ten days is plenty of time to accomplish this. Any longer than that and the body will start adapting to its lack of nourishment-as in, the less you eat, the less you will be able to eat which could lead to eating disorders or other problems.

How does the body adjust to this lack of calories? First the body’s metabolism slows considerably and energy levels will also drop. Since food is the body’s "fuel," not receiving fuel will trigger conservation of energy and the body will therefore "cut back on energy expenditures." This slowing-down process results in side effects such as "fatigue, irritability, lack of concentration, and decreased mental function." It is recommended that after ending the Master Cleanse Diet, resuming "at least 45 days of normal eating so that the body can normalize." Another cleanse can be done after this period should one feel the need.

People also make the mistake of diving right back into pizza, fried foods, and other unhealthy eating habits after finishing the Master Cleanse. To go from one extreme to the other is hard on the body! Instead, look to healthful food solutions so the body gets what it needs to work efficiently!

The Master Cleanse Diet is a great way to flush the system for a ten-day period. Doing the Cleanse for longer than this is more or less a starvation diet. Sure, weight loss occurs, but once normal eating is resumed, weight is gained back, if not even more weight than before. This is because the body isn’t burning as many calories as it was pre-diet which is another of the many problems with starvation diets. While it is important to flush the body, it is also important not to abuse the Master Cleanse and use it as a diet. As with most things when used incorrectly or unwisely, it will do more harm than good!

Kent McGroarty is a freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor to EDGE’S Style, Travel, Health, and Fitness channels. Contact her at

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