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The lemon cleanse diet, also known as the master cleanse, is famous for being followed by Beyonce and its ability to provide dramatic weight loss results.
The lemon detox diet has been around for 50 years, but to tell the truth, I’ve only just heard about it. I’ve never actually attempted this diet. The purpose of this article is not to suggest you try it but to let you know that it exists and to educate you on the topic so you can make an informed decision, should you decide to try it.
The master cleanse was originally intended to cure stomach ulcers. It was prescribed by Stanley Burroughs to heal stomach ulcers in the stomach of one of his patients and to his astonishment, his patient was totally healed after just 11 days. This process was repeated consistently in following cases, but of particular note was the weight loss that these patients experienced simultaneously.
As with any cleanse, you should prepare. Don’t just jump into a cleanse without working up to it. Transitioning to a vegetarian diet before a master cleanse puts less stress on the body. Slowly reducing your intake of sugary and caffeinated drinks also reduces the severity of withdrawal symptoms such as headaches.
The master cleanse consists of drinking only lemonade for a minimum of 10 days, made in the following way:
- 2 tbs lemon
- 2 tbs genuine maple syrup
- 1/10 tsp cayenne pepper
- 300ml water (hot or cold)
While on the master cleanse you should take a herbal laxative tea in the morning and again in the evening every day. You also use a salt water flush. You should be experiencing at least three bowel movements per day. The purpose of this is to remove all accumulated waste from the intestinal walls.
Transitioning off the master cleanse is as critical as transitioning onto it and should be prepared for with the same diligence. On the first day of transition, slowly introduce orange juice. On the second day, slowly introduce vegetable soups and broths. On the third day, slowly introduce fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of water during this process and avoid meat, fish, milk and eggs in the first week. In addition, don’t consume any processed food, soft drinks or caffeine.
This entire process will create a powerful foundation for new healthy habits. Think wisely about consuming processed foods, soft drinks or caffeine as it will undo the healthy system you’ve created.
The Benefits of the Lemon Cleanse Diet
- Better sleep
Because you’re not filling your body with processed foods, heavy meat, and foods which you are potentially sensitive too, and that which creates inflammation, your digestive system gets a chance to remove everything and start repairing itself. As a result, you’ll sleep much better at night.
- Improves digestion
Your digestive system is constantly working to process the foods you’ve eaten, even days ago. This cleanse gives your digestive system a chance to clear the system and repair itself from any inflammation.
- Prevents you from eating unhealthy food
If you eat healthy already, this doesn’t really effect you. However, most people do consume some form of food or drink which is not ideal for your body. Removing everything in your diet allows you to create a great start on new habits and recognise what your body doesn’t respond well to when and if you reintroduce it.
- Gives you more energy
It sounds counter-intuitive having more energy from not eating but you do. The reason being that your body doesn’t have to process highly processed and sugary foods or drinks. These foods are also very low in nutrients, therefore providing very little energy anyway. There will be surges of hunger in the first few days but this is your body adjusting to the psychological relationship with food.
- Improves your mental clarity
There’s a very strong relationship between food and mental state. When you remove artificial bursts of energy that come from sugar and caffeine, along with foods that require a load of work by your digestive system to digest, such as those which are processed, you lose that foggy feeling in your mind, which you don’t realise is there until you experience it. Couple this with long, quality sleep and you will feel incredible.
- Improves your immune system
If your current diet is all about artificial energy and lacks the nourishing aspect of real food, this diet will fix the imbalance which will be present in your body. Vitamin C, which is high in lemon, is unable to be produced in the body and therefore, it must be consumed from the foods you eat. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, helping the body to maintain connective tissue, fight off colds and flus, and preventing certain cancers and cardiovascular disease.
- Helps start healthier habits
Taking drastic action like this gives you great insight into the effect your diet has on your body. It can also be the catalyst for prompting massive change in your lifestyle. Habits take a long time to change and are a constant work-in-progress. The more you do them however, and the longer you do them, the easier they become and the stronger those new habits become. This cleanse sets a solid foundation to start your healthy lifestyle afresh.
Like I said at the start, I’ve never tried this diet and I have no immediate desire to do so. I suggest if you are considering this cleanse, speak with several dietitians and get their opinion. If you decide to go ahead, I suggest you find a retreat to join so that you can follow the diet wholeheartedly, without the pressures and distractions of everyday life, with the support of others going through the process, and under the guidance of health professionals.
Have you tried a lemon cleanse diet? What was your experience?
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