Popular diets like South Beach or Akins come and go, but the liquid-only Master Cleanse weight-loss approach seems to be one fad that won't go away, especially after the holidays when so many New Year resolution revolve around weight loss.
People who take the pledge must drink a lemonade concoction of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, cayenne pepper, grade B maple syrup, and water for 10 days or more. In addition, participants must drink a host of laxative teas and salt water each morning to flush away impurities from food additives and pesticides.
Beyoncé reportedly lost 20 pounds with Master Cleanse for her role in "Dreamgirls" in 2006, which was when the purge popularity. Robin Quivers, Howard Stern’s sidekick, told "People" magazine that she did the fast on three separate occasions in 2004 and shrunk to 145 pounds from a peak of 218. Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher have tried the cleanse as well.
The Internet has countless testimonials about Master Cleanse, with an abundance of tips for first-timers. Expect cravings, fatigue, and irritability, the dieters warn, and if your tongue turns white, that's normal.
Peter Glickman, who has authored several books on the cleanse, just came out with "The Master Cleanse Coach" which aims to clear up any misinformation floating around the Internet. He told the New York Daily News that his iPhone and Android apps have been purchased 7,000 times in 52 countries. His first book, 2004's "Lose Weight, Have More Energy & Be Happier in 10 Days," has seen three editions and has been translated into eight languages.
There's no doubt that people who are stringent with the Master Cleanse, which many have said is hard to stick to, will drop weight quickly. The question is, is the cleanse a long-term solution to weight gain? And is it even healthy?
In 2009, a Health.com writer who tried the cleanse said she lost 10 pounds in a mere 10 days. Many people stay on it for 40 days. After only a few months, though, she put the weight back on when she resumed her previous eating habits.
Keri Glassman, owner of Nutritious Life, a nutrition counseling practice in New York City, said she has seen many of her clients regain the weight they lost soon after as well.
Rosa Doherty documented her experience in a Huffington Post blog
post. After only two days on the cleanse, Doherty lost her sense of purpose, quit the fad diet, and surmised that she was content with her imperfect figure.
"The more I thought about the concept of no solids for up to 10 days, the more I thought about my grandpa's war stories of surviving on rusty water for 10 days in the Army. I was trying to survive on curried lemonade for 10 days to help my body? To be a better me? To... ? Apart from possibly getting swept away by celebrity stories of success and perfection, I had no answer," she wrote.
Glassman said that there is no magic bullet to weight loss. The only surefire way to drop weight and keep it off is through exercise and healthy eating. She advises people looking to drop a few pounds to eat when they start to get hungry and finish before they're full. She also says to plan meals in advance to make the healthiest choices possible, as well as cut down on processed foods, artificial sweeteners, alcohol and caffeine.
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