|One popular diet, exercise and nutrition website has included The Lemonade Diet among it's "Hopeless
list of fad diets", referring to it as a "potentially dangerous starvation diet". The only thing the author
seems surprised about is the 50 year longevity of this so called fad diet. We at The Lemonade Diet
would naturally and organically like to challenge these notions, and in the interest of cleansing the
record, we include the short article here from the website, followed by our subtly indignant comments:
The Lemonade Diet Plan Review
"According to legend, pop idol Beyonce Knowles lost 20 pounds in weight following this diet when
preparing for the movie Dream girls in 2006…but really that is no surprise given the fact that all you
eat/drink for two weeks is lemonade and nothing else. What is surprising perhaps is that this diet
has been around for 50 years, and is still high on the fad diet list for those seeking fast weight loss.
But, again, there is no mystery to this as all you are doing is drastically reducing your calorie
intake every day. It’s fasting in other words, starvation to put it even more bluntly. And of
course that naturally makes it a potentially dangerous diet.
The Lemonade Diet has also been promoted as the Master Cleanse detox diet by those extolling its
cleansing properties in the fight against bodily toxins that can cause weight gain. But although it works,
anyone following Beyonce’s example could find themselves experiencing a health backlash as this diet
lacks all the essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, fiber and
even calories, and fat.
The Master Cleanse system involves drinking the following concoction - two tablespoons of freshly-
squeezed lemon juice, two tablespoons of grade-B organic maple syrup, 1/10 teaspoon cayenne
pepper, and 10 ounces of filtered water – 6 times a day for up to 2 weeks! Anyone embarking on this
drastic, and possibly misguided journey on the road to a slimmer physique, is undoubtedly going to
experience headaches, dizziness, and fatigue, and probably diarrhea, nausea, or constipation.
There is also the danger that you will end up losing lean muscle mass, rather than fat, as the
body starts burning this first when faced with a serious lack of calories to work on. Fat is
actually the last to go, making this diet counterproductive when it comes to achieving a healthy
As a quick-fix method of losing weight, sure, it works – as can be evidenced by watching Beyonce in
Dream girls. But as a long term method of weight watching it is hopeless, impossible, and downright
Our response from The Lemonade Diet:
The Lemonade Diet is not a starvation diet, nor is it technically a diet or even a fast. It's a liquid detox
diet. The grade B maple syrup that is mentioned is actually fairly high in caloric content, nominally
supplying about 1,000 calories/day. While this is, on average, about half the daily weight maintenance
requirement, the amount of lemonade consumed can be tailored to suit your body build, gender,
metabolism, and weight loss intentions. (Figure about 125 calories per glass) More importantly, it
supplies all the nutrients required, which the article claims are absent.
Grade B syrup contains calcium, potassium, omega 6, carbohydrates, sodium, zinc, manganese,
phosphorus, iron, b2, b5, b6 folic and biotin. Lemons contain potassium, phosphorus, magnesium,
calcium, sodium, iron, selenium, manganese, copper, zinc, Vit A, B1, B2, Niacin, Folate, Pantothenic
acid, B6, C and E. The diet was designed to provide a better level of nutrition than the average diet.
If there is the strong sensation of hunger while on the lemonade diet, it's likely not due to lack of
calories, and certainly not nutrients, but rather a psychological effect of not eating our favorite foods.
That psychological craving typically ceases after a couple of days once the mind (not the body) gets
accustomed to the routine. Since the body is not actually deprived of proper nutrition, and caloric intake
is typically adequate, losing muscle mass or suffering from slowed metabolism is not a big concern.
While it's true that the concoction does not supply protein, it was Stanley Burroughs' opinion that it
does not need to be ingested directly. From 'The Master Cleanser':
"The need is highly exaggerated as only 16% of our body is protein....From a combination of the best
foods and clean air, we are able to create our own amino acids, just as well as the animals do. We
never try to feed amino acids to the animals. Thus we able to eliminate the need for toxic dead animal
flesh and have no further need to worry about our constant source of protein."
What the lemonade diet does restrict is solid food intake, not nutrients or adequate calories, which
makes it a liquid cleansing diet for the digestive system and therefore a detox diet. While detoxification
can result in the temporary release of bodily toxins as they are removed from the tissues, which can
cause some discomfort, it would seem to serve as evidence for the need of a detox rather than
evidence that it shouldn't be done. The alternative, of course, is to keep the body in a toxic state.
The lemonade diet continues to be popular as a weight loss 'diet' because it dissolves fatty tissue
throughout the body, though for most bodies the reduced caloric intake will also be a major factor.
Naturopath Stanley Burroughs developed the Master Cleanse nearly 70 years ago. It's been a matter of
ongoing interest since then because it continues to work, not only for weight loss, but as a natural
means for healing chronic illnesses, and for improved over all well being. It is anything but a fad diet.
Phil Beaumont (Owner: TheLemonadeDiet.com).