“What Exactly is The Lemonade Diet?”
What It is:
Here comes another liquid diet. The Lemonade Diet essentially calls for drinking homemade lemonade with a little kick. The recipe for a single serving of the Lemonade Diet is as follows:
- 2 tablespoons of fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons of grade-B organic maple syrup
- 1/10 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 10 ounces filtered water
Solid foods are not allowed and you must drink 6 or more servings of the lemonade each day for up to 10 days. In addition to the lemonade drink, you may also drink an herbal laxative tea at night, and an oral salt water flush each morning. The diet is meant to cleanse the intestinal tract. The Lemonade Diet or “Master Cleanse” as it is otherwise known is simply a variation of a clear liquid diet used for patients that are in pre or post-surgery or have digestive problems. According to the Mayo Clinic, similar liquid diets are prescribed to patients when solid foods can’t be eaten.
How it works:
The weight loss is the result of consuming fewer than 1600 calories, which is the number of calories that the average woman needs to maintain her weight. In comparison, a person under a strict lemonade diet is only consuming about 600 calories each day. (One serving of the lemonade concoction is only about 109 calories.) With so few calories, the body is in starvation mode. Dr. Samuel Klein from Washington University Medical School advised lemonade dieters that prolonged fasting results in muscular dystrophy, and could shut down vital organs. The lack of protein, vitamins, and other nutrients forces the body to burn its own muscle mass for energy. Essentially, your body could start to feed on itself. At the end of the Lemonade Diet, you will weigh less, but your body will be higher in fat and lower in muscle.
There are a number of things to consider before trying the Lemonade Diet on for size. This liquid diet can actually be counter-productive in the long run because starvation slows metabolism. A clear liquid diet is not sustainable, and can be scary dangerous. There are hardly any nutrients in the lemonade drink and it doesn’t supply the body with enough calories, protein, fiber, carbs, minerals, and healthy fats to function at its best. The Mayo Clinic seconds Dr. Klein’s recommendation not to continue with the Lemonade Diet for more than a couple of days because long term liquid dieting could lead to scary health problems. Eat a balanced diet and work out regularly to reach your weight loss goal. Keep in mind that the old saying of “slow and steady wins the race” can apply to losing weight. Oftentimes, restrictive diets will help you lose weight fast, but it’s hard to keep the weight off. Play it safe and consult your doctor before trying any restrictive diets that significantly limits your calorie intake.