What Is The Lemon Juice Diet? – The Power Of Lemons

Known by many names, the Lemon Juice Diet, Lemonade Diet or Master Cleanse Diet has been sought after by people wanting to lose weight quickly in the same way that many celebrities have claimed this system has helped them shed pounds successfully. A good understanding of what is the lemon juice diet and what the plan entails will be helpful to get the results you are looking for.


Overview Of The Lemon Juice Diet

As the name implies, this is a quick weight loss diet plan which allows drinking only lemon juice and water as a juice fast for at least 10 days. The first 10 days of the program is the cleansing period designed to detox the body and restart the  metabolism. During this period, alcohol and solid foods are strictly prohibited, only a spicy lemonade drink, tea, water and salt are consumed. For most people, this is a drastic change in eating habit so it is recommended to gradually transition into a fully liquid diet over a few days.

Woman measuring stomach with measuring tapeAfter the initial 10-day period, you can start to eat solid foods again by easing out slowly, from eating soft foods to a long-term sustainable healthy diet plan consisting of the foods you enjoy eating prepared in a healthy manner.

As the Master Cleanse Diet involves fasting, purging and low calorie intake, it can be expected to be effective for short-term weight loss and may even reduce triglyceride levels. However, the diet is recommended only as a short-term solution limited to 40 days as it is not a balanced diet and does not provide the necessary nutrients required for good health.

The Cleansing Period

Day 1 to Day 4: Easing into the Master Cleanse Diet

Day 1 and 2: Exclude processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, meat, dairy and added sugars. Eat only raw whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables.

Day 3: Consume a liquid diet comprising smoothies, pureed soups and broths, as well as fresh fruit and vegetable juices.

Day 4: Drink only water and fresh orange juice. Maple syrup may be added for additional calories. Drink a laxative tea before bed.

Day 5: Start the Master Cleanse diet and stay on it for 10 days

The Master Cleanse lemonade is the only food allowed during the diet. No other foods or beverages are allowed. The only exceptions are warm salt water which can be consumed in the mornings and a herbal laxative tea in the evenings to stimulate bowel movements as needed. The plus side is that no cooking or calorie counting will be required.

Recipe for the homemade lemon-maple-cayenne beverage:

  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons (40 grams) pure maple syrup
  • 1/10 teaspoon (0.2 grams) cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
  • 8 to 12 ounces of hot or warm water

Simply mix the above ingredients together and drink the lemonade whenever you are hungry. It is recommended to drink at least six servings per day. Maple syrup is the main source of calories and cayenne pepper helps to reduce hunger. Constipation may occur since no solid food is eaten during the cleanse.

After The Cleanse – What’s Next?

After the 10-day Master Cleanse Diet, you may begin ease out of it and gradually resume eating solid foods again.

Day 1 to 4: Easing out of the Master Cleanse Diet

Day 1: Drink fresh orange juice

Day 2: Add vegetable soups, broths and soft foods

Day 3: Add fresh fruits and vegetables

Day 4: Begin eating regularly a wide selection of different foods you enjoy eating prepared in a healthy manner. A healthy diet should incorporate mainly whole, minimally processed foods.


Health Benefits of Lemon Juice

Lemons are a natural powerhouse of many health benefits and among my personal favourite fruits.

Some health benefits of drinking lemon juice are:

1. Hydration

Although the healthiest choice, drinking plain or tap water may be boring and not very palatable for some. Adding a squeeze of lemon or a lemon slice into a jug of water gives it a fragrance and subtle flavour that makes drinking water much more enjoyable. This is a nice way to keep hydrated especially on hot summer days.

Drinking more water also keeps the mouth moist and free of bacteria which may cause bad breath. Lemon juice helps remove odour and the fresh lemon fragrance also freshens the breath when drunk after a meal or first thing in the morning.

2. Vitamin C

Being a citrus fruit, lemons are a good source of vitamin C known for its immunity boosting and antioxidant properties.

By protecting our cells from free radical damage, vitamin C helps to slow the development of wrinkles and other signs of aging by reducing photo damage to the skin. There is also evidence that polyphenol antioxidants in lemons can help with weight loss.

3. Digestive Health

It is believed that the sour taste of lemons helps to stimulate the digestive system and aid with the digestion of food.

Drinking a cup of warm lemon water in the morning also helps to get the bowels moving. It acts as a good natural laxative to prevent constipation and build up of toxins.

Other benefits on digestion and gut health is derived from eating the pulp of lemons. Lemon pulp contains pectin which is a soluble fibre. It has many health benefits including improving gut health, slowing the digestion of sugars and starches, hence reducing blood sugar spikes.

4. Prevent Kidney Stones

Lemon juice contains citric acid which when converted to citrates make the urine less acidic. It helps to prevent the formation of kidney stones. Drinking lemon juice is a good source of citric acid and may help break up small stones and flush them out.


The Lemon Juice Diet – By Theresa Cheung

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The Lemon Juice Diet is a paperback book written by Theresa Cheung launched in Dec 2008.


What is an easy way to detoxify your system and lose weight? Not fasting, not liquid or fad diets. The Lemon Juice Diet is a safe and delicious eating plan that goes far beyond the “Master Cleanse” program used by celebrities for quick, short-term fixes. Instead of just suggesting dieters drink a concoction of lemon juice, cayenne, and maple syrup, The Lemon Juice Diet starts there and then integrates lemon juice into a healthier, easy to maintain, long-term plan.

Lemon is a natural powerhouse; its great flavour makes it an easy addition to your diet and its low glycemic index provides a steady stream of energy, without the sugar high and subsequent crash we get from high GI foods. The Lemon Juice Diet capitalizes on lemon juice’s natural power to lower blood sugar, create a feeling of fullness, provide vitamin C and stimulate the liver for maximum fat-burning. Lemon juice can even boost immunity and brain function, fight cholesterol, and fire up your metabolism.

With clear meal plans, delicious recipes and easy exercise tips, The Lemon Juice Diet is a quick and easy way to long-lasting good health.

Theresa Cheung is a writer specializing in nutrition and women’s health and lifestyle issues. She holds a Master’s Degree from King’s College Cambridge and has worked as a health and fitness consultant. Other books written by her include The Menopause Diet, The PCOS Diet Book, You Can Beat PMS and Pregnancy Weight Management

Some 5-Star Reviews

Reviews of the book found that the book gave really good, useful and sensible advice for healthy eating. The book should not be taken at face value as suggested by its title. It is not just about an extreme diet plan living on water and lemon juice. Rather, it provides easy and practical guidance on how to make a few simple adjustments to your diet and how to develop healthy eating habits that will have a quick and lasting impact on your weight and health for life.

The book is liked for its simplicity and positivity about eating well. A 24-hour detox and 7-day diet plan is provided. It is definitely recommended for anyone who wants to shed a few pounds fast using the lemon juice diet and staying healthy using the long-term application of the same principles by following the suggested recipes using lemon juice and peel.


Sustainable Weight Loss

While the Master Cleanse Diet does lead to short-term weight loss, it is not a long-term solution and is not recommended for long-term weight maintenance. Following the Master Cleanse Plan is very likely to lead to quick weight loss as it is a very low calorie diet plan. However, prolonged duration of dieting is not sustainable as your body may also lose muscle and bone due to poor nutrition.

In order to achieve sustainable weight loss, making diet and lifestyle modifications which are sustainable will achieve better results. You can use recipes which include lemon juice and lemon peel to create healthy meals and practise healthy eating. At least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables are recommended to be consumed each day.

Fat restriction is not required so dairy products and most meats are allowed, limiting red meat and saturated fats. Eating grilled vegetables with extra virgin olive oil, oily fish, nuts and seeds will be a good source of healthy fats.

Foods to avoid are cakes, pastries, alcohol, coffee, chocolate, soft drinks, processed foods and sugar.


Eat Lemons For Health

The Master Cleanse Diet is only the start of the lemon juice diet. The 10 days is a short-term diet for fast weight loss, but this will last only as long as you remain on the liquid fast. This is going to be impractical and not recommended as a long-term solution. The real lemon juice diet integrates lemon juice into a healthier, easy to maintain, long-term plan for lasting and sustainable weight loss.

I hope that this article has been helpful to you in learning how you can lose weight and improve your health by drinking lemon juice and eating healthy. I’d like to hear about how it might have changed your eating habits.

If you have any questions or comments, please do leave them below and I’d be more than happy to reply.


2 thoughts on “What Is The Lemon Juice Diet? – The Power Of Lemons”

  1. Hi,

    It is recommended to add lemon juice to warm water because it helps extract vitamin C and polyphenols from the lemon and its peel. Lemons are a popular fruit that people use in small quantities to add flavor to food. However, they rarely consume them alone due to their intense, sour taste. Lemons give flavor to baked goods, sauces, salad dressings, marinades, drinks, and desserts, and they are also a good source of vitamin C.

    Thanks for sharing.


    • Hi Aluko, thank you for your valuable comment. Yes, the recipe for the lemon juice diet recommends using hot or warm water to prepare the lemon-maple-cayenne beverage. I agree the sour taste of lemons may make it hard to consume without adding a sweetener or other ingredients. Personally, I love the flavour of lemons and its versatility makes it a healthy and good ingredient that can be used in many recipes.


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