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The Master Cleanse diet - mad or fab?

The Master Cleanse diet - mad or fab? 

 - The Master Cleanse diet - mad or fab?
Remember when Beyonce dropped all that weight for Dreamgirls? Well the Master Cleanse diet is the diet that did it.

If a diet can get bootilicous Bey looking like a young slip of a thing (not a dig - we LOVE those curves) then it must be doing something pretty drastic. But with something so drastic, comes a lot of controversy. 

We know that crash diets do not work in the long-run and ultimately are not that great for you but when you've got a sandy themed holiday coming up and you're body isn't as trimmed and toned as you'd like it then diets like these can get a cheeky look-in.

But let's get one thing straight, the Master Cleanse diet is not a diet to be taken lightly. Sipping on nothing but a concotion of lemon juice, mayple syrup, water and cayenne pepper is nothing to be laughed at - you have to take this diet for what it is and if you're determined to try it proceed with caution. 

The latest celeb fan to have taken on this extreme form of weight loss happens to be Anna Friel. In an interview with Grazia the English actress admitted that it's made her skin practically glow as well as helping her keep trim. 

But with a diet that sees you drink nothing but syrup comes warning signs. So should you try it? We asked the experts their opinion. 

How does it work? 
Created in 1941 - yep the forties - by naturopath Stanley Burroughs the Master Cleanse detox requires you to put nothing into your body except the juice concoction of water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne juice - at around 6-12 cups a day for two weeks.

Devotees include Beyonce and Friel who say that this detox is not just about losing weight. You'll also feel more alert, feel perkier as well as having clearer skin.

But while Beyonce and Friel might be singing and dancing its praises, the experts aren't quite so enthusiastic about the Master Cleanse diet - in fact they don't like it at all. 

Dr. Dawn Harper says as far as she's concerned, it's an absolute no-no. 

"I can see the attraction of a rapid weight loss regime but this is essentially a fast. The diet contains no protein, fiber or vitamins and long term would lead to serious health problems. It is also boring and impossible to stick to if you are going to conduct any form of normal social life. Bottom line - give it a wide berth!"
 
The syrup that you are consuming so readily isn't just any old syrup by the way. This is Natural Tree Syrup costing you about $60 for a bottle that will last you about a week. So not only is this boring and potentially unhealthy, it's expensive too.

You also have a few options concerning the detox. The go hard or go home, two week crash course of 14 days of no solid food and purely surviving on the drink. Or the slightly more sensible, (can we use that word?!) option of replacing one meal a day with the drink over a longer period.

Obviously you guys can choose whichever you would like but if you want the hardcore weight loss that this diet is all about then the 14 days crash is tthe most widely used. Just don't be distracted by the bright lights of weight loss - this diet is not going to be good for you. 

Results: 
OK so Beyonce followed this diet for two weeks and lost a whopping stone but Dr Harper says this is very misleading. 

"Anyone eating so few calories will lose weight but don't be fooled - much of this weight loss will be water and some of it muscle. It may work in the short term but no one will be able to (or should) stick to it long term and when you start eating normally again you will rebound back and quite possibly end up heavier than when you started," she warns.

Plus we doubt that the majority of people will even be able to withstand the 14 food-free days... that stone looks like it's slowly slipping out of reach.

Typical day: 
Liquid lunch you say? How about liquid breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between - sounds oh-so appealng doesn't it. 

Well, all in the name of body beautiful we suppose. In this diet you will be consuming around 600-900 calories per day - this will pretty much be completely made up from the juice concoctions which make up about 26 calories per drink. 

Recipe: 
-2 tbsp lemon juice
-300 ml water
-2 tsp Maple Syrup 
-Pinch of Cayenne Pepper

You're allowed 6 - 12 of these per day, that's it if you're going hardcore. But if you want to couple it with a more well managed weight loss then couple with well balanced meals with lots of roughage.

Advantages: 
You'll lose a lot of weight fast so if you're looking for a quick fix of short term weight loss then this detox diet might appeal.

However you'll probably put it right back on again...

Disadvantages: 
There are some pretty bad points to this diet, the British Dietetic Association warn that it's dangerous, so don't order the maple syrup lightly.

Another glaring problem is that your body will be deprived of essentials like nutrients, proteins, fiber, vitamins, minerals and generally everything that you need to be healthy and body beautiful. 

As you're losing a lot of water weight and possible muscle weight the chances are that after you stop detoxing you will put the weight back on - fast - with a risk of putting more on than you lost in the first place as your metabolism gets all kinds of confused.

Other more unpleasant side effects include bad breath, fainting, dizzy spells and a general lack of energy - all things to be expected when you're consuming so little.

And here's the biggie, seeing as you'll be eating no fiber or carbs your 'outgoings' shall we say, will be less than pleasant. If you thought all of that was bad enough, Dr Harper says that things can be even worse. 

"in the long term it is potentially very dangerous. The lack of protein means no building blocks to build new muscle and the lack of minerals and vitamins will result in all manner of conditions from osteoporosis and rickets to hair loss and scurvy."

As well as this, because you are restricting your food intake it can be extremely painful for your gut when you do start to eat again! 

Plus, you're going to be hungry, really hungry. Pretty long list isn't it?

So to sum up - the Master Cleanse diet is pretty much madness but if you've consulted your doctor and he/she's given you the go-ahead then do just that - just realize this is a short fix and the best way to body beautiful is to eat healthier and exercise!

More Information: 
Find the right diet for you from our huge selection of diet plans in our comprehensive Diet A-Z.

Other diets to try...

Lemon diet Gluten free diet Baby food diet
Blood type diet Bikini diet Dukan diet 




  

Health and Fitness Editor
04/29/2013
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