The Master Cleanse, also known as the Lemonade Diet, is a popular juice fast used for detoxification and weight loss. It involves consuming a lemonade drink made of lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water for a period of time. But how long should you actually stay on the Master Cleanse? Here’s a look at the recommended duration and what factors should be considered.
What is the Standard Master Cleanse Duration?
The original Master Cleanse recipe by Stanley Burroughs recommends a minimum of 10 days and up to 40 days on the cleanse. However, most people tend to only do the cleanse for around 7-14 days. Here is a look at the commonly recommended durations:
|10 days||The minimum duration according to the original Master Cleanse recipe.|
|14-21 days||A more common duration that produces good results for many people.|
|28-40 days||For extreme cases or those who really want an intensive cleanse. Should be done with medical supervision.|
As you can see, the longer Master Cleanse fasts are only recommended for certain individuals under proper supervision. For most people, a standard 2 week Master Cleanse is sufficient.
Factors that Affect Master Cleanse Duration
There are a few key factors that affect how long someone should safely stay on the Master Cleanse diet:
- Weight Loss Goals – Those wanting to lose a lot of weight will need a longer cleanse, while more modest goals require less time.
- Detoxification Needs – If doing the cleanse to detox from certain substances or health conditions, the needed duration can vary.
- Body Type & Metabolism – An overweight body with sluggish metabolism often requires more time than a lean, active body.
- Level of Activity – Sedentary lifestyles may need shorter cleanses than active lifestyles which burn more calories.
- Prior Cleansing – Those who cleanse regularly may not need as long each time compared to new cleansers.
As a general rule, the more weight you have to lose and the more toxins you want to remove, the longer you may need to stay on the Master Cleanse. First time cleansers should start on the low end of durations and increase as desired for subsequent cleanses.
Is There Such a Thing as Too Long on the Master Cleanse?
While the Master Cleanse is safe for most healthy adults in the short term, staying on it too long can put you at risk of nutritional deficiency, weight loss difficulties, and refeeding syndrome.
Here are some signs you may have stayed on the Master Cleanse for too long:
- Extreme hunger and food obsession
- Strong cravings for non-cleanse foods
- Feeling weak, fatigued, or dizzy
- Difficulty concentrating or irritated mood
- Not losing weight as rapidly
- Developing cold or flu symptoms
Listening to your body’s signals is important to avoid staying on the cleanse for too long. Using high quality organic lemons may help you stay on the diet longer by providing more nutrients. But if you experience any of the above symptoms consistently, it’s definitely time to come off the cleanse.
|Duration||Risks if Too Long|
|2-3 weeks||Nutrient deficiencies, fatigue, weight loss difficulties|
|4+ weeks||Refeeding syndrome, electrolyte imbalances, severe hunger|
As shown above, staying on the Master Cleanse for longer than 2-3 weeks without medical supervision begins to risk some serious health consequences. Only those who are obese and have a lot of weight to lose should attempt the longer durations.
How to Finish the Master Cleanse Safely
Once you’ve completed your planned Master Cleanse duration, it’s crucial to come off it gradually and safely. Ending the cleanse properly will help prevent fat regain and allow your body to transition back to solid foods.
Follow these steps to finish a Master Cleanse safely:
- Ease off the cleanse – On the last couple days, slowly reduce the number of lemonade drinks and increase water.
- Break the fast with broth – Sip vegetable or bone broth for a day before eating solids.
- Introduce gentle foods – Start with smoothies, juices, soups, and purees for a few days.
- Slowly increase to normal diet – Gradually work up to eating more fiber-rich and complex meals over 7-10 days.
- Avoid heavy foods – Don’t immediately load up on fatty, sugary, or processed foods. Keep diet light.
Rushing the reintroduction of food can overload your digestive system and cause GI problems. Ease back into things slowly. This will also give your mind time to adjust to no longer craving lemonade!
How to Continue Cleansing After Master Cleanse
Once you finish the Master Cleanse, you may want to continue periodic cleansing for ongoing health and weight loss benefits. Here are some great options:
- 1-day juice fasts each week
- Green smoothie cleanses
- Intermittent fasting routines
- Keto or paleo diets
- Colon cleanse supplements
- Herbal cleansing teas
The key is to avoid jumping right back into bad eating habits. Cleansing works best as part of a healthy lifestyle. Use your Master Cleanse experience to reevaluate your diet and make positive changes. Then continue more moderate cleansing protocols.
The Best Master Cleanse Duration
So what’s the right Master Cleanse duration? The recommended time is typically:
- 7-14 days for most people
- 10-21 days for dedicated cleansing
- Up to 40 days under medical supervision and for obesity
Start conservatively and add days if not getting desired results and feeling good. Too long on the Master Cleanse can be dangerous, so watch for signs to end it.
The Master Cleanse produces the best benefits with an adequate duration. But always listen to your body, ease off slowly, and make it part of a healthier lifestyle for lasting results.