What do Beyonce, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Ashanti, Angeline Jolie, Michelle Rodriguez and Anne Hathaway have in common? Apart from the fact that they’re all celebrities, they’ve all tried something called the master cleanse to help them lose weight. Although this particular detox diet has been around for years, it only became well-known after these celebs gave it their stamp of approval, which is why it is now called the celebrity master cleanse.
Celebrity Master Cleanse Diet & Recipe
You’ve probably heard of it and are wondering what it’s about. Basically, the celebrity master cleanse involves eliminating all food and subsisting on nothing but lemonade (details below) and herbal teas. But before you get there, it is crucial that you ease into it so that your body and mind can adapt to it smoothly. If you go cold turkey and just start the cleanse one fine day without giving your body/mind due notice, you are very likely to ditch your well-meaning cleanse halfway through.
How Long Should I Do the Cleanse?
Ideally, ten days. That will give you the best results and is the minimum required to experience the full range of wondrous benefits that the master cleanse will undoubtedly bring. However, that is just a general standard and you do not have to follow it if you don’t want to. Feel free to start at a pace that you are comfortable with. Don’t compare yourself to others and don’t judge yourself either. Although there is no minimum, experts recommend that the maximum you should be on this cleanse is a month. More than that and you could damage your organs.
The length of your cleanse will depend on factors other than your will-power too. Can you take time off work if you don’t feel up to it in the initial days of the cleanse? The early days can be hard. Do you have a loving support system at home/work/online to encourage you when the going gets tough? Do you have instant access to a bathroom at all times (you’ll soon see why)? Are you the primary home-maker, responsible for cooking meals for other family members? It can be challenging to go on a diet when all around you are eating normally.
Before the Cleanse
Celebrity Master Cleanse
You have to plan your cleanse beforehand if you are serious about making it work. There are two steps to the prep stage – getting your ingredients together so you don’t run out of them in the middle of the cleanse and use that as an excuse to stop, and beginning the process of easing your body into the days of quasi-fasting.
The first is a no-brainer. Calculate roughly how many lemons, how much cayenne pepper, maple syrup and herbal tea you will need for the number of days you plan to do the cleanse. Keep extra at hand just in case.
The second is a little tougher to do and can be quite challenging. Don’t be in a hurry to get into the cleanse. Go slow.
- Two to three days before your cleanse, your diet should consist of a vegetable broth and soups, raw fruits and vegetables. Also try cutting down on your caffeine intake from that day.
- For the day before the cleanse, switch to only juice. Cut out on caffeine completely.
Master Cleanse Lemonade
You will need:
- Freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- Cayenne pepper
- Grade B maple syrup
- Pure water
How much of these ingredients you need will depend on nothing but personal taste. If you like it sweeter, add more maple syrup. Prefer a kick? Add a few more pinches of the cayenne pepper. There is no right or wrong here.
Simply put, the master cleanse lemonade is just a spicy lemonade sweetened with grade B maple syrup and flavoured with cayenne pepper. The ingredients are not chosen randomly.
Lemons are a natural detox agent. In fact, many health-loss gurus suggest having a glass of lemon water first thing in the morning to help clean out the system. As for the cayenne pepper, there are several claims that spicy foods help to burn fat so this may be one of the main reasons that it is added to the master cleanse lemonade. That may or may not be true, but one thing cayenne pepper does indeed do is help with the cravings for spicy/salty foods.
As for the maple syrup, that’s where your calories and nutrition will come from for the duration of your cleanse so that you do not starve.
You can drink as many glasses of this lemonade as you want throughout the day. It is quite normal to down about 2 litres per day. As the days progress, you will find that you need less and less.
Salt Water Flush
Since there is no solid food going into your body during the cleanse, there’s going to be nothing, ahem, coming out either. The idea is to create an artificial bowel movement which is safe and natural. This has the dual benefit of keeping your digestive system functioning for the duration of your cleanse as well as providing a medium through which the toxins that are being cleaned out of your system can pass out of your body. That’s where the salt water flush comes in.
Add one or two table spoons of sea salt (NOT iodised table salt) to one liter of water. Drink it all first thing in the morning. You may find that you need less or more salt for the solution to work. You will learn for yourself how to adjust the quantity as the days pass.
Within about 30 to 60 minutes, you’ll have the urge to evacuate your bowels. For the next hour or two, you will have to use the bathroom upto five or six times. This too is quite normal so do not be alarmed.
Ensure that you are near a bathroom when you do the salt water flush because it will be a case of ‘when you gotta go, you really, really, really gotta go’. It’s not called a ‘flush’ for nothing. It is not easy to hold in a bowel movement motivated by salt water so don’t even try.
The salt water flush can be the most difficult part of the cleanse. Some people find glugging salt water quite nasty. In fact, very few can down it with ease. Just remind yourself that this too is an important part of the cleanse and it plays an important function in getting you nearer to your goal weight/that sexy new dress/looking fab in your bikini/add other master cleanse hopes here. Many people who have done the master cleanse before recommend just downing the entire litre of salt water at once without thinking or stopping too much.
Your bowel movements are pretty accurate indicators of how well your cleanse is going too. Initially, your stool will most likely be green/black, have an unpleasant smell and possibly be evacuated in hard pellets. As you go further into your cleanse, especially toward the end, the composition will be softer and there will be practically no smell. It’s amazing what you can tell about your body from your poop. Even Oprah loves the idea so don’t be shy of looking and learning.
Herbal Laxative Tea
That’s right, it’s not enough to just do the salt water flush to keep your bowels going. You need to have a laxative tea each night of the cleanse too. Remember that it MUST be herbal, preferably organic too. No caffeine allowed. You can use maple syrup to sweeten the tea but no sugar or sweeteners of any other kind.
Don’t forget that you can still drink water during your cleanse. As much as you want, whenever you want.
Easing Out of the Cleanse
The day after you end your cleanse, know that it is really not advisable to eat solid foods quite yet. You have to slowly introduce the concept of foods back into your system by going the reverse of easing into the cleanse. Start with juices on day 1 and day 2 post the cleanse. If you find it difficult to stomach, dilute the juice in water.
On day 3, you can start with soups and maybe even raw vegetables if you feel like you can mange it. If you eat solid foods too quickly post your cleanse, you will suffer from some deadly constipation so ensure that you listen to your body and go with the flow.
What to Expect
You’re depriving your body of solids, going off caffeine and drinking salt water for breakfast – yeah, you will be experiencing plenty of things both good and bad. The side effects will differ from person to person. You may or may not experience some of the following; if you do, the level of intensity will vary from someone else who has done the cleanse.
The Bad Stuff
- Dizziness/weakness – normal while your body, and more accurately your mind, is getting used to the lack of food. It should wear off in a day or two.
- Mood swings and nausea – if you have a severe caffeine/nicotine/alcohol/processed food addiction, you may experience withdrawal symptom in the form of an erratic temperament and nausea.
- Constipation – only if you don’t do the salt water flush. Your body needs a medium to carry out the toxins that are being eliminated from your system as part of the cleanse. The salt water provides that medium. If it is not present, your body will still do its best to eject the waste and you will end up with some pretty painful constipation.
- Really intense cravings – are to be expected, especially if you are around people who are eating normally or are a home-maker and have to cook for your family. The cravings can often get so bad that you get obsessive. However, this is only in the first three days of the cleanse. After that, it gets MUCH easier.
- You may get spotty – your body can eliminate toxins in more ways than one. Some people find that they get acne during the first few days of the cleanse. Whether or not you have acne-prone skin is no indicator of whether you will be affected by this side effect. It can happen to anybody.
The Good Stuff
Yes, the bad stuff can get really bad. However, once you experience the advantages of the cleanse, you’ll soon forget all the awful things that came before.
- Heightened level of alertness – you’ll be way more productive than usual, feel little to no fatigue, and that afternoon slump that has been dragging you down post-lunch for the past decade will become nothing more than a faded memory. Your thinking will be clearer than it ever has been and you will find that you feel fresh and alive from morn to night.
- You require less sleep – No, you will not become an insomniac. However, you will find that you sleep deeper and need less of it. Yet, you will awaken refreshed and raring to go with no need, as we mentioned earlier, of that slothful afternoon nap.
- Boundless energy – All that alertness transfers to your body too. If you choose to exercise during your cleanse, you will notice that you are more focussed and able to push yourself harder thus improving your chances of weight loss.
- Really quick weight loss – that’s the one you were waiting for! In ten days, you’ll go down a dress size. If you eat healthy post your cleanse, you have a very good chance of keeping the weight off too.
- Clearer skin – you may notice after about a week on the cleanse that your skin has a glow to it.
- Better hair – suffer from dull hair? A master cleanse can add lustre to you dismal-as-death locks too.
- Reduces aches and pains – if you suffer from some sort of regular pain, for example, in your lower back or from an old injury or perhaps frequent headaches due to stress, you’ll notice that they reduce dramatically and may practically disappear during and for a time post your cleanse. If you maintain a healthy diet post your cleanse, you can prolong all the benefits your get while actually on it.
- Overall sense of well-being – because a healthy, happy body means a healthy, happy mind.
Who Shouldn’t Do the Cleanse
Any activity that is a major change from your habitual lifestyle must be approached with caution. Even if you are as healthy as a horse, be on the safe side and check with your health practitioner if it is OK for you to do the celebrity master cleanse. Most people have no problem, but err on the side of caution on this one. There is an accepted consensus, however, about who should definitely NOT do the master cleanse.
Do NOT try this cleanse if you are:-
- On medication
- Suffering from an illness
- In the recovery stages of an illness
- At high risk for major diseases