Beyoncé’s Lemonade Diet, also known as the Master Cleanse, is a 7-to-10-day-long detox meant to help lose weight and/or flush toxins out of the body. Beyoncé reportedly used the detox to lose 20 pounds for her role in Dreamgirls. I figured if Queen Bey could do it, I could too. Boy, was I wrong.
Before the Diet
I’m not into fad diets, cleanses or detoxes. I’ve never tried one, and I never planned on trying one. So when I told my friends and coworkers I was going to try it, their responses ranged from utter shock, to “good luck,” and “yeah right.”
TBH, I was pretty skeptical myself, especially after researching the cleanse and figuring out exactly what I would have to consume (notice, I did not use the word eat – in order for this cleanse to work, you’re not supposed to eat anything). Not eating at all seemed like it would be the most difficult part. The cleanse requires drinking a mixture of lemon juice, cayenne pepper, organic Grade B maple syrup and water. I could not fathom the idea of spicy lemonade being able to satiate my hunger. Food can barely do that.
My First (and Last) Day of the Cleanse
I woke up on time for once, because I knew I had to chug a liter of salt water. I wanted plenty of time to be near a toilet before I had to leave for work. I thought about my lunch break – and how it can’t be considered a lunch break anymore – and decided I’d take a nap to avoid the temptation of wanting to eat food. I hoped and prayed my coworkers would not ask me to go to lunch with them.
I chugged as much salt water as I could, but each gulp made me cringe. I couldn’t even finish the required liter of salt water. I’ve read the salt water is one of the most important parts of the cleanse, so my inability to drink it set the tone for a difficult day.
The day got more difficult when I had a free second in the office. I instinctively checked my Instagram feed, only to be greeted by an obscene number of food pictures. I then began thinking about all the different types of food I wanted to eat.
I reached my breaking point when my coworkers invited me to lunch. All I had been thinking about for the past few hours was what I wanted to eat. So when they invited me to lunch, I could not resist.
I know, my self-control is almost nonexistent. I tried a week-long cleanse and was only able to skip one meal. But I did learn from my failure, and I’m hoping you will, too.
What I Learned
Photo by Caroline Liu
Completely cutting out food was a disaster, and I would not recommend it to anyone who is as food-obsessed as I am. If you don’t think you’re cut out for a fad diet or cleanse, chances are you aren’t. Save yourself the trouble and feeling of defeat, and just don’t do it. I actually wouldn’t recommend this cleanse to anyone at all, especially if your purpose for doing the cleanse is to lose weight. I know exercising and eating healthy do not yield super quick results, but it’s worth it to be healthy in the long run.
Another issue with fad diets and cleanses is that once you’re done, you’re tempted to gorge yourself. Even though I only skipped one meal, I definitely experienced this. At lunch, I ate an entire sandwich, half a large pizza and an entire bag of chips. That can’t be healthy, but after depriving myself of food, I felt entitled to a lot of food.
Another reason to not do the cleanse: it costs money. In order to make enough lemonade for the whole day, you need 4 lemons, 8-16 tbsp. Grade B maple syrup (which costs more than $10 for a bottle), 2 liters of water, and a pitcher to keep it in. I had to go out and buy a pitcher, since I did not have one. That ended up only costing $2, but it still added up. On top of that, you’re supposed to drink an herbal laxative tea once a day while on the cleanse. The one I bought cost over $3. In total, I spent $17 on a cleanse I only did for one day. While that doesn’t seem like too much, it’s a lot considering I could buy 5 packs of ramen (which could feed me for 2 days) for $1.
Note to self: losing weight should not be done through cutting out foods and/or doing a temporary diet. Instead, making small changes and exercising are the way to go.