The Lemonade Detox Cleanse

NOTE: This is a blog. I’m not a doctor; I’m simply sharing my (and Lissa’s) experiences. We are NOT advising anyone to go on this diet without first discussing it with their doctor (who will probably tell you it’s much too radical, and if you agree, then by all means, don’t try it!).

If you Google the Lemonade Cleanse or Lemonade Detox Diet or any variation of these, you will find many sites and a lot of information dedicated to this cleansing diet. According to Wikipedia it was developed in 1941 by an alternative medicine guru named Stanley Burroughs, and later picked up and popularized by a fellow by the name of Peter Glickman in the 1990’s. There are a lot of variations, and a lot of different opinions, but let’s face it. It’s been around this long because it works. There are even sites that will sell you a “Lemonade Detox Kit” such as:

They include some nice teas and whatnot, and believe me, the diet tea is expensive and hard to find, but you can do this all on your own.

What Wikipedia gets wrong is that “any weight lost during the diet can be expected to be regained once the diet is stopped.” I have not found this to be so, and have read many comments from other readers who have also experienced permanent weight loss.

In my case I can’t stick to a diet long enough to see any serious weight loss; I yo-yo continuously. But I can stick to this for two weeks, and the weight (at least ten pounds of it) does NOT come back.

It’s hard the first couple of days, but once I see that weight just dropping off, and I get used to the not eating part, it gets easier. Motivation is everything. Weigh yourself every morning! Love that scale!

I can’t recall the actual recipe, because it’s given in per-glass measurements. Like you have time to keep mixing up glass after glass of lemonade all day long! Lissa says mix it up by the gallon, and make sure you NEVER run out! I did the math, and came up with the following:


Take an empty 1 gallon jug, and add:

1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (preferably organic if you can find them).
1 cup pure maple syrup (although they specify “grade B,” don’t worry too much about the grade – I never find it listed. Just look for pure maple syrup, as dark as possible. You’ll know it when you find it – it costs twice as much as the more commercial – less pure – varieties of maple syrup).

Fill the jug with 8 cups of pure water -spring water only. This is your ration for the day. It doesn’t seem like much, but I find it so great not to have to worry about bringing food to work, what I’m going to eat, where I’m going to get it!

Take along a shaker of cayenne pepper and a cup or sports bottle to drink from. Keep the cup or sports bottle full of lemonade and cayenne – add as much cayenne as you can stand (like a teaspoon or so). I put it in a sports bottle and shake it up to mix it.

Lissa likes to mix the cayenne into the gallon jug, but I find it gets spicier and spicier as the day wears on, and if you leave it overnight – lookout! I prefer to just mix it into each sports bottle full of lemonade.

Whenever you get hungry – drink some lemonade. It actually tastes pretty good, and makes the hunger pangs go away like magic! Even the cravings. And if you finish the jug, just mix up another; everybody requires a different amount, depending on your weight, metabolism and whatnot. I found when I first started I was drinking more than a gallon a day; the second time I did it I was drinking more like half a gallon a day.

Once a day, preferably first thing in the morning, do a saltwater cleanse. It isn’t always practical; every other day is okay too.


Add two level teaspoons of sea salt to 1 quart of warm spring water and drink it up as fast as you can. This is a trial and error thing; if it’s too warm it might make you barf. It’s kind of hard to get down; take it slow at first. Lissa prefers to use a bit less water to start, and then follow it with plenty of fresh water. It doesn’t really matter, as long as you manage to take in two teaspons of sea salt and two quarts of water and they somehow mix in your digestive system on the way down…

I like to fill up a large plastic cup with warm water and one teaspoon of salt, twice. Works for me.

I’m usually ready to hit the toilet by the time I’ve finished downing the second cup. It’s actually quite cleansing. You will find you never need to buy a laxative again.

Don’t worry if you have a bit of trouble with this one; it gets easier. As I said, take it slow if you need to. Build up to it. But make sure it is sea salt, not iodized. And don’t buy the grinder like I did last time; you’ll be grinding forever to get two teaspoons.

Plan to be near a bathroom for several hours after doing the saltwater cleanse. This is a very important consideration. It also doesn’t hurt to make use of a panti-liner or sanitary pad, strategically placed, if you know what I mean. Sometimes I get up extra early to do it; and sometimes on a slow day at work I actually do it first thing after getting to work…

The last thing is the diet tea. This is not absolutely necessary, but if you drink it at night before bedtime it will help with the flushing. I have a hard time finding the dieter’s tea, so sometimes I just drink non-caffeinated herbal tea, like Sleepytime.

FINAL NOTES: The first couple of days of fasting are critical; that’s the most difficult time. Plan to do this when you don’t have any dinner parties or luncheons to go to. Try not to be around food. Keep busy at work. Take a nice relaxing tubsoak when you get home from work, and sip a cup of herbal tea (no caffeine though). Get out the clothes that are too small for you and hang them where you can see them as incentive. Maybe even try them on after a few days or so. Weigh in every morning when you get out of bed. That alone will get you through the day! Go to bed early each night and get plenty of rest. Light exercise like walking is good – don’t overdo it or you might lose muscle tone.

BEFORE AND AFTER: There are various regimens people have come up with for starting out the diet and ending it; usually soup, orange juice, stuff like that. It makes no difference to me – I can’t stand wasting extra days on starting and stopping. I want to get right down to the weight loss part, and once off, by golly I WANT TO EAT. Going off of it, though, I have heard horror stories of people making themselves sick; be sensible, eat light, fresh, whole foods, at least for the first day or two. Don’t pound a triple-decker cheeseburger your first day out.

I find that my palate changes, and I no longer crave the junk food after this diet. Also, I don’t even think about having a glass of wine when I get home from work; I’d actually rather have something to eat. That’s why it works, if you can stick to it for at least ten days; it’s habit changing.


2 Responses to “The Lemonade Detox Cleanse”

  1. Cindy Armer Says:

    Hi there,
    I mentioned I had read some of your blog when I met you two at the reunion, so I am at work today and this diet caught my eye. I have tried this lemonade cleanse before, I just found it hard to go more than a couple of days. I am determined to try it again. I will let you know how it goes this time around.

    • lissaandpeewee Says:

      JUst don’t run out of lemonade ever. Everytime you think, see, smell or discuss food guzzle lemonade, this retrains your mind, don’t worry about how much you drink at all. Don’t cook for anyone and don’t go out to dine or party during the first 10 days. Take long hot baths to sweat at night before bed. Good luck!

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