Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore are the latest celebrities to embark on the Master Cleanse diet, but they're having a bit of a hard time with it, according to their tweets.
On the same day he announced he was beginning, Kutcher tweeted, "9 hrs into the master cleanse. I want a steak, a beer, and a blow-pop. Hmmm this is gonna be rough."
Rough is in an understatement. The diet, developed by Stanley Burroughs, is also sometimes referred to as the Lemonade Diet, Cayenne Diet, or Maple Syrup Diet, and requires one to give up solid food for 10 days. Instead, dieters are to drink a mixture of lemon, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup.
Most do it for weight loss purposes. Beyonce reportedly lost 20 pounds on the diet, but Moore says that's not why she's doing it.
"This is about health!!!" she tweeted.
So is it healthy? There are many different opinions on the subject, but many say yes. I spoke with Cameron Rupprecht, a holistic health coach for Vitality in the City, who says the diet is most effective for cleaning the colon/GI tract and eliminating sugar cravings or overeating.
"Sugar cravings are tamed with the Master Cleanse by resetting the palette," Rupprecht told me. "Our bodies have a great memory and if someone has been overeating or choosing foods that are higher in glycemic load, they may find themselves on a roller coaster of cravings -- never quite satisfied by their food choices. This happens when we go through a period of eating calories that are not nutrient dense. Consequently, you are consuming food, but your body never receives the nutrients it needs; therefore, it is never satisfied. To cut this off, the Master Cleanse -- done for as little as four days -- can be very beneficial in erasing this 'memory.'"
She does recommend replacing the Grade B Maple Syrup with Stevia for maximum benefit (1/8 tsp Stevia powder to 2 Tbsp maple syrup). She says the maple syrup can be too high of a sugar content to reset the body's metabolism. Stevia does not affect the body's blood sugar levels.
Rupprecht cautions that the diet is better for some body types than others.
"I do not recommend this for everyone as it can be too extreme of a cellular breakdown," Rupprecht said. "People with cold hands/cold feet and those that have difficulty putting on weight are better off with a different type of detoxification. However, those who gain weight easily, have a slower metabolism, lower energy, and/or multiple unexplained disorders/symptoms can definitely benefit from this process up to four times per year (with the turning of the seasons)."
I don't know if I could go even one day without solid foods, but I'm intrigued and have a nagging desire to try it and see how long I could last.
How about you, have you or would you try the Master Cleanse diet?
Image via David Shankbone/Flickr