Master Cleanse Weight Loss

The Master Cleanse was developed by Stanley Burroughs to promote health through detoxifying the body. However, it also makes for a good weight loss technique. In fact, the New England Journal of Medicine said, “Fasting is a valid experience. It can benefit any otherwise healthy person whose calories how have the upper hand in his/her life” (Alan Cott, MD, Fasting the Ultimate Diet, Hastings House, 1975)

Most women lose a pound a day. Most men lose 1.5 pounds a day because male bodies have less fat.

Generally the more lemonade people drink, the more they lose.

You can reduce the maple syrup to only 1 oz. per drink to accelerate weight loss if that is a goal. No lower than that.

You don’t have to lose all the weight on one cleanse. Just space your cleanses out every 3 to 4 months. The liability if you don’t is temporary hair loss in about 0.2 % of people and it always grows back.

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Marcia March 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I am starting day four, and I am losing motivation. I just want to eat with my family, how can I keep in control?


Peter Glickman March 11, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Usually on day 4 everything gets better. If it doesn’t check to see you are doing all the elimination actions: salt water flush or second cup of laxative tea every morning, lax tea every night and at least 6 lemonade drinks a day.

Also, the response I’ve gotten on people reading my Lose Weight book says that helps quite a bit. :-)



Beckie March 19, 2012 at 2:47 am

You said the more lemonade you drink the more you lose? Wouldn’t that add to your caloric intake and actually make you not lose as much. I am confused.


Peter Glickman March 19, 2012 at 4:02 pm

The ingredients (lemon juice and cayenne pepper) help the body detox. Detoxing permits the body to shed fat which was used by the body to protect itself from the toxins. (Toxins are mainly stored in the fat cells when there are too many for the liver to handle normally.) In addition, lots of water helps the body function better. So, the more you drink (up to 12 per day) the more you lose. The tiny amount of maple syrup (55 calories per drink) doesn’t put on weight.



Emily May 11, 2012 at 3:11 am

hi I was just curious when you start eating normal again how do you not gain a tun of weight?? I learned that if you don’t eat your metabolism lowers so when you start eating again you just gain everything back.


Peter Glickman May 11, 2012 at 3:46 am

If you eat a raw vegan diet, you continue to lose or maintain. If you go back to junk, you gain much of it back. On average, people gain back about 6 pounds. Most everyone eats more healthily after a cleanse. So, the amount you regain is under your control.


NDESHI May 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I’m loving the fast. On day 2 only, but i feel great although i’ve been visiting the washroom more. My tongue has turned white, is it normal?? Just wondering


Peter Glickman May 29, 2012 at 2:08 am

Yes, it is. You’ll find it discussed in my book, “Lose Weight, Have More Energy & Be Happier in 10 Days” on page 147.


Zoe Golightly June 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Hi Peter,
I’ve done the master cleanse about half a dozen times before and have loved it every time. I’m aiming for 21 days this time, today is day 3.
I’m doing the salt water flush each morning, and the laxative tea at night, and from the first couple of days I’ve only needed to drink about 4oz lemon juice / 4oz maple syrup per day.
I’m doing the cleanse mostly for weight loss this time – I’m pretty healthy generally – so want to know if this amount is ok – or if I should step it up to at least 6oz lemon juice / maple syrup as prescribed?

xoxo thanks so much, Zoe


Peter Glickman June 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm

When doing the Master Cleanse for weight loss, maintain at least the minimum number of 10 oz. lemonades per day (6) and if you wish, cut the maple syrup amount in each drink to 1/2 the normal amount = 1/2 oz = 1 tablespoon per drink. Do not reduce the lemon juice per drink. You may find that more drinks (up to the max at 12 per day) helps you to lose more weight, but you’ll have to check to see if that works for you.

Best wishes for a great cleanse,
Peter 8)


Oscar June 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm

we just started the master cleanse and have two questions
1 – the lemons from our lemon tree are sweet and not sour as your typical lemon. Are these okay to use?
2 – the salt water cleanse is made with 32oz of water (1 quart) and two teaspoons of sea salt correct?
Please confirm at your earliest convenience, look forward to hearing back from you. Thank you for a great website and great info. Wish we could afford your subscription but not able to at this time.


Peter Glickman June 23, 2012 at 6:17 pm

1 – the lemons from our lemon tree are sweet and not sour as your typical lemon. Are these okay to use?
No, use the traditional sour lemons.

2 – the salt water cleanse is made with 32oz of water (1 quart) and two teaspoons of sea salt correct?
That is correct.


maria July 28, 2012 at 11:38 am

i m doing master cleanse .its my 16th day .i lost 12 lbs in first ten days but from last 6 day i didnt lose even a single point can u plz tell me wht i do?i m taking 6 glass of lemonade with a lot of water.


Peter Glickman July 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm


The average weight loss is about 1 pound a day for women. Sometimes a person will hit a plateau and not lose for a few days. This is not unusual. Frequently when no pounds are being lost, inches are lost as the weight redistributes itself. Be patient and see if some of your clothes are looser.


christina castruita August 22, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Hi Peter,
I am on day 9 of the master cleanse, this is my first time doing it and I feel great!
I haven’t felt this good in a really long time. My questions is I have only lost 2 lbs
and have been following the directions to a T. I drink the laxative tea at night and the
salt water flush in the morning and drinking 6 lemonades a day. Can you tell me what
I’m doing wrong if anything. Also, what is the purpose of the orange juice on days 1-2
after the 10 days of the master cleanse. I am going to eat a more healthier diet to stay
healthy. thank you


Peter Glickman August 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Hi Christina,

It sounds like you/re doing everything correctly.

Are you eating or drinking anything else beside mint tea or water? Are your clothes fitting more loosely even though your weight is the same?

If you’re feeling better, don’t worry. You can always do another MC in 3 or 4 months.

The orange juice is an easy to digest way to get back to food with enough natural sugars to provide energy.



Andrea November 1, 2012 at 1:43 am

Hi Peter,
I am on day 3 of MC…I have taken the laxative tea each evening, drank (6) 10 ounce lemonades each day and have attempted the SWF all three mornings…with no success. I have used lukewarm and room temp water…I am using Fine Ground Celtic Sea Salt…day 1 I used 2 level tsp. and had no elimination so I drank an additional smooth move tea that morning…day 2 I increased the salt to 2 rounded tsp. and again no elimination…I was pretty bloated so I didn’t drink an additional laxative tea that morning…day 3 I increased the salt to 1 full Tbsp. and again no elimination…My abdomen is a bit distended and my calves feel swollen…My eliminations outside of the failed SWF have been minute at best and occur around 3am…
Just a little background…I have been VERY healthy up until this past half year in which I have endured several surgeries due to a shoulder injury and have taken a few rounds of antibiotics and some pretty heavy duty pain meds on top of several general anesthesia. I started the MC to detox from the meds mostly…I’m just puzzled by the lack of success with the flushing and I am worried that the toxins may be backing up. I know that colonics are not recommended but I wondering if maybe that could get things moving. My diet consists of mostly vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and some animal protein…no dairy, grains or sugar…ever. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Peter Glickman November 19, 2012 at 4:05 am

The anesthesia and pain meds can create quite a constipated condition. Occasionally others have required several days to get going. (pun)

I’d stick with just lax tea in the am and try the salt water flush after several days.


Grace March 20, 2013 at 3:44 am

I’m on day 11 of MC and I haven’t lost any weight. I do SWF in the morning, drink 2 qt of lemonade and lots of water, and drink laxative tea at bedtime. I do light exercise every day. I’m not hungry, but I feel unusually tired and depressed. I intend to go on 40 days, but I’m wondering if there’s something wrong with me as I hear that people usually lose 12-15 lb in 10 days. Any suggestions? Thank you.


Peter Glickman October 17, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Everyone’s different. Do you have a long history of strong medical drugs? That might slow things down until they’re gone. This doesn’t mean you should stop taking them, but you should check out


Verónica Regalado August 17, 2015 at 7:47 pm

Dear Grace:

Did you keep going with the master cleanse?

I also can’t lose weight, Now I feel unmotivated.

Finally you reach your goal of lossing weight.

Thank you for your comments.


Zantedeschia November 17, 2013 at 1:54 am

I’ve been wanting to register to join the forum and the page to register just shows up blank in every browser? :(


Peter Glickman November 19, 2013 at 6:26 pm

I wondered what was happening. I’ll have tech support work on that.


Todd February 24, 2014 at 9:20 pm

Since the beginning of the year I’ve participated in a weight loss competition with 15 friendly competitors. I started at 233.3 pounds and am currently 218 pounds with 21 days to go. Based on how everyone else is tracking, I think the winner will need to lose about 15% of their body weight. So that means I need to get down to 195 pounds over the next 21 days. 218 – 195 = 23 pounds…about a pound a day. Doable? I sure hope so! Everyone put up $200 to compete and our boss is going to match the pot…so it’s a $6,000 grand prize! We need the money badly…so I’m VERY committed. Will try to do everything by the book!


Peter Glickman June 9, 2014 at 3:03 am

Men typically lose a pound and a half each day.


Todd February 24, 2014 at 9:38 pm

Just bought your coaching app! Really excited!!!


Verónica Regalado August 17, 2015 at 7:40 pm


My name is Veronica.

I’m trying to do the Master Cleanse diet, lose weight really.

Unfortunately I suffer from hypothyroidism, and I’m not losing weight.

Please can you explain me why, even without eating I do not lose weight?

Now I feel unmotivated.


Peter Glickman September 13, 2015 at 4:12 pm

What did you actually do for the Master Cleanse? Exactly how did you mix the lemonade? Did you do the salt water flush? What else are you eating or drinking?


kathie April 19, 2016 at 9:55 pm

Is it 8oz or 10oz of water mixed with the lemon juice, cayenne, and maple syrup. The book says 8oz, but I’ve been reading 10oz


Peter Glickman July 26, 2016 at 5:34 pm

Burroughs says fill a 10 oz glass with 1 oz of lemon juice, 1 oz of maple syrup, 1/10 tsp. of cayenne and then fill the glass with water. That’s a 10 oz lemonade drink made with 8 oz of water.


weight loss sleeve December 7, 2016 at 2:41 am

WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for weight loss


Michele Noel March 4, 2017 at 10:54 pm

I have done the Master Cleanse at least 6 times in the last 8 years or so. I feel fantastic and energized when on the cleanse. Like everyone, I’d like to lose more weight, but my primary goal is to detoxify ! So I’m wondering what everyone does with all the wonderful lemon rinds that accumulate every day of the cleanse? I’m looking for some new ideas….so far I’ve made lemon infused olive oil which I use daily as a face moisturizer as well as for cooking in the kitchen, made a vinegar/lemon natural household cleaner for the entire house, made some delicious Lemoncello liqueur and lastly made some lemon extract which I mix into coconut oil and use as an all over body moisturizer. Would love to hear of some new ideas!!


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