30 Days of the Master Cleanse

Today wraps up day 30 of a master cleanse. I dropped a total of 29.1 lbs, and plan to go another day (or maybe two).

Over the past year or so, I’ve been way too sedentary. More so than usual. I’d sit in front of the computer at work all day, come home, and sit in front of the computer all night working on a side job. I wouldn’t say I was obese (altho my Wii Fit would disagree), but I was definitely as heavy as I’d ever been, and I wasn’t happy about it.

I know the first thing most people are going to say is, “Yeah, 30lbs in 30 days… that sounds healthy”. I’m certainly not a doctor, and I’m not going to say whether or not it’s healthy long term. But the facts of the matter are these… There are a number of people (search Google for “master cleanse”) who do this annually (as an aside, this is my 3rd time, altho I’ve never done it this long before). Nobody advocates this as a diet for life. It’s common sense. You lose weight because you stop eating (more on the specifics later). When you’re done with the cleanse, if you go back to your old habits, you’re going to gain it all back. No questions asked, end of story.

As most people who are familiar with it will tell you, it’s not primarily for weight loss. It’s for detoxification. The weight loss is a very happy little side effect.

Now me, I’m an instant gratification person. Patience is not my forte. When I make an effort, I need to see a result. An immediate result. When this happens, I’m much more motivated to continue the effort.

With the Master Cleanse, you see results. Within the first few days of doing this, I noticed my face getting thinner. About a week and a half ago I was washing my face and felt these strange and unfamiliar bumps… cheekbones! Around the same time, I noticed my belt was on the last notch. I’ve still got a bit of a belly, but it’s much better than it was 30 days ago.

The last time I did this was last year. I did it for 14 days. A few days in, I noticed something… odd. I felt better than I usually feel. Just happier. I thought maybe it was all in my head, but my wife brought it up as well. They say that you’ve truly changed when others notice it. Well, she noticed it.

This time was no different. Energy levels were up. My boss told me I seemed more focused at work. More optimistic and energetic. Others who have done the cleanse have said the same thing. I honestly don’t know what to attribute that to. It’s just another happy little side effect.

My routine was pretty basic. In the morning I’d make a batch of the lemonade as follows:

  • 60 oz filtered water
  • 12 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 12 tbsp Grade B maple syrup *
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

* Grade B maple syrup needs to be purchased from a store like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. Do NOT use Aunt Jemimah :)

I’d generally finish by 6:30pm, if not earlier. In the evenings, about 20 minutes on the Wii Fit doing mostly aerobics with some strength training mixed in. It may not sound like a lot, but it’s 20 minutes a day more than I usually did. In the evenings, right before bed, an herbal laxative tea (my least favorite part).

If you’ve googled already, you’ll also see that a “salt water flush” is part of the process, meant to be done in the morning. The salt water flush is 32 oz of lukewarm water, and 2 tsp of sea salt. It sounds bad, and it is. I did this on the weekends (as an aside, the last time I did the cleanse I was unable to do this, so I’m pretty proud of myself this time). The results of the salt water flush can be pretty dramatic, to say the least, so I wasn’t comfortable doing it before work.

That’s it. People have asked, “Do you still have coffee in the morning?” No. Others have asked, “Raw veggies?” No. Really. That’s it. For 30 days I’ve had 60 oz of the “lemonade”, with a cup of herbal laxative tea in the evenings.

Sounds horrible, right? It’s really not. I’ve dropped more weight in 30 days than I’d have thought possible. I feel great. While I have cravings for “real” food, I’m not hungry, nor have I been.

Looking forward, I do want to keep the weight off this time. The last time I did it, I’ll be honest… it was to get down to a certain weight to get better life insurance premiums. When that short-sighted goal was met, I went back to my old ways, eating whatever I wanted to whenever I wanted to. And of course, the weight came back (and then some).

This time, I’m thinking longer-term. As mentioned, I’m an instant gratification type person. I wouldn’t have stuck with it losing an average of 1.5 lbs per week. I’d have never hit this goal. Now that I have, I feel motivated to put forth the effort to maintain where I’m at. That means eating better. Eating more slowly and enjoying my food. And continuing to exercise. I might do the cleanse again in a year for 10 days just to… cleanse, but hopefully I don’t go back to a weight where I feel I have to do it for weight loss.

It’s difficult. It’s challenging. But it’s also rewarding. I feel proud for having set the goal and having stuck to it. It was a worthwhile experience.

If anyone has questions about it, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll be more than happy to answer.