What to expect from The Master Cleanse

The Master Cleanse is a ten day fast and detox that has been employed successfully by hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide.  While not everyone experiences the same reactions, there is some similarity overall.  We have a group “opt-in” experience from Tuesday, September 3rd – 12th.  (Day after Labor Day) Check back to the 2 previous posts for all of the vital information about this group fast.

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Feel free to post comments, questions or personal  experiences here on the blog as well as on our Facebook page. I will personally monitor both sites on a daily basis, as I do the Master Cleanse along with you, and respond to the best of my ability.

While it helps to have a support group or someone that can respond to your questions, do bear in mind that I am not a medical doctor nor is my advanced degree in the area of nutrition.  If you have any medical issues or concerns, make sure to check with your regular physician.  While it’s natural to feel some mildly uncomfortable detox symptoms, they should not be extreme.

I am sharing some of the common detox symptoms from Peter Glickman’s website at the bottom of this post, as he does an amazing job in both his book and his website in preparing individuals for this fast.

Below are some of my personal insights, along with information and feedback from others who have done the fast.   I’d also recommend doing a search on the subject for “Master Cleanse Journals” – when I was first contemplating doing the cleanse, I learned a lot from reading a few online day-to-day journals.

  • Nobody really enjoys doing the salt flush.  In fact, some people give up on it or refuse to do it, but I’d recommend just slamming it down for at least 3 or 4 days to accelerate the detoxification.  Every routine is an integral part of the fast – from drinking the senna  tea each evening, to your salt flush and subsequent purge, to your imbibing the 60+ ounces of the lemonade.
  • Feelings of hunger are more the exception rather than the rule.  While you may miss eating or crave a particular food, most report having either none or very mild hunger pangs.  I have done 2 Master Cleanses and several juice fasts; I am always starving during a juice fast, no matter how much juice I drink, but I am rarely hungry on the MC.
  • Some days may be easier than others; From Glickman’s book I remember some people have a dip on the 3rd, 4th or 5th day and then again on the 7th or 8th.  But I hate to pre-suggest you because that simply did not happen with me.
  • It is common (and startling, in a very good way!) how much energy you may feel during the fast.  Your body expends about a third of its daily energy quota in the digestive process.  When that energy becomes surplus, don’t be surprised if you have a sudden surge in energy.
  • In spite of that extra energy, your body is going through a shift and should be treated gently and lovingly.  Lots of rest – even naps, if you are so inclined – will help the detox process.  If you do want to exercise, just listen to your body and don’t over-exert.
  • One of the most spectacular benefits that comes from doing the cleanse is the knowledge that you have mastered your own fear of going without eating for 10 days (or however long you decide to do the cleanse.) I have heard from many individuals that once they sublimated the little inner demanding voice during the fast, they gained a lot of self-confidence and determination to succeed in other areas of life.

A few words about weight loss:

Many people do the cleanse with the goal of losing weight, and that’s perfectly fine.  Beyonce went on The Master Cleanse when she was filming Dreamgirls to lean out for the scenes where she plays a younger woman.  Some people are very pleased with their overall weight loss,  others lose very little.  Clearing out “old stuff” from the colon is definitely going to help, so don’t give up on those salt flushes!  You may gain as much as 50% back of the weight within a week or two of returning to normal eating.  I lost about 9 lbs. the first time on the fast, but what especially pleased me was that I broke through some stubborn fat pockets around my belly and hips.  After resuming my regular exercise schedule, I went down 2 dress sizes very quickly.

LJ’s special tip for minimizing detox symptoms:

Buy some epsom salts at your local drugstore or discount warehouse.  They are extremely inexpensive, especially wen you buy the larger sizes.  (I get a mini-tub of them at Sam’s Club for about $5.00 and it has a little scoop cup inside)  Run a bath of hot water and add 2-3 scoops.  I also like to add a few drops of lavender, rosemary and peppermint essential oils.  Soak for 15-20 minutes.  Not only will this relax you and minimize your symptoms,  epsom salts helps accelerate the detox and soothe away any aches or pains that arise.

From Peter Glickman:

I grouped the detox symptoms I and others have had into five groups:

  1. Cravings: Only 1 person in 4 experiences any hunger on this cleanse and drinking more lemonade or water handles usually handles that. I have, however, observed that people on the cleanse crave what they are detoxifying. Proof that this is true is that the cravings usually go away the next morning with bowel movements. You can crave anything when detoxifying, but most likely you will experience cravings for the most toxic foods, such as pizza, hamburgers, barbeque ribs, etc. The way to tell if it’s a craving rather than true hunger is to imagine sitting down to a large, green salad. If that inspires you, you’re hungry. If all you want is pizza; if that is all you can think about; then, you’re experiencing a craving.
  2. Tiredness: When your body fights toxins, whether from detoxifying or an infection, it diverts energy into healing and away from the energy you use to work and play. On my first 20 day cleanse, I was not tired except on the fifteenth day. The next morning, I experienced heat in my bowel movements, an indication that acidic toxins were being eliminated. I also lost all sense of tiredness after that morning’s eliminations.
  3. Irritability: This includes boredom and the desire to “just chew something solid”.
  4. Physical aches, pains, nausea, vomiting, etc.: These are the most severe reactions and only occur where a person is severely toxic, only a small percentage of people experience these. Fortunately, these have gone away after only a day or two in every case I have heard about.
  5. Hot bowel movements: Your body wastes are acidic and when you eliminate the most toxic ones, they actually feel anywhere from warm to burning. This experience is very infrequent, but worth mentioning because hot bowel movements after a day of heavy detox symptoms will confirm that you just eliminated significant toxins.

A Special Note on Headaches: In talking to people doing the cleanse, I’ve learned that people with caffeine addiction (coffee, soft drinks, etc.) may experience headaches for the first 2 to 4 days.

New! Easy Detox

Get started here!Do you find it difficult to complete detoxes, like the Master Cleanse, that demand deprivation and difficult regimens? Check out my brand new program, S-Tox™: A Smarter Way to Detox. S-Tox is a simple, stress-free, satisfying way to detoxify your system. You enjoy wholesome Super Smoothies, Scrumptious Shakes, Soul-Soothing Soups, Satisfying Salads, and Sensational Snacks — that keep you feeling full while flushing away toxins. Best of all, a health coach will guide you through the process!

Your S-Tox™ complete smart detox package includes:

  • FREE CONSULTING session with a health coach – your detox questions answered or your 4-day food journal reviewed by a wellness pro
  • ESSENTIAL TOOLS to get started and succeed – including shopping lists, meal planners, and food journals
  • FIVE RECIPE BOOKLETS packed with wholesome, mouth-watering Smoothies, Salads, Soups, Shakes, and Snacks!
  • HOURS OF AUDIO from a leading motivational expert to cement positive changes
  • NINE E-BOOKS and cheat sheets from leading wellness experts – featuring HUNDREDS of favorite recipes
  • FREE OR DISCOUNTED ENROLLMENT in our other popular courses, including Food Group Therapy: Alkalinity Challenge
  • INSTANT, CONVENIENT ACCESS online to all course materials, including an exclusive support forum
  • CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION to commemorate your effort!

Get started here!

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  1. First off I would like to thank LJ for introducing me to this fast. I decided to fast for several reasons,but primarily because I wanted to see if I could actually go without eating. I have never fasted in my life and quite frankly I wasn’t sure I could actually do it.
    After 2 days I am thrilled,I don’t feel bad and I feel like I can last at least 7 days( that was my personal goal).I have some hunger but nothing to make me break the fast.
    I love coffee and most days have at least 2-3 cups,but surprisingly I have had no headaches,in fact today(day 2) I feel quite energetic,almost light.
    You should follow exactly the directions ,I only did half the salt flush the first day and nothing happened,but today I drank everything and the “elimination” was quite impressive.
    I exercise at least 5-6 times a week,but for the first 3-4 days of the fast, I have opted to rest and take it easy.
    Looking forward to see how long I can do this,but I am quite proud of myself so far!
    Thanks LJ 🙂

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