With summer approaching, people are looking to slim down and lose their winter weight through extreme diet programs like the Lemonade Diet.
For a minimum of 10 days, the dieter consumes a lemonade concoction of fresh squeezed lemon juice, grade B maple syrup and cayenne pepper mixed in 10 ounces of filtered water. The person consumes 60 ounces a day, or at least six servings of the juice. A salt water flush is taken in the morning and a laxative tea is taken in the evening. Nothing else can be eaten.
The diet became well known when Beyonce Knowles appeared on Oprah and said she lost 20 pounds on the diet for the movie “Dreamgirls.”
Developed by Stanley Burroughs in 1941, the diet was created to release toxins and waste brought on by poor diet, lack of exercise and negative mental attitude. Possible benefits of the diet are said to help people lose up to 20 pounds, look younger, ease chronic pain and increase energy levels in 10 days.
Tiffany Wilcox, 21, a history major, was recently on the Lemonade Diet for 10 days.
“I did the cleanse to feel healthy and ‘clean,’ not to look for an easy weight-loss solution. I knew that weight loss was a positive side effect, but it certainly was not my motive. I would estimate that I lost between 10 and 13 pounds from the cleanse,” said Wilcox.
According to WebMD nutritionists, “the diet can be dangerous to a person’s health because it is deficient in all the essential nutrients: calories, vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, fiber and fat.”
Significant weight is lost because of the minimal caloric intake. The average weight loss is two pounds a day. According to the American College of Science and Medicine, it is unhealthy to lose more than two pounds a week.
Sometimes the dieters are focused only on the benefit of losing large amounts of weight, which defeats the purpose of the diet. With most starvation diets, dieters tend to binge eat after ending the diet and gain back the weight they have lost.
Wilcox recommends the diet because of the positive effects she encountered.
“I feel much more energetic and significantly happier. It is a jump-start to a change in lifestyle. The cleanse eliminates bad cravings and gives you assurance of your mind’s power over your body,” Wilcox said.
Wilcox had a pleasant experience with the diet, but other dieters have not.
Josh Bishop, 21, a theatre major, said, “I have a friend who tried it. She said she passed out on the fourth day and woke up on her kitchen floor with a lemon in her hand. She quit the diet that day.”
There are alternatives to this diet when weight loss is desired for long-term results. When choosing a diet plan, certain health factors must be addressed.
Darany Hoang, health educator at Cal State Fullerton, said, “A balanced diet with an intake of appropriate servings of all the food groups that is recommended for each person’s age, height, weight and physical activity should be considered.”
Hoang suggested creating a “MyPyramid profile” using the website MyPyramidTracker.gov. The website will calculate the amount of servings and calories a person should consume and suggests a workout plan based on how the health-related questions are answered. It also provides other resources in pursuing a healthy lifestyle.