How to Lose Weight With a Lemon Diet

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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People go on a lemon diet for a few different reasons, but before you embark on this rigid and challenging diet, it is best to understand all of the potential effects, both good and bad.

What is a Lemon Diet?

A lemon diet is an extreme restriction diet, also known as a lemon fast, wherein people consume only certain beverages and ingredients for a period of 7-10 days. This diet will reduce your caloric intake quite dramatically, which can have a number of side effects, and while some of the claims of the diet have been verified, others are still being debated.

Lemon slices on a wooden board

When life gives you lemons, add them to your diet, and get healthier! Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Foods To Have On A Lemon Diet

The main foods allowed during a lemon diet are:

Purpose of a Lemon Diet

The purpose of a lemon diet for most people is to lose weight.

  • By cutting your caloric intake so dramatically, by more than 80%, in most cases, you will create a strong caloric deficit (burning more calories than you are consuming each day).
  • A caloric deficit that great can lead to a lot of weight loss, often between 10 and 20 pounds over a 10-day period.
  • Some other people use elements of the lemon diet to stimulate the liver and flush out the colon in an effort to detoxify the body.

However, the body’s liver is designed to keep us free of toxins, and the side effects of such a dramatic diet could be worse than its benefits.

What Does a Lemon Diet Involve?

On a daily basis, you will consume a variety of beverages, but when first starting out on the diet, you should follow a strict pattern.

  • Step 1: Before beginning the diet, drink a glass of laxative herbal tea.
  • Step 2: On the first morning, drink 1 liter of water, along with 2 teaspoons of salt.
  • Step 3: 30 minutes later, make your first glass of lemonade (1/2 lemon, 1 glass of water, 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne powder, and 2 teaspoons of maple syrup).
  • Step 4: For the next 10 days, drink 6-12 glass of this lemonade throughout the day.
  • Step 5: Drink water throughout the day between lemonade.
  • Step 6: Every night, drink a glass of laxative herbal tea.

Weight Loss With a Lemon Diet

As mentioned above, weight loss is entirely possible with this diet and is nearly unavoidable, but this is like any other crash diet, in which you may rapidly regain that weight (some of which is water weight) after you return to your normal habits.

Lemon Diet Side Effects

There is a distinct lack of food, such as carbohydrates, protein, and fat, that your body is used to consuming when you follow the lemon cleanse. The main side effects of a lemon diet include:

  • Hunger
  • Mood swings
  • Stomach issues
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Disruption in hormonal levels
  • Gut problems
  • Diarrhea and loose stool

Note: Nutrient deficiency is difficult to avoid on this diet, so do not follow it for longer than 10 days. Before starting the diet, be sure to speak with your doctor about your specific health condition.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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