Beyoncé Knowles is not on this diet. She did it in 2006. Now she exercises a lot and eats healthy food.
This article is for informational purposes only and not a recommended way to try to lose weight. There really are much better ways to get in shape, and you can find most of them here at MotleyHeath!
The “Maple Syrup diet” that Beyonce went on before making Dreamgirls is a fast. The process is hard on the body. When Beyoncé Knowles had to lose weight quickly for her role in the film Dreamgirls she turned to the Maple Syrup Diet (also known as the Lemonade Diet). This diet is a form of fasting that helps you to start losing fat.
Beyoncé Stops Fad Diets
In April 2012 Beyoncé announced that she was going to stop all fad diets to ensure that she is a good example to her daughter, who was born in January. She was recently seen enjoying the good weather in a black swimsuit and this sparked some new interest into how she stays in shape.
While she admits that she is not a fitness fanatic, she does enjoy doing a healthy amount of exercise to stay in shape. Her work is very active which helps her to burn more energy.
Beyoncé says that most important part of staying on great shape is to simple eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise.
Beyonce’s Fitness Workouts
Before we look at the diet it is important to point out that Beyoncé does not use this fast to keep in shape. Like all fit and healthy celebrities Beyoncé goes to the gym on a regular basis to workout. Her figure is now the result of her healthy eating and fitness routines.
The diet she went on was only for a very short period before Dreamgirls was filmed in 2006. So if you want a slim and toned body like Beyoncé, do not try this fast/cleanse. If you asked Beyonce how to lose weight she would not reply “Master Cleanse“, she would tell you it is by eating a healthy diet and exercising a lot.
Beyonce’s Gym Workout
Beyonce does full body workouts at the gym, using weights to exercise her shoulders and biceps, bodyweight training, such as push ups, sit ups, squats and lunges to work her legs, core and chest. This beginners weight training routine will get you started on a similar workout.
Beyoncé’s Lemon Juice with Maple Syrup Diet
Beyoncé’s Maple Syrup Diet is really an unhealthy way to lose weight. It simply involves eating no solid food at all. The flush and laxative treatments add to the health risks associated with this method. This makes it an unhealthy and unsustainable method for weight management. Really it is just a crash diet.
Instead of eating solid food, a mixture of lemon juice, Grade B Medium(grade 2 in the UK) Maple Syrup, water and Cayenne pepper is drunk. This mix can be taken cold, as a cordial, or hot as a tea. The mix contains some essential vitamins and minerals.
As solid food is not eaten it is necessary to help the digestive system eliminate material and avoid constipation. This is achieved in two ways: laxative tea is taken every night, and 32 ounces of lukewarm sea salt water serves as a top-down enema in the morning. This passes through the digestive system extremely quickly—30-60 minutes.
How Long Should the Maple Syrup Diet Last For?
The guidelines for the Master Cleanse recommends that it is done for a minimum of ten days, although it is not uncommon for people to stay on the cleanse for longer periods of time. Fasting for such long periods requires careful breaking, as intestinal cultures need to re-develop and mucus linings need to be re-built. This usually involves drinking “full strength” juices for a day or two, while slowly re-introducing soups, then fruit, vegetables and nuts before resuming a regular diet.
This fast break is an ideal time to add probiotics to re-establish a healthy intestinal culture. Bear in mind that this is not the only way to lose weight fast.
Maple Syrup Diet Recipe:
- 2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce) freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice (approx. 1/2 lemon)
- 2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce) organic Grade B (UK grade 2 ) maple syrup
- 1/10 Teaspoon or more cayenne pepper – as much as you can comfortable cope with
- 1 Cup (8 fluid ounces) purified or spring water
To Make a Bottle of the Maple Syrup / Lemon Cleanse Drink for the Day:
- 5 Squeezed Lemons
- 1 1/4 cup of organic Grade B maple syrup (if you can get it)
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 10 cups of water
Add all the ingredients to a bottle and shake. Shake again before each drink to avoid any segments settling at the bottom.
If you want a simpler detox solution, then just make an Apple, Lemon and Lime Detox Juice every morning.
The Salt Water Flush
The idea of the salt water flush is to remove waste from the colon. The argument for doing it is that fecal matter can remain in the bowels for a long time and this “flush” forces it out. It is not a very pleasant procedure so many people chose not to do the flush.
However, there is no medical or scientific basis on doing it for health or weight loss. It may also cause an imbalance in healthy bacteria and harm your digestive system.
Eating a high fiber diet will clean out your digestive system more effectively than drinking salt water and it is healthy too.
How To Do it
It is recommended that you use sea salt for the flush. Start with 2 teaspoons with 1 liter of room temperature water and drink the solution. If you do not respond to this amount then you will need to use more salt.
Expect 3 to 8 bowel movements in the following hours which will expel the liter of salt solution – this will be a strong watery diarrhea. This is the flush. It will not be pleasant and it is vital that you only take the solution when you do not need to leave the house for at least half a day.
When Is The Best Time for the Salt Water Flush?
It is best done first thing in the morning on a day when you can stay at home and close to the toilet for the day. Many people prefer to do this in the evening so that they have the whole night to recover. Expect bowel movements every 15 minutes or so until all the solution has passed through. If you do not like the sound of the salt water flush then find a local (and registered) doctor that performs colonic irrigation.
It is up to you how many times you do the salt water flush. MotleyHealth recommends that you do not do it at all and instead eat a higher fiber diet with plenty of raw salad vegetables to help clean your digestive system in a healthy and sustainable way.
In 2013 Alex Brooker tried this fast and did the salt water flush. He pointed out that Beyonce never talked about how unpleasant this was, and you could tell that he was having a really bad time with it.
What Happens During the Maple Syrup Diet
Beyoncé’s Maple Syrup Diet is said by Stanley Burroughs and later authors to eliminate toxins and congestion that have built up in the body. Because it is not a complete source of macro-nutrients, it should be considered as another form of fasting, rather than a diet. There is also no scientific or medical evidence that we are aware of to support this idea of toxin removal.
Supporters of the Maple Syrup Diet have credited it with helping them lose weight and reduce stomach fat, increase energy level, and even alleviate some chronic diseases. However, many people who are overweight feel sluggish and bloated due to an unhealthy diet and just stopping all junk food can make you feel more energetic.
How Much Weight Did Beyonce Lose on the Maple Syrup Diet?
Some in the entertainment industry have misunderstood fasting as a weight loss diet. The Maple Syrup Diet received media attention as a result of being embraced by some celebrities. The singer/actress Beyoncé did it for 14 days and lost 22 lb (9 kg) for her role in the 2006 movie Dreamgirls.
Howard Stern’s co host Robin Quivers claims to have lost 73 lb using the Master Cleanse. Similarly, Jared Leto says he lost the weight he gained to play ‘Mark David Chapman’ (he gained 62 lb) all from the Maple Syrup Diet.
The Different Juice Fasting Stages of Detoxification
Stage 1 (Day 1 To Day 2) On the first day of fasting, the blood sugar level drops below 70 mg/dl. To restore the blood to the normal glucose level, liver glycogen is converted to glucose and released into the blood. This reserve is enough for half a day, the body then reduces the basal metabolic rate (BMR). The rate of internal chemical activity in resting tissue is lowered to conserve energy. The heart slows down and blood pressure is reduced. Glycogen is pulled from the muscle causing some weakness. The first wave of cleansing is usually the worst.
Headaches, dizziness, nausea, bad breath, glazed eyes and a heavily coated tongue are signs of the first stage of cleansing. Hunger can be the most intense in this period unless the enema is used, which quickly assists the body into the fasting state by ending digestion in the colon.
Stage 2 (Day 3 To Day 7) Fats, composed of transformed fatty acids, are broken down to release glycerol from the glyceride molecules and are converted to glucose. The skin may become oily as rancid oils are purged from the body. People with problem free skin may have a few days of pimples or even a boil. A pallid complexion is also a sign of waste in the blood. Ketones are formed by the incomplete oxidation of fats. It is suspected that the ketones in the blood suppress the appetite by affecting the food-satiety centre in the hypothalamus. You may feel hungry for the first few days of the fast. This is a temporary effect, as the desire to eat will disappear. Lack of hunger may last 40 to 60 days, depending on whether you are on water or juice.
As the body embraces the fast, the digestive system is able to take a much needed rest, focusing all of its energies on cleansing and healing. The white blood cells and the immune system activity increases. You may also feel pain in your lungs, as the cleansing organs and the lungs are in the process of being repaired. Periodically, the lymphatic system expels mucous matter through the nose or throat. The volume excreted of this yellow-colored mucus can be shocking. The sinuses go through periods of being clogged, then will totally clear. The breath is still foul and the tongue coated. Within the intestine, the colon is being repaired and impacted faeces on the intestinal wall start to loosen.
Stage 3 (Day 8 to Day 15) On the latter part of an extended fast, you can experience enhanced energy, clear-mindedness and feel better than you have felt since childhood. On the downside, old injuries may become irritated and painful. This is a result of the body’s increased ability to heal during fasting. If you had broken your arm 10 years before, there is scar tissue around the break. At the time of the break, the body’s ability to heal was directly related to lifestyle. If you lived on a junk-food diet, the body’s natural healing ability was compromised.
During fasting, the body’s healing process is at optimum efficiency. As the body scours for dead or damaged tissue, the lymphocytes enter the older and damaged tissue, secreting substances to dissolve the damaged cells. These substances irritate the nerves in the surrounding region and cause a recurrence of aches from previously injured areas that may have disappeared years earlier. The pain is good, as the body is completing the healing process. The muscles may become tight and sore due to toxin irritation. The legs can be the worst affected, as toxins accumulate in the legs. Cankers are common in this stage due to excessive bacteria in the mouth. Daily gargling with salt and water will prevent or heal cankers.
Stage 4 (Day 16 to Day 30) The body is completely adapted to the fasting process. There is more energy and clarity of mind. Cleansing periods can be short, with many days of feeling good in between. There are days when the tongue is pink and the breath is fresh. The healing work of the organs is being completed. After the detoxification mechanisms have removed the causative agent or render it harmless, the body works at maximum capacity in tissue proliferation to replace damaged tissue. While a short fast will reduce the symptoms caused by toxification, a longer fast can completely heal. Homoeostatic balance is at optimum levels. The lymphatic system is clean, except for a rare discharge of mucus through the nose or throat. After day 20, the mind is affected. Heightened clarity and emotional balance are felt at this time. Memory and concentration improve.
Stage 5 (Breaking the Fast) The sticky, toxic, mucous coating on the intestinal wall is loose, and the first meal frees it from the intestinal wall. Toxins enter the blood through the colon. The gallbladder dumps its waste in a heavy discharge of bile. This can cause an instant bowel movement upon eating followed by intense diarrhoea. If the symptoms are too uncomfortable, an enema will help.
The Master Cleanse?
It is not clear if the fast that Beyonce followed was the Master Cleanse or another fast that is similar. Although the Master Cleanse Fast was the first to popularize the lemon juice with sugar / syrup solution for fasting, this method has actually been around for many years. We first heard of the Master Cleanse during the 1950’s when Stanley Burroughs wrote Master Cleanser (published by Burroughs Books, ISBN-13: 978-0963926203).
However, there are records of people drinking lemon and sugar drinks during Lent and other periods of fasting as a way to cope with the lack of food.
Some critics point to lack of essential nutrients in Beyoncé’s Maple Syrup Diet, citing a deficiency of protein, vitamins, and minerals. As a result of these deficiencies, individuals on the diet may experience dizziness, delirium, and fainting in the short term, with possible damage to the body occurring in longer-term applications. Many authors assert that the benefits of fasting are related to its lack of nutrients, particularly macronutrients. People with intestinal conditions, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome may experience added discomfort while on the cleanse.
There is a risk that the saltwater flush may remove both beneficial and harmful bacteria from the body. A no-food diet may cause the gut to stop passing food, resulting in constipation, or may make the consumption of food immediately after the fast painful. These are the important reasons to follow the fast’s instructions correctly.
Beyoncé Knowles said of her decision to adopt the Maple Syrup diet: “My nutritionist suggested the only way to do that was the maple syrup fast. As soon as it was over, I gained the weight back.” She experience very rapid weight loss while on this fasting diet.
“I’m very conscious of being a curvy woman and I’m very happy that I am a curvy woman. I would never recommend it to anyone unless you are doing a movie and it’s necessary, and you have proper help.”
Remember that people like Beyonce Knowles have a great incentive to lose weight fast, as this ensures that they win contracts to appear in films, commercials and television. These diets are not healthy, so it is recommended that a longer term approach to weight loss is taken. Crash diets can be a useful way to kick-start yourself into a healthy lifestyle, as quick results can give you the boost of confidence that is often needed. However, they should not be considered long term solutions to weight problems. We recommend a good balance of healthy diet and regular exercise. Also, remember to consult your family doctor before embarking on a period fasting or extreme dieting.
If you revert to your old ways after this fast, you will gain nothing, and maybe actually put on more weight. Yoyo dieting is not good for your health, and cannot be sustained long term. So, eat healthily and exercise hard.
This is not the healthiest way to lose weight. A better weight loss solution is doing regular intensive exercise and eating a healthy, calorie controlled diet. If you do decide to do this cleanse/fast then you should also follow our weight loss plan to help maintain your ideal weight.
If you want a simpler detox solution, then just make an Apple, Lemon and Lime Detox Juice every morning.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Can I eat something while on this diet?
No. This is not a diet really, it is a fast. To eat solid food is not fasting.
2. Can I use a different grade of Maple Syrup?
Yes. This is just a fast that provides some energy with a sugared water drink. The grade makes a slight difference to the sugar content of the Maple Syrup, but it really is not going to make a huge difference.
3. Do I have to have the salt water?
No, you do not. This plan is in 2 parts – the fast (Maple Syrup drink) and the Salt Water Flush. The Salt water flush is a “top down enema” that means you drink a salt solution to induce severe diarrhea. It is unpleasant and in all honestly, probably not really worthwhile. Following a healthy diet with plenty of fiber eliminates the need for such a procedure.
4. How fast will I lose weight on this diet?
Impossible to say, as it depends on so many variables. How overweight are you now? How much do you weigh? How much muscle mass do you have? How much fat? Are you active? How old are you?
5. Can I use honey instead of Maple Syrup?
Yes. If you really want to go on a fast and cannot get the maple syrup, then by all means use honey. It will not officially be a “Maple Syrup diet” but that does not make much difference.
6. Is this the best way to lose weight fast?
No. Fasting is the worse way to lose weight. To lose weight and maintain that weight loss you have to learn to live a healthy lifestyle, and you can only learn how to do this by actively changing the way you eat and the way you exercise. If you do not learn how to do this for yourself, then you will be set up to be a yo-yo dieter. As soon as the fast finishes you will regain the weight again.
7. Can I still exercise?
Yes, if you have the energy to do so, you can exercise. Be careful though, do not embark on a new fitness regime, and do not do any heavy lifting.
8. Do I have to have the ceyenne pepper?
No, of course not. You do not have to have anything that you do not want. Cayenne pepper has a minor effect on metabolism.
9. If this is not a healthy way to lose weight, what is?
There are 2 main aspects to weight loss:
1. Following a healthy diet. Read this article on healthy eating to learn how.
2. Exercising on a regular basis. Chose an activity of start a fitness plan.
Both of these methods are including in our advice page on losing belly fat.
Resources on Fasting
Fasting forms a part of many religious festivals such as Lent and Ramadan. Here are some fasting resources and references to research on fasting.
- Fasting the right way – www.bbcgoodfoodme.com (pdf)
- “Fasting” by William T. Jarvis, Ph.D. NCAHF (National Council Against Health Fruad)
- Lemon Detox Diet – Is it safe? 3news.co.nz. (video) News Accessed October 2011
- “Long-term weight loss maintenance: assessment of a behavioral and supplemented fasting regimen”. By M F Hovell, A Koch, C R Hofstetter, C Sipan, P Faucher, A Dellinger, G Borok, A Forsythe and V J Felitti. Published in American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 78, Issue 6 663-666. Abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1350278/
- “Fasting increases risk for onset of binge eating and bulimic pathology: a 5-year prospective study” by Eric Stice, Kendra Davis, Nicole P. Miller, and C. Nathan Marti. Published in J Abnorm Psychol. 2008 November; 117(4): 941–946. doi: 10.1037/a0013644.