How Much Weight Can You Lose With the Lemon Juice Diet?

Some alternative medicine proponents believe that lemons have detoxifying properties. The lemon juice diet relies on these cleansing effects to eliminate dangerous toxins from your body and promote weight loss. The effectiveness of the lemon juice diet as a weight loss aid varies. Consult your physician for information about healthy weight loss to determine whether the lemon juice diet is safe for you.

Lemon Juice Diet

The lemon juice diet typically lasts 10 days, although some cleanse practitioners follow the diet plan for one month or more. The only food allowed on the cleanse is a special juice containing freshly squeezed lemons, grade B maple syrup, organic ground cayenne pepper and filtered water. Some people use laxatives or drink warm salt water to stimulate bowel movements. Frequent bowel elimination supposedly cleanses your colon of toxins.

Weight Loss

Most people who follow the lemon juice diet for 10 or more days lose weight. Singer Beyonce Knowles followed the lemon juice diet to prepare for the movie "Dreamgirls" and reportedly lost 20 lbs. Although results vary by individual, losing 10 or more pounds during the cleanse is common.


Several factors affect your weight loss on the lemon juice diet. Some dieters perform a salt water flush or take laxatives to clear their bowels of waste. Promoting frequent bowel movements helps you shed weight faster by removing excess waste from your colon. Another factor that affects weight loss is the length of your lemon juice diet. Some people follow the cleanse for three to five days, while others diet for 30 days. In general, following the lemon juice diet for a longer period of time results in greater weight loss.


Despite its reputation as a fast way to shed extra pounds, the lemon juice diet can be very dangerous for your health. Drinking only juice for 10 or more days leaves your body deprived of important nutrients. The diet may cause dehydration, dizziness and nutrient deficiencies. According to Susan Moores, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, many people regain the weight they lose on the lemon juice diet, making it an ineffective diet strategy. To lose weight and keep it off, talk to your doctor to create a healthy eating plan.