At 6-foot-4 and 212 pounds, Scott Campbell doesn't need to lose weight. But there he was, squeezing lemon juice and mixing it with maple syrup, bottled water and cayenne pepper. It is part of an extreme "detoxifying" diet called the Master Cleanse, whose adherents swallow nothing but the lemon concoction, saltwater and laxative tea.
Also known as the lemonade diet, the Master Cleanse has gained in popularity recently, thanks to celebrities like Beyonce Knowles who swear by the regimen, as bad as it may taste.
"I'm never hungry," said Campbell, a 35-year-old freelance TV producer from New York City who was cleansing not to lose weight, but because he usually eats "a lot of bad stuff" like burgers, fries and Philly cheesesteaks.
Devotees of the diet eat no solid food but drink up to 10 daily glasses of the lemon juice cocktail and round it off with saltwater in the morning and laxative tea at night. They are supposed to stay on the cleanse for at least 10 days, then ease back into normal eating with orange juice and vegetable soup.
The main drawback: You never want to be too far from a toilet. The cleanse produces very liquid and copious bowel movements. As for other side effects, some say they are always hungry.