BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 26 Jan '18

Charlie Clarke gives a day-by-day account of his week on The Lemon Detox

This article first appeared in our winter ’18 issue of MyGreenPod Magazine, The Resolution Revolution. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

On Friday night, I ate my last meal for a week: a piece of sea bass with fluffy mash and steamed broccoli. Then I went out and bought a mountain of lemons, extracted the cayenne pepper from the spice rack and took the tin of Madal Bal Natural Tree Syrup from the breakfast cupboard. Ingredients for my Lemon Detox, tick.

I squeezed the lemons, then mixed the juice with the syrup, cayenne and water. In five minutes, I had enough of the drink to get through day one of the fast. Job done.

And that’s it. I went to bed ready to fast and to start the process of becoming that New Man…

Days 1-2

Backtracking a bit, I spent last week doing a ‘pre-tox’ – eating normally but cutting out addictive things like caffeine, sugar and snacks, and preparing myself mentally. It was a challenge, but I’m glad I don’t have to contend with caffeine withdrawal as I start the fast. I plumped for starting on the weekend because the first couple of days are usually the hardest, and I reckoned I’d be best off riding them out at home and not having to concentrate too much.

So, how did the weekend go? Well, actually! I didn’t have a single headache and, by drinking the drink regularly, I’ve managed to keep hunger at bay. Good start.

I felt a bit lethargic over the weekend, but there’s no real way of saying whether this was just my usual weekend laziness or a fasting fog. Apart from that, I actually feel pretty good and I really think that the ‘pre-tox’ idea has worked well. Giving up coffee and tea normally gives me withdrawal headaches, so getting them out of the way before the fast seemed like a sensible strategy.

I had my arm twisted to go out to a social event on Saturday night. My hosts kindly put my Lemon Detox drink into a champagne flute and chucked in a cocktail umbrella, which was a nice touch.

I hadn’t planned any strenuous exercise this weekend, but we did go for a nice walk along the seafront on Sunday. I took a little flask of the drink with me – warmed up – which was a nice comfort on a cold day when you can’t take a hip flask.

Anyway, I made it through to Sunday night feeling good. I’m ready for whatever a working day can throw at me over the next couple of days.

Days 3-5

I had to work from home on Monday; I didn’t have any problems knuckling down to work and I found that as long as I kept the water and the drink in abundant supply, I could keep the hunger pangs and concentration lapses at bay.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I was at my office desk, surrounded by people with plates of food, snacks and coffees – all fresh from the canteen I have to walk past to get in. I’ve noticed an acute sharpening of my sense of smell over the last couple of days; I can whiff a bacon sarnie from a hundred yards – downwind! – but I’m also finding it rather rewarding to be able to keep strong in the face of temptation!

I’m not all skin and bones. I haven’t had any headaches or any light-headedness, which is great (I am now convinced the pre-tox was an excellent idea), and I’ve been sleeping well.

I’m also becoming a bit more flexible. Not because of the fast, but because I’ve started doing some yoga in the mornings (instead of breakfast). We’ve had some yoga videos made specifically for people doing the Lemon Detox; I’m the guinea pig – and I’m quite enjoying them!

Click here for more on The Lemon Detox and how it gained its cult following

Click here to find out why Madal Bal Natural Tree Syrup is a MyGreenPod Hero

The Lemon Detox

Days 6-7

The last couple of days are more about keeping strong mentally and resisting the desire to eat! But I come through them determined.

I’ll be honest: drinking the same thing for a week can get a bit monotonous as the days progress, but I’ve varied the water I use to mix the drink: cold, warm and my favourite is sparkling (to shake things up). However, in retrospect I should have drunk a few more herbal teas just for a bit of variety. But with day seven in my sights, I was feeling in a good place psychologically and physically, so I ploughed on.

As I finish, I’m clear about one thing: FOOD IS GREAT! Waiting for me on the other side of the finish line, with arms open wide, was a double bill of delicious, homemade soups and a chunk of proper French baguette I’d purchased especially for the occasion earlier in the day.

You may be asking why I didn’t break the fast with a juicy steak. The answer is simple: I’m not sure my poor old gut could have handled it. You have to ease yourself back onto foods as the digestive system re-emerges from its short hibernation.

As it turned out, after my first bowl of soup and a couple of bites of the baguette I was full. Gradually, over the rest of the weekend, I worked back to eating normally again.

The final reckoning?

The fasting has left me feeling great, both mentally and physically. I feel healthy and also much more appreciative of, and aware about, the food I’m putting into my body. And what about that festive excess? When I started, I weighed in at 12st 10.5lbs. Seven fasting days later after my Lemon Detox and I was (drum-roll…) 12st 2.5lbs. There goes that Christmas roll, then!