Plant-Based Nutrition

What is a Detox? The Ultimate Detox Cleanse Guide

Written by Hannah W.

Raise your hand if you have heard of a detox or cleanse!

If you can’t raise your hand, no need to panic or feel embarrassed about it because you have come to the right place.

I am going to cover all things detox.

Consider me your detox cleanse guide!

What is a Detox?

anabolic window

The term detox can refer to many things.

A detox can be for the body, mind, and/or spirit. A detox can mean unplugging from social media. It can mean meditation and centering yourself and your goals. It can also mean mixing up your diet in a specific way whether that be through diet restrictions or lifestyle changes.

If you are aiming to detox the body, it’s a period of time where you abstain from eating something to cleanse the body of impurities and toxins in the body.

The word “toxins” is thrown around quite a bit in the health world, but what does “toxins” even refer to?

In regards to a detox, toxins are pollutants from the environment, pesticides, and heavy metals from food, and impurities in your nutrition (like eating too much sugar).

The kidney and liver naturally detox the body every day, but too much of anything can cause more harm than good to the body. It can cause the body to overwork itself and allow build-up of these harmful toxins within the body.

A detox can help alleviate and expel these toxins improving bodily function and health!

It can focus on just one part of the body like the gut or liver, or a detox cleanse can focus on the body as a whole. A detox cleanse is typically short-term, but there are also long-term detoxes.

They help reset the body and mind, so follow along because this detox cleanse guide will go over some of the more popular detoxes, helping you decide if and what detox to use!

Types of Detoxes

Again, there are different types of detoxes to help reset the body and help you towards your fitness and health-related goals.

The few we will go over are the whole body detox, colon cleanse detox, coconut oil cleanse, and gut cleanse. Each serves a purpose.

They do specific things for the body and each can be catered to your needs and goals!

(To read about the ultimate 3-day green detox, check this out!)

Whole Body Detox

A woman standing by a lake drinking water while doing a whole body detox

The whole body detox sounds like what it is, a full body detox. It’s an overall detox not geared towards one area of the body, but rather it targets everything!

It can cleanse the body from toxins in the blood, cleanse the liver and kidneys, and the intestines and major organs.

A whole body cleanse can be achieved in through different techniques, but generally, a few patterns are followed.


A whole body detox requires drinking plenty of water! Water flushes out impurities and keeps you hydrated.

If you are trying to rid the body of toxins, one of the fastest ways is to drink like a fish because the toxins will be filtered out through your urine.

Face it, if you are drinking a lot, you will need to use the restroom a lot!


Did you know that sweat also purges the body of impurities?

A quick way to get a good sweat in is to exercise. Yes, I said it!

It’s gonna take work to purify the body and working out is a great way to constantly sweat out the bad stuff and remove it daily.

Food requirements

A whole body detox also requires changing the diet for a time.

This means eliminating processed food and incorporating whole foods!

One must also limit sugar intake. Too much sugar can slow the metabolism which ultimately slows the detoxifying process. I suggest substituting with a natural sweetener, like stevia (but is stevia safe?).

Depending on one’s health, a whole body detox may come easy or difficult as the body rids itself of toxins.

News flash, a poor diet can create a stronger reaction. A whole body detox may create quite a bit of discomfort as it removes the bad to replace with the good. So be prepared if your body has a harder time with this change because it means your body has more toxins that need to be expelled.

Colon Cleanse

A cozy bathroom which will be utilized during a colon cleanse

The good ole’ colon cleanse.

Spoiler alert, we are about to talk about poop and the digestive tract so fair warning now!

Did you know that your large intestine, or colon, is about 5 ft long? In those five feet, a lot of waste can build up.

When waste builds up and is not relieved from the body, it can hinder the digestive tract from its many functions. For example, a poor digestive tract lowers the absorption of nutrients.

Cleaning out the colon can help improve the digestive system. Think of it as a reset button.

If you clean out your colon of waste, your body can start on a clean slate if you will. This will help your metabolism because when the body can absorb more nutrients, your metabolism will better utilize those nutrients to fuel and manage the body.

This, in turn, improves one’s weight loss ability because the body is working at its maximum capacity again.

The body doesn’t have to focus on ridding toxins and fighting to absorb nutrients. It can use nutrients and metabolize food to use energy instead of storing it.

So the next step then is to know how to do a colon cleanse for weight loss.

Colon Cleanse Weight Loss

A woman holding up too-big pants after losing weight with a colon cleanse

A colon cleanse takes commitment because one will be sitting on the toilet several times a day.

Maybe do this cleanse when you have some extra time… like a weekend. I would hate for you to go to work and feel like you can’t get anything done because of frequent restroom visits.

There are a few ways to create bowel movements.


 This style is one of the more invasive ways for a colon cleanse. The process injects liquid, usually water or mineral water, through a tool by way of your rectum.

Like I said… it’s definitely more invasive than the other options. This method can be used by health practitioners or it can be done at home.

Water injected in your colon helps loosen the stool and produce bowel movements very quickly. Before committing to this method, talk to your health care provider and learn the proper techniques to safely use this method.

It’s fast and it’s effective. Within a short time, your colon will be empty.

-Teas and herbal supplements

 There are many and teas and herbs that create a laxative effect and stimulate frequent bowel movements.

Slippery elm, cascara sagrada, and psyllium husk are a few to point out. 

When incorporated into a tea or taken in a pill form, these herbs can naturally create bowel movements and therefore clean out the colon of waste.


 Switching up the diet is another way to achieve a colon cleanse for weight loss. This does two things.

  1. It cleans up your diet and in doing so, you are naturally avoiding some of the chemicals and toxins found in food.
  2. It aids in digestion because you are getting the nutrients you need for a strong metabolism.

Eating a clean diet will also help in weight loss in general!

A huge culprit in one’s weight loss journey is a poor diet. It can sabotage any work you do whether through a cleanse or exercise.

To improve the diet, avoid processed foods and increase your fiber intake. Fiber creates roughage and roughage helps clean the lining of the colon. These two things alone will help clean out the colon.

-Drink Water!

With any one of these colon cleanse methods, it’s so important to drink water! Creating frequent bowel movements forces the body to use water to help move things along. This can cause dehydration. So simple solution, drink water! Drinking enough water will help remove toxins from the body and aid any colon cleanse!

Coconut Oil Cleanse

Veggie Lisa scraping coconut oil out of a jar in preparation of a coconut oil cleanse

The popularity of the coconut oil cleanse is increasing because coconut oil is believed to have antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.

This cleanse is known as a more restrictive cleanse. It typically lasts anywhere from 3-5 days and replaces your food during that time.

In a general sense, the cleanse requires a person to eat 1-2 tablespoons throughout the day as needed for up to 14 tablespoons total each day.

Because this is a more extreme cleanse, it’s best to transition the body by incorporating it into the diet before you begin the detox.

Once the coconut oil cleanse is completed, it’s important to eat a healthy and balanced diet.

Gut Cleanse

Veggie Lisa holding a bottle of IdealRaw Probiotics

A gut cleanse is perfect to improve the microbiome in your gut as well as rid the body of bloat and inflammation. Who doesn’t want a flatter stomach?

We all have good and bad bacteria in our stomachs. The good and bad bacteria work together to digest food properly and keep our health at peak performance.

Why try a gut cleanse? Studies have shown that a healthy gut will boost your metabolism. If your gut is healthy, it can better extract nutrients which can boost the metabolism because your food is better converted into energy… energy we use instead of being stored as fat!

A gut cleanse also removes impurities from food. This can lead to clearer skin!

Yes, your gut health is tied to your skin and complexion!

A successful gut cleanse incorporates a few different things.

  1. Prebiotics: Prebiotics induce the growth and/or activity of beneficial microorganisms such as probiotics.
  2. Probiotics: Probiotics are the live bacteria that reside in the gut. The bacteria need prebiotics to feed and grow
  3. Eat your greens: green vegetables are perfect to help reduce inflammation and bloat. These foods include spinach, lettuce, kale, chard, and collard greens.

Incorporating these three things will reset the gut and allow your body to better digest food.

It’s a great way to help lose weight too! It can remove waste and ignite your digestion tract to process food in the most efficient way possible.

It takes a few changes to the diet, but the results are worth it!

Final Thoughts

When it comes to any cleanse, think about your goals.

Is there an area of focus? Do you want to improve your colon health or your gut health? Are you aiming to detox your liver or your blood?

These are questions you can and should ask yourself to decide which cleanse is right for you because each cleanse can target different areas of the body.

No matter what cleanse you decide to try, be safe and be smart. Listen to your body and never push it beyond its limits!

Some cleanses are more extreme and can cause more harm than good if you push yourself too hard. If you are still unsure what cleanse is right for you, talk to your doctor!

It’s important to do your research and make the best choice for you!

Get Veggie Lisa’s 3-Day Green-Tox eBook

In this eBook, you’ll get delicious recipes and complete instructions for an effective 3-day detox program!

Click HERE to learn more!

Writer and expert

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