When many people start a diet or decide that “enough is enough”. They start with a detox or a cleanse. Rightfully so, because there are loads of “leftovers” in your digestive tract and lots of excess toxins built up in your organs. Causing you to feel sluggish, have break outs, headaches, food cravings, and an overall blah demeanor. After purging your system you feel light, lifted, and ready to live your best life. But which do you you do? Are they the same? What’s the difference?
Our bodies naturally detox though the liver and kidneys, but we often expose ourselves to toxin and lead less than ideal lifestyles leaving our bodies needing help. When you manually “detox” your body you are focusing on aiding the detox organs and reducing the amount of intentional toxins you consume. So a detox, by right, would include liver, and kidney aiding herbs like Milk Thistle, Moringa, Dandelion, Parsley, Corn Silk, and Lemongrass. These herbs strengthen and improve the function of your organs to detox better. When detoxing many experience headaches, lethargy, and excessive trips to the restroom because the herbs are enhancing the functionality of the detoxing organs and you are in “withdrawal” from not consuming sugar and alcohol, and dramatically reducing dairy and animal products. Not because “meat is bad” but because the way most of our meats are raised and processed before they reach your table have them riddled with antibiotics, GMO’s and hormones, all which impede your body’s ability to function optimally. After your “detox” period you should have boosted your body’s ability to do its job which in turn helps you lose weight more efficiently because things are moving smoother overall.
A cleanse focuses directly on your digestive system and “cleansing” the leftover junk that builds up and slows down the removal of waste. The average person can have up to 10lbs of waste leftover in their bodies. All the chips, doughnuts and butter smeared steaks leave their mark and make it hard to feel good after eating “just a salad”. Your cleanse should include herbs like Senna, Chamomile, Ginger, Cascara, and Slippery Elm. These herbs will helps you clear all the lingering waste in your system leaving you lighter and more energized. Now, because the process works directly on your digestive tract you can expect to make MANY trips to the restroom. So just a head up, drink plenty of water, make sure you have plenty of toilet paper and possibly even wet wipes.
Having discussed the differences of detoxes and cleanses, how do you know which one to use?
To jump start weight loss a cleanse is more ideal for dramatic jump start. Cleanses should NOT be used often because they are essentially laxatives and flushing your digestive system too often could seriously disrupt your gut bacteria. There is a whole system of gut flora that work to keep you regular and efficiently remove waste, cleaning it occasionally is fine but frequent cleansing could do more harm than good.
Detoxes are good to use as often as you see fit, keeping in mind your body can and does detox itself. You know yourself and the lifestyle you maintain. If you consume alcohol and processed food often and rarely drink water or eat a vegetable you may need to detox more often than a person that eats well and exercises regularly.
All in all, neither is a daily or even weekly option and both should be used in moderation and with the intention of doing better and being better afterwards, they are not quick fixes nor are they magic cures. Our bodies are amazing machines that do everything they were created to do, it is our job to take care of them and keep them in the same manner you would keep a shiny new Porsche. You only get one body so take good care of it and in turn it will be good to you.