What Is A Cleansing Diet

What Is A Cleansing Diet? Don’t Be Disillusioned

Also known as detox diets, cleansing diets are all the rage these days. There are many claims promising weight loss, purging toxins, healing the gut, and so on. But what is a cleansing diet?

Typically, a cleansing diet is very restrictive, usually starting with a fast, then eating or drinking just a few ingredients for a set number of days. They are meant to be used for a short period because, over the long term, they aren’t very healthy.

Cleansing or detox diets, which are not well-rounded, could even cause big problems with your health by not getting all the nutrients, protein, and fats that you actually need.

Here are some examples, taken from the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health website:

  • Fasting more than 24 hours.
  • Drinking only specific liquids, such as salted water or lemon juice.
  • Eating only certain foods.
  • Using dietary supplements or other commercial products (claiming detox or cleansing properties)
  • Using herbs
  • Cleansing the colon (lower intestinal tract) with enemas, laxatives, or colon hydrotherapy (also called “colonic irrigation” or “colonics”)
  • Using a sauna.

What Are The Health Implications?

  • Fasting for more than 24 hours can actually cause you to gain weight. Your body will start to hold onto fat since it rightly perceives you are starving. Plus your electrolyte balance could swing to dangerous levels.
  • Eating only certain foods like cabbage, grapefruit, or apple cider vinegar diets keep you from eating other healthy foods and can cause imbalances in your body.
  • People with diabetes should be especially careful about following a limited or fad diet. Always check with your healthcare professional before starting any diet.

These extreme diets don’t even tell you what exactly you are purging. Also, the research hasn’t shown that sharply limiting your foods or drinks will even really work at all. So, why put yourself through that when it could be more harmful than helpful for your body.

Is There A Healthy Way to Detox?

Is There A Healthy Way to Detox?

Yes! There is.

Our bodies already have built-in systems to detox our bodies. The liver, intestines (gut), kidneys, lungs, lymphatic system, even our skin help detox our bodies. But we can help them along with diet, exercise, and certain supplements, without using extreme diets.

In fact, without providing nutrients to the very organs that do the work of detoxing our bodies, we are shooting ourselves in the foot, so to speak.

Suggested Reading: Natural Detox and Cleanse

Some of the best ways to detox are:

  1. Water – The absolute best way to flush toxins out through the blood and lymphatic system. Make sure you are getting enough.
  2. Sleep – Sleep is the single most important detox activity for the brain. In fact, the brain only detoxes during sleep. So it’s very important to get 7-9 hours of sleep per day/night to keep your brain functioning at its best.
  3. Exercise – Sweat helps detox through our lymphatic system and makes our lungs work harder, also expelling toxins. And with increased blood flow, impurities can flow through and out a lot easier. And it helps prevent constipation, keeping our gut in tip top shape.
  4. Foods – I think it starts with the choices we make in our foods, where they are sourced, and how they are grown. I try to buy organic whenever possible. Also look for Non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms), so you know you are eating truly natural food as its intended to be.

    Also, intermittent fasting is considered healthy since it’s usually only 16 hours by not eating after dinner and having a bit later breakfast. I do this every day. It really helps your metabolism and can help your body purge a bit more, while not adding more in during those times.

    Taking gluten out of my diet has really changed how I feel.
  5. Supplements – I am also a big believer in certain supplements that help our bodies do their job a little easier and making sure I get enough of those I feel are most important. I’ll talk more about good supplements for detox in other articles around this site. Check out the Supplements category in the menu for more.

    Also See: Why You Should Watch What You Eat

It is actually more of a lifestyle than doing things now and then. It is possible to weave in healthier foods, exercise more, sleep better, and add in any supplements for nutrients you feel you are lacking.

Wrapping Up

Fad cleansing diets are not healthy most of the time and most don’t have research showing they actually work. A better tactic is just to eat healthily, choose organic when you can, try intermittent fasting, which is condoned by many doctors, and keep exercising. You can find a lot more information about living cleaner and detoxing naturally around this site.

Thank you for reading today. I hope you learned some things about fad cleansing diets and also about healthier ways to help your body detox naturally.

If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you in the Comments section below. Thank you!

6 thoughts on “What Is A Cleansing Diet? Don’t Be Disillusioned”

  1. I have used some really great colon cleanses throughout the years.  I usually end up at GNC for their recommendation.  But, in all the cleanses I have done, I never had to use a restricted diet, eat certain foods or any of that.  So, I am wondering what kind of cleanse requires that?  I certainly wouldn’t do it.

    1. You may have heard of some of them. The grapefruit diet, the smoothie diet. The thing about them is that is all you eat so not very healthy overall. When you are doing a cleanse supplement, do you fast or just eat normally? Thank you for reading and starting the conversation.

  2. A cleansing diet may be the fad in today’s diets, but not a good one. I had a customer that would cleanse every 4 months and ended up being malnourished. I have often believed that dieting if done properly can not only help give you a better weight but can help you immune system. For me, a proper diet consists of a properly balanced diet accompanied by the right exercises.


    1. I agree, Jerry. There are healthy foods that can help the body detox but only eating one food or beverage for days makes us replete in other nutrients our bodies need. The key is getting all the nutrients we need and drinking lots of water. Thanks for reading. I appreciate your comments. 

  3. I’m happy to see that someone on the internet (meaning you 😉 ), finally mentions the dangers of a cleansing diet. You have a few points that are exactly my thoughts on this. Fasting without eating any kinds of food would not do it for me for a longer time for sure! Now, intermittent fasting is something I would like to try though, where could I get some more information on this please? thanks!

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