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What is a Detox, and Why Do One?

Whether you’re trying to support a healthy weight management program or improve your overall health, detoxing may be able to help. There are many types of detoxes — drinks, fasting, strict dietary restrictions, medical intervention and more — and they all work in different ways to cleanse your body. These detoxes may also differ in length in which you’ll have to participate, frequency of participation, and can target a single system or several of your body’s natural cleansing systems. Choosing your detox is largely dependent on your end goal(s), your level of adherence and the length of time you’re willing to dedicate to the detox process.

When it comes to selecting the right detox for you, a lot of information exists, some easy to understand, some a little more complicated. In order to help you choose the cleansing duration and frequency to meet your goals, we’ve created this easy-to-understand guide to short-term vs. long-term cleansing.

Long-Term Detox Options

Detox Diet

A long-term detox diet is typically five days to a week, sometimes even longer. These detox diets can be very intensive and are often difficult to do because they can involve a highly restrictive food regimen — think Whole30 or the Master Cleanse. Long-term detox diets, despite their name, are not the same as long-term diets. Whereas diets can last anywhere from a few days to months, even years; intensive detox diets should typically be done periodically rather than constantly. 

Herbal Detox Cleanse

On the other hand, long-term (or multi-day) cleanses can easily be incorporated into your busy lifestyle. Long-term cleanses like Detoxify’s Ever Clean 5-Day Cleansing Program can help your body become balanced and allow you to build healthy habits before and after the process. When you start a long-term cleanse your body gradually adjusts to healthier habits and these habits are more likely to become part of your lifestyle. 

Long-term cleanses are frequently abandoned due to gradual results. The trick is to stay committed throughout the course of the detox and balance it by combining the process with healthy habits. For example, when starting a long-term cleanse, begin integrating the exercise, healthy foods and moderation you’ll continue after the detox ends at the beginning.

Short-Term Detox 

For our friends looking for a shorter time commitment meant to rapidly cleanse your system, we explore short-term detox options, typically only one to three days. When participating in a short-term detox, toxins are cleansed from the body and a “system flush” takes place. Short-term detoxes are short-term for a reason. Especially in the shortened time frame, the cleanses are often very intense and can leave your body tired if done for longer than designed. 

If you’re interested in a short-term detox, we recommend Detoxify’s Instant Clean Herbal Cleanse, our sugar-free capsule option, or our Mega Clean NT Herbal Cleanse with added Metaboost for quick results that don’t require precleansing. Both of these cleansing options, as well as all Detoxify brand products, were formulated with additional vitamins and minerals to replenish the nutrients lost during cleansing and needed for optimal health.

Most people look to short-term detoxes for a quick body cleanse, and then follow up with healthy habits such as avoiding toxins as much as possible. For example, you may choose to cleanse prior to starting your new Keto lifestyle or taking a 30-day yoga challenge. The detox serves to reset your body, providing the perfect opportunity to start new habits when the cleanse is over. 

Single System vs. Multi-system Detoxing

Your respiratory, endocrine, circulatory, urinary, digestive, excretory and lymphatic systems make up a sophisticated process for naturally removing toxins, unwanted substances and waste from your body. Short-term and long-term cleanses alike help to supercharge these systems allowing them to do what they do, even better.

Often when someone starts a cleanse it’s based on a particular complaint or discomfort they’re experiencing. They’re looking to support weight management, promote a healthy immune system, kick off their healthier lifestyle, improve mental clarity or cleanse after a period of indulgence. Whatever the reason, the first step will be to determine if you’re interested in cleansing one single bodily system or organ, or if you’ll be targeting multiple systems.

For example, our friends who have very recently indulged in a few too many glasses of wine or foods that just aren’t sitting right in their gut, may select a short-term detox targeting the digestive tract (single system). Or, if time has passed since the indulgence period and perhaps the food and/or drinks have moved through the digestive tract and into other systems, they’ll want to select a multi-system toxin flush that targets the circulatory, digestive and urinary systems, paying special attention to your liver and kidneys.

One-time Cleansing and Periodic Cleansing

Cleanses can be used on an acute, or as needed, basis to relieve specific discomfort (refer to the digestive tract detox example above) or to kick off a diet or clean lifestyle. Additionally, cleansing can be done periodically to prevent discomfort and support overall health and wellbeing. Because even the healthiest among us is exposed daily to environmental toxins, smog, pollutants, topical products, tap water, chemicals, and more; weekly, monthly or quarterly cleansing can help to counteract this exposure. 

Short Detox vs. Long Detox: What is the Best Detox?

Overall, the detox you choose should be based on what you want to achieve. Long-term detoxes can encourage you to establish and keep healthy habits in the long run. However, if you’re looking for a quick way to flush your system, short-term detoxes may be the choice for you. 

In order to achieve the best results, we recommend that the detox products you’re using are made with high-quality ingredients. And, whichever detox you choose, be sure to drink lots of water (half your body weight in ounces) and make healthy choices for your body.