What is the difference between a detox and a cleanse?

What started all the detox and cleanse questions?

Since Spiro and I just completed the Beachbody Ultimate Reset, a lot of people asked us what the diet was all about. Simply put, it is a three week program that removes all toxins from your body and ends with a raw organic diet. Each week, take different supplements that support the transition. I know what you’re saying, forget it. It was tough, but we both felt amazing and we really want to keep eating this way. It was a great experience and we are so glad we did. The reboot was basically a detox diet. In this post, I’ll explain the difference between a detox and cleanse and follow up with posts that provide more details on the different types of detox and cleanse out there.

Detox and Cleanse

For centuries, body purification has been an inseparable part of our rituals for good health and well-being. The various processes that occur within the body and the substances that enter generate toxins that are a threat to your internal system. Harmful substances include cholesterol, irritants, excess fat, sugar, smoking, biowaste, and synthetic chemicals. Some, or all, enter your body from various sources, such as a polluted environment, processed foods, and unhealthy habits. If these harmful substances continue to build up within your system, they can put you at risk for a fatal disease.

There is a fine line between a detox (or “detox” as it is called) and a cleanse. People often use these terms interchangeably to indicate that they are trying to get rid of waste or dirt from the body. However, detoxification and cleansing are very different processes. Although they both aim to help the body rid itself of toxins, they act on different areas of the body and also on different toxins.


Detoxification refers to the body’s natural process of removing or neutralizing toxic materials from cells, tissues, organs, and the bloodstream. It works to remove toxins from the bloodstream, various organs of the body, the skin, and also the liver and kidneys. A liver or kidney detox is generally accompanied by cleansing procedures to ensure best results. Detoxification includes ingredients incorporated into a person’s daily diet. These dietary inclusions are specifically intended to eradicate toxins. Detoxification, being a relatively simple process, can be part of your daily regimen. Detox targets chemicals, smoke, metals, pollutants, stones, and even fat deposits that build up in the body and cause harm. Adopting some detoxifying ingredients in your daily diet has positive benefits including better health, wellness, beautiful skin, relief from aches and pains, and less anxiety or depression caused by hormonal imbalance. Detoxification can be incorporated into your daily life simply by choosing to eat fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in fiber. Avoid eating processed and / or packaged foods; chips, cereals, prepared frozen diet meals, etc.


The cleanse targets the digestive tract (the organ from the mouth to the anus) and does a typical job of cleansing the colon. The cleanse uses a particular program or component for the procedure, i.e. teas, fiber supplements, etc. It targets waste, fungi (like Candida), parasites, and harmful bacteria within the intestines. Both detoxification and cleansing have several similar benefits. Cleansing is a safe process to keep your digestive tract and colon healthy and your body free from disease.

Our experience since the Ultimate Reset

I must say that since Spiro and I did our Reset (detox), we don’t have the cravings we used to have. We were eating very satisfying foods that were very satisfying, but we kept “thinking” that we needed to eat something else. Most of us are brought up to eat meat, fish, etc. and have a salad, vegetables, potato, rice, etc. With the reboot, we learned to really focus on all of our veggies first and then from there. Now that we can actually eat other foods, we don’t want to. It’s funny, the first day we finished, Spiro received one of our favorite things; a rotisserie chicken from Costco. You know what? It did not hit the spot as we thought. Crazy huh? In just three weeks, our taste buds have changed and whole food is what we crave. Now we just have to work to change our way of thinking .;) That’s always the hard part. So what do you think? Do you think you are ready to do a cleanse or a detox?

One last note: it is advisable to speak with your doctor before beginning any program. They can help you determine which one is best for you, as well as how often you should participate in such a program.