Almost everyone is familiar with the word “detox” or detoxification. We all have the basic understanding that we continuously need to eliminate toxins out of our bodies to improve our health and well being.

As a doctor, many supplement companies are always trying to market their products to me. Recently, I came across a three-day detox supplement where you take some capsules throughout the three days to (apparently) detoxify.

But, those were just a bunch of herbs to help you poop.

So, all you're going to be doing is pooping your brains out, all day, for three days nonstop. Meanwhile, you can't leave your house. And, at the end of the day, it's not going to fundamentally get to the root of the problem.

Having diarrhea for three days isn't detoxification. There are so many misconceptions about detoxification that it can be hard to separate the truth from the fiction that is sold to us.

There's an old naturopathic saying that we need to “stop swatting at the flies and take out the trash”. In other words, if we're just swatting vainly at flies and not taking out the trash, they're going to keep coming back. They are attracted to the garbage.

If you want to get rid of the flies, take out the trash!

In the same way, if we're just treating symptoms, we're just swatting at flies. And that’s what the vast majority of people are doing. The “detoxification” that they practice is solely focused on treating the surface-symptoms without getting to the root of the problem.

In this article, I’m going to go over how to do detoxification the right way in five easy steps.

STEP #1: DIGESTION

Digestion is at the heart of our entire metabolic process. The digestive system is a tube running through the middle of your body from mouth to anus where all the nutrients are absorbed into our system and the waste is excreted.

The human body gets rid of waste in many ways: through stool, urine, sweating, exhalation, menstrual bleeding in females, and other means. But stool is a primary way we detoxify.

 So, if you’re having gut problems, then your detoxification is off. Gut problems could be bloating, flatulence, acid reflux, stomach aches, constipation, diarrhea, and many more.

If the wastes aren’t effectively getting out of the system, then they’re building up. If your detoxification pathways aren't open, then there's nowhere for those toxins to go.  So, even though the three-day pooping pills have good intentions, they’re not going to fundamentally address the underlying problem. 

You need to heal the digestive tract to allow it to detoxify effectively. And what that looks like is that your meals are digested comfortably with at least one good bowel movement every single day.

STEP #2: AVOID ADDING TOXINS THROUGH YOUR DIET

One sure way you can keep your body clean is by not putting more toxins into the system in the first place. Your body is constantly trying to manage and eliminate toxins naturally as part of your metabolic process. So, if you’re adding more waste into the system daily, then you’re not going to be able to detoxify properly.

The most common way you add toxins into your system is through your diet, especially processed foods and food intolerances. Makes sense right?

Processed foods such as white sugar, white flour, vegetable oils, processed meat products that have chemical additives, and conventional produce laden with residue fertilizers and pesticides — these are constantly putting a toxic burden on your system.

Even if you faithfully use the three-day detox diarrhea pills, if you're still adding more toxins into the system, it’s futile. For the best results, you need to eliminate processed foods and food intolerances.

Everyone has food intolerances. Food intolerances are essentially enzyme deficiencies that we inherited from our ancestors. These food intolerances prevent our system from digesting certain foods properly. So these foods cannot be absorbed into the bloodstream and they end up inflaming the gut and causing toxicity.

As soon as you identify and get rid of your food intolerances, things will be so much better for your gut.

STEP #3: OVERNIGHT FASTING

Our bodies are built to detoxify as we sleep. That's the reason why we sleep and recover — to allow our bodies to use all their metabolic energy to detoxify and cleanse.

We need to give our bodies a chance to do that effectively.

This means we should keep a 12-hour window between dinner and breakfast. That’s why it’s called break-fast. You break your fast with breakfast in the morning.

So, you want to try to have dinner at least three hours before bedtime to give your body time to digest it. And when you wake up in the morning, give yourself a little time before you start eating.

This will allow your body to naturally and effectively detoxify every night.

STEP #4: HOT AND COLD THERAPY

Hot and cold therapies have a wonderful effect on physiology by pumping the blood and the lymphatic fluid through our system for detoxification. Remember, the lymphatic fluid helps in detoxifying your bloodstream by bringing toxins back to your liver for detoxification.

So, when you expose yourself to hot and cold, it helps in dilating and constricting the blood and lymphatic vessels. This helps the circulatory system to fire up and pump all that blood and lymph back to the liver for detoxification.

You can get your body hot through exercise or even saunas — anything that gets your body temperature up to the point of sweating. For cold therapy, you can do Wim Hof-style cold plunges or simply doing cold showers. The cold has a dilating and constricting effect, pumping all that stuff through your system to get it out.

Step #5: Movement

Movement has a mechanical function of pumping through muscular contraction. Through muscular contraction, we pump everything through the system and increase our metabolic rate as we move. This increases the speed at which our cells metabolize and helps to push waste out faster.

So, when you move every day, you're pumping everything through the system, increasing the metabolism, getting the waste out of the body. Now, that’s a recipe for good health.

If you incorporate these five simple practices into your daily life, you can ensure proper detoxification and good health. Then you can throw away those diarrhea pills and other detox gimmicks that sound nice on paper but don’t actually lead to long lasting results. With these practices, detoxification is in your hands, with the actions you take every day.