What does it mean to detoxify or cleanse the body?

Detox is a misnomer, made popular by marketing wizards, and for our purposes, we'll use the term "cleanse" instead.  

Image of a towel, wooden bucket and ladle in a wooden sauna room

Medical professionals are apt to define detoxification as a medical procedure provided in a hospital setting to detoxify the body in life-threatening situations for dangerous levels of poisons (including drugs and alcohol).

The foundation of good health is a healthy diet and lifestyle (a healthy balance of macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, hydration, exercise, absence of harmful substances, adequate sleep) and if you do that and don’t have kidney disease, the kidneys should do a good job of keeping you “detoxified.”

Will a cleansing contribute to weight loss?  Yes, but it may be water loss.  Beware of quick fixes. Healthy weight loss will be in the neighborhood of 1.5 to 2 pounds per week after the initial water loss.  Be sure you are losing fat and not muscle by measuring your LBM every 5-10 pounds of weight loss.  If you are losing muscle, you need more protein.  See the Zone Diet.

Using kits with laxatives may cause some discomfort and side effects that do you more harm than good.  Do your research on Detox Diets using search words like “dangers” and “deceptions” so that you have both sides of the argument, and then make your decision.  If you want to try some cleansing, make your own “detox waters” from fresh, organic fruits and vegetables.  Find one or more of the many recipes available online, with lemons, cucumbers, water and mint, or water, strawberries, watermelon and fresh rosemary. Experiment with your available fresh foods, allow to steep overnight in the refrigerator, and drink to your health.

A couple of things worthy of note are diatomaceous earth (and/or Edible Clay) and distilled water.  Both are reputed to be able to absorb and expel toxins from the body.