One of the most common questions I get is, How do I detox my gut?

So let’s walk through it today.

Why Would You Need a Gut Detox?

There are many reasons for why you might be in need of a gut detox.

From a medical standpoint, you may need a full colon cleansing before certain procedures (i.e. a Colonoscopy) where healthcare professionals are able to look inside the intestines.

If you have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) or a risk of colon cancer, then a medical detox and colon cleanse will likely be given to you prior to specific medical procedures. 

But that’s not really what I’m talking about today.

I’m talking about needing a gut detox because you’re trying to improve overall health and/or have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

In this case, some reasons might include:

  1. Wanting to improve digestive health and resolve digestive issues: less bloating, gas, chronic constipation, diarrhea, and/or any irregularities in bowel movements
  2. Weight loss
  3. Getting rid of unwanted acne
  4. Improving energy levels
  5. Overall maintenance of good health
  6. Increasing mood and/or sleep, and decreasing stress and/or anxiety
  7. Boosting the immune system

What is a Gut Detox?

So what exactly is a gut detox?

In the most classic terms, the process of detoxification is a method meant to encourage the discarding of toxins in your body. This can be any method that helps to secrete these toxins and “clean out your digestive tract.”

These include methods such as juice fasts, detox diets, and detox kits.

Oftentimes a gut cleanse is listed under this category although they are a bit different in theory.

If you are interested in learning all about the differences in a gut detox and gut cleansing, I have an entire article devoted to it HERE which includes:

  1. Detox kits
  2. Facts and myths
  3. Juice cleanse
  4. Colon health cleansing
  5. What is best?

How Do I Detox My Gut?

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How Do I Detox My Gut A Gutsy Girl

The body’s natural detoxification system is prime

There are no detoxification programs for “cleaning out the gut” available on the market that are more sophisticated than your own body.

And those who are huge advocates of cleanses via the quick fix, paid program with kits and tools galore typically have a financial interest in it. Do your research.

I’m here to tell you (and scientific literature supports it) that the very best thing you can do for “cleansing the gut” is to focus on your whole body. This entire website gives hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to do this.

But here are some options for getting started today….

Intermittent Fasting

There are many different ways you could approach intermittent fasting.

Here is a chart that shows many of them:

8 ways to practice fasting for healing the gut

3 Reasons I Believe in Fasting for Gut Healing


The first thing to make note of is what I mentioned above — gut motility; giving the digestive system a break.

Gut motility is controlled by the nervous system in the gut. This is known as the enteric nervous system. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that relays signals between nerve cells, or neurons, regulating their intensity.

90% of serotonin is contained within the gut (and remember, it’s in control of motility). A major feature of gut motility is the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC, a major feature of gut motility).

But if the digestive system is always working, then the MMC never gets the chance to do its job. And its job is to sweep residual undigested material through the digestive tube.

Complicated, but you see the chain of events and why it’s important to give your digestive system a break?


Did you know that even your gut microbiome has a circadian rhythm? The circadian rhythm is important on many different levels as it’s the reaction to external cues, such as the light-dark cycle.

This is a fascinating topic, and if you want to get inspired to learn more check out THIS research and table 1. 


At Cedars-Sinai, they have extensive research on this concept. They studied healthy humans to look at the gut microbiome to see how it changes with 2 fasts per week.”

And here is what they found,

At the 12-16 hour mark, we saw a dramatic shift in the gut microbiome population after fasting for that period. Certain bacteria are super responsive to fasting, and those tend to be beneficial bacteria. The concept is that with intermittent fasting, you could permanently grow those bacteria and experience the associated benefits.

Besides those three things, Kalea Wattles, ND states:

A therapeutic fasting intervention may be an appropriate component for a personalized treatment strategy and may improve health across a range of areas. From mental clarity and cognitive performance to cardiometabolic health to the effectiveness of cancer treatments. The potential benefits of fasting likely work through multiple pathways, such as reducing oxidative stress, enhancing mitochondrial health, and triggering autophagy. 

The even longer list of positive effects of fasting includes things like:

  • Improves physical appearance, energy levels, and fitness
  • Great satiety
  • Encourages better insulin resistance
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Promotes heart health
  • May enhance longevity
  • Decreases inflammation and free radicals
  • Oxidative stress reduces
  • Improves cell recycling (see also: Cellular Healing)
  • Supports healthier collagen in skin

The goal with fasting is not that you’re trying to avoid eating altogether.

It’s that you eat at strategic times to provide a helping hand to the digestive system’s natural detox process.  

Temporary Elimination Diet

So, then, what to eat when you are eating?

Again, we are not trying to control calorie intake (necessarily).

But a healthy diet and the right foods will allow for good bacteria in the large intestine and unwanted gut bacteria in the small intestine. 

In my Quick Gut Detox (below), I’ll teach you how to do this temporary elimination diet and the good news is that you won’t feel hungry!

If you are starting with Phase 1 of an Elimination Diet, this is the general food list (for what you could include on your meal plan):

  • Fruits: Most fruits, excluding citrus fruits
  • Vegetables: Most vegetables, excluding nightshades
  • Grains: Including rice and buckwheat
  • Meat and fish: Including turkey, lamb, wild game and cold-water fish like salmon
  • Dairy substitutes: Including coconut milk and unsweetened rice milk
  • Fats: Including cold-pressed olive oil, flaxseed oil and coconut oil
  • Beverages: Water and herbal teas
  • Spices, condiments and others: Including black pepper, fresh herbs and spices (excluding cayenne pepper and paprika) and apple cider vinegar

To learn even more about this, see the Elimination Diet Food List Phase 1.

Lifestyle + Supplement Support Ideas

Lifestyle support plays a vital role in the detoxification process. No amount of intermittent fasting or specific diet can take the place of the lifestyle components.

Lifestyle ideas for how do i do a gut detox A Gutsy Girl

Here are some things that are proven to help:

  • liver support- castor oil packs 
  • intestinal support- supplements that help with elimination + nutrient deficiencies
  • opening sweat pathways- sauna
  • hot water with lemon juice and cayenne pepper with a pinch of raw honey (if desired)
  • quality sleep! There is almost nothing better for the detox process that getting good, high-quality sleep every single night
  • drink water – be sure you’re getting enough water daily, and make sure the water is as pure as possible. For this, you might consider the Aquatru
  • regular exercise, but not an excessive amount

Note that while many will share laxative herbs like the Senna leaf, I advise against it. Using these can have your bowels become dependent on them, and that’s the last thing you want.

Quick Gut Detox

If you’re tired of trying to navigate all of this on your own and you’re bloating, gaining weight, and just feeling “less than” with too much overwhelm, I have all the pieces you need to get the quick start you’re craving.

In just 21 short days, you’ll be light years ahead of where you’re at today.

If you’re like the thousands of women whose lives have already been transformed then….

  • You’re always “dieting,” gut healing or otherwise, but always find yourself back at square one
  • You are sick of Googling, “Why am I so bloated and miserable?”
  • You’re sick of going to doctor after doctor who give you nothing more than a handout for your “diagnosed condition”

So you answered (or maybe screamed!) a YES to the above and feel like you’ve tried EVERYTHING, but the results aren’t there?

I get you, I SEE you….and I WAS you.

The Quick Gut Detox is designed to….

  1. Get you quick results towards a healthy gut so you’re inspired. When we physically SEE + FEEL the results we are motivated to keep going.
  2. Calm down whole body inflammation. Bloat and weight are not the same things. But in my 40+ years on Earth I am a firm believe they both have an inflammation component.
  3. Lose unwanted weight (without feeling hungry). Not eating will NOT heal your gut OR make you lose weight. You can’t outrun a bad diet, BUT if your gut is healthy you’ll be able to consume all foods, freely and maintain a healthy weight.

If you’re looking to optimize your gut health so that you aren’t feeling so much bloating, gas, and ultimately weight gain, this is the best way to go about it. 

The health benefits of doing a sane detox vs. one that promotes detox products and tactics that you’ll never be able to follow in the long term, are priceless.

Ready to join? The Quick Gut Detox is based off my very first signature program: A Gutsy Girl’s Bible: a 21-day approach to healing the gut.

The program has already changed thousands of women’s lives worldwide!

“This is by far the best gut healing book on the market! I absolutely love the format of the book. I love how she gives you a place to take notes and she has a checklist for the 21 days(I love a good checklist). I love taking notes in books that I will keep forever so I can reference back to them. I also love all her relatable content, her vulnerability she shares, and how she helps you find your own healing journey and not a one size fits all approach. I have been following @agutsygirl for a while on IG and she has so much knowledge and incredible content. I would highly recommend following her and buying her book.”

Melanie Eckert

If you liked this article on ‘How do I Detox My Gut?’ you might also enjoy:

  1. Probiotics vs Antibiotics (Side Effects of Antibiotics and Rebuilding the Gut)
  2. Getting enough fiber – Constipation Printable List of High Fiber Foods
  3. Pure Apple Cider Vinegar



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