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12 ways your body will change in a day, a week, a month and a year

Here’s how your body will change when you start eating a whole food, plant-based diet.

Within a day

1. You’ll feel more satisfied

You’ll feel fuller sooner and stay fuller longer. This is thanks to the fibre in the vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, and fruit you’re eating. The average fibre intake for UK adults is 60% of what it should be. So we all should be eating more of it.

Healthy salad
Plant-based foods are high in fibre, leaving you feeling satisfied and fuller, longer.

Within the first few weeks

2. You’ll have more energy

It’s one of the first things you’ll notice when you switch to a plant-based diet. When you eat more fruit, vegetables, and nuts a significant number of vitamins, minerals, and fibre will flood your body. These help you function at your best. And helps keep your energy levels up throughout the day.

3. You’ll be in a better mood

Your happiness and mental health rise when you eat more fruit and vegetables. And the more of them you eat, the happier you’ll be. With well-being peaking at about 7 portions per day. Time to up those 5-a-day!

4. Your tummy will settle down

There is no fibre in animal-based foods. So at first you might experience bloating and wind. This is your body adjusting to the healthy fibre content. Don’t let this put you off. It will settle down. Keep remembering the good you’re doing for your body.

5. Your digestion will improve

When your gut is healthy, you will be healthy too. And a whole, plant-based diet can support the important gut bacteria associated with a healthy metabolism, lower body fat, better blood sugar control, and good heart health.

Within a month

6. Your cravings will change

When you start eating more healthily your tastes will begin to change in a positive way . I crave chilli roasted cauliflower (its true!). Craving foods that make you feel good is a real game changer when you’re aiming to improve your health.

7. You'll stop counting sheep

Eating a plant-based diet can support your body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles and helps you to sleep better.

8. You’ll notice a ‘healthy glow’

That’s because fruits and vegetables are high in the antioxidants and micronutrients, which can help decrease inflammation and support clearer skin. Your acne could be drastically reduced (or cured).

Within in a year

9. You’ll have better blood sugar levels

Plant-based eaters have a 34% reduced risk of having type 2 diabetes. That’s because a plant-based diet helps control blood sugar three times more effectively than a traditional diabetes diet.

10. Your cholesterol will improve

You could see your LDL levels reduce by 15%-30%. Research shows total cholesterol, LDL, and HDL levels in plant-based eaters are typically lower than meat-eaters.

11. Your blood pressure will improve

Eating a mainly plant-based diet, or even just adding more fruits and vegetables into your daily diet can improve your blood pressure. Plant-based eaters have a 14% reduction in strokes, 9% reduction in heart attacks, and a 7% reduction in overall mortality.

12. You will lose weight

The more plant-based foods you eat the less unhealthy foods you’ll have in your diet. And plant-based foods are high in fibre, leaving you feeling satisfied and fuller, longer. Over 4 weeks, those eating a plant-based diet lost an average of 4.4 pounds more than their meat-eating counterparts .


A healthy you, is up to you

Take pride in your decision to change how you eat. You’re eating for your health now. Take the teething problems in your stride. And you’ll soon be feeling and seeing the benefits.

Balance is key

Eat vitamin rich vegetables every day. Kale and broccoli are rich in calcium, for example. Take a daily vitamin supplement (we all should take one, whether we are plant-based or not). And get 10 to 15 minutes direct sunlight every day.

Take it step by step

Give your gut time to adjust to the new fibre intake. Keep your fluids up and drink lots of water. You could try adding plant milks to cereals and tea in week one, then add lunches in the second week, and dinners by the end of the month.

Always speak to your doctor first

Don't stop taking any prescription medications without consulting your doctor first. And discuss the advantages of a lifestyle and diet change with them.

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