When you start a new healthy habit, you want to see results right away. The problem is that change is generally slow – with one exception: when you switch to a plant-based diet for optimal health and wellbeing, your body begins to see results almost immediately. It turns out that every time you eat a whole food plant-based meal instead of an animal-based meal, you’re improving your health on a cellular level. Vegan diet weight loss before and after
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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
What exactly is a plant-based diet? Vegan diet weight loss before and after
A plant-based diet consists primarily of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens. A plant-based diet consists of eating more plant foods while avoiding meat, dairy, poultry, eggs, and fish. A plant-based diet can help you lose weight as well as lower your risk factors for heart disease. Plant-based diets have been shown in studies to reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and several types of cancer, as well as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
There is no right or wrong way to begin a plant-based diet. Some people eliminate dairy first, then meat, and then continue, whereas others go meatless on Mondays or a single day of the week and gradually add days until they are mostly or completely plant-based. If you want to try a plant-based diet for a set period of time, such as three weeks, you can see how you feel and what works for you. Vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, pescatarian, and other plant-based diets are all available. The more plant-based you eat, the better your health will be. Here’s what to expect if you switch to a plant-based diet:
Timeline of the Physical Advantages of a Plant-Based Diet
Diabetes symptoms will be easier to manage after one hour.
When you eat, your gut secretes hormones that not only make you feel full, but also raise insulin levels, signaling to your body that it needs to prepare to properly handle the calories coming in, whether they are used as fuel or stored as fat. Because of the fiber in vegetables, fruit, legumes, and whole grains, switching to a plant-based diet helps keep your blood sugar in check, which helps your body burn fuel steadily rather than causing insulin to spike, which leads to storing calories as fat.
For most people, switching to a plant-based diet can help the body produce adequate amounts of insulin. If you have type 2 diabetes, “you may be able to significantly reduce your insulin dose or medication within a few days of starting a whole-food, plant-based diet,” says Hana Kahleova, M.D., Ph.D., director of clinical research for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Of course, only do this under the supervision of a doctor, and consult with your doctor before attempting to treat your symptoms with diet.
Switching to a whole food plant-based diet may help reverse markers such as insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome in people with prediabetes who do not have diabetes symptoms. Diabetes symptoms appear slowly, so millions of people with prediabetes may be unaware they have it.
Vegan diet weight loss before and after
Results in 2-3 days: Use the restroom more frequently:
One unintended consequence of the Standard American Diet is a lack of fiber, which may explain why so many people complain of constipation and other digestive problems. Fiber is important for digestive health, among other things, and because only plants contain fiber, you’ll notice that eating a plant-based diet makes your bowel movements more regular. “By adding fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your diet, you’re changing the bacteria in your gut and giving them the food they crave, which will reduce constipation and keep you regular,” says Jennifer Mimkha, M.P.H., R.D., plant-based dietitian and owner of Prana Nutrition in Tampa, Fla.
1 – Week Results: Your cholesterol and blood pressure will return to normal.
If you’ve seen the documentary The Game Changers, you’ll know that a group of firefighters celebrated a drop in their cholesterol after only one week of eating only plants. Why? “Plant foods have zero cholesterol and a much lower saturated fat content, with the exception of palm and coconut oils, which should be avoided if your goal is to lower cholesterol,” says Joel Kahn, M.D., founder of the Kahn Center for Cardiac Longevity and author of The Plant-Based Solution.
Total immersion in a whole-food plant diet can result in a 100 mg/dl drop in total cholesterol, which Kahn describes as a massive shift. As a result, you may be able to discontinue taking a statin or avoid starting a cholesterol medication altogether. Do not attempt this without first consulting your doctor. And The Beet recommends that you consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications.
Vegan diet weight loss before and after
10 Day Results: Your blood pressure may drop
According to Kahn, eating a plant-based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes for ten days can lower blood pressure by 10 mmHg or more and allow medications to be reduced. Under doctor supervision, some people may be able to reduce their medication within a few days or weeks. Changes will take longer if you take your time gradually ramping up to a 100 percent plant-based diet. The one catch? “Even if you eat a vegan diet of processed ‘junk’ food, your blood pressure may not respond at all,” he says. Regular exercises like walking, swimming, or biking will help you see results even faster.
2 Week Results: You’ll lose weight, especially if you avoid sugar.
According to studies published by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, switching to a whole-food, plant-based diet results in an average weight loss of one pound per week. Some people may lose more weight, like two or three pounds per week, if they avoid simple carbs like white bread, pasta, and rice, as well as sweets. Plant-based does not imply consuming Twizzlers and sugary drinks, but rather emphasizing whole foods and high-fiber foods. By increasing the “afterburn” of meals while keeping blood sugar stable, you can jump-start your weight loss and boost metabolism.
In addition to eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, avoid added sugar, vegetable oil, and salt. “They cause cravings and systematically overeating,” explains Chef AJ, a vegan chef in Los Angeles who lost 100 pounds on a plant-based diet and is the best-selling author of The Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss. To lose weight, Chef AJ suggests eating foods with a lower calorie density, or calories per pound of food. Consume foods that have fewer than 600 calories per pound, such as non-starchy vegetables, fruit, unrefined complex carbohydrates, potatoes, whole grains, and legumes.
3 Week Results: Your chest pain will go away, and your taste buds will change.
Angina, or chest pain or discomfort in the chest area, is caused by serious heart disease. According to doctors, some patients have relieved chest pain by switching to an oil-free healthy plant-based diet. Patients have dramatically reversed symptoms of heart disease in as little as three weeks by eating only healthy plant-based foods. This type of dietary 180 reversal can result in rapid, profound changes, including angina symptoms decreasing by up to 90%, according to Kahn.
Vegan diet weight loss before and after
Plant foods may not taste as good at first, especially if you enjoy cheese. However, by week three, you will not be missing your favorite Jarlsburg or brie. When you consider that most foods in the American diet are high in sugar, salt, and fat, just inhaling the scent of a Cinnabon at a food court can make your tastebuds water. As a result, foods lacking these ingredients are initially unappealing. “Your tastebuds will adjust to the delicious flavors of whole natural foods,” Chef AJ says after a couple of weeks.You’ll start craving roasted vegetables and clean protein sources like chickpeas and beans, you’ll enjoy your plant-based diet, and you might even be grossed out by the sight of steak or meat. Bonus? The longer you eat only whole plant foods, the more you will come to appreciate them.
3-4 Week Results: Feeling a little more energized
Adopting a whole-food, plant-based diet may mean that you no longer need coffee or other caffeinated drinks to get you through the day, owing to the nutrient density of the foods you’re eating. “When you stop fueling yourself with quick-burning, simple carbohydrates and fat-laden animal products and start nourishing yourself with plants,” Mimkha says, “your body will have the nutrients to properly fuel you, giving you lasting energy.”
1 Month Results: Better heart health and clearer skin
After one month, all of your body’s systems will feel different, less inflamed, and less achy. Reduced inflammation can help with everything from improving skin health to lowering risk factors for heart disease.
For one thing, eating red meat and egg yolks, as well as foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol, can cause an increase in unhealthy gut molecules, which combine with oxygen in the blood to form Trimethylamine N -oxide, or TMAO. There is now evidence that there is a strong link between TMAO levels and artery hardening, and thus the likelihood of developing heart disease.
“TMAO promotes clogged arteries, organ scarring, and blood clotting and predicts a concerning outcome in many disease states,” says Dr. Kahn, who has drawn more TMAO levels in patients than any other doctor in the US. However, if you stop eating red meat and egg yolks, your abnormal TMAO levels can return to normal in as little as four weeks. Request that your doctor perform a simple blood test to check your TMAO, as this is a predictor of atherosclerosis in particular and cardiovascular disease in general.
Going plant-based also results in clearer skin.
A clearer complexion is one of the most noticeable changes that people who follow a plant-based diet notice. “By eliminating animal products, particularly dairy, you reduce your intake of pro-inflammatory foods, which tend to cause acne,” Mimkha explains. She explains that if you reduce inflammation in your body, your skin and pores will stay cleaner, unclogged, and allow for natural cell turnover without looking dull or red.
Vegan diet weight loss before and after
Within 6 weeks: Your romantic life will improve.
The Game Changers documentary depicted what happened to three male college athletes who ate different meals before undergoing a nocturnal-sex-function test. One ate a plant-based burrito, one a meat burrito, and one a chicken burrito before being tested for sexual function while sleeping. The next day, they were astounded to see the study’s findings, which tracked the size, duration, and frequency of their erections while sleeping.
When compared to his meat-eating counterparts, the athlete who ate the plant-based dinner performed the best in terms of sexual function. Because of their relatively healthy circulation to begin with, these results are much more immediate in heart disease patients, explains Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.
How long does it take for most people to notice an improvement in their sexual performance? Esselstyn said it could take anywhere from three to six weeks. Dr. Esselstyn told The Beet that when a patient diligently follows a plant-based diet and then stays on it for up to six weeks, they often see a dramatic improvement in their circulation and their ED is reversed, even without the benefit of a pill.
He claims that the same circulatory system that affects your arteries and heart disease can also improve vascularity below the waist. So, if poor performance in the bedroom is a problem, switching to a plant-based diet can help, because, according to Esselstyn, the healthier you are overall, the better your sex life will be.
Within 1 year: Improved blood circulation
Circulation refers to how well blood moves through blood vessels, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the body. Heart attacks and strokes are serious consequences of clogged arteries or hardened, narrowed blood vessel walls. However, if you follow a strict whole-food, plant-based diet, the effects will stop clogging and hardening in their tracks and improve overall circulation. It is possible to stop and even reverse heart disease symptoms simply by switching to a whole-food plant-based diet.
The longer you eat plants, the better your blood vessels will recover. What was once constricting and narrowing healthy blood flow begins to open up, even partially, so that your heart disease symptoms can actually be reversed year after year. After five years, your body appears to be five years younger than the day you stopped eating meat. So, if you’re hooked on seeing the results of a plant-based diet, keep going, because eating a whole-food plant-based diet continues to improve for five years or more, according to Kahn.
When you switch to a plant-based diet, you will notice results quickly.
The health benefits of eating a whole-food, plant-based diet become clear after just a few days. Your heart health improves, your skin clears up, and you can lose weight safely if you avoid simple carbs and sugar. Continue to do so to lower your long-term risk of heart disease.
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