Transitioning from a carnivore diet to a plant based body can take some time. Your digestive tract doesn’t just go from processing animal protein to exclusively plant protein without a few bumps in the road.
How long does it take for your body to adjust to plant based diet? It can take upwards of 4-6 weeks for your body to fully adjust to a plant based diet.
There are many factors that influence the amount of time needed to adjust including, prior dietary habits, the full diet you are switching too, and how quickly you are making the transition.
If you are slowly transitioning it might be easier for your body to adapt, but could take a longer amount of time. If you transition overnight your body might find it a difficult transition, but you can feel comfortable with your new diet after as little as 2 weeks.
In this article, we discuss the time it take for your body to adjust to a plant based diet. Answered below are frequently asked questions about adjusting to a plant based diet and how it affects your body.
What happens within your body upon switching to a plant-based diet?
There are many positive impacts to switching to a plant based diet as many people report feeling more energy, less sluggish, and having better sleep.
Animal based food typically have high protein and fat content, which can take a lot of energy to digest and often have you feeling less energetic. Plant based proteins can also take a long time to digest, but people often report feeling lighter after making the switch.
Expect to have more regularity in bowel movements, a steadier insulin level, and lower blood pressure with a plant based diet. These are due to having increased fiber and less saturated fat than animal alternatives.
A plant based diet high in nuts, legumes, and whole grains can leave you feeling fuller and lighter. These plant based ingredients have lots of macronutrients and comprise a healthy diet that increases energy levels throughout the day, especially if you want to build muscle while consuming plant foods.
What’s the time taken for your body to meat detox?
It typically takes up to 72 hours for meat and animal products to completely leave the digestive system. Most foods are processed within the first 24-48 hours, but many byproducts like ammonia can last longer and take extra time to completely leave your system.
A meat detox is exactly what it sounds like: cleansing your body of any meat, byproducts or toxins associated with consuming animal meat. Most meat will pass through your digestive system within the first 24 hours and if you stay off animal products you might feel a noticeable difference within the first few days.
It is important to know that meat doesn’t stay in your digestive tract any longer than other foods as it can also take a long time to digest other types of protein and fiber. However, the byproducts of meat can stay in your body a little longer than other foods, usually just a few hours extra.
Benefits of switching to a plant based diet
From energy levels to nutrients, digestibility, sustainability and ecological impact, there are many benefits to eating a plant based diet. It may not have to happen all at once, so gradually transitioning is a step in the right direction.
Some of the benefits of switching to plant based diet include:
Lowers Blood Pressure: Hypertension or high blood pressure raises the risk of health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, the food you eat can play a pivotal role in avoiding or minimizing hypertension. Several studies have indicated that eating a plant-based diet lowers blood pressure, which lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Keeps Heart Healthy: Animal products typically contain loads of saturated fat, which in excess have been linked to heart problems. Plant based foods tend to have less saturated fat content, which can help you avoid any impact on heart health caused by saturated fat.
Help Prevent Type-2 Diabetes: The relation between diet and type-2 diabetes has been well studied and is well understood. Total body weight and fat percentage is a big risk factor because higher levels of fatty tissue make cells more insulin resistant. As a result, your body will need to dial up the production of insulin to transport nutrients to different parts and can eventually have a hard time regulating insulin levels.
According to studies, a plant-based diet provides advantages against insulin resistance . In some studies, the risk of acquiring Type-2 diabetes was lowered by 34% when people ate a plant-based diet rich in high-quality plant foods.
Plant foods have higher fiber content that helps your body regulate insulin.
Helps Weight Lose: Eating more plants can aid in weight loss as plant based foods tend to be less calorie dense than animal products. When you eat the same quantity of plant foods, you will be consuming fewer calories which can directly lead to weight loss.
Furthermore, plant based foods contain all the essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy, while consuming fewer calories.
Experts recommend basing your diet around whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, and leafy greens. These can all be central components of a healthy diet that helps you lose and maintain a healthy weight.
May Help You Live Longer: Studies have shown that the likelihood of having a number of different ailments is greatly reduced if you switch to a plant based diet. Animal products are linked to a number of life threatening diseases that are not similarly associated with plant based diets.
Plant based diets might also lower your likelihood of certain life threatening diseases.
Decrease Risk of Cancer: According to research, a plant based diet might decrease your risk of certain cancers [2, 3]. The American Institute for Cancer Research says that eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, nuts, beans, grains, seeds, and some animal foods is the greatest way to receive cancer-protective elements like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
Improves Cholesterol: High cholesterol levels can cause fatty deposits in both arteries or veins, restricting blood flow and increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease. A nutritious diet, on the other hand, can help keep cholesterol levels in check.
Moving away from an animal-based diet and toward one that is predominantly plant-based can reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by 10 to 15%, while pure plant based diets can reduce LDL cholesterol by up to 25%.
Build Strong Brain: There are numerous physiological advantages to eating a plant-based diet, but there are also some potential mental advantages. Plant-based diets have been shown to delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by some convincing research [4, 5].
A review published in Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology proclaimed how fruits and vegetables are high in polyphenols, which assist in slowing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and may even help reverse cognitive deterioration.
Plant-based diet detox symptoms
Switching from a traditional omnivore diet to a high fiber plant based diet can be tough on your body. It can take time for microbiome, or gut bacteria, to adjust to the types and amounts of plant food being consumed.
During the first few days of switching to a plant based diet, you might feel bloated or digestive pain. Some people say these symptoms can last a few weeks and suggest you take a slower course of action.
Experts recommend a transition to more plant based foods over time and eventually switching over the course of a 6 week time frame. This will help minimize the effects on your body.
Some positive detox symptoms are:
- Plant based food tend to have a low glycemic index, which will prevent energy crashes throughout the day and help maintain blood sugar levels.
- Dairy has been linked to acne in both youth and adults, and removing it may help skin conditions.
- Increasing fruit and vegetables can provide micronutrients that help maintain a healthy skin.
- A plant based diet generally causes less intestinal inflammation than one with animal products.
- People report higher energy levels while consuming a plant based diet.
Adjusting to Plant Based Diet: Conclusion
A healthy whole food plant-based diet can help reduce the risk of numerous life threatening ailments such as heart disease or stroke. There is lots of research that supports the benefits of eating plant based.
Transitioning from an omnivore diet to a plant based diet may take time. You gut bacteria needs to acclimate from one food source to another, so allow the transition to play its course.
It might take about six weeks to fully transition to a wholly plant based diet, and take time to allow your body to acclimate. Shortening the timeframe can result in upset stomach, diarrhea and excessive flatulence.
Afterwards, you may notice positive symptoms when fully transitioned to a plant based diet like higher energy levels and improved bowel movements. Your body will benefit from an increase in fiber and nutrients from the plant foods.
It takes time for your body to adjust to a plant based diet. Experts recommend that you don’t force it with a quick transition, and instead extend the adjustment period over four to six weeks for best results.