What happens to your body when you eat healthy?

If you change your eating habits for the better, you should see a big difference in just 28 days.
Published 21 February 2017 | Updated 7 December 2023
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What happens when you start eating healthy?

What we eat can affect all the processes in the body, including cell regeneration, inflammation, digestion and sleep. So it’s no surprise that after even as little as 28 days of eating well you can expect to not only look better, but feel a whole lot better, too.

What does ‘eating well’ mean?

Maintaining a healthy diet is vital in order to supply your body with the nutrients it needs to function at its best. Eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats, and drinking water, while reducing the intake of processed and packaged food, salt, saturated fat, and added sugar can help your body get the nutrients it needs. In addition to what you eat, how you eat is also an important factor in eating well. Healthy habits such as regular meals and taking time to enjoy and savour your food can make a difference in your overall health and wellbeing, rather than consuming food hastily at your desk or on the go.

By changing both your eating habits and food choices, you can significantly improve your health, physical appearance, and mood. The WeightWatchers® Points Program, which is backed by scientific research, can be an excellent resource for achieving your goals.

What happens to your body after 1 day?

  • Better concentration

Just one day in and you may feel less hungry and experience fewer cravings as you step off the blood-sugar-level roller-coaster caused by poor eating habits and a diet high in refined carbohydrates and added sugar. Stable blood sugar levels also mean better concentration and more energy, so you can power through your work and your workouts!

What happens to your body after 7 days?

  • Reduced puffy eyes

After one week you may notice less puffiness as water retention decreases, thanks to a lower salt intake. This is often most noticeable around the eyes but may also mean that your clothes start to feel a bit looser.

  • No more 3pm slump

The dreaded afternoon slump should be a thing of the past now that you’re having regular meals, more protein and fewer refined carbohydrates. You may be surprised to find yourself less tempted by the office biscuit tin or your usual afternoon coffee and be satisfied by a piece of fruit instead.

What happens to your body after 14 days?

  • A healthier bank account

While you’re getting leaner, your wallet should get bigger as you spend less of your hard-earned cash on eating out, takeaway and packaged foods. Home-cooked meals are, in general, not only much better for you but also much cheaper, and ditching the packaged snacks in favour of fresh, whole foods can really lower your food budget.

  • No more feeling ‘hangry’

Some people get irritable when they’re hungry due to the brain’s response to low blood sugar levels. If you’re prone to getting a little ‘hangry’, after two weeks of eating well you may notice that you’re less grumpy than usual. Now that you enjoy a balance of complex carbs, lean protein and healthy fats, your blood sugar levels will have stabilised and, along with them, your mood.

What happens to your body after 21 days?

  • Glowing skin

Nutrition plays a critical role in the health of your skin, so by now you may be sporting a lovely glow thanks to increased vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats, which are essential for collagen formation, as well as reducing inflammation. Less alcohol means your skin will also be better hydrated, reducing dryness and adding to your healthy hue.

  • Beating the bloat

An increased fibre intake and overall healthier diet means better gut health, more regular bowel movements and less bloating, which in turn means a happier digestive system and a more comfortable you.

  • A better night’s sleep

A poor diet and alcohol can interfere with a good night’s sleep, so by now you should notice that you’re sleeping better, which in turn means more energy, a better mood and a more radiant complexion. You may even find that you’re looking forward to exercise as well.

What happens to your body after 28 days?

  • Reduced cravings for junk food

With a healthier eating plan, you'll find that unhealthy foods are less appealing, and you'll automatically choose healthier options. Better sleep also reduces your desire for high-fat, high-sugar foods, resulting in fewer cravings for chocolate and other sweets.

  • Stronger immune system

By increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, your body receives the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to strengthen your immune system. Along with improved sleep, you're less likely to get sick, and your risk of chronic diseases may have declined, setting you on track for a longer and healthier life.

  • Improved weight management

By now you should really notice a difference in your weight. Not only will you have less fluid retention, but a lower intake of fat, added sugar and alcohol will continue to pay off and you’ll look slimmer and healthier. With WeightWatchers you can expect to lose up to 1kg a week, which is a safe rate that makes it easier to keep off.

Are there downsides to eating healthy?

Some people find that they feel worse for a short time when they make healthier changes to their eating plan. Decreasing your intake of caffeine and high-sugar foods can be difficult at first as you adjust. For this reason, it can be a good idea to make changes gradually, so you’re not overwhelmed and find yourself heading straight back to your old ways. However, symptoms tend to only last for a few days and the short-term discomfort is well worth it in the end.

5 tips to start eating better

  • Eat three balanced meals plus one or two healthy snacks, tuning into your body’s hunger signals.

  • Variety is key. Include a rainbow of fruit and veg, complex carbs, lean protein and lots of fibre.

  • Drink lots of water – aim for two litres a day. Water fills you up as well as hydrates and flushes out your system.

  • Track your food so you’ll feel satisfied, not hungry, and stay on track to progress on your journey.

  • Reduce your intake of alcohol, refined sugars as well as packaged and processed foods.

The bottom line

In conclusion, eating healthy is not just about losing weight or looking better, it’s about feeling better, having more energy, and improving your overall health and wellbeing. By making small and gradual changes to your eating habits and food choices, you can experience significant improvements in just a matter of days and weeks. From better concentration, reduced puffiness and bloating, to a healthier bank account and stronger immune system, the benefits of eating well are numerous. So, start today by following the five tips to start eating better and see how it transforms your life for the better. Remember, the short-term discomfort is well worth the long-term gains.