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-   -   How the body changes when switching to vegan diet. What to expect? (https://www.veggieboards.com/forum/177-transitioning-vegan/183329-how-body-changes-when-switching-vegan-diet-what-expect.html)

Tom Kelly 07-01-2015 03:45 PM

How the body changes when switching to vegan diet. What to expect?
 
I've been a little over a month vegan now and have been feeling very confident in my choice to do so. I'm just curious from other people who have been doing this long term, what can a "newbie" like my self expect to see in terms of changes in results in my my health and well being.
Any informaiton in a given time line like "By 3 months I noticed this
By 6 months that
1 year etc."

Thanks again!

Auxin 07-01-2015 06:45 PM

For myself, gradually over the first year after going from junk food omni to whole foods vegan my stamina and endurance markedly increased and my senses of smell and taste both improved. It was interesting to see my sense of smell improve more by going vegan than it did when I quit smoking 4 years prior to that. I think I started noticing those effects around the 3 month mark, but I wasnt expecting them- or at least not so soon (I knew I had some degree of cardiovascular disease).
I also started looking healthier, I'm not sure how much of that was from the diet change or because I took advantage of all that stamina and endurance and started exercising for the first time ever.
Also, eventually (over the first 2 years or so), I essentially stopped getting pimples and recurrent athletes foot was completely cured. I dont know if thats a low fat vegan thing or because I started making and consuming lacto-fermented vegetables and sourdough bread on a routine basis (those routine exposures would have an impact on both the internal and external microbiome).
Since going whole foods vegan four and a half years ago I have not been constipated once, lol

Beautiful Joe 07-01-2015 08:30 PM

I've always been physically healthy, regardless of what I eat/the amount of exercise I get/etc. The only physical change I noticed is more frequent and easier pooping, lol.

Capstan 07-01-2015 08:47 PM

One of the first things I noticed was, an easing of the pain in my gut. I hadn't even been aware of it, until I stopped eating meat, but had just taken it for granted, as being "normal." I had been walking around with a lot of pain that, as a vegetarian, was now going away. I also noticed a marked ability to concentrate better on whatever I was working on, without having to stop, and do a quick mental check on my GI tract, to make sure things were OK down there. In short, I could think better, without distraction from my intestines.

Tiger Lilly 07-01-2015 09:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Kelly (Post 3706945)
I've been a little over a month vegan now and have been feeling very confident in my choice to do so. I'm just curious from other people who have been doing this long term, what can a "newbie" like my self expect to see in terms of changes in results in my my health and well being.
Any informaiton in a given time line like "By 3 months I noticed this
By 6 months that
1 year etc."

Thanks again!

Physical health- No real changes and unfortunately nothing that can be given in a time line.

I think I might recover better now, from aches and pains, where it took me a week to get over training again for the first time in forever, it took me a day. If I pull a muscle in my back or neck at the start of the week, I know I'll be fine by the end of the week.



Wellbeing- I'm a lot more capable of empathy. It sounds a bit woo woo, but it's what's happened. If someone's feeling bad, I find it harder to not care about and I actually go out of my way to help them (whereas before I was like "Eh, they'll be right"). I haven't become an amazing, wonderful, balanced person who cares about everyone and every thing. But, I've gotten a bit closer to being that way.

I also enjoy cooking a lot more now :D

odizzido 07-01-2015 10:23 PM

after I initially went vegan I lost some energy. Didn't find out for a while that it was because I wasn't getting enough calories. Since then, I've felt exactly the same as I did before I went vegan which was somewhere like 2.5-3yrs ago now.

LedBoots 07-02-2015 12:02 AM

I went vegan about a decade ago, in my 40s. The osteoarthritis, especially in my hands, improved by leaps and bounds within a month, when I stopped dairy (I was lacto ovo veg before going vegan.) Physically, I am lucky to be pretty healthy in general, so I didn't notice too much difference.

I am more at peace with myself and the world now, and got into yoga and meditation wholeheartedly, which may have been more difficult to do if I had still been eating animal flesh.

Naturebound 07-02-2015 02:28 AM

For me, diary had made me very sick before so I limited it severely as an omnivore. But I would still consume Greek yogurt and bits of stuff like mozerella or parmesan here and there. I had terrible digestive and other reactionary issues with dairy. When I got that out of my diet my digestion instantly improved. No more constipation and bloating and constant nausea. I am almost always quite regular. My sinuses also cleared up and I stopped having phlegm in my throat from dairy and meat. That was within weeks.

My energy improved vastly and right away, within a month or so. I didn't feel I had more strength per say, but I did notice more energy.

Other than that, most of the changes were mental/emotional/spiritual. Feeling more at peace with myself and the world, living my values more closely, being vegan not just for myself but for a greater cause. Not feeling so guilty with food and it's source. And I have had such a great time experimenting with creative ways to cook and prepare plant food. I never knew before that you could make a creamy alfredo sauce with cauliflower! Or mayonnaise with almonds and coconut milk. Until I tried it, I had no idea how nicely lemon juice works as a cleaning agent, or vinegar. It's also been hard emotionally though because so many people are anti vegan and family and coworkers and friends sometimes have not been receptive. I was and am very committed and have faith in what I am doing, but it still hurts when people are just so awful about it.

I forgot to mention that I have been hypothyroid for 26 years and have always required thyroid meds. I used to average 112-125 mcgs as an omnivore. As a vegan over the last four years my dose average has been 88-100 mcgs, so I have needed less to balance my thyroid. Oh, and my total cholesterol went from 155 as an omnivore in 2010 to 125 in 2012 as a vegan. I had excellent HDL, LDL, triglyceride, and glucose levels when checked in 2012 also. In 2013 my B12 levels were still very good. I have supplemented B12 from the start and consistently but only a few times per week, not daily.

Go Vegan 07-02-2015 06:53 AM

Hi and welcome to VB :)

When I transitioned from vegetarian to vegan I actually didn't feel any different, and I still don't (as far as I remember).

I was quite healthy as a vegetarian though, so I think if I had started off unhealthy I would have noticed more of a difference...

Tom Kelly 07-02-2015 03:44 PM

Again, these responses are so appreciated. Thank you!!!!! I'm definitely noticing more of an effect in my mood/ "aura" (if you will). More mellowed out, and I feel lighter and calmer physically. I also have noticed I appreciate my house-cat way much more than before as a living breathing creature, with a distinct set of characteristics rather than "the cat the lies around all day". I'm pleasantly surprised by whats changing :)

porcelainowl 07-09-2015 07:49 AM

I am still a newbie too, I have only been vegan since November. :) I went from veg to vegan, but I did notice a few changes. As the other posters mentioned, pooping. I went from once a day to two (or more). And because I am a flight attendant the extra gas (from all that extra fiber) was problematic at work. Lol. I started taking a probiotic and that helped ease my transition tremendously. I think that lasted the first couple of months.
Starting around the second month my acne worsened quite a bit. I was really concerned but now my skin is clearer than I ever remember it being, and people have actually complimented me on how smooth and glowing it is! Never thought I would hear that one!
Another thing is that I just don't get headaches anymore. Weird right? Unless I am dehydrated I haven't had any problems, where as before going vegan I had headaches all the time.
I have also experiences changes with my monthly cycle, but I'll spare you the details.
:)

vegangal55 07-16-2015 01:52 PM

I have been vegan for about 27 years now. I remember when I first became vegan I had more energy and slept better. My skin and eyes became clearer too and still are all these years later. Like someone else mentioned, bigger poops too, lol!! I am never constipated and I haven't been sick with a cold or the flu in over 27 years. I have never had a flu shot in my life and I never get sick, ever! Before I was vegan I would have an annual cold or the flu. Even when I am around others who have been sick I never catch anything. Of course I am careful and try not to get sick, but I have felt healthy for nearly 30 decades now.

NuMystic 07-16-2015 05:44 PM

Other than more frequent and generally easier bowel movements (unless you're also packing in huge amounts of nuts and wheat) there's really no way to say whether you'll see any other significant changes in the months and years to come based on the limited information given.

Many Vegans see dramatic improvements in overall health but that's as much about the fact that most switching to a Vegan lifestyle are also eating in a way that is far healthier and whole food oriented than most eating a standard highly processed fast food laden diet.

JUST being vegan does not mean eating healthy. One can still consume a diet absolutely packed with sugars, empty carbs, fried unhealthy fats, and highly processed food while still being strictly vegan. I've known vegans who were still grossly overweight and rife with medical conditions because while they cut out meat and dairy they continued eating (or even increased their consumption of) terribly unhealthy foodstuffs.

I heartily applaud your decision to go vegan, just know that If you're really hoping to see a dramatic change in your body that choice is only a PART of a genuinely transformational lifestyle. You still need to be conscious of which vegan foods you eat, your portion sizes, and have a commitment to regular exercise.

Zsuzsa 07-16-2015 08:15 PM

In the first 6 months, I noticed less "brain fog" in the mornings and a little more energy overall. My husband's arthritis, which was fairly bad at the time, improved in that same time period to the point where it was practically gone altogether. We both noticed a bit less irritability and our hair and nails started growing like crazy. About 8 months in, a few people began to comment on how nice my complexion looked.
As a personal trainer, I've been a gym rat for years and one thing I've noticed more recently is that I'm beginning to build muscle with much less effort than I ever have before in my life. I've been vegan now for a little over 5 years.
Spiritually I'm certainly more at peace. Going vegan is the best thing I've ever done for myself.

Veggie Primer 07-17-2015 06:12 AM

I've been following a plant-based diet (essentially vegan) for about 4 years now. It's funny, I had forgotten some of the changes I experienced until I started reading through this thread. In addition to losing weight, I experienced the following changes:

- fewer aches and pains (use to wake up with stiff, achy joints)
- regular/easier bowel movements for the first time in my entire life
- PMS became nearly nonexistent

One thing I will note is that when I initially followed a low-fat plant-based diet my hair become somewhat brittle and thin. When I added more healthy fats from whole foods like nuts, seeds and avocados it made a huge difference. My hair feels more like it did when I was younger and overall I feel better.

To feel your best - be sure you are eating a variety of whole foods.

leedsveg 07-17-2015 06:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vegangal55 (Post 3719673)
Of course I am careful and try not to get sick, but I have felt healthy for nearly 30 decades now.

At 300years old (or thereabouts), you must easily be our oldest member...:D

Tanya the Pixie 07-28-2015 05:07 PM

Perhaps an annoying irrelevant question ... ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Kelly (Post 3708065)
Again, these responses are so appreciated. Thank you!!!!! I'm definitely noticing more of an effect in my mood/ "aura" (if you will). More mellowed out, and I feel lighter and calmer physically. I also have noticed I appreciate my house-cat way much more than before as a living breathing creature, with a distinct set of characteristics rather than "the cat the lies around all day". I'm pleasantly surprised by whats changing :)

I definitely don't want to be a "troll", but being an INTP I really can't help being critical on some level:
Having been a pescatarian since birth (my mother worked for PETA ever since the meat-out during the 70's), and having grown up on a suburban free-range/organic/super awesome poultry farm founded in the mid-80's, I find myself constantly questing for defences for and against eating animal. I drove my mother crazy because when she told her clients she was purely vegetarian I would say "that isn't true, you eat fish!" In fact, a little over a year ago my hatred for hypocrisy drove me to give up tuna (which is quite difficult in my new home for some years, Italy, where often the only non-land-meat option available at train stops is a tuna and mayonnaise sandwich, and where if one says "I don't eat meat" the response is "but pig is okay, right? NO?! How about rabbit?", so now I just wait until I get home ...). I feel okay with eating the unfertilized eggs that our chickens and ducks lay (Khaki Campbell ducks lay more than 300 eggs a year: this bred you can find by breeding Mallards with Indian Runners, yippee! They are terrible mothers though: I once found an egg floating in the pond) and am struggling with my dependancy on cheese and ice cream. But since I am so critical of hypocrisy in my self, I tend to be rather intolerant of it in others. Not to say that Tom Kelly is at all in fact a hypocrite, I just need to make sure the he is not for my own ability to sleep tonight:

Dear Mr. Tom Kelly,
What do you feed your cat? I am so happy that you finally recognize your house-cat (I very much hope she/he has not been declawed) for what she/he is: an autonomous agent. I am sure that you meant this post in jest, but I find it disturbing non-the less that one can find another creature in one's house for anything than it already is: an autonomous being who lives by her/his own account. But then I have never been an eater of land animals. I am very happy that your new vegan diet has led you to regard non-human animals as something other than an object. However, I hope you are well aware of the fact that feeding a cat a vegan diet could be detrimental to her/his health (in fact, I am shocked that you do not refer to your poor cat by any gender as one would a human: a cat is not simply an IT). Cats are by nature carnivorous, and a vegan diet is not optional for them as it is for an omnivorous species such as our own. Humans are animals after all, house-animals for the most part at this point in history. One can tell whether a species is carnivorous, herbivorous, or omnivorous by the species' teeth. Cats have the teeth of a carnivore. Humans and most other primates have the teeth of omnivores. Cows have the teeth of herbivores.

Here is my real question, which is not just for Mr. Kelly, but for every vegan/vegetarian cat "owner": how do you reconcile your ethical dietary decision to be vegan with the purchases you must make to feed your feline companion?
Sincerely,
Tanya the Pixie

P.S.
If anyone has any questions about the safety of raising a child without meat, I am living proof that no concern is needed. I have had no problems with growth, I am healthier than most, and after almost 30 years of no land-meat at all (and very small amounts of fish until last year), and only soy milk until I outgrew my childhood lactose intolerance, I can say that I look far younger, healthier, and more robust than any of my meat-eating contemporaries (most think I am 23 instead of 29. And I'm a smoker. HA!)
(This P.S. is probably the only part of this post that is truly relevant, I apologise profusely for my ADHD=genetic, not dietary).

LedBoots 07-28-2015 06:37 PM

Tanya, judging other people's veg*nism doesn't help anything. It is Tom's decision on dealing with his companion animal's diet.

Jasminedesi16 08-02-2015 09:39 AM

I have noticed so many changes since going Vegan. My skin is better, my hair got thicker, I have more energy and I feel like I can think clearer now. I was shocked at how many positive changes there were.

cuberail 08-02-2015 09:56 AM

i was pretty close to vegan even when i was an omni so i didn't notice anything.

Oooo 09-06-2015 07:02 PM

I've been a vegetarian for 1,5 years now. In the beginning I wasn't a healthy vegetarian. My parents didn't get the whole concept so my food wasn't always good. yes I lived with them and I came home at 7 from work so dinner was always ready... After a half a year I moved out and since then I feel soooo much better and healthier. My weight stays the same (my husband lost some), i have more energy and haven't been sick at all! I used to be a lot (mainly very bad and ongoing colds).

mrgrimm 09-06-2015 07:31 PM

It seems that even when I eat a large vegan meal, I lack the weighed down, sluggish, sleepy feeling I used to get after eating a large meat/dairy meal. Helps out greatly for work in the afternoons after lunch! I feel light and energized rather than fat and sleepy, lol.

Danny Boy 09-06-2015 07:51 PM

Six months later and mostly eating raw foods, I've lost 50 pounds. My ability to work outside in 100 degree heat as a 65 year old carpenter is phenomenal. I've gone from a 36 waist to 34 and XL to Large with my shirts.I feel like the shrinking man and will soon have to buy new clothes. This is a fantastic weight loss experience for me.

Happyhardcore 09-15-2015 08:25 AM

Headaches are they normal ?
 
I'm a very new vegan only been going for 3 days and I have been noticing some terrible headaches and I'm always hungry.But on the flip side I have been sleeping like the dead.

Capstan 09-16-2015 08:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Happyhardcore (Post 3778985)
I'm a very new vegan only been going for 3 days and I have been noticing some terrible headaches and I'm always hungry.But on the flip side I have been sleeping like the dead.

There really is no 'normal' in human physiology. Chances are, those headaches are being caused by tension- your body reacting to a sudden change it isn't used to. As you relax into the vegan lifestyle, they will likely clear up. Breathing deeply and simple exercises might help you relax.

ShadowKat 09-16-2015 10:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Happyhardcore (Post 3778985)
I'm a very new vegan only been going for 3 days and I have been noticing some terrible headaches and I'm always hungry.But on the flip side I have been sleeping like the dead.

Basic questions:

What are you eating? A lot of new vegans often go for a "green heavy" diet. You need a lot of grains/beans/etc not just vegetables and fruit, especially when just starting out if you are inexperienced with vegan cooking.

Also, somewhat related to the above: Are you eating enough calories? A lack of calories will cause headaches as well as (obviously) a feeling of hunger. Like above, eat more grains/beans/etc if this is the case.

SteveW 09-17-2015 12:22 AM

My first couple of months I got headaches and felt sick a few times, I think it was just my body asking my brain for some meat haha.

Marjoram 09-17-2015 11:07 AM

First, I eat a balanced vegan diet as best I can and drink 2L of water per day plus walk briskly for an hour everyday.

Within 3 months my skin cleared, I remember my parents telling me how healthy my skin looked. I lost weight of course (not a junkfood vegan but I indulge once in a while). I stopped suffering from almost daily gastric reflux and frequent diarrhea. Menstrual cramps were reduced in intensity for sure around month 5-6. I really have more energy and my migraines are now rare instead of frequent. Thank goodness because Fiorinal with codeine are not cheap! I have no more cravings for salty snacks or chocolate. Before I NEEDED them minimum twice a week. My mood is more positive and stable from what my personal journal tells me :) My nails are stronger too. That's pretty much what changed for me!

ToriannB 09-17-2015 02:06 PM

Expect to be enlightened by the word around u. https://venusvegan.wordpress.com/201...ective-change/


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