Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of a Healthy Diet

Father preparing food in the kitchen with his children.
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Having a healthy diet will bring benefits -- both in the short term and in the long term. Not only will your body feel better, but you'll experience an improved quality of life, have less risk of disease and can expect to live longer than your counterparts who do not eat a healthy diet.


The Instant Effects

When you first start eating a healthy diet, you might be surprised at how quickly you feel better. You'll notice that your energy levels are consistent throughout the day, that your moods are more stable and that you can focus more effectively. You'll start sleeping better, feel more alert and you'll also see an improvement in your mental condition -- including feeling more positive about yourself and having more confidence.


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The Transition

When combined with a regular exercise program, eating a healthy diet will enable you to lose excess body fat and build healthy, lean muscle. A healthy diet is one that includes plenty of lean meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, whole grain and dairy products. The reduction in body fat also reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes and many cancers. Your blood pressure is likely to stabilize at a healthy level, as is your blood sugar. The improvement in your appearance will lead to greater self-confidence. This confidence can translate to greater satisfaction with life, as you're more willing to try new things and to stay active.


Maintenance Mode

Once you've been eating a healthy diet for a while, your body will essentially go into maintenance mode. Your weight will stabilize at a healthy set point, and you'll be consistently energetic. You'll be able to sustain high levels of activity -- be it physical activity or mental activity at work -- without burning out. Your lifestyle will adjust over time so that it is no longer a struggle to be healthy.


For the Long Haul

Over the course of your life, the benefits of a consistently healthy diet really add up. You are less likely to develop cancer, arthritis, memory loss, dementia and macular degeneration. You're at a reduced risk of getting heart attacks, blood clots, of sustaining falls and fractures, of getting diabetes, and of having nutritional deficiencies that otherwise become more difficult to treat as you age. You're also likely to live longer, and to be happier and more active than people who have eaten a less healthy diet.




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