Skipping booze, sugar, and processed grains and eating only whole foods—think produce, unprocessed grains, lean protein, and healthy fats—for just seven days can trigger long-lasting changes. “A lot of times when we reach for a cookie or a drink, it’s out of habit. By shaking up your routine, you can reset and form better ones,” explains Brooke Alpert, RD, author of The Diet Detox. But it also offers serious perks in the short-term. Read on for five body benefits to expect by this time next week.
You’ll crush your workouts
In the absence of booze and sugar, your pancreas makes less insulin, the hormone that shuttles glucose into fat cells for storage. “When your insulin levels go down, you store less glucose as fat and burn it on the spot instead,” says Robert Lustig, MD, an endocrinologist at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco. The result: You feel like the Energizer Bunny.
Your skin will plump up
A diet full of sweet treats messes with the repair of collagen, the protein that keeps your skin plump. That’s why when you nix sugar, you might notice a smoother, more supple complexion in only a week’s time. “If you’re hydrating enough and eating really nutritious foods, the effects could be even quicker,” says Alpert.
You will sleep deeper
A nightcap may help you unwind, but it disrupts your REM sleep, the restorative stage that first occurs later in the night. “When you cut out alcohol, you’ll often find that you not only sleep longer, but also better,” says Neha Vyas, MD, a family physician at the Cleveland Clinic.
Your tummy will be flatter
Passing on veggie chips, granola bars, and other packaged snacks can potentially bring down bloating instantly, because you’re dodging all the sodium hidden in those processed foods, says Alpert.
You may shed some weight
If you typically sip vino with dinner and dig into fro-yo for dessert, you might see the number on the scale drop. “To lose a pound in a week, you need to have 500 fewer calories a day,” says Dr. Vyas. Eliminating junk could do the trick.
Follow these simple food rules
Skip: Anything that’s processed or comes in a package, booze, and added sugar (the kind that’s in salad dressings, sauces, and candy).
Eat: Veggies, fruits, lean proteins (like fish and chicken), and small amounts of dairy and unprocessed grains (such as quinoa and barley, not bread).