May be your nightly glass of vino has turned into two or three. Or you’re overdoing it on the beer and have the paunch to prove it. Whether you want to clean up your diet or you’re trying to nip a potential issue in the bud, giving up alcohol can be tough -but the benefits make it worth the effort, says Damon Raskin, MD, a physician who is board certified in addiction medicine. “Taking a break from drinking alcohol even if it’s just for a couple weeks is a good idea, especially if you’re regularly consuming more than recommended daily limit,” Raskin says. By the way, that limit is generally defined as two glasses for men and one glass for women.
Also, if you’re drinking seems to be affecting your work or personal relationships -regardless of how much hooch you’re knocking back – it’s time to consider taking it easy, he adds. Here’s what you can expect to happen, in both the short-term and long-term, if you give up alcohol. Especially pregnant women need to be aware alcohol effect on the foetus braincells, organs being formed in the womb. The new born suffers from various complications, has to be detoxed and has also learning difficulties. So important not to indulge cravings for alcohol.
A recent study in the journal Alcoholism Clinical & Experimental Research found drinking before bed increases alpha wave patterns in the brain a kind of cerebral activity that usually occurs when you’re awake but resting. The result? Disrupted sleep. Another review of 27 studies found that while alcohol may help people fall asleep more quickly and deeply at first, it seriously screws with sleep quality after that initial restful period. You may toss and turn a bit at first. But give up alcohol, and the sleep you get will likely leave you feeling more refreshed and sharp the next day. The byproduct of better sleep: improved mood, concentration, and mental performance, Raskin says.
2. You’ll consume less at dinner.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Nutrition, alcohol is among the biggest drivers of excess food intake. That may be because alcohol heightens our senses, according to a new study published in the journal Obesity. Researchers found some women who’d received an alcohol “infusion” equivalent to about two drinks ate 30% more food than those who’d received a saline solution. Even mild intoxication increased the women’s brain activity in the hypothalamus, making them more sensitive to the smell of food and prompting them to eat more.
3. You may feel new sugar cravings.
Sugar boosts levels of the “reward” chemical dopamine, which fuels feelings of pleasure, Raskin says. Alcohol does the same thing. So it’s very possible that when you give up one substance that causes happy-making chemicals to float around your brain, you’ll be more likely to reach for the other. “Don’t be surprised if you try to get that same enjoyment or rush you used to get after a drink from something sweet,” he says.
4. Pounds will start to fall off.
Alcohol has a sneaky way of increasing your daily calorie intake without you realising it. One margarita may contain 300 calories or more mostly from sugar. A delicious piña colada might have 450 calories! One study found men consume an additional 433 calories on those days they drink a “moderate” amount of alcohol. For women, it’s 300 calories. Cut those from your diet and don’t replace them with desserts and you’ll start to lose weight without much effort.
5. Hello, clear complexion.
Within a few days, you’ll notice your skin looking and feeling more hydrated. That’s because alcohol is a diuretic, causing you to urinate more, Raskin says. Alcohol also decreases the body’s production of anti diuretic hormone, which helps the body reabsorb water. Less water in body equals parched -looking skin. Ruddiness in your cheeks and around your nose may also start to fade, and other skin conditions such as dandruff, eczema, or rosacea may also improve, Raskin says.
6. You’ll have more money.
Drinking—especially a fine wine or scotch habit is expensive undertaking. Take a moment to crunch the numbers, adding up what you spend for drinks both at home and out on the town (factoring in tax and tip). It can be an eye opening and motivating exercise.
7. Nights In to pamper self
It’s important to understand that there will be times when you feel like you’re missing out and it can make you pretty testy, Raskin says. People often use alcohol as a lubricant for emotions, and when they stop drinking they may feel agitated and restless,” he adds. Plan an alternative self pampering night for a healthy treat to replace habit.
8. Cancer risk falls for heart disease.
According to the National Cancer Institute, alcohol use has been linked to an increased risk for cancers of the mouth, liver, breast, colon, and rectum. The risk increases the more you drink. On the other hand, multiple studies have shown moderate alcohol consumption may lower your odds of heart trouble. More research suggests your risk for stroke, diabetes, and mortality may all rise slightly when you give up booze assuming you were a light drinker before you quit. There are numerous celebrities who say no to booze going to prove that life can still be fine without alcohol and save lots of money and heartache.