What happens to your body when you stop drinking alcohol
To be honest, I love a good glass of wine. Giving up alcohol completely isn't something I aspire to do. But I think most of us could benefit from drinking less and having a balanced relationship with alcohol.
After all - health is about balance (not excess or extremes) and moderation. And I'll drink to that! ;)
Heaps of awesome people are raising funds for cancer this Dry July, so I thought I'd give them some bragging power with their mates and share some of the incredible benefits you may enjoy when you stop drinking alcohol:
1. Lose weight
Drinking less alcohol can help you lose weight. Alcohol is filled with empty calories and often, lots of sugar. Drinking alcohol slows your metabolism as you body prioritises digesting alcohol before your food.
2. Better sex
Sure. Alcohol can help put you in the mood and give you a confidence boost but alcohol actually reduces the sensitivity of nerve endings which is essential for sexual arousal. For better quality sex, less alcohol is best.
3. More self-control
'Sober you' want to eat healthily and exercise but kebab, frozen pizza, and pies seem like a brilliant idea to 'drunk you'. Drinking can cause you to eat more than you want after a few drinks or when you're hungover. Skip the alcohol and you'll also be more likely to exercise. Win win.
Want to stop binge & emotional eating? Check out my 10-week program, Keep It Real.
4. Happier mood
What goes up - must come down. Whilst drinking alcohol can make you feel buzzed at the time, your mood will take a massive hit when you're coming down.
You never feel your best after a big night. It can make you regret your decisions and dampen your mood. Drinking less alcohol is definitely something I find helps manage my anxiety.
5. Clearer, healthier skin
Alcohol is a diuretic so can dehydrate your skin so drinking less alcohol can help your skin look clearer, healthier and give you more glow. Alcohol is also inflammatory so drinking alcohol can aggravate skin conditions like acne, eczema, and rosacea.
6. Lower risk of cancer
Drinking alcohol is the second biggest risk factor for cancers of the mouth and throat (smoking is the biggest). If cancers like including mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, stomach, bowel, liver and breast run in your family, you need to be even more aware of your drinking.
7. Better sleep
When you drink too much, you don't sleep as deeply and you will often wake up in the middle of the night. Drinking alcohol also causes you to snore, making sleep trickier for your partner. Not getting enough sleep can make it harder to lose weight, kill your energy levels and dampen your mood.
8. More energy
Drinking alcohol can make you drowsy and listless. Digesting alcohol can be tiresome for the body and throw your hormones out of whack. Drink less alcohol and you'll find you're more motivated and have more energy.
9. Clearer head
When you don't have a hangover, you can get so much more done the next day You'll notice you can concentrate much better and when you turn up to work on Monday, you'll be more productive.
10. Save money
In case you needed another reason, you'll save money when you drink less alcohol! I dare you to work out how much you spend on alcohol in a week. Multiply that number by 52 and you'll see the savings can be big.
11. Build muscle
Alcohol can get in the way of your body building new muscle so that time spent in the gym would be more effective with less alcohol. You're also much more likely to exercise when you don't drink.
12. Stronger relationships
Sometimes alcohol can make you say things you would never say when you're sober. Whilst alcohol can be a social lubricant, it can just as easily lead to a friendship bust up. Also - alcohol-related snoring can also trigger some feuding at home.
13. BONUS: Smoke fewer cigarettes
Do you smoke cigarettes after a few drinks? If you want to smoke less, you may need to drink less. Also, go to bars that don't have a smokers section and meet friends who smoke for a coffee, movie or walk instead of a drink.
Want to drink less alcohol?
It's not too late to challenge yourself to do Dry July.
If you want to see how your body will benefit when you give up alcohol for a month, sign up here and you can raise funds to fund cancer research and support.
Alternatively, you can challenge yourself to go dry for a month. Recruit a friend or partner to do the challenge with you!