What happens when you stop drinking alcohol? Your body changes and the changes happen almost immediately. Whether you drink socially, enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, or you drink more regularly, alcohol affects your body, and most of the effects are negative. Fortunately, when you quit drinking, your body heals itself from the inside out. It's not too late to change your life if you want to put an end to your drinking and understanding how your body is positively affected by this change is the first step.
The changes that occur in your body when you stop drinking are primarily positive. This is not the case for severe alcoholics. Those who struggle with addiction have a different road to recovery, but the positive results are still there. The act of no longer drinking makes big changes, even when you cannot see them. Here's what you can expect if you stop drinking.
What Happens When You Stop Drinking Alcohol
The first thing you should know about what happens when you stop drinking alcohol is that your body bounces back only hours after you take your last drink. That's a miraculous positive effect, and it's one that might inspire you to continue along your path of no longer consuming alcohol. The longer you continue to live without alcohol, the stronger, healthier, and more alert you become.
You'll Sleep More Soundly
One of the best side effects of no longer drinking alcohol is the increased quality of sleep you get each night. It takes approximately one week for this to happen. Your body is less stressed, and your organs are no longer working overtime, so your body is more relaxed. This allows you to sleep soundly and deeply. The deeper you sleep at night, the better you feel the following day. One of the biggest perks of sleeping better at night is how you feel the following day. You have more physical energy, as well as, more mental energy and clarity.
The benefits of good sleep are numerous. One of the best benefits is how it affects your immune system. When you sleep better, your body gets the rest it needs to be stronger and to function properly. A full night of rest allows your immune system to strengthen. This means you're less likely to catch a cold or suffer from other health issues. You'll need less time off work, you'll have more energy, and you'll be healthier as a whole.
More sleep means more energy, which means you might be more motivated to work hard and be more productive, and you might have the energy to hit the gym. This snowball effect has a positive impact on your body, your mind, and your future, and it's all because you are getting more sleep at night thanks to forgoing alcohol in favor of tea or water.
Effortless Weight Loss
Alcohol is not good for your waistline. Even if you try to keep your drinks to a minimum, it's not uncommon to gain weight when you drink even a few times per week. If you can give up drinking for a full year, you will notice an average loss of 13 pounds of belly fat. Belly fat is that tough fat that's hard to lose, and giving up alcohol can help you get rid of it with ease.
As a bonus, you'll notice a change in your physical body after just a few days. What happens when you stop drinking alcohol is your body loses the alcohol bloat to which it is accustomed. You might notice your stomach seems flatter and firmer, you don't feel as bloated, and you feel much lighter after a few days. This trend continues the longer you stop drinking.
Drinking causes you to eat more at meals, too. This means you will eat less when you're not drinking. When you eat smaller portions and fewer helpings at every meal, you take in fewer calories each day. This helps you lose weight, which can make you feel more confident and secure in your own body.
You'll Have Clearer Skin
You don't need a facelift or Botox to appear younger and more youthful. You need only give up drinking for approximately one week. If you can give up alcohol for a week, you give your body time to rehydrate. When your body re-hydrates, your skin wins. It looks fuller, dewier, and healthier. You'll notice any unflattering, irritating skin conditions you live with no longer seem as noticeable. This includes dandruff, eczema, rosacea, and other skin issues. If you have dry skin, it seems less dry. If your skin looks sallow, if you have bags under your eyes, and your skin appears puffy, that disappears after a week.
Your Blood Sugar Normalizes
It takes one hour after your last drink for your body to begin its natural detox. Your body automatically works overtime to rid your body of toxins. Your liver works harder, your pancreas produces excess insulin, and your body works in overdrive. It takes approximately 12 to 24 hours for your blood sugar to normalize once the detox process begins.
It's important you do not give into any sugar cravings during this time. Your body will not recover as quickly if you consume too much sugar while your body goes through this phase of detox. If your sugar cravings are too much to handle, try reaching for healthier sugars such as fruit. Once your blood sugar level normalizes, you'll feel that much better.
You Might Get Cravings
During the first 24 hours of the detox process, your body will crave certain items. Sugary foods and carbohydrates are some of the most common cravings during this time. Cravings only last a little while which is good news. What you should also note is that drinking increases your cravings, too. You're more likely to consume approximately 30 percent more food when you've had a drink or two than if you had nothing to drink at all. If you're worried you won't make it through your cravings while you detox, keep in mind, you're eating far more when you drink.
The Benefits Don't Stop There
The benefits of no longer drinking don't stop with clearer skin and weight loss. When your body becomes healthier, your future becomes brighter. Drinking alcohol regularly can age you faster than you want. What happens when you stop drinking is you look younger and healthier, but not just because your skin is clearer and your weight loss is on target. The puffiness, the tired eyes, and the lack of energy you feel when you drink disappear, and you're healthier inside and out.
Another big benefit of no longer drinking is your future health. What happens when you stop drinking alcohol is your overall health improves dramatically. You decrease your risk of cancer. They have linked alcohol consumption to an increased risk of certain types of cancer such as rectal cancer, colon cancer, mouth cancer, and liver cancer. If you stop drinking, your risk of developing these specific cancers will decrease.
There is also a financial benefit to no longer using alcohol. Drinking is not an inexpensive hobby, and you'll save a lot of money no longer drinking. For example, if you go through three bottles of $15 wine per week at home, that's $45 per week, and it's $2,340 per year. If you order two $10 cocktails two nights a week when you go out with your friends, that's another $40 per week, and it's another $2,080 per year. That's $4,420 per year you can save by no longer drinking.
One more way you're saving money when you no longer drink is by avoiding the risk of a DUI. Whether you make the wise decision to pay for a cab or a ride share service or you risk drinking and driving, you're saving thousands of dollars more by no longer drinking. You're no longer paying for expensive rides home, and you're no longer putting your future at risk by drinking and driving and getting a DUI.
Having a drink occasionally is rarely a problem, but drinking more than a few times a week is a problem. This is when your body changes in a negative manner because of the alcohol. One small change in your drinking habits can positively influence the rest of your life, which is what happens when you stop drinking. Each of the small changes your body goes through begins a bigger change in another part of your body. The overall effect is a healthier life that lasts longer. Not only do you have a better chance of living longer by no longer drinking, but you also get to live a higher quality of life.
It's not always easy to give up drinking when you have an addiction, which is why there are many resources available for those who suffer from addiction. Giving up is a step-by-step process even for those who don't suffer from addiction. If you can remember the results are immediate within the first hour of quitting, you might increase your chance of getting through the first hour, the first 12 hours, and during the first 24 hours. Take it one step at a time. What happens when you stop drinking? The results will shock you.