As someone who has not touched a drop of alcohol for over 9 months I can assure you that the positives of giving yourself a break from alcohol far outweigh the cons. Here are just a few of the benefits that giving up alcohol has on your well-being.
Better sleep- Regular drinking effects the quality of our sleep. It disrupts your sleep cycle. Many people think that when they drink alcohol they sleep better but this is actually not the case. Although alcohol may help you drift off to sleep quicker you actually spend less time in a deep restful sleep. You will also spend much more time nipping to the toilet. This is not the only liquid you lose due to alcohol being a diuretic. This means it encourages the body to lose extra fluid though sweat making you dehydrated.
Saving money- The biggest benefit I have noticed since giving up alcohol is the amount of money I have saved. A round in a London pub can cost around £40 and on a big night out I could easily spend £100. Thats not to mention the other costs involved such as taxis, takeaways and bar snacks.
Even if you are someone who drinks at home, a bottle of wine can be £10 and a crate of beers the same. In a month you could be saving all of that money you spend and treat yourself to something nice as a reward for making it through the month alcohol free.
Better skin- Since giving up alcohol my skin has improved drastically. It is more radiant, my lines less prominent and there are no dry patches. Alcohol is a toxin with very little nutritional value. It dehydrates the skin leaving you with dry, flaky skin and visible lines and wrinkles.
Alcohol also has an inflammatory effect on our bodies causing redness, puffiness and breakouts. Breakouts can also be caused by the high sugar levels in alcoholic drinks. Even a months break from alcohol will leave your skin looking radiant and feeling nourished.
Free time- Once you have stopped the Friday and Saturday night boozing you start to rediscover Saturday and Sunday mornings. Instead of using your weekends to recover you can get out and about and do things. There is so much to see and do in London so January is the time to go and explore.
Discover new activities- With all of this free time on your hands, you will be able to get out of bed and discover new activities. Whether its going to a fitness class, getting up early to go to a market, visiting a museum or attending an event
Increased Energy- Alcohol affects the ability of your blood cells to transport oxygen around the body. When you cut out alcohol, oxygen is transported much more easily. this leads to huge boosts in energy.
Positive mental health- Taking a break from alcohol will make you feel more refreshed both physically and mentally. Alcohol effects your brain chemistry which leaves you feeling anxious and depressed. Many people turn to alcohol as a way of dealing with stress, when in fact it also makes you more prone to stress. It can increase anxiety levels, which makes stress harder to deal with.
No more acid reflux- Alcoholic beverages increase gastric acid production which can irritate the delicate stomach lining resulting in acid reflux. Limiting your alcohol intake will reduce your acid burn.
Weight loss- The calories in alcohol can be shockingly high. A large glass of red wine can have over 200 Calories almost the same amount as a Mc Donalds cheeseburger. Not drinking means that you are dropping all of these calroies from your diet and therefore will naturally lose weight.
Not only will you be consuming less calories from alcohol you may even find your eating habits improve as you are no longer craving the fatty, high carb foods you craved when you were drinking.
Lower blood pressure- Alcohol can contribute to high blood pressure, which can lead to serious conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease and increased risk of heart attack and strokes. In just 3-4 weeks of not drinking your blood pressure will reduce, decreasing the risk of these conditions.
Increased fitness levels – As I have already mentioned alcohol dehydrates you. This reduces the amount of blood sugar produced by your liver. Your body needs this blood sugar for exercise and in order to increase your fitness levels you need to exercise.
I hope that some of these benefits will encourage you to give your body a little break from the booze.