You probably already know in your subconscious mind about the damage your habit of drinking is causing to your health, body, brain and to pretty much everything in your life in general. And guess what, regardless of how few units you drink, you’re still subjecting yourself to all the ill-effects of alcohol.
So it actually only makes sense to quit drinking right away. You may find it a little difficult during the first month of going sober, but eventually the benefits of quitting drinking are going to show up clearly and you will thank yourself of taking the “hard decision.”
And what are the benefits that you can expect? Well, there are probably so many that we might as well keep writing about it for a week and we would still not be able to cover them all. So, instead, we decided that we will walk you through some of the more common and significant ones, which are more likely to motivate you to ditch the (alcohol) drink for good.
1. Life-Saving Effects on Your Health
If you’re wondering what happens when you stop drinking alcohol, then let us tell you that one of the most important things that will happen is your body undergoing a great positive transformation in terms of overall health and fitness.
Alcohol takes a toll on your body in more ways than you can imagine, and subjects it to a wide range of serious health issues. Furthermore, long-term alcohol consumption significantly increases the risk of many life-threatening illnesses and ailments.
In fact, pretty much everything bad that has been happening to your body could be linked to your drinking in some or the other way. Some of the more common health issues that plagues a huge majority of drinkers include increasing levels of cholesterol and glucose, as well as accumulation of an unhealthy amount of liver fat.
2. Reduces the Risk of Type II Diabetes
Let us take one of these issues at a time. First, the glucose levels. When you drink alcohol, you end up loading your body with lots of empty calories and sugars. They then turn into glucose, which eventually needs to be flushed out of your body (due to being in excess).
However, your body needs insulin to get rid of this excess glucose accumulation, which makes your body prone to Type II diabetes. As soon as you would stop alcohol consumption, the glucose build-up in your body would reduce, and thus the insulin required to eliminate it, which means you would no longer be running a significantly higher risk of getting Type II diabetes.
To be a little more specific, you’re expected to be able to get your glucose levels down by as much as about 16 percent in just about a month of quitting. What’s more, your blood sugar levels may get back to the normal, healthy levels in just about 24 hours of not consuming alcohol. This explains how quickly you would start experiencing the benefits of not drinking alcohol.
3. Reduced Risk of Stroke, Heart Attack and High Blood Pressure
Coming to cholesterol levels, the extra sugars and calories you get from alcohol are also going to lead to a significant increase in your bad cholesterol levels. Of course, this would also be directly linked to a decrease in the good cholesterol levels, meaning the problem getting even worse.
The bad cholesterol tends to get into your blood vessels, lead to blockage and friction, and you’re suddenly staring at a worryingly high level of risk of getting a stroke, heart attack and high blood pressure.
Studies show that quitting alcohol may reduce your bad cholesterol levels by about 5 percent in just about a month. Needless to mention, they would further decrease as you stay off alcohol.
4. Regeneration of Your Liver
Then there’s the incredibly popular association of alcohol consumption and the liver. It’s a well-known fact that long-term alcohol consumption often damages the liver, its ability to burn calories and boosting enzymes. This, coupled with the fact that you’re also gaining empty calories at an alarming rate, is certainly going to wreak havoc on your health.
And as we mentioned above, the liver fats start increasing at a not-so-healthy rate when you’re letting alcohol make its way to your body. Now, while a reasonable amount of liver fats can actually be beneficial for your body and help it perform its important functions, it becomes a problem when you’re already getting lots of empty calories without being able to burn them at a fast-enough rate.
So, your liver is likely going to be one of the biggest gainers when you go on an alcohol-free mode; it would start regenerating, and would also be able to repair itself. This also means that it would again get better at burning calories, and given that you would no longer be making it deal with an unusually large amount of empty calories, your overall health will certainly improve dramatically.
Just to talk some numbers again, not consuming alcohol for just a month can help you knock off as much as 15% of your liver fats.
5. Some Much-needed Weight Loss
You didn’t really expect this did you? Well, to your surprise, shedding off some pounds is also one of the “extra” benefits of ditching alcohol for good with respect to your health.
If the statistics are anything to go by, you’re likely to lose about 2% weight when you quit alcohol, and this would actually be just the start. Remember we talking about alcohol containing a lot of empty calories that your body can really do without?
However, to take your weight loss to the next level after quitting alcohol, you would want to replace it with something healthy, such as healthy fruits and vegetables and lots of purified, filtered water. Of course, ending up going for sugary stuff and chocolate may not help you further or even retain that weight loss.
It’s also worth noting that you can and should consider exercising more often at this point. This is because your body will feel more energized after not having to deal with the harmful effects of alcohol, so you would be able to exercise longer and better, which means more weight loss.
And with this weight loss, you would be able to reduce your risk further for all the health issues we discussed above, such as a heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure. Not to mention, it will also help deal with the pain of your joints as they would have less weight to carry around.
6. No More Acid Reflux
Do you know that your acid reflux, too, may be something linked to your alcohol consumption? Alcohol tends to damage the stomach lining, and it doesn’t remain as protected as it should be.
This results in the food breakdown process not taking place the way it should, too, which is essential for the food to be able to pass through the digestive system properly. The acid produced in your stomach can end up making its way to your oesophagus, resulting in what we term as acid reflux.
Soon after some people bid good-bye to alcohol, acid reflux becomes a thing of the past for them. For some others, however, it may not go away that soon, but it at least settles down enough to not be much of a problem.
It’s not to be forgotten that alcohol is an irritant. So no alcohol means no alcohol-caused irritation to your digestive system. And this not only means freedom from acid reflux, but many other similar health issues and ailments such as IBS and bloating.
You will actually experience your body obeying to you a lot more, and being capable of doing what you want it to without posing much of a resistance.
7. Avoiding an Increased Risk of Life-threatening Diseases and Psychological Problems
Alcohol consumption has been long linked to many types of cancers, cardiovascular deterioration, as well as many other serious diseases that are best avoided. However, something that’s not talked about as much, but probably shouldn’t be ignored as well, are the psychological effects of alcohol consumption.
Alcohol consumption also seems to be triggering some serious psychological issues such as depression, suicidal thoughts and dementia. This isn’t much surprising given how often we hear about people committing suicide under the influence of alcohol.
8. Improvement in Your Mental Health
We all know how alcoholic people get when they are drunk. However, it’s not only about the time when they are drunk, but also about the rest of the day when they are not.
Alcohol has quite a bad effect on your overall mental health. Your mind feels foggy and drowsy all the time. You can’t think and concentrate clearly. You’re far less likely to take the right decisions as well, as your judgment gets clouded and some of your important brain functions are disturbed by the effects of alcohol.
Hence, the benefits of quitting drinking are not just related to your physical health, but also your mental and emotional health. As for the benefits with regards to your mental health, you will probably experience your concentration level shooting up by around 18% after quitting alcohol.
Alcohol also tends to leave your body in a dehydrated mode. And when your body is feeling dehydrated, your brain finds it difficult to focus on one thing.
If you’re wondering how alcohol leads to dehydration, it’s because it’s also a diuretic. This means that alcohol makes your body get rid of the water it has, usually through urination or sweating. The higher the alcohol consumption, the lesser the water your body will be left with.
Now, something important to note here is that this does not only affect your mental health, but pretty much your whole body. A large number of your body’s functions depend on its water levels, and if it’s deprived of water, it’s certainly going to have a lot more trouble functioning the way it should.
Coming back to the brain, alcohol ends up slowing down the process of communication between the neurons and neurotransmitters. And while it may not sound something worrying, it’s indeed something significant as your body relies on this communication for some of its extremely important functions such as thinking, breathing, moving and speaking.
Some of the other adverse changes brought about by alcohol in your brain lead to a decrease in your blood cells, as well as are responsible for other issues such as mood changes, depression, poor sleep and more.
When you stop drinking alcohol, you will experience your concentration and memory improving quite a bit. And this shouldn’t really comes off as a surprise as you not remembering a thing what you did the night before when you were heavily drunk is far from a rare situation.
9. Getting Back Your Healthy Day-to-Day Life
As soon as you stop drinking, your overall personality and everyday life will improve by leaps and bound. If you have been a regular drinker, you have likely often encountered situations when you would either miss work or feel extremely tired and impaired at work following a hangover. Your colleagues too may have found you to be impatient and difficult to deal with it, and you may also be lacking in concentration big time, besides sweating profusely.
All these problems may quickly evaporate into nothingness as soon as you stop drinking. Your body would be able to function in a much more efficient way, and you won’t feel like jumping into your bed and sleep through the rest of the day when you’re at work.
Again, letting the numbers do some talking – it’s been found that quitting alcohol can help improve your performance at work by about 17% in the first month itself. You can only imagine the long-term effect on your performance.
Needless to mention, your colleagues would appreciate the change in you, and your boss will likely notice, too. You would get closer to a pay rise and promotion. Aren’t these benefits motivating enough to ditch alcohol for good?
And, of course, you would also be forever relieved of the pain and annoyance that you usually get a day after drinking. The day after a hangover or a “drinking” day, you feel tempted to spend the day sleeping or resting on the crouch clutching your head as it pains so intensely. On an average, it’s like losing a day in a week, every week, due to drinking.
After quitting drinking, you would probably feel that you have an extra day in your week, and would hence be able to do much more – perhaps something productive and something that makes your presence count.
10. Boost Your Financial Health
It’s not only your physical health that begs you to quit drinking, but your financial health is longing for it too. And if you really think about it, your poor financial health may be linked to your poor physical health, or at least a part of it.
Financial issues are a major problem for most people. There are not many who can comfortably have a roof over their head and food on the table. Often times, people have to make difficult choices and prioritize things the way they don’t really desire.
And when situations like this arise, many people often turn to alcohol, thinking it would help deal with their stress and relieve them of their financial worries for a while. However, as anybody with half a brain could guess, it actually does the exact opposite of that by ending up compounding their financial worries and leaving them in a worse financial state than they were before.
Governments across the world have been trying to discourage people from drinking alcohol due to the adverse effects it has on their health, and they are trying to do so by significantly increasing taxes on alcohol. Unfortunately, most people still continue drinking anyway, letting their alcohol habit dent their financial health further.
Apparently, a common problem here seems to be the lack of realization of how much you actually end up spending on alcohol. As you may be buying it in small quantities, you probably don’t see it as something that can have a significant impact on your bank balance.
However, it adds up real quick over time, and you most likely end up spending a staggering amount on alcohol every few months. Add to this the fact that alcohol is responsible for most of your health issues as well, which are obviously a major cash-drainer too, and you would probably be able to see how alcohol is responsible for you being in a near-broke financial state.
We suggest you to do one thing. After quitting drinking, simply save the amount that you would otherwise spend on alcohol; you can put it into a bank account or even a piggy bank. Just make sure you don’t spend it until at least a few months.
By doing so you would likely realize how much of a difference the amount you would otherwise spend on alcohol could make. It may help you be able to afford some healthier luxuries that you previously couldn’t, as well as comfortably have food on the table and take care of a major part of your rent.
Of course, this approach is something you can have with pretty much all of your bad habits that are cruel to both your physical and financial health, such as smoking and doing drugs.
You’re Gonna Do It!
After all the benefits of quitting drinking that we discussed in such great detail above, we think it’s hard to not want to quit alcohol right away. And when you do, make sure you never go back to it. If you ever feel like doing so, remind yourself of all the reasons why you quit in the first place and why going back means the same ever-growing issues that are going to consume your health, happiness and prosperity before you even know it.
Believe us, there are more than enough reasons to quit drinking alcohol, and just as many reasons, if not more, to stay sober and never go back to it. Finally, if you need help in your healthy and wealthy transition to an alcohol-free life, then check out our useful article on how to stop drinking right here.