What is your relationship with booze? Do you come home, have a drink, and then feel totally exhausted? Or maybe your nightly glass of vino has turned into two or three over the past festive season…
There’s no denying that alcohol plays a major role in the life of most South African adults. And although occasional drinking has been said to improve health (assuming you were a light drinker before you quit), frequent binging doesn’t.
Not to freak you out, but according to Barry Sears, biochemist, PhD, and creator of the Zone diet, alcohol’s negative effects on the body can include everything from inflammatory effects on our organs to potential damage to our DNA. Drinking in excess can also put you at risk for certain cancers, diabetes and liver disease, among other grim conditions. Aside from the serious dangers, there are also several not-so-pleasant effects such as lousy moods, crazy sugar cravings, excess calories, liver fat, poor sleeping habits, dry skin and foggy concentration.
Bummer, we know! But here’s the great news: Our bodies can bounce back from alcohol’s negative effects at an amazing speed. Yes, we’re talking hours here! Also, the longer you go without drinking, the stronger and healthier your body becomes.
Here’s what you can expect to happen, both short- and long-term, if you give up alcohol:
You’ll feel more capable than you thought you were. You have more self-control than you think! Wouldn’t it be awesome to surprise yourself?
You’ll eat less. Alcohol is one of the biggest drivers of overeating. Researchers found that when people received an alcohol “infusion” equal to about two drinks, they ate 30% more food than those who received a saline solution.
You’ll lose weight. Just one Margarita may contain 300 calories or more! Skipping alcohol (and all the calories that come with it) will make all the difference.
You’ll be glowing. It’s hard to disguise a puffy face and a hangover bloat! Alcohol decreases the body’s production of an anti-diuretic hormone, which helps the body to reabsorb water. (Less water in the body equals dull, lifeless skin.)
You’ll feel better. Alcohol is a powerful chemical that stresses nearly every organ in the body.
You can drive yourself home from parties. No more Uber. Easy peasy!
Remember, alcohol dulls the senses – all of your senses. Contrary to popular belief, sex isn’t better when you’re buzzed.
You’ll notice increased energy levels. Alcohol may help people fall asleep more quickly and deeply at first, but seriously screws with sleep quality. Drinking before bed increases alpha wave patterns in the brain – a kind of cerebral activity that occurs when you’re awake but resting. The result? Disrupted sleep.
Your risk of contracting cancer decreases. According to the National Cancer Institute, alcohol use has been linked to an increased risk for cancers of the mouth, liver, colon and rectum.
You’ll have more money. Take a moment to crunch the numbers, it can be eye opening!
Whether you want to clean up your diet or you’re trying to nip a potential issue in the but, starting off the New Year with even a short break from booze, can transform both mind and body.
So, in the spirit of “Dry January” (we know you’re thinking about it!) order a few mocktails and get all the taste without the alcohol. Worth a try, don’t you think?
Source: www.health24.com, www.byrdie.com, thesoberschool.com, www.drinkaware.co.uk, Fairlady magazine, January 2018 issue, www.webmd-boots.com, www.womanshelathmag.com, prevention.com, www.womanshealthmag.co.uk
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.