5 Ways That Giving Up Alcohol Will Change Your Life For The Better
By Lauren Turinetti | April 10, 2018
The fact of the matter is this: alcohol may be temporarily fun, but it isn’t healthy for your body in the long-term. Giving up alcohol, no matter how much or how little you generally drink, has great physical, emotional, and mental benefits. Here’s how cutting back on alcohol or quitting altogether will change your life for the better.
Motivation and Energy
When you’re not hungover every weekend, keeping a consistent, regimented diet and exercise program is much easier to accomplish. You’ll be more motivated to exercise because you’ll have a more positive mindset and you’ll be getting better sleep. You can perform better in sports you play and in workouts. Without alcohol in your system, simple or vigorous exercise is more likely to produce better results. Your body will feel healthier, so you’ll naturally get more energy. For example, Samantha from Fitness Magazine talked about how when she quit drinking, “more often than not I found myself motivated to get work done. My husband even noticed, as one Friday night I had enough energy to clean our apartment and run a load of laundry instead of collapsing in bed after work. And because we weren’t defaulting to dinner and drinks, we went on a fun date that we never made time to do before.”
Aside from the debated value of a glass of wine on your heart, alcohol has no nutritional value. It is only empty calories (typically carbohydrates). Ergo, it follows that when you stop drinking alcohol, weight loss will be easier to achieve. It’s just like cutting out chips or candy or soda or any other kind of empty calories. When you replace these nutritionally-worthless drinks with a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts, proteins, grains, and dairy, and your body will feel totally refreshed. Additionally, studies show that alcohol consumption also drives excess food intake. Eat This, Not That! says “Researchers found that women who’d received the equivalent of about two drinks in the form of an alcohol infusion ate 30% more food than those who’d received a saline solution.” So not only will you be cutting out the calories from the drink you didn’t have, you’ll be cutting out any calories that the drink itself might have caused you to crave and eat.
Make Better Decisions
Alcohol impairs judgement. According to American Addiction Centers, “Alcohol is associated with a host of familiar cognitive changes, such as a loss of inhibitions, confused or abnormal thinking, and poor decision-making. Recreational alcohol users generally recover from its effects without any long-term problems. However, even short-term loss of control over normal mental functioning can result in legal and personal troubles that would likely not have occurred if alcohol were not involved.” When you quit drinking alcohol, you’ll be clear-headed and in-control. You’ll be able to control your emotions and thoughts. You’ll be able to judge situations rationally, and avoid bad choices that otherwise might have long-term, painful consequences.
Obey the Law
If you give up alcohol, there will be no risk of DUI or the consequences associated with it. Ever. The Moorhead Law Group explains that if you drink and drive, “you risk losing your driver’s license as well as gaining a criminal record, which can affect your ability to get a job or apply for a loan….Depending on the amount of alcohol in your system, you can lose your driver’s license for up to nine months and end up in jail, even if it is your first offense.” But if you choose not to drink, you can always drive confidently in the knowledge that you are a safe, sober driver and that you will never have to deal with the consequences of a DUI.
Author Tobi Atkins of Lifehack talked about his relationship to alcohol before he quit, saying: “Alcohol is known as a social lubricant, and I had come to depend on it in order to feel comfortable in a social setting. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was actually using alcohol to cover up my shyness.” When you give up alcohol, it might feel very difficult because of social pressures, but it will be an exercise that grows your self-confidence and esteem. You will know that you don’t have to rely on alcohol as a crutch in social settings. If a friend is not supportive of your efforts, you should evaluate the course of that friendship and stand up for yourself.
Letting go of alcohol could help you to embrace your life and your body in a healthy new way. Never let a drink get in the way of your progress and happiness. We only get one body in this life—so no matter what, you should always love your body and treat it well. With these considerations in mind, examine whether or not giving up alcohol will help you do that.