5 Healthy Ways the Body Changes After You Stop Drinking
Getting sober is a challenge. Read this to learn how the body changes after quitting alcohol and get inspired to make a healthy change in your lifestyle.
Did you know that one out of every eight Americans currently meets the standards of being an alcoholic?
Whether you’ve long suspected that your drinking has been out of control, or if you just want to cut back, the truth is that many people just don’t know how much alcohol — especially too much of it — impacts the body.
There are countless benefits of quitting drinking, but getting your body and health back to normal is the most important one.
But it can be tough to understand just how the body changes after quitting alcohol.
This post is here to make sense of it all, and help you to learn how you’ll change for the better after you get sober or just take a breather from drinking.
1. You’ll Be Less Likely to Overeat
It’s no secret that excessive — or in some cases, even occasional — drinking can cause you to pack on the pounds.
And while of course, many of your favorite drinks are surprisingly loaded with calories, drinking alcohol has also been proven to spike your hunger and cause you to eat more.
Think about all those late-night snacks you’ve indulged in after a long night out at the bar. This is because alcohol stimulates the brain’s hypothalamus, which makes us more receptive to the aroma of food, and causes us to crave carbs and other sugary goodies.
Plus, because alcohol actively boosts your senses, you’ll feel hungrier than you actually are when drunk.
One of the biggest and most obvious ways that your body changes after quitting alcohol is the loss of a few pounds. Plus, since you’re not hungover, you’ll have more energy to hit the gym.
2. Your Skin Will Seriously Glow
Yes, so-called “alcohol skin” is actually a thing.
So, you’re not imagining the bloating, redness, breakouts, and dark circles that you sometimes get after a long night at your local watering hole.
In fact, glowing and younger-looking skin is one of the best reasons to quit drinking.
It’s important to remember that alcohol — yes, even beer and wine — is packed with sugars. This can spike the insulin levels in your body, and cause you to become seriously dehydrated in the process.
This means that your body will crave salt, which makes you bloated and red. In fact, alcohol can even actively change the way that your body makes collagen, which is what helps your skin to keep looking young and healthy.
It increases your body’s free radical damage, makes it tougher for your body to produce new cells, and even impacts your tissue’s ability to oxidize.
In plain English: it can seriously age you.
One of the best effects of quitting drinking is the end of that red and puffy skin, as well as a healthier, happier glow. Oh, and while you’re at it?
Also, ditch those “drunk cigarettes” that you have after a couple of shots with friends. They’re not doing your skin and your health any favors.
3. You’ll Get a Good Night’s Sleep Again
When you drink, especially to excess, you know that it can often feel next to impossible to sleep well.
You may wake up in the middle of the night, toss and turn, or simply be unable to fall asleep at all. In addition to messing with your productivity and focus levels, this lack of sleep — and of quality sleep — can harm your body, too.
The myth that alcohol makes it easier to fall asleep needs to stop now.
This is because it actually messes with the brain’s alpha wave patterns, making it harder to fall and stay asleep. You’re not actually meant to have alpha wave activity when you’re asleep, but rather when you’re in an awake but restful state.
This means that you’re not getting the kind of quality of sleep that you need to properly reset your body for the next day.
Alcohol actually blocks your REM sleep, which only compounds the feelings of exhaustion that you’ll face when you wake up in the morning.
4. You’ll Enjoy Better Liver Function
Everyone knows that an excessive alcohol consumption and poor liver function go hand in hand.
In fact, if you continue to drink too much for long periods of your life, you’ll be at an increased risk for developing some serious issues. These can include things like a fatty liver, cirrhosis, and even liver failure.
In short, they can take years off of your life. In some cases, they can even end up being fatal.
You will also experience nausea, pain in the abdominal area, and will have a tough time absorbing the medication you need to stay healthy.
When you stop drinking, you’ll be able to reverse some of the damage that all of that alcohol has done to your liver. The body is able to heal itself in amazing ways.
However, especially if you’ve been hitting the bottle hard, the idea of “tapering off” just won’t work. You’ll have to quit drinking cold turkey if you want to be able to properly heal your liver.
We strongly advise you to seek the help of a professional. Do not attempt to stop drinking on your own if you’re already seeing the signs of liver damage. Doing so could actually end up doing you much more harm than good.
Later on in this post, we’ll speak more about where you can find resources that will help you to connect with the best possible rehab program for you.
5. You’ll be at A Lower Risk for a Heart Attack
You know that eating unhealthy foods and not getting enough physical activity in your day can increase your risk for a heart attack.
But what you might not be as aware of?
In addition to liver damage and problems with falling and staying asleep, drinking too much alcohol will actually make you more likely to suffer from a heart attack.
Because alcohol actually increases your blood pressure. High blood pressure levels are the perfect way to get on the fast track to a heart attack. In addition to elevated levels of blood pressure, drinking impacts your heart in lots of other ways.
You’ll be more likely to develop irregular heartbeat patterns, and you’ll even be more likely to have cardiomyopathy and other problems.
You want to be able to keep your heart healthy and happy.
Quitting drinking is one of the best ways to make sure that it stays in great shape for years to come.
Additional Benefits of Quitting Drinking
So far in this post, we’ve talked about how your body changes once you give up drinking.
However, we understand that for some, your physical health alone just isn’t enough of an incentive to stop. Or, perhaps you’re even considering enrolling in a treatment program, since you’re having trouble quitting drinking on your own.
Alcohol is incredibly addictive, and it can rob you of your happiness, relationships, and even professional life.
What happens when you stop drinking alcohol when it comes to your life as a whole?
First of all, you’ll be surprised to learn just how much time and money your addiction to alcohol was eating up. Booze is expensive, and recovering from a hangover can sometimes take an entire day.
Now, you’ll have more time to spend with friends and family, pick up a new hobby, or even a little extra cash to save towards your vacation fund.
Best of all, you’ll have the chance to improve your relationships and right any wrongs you’ve done when under the influence of alcohol. Through programs like 12 step, Alcoholics Anonymous, or even rehab, you can put your life back in order again.
View here to learn more about how to find a program that’s right for you.
How the Body Changes After Quitting Alcohol: Wrapping Up
We hope that this post has helped you to understand how the body changes after quitting alcohol.
Of course, there are numerous social and even financial benefits to quitting drinking, as well. However, in some cases, you may find that you need help to stop drinking alcohol, or engaging in other kinds of reckless behavior.
The fact that you’re thinking of getting help, and of changing your lifestyle for the better, is an amazing first step.
When you’re ready to take the next one, and to learn more about living a healthier and happier lifestyle, be sure to keep on checking back with our website.