Thursday January 26, 2017
One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions this January is cutting down on (or giving up) alcohol. Maybe your nightly glass of wine has gradually turned into two or three, or you’re overdoing it at the weekend, and have the extra pounds to prove it! Whether you want to clean up your lifestyle, or you’re concerned and trying to nip a potential issue in the bud, giving up alcohol can be tough – but the benefits make it worth the effort. Our doctors at London Doctors Clinic are here to guide you with any support or advice you may need.
There’s nothing wrong with using alcohol in moderation – many of us enjoy a drink in the evening to help us relax, or a social drink when we’re having dinner with friends, and that’s great. We have all heard of the health benefits of drinking a regular glass of red wine, for example, and alcohol in moderation can certainly form part of a healthy balanced diet.
However, if you’ve reached a point where you’re concerned that you are drinking more than the daily recommended intake of alcohol, or you find that your drinking seems to be affecting your health or your relationships, then considering going alcohol free, even for a few weeks to begin with, could be the resolution for you!
If you’re thinking of quitting alcohol, you may be fearful that it might be very difficult, and we understand that it is easier said than done! Sometimes just wanting to quit drinking isn’t enough. We need reasons, or motivation, to take the first step. Here's what you can expect to happen, both short- and long-term, if you give up alcohol:
You'll Sleep More Soundly
Many studies have proven that if you drink alcohol before bed, you are more likely to suffer from disturbed sleep. While it is true that alcohol may help you actually fall asleep quicker, it affects your sleep quality after that initial restful period. If you give up alcohol, you may find that you toss and turn a bit at first, but if you stick with it, you’ll soon find that the sleep you get will leave you feeling rested and refreshed the following morning.
Alcohol reduces the quality of your sleep, leaving you feeling tired the next day
You’ll Lose Weight
If you are concerned about carrying excess weight, giving up alcohol could be the key to a new slimline figure. Alcohol contains sugar, and some types can be surprisingly high in calories, so those seemingly innocent drinks can be a sneaky cause of those love handles you hate so much. Depending on how much alcohol you drink, cutting it out could eliminate hundreds of calories from your daily diet, and you could find those pounds falling off without much effort!
There are a lot of calories in alcohol: reducing your drinking can help with weight loss!
You’ll Have More Money
Who doesn’t want more money? Let’s face it, alcohol is expensive. Try taking a few minutes to evaluate how much alcohol you drink in a week, and crunch the numbers using this online alcohol cost calculator. You might be shocked at the amount of money you spend in month on alcohol.
Why not commit to putting the money you would usually spend on alcohol aside each month, and treat yourself to something nice from your savings to keep your motivation up?
No More Hangovers!
Many of us have experienced a morning of regret following a heavy night of drinking. Headaches, nausea, fatigue and dull skin are no fun. Think about how nice it would be to wake up feeling fresh and healthy in the morning. A hangover day is a wasted day and if you, like us, seem to never have enough time in the week to get everything done, you could gain an extra productive day each week to stay on top of your to do list.
An evening of binge drinking often results in a horrible hangover the next day
Your Health Will Improve
According to the National Cancer Institute, alcohol use has been linked to an increased risk for cancers of the mouth, liver, breast, colon and rectum. The risk increases the more you drink.
In addition to increasing your cancer risk, alcohol raises your blood pressure, your blood sugar, and your cholesterol. These are all very important markers of your overall health.
If you use alcohol to help you deal with stress or other emotional issues, your risk of becoming addicted, or developing mental health issues, increases. Many of these outcomes can be greatly reduced through living a healthy lifestyle, so cutting down on alcohol is a no-brainer really.
Cutting down on alcohol will make you feel generally much better
In this article, we have discussed some of the many and varied benefits of going lighter on alcohol. If you are concerned about your alcohol intake, or you want to find more information and support in this topic, visit the drink aware website or book in for a private doctor appointment. If you're in search of a "doctor near me", we have eight private clinics in central London - so your nearest private GP surgery should never be too far away!