Booze Break: 6 Things Social Drinkers Can Expect If They Take a Month Off From Drinking by 30Seconds Health
If you’re thinking about taking a post-summer break from booze – do it. You may get turned onto a whole new mindset about how you choose to consume alcohol. Carrie Carlton, rehab expert and clinical director of Beachway Therapy Center in Boynton Beach, Florida, offered numerous benefits of taking a “Booze Break.” Studies have shown that a month-long respite from alcohol can significantly benefit one’s mental and physical health. Here’s why...
1. Do the Math! Less Booze Means More Cash
According to Fortune magazine in 2018, thanks to the craft cocktail trend, the overall price for alcoholic beverage and therefore the general cost of alcohol has increased. Let’s say you hit a happy hour twice weekly and bought a round of drinks for three people at $15 to $20 each, with tip that could be between $80 and $100. More if you are in major metropolitan cities. Then multiply that by twice per week for weeks in a month and you’re saving close to $400 per month just on after work happy hours. Add more money saved if you’re also a weekend social drinker. Add way more money if you’re buying bottles in the VIP for hundreds of dollars.
“People are often amazed at how much free cash they have to put toward other things they want to do such as paying down debt, vacations, car repairs, gym memberships, upgrades to their homes, etc.," says Carlton.
2. Wow! Your Face Looks Great! What Have You Done?
While alcohol doesn’t directly cause acne it certainly messes with hormone levels and immune function, which then lead to sallow skin, breakouts and puffy, flushed complexion. If you’re they type who can easily “Rose all day” and love mixed drinks featuring more sugar, syrups and other additives; you’ll quickly see a major change to the texture and tone to your skin. "It’s always great to snap selfies in the same room with the same light so you can really see the difference. Also pay attention to compliments. There will be a visible difference," says Carlton.
3. Are You Losing Weight? YES!
A study in the journal Obesity said that people who don’t drink eat less simply because alcohol heightens the senses. It makes the sauce and cheese on that pizza or those late-night bites all the more delicious. When you remove alcohol intake it diminishes your calorie intake. Think about think beers or glasses of wine at about 150 each. Those calories add up. “Your blood sugar and cholesterol levels start to really improve, and since alcohol dehydrates the body’s organs, taking a break from booze with help the body function better overall,” explains Carlton.
4. You're More Energetic, Creative, Focused and Are Getting a Lot More Done
One of the other benefits of opting to go booze-free for a month is that you’ll notice you’re not sluggish. You’re no longer fading in the afternoon or hitting the snooze three times in the morning. You are clear and focused on what you want to accomplish in the day and you have the ability to follow through with a better mood. You’ll be able to concentrate on tasks which also helps you stimulate the part of your brain where memory takes place. This keeps us sharp as we age.
5. More You Time and New Friends
Often when we make a major change to our lives like choosing to lay off alcohol for a month our crew of cohorts changes. This frees up time for you to focus on you. Self-care is important and often neglected when going out to socialize over drinks is the norm. When you’re no longer invited out to drink away the work day, you’re now free to get an after work fitness class in, take a workshop, listen to some audio books and check out a cool lecture. You start to realize there is plenty to do that doesn’t involve liquor and you start to meet new friends to do these things with.
“What’s interesting to note is that people who consider themselves 'social drinkers' experience these improvements within a few days. People who struggle with alcoholism may actually cause more harm to themselves if they just decide to stop drinking cold turkey. Because there are many social drinkers teetering on the line of having a 'drinking problem' given they tend to binge on the weekends with casual drinks with dinner mid-week; committing to going without alcohol may reveal there actually is a bigger issue going on. If someone can’t last a week without alcohol and feels nausea, gets terrible headaches, sweats, and are physically shaky and ill, consulting a doctor would be an important next step,” cautions Carlton.
6. What It Does for Your Liver
As much as people might want to believe that taking a vacation from drinking makes up for the excess, Carlton says it’s simply not true. Excessive boozing and “drying out” for a month won’t even out the score with your liver. A month-long hiatus won’t heal your liver, which processes the sugar in alcohol and can be damaged by excessive drinking. Are you really “healing your liver”? No, though you are taking a month off from causing it any more damage.
Could you stop drinking for one month?
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