Here we are – day 3000 of quarantine… some of us are deep into lockdown while some of us are allowed out once in a while as long as we are masked and keeping to ourselves. I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about how to re-enter this new world. Many clients have taken the last four months to stop drinking, in order to reset and take time to focus on giving up habits they didn’t particularly like. However, now that the sun is shining, and Pier 13 in Hoboken is open, everyone is wondering how they can still enjoy drinks with friends and keep to this newfound renewal. Here are some benefits to cutting back on that Summer booze – and some motivation to keep going.
#1 WEIGHT LOSS!
Let’s face it, most people do it as a reset from the holidays, and figure since they’ve been to every party hosted on this side of the Hudson River, a good place to start being “healthier” is to give up the booze. Truth be told alcohol does prohibit weight loss – the bod has to metabolize alcohol first so everything we eat gets stored as fat.
#2 BETTER SLEEP
Alcohol can disrupt the two most important parts of our sleep; Slow Wave Sleep, which is the part that physically refreshes us the most, and REM sleep, which is the part that helps us learn and remember. Research shows an inverse relationship between alcohol consumption and sleep duration as well.
Now, you all know how important hydration status is to me. Anyone who knows me, knows I drink about 4L of water per day and mind my business which is why my skin glows (more on that later). Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it affects the kidneys and makes you urinate much more than you actually take in. It also inhibits the kidneys’ ability to produce the hormone vasopressin, which encourages your body to re-absorb water as opposed to sending it straight to the bladder to be flushed out. This is why your skin is puffy and you have dark circles under your eyes after a night out on the town. For a remedy for this, check out this post on how to properly hydrate!
#4 BETTER SKIN
Have bags under your eyes from not enough sleep? Check your alcohol intake. Don’t even get me started on makeup. Being too drunk to remove your makeup is just another way alcohol can wreak havoc on your healthy complexion. Alcohol increases your blood flow and causes your blood vessels to dilate. And this increased flow to the skin’s surface can make you look red and blotchy for days. It can also cause your face to become puffy as fluid leaks from the blood vessels.
There’s also the aging effects of the sugar in alcohol. It breaks down the collagen in the skin. What’s more, it causes depletion of vitamins that slows down cell renewal, giving our skin a grey appearance.
#5 IMPROVED MOOD
While alcohol instantly relaxes and makes us feel better in the moment, a lot of individuals have rebound anxiety afterward. It amy cause them to also feel pretty depressed afterward due to changes in the chemicals in our brain. Research shows that heavy drinking interferes with the neurotransmitters that are responsible for our mental health. And it has even been found to lower the levels of serotonin in our brain that help regulates our mood.
Am I saying you should never have another drink for as long as you live? If that’s what you feel is right for you then I’m down for it. However, I think there’s a way for you to realize that not everything revolves around a drink. Giving it up for a month or four or six doesn’t mean you have to immediately go back to it. Lean into this experience. What have you learned from it so far? Maybe you were drinking daily prior to this experience and this has shown you that you actually DON’T NEED that drink during the week in order to unwind. Or maybe that you can go out with your friends sometimes and just sip seltzer and enjoy their company. Maybe alcohol has been your crutch. Feeling the need to have a drink immediately upon entry into a social situation may be your norm. And you are now seeing that and figuring out how to be social (zoom happy hours and house parties anyone?) and allowing people to see the real you.