By Erin Schindler
Thank you for stopping by and being a part of our 30-day challenge to a better you!
It is week #2 of Sober September at HOB!
Hopefully you are already feeling the benefits of a week off from alcohol and
exercising 4 days a week. Even if you are not taking the 30-day challenge this month, you are hopefully
taking inventory of your relationship with alcohol.
You can start at any time.
Grab and accountability partner and do it together!
So why are we talking about this? During the Pandemic, drinking rates skyrocketed, especially among
women. In America, in general, alcohol is used for celebration and commiseration alike. It has a sort of
therapeutic role in our society. How often have you said after a long day or a stressful day, “I need a
drink”? Too often we use alcohol as a coping mechanism. There is also a misperception that alcohol is
good for you. According to a new study published by The Lancet, it supports previous research that
there is no safe level of alcohol. The benefits of your evening glass of red wine are unlikely to outweigh
the risks of drinking. Even moderate amounts of alcohol can cause cancer, injuries, and infectious
So how about some benefits to eliminating alcohol?
First and foremost, quitting drinking alcohol leads to weight loss. When
we drink alcohol, our body treats it like a poison. This means that it gets first digestive priority, and the
rest of our stomach contents must wait until the alcohol has been digested. In the time that it takes to
absorb the alcohol, the food has been sitting in our stomachs, giving our body time to absorb more
carbs and fat than it should. The result: drinking will slow down our digestion, which results in weight
So even if you are drinking vodka for less calories and sugar, it still has a negative effect on your
metabolism. Not to mention all the extra calories! A glass of red wine has on average about 250
calories, 1 shot of vodka has 100 calories, and a beer on average has about 150 calories. Lastly, when
we drink alcohol, we make bad food choices.
Another huge benefit of no alcohol is improved sleep. We hear all the time how important sleep is to
our mental health, energy, productivity, and an overall well-being. Poor sleep is also linked to obesity.
We might pass out from the effects of alcohol or seem to drift off quickly, but that doesn’t mean we are
getting good sleep or sleeping well. Drinking significantly affects the quality of our sleep. We can also
feel tired or hungover the next day and this can cause us to eat more and gain weight. I know that when
I drank a lot that there was nothing better that eating a huge meal after a night out to help me feel
better the next day!
You might not feel the improved benefits of sleep right away. If your body is used to a glass of wine to
get to sleep, it may be a bit before you can fall asleep easily on your own. It took me several weeks after
I quit drinking to get to sleep easily and to stay asleep. Some ways to improve sleep at night without
alcohol are to exercise every day, meditate, read, write down your worries, listen to music, and to get up
and to go to bed at the same time every day.
The benefits of a good night’s sleep after quitting alcohol go beyond just looking and feeling better!
They include lowering blood pressure, improved concentration, reduced stress, and it also promotes our
natural healing process.
Please comment with any benefits you are seeing in your life without alcohol! Have a blessed and