Alcohol is a significant part of British culture. From a young age, many people’s social lives involve alcohol or at least being in surroundings where alcohol is present such as pubs and clubs or restaurants. While drinking alcohol in moderation won’t have a significant impact on your health, drinking too much or too often can have a big impact on your liver as well as other consequences for your health.
Some people find that giving up alcohol altogether is the key to living a healthier, better lifestyle, and their numbers are increasing. Could you give up alcohol for a healthier life?
Alcohol consumption in the UK
In the UK, there are various types of drinking behaviour. There are people who drink frequently, those who binge drink and those who may drink infrequently or for special occasions. Drink Aware offers some fascinating insights into the drinking culture of the UK, that help paint a good picture of what group you might fall into.
There are many reasons why people choose to give up alcohol. People who are dependent on alcohol and have an addiction will do so to stop it from taking over their lives, whereas others will have different reasons for giving up such as a health condition or change in lifestyle. Alcohol can be expensive and hangovers can be temporarily debilitating, which will lead many to question why they drank in the first place after a particularly heavy night. Whatever the reason, choosing to give up alcohol can be a positive step towards better health.
Four women were recently interviewed by the BBC about the reasons they chose to give up alcohol, with the majority citing the effect that it had on their personalities as a key reason for wanting to give up for good.
You don’t have to have an alcohol addiction to want to give up alcohol. You might find that you’re no longer able to tolerate a hangover or that you’d rather spend your money on other things – whatever your reasons are, they’re unique and personal to you.
The health benefits of giving up alcohol
When you decide to give up alcohol, even if just for a short amount of time – you will experience a number of benefits, including:
- –Better sleep
- –Weight loss
- –Better appearance
- –Reduced risk of cancer and liver conditions
Alcohol can affect your sleep, making you sleep poorly even if you think that alcohol will make you get to sleep easier. The lack of sleep will affect your energy levels, making it difficult for you to function at your best. Giving up drinking could help you sleep better and see a spike in your energy levels.
Alcohol is full of calories, and even if you think you’re following a low-calorie diet, alcohol could be the thing that is stopping you from losing weight. Cutting out alcohol will immediately cut out those extra calories and help you drop some pounds.
Alcohol can affect your appearance, with dehydration causing your skin to look tired and wrinkled. Giving up alcohol can help you to rehydrate your body and encourage glowing skin once again.
Alcohol has been proven to increase your risk of cancer as well as serious liver conditions, and giving up can help reduce your risk almost immediately. Reducing the amount you drink instead of completely giving up alcohol could also help to lower your risk and keep you in better health.
Getting help when alcohol becomes a problem
For some people, giving up alcohol is about more than improving their lifestyle, but saving their lives too. Alcohol dependency is a serious problem that can lead to poor health and even death, and is not something that is easy to overcome. If you find that you’re quite dependent on alcohol or that you’re worried about how much you consume – there are a number of resources available that can help support adults going through the process of sobriety, offering support in different ways.
NHS Choices has some useful information on their website about alcohol and lifestyle, which is well worth a read. Giving up alcohol can be tough, but making the decision to quit could help you live a healthier lifestyle and give you a better future.