Lifestyles

What Happens to Your Body When You Ditch Your Drink

Your Body is a Temple, Not a Garbage Disposal

By Briana DelBuono

It was 10 AM on January 7, and I woke up hung-over, bloated, and disgusted with myself. I spent the past three days drinking to excessively and binge eating with a few of my sorority sisters and my body was about to pay the price.

“I’m gonna give up drinking,” I said to my mom as she scowled, assuming it would be another one of my failed attempts to kick the degenerating habit.

While I didn’t consider myself an alcoholic, I was definitely one to indulge at the bar two to three nights out of the week. As an avid gym-goer as well, the two always seemed to work against each other, to my disadvantage.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), reported by TIME Magazine there’s strong evidence to suggest that regular binge drinking can damage the frontal cortex and areas of the brain involved in executive functions and decision making.           

Your body is going to perform with the nutrients you give it so you should be wary of what you’re putting in it. When you treat your body with respect, it will respect you back.

As of recently, I haven’t felt bloated, not even once. I haven’t been hungover, or gotten acid reflux. And guess what? I haven’t had the urge to drink.

Your favorite Jack and Coke delight is tacking on 195 more calories for the day. Whether you’re counting them or not, they add up. Three of those will weigh you down 585 calories. You may not realize it when you’re socializing with friends and kicking them back, but empty calories are not cute.

If you must drink, a better alternative would be Vodka and any clear colored diet soda you can think of. Depending what soft drink you choose, that beverage will set you back somewhere around 100 calories, which is not too bad.

When I would binge drink, I would drunkenly space out and imagine what type of salty treats I was going to have at 2 AM. right before I passed out with my shoes still on. Usually, it was Wendy’s chicken nuggets.

The next morning, I would feel the greasy treats hanging out in my stomach like they were there to stay. I started to question if I should ask them to pay rent.

Late night eating and drinking often go hand in hand. If you want to avoid this, the best way, of course, is to go easy on the drinks or skip them entirely. The other way is to prepare ahead.

Take into consideration that you’ll be having a couple drinks later and eat a good, healthy meal substantial enough to hold you until the next morning without opening the fridge when you get home.

Late night binge eating and drinking are often justified with the, “I didn’t eat dinner before,” mentality. Eating and then immediately going to sleep actually slows down your body’s ability to digest and break down food. Which, in turn, will cause you to gain weight.

According to Women’s Health, your liver recognizes the byproducts of alcohol as toxins, so your body stops processing nutrients from food you’ve eaten while it takes care of the “bad guys” first.

Consider this alternative or those late night hamburgers are going to take a permanent spot on your hips.

Extended alcohol also dries out your skin and causes wrinkles over time, causing you to age a lot quicker than you naturally would. Every day drinking can cause cirrhosis of the liver. That definitely could make you second guess asking for that third drink.

But a healthier lifestyle doesn’t always mean giving up drinking all together but lessening the number of drinks you intake will surely aid you in the process, and you’ll eliminate some of the side effects in turn.

It has been almost two months since I stopped drinking. If you ask my mom or any of my friends, they will tell you they’re still in shock. I am still continually peer pressured to get drunk and that it, “won’t kill me,” but I am on a mission to maintain a healthier lifestyle and I have applied the word “no” to my daily vocabulary to keep the haters at bay. Yes, I said haters.

Life is about moderation. Enjoy a glass of wine every now and then, but don’t make it a habit. Don’t let a social event take hold of your life and maybe, skip the binge drinking.

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