Substance abuse can have a range of symptoms, and many people don't realize that alcohol can be just as unhealthy as other treats like ice cream or pizza. Quitting a daily drink or more of alcohol can lead to weight loss, as it eliminates hundreds of calories from your diet. Alcohol can also reduce REM sleep, which is essential for feeling refreshed in the morning. Mixers and cocktails are often packed with added sugar, but even red wine and champagne contain sugar from grapes.
Cutting out added sugars and refined carbohydrates from your diet can help with inflammation and weight loss. Alcohol can create short-term happiness by increasing dopamine levels, but excessive drinking can lead to worse mental health and emotional stability. When you stop drinking alcohol, your digestive system has an easier time performing its other functions, which can contribute to weight loss. Excessive drinking can lead to extra calories and obesity, as well as cancer, liver disease, and other diseases.
Additionally, quitting alcohol can reduce insulin resistance, which can also lead to weight loss. When you stop drinking alcohol, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, mild agitation, restlessness, insomnia, tremors, sweating, palpitations, high blood pressure, headache, and cravings for alcohol. You may also find yourself sleeping more and better and avoiding binge eating late at night or eating hamburgers for a hangover the next day. If you drink a lot on a regular basis (defined as having three to four alcoholic drinks or more per week), it's important to seek help from your PCP or an addiction medicine specialist to stop smoking as you may be at risk of severe withdrawal.