Working on your habits? Stop drinking alcohol!

Drinking goes hand in hand with late nights, less sleep, unproductive days, and more fast food. You become more indifferent and nonchalant. 

Things that just don’t work if you need to work on good habits.

Alcohol guidelines?

For years men were still allowed 2 glasses of alcohol a day and women 1 glass. But in the new Health Council’s guidelines, the advice since 2015 is: don’t drink.

And if you do, stick to 1 glass a day. Many (Dutch) people are above that: 45 percent of men and 20 percent of women drink more than 1 glass a day on average.

Is that bad? Yes, Alcohol is a toxic substance that does not belong in our body at all. You should actually stop.

How alcohol influences your habits.

Exercises

Strength training is an important part of getting your body fit for athletic activity, but drinking alcohol can negate the results of your workouts. Its toxic effects also impair your body’s ability to produce ATP, which is the primary energy source for your muscles. Alcohol affects your ability to get adequate sleep, resulting in a lack of the human growth hormone that helps build strong, larger muscles. It also causes the liver to release a chemical that impairs testosterone, which is a key hormone in muscle development.

Wake up early

Alcohol does not improve sleep quality. According to these findings, alcohol does allow healthy people to fall asleep quicker and sleep more deeply for a while, but it reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

And the more you drink before bed, the more pronounced these effects. REM sleep happens about 90 minutes after we fall asleep. It’s the stage of sleep when people dream, and it’s thought to be restorative. Disruptions in REM sleep may cause daytime drowsiness, poor concentration.

And then there practical things, you need to get to the toilet more often during the night and when you wake up, you feel a headache and are less motivated to get up and start your day active.

Losing weight

Alcoholic beverages taste good, which increases their appeal. Going out for a couple of drinks can quickly add 800 to 1,000 calories to your diet. Let’s say you drink a beer after work — that’s 153 calories. Later, you go out with a friend and order 4 more beers — that’s an extra 612 calories. 765 calories from alcohol alone, not to mention pizza, crackers, peanuts and other snacks that are commonly served with it.

Alcoholic drinks suppress brain appetite signals, leading to increased feelings of hunger, according to a 2017 study published in Nature Communications. The study was conducted on animals, but its findings may apply to humans too.

Alcoholic beverages are metabolized differently than other food and drink. Your liver can only process one drink per hour.

If you drink more than that, you’ll overload your liver. As a result, it will focus on processing alcohol rather than breaking down protein, carbs, and other dietary nutrients; these calories will be stored as fat instead of being used for fuel.

Read more: How Bad Is Alcohol for Weight Loss?

Learning

The side effect of alcohol is that it is less easy to store new information because the hippocampus shrinks: the memory center of your brain.

Drinking too much alcohol is dangerous for every aspect of your health.

Benefits when not drinking alcohol

Scientists from the Royal Free Hospital in London examined a group of average drinkers. The test subjects participated in Dry January. That is an annual alcohol-free month after the holidays. Last year four million Britons participated. After that month, the subjects had lost weight, their blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels were lowered, they were more concentrated and they slept better.

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