If you’ve been thinking about potentially cutting out alcohol from your diet to live a healthier life, it can be a hard thought to process your days or weekends without it, especially if you're a heavy drinker. However, if you’re on this path to living a sober lifestyle, we commend you for beginning this journey.
Quitting alcohol and weight loss are certainly aligned, and as the ‘empty calories’ add up within each alcoholic beverage you consume, you may feel that it goes unnoticed, but not by your body—as it has to process every calorie you take in.
One of the things you may have noticed when trying to quit alcohol before is that you may lose some weight, to begin with, but then you’ll put it back on. That’s why, in today’s blog, we’re going to run through quitting alcohol, weight loss, and the top tips you can use to stop drinking while losing weight.
The Benefits of Quitting Alcohol
Before we get into the finer details about how you can stop drinking and ensure weight loss is a steady process, we feel as though listing the benefits of quitting alcohol may give you some indication of what this can do for you if you stop drinking alcohol on a long-term basis:
- It can repair liver damage
- It will decrease your chance of high blood pressure
- It can reduce your risk of cancer
- It can aid in weight loss if done correctly
- It can help your brain power
- It will decrease your risk of developing heart disease
- It will improve sleep quality
- You will have a much improved mental health state
These are just a few of the main health benefits that you will notice if you go alcohol-free, long-term. Not only will this improve your mood on a day-to-day basis, but you will also have less chance of developing serious health problems when you’re older.
Tips to Stop Drinking Alcohol
As we’re speaking to a broad spectrum of people, we do not know to what extent your alcohol consumption levels are.
However, if you feel as though it is a serious problem in your life and you can’t go without alcohol without experiencing withdrawal symptoms, it may be worth you talk to your doctor, consulting your local GP, or a health professional, or even speaking to our team about how we can help you regain control of your drinking habits.
Yet, if you’re in the majority, you will often drink for fun with family, friends, and work colleagues on the weekends and continue to see weight added to your frame week by week. If you feel as though you’re in this category, here are some of our practical tips to help you stop drinking high-calorie alcoholic drinks:
- Tell everyone close to you that you’re quitting (hold yourself accountable)
- Avoid any temptations or triggers that make you want to drink (physically and mentally)
- Do new activities instead of drinking to remove alcohol from your daily activities
- Give yourself rewards for completing short-term alcohol-free goals after 24 hours
- Enjoy the benefits (short and long-term) of how you look and feel
These five steps will help you build a foundation to prevent alcohol from entering your daily or weekly occurrences. Especially if you’re telling other people about this, they will surely help you in your journey to complete sobriety.
Do You Lose or Gain Weight When You Stop Drinking Alcohol?
In short, whether you lose or gain weight after you stop drinking alcohol will depend on what the individual’s habits are aside from drinking. Whether you lose or gain weight depends on your activity level (i.e., exercise) and how many calories you begin to eat from food when you quit drinking.
For some people, after they quit drinking glasses of wine, mixed drinks, beer, or whatever they enjoy, it is easy to see the weight drop off quickly. However, in some cases, people will make up for the calories they used to drink with food instead, meaning that they resort to eating a lot more food than while they were drinking.
However, if you’re in the majority, you will most likely already eat enough calories and then go wild by adding the excess calories from alcohol. This means that you’d most likely already be satisfied with what you eat daily, meaning that the majority of people who quit alcohol will lose more weight than those who gain weight.
Yet, if you’re one of the people who has recognised that you eat a lot more after quitting alcohol before, the next section of this blog will be extremely insightful for you, so carry on reading!
Quitting Alcohol and Weight Loss: How to Lose Weight Sustainably When You Stop Drinking
Now, if you want to lose weight sustainably while cutting out alcohol from your diet, we’re going to be giving you some game-changing pointers so you don’t put the weight on (and more potentially) when you first quit alcohol. Let’s take a look at the best practices you should follow:
Track Your Calorie Consumption
There are plenty of calorie-counting apps on the app store that you can download and use throughout the day. One of the most popular is MyFitnessPal, which you can use to scan the barcodes of the food and drinks you’re consuming and match them up to the grams, ounces, or millilitres you’re consuming of an item.
Of course, this can be time-consuming, to begin with, but once you start to understand the labels of food and drinks and the calories within the foods we eat, it becomes a lot easier to track without using an app the more you do it.
Avoid Sugary and Processed Foods
As you begin to consume sugary and processed foods, they will most likely boost your insulin levels, leaving you unsatisfied with your food intake and leading you to eat more and more, which becomes a vicious cycle.
Eat More Protein and Fibrous Foods
Protein and fibrous foods, on the other hand, often don’t boost your insulin levels, which keep you fuller for longer and are more nutritious for your system. Not just that but they will begin to boost your metabolism, making it easier for your body to digest food, leading to easier weight loss.
Some proteins that you could add to your diet include meats, fish, eggs, and beans (any type), along with vegetables such as broccoli, kale, sweet potatoes, and many more.
If you stick to a small calorie deficit (eat 200–300 fewer calories than you burn) while exercising frequently, you can expect to watch the weight shed off you over time. Exercise is not only good for your mental well-being but also for the physical benefits you will see from it, such as a boost in metabolism, less fat, and many more.
If you struggle to exercise on your own or if your friends are not willing to exercise, then you can find groups online or just go and join your local gym classes. It may be daunting at first, but the more times you go, the more comfortable, fit, and healthy you’ll feel over time.
Get Sufficient Sleep and Water Intake
If you begin exercising more, sleep becomes essential for recovery and losing weight. Simultaneously, you drink more water; this is one of the most efficient ways to keep your metabolism functioning at its peak performance.
If you feel as though you want to get started on your journey to sobriety, our team here at OYNB would love to help you out as best as we can and get you back on track to live the longest and healthiest life possible.
An entrepreneur and former senior oil broker, Ruari gave up drinking after excessive consumption almost cost him his marriage, and worse, his life. Going alcohol-free improved his relationships, career and energy levels, leading to him founding OYNB to provide a support network for others.