This is the hardest week. You’ll feel like crap, as your body screams for the hooch.
Your appetite seems to increase
One one hand, people do tend to eat more while they’re drinking; unconsciously or to help pace themselves/soak it up a little. But if you quit completely, you need something to occupy your minds and hands, so people turn to food. So it seems like you’re eating more, but a lot of it is mindless, bored eating.
Best to turn to juice, sparkling water or fruit to manage your restless hands.
Your sweet tooth will most likely get stronger
Depending on your drink, you’re most likely increasing your blood sugar a lot when you have that sweet, sweet cocktail. That leads to sugar cravings. Most cocktails are no different from shoving candy in your mouth.
At first, these cravings are so strong and you turn to candy, chocolate and cookies to help you cope. No matter what you’re breaking up with, the remedies are still the same.
It’s hard to get quality sleep
You sleep is going to turn to shit once you quit the sauce. This is true for both the hardcore drinkers, and those that need a little tipple to help them sleep. In either case, the alcohol helps you to fall asleep, but it doesn’t improve the quality of it.
It only gets worse, once your body is detoxing from a substance it once relied on. Except a lot of long nights staring at the ceiling, or suffering from terrifying nightmares.
Expect headaches and feeling like you have the flu
It might be legal and easily available, but alcohol is a drug and it has side effects and withdrawal symptoms. These are the signs of major changes in the body as you detox from the booze.
These changes can even affect your liver and cause high blood pressure. On the other hand, you might feel nothing. If you drink regularly, your pain tolerance increases, so the withdrawal symptoms might be negated. But it doesn’t mean they’re not there.
The second week is a little more internal. All the changes that happen, will help improve the health of your organs.
Your liver will start to recover
When you drink alcohol regularly, your liver cells die and scars appear in their place. The more you drink, the more scars, and it eventually turns into cirrhosis. When you stop, it allows your liver to start to recover. It’s a slow process that requires a diet of no alcohol and not a lot of fatty foods.
Note, however, depending on the damage, it may never get back to 100%, but anything is better than requiring a liver transplant.
Your skin colour will change
Not in a bad way, but for the better. When you drink, the alcohol disrupts the blood circulation, which leads to a lack of oxygen in the skin. As a result, it gets dry and less elastic, which makes you prone to pigment spots and early wrinkles.
Getting off the sauce won’t cure the damage already done, but it’ll make your skin pliable, tighter and better hydrated. Plus, it’ll help with irritation and acne.
Digestion will begin to improve
In order to help digest alcohol, your body has to increase the production of gastric acid. Which means you’re more prone to heartburn, and ulcers when the acid starts to eat away at your stomach. This is also why people eat more when they’re drinking; to soak up the acid as well as the spirits.
Things start to get a little lonely
If you’re a part of a group that constantly goes out for a pint, then they’ll start going without you when you turn them down, or suggest an alternate activity.
For most, this is the hardest part. Quitting drinking makes your body feel better, but it hurts your feelings.
When you make it to week #3, you start to get the little pleasures back in life; taste, smell, sleep.
The obvious signs of drinking, disappear
By this point, the dark circles under the eyes and swollen face are pretty much gone, due to the fact that your urinary system can function properly now. The other signs, like visible veins and rosacea, tend to take a little longer to go, but they will in time.
It becomes easier to wake up in the morning
When there’s booze in your system, you don’t follow the general cycles of falling into a deep sleep. Therefore, when the alcohol is absorbed and your blood alcohol concentration gets less intense, you wake up, and tend to not fall back into a deep sleep.
Once you’re no longer drinking, your body resets to a proper sleep cycle, which feels more natural to the body, thus making waking up easier.
Your dental health will start to improve
Drinking tends to decrease the production of saliva, which affects the condition of your teeth. There’s nothing to wash away the bacteria, sugars and other factors, so you tend to get more cavities, sensitivity and bad breath.
Cutting out the booze allows your teeth to get back to their status quo.
Your sense of smell and taste gets back to normal
Much like how alcohol kills pain and liver cells, it also messes with your taste receptors and sense of smell. Over time, these senses return to normal, and you can appreciate the subtle nuances of your every day aromas.
This is the big one. If you can make it to day 28-31, you’ve done it. You’ll be feeling better both physically and mentally.
It’s worth it.
Your body will stop hanging onto excess water and weight
One of the key factors of dramatic weight loss, is to cut out the alcohol completely. Once you do, your body mass starts to decrease dramatically. Depending on your initial weight and how much you used to drink, going cold turkey can easily help you drop 6-8lbs per month.
But don’t rely on just abstinence from the hooch to lose weight. You still need to eat right and exercise.
Your blood pressure stabilizes and your risk for heart disease drops
Drinking booze increases your blood pressure, and if you do it too often, you develop hypertension – a permanent state of high pressure. If you don’t drink, you lower the risk of it.
Your mind starts to really clear up
This might seem like the less obvious change to everyone else, and you might not even notice it, but it’s huge. When you’re drinking regularly, your brain swells a little, and million of brain cells die because of lack of oxygen. When you stop, your brain finds a way to recover. You won’t regain those dead cells, but at least you’ll stop the senseless murder and your brain will recover.