10 Reasons Not To Drink Alcohol
Sometimes we need to get some perspective about the amount of alcohol we all drink. So here are 10 reasons not to drink alcohol which I find useful but hopefully not “preachy” as that is the last thing you need !
After all we are all adults!
I am passionate about it but for the reason you might not imagine. It was make or break literally.
I was a social drinker and did not see myself as out of the ordinary to be honest but one day I went yellow with jaundice and my liver began to fail and as a result I needed to make some lasting changes in my lifestyle.
Now I rarely drank spirits and just was the average drinking vino guy so you never know. I am now upfront about it but it is hopefully in a lighthearted way through the blog for us all get a choice around alcohol and what we drink.
I am especially passionate about supporting quality in the alcohol free world but it comes down to choice and there is much education to do.
So here we go…
10 – You Can save Money
There was a book I read which was based on the notion that if you gave up one coffee per day you could become a millionaire over time if you saved that money well.
I was a bit skeptical to be honest as life gets in the way but the premise was spot on. I have often had coaching clients who wrote down what they spent on alcohol over a week, a month and then a year.
You then ask them to look at that figure and think about what they would do with that money.
It actually in many cases adds up to the thousands in cash. Certainly enough to pay for a holiday and some money for the mortgage or buy something that you really want.
Even if you take a regular glass of wine after work, that adds up to three large glasses easily for many. The cost of wine differs around the world but imagine £6.50 multiplied by 3 and times that by just over a few nights a week.
You can do the maths but if gets that measured and written down every day your mind would soon start to think about better uses for the money if you pocket it.
9 – You avoid those difficult moments
Once alcohol hits our system our behaviour can change, remember it’s a chemical reaction in our body,
Chemical reactions change how we react from silly to aggressive from loss of inhibitions to sex with strangers. Yes it is in the soap opera called “alcohol those moments we would rather forget!”
In might be why most soap operas for TV have some kind of alcohol story in them at some point.
You see it in various restaurants and at home, unfortunately it is also one of the many reasons for domestic abuse from males and females.
One of the drink brands that had to deal with this was Stella Artois, a very strong lager that prides itself on its Belgium brewing credentials but also its high level of alcohol.
Now it was not Stella’s fault as they don’t tell us how much to drink. They recently launched Stella Zero as a way of changing the image of the brand and it is changing a bit. However, the “wife beater” label while unfair stuck with them for a while.
Those difficult subjects come with the territory of alcohol so we all could do with a little bit less of that.
And before you say it of course not everyone who drinks alcohol behaves in this way but it is a critical factor just as a member of the local police force or a nurse at Accident and Emergency. They have to deal with it often and balance health care with protection.
8 – Avoid the hangover
“I will never drink again” are always those famous words but of course people do. I don’t know if you have ever heard the saying “we are always moving toward pleasure and moving away from pain”.
Well a hangover is an odd one because we are doing both. The pain of the hangover verses the fun of a night of drinking.
There comes a point when the hangover is bigger than the pleasure and that is the moment people can change their alcohol drinking habits.
It’s almost a badge of honor but once you have a few nights free and realize you can feel differently the next day it’s like a wake up call
And of course the benefit of seeing things in a fresh new light can be immensely rewarding.
You will begin to feel like going to work on Monday.
OK maybe a stretch too far! But as I heard a coach say directly once kill yourself with alcohol or get a new job the choice is yours.
It is all about changing your drinking habits including:
- Soft drinks
- Having food before drinking
- Keep hydrated
- Switch to alcohol free beers, wine gin or fizz.
- Having plenty of water and food the next day
- Avoid social triggers
- Deal with the cause of your alcohol consumption not your symptoms.
All of these are good things to be doing but there is no instant cure for a hangover and the body won’t be in a rush on how quick to get rid of the alcohol from your body. It set in time I’m afraid.
I have written about alcohol metabolism on the liver and the difference between that and your blood alcohol level here.
7 – It can become an addiction
Unfortunately and fortunately our brain takes shortcuts. It’s designed that way on purpose as we cannot think about everything we need to do.
If you think about learning to ride a bike at first we are in what they call the “unconscious competence model” and we just don’t know we can’t ride a bike.
We start learning and think “this is hard”, we wobble and fall off and this is called “conscious incompetence” as we are aware we are not very good at it.
It’s part of learning.
Then we get better and don’t need our stabilizers so we end up taking them off and feel quite good about ourselves. This is known as conscious competence.
Of course when we have learned the skill, we just forget about it and just go about riding a bike without really giving it a second thought. We have developed a skill.
Imagine if you could teach me to drink alcohol each week in excess how would you get me to do it? Go on talk me through each step
A skill good or bad goes to the subconscious part of the brain so the very part that holds all our memories, looks after our breathing and heart. In fact, it’s our back seat driver and it’s really in charge.
In the battle of the conscious mind and the subconscious mind the latter will always win.
Once we do something over and over it can become a habit and once it goes into the subconscious there is a danger we just do it without thinking so anything we can do to break the cycle can really help. That includes alcohol.
My favorite course on addiction gets 10/10 and I have personally studied with Mark who you can read about above. He has a great service through his many courses that you can use anywhere as long with you to find a safe spot and wear some head phones.
It gets a big 10/10 from me if you are looking to reduce alcohol or any addiction for that matter including food!
Just click the banner above, it an affiliate link as a partner but you pay the same and support the blog.
6- It increases your blood pressure
The evidence from both the NHS (UK) and other health services across the world is quite stark. A few drinks while relaxing you short term is considered OK for you blood pressure and may actually help it which is fine.
But long term drinking at increased levels can increase our blood pressure to a serious level.
Blood pressure can put pressure on our heart and arteries and it’s often called the silent killer.
What a line!
I know when I gave up my social wine drinking after near liver failure my blood pressure dropped to good levels quickly and fast.
In fact after the first day when I was admitted urgently to hospital I was within normal levels.
That was despite the white coat syndrome and being checked three times a day in the hospital. People often overlook the link with alcohol and blood pressure and who can blame them with all the newspaper headlines saying :
” a few glasses of wine can be good for you with all the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in beer is good for you!”
Of course what we don’t see in the headlines it is the result of a few drinks being the start of bigger habit around alcohol which can do outdo substantially any other benefits short term
5 – You get to other stuff
One of the best bits of advice I think I have ever heard about changing your drinking habit is to get a new hobby.
Sounds a bit naff right?
But if you think about it makes sense as you get more on what you focus on. If your hobby is based around home drinking, bars and eating out as I know from experience then you look around and everyone is doing the same as you!
You get the social proof you were looking for.
Leisure pursuits that don’t involve alcohol can really help and include theatre shows, music, concerts, walking, charity work or learning a new skill, even if you do it online. You can read about some of my suggestions and thoughts here.
Everyone I talk to who has reduced their alcohol intake say it really works for them.
Of course, you need the motivation to do it! That said it can be life changing!
4 – You will avoid brain fog
Whenever I talk about brain fog people who message me on the blog say “don’t be ridiculous” there is no such thing. But I am afraid it is true.
Brain fog from drinking is a clear and present danger. I am not over egging it either!
As we drink more and more imagine the brain which has hundreds thousands and millions of neurons in our brain beginning in effect to be disconnected so in effect we are losing our memories.
It is one of the reason we wake up with a hangover but not only that, it gets worse we can remember :
- What we did last night
- What we said
- Who we were with
- Where our keys are
- Where our wallet or purse is
- Why our bank balance is so low
- What bed are we in and who did we sleep with
The fact is we forget and that can lead to guilt.
I know one of my mates used to say never mind my headache. “What did I say to everyone and was I nice?”.
The fact was he was pretty horrible to everyone but cannot remember a thing.
I have been at plenty of office parties as the boss where people come in the next day with their head down and do the walk of shame.
The fact is they just can’t remember what they said to their colleagues.
Short term it normally sorts itself out but long term of course it just gets worse and the damage can be permanent. Keeping to the recommended weekly amount really helps but so does avoiding those binge drinking moments.
3- It could save your liver
I am not joking and I have got the t-shirt on this one with weeks on a liver ward.
I was just a wine drinker and casual at that but was given 48 hours to live. Through pure determination and great health support I am here to tell the tale.
However, my liver is damaged and I have to get it scanned every year as my chance of developing liver cancer is much higher. It was certainly a wake up call.
However, I don’t expect you to see that right now as moderate or a heavy drinker.
So the only thing to say is the education I received only lived was life changing in many ways. I certainly learned you only have one liver and it affects everything from getting rid of poison out of your system to helping your immune system operate at 100 per cent.
It truly is a remarkable organ and alcohol does not agree with it at all. Alcohol is poison no matter how we frame it. Yes it can have its fun uses but we have generally built up a bit of a lie around the whole alcohol world we live in.
It has its place but it ain’t good for us!
2- Lose weight feel great
The best diet book I ever had was calories in calories out. It was pretty simple and the message was clear.
The one thing we often ignore is the empty calories and you wonder why we put on weight. I wrote about how many calories in a glass of wine and some readers of the blog were shocked. It can be hundreds.
Calories in alcohol have generally no nutritional benefit and yes you will read about antioxidants, vitamins and that is fine but the reality it’s empty calories with no nutritional value.,
There is now good news in that along as you watch the sugar, alcohol free drinks can be a real alternative. There is no point having an alcohol, free gin spirit and then adding lots of high calorie tonic water to it!
I have seen people do that and I kind of defeat the object.
Cutting back on your alcohol intake can really make a difference to your overall weight just check the labels and like any good diet ad:
Only to be used as a part of a calorie controlled diet! 🙁
1 – There are now alternatives with alcohol free choice
Making a completely different lifestyle change can really make a difference and I know I have now done it successfully with alcohol free choices.
Gone at the day when to be honest you would spit it out and chuck it down the drain or even publicly spit it out.
From beer to fizz there are options out there but a tip from me is to be bullish that you want choice. People stare at me funny when I ask for an alcohol free beer with a look of “I just don’t get it”.
So you have to be firm ….
And at the end of the day you are the customer so never be embarrassed about asking for it.
There is a choice out there and it’s growing. It also helps to build a habit with a great alcohol free lifestyle or just drink less.
Let me know what you think
I would love to know your 10 reasons not to drink alcohol or even reduce it. What’s worked for you? Sharing is a great way to help others. I would also love to know if you have tried alcohol free drinks to make a big change in your habit.
Did it help?
I always respond to all the comments and I love to hear what you are saying.
Just leave them below!