I love a cocktail myself, but it doesn’t love me back.

A cocktail may relax me for the time being, but the next day, I always feel confused, anxious and like I am contemplating and critiquing all of my life decisions. My buddy recently told me that he refers to this feeling as the “Sunday Scaries…” the impending doom you feel after a Saturday night of boozing.

There is a reason it’s called Happy HOUR (and not happy days, weeks, months, or years).

It’s the hour when you get to meet with friends, sip on cocktails/wine/beer, de-stress after work and forget about your worries. At the time it is fun, happy and carefree. BUT, the effects of consuming alcohol rarely go unnoticed.

From the headache upon waking up the next morning after drinking to the afternoon brain fog at work, alcohol can drastically alter your mind and body.

However, when you remove alcohol, even for just 2 weeks, you will actually experience some incredible changes.

Here are some magnificent effects that take place in your body and life when you give up alcohol for 2 weeks:

Drop Excess Pounds

Fancy cocktails and frozen concoctions can contain anywhere from 200-700 calories. Yikes! They are also packed with sugar, which wreaks havoc on your digestive system and mood. Not to mention that a hangover, even a slight one, deters you from heading to the gym for a workout and instead leads you to reach for greasy fast food to “soak up the alcohol.”

Boozing too much has also been proven to reduce muscle development and interfere with your post workout recovery.

When you give up alcohol, you skip out on all those wasted calories in booze and whatever food you indulged in that night or the morning after! You will also have the energy to exercise and strengthen your body.

You Will Feel Energized And ALIVE

When you make drinking alcohol a regular habit, it can have some serious negative effects on your sleep patterns. Alcohol disrupts the deeper stages of your sleep. Therefore, you wake up feeling not only hungover, but also tired and less energized.

Even though alcohol might make you fall asleep quicker, the reduction of your REM (rapid eye movement) sleep will cause drowsiness and poor concentration.

Simply put, alcohol and a good night’s sleep don’t mix!

When you give up alcohol, you will sleep better, have more energy, feel more focused, and be ready to take on the day’s tasks and adventures.

You Will Feel Happy

Alcohol changes the way your body handles stress and is also linked to depression. Whether you are “drowning your sorrows” or “blowing off some steam” by having a drink, consuming alcohol can prolong the feelings of anxiety, sadness and depression.

When you give up alcohol, you allow your body to cleanse and balance itself. This will help regulate your feelings and emotions and provide a sense of clarity and equilibrium.

You’ll Get That Glow

Drinking alcohol dehydrates your body from the inside out. This leads to your skin appearing dry, tight and irritated.

Booze is also damaging to your liver, overloading it with sugar and chemicals. It impedes your liver’s ability to filter your blood as it circulates your body. As one dermatologist, Dr. David Colbert, stated:

“One way to look at it is to ask what does someone look like who is dying of liver failure? They’re sallow, they’re pasty, they’re cold, their pores are huge.”

When you give up alcohol, your liver will work more efficiently at filtering your blood, detoxifying harmful substances and absorbing nutrients. As a result, those nutrients will boost your well being, make you feel great and give your skin a healthy glow.

Save That Money, Honey

Your wallet will rejoice and feel full when you give up alcohol. The average cost of an alcoholic beverage at a bar is $5-$10. If you drink a few every weekend, that really adds up (if you want to put it into bigger perspective, give this alcohol spending calculator a whirl)!

When you give up alcohol, your overall finances will improve, which can enhance your outlook on your well-being and life. You can take the money your were spending on drinking alcohol and invest it into one of your goals (health/travel/charity/etc.).

BUT, it’s just a few drinks…

While having a few drinks here and there may not seem like a “big deal,” damage to your liver is cumulative. Therefore, over time, having 1-2 drinks everyday can be just as destructive as one night of binge drinking.

By giving up alcohol, even if for two weeks, your body has an opportunity to purify itself and will have remarkable positive effects on your mind, body and spirit.

Let me ask you one question that I believe will hit it home with everyone. When you look back at your life & at your worst moments was there alcohol involved ? 

Share this article with your happy hour pals, friends and family and you may inspire them to cut back or give up the booze for a bit – and you can all celebrate great health together!

Chad Willis