It’s hardly a secret that having a few drinks alters the way your brain works. Men consume an additional 433 calories on those days they drink a “moderate” amount of alcohol, according to one study. Cut those from your diet—and don’t replace them with desserts or snacks—and you’ll start to drop pounds without much effort. Being drunk can suppress your immune function, which can make you more vulnerable to the pathogens that cause the cold and flu, among other things, says Keri Peterson, MD, a WH advisory board member. In addition, frequent drinking can cause inflammation throughout the body. All of this means that taking a break from booze could help you better fight off any seasonal illnesses. Getting better sleep because you’re sober certainly doesn’t hurt either.

What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Drinking Alcohol

It has been particularly linked to cancers of the head and neck, esophagus, liver, breast and colon, and some studies indicate association with pancreatic cancer and melanoma risk. In addition to directly impairing organs and systems in the body, excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to debilitating health conditions and disease. A person’s blood pressure can also rise as a result of alcohol use.

An essential daily guide to achieving the good life

This includes the risk of cancer of the esophagus, stomach, mouth, liver, breast, and colon. But alcohol can contain a lot of unexpected calories—some drinks more than others. For instance, a beer can have about150 calories, a glass of pinot noir would have about120 calories, and a frozen pina colada can have about245 calories. So, depending on how much you typically drink on a daily basis, cutting that out might simply mean you’re taking in fewer calories. The day after drinking, you might have the typical nausea and headache that come with a hangover.

What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Drinking Alcohol

Encouragement from family, friends, and others you trust can be an invaluable source of strength as you make this change in your life. If you spend an average of $100 a week on alcohol, you’ll save more than $5,000 a year when you give up drinking. To put this into perspective, imagine you drink a bottle of wine every evening. A standard bottle has about 6 glasses, bringing the calorie count to 750 to 900. A pound equates to 3500 calories, and this means that you can gain an extra pound every four or five days.

Improved Digestion

Evidence shows that a combination of alcohol therapy, community support, and, when appropriate, medication to stop drinking, can help reduce alcohol consumption and improve health outcomes. At Monument, we What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Drinking Alcohol connect people to this evidence-based care entirely online. You can sign up for Monument to gain free access to resources like therapist-moderated support groups, and explore your treatment plan options.

How many days should you go without alcohol?

Many experts recommend taking one or more days off from drinking completely each week.