Drinking alcohol may temporarily ease your mental state, but there’s no doubt that it takes a long-term toll on your body — especially if your habit is heavy. If you think it’s time for you to stop drinking, even for just a while, your body will go through a lot.

"Taking a break from drinking alcohol — even if it's just for a couple of weeks — is a good idea, especially if you're regularly consuming more than the recommended daily limit," Damon Raskin, MD, a Los Angeles–based physician, told Prevention.

Keep reading to find out what happens to your body over time when you cut out alcohol.


As soon as six hours after your last drink, you can enter acute withdrawal. This can lead to increased sweating and body temperature, elevated blood pressure and heart rate, tremors, insomnia, and anxiety. According to Recovery Village, it can also lead to seizures and a condition called delirium tremens if the person is a particularly heavy drinker. These symptoms likely won't occur in people who are lighter imbibers.


It can take almost two full weeks for your body to detox alcohol completely. During this time, people can experience decreased energy, feelings of anger and aggression, general anxiety and depression, difficulty sleeping or nightmares, as well as decreased libido.

Recovery Village reported that you may also crave alcohol more during this stage.

Read: Moderate Alcohol Consumption May Not Offer Any Health Benefits After All; Claims May Be Based On 'Flawed' Science


Cutting out alcohol means cutting serious calories. A 2005 study found men consume an additional 433 calories a day from alcoholic drinks, while women add an extra 300.


A review of 27 studies found that, while alcohol may help people fall asleep more quickly and deeply at first, it actually inhibits sleep quality after a while.

Read more:

Drinking Alcohol For Your Health: 3 to 5 Drinks Weekly May Lower Risk Of Heart Attack And Heart Failure

7 Health Benefits Of Drinking Alcohol