Celeb model and author Chrissy Teigen recently opened up about her decision to cut back on her alcohol intake. "I was, point blank, just drinking too much," the model told Cosmopolitan magazine, revealing that drinking before events became part of her routine.
"I got used to being in hair and makeup and having a glass of wine,” she said. "Then that glass of wine would carry over into me having one before the awards show. And then a bunch at the awards show. And then I felt bad for making kind of an ass of myself to people that I really respected.”
The cookbook author noted that her decision to cut back on booze is mostly because she just wants to feel better ("I've never once been like, 'I'm sure glad I had that boozy brunch!’" she told Cosmo). Proving her point, Teigen recalled a recent trip to Bali with husband John Legend and daughter Luna where she reset her body and abstained from alcohol completely.
"[It was] really, really wonderful," she said. "I would wake up feeling amazing. My skin felt amazing. I was just so happy."
Though some of us can't imagine watching #TGIT without sipping a glass or two of wine or enjoying happy hour stone cold sober, there's something to be said of Teigen's resolve to limit her drinking. Too much alcohol can negatively impact your mind and body in a number of ways for everyone, but women are especially more vulnerable than men to alcohol's effects, even after drinking smaller amounts.
In fact, did you know that "binge drinking" -- something we associate with fall-down incoherent drunkenness -- is actually defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as having just four drinks (for women) in a 2-hour period? And if that seems like a lot -- consider many bars over pour wine and can add more than one shot to mixed drinks, easily moving you toward four drinks in no time.
High-functioning alcoholics aren't always easy to spot, either (hello, Don Draper). According to WebMD, having just three drinks a day or seven a week (for women) makes you a heavy drinker -- even if you're successful, responsible, and well-respected. Looks like Teigen did her homework.
Here are a few reasons to follow Teigen's lead and also consider cutting back on cocktail hour.
It Makes You Hungry (and Gain Weight)
There's a scientific reason why you want to reach for that greasy slice of pizza after a night out. A recent study found that the brain cells which promote hunger are activated by alcohol. Couple that with the fact that your fave glass of wine is packed with sugar and empty calories, and no wonder you feel bloated after a few too many drinks.
It Makes You Depressed
You might think your dry martini is a pick-me-up, but alcohol is, in fact, a depressant. This means the more you drink, the more likely you will get the blues. "Drinking away" your problems doesn't work either; alcohol often acts a magnifier, which will only intensify your feelings and might cause you to react irrationally.
It Ruins Your Sleep
That glass of wine before bed is actually doing more harm to your ZZZs than good. Multiple studies have shown that, while, alcohol might help healthy people fall to sleep quicker, it doesn't improve sleep quality because it reduces the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) cycle, which is the restorative aspect of sleep. Plus, women are more likely than men to wake up numerous times throughout the night after a night of drinking.
It Affects the Way You Look
Because alcohol is a diuretic, excess alcohol consumption can cause dehydration. When you're dehydrated, not only does your skin look dull, but it's unable to regenerate collagen effectively, which means those who drink on the regular will develop wrinkles faster. Not to mention your eyes look puffy, and your face might look unnaturally flushed.
While not you might not think you need to lay off the booze, following Teigen's lead and enjoying a mocktail, even just once in a while, certainly won't hurt. And, as always, drink responsibly.
Related on Organic Authority
11 Compelling Reasons to Stop Drinking Alcohol (At Least for a Little While)
Screw the Hangovers: 7 Amazing Booze-Free Mocktails
Drinking Less This Year? 3 Tips for Fun, Booze-Free Beverages