Woman Reveals What Three Weeks Without Alcohol Does to Your Body

A woman has shared her incredible three-week transformation after completely cutting out alcohol.

Danielle Pierce, from Austin, Texas, started "experimenting" with alcohol aged 16, and by 18 she'd fallen into the typical party culture at college.

The 24-year-old said she'd drink around two bottles of wine during the week, before downing shots and cocktails on the weekend.

She told Newsweek she'd spend around $114 a week on booze, adding her favorite tipple is pinot grigio. But on May 18 she decided to go sober, after admitting drinking had left her feeling "lethargic" and "grumpy."

She said: "I decided to cut out alcohol after having gut/stomach issues. I was starting an elimination diet to figure out what foods I was intolerant too, and I figured I might as well cut out alcohol too. My parent's have been sober since January and they were a huge inspiration and source of encouragement.

"I stopped cold turkey—I knew I needed a reset and the only way I could do that was remove it completely. I wasn't feeling like myself. I was lethargic, uninspired and honestly grumpy, and I wasn't able to fit into my clothes and I was not happy about that. So I started the elimination diet and cut out alcohol as well to jump start my health journey."

Pierce, a social media strategist, said she'd never stopped drinking before, adding: "I was incredibly nervous. I didn't know what to expect."

Initially she planned to quit for 21 days, but has kept it going after seeing the positive impact it's had on her life.

She's managed to lose an incredible 15 pounds (lbs), which she said was was "unexpected," adding her sleep and skin have never looked better.

"I cannot tell you how proud I was when I hit that 21-day mark. I was really surprised that I wasn't jumping at the bit to get a glass of wine, by that 21st day, I had no interest in drinking at all. I never want to feel another hangover again after feeling so good," she raved.

Listing the benefits she's noticed, Pierce continued: "I am so happy with my new lifestyle—like the happiest I have ever been. I wish I would've really taken a look in the mirror sooner and realized that I was not excelling in my personal or professional life due to drinking culture.

"It's a completely personal choice, but I don't feel like I was myself when I was staying out till 4am drinking and then being a hungover mess the next day. So many things have changed—I think the biggest thing I noticed is my social anxiety decreased and my overall happiness has increased. When I drank I would get so anxious around people and would be a recluse, not talk to anyone at all. So overall, my mental health has improved immensely.

"My stomach issues are gone. I would get so nauseous when I ate at any time, and after some research I found that when you drink alcohol regularly you aren't able to digest your food all the way and it creates gas in your stomach due to the alcohol sugar: I am not a doctor but this is what I found on the web.

Danielle Pierce shares before-and-after photos
Danielle Pierce stopped drinking on May 18 and shared her transformation online. She said she started experimenting with alcohol aged 16, before slipping into party culture at collage. @danielle.pierce22

"My skin is the best it's ever been, and I have been on acne medications for years with no luck. My skin is bright, tight and glowing and I think that has to do with me not being dehydrated all the time.

"My sleep patterns have improved but it took some time. When I first cut out alcohol I couldn't fall asleep, which I guess means my body was depending on those nightly glasses of wine to go to bed. Once my body regulated to my new diet, my sleep consistency and overall depth improved and I wake up refreshed every morning."

Overall the biggest change she's noticed—along with the weight loss—is her confidence levels.

"When I drank I became really shy and antisocial and now that I have removed alcohol I am way more outgoing and friendly, which is more true to who I am," she admitted.

Initially the first weekend after she quit was tough, as most of her peers were drinking, but Pierce said she ordered mocktails to fit in.

"It was really weird that first weekend out. Obviously, when people are drinking, they honestly want you to drink with them too—and not like in a bad way, but like in a cultural expectation way. I found that ordering mocktails makes me feel much more included when I go out and it also stops the weird stares from strangers who are wondering why I keep ordering waters one after another," she added.

The change has also seen her save money, as she estimated she's saved hundreds in just a few short weeks.

She explained: "So I use this app called Dry January, which tries to calculate roughly how much money I have saved. The app estimates somewhere around $1,000 but I think it must be way more once you factor in drinking culture, Ubers to and from the club, and drunchies."

The Urban Dictionary describes the term—a merger of drunk and munchies—as: "When you are extremely intoxicated and all of a sudden you feel the need to gorge yourself, usually food such as chips, crackers, or anything salty."

Danielle Pierce shares before-and-after photos
Danielle Pierce, 24, decided to go cold turkey initially for 21 days, but has kept it up after seeing such a positive impact, as well as losing 15 pounds. @danielle.pierce22

Pierce said: "Before cutting out alcohol I ate normally. I enjoyed processed carbs, late night pizza runs, basically anything my heart desired. I am not a picky eater so I have always incorporated vegetables, fruits and proteins, but I was eating way too many calories when I drank.

"Since being sober my diet has completely changed, I don't have any cravings for crackers, ice cream like I did before which I think is due to my gut health being more balanced and my body being able to process food more efficiently and correctly."

Pierce documented her journey on her TikTok page, recently sharing a video montage of herself every week since quitting.

She documented the first day without a drink all the way up to her 21-day goal, which she shared earlier this month with the caption: "Watch me change my life."

It's been watched nearly half a million times, as she shared follow-up videos responding to queries over her transformation.

Addressing the reaction, Pierce noted: "I really did not expect the video to get the kind of reaction that it did—but I think that has to say a lot about drinking culture and how people are fed up with how they feel. Most people have been extremely kind and supportive, but I do have the occasional 'fake' or 'this can't be real' comments, which obviously annoy me, but that comes with putting your story on the web.

"I plan to continue my sobriety journey in the way that best suits me. What I mean by that is, I only drink on 'planned drinking days' which occur around celebrations or holidays etc. I will say I will never 'binge' drink again. I have lost all interest in getting so drunk I don't remember the night before."