Dry January: Are you starting 2020 without alcohol?

Have you started a Dry January to kick off 2020?

Becoming an increasingly popular annual tradition, the act of abstaining from alcohol in January is a positive step in addressing alcohol intake. This can have a negative impact on your health.

A survey conducted by Alcohol Change UK found that, of those who had carried out a dry January, 70% of participants had better sleep and 66% had more energy. Nearly two thirds (65%) said their general health had improved.

Dr Niall Campbell, in an article posted by Metro.co.uk, discusses the need to get over the initial difficulties to enjoy the improvements. Short-term pain, long-term gain.

“It’s vital to try to get through the first week without depending on alcohol or other medication for slumber so you can tackle the issue of insomnia rather than masking it, then go on to enjoy the benefits of improved sleep that comes with sobriety,” he told Metro.

Benefits also include the potential for better, more hydrated skin, improved liver function and weight loss. The article highlighted a reduction in calorie intake of 3,840 for the month if drinking six glasses of 175ml wine a week, or 4,320 calories over the month if drinking six pints of lager a week.

Although there may be the initial craving for alcohol in the first week, this will pass and the benefits are more than worth it. If you enjoy a dry January, why not extend to February and beyond?

How can you get through?

– Substitute alcoholic drinks for non-alcoholic alternatives. There are zero percent options on most lagers, with mocktails also an option on a night out. Just because you stop drinking, doesn’t mean you stop having fun!

– Fill your time with different activities. Instead of going out for a few drinks try something else; long walks, cinema trips or starting a new hobby. All of these can guide you away from situations where the temptation to drink alcohol increases.

– Get your friends in to help. By telling those close to you that you are attempting Dry January, it allows you to rely on their support during tough moments. Hopefully they will help you to avoid alcohol and situations which may see you tempted.

Being able to stick to this involves a fair bit of willpower. Our dietitian Dawn Shotton has some useful tips when it comes to sticking to a diet plan.

 

Links:

Alcohol Change article 

Metro article

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