Have you ever heard of the term coined “Dry January?” It’s when someone refrains from drinking any alcohol for the entire month of January. This is a great way to supercharge your lifestyle goals! Studies suggest that individuals who participate in the challenge report not only weight loss, but better sleep, more energy, glowing skin, heightened immunity, and less anxiety. Sound appealing to you?
From a weight-loss perspective, you will be eliminating numerous empty calories from the alcohol itself. But it will also curb problematic behaviors, such as mindless eating, late-night binge eating and the next day high-calorie food “crave-over.” You will also experience less bloat and hormonal disruption.
Plus, lowering your alcohol consumption greatly impacts your overall health and prevents disease. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) notes that even moderate alcohol consumption increases your risk of mouth, throat, esophagus, liver and colon cancers. Women who drink are especially vulnerable to breast cancer, as well as brain and heart damage.
I always encourage my clients to keep a journal of their experiences. What great benefits are you observing? Maybe it’s curbing your food cravings or you’re sleeping better so you follow through on your morning workouts. But perhaps it’s also difficult for you because you’re missing that nightly glass of wine to de-stress. If so, consider what alternative avenues you can add to your routine to manage your stress, such as calling a friend, taking a bath, meditating or reading a juicy novel.
If you’re looking for a lighter version, try “dryish January,” where you limit your alcohol consumption to the weekends or special occasions. You can also get your friends and family members on board and plan non-alcoholic activities, such as a group workout class and brunch or movie night. It’s always great to give your body, your only home, a reset.