South Burnett Times - - WELLBEING -

It turns out com­mit­ting to Dry Jan­uary and quit­ting booze for the month might not be as good for you as you thought.

Be­fore you get too car­ried away, it’s not be­cause drink­ing isn’t re­ally bad for you – un­for­tu­nately al­co­hol still causes dam­age.

But sim­ply cut­ting back for a few weeks, though an achieve­ment wor­thy of cel­e­brat­ing, isn’t enough to en­cour­age a health­ier life­style over­all, ex­perts warn.

In fact, many sur­vivors of Dry Jan­uary only undo their hard work, re­ward­ing their valiant ef­forts by in­dulging in an almighty booze binge come Fe­bru­ary.

While your body will ben­e­fit for the month you don’t drink – you’ll no­tice your skin is bet­ter, you’ll have more en­ergy and you’ll lose weight – it has very lit­tle im­pact on your over­all health if you don’t tai­lor your al­co­hol habits for the rest of the year.

Ben But­ler, spokesman for the char­ity Drinkaware, told The Sun On­line: “Tak­ing a break from al­co­hol can be a good op­por­tu­nity to re­flect on how much and how of­ten you are drink­ing, and its im­pact on your health and well­be­ing as well as your fi­nances.

“Weight loss and brighter skin are just some of the short-term ben­e­fits to cut­ting back.

“It has also been shown to im­prove the qual­ity of sleep, mean­ing that peo­ple are less tired and less ir­ri­ta­ble and bet­ter able to con­cen­trate.

“And for those who are drink­ing to re­lieve stress, re­duc­ing al­co­hol can also have a pos­i­tive ef­fect on men­tal health and well­be­ing.

“How­ever, peo­ple shouldn’t think that cut­ting back or hav­ing a break from al­co­hol for a short while means that it’s OK to drink to ex­cess over the rest of the year.”

Ex­ces­sive drink­ing in­creases your risk of killer dis­eases like can­cer, liver dis­ease, di­a­betes and stroke.

In­stead of ban­ish­ing booze for a whole month, try fo­cus­ing on cut­ting back how much you drink over­all.

If you’re al­ready reg­u­larly drink­ing more than the rec­om­mended amounts, set your­self the chal­lenge of stick­ing to the lim­its ev­ery week.

Or if you’re some­one who has a drink ev­ery day, try hav­ing one ev­ery sec­ond day.

Any­thing you can do to cut down is help­ful and your health will thank you too.

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