JUST A DRY RUN FOR DRINKING TO A BETTER LIFESTYLE
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.