Another year has somehow crept up on us, and Brits have quickly made a list of new year’s resolutions, to ready themselves to become a new and better version of the themselves from the year before. Whilst new year’s resolutions will slowly but surely be abandoned at the first sight of January, when the remainder of the Quality Street box needs devouring, or the cold blast of winter subtly reminds you of your need to attend the gym, but is quietly rejected; there are some resolutions which we are quite good at sticking to.
Giving up booze or even limiting yourself to a number of cheeky glasses of wine per week is no easy task, but for many, that feeling after drinking your body weight in Baileys and Brandy is a wake-up call to participate in Dry January.
Dry January, has started, with around 3million people in the UK committing to the initiative. Research conducted by YouGov, has shown that two thirds of people who will try to complete Dry January will achieve their goal of going alcohol-free. And if you are finding it difficult, particularly after a hard day at work, you can view their online resources to speak to them directly, or check the #Dry January on Instagram and Twitter. Their app is also available for continuous support throughout the month.
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And what’s more, if you’re feeling a bit deflated from the lack of drinking, or don’t see the point of doing it, you’ll be pleased to know that a staggering 72% of Brits who take part in Dry January, maintain lower levels of harmful drinking six months after. And if you’re wondering what sort of person is most successful, here are the facts:
Someone aged 35-54
Working full time, compared to someone who is part-time or student
Someone who is looking to save money
Someone who is looking to take care of their health – physically and mentally
Someone who is looking to raise money for charity
Alcohol Concern, who run the campaign Dry January, has issued a statement to help anyone looking to take part in the alcohol-free initiative. Dr Richard Piper, CEO comments:
‘Dry January is a national campaign which changes lives, giving people the impetus and support they need to reset their relationship with alcohol for January and beyond. Alcohol is the biggest cause of death, ill-health and disability to people aged 15-49 in the UK – but these tragedies are all totally avoidable.’
He adds: ‘The benefits are astounding: 49% of people lose weight, while 62% sleep better and a whopping 29% save money. Dry January is growing year-on-year as more people across the country decide to take control of their drinking and reap the benefits, both in how they feel now and for their future health’.
So, if you’re weighing up the pros and cons of abandoning your favourite tipple this January, here are some added benefits, that will perhaps see you change your mind.
1. Your liver needs a break
Quest Nutra Pharma nutritionist Alix Woods, has commented that when you cut out alcohol for an entire month, it means that your liver becomes naturally less fatty and functions a lot better. Going alcohol-free reduces the likelihood of liver inflammation and long-term liver damage. Not to mention, glucose levels are reduced, and so your blood glucose balance is better. And with a good glucose balance, you will have less of a chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
2. You will shed weight
The festive weight we all carry in January is far from comfortable. Our jeans buttons keep popping open, and we feel constantly bloated from excess chocolate and Christmas cake and mince pies. What you drink is just as bad as what you eat, and when you treat yourself to a drink, it stops your body from digesting fats properly, causing an unnecessary amount of fat to build in your liver. Dr Marilyn Glenville, a nutritionist has commented that ‘alcohol prevents the release of glucose from the liver and can cause hypoglycemia. This drop in blood sugar often produces a craving for foods, such as more alcohol or sugary foods, which will then raise blood sugar’.
3. Your skin will look and feel rejuvenated
Drinking plenty of water is a must-have to good skin, and making sure you don’t break out in spots, blackheads or blemishes. Cassandra Burns, a nutritionist advises that ‘alcohol is a key culprit in leading to your skin feeling de-hydrated and dry. Remember to drink 1.5 to 2 litres of water a day to ensure skin remains hydrated. If you do crack under the pressure and fancy an acholic beverage, make sure you increase your water intake to help counteract the negative impact.’
4. You will sleep better
Your sleeping habits and patterns are effected by drinking alcohol. Drinking before sleep can cause you to feel sleepy, and fall asleep. But as the night continues, you spend less time in deep sleep, and more time in the restful stage of sleeping.
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Feature image credit: Dry January