The combination of the holidays and the changes that 2020 brought all Americans caused many individuals to drink more regularly. In fact, alcohol consumption increased by 14% during the coronavirus pandemic.
With a new year finally here, people are thinking of ways they can kick off 2023 in the healthiest way possible. One way that goal can be accomplished is by saying no to alcohol for the first month of the new year.
Why does Dry January exist?
Dry January first took place in 2013 in the United Kingdom. A nonprofit organization, Alcohol Change, created the Dry January campaign as a way to raise money and spread awareness about alcohol abuse.
What are the benefits of Dry January?
Goodbye Excessive Calories
It can be hard to say no to a delicious, sugary cocktail when you’re out for dinner or to pass on that freshly frozen margarita at your local Tex-Mex spot. However, research shows that heavy alcohol consumption is associated with a 41% higher risk of transitioning from normal weight to overweight and those that are overweight and drink heavily have a 36% higher risk of becoming obese.
Saying goodbye to those extra calories for the first 31 days of the new year can help you get a head start in reaching your new year goal weight.
Hello Healthier Heart
Many individuals have heard the statistic that red wine is beneficial for our heart. However, that is primarily true if it is less than one drink a day. Heavy drinking – more than 4 drinks for men and more than 3 drinks for women – can increase not only your cholesterol, but also your triglyceride levels.
Many people assume that alcohol can help you sleep. Although having a couple of glasses of wine before bed can help you doze off quickly, that doesn’t necessarily mean your whole night will be full of uninterrupted restful sleep: alcohol consumption has been linked to poor sleep quality.
One of the many changes you will notice during Dry January is an overall better mood. The fact that alcohol is a depressant is often overlooked. Decreasing your alcohol consumption can boost your happiness levels AND decrease your stress levels. That’s right, saying goodbye to your favorite cocktail or glass of wine for one month could benefit you in more ways than just your waistline.
Alcohol consumption can cause skin inflammation. How is that possible? Well, alcohol affects the way nutrients and oxygen travel through your body and l can decrease the amount of protective cells that your body has worked hard to make and maintain. Alcohol can also increase hormone levels in your body, stimulating oil buildup on your skin and resulting in a breakout. Give your skin a rest by taking a quick month break from alcohol.
You Save Money
Going out with your friends for drinks is a normal activity, especially when it comes to celebrations. Often after a couple of drinks, any concern about how much the night will cost melts away…until the next morning. The average event-goer spends $81 a night according to this study. If the average person went out once every other week, the total spent per year would be $2,106. Factoring in the holidays, birthday, weddings, and other special events, this number could be much higher.
If you’re curious how much money you spend on alcohol, check out this alcohol spending calculator. This might serve as a good motivator to start off your dry January.
Your Liver Will Thank You
As you can see, consuming alcohol can affect many aspects of your body and overall health, but your liver will likely benefit the most from Dry January. Your liver’s job is to regulate your body’s blood stream, as well as filter any toxins. As you probably already know, alcohol is toxic to your cells.
Luckily, during Dry January, your liver can repair itself. Think of taking a month-long break from drinking as giving your liver a chance to regenerate. What better time to do that than the beginning of a new year.
As you can see there are many benefits to going sober for 30 days. Not only will your skin and mood be happier, but your overall health will improve. Starting your new year off on the right foot will encourage you to keep up those healthy habits. Here’s to you and your health!
For more healthy habits and tips for the new year, visit our blog. We’ve recently covered 5 Excellent Benefits of Eating Soup and 4 Healthy Game Day Recipes. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram so you can get notified about our new blogs, giveaways, and what’s new at Hospitality Health ER.