With the holiday season ending and a new year beginning, many people make New Year’s resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle. If you are one of these people, have you considered taking a break from alcohol to jumpstart your journey? Giving up alcohol for a month has become increasingly popular—it’s called “Dry January” and is becoming more and more common every year. But why should you take part in Dry January? Let us share some of the advantages we have found so you can see if taking a Dry January will benefit your healthy lifestyle resolutions.
One of the most obvious benefits of abstaining from alcohol is that you can lose weight faster. Study findings published in BMJ Open (a leading multidisciplinary open access medical journal publishing high-quality peer-reviewed content) show that simply cutting out alcoholic beverages can trigger rapid weight loss—even without altering your diet or exercise regimen. This is because these alcoholic drinks are packed with empty calories and offer no nutritional value. This is especially true considering that many people tend to also consume higher amounts of food when drinking. As such, if you’re looking to shed some extra pounds, Dry January could be just what you need to reach your goal weight.
Better Sleep and Hydration Levels
Alcohol impacts how well you sleep; it disrupts your regular sleep patterns and reduces the amount of REM sleep (the restorative stage) that you experience throughout the night. Dry January gives your body a chance to adjust back to its normal sleeping patterns by not inundating it with chemical changes caused by drinking. Additionally, dry January also helps manage hydration levels because your body adjusts to not relying on alcohol as a source of hydration but instead begins relying on water or other healthier options like herbal teas or fruit juices.
Reduced Health Risks
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that drinking too much can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and hypertension. There is also strong consensus among medical experts that alcohol consumption is a major factor for the development of several types of cancer including colorectal, breast, and throat cancers—all severe health problems which can greatly reduce your quality of life if ignored. In short, taking a break from alcohol can reduce these risks while giving your body a chance to heal itself naturally.
You may not think that dry January can influence your skin, but it absolutely can. Alcohol consumption tends to lead to dehydration which causes wrinkles and even acne breakouts. In addition, drinking alcohol also leads to an increase in inflammation which is a major contributor to the aging process of our skin. By cutting out all the empty calories in alcohol, you are giving your skin a chance to look younger and more revitalized.
Another great benefit to Dry January is the amount of money you can save. It is estimated that people who reduce or even eliminate their drinking habits can save an average of $150 per month! This extra money can be used towards your healthy lifestyle goals, such as buying healthier foods and even investing in fitness classes to help reach your target weight.
As you can see, there are many great benefits to taking part in Dry January. From weight loss and improved sleeping patterns to reduced health risks and better-looking skin—the advantages of abstaining from alcohol for a month are numerous. So if you’re looking to kick-start your healthy lifestyle resolutions, consider taking a Dry January challenge! You might be surprised at the benefits that come from abstaining from alcohol for just one month.