Did you know the UK’s Alcohol Concern Organization originated ‘Dry January’ in 2013? With humble beginnings of 4,000 people participating in 2013, it has grown to over 100,000 people signing up officially and over 4 million taking part in 2020!
How many of you chose to participate in Dry January in 2021? Did you start your first 31 days of this New Year focused on achieving certain goals associated with your health? According to the market research firm Nielsen, 21% of US drinkers participated in Dry January in 2019. Mintel reported social media mentions of Dry January increased 89% from 2018 to 2019, and a staggering 1,083% between 2015 and 2019.
Let’s look a little deeper into the overall benefits and the way your body can react to ‘Dry January’. There are the obvious benefits of better sleep, and noticed improvements in one’s general health, as well as saving money. However, there’s more, let’s talk about it.
Typically an hour after your last drink your body is in Detox Mode. Your liver will be working overtime. Your pancreas will start producing insulin, which can, in turn, cause cravings for carbs. That’s not a problem, rather an opportunity to make healthy choices that you’ll feel great about.
There are plenty of healthy choices to help curb those carb cravings. You can try adding in more vegetables and healthy protein sources to your existing daily food decisions. If you need a snack with great health benefits, Bone Broth warmed up with a sprinkling of salt can get you through those carb cravings. You can also make it into an impromptu soup by adding green onions and mushrooms! Excuse me while I go make a quick snack!
One week after you’ve abstained from alcohol you'll start to sleep more deeply, therefore your physical and mental energy can increase. Alcohol can disrupt the most restorative phase of sleep that occurs later in the night. According to Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, a nightcap can help you doze off faster, however it’s not promoting deep and restful sleep. Moreover, who amongst us wouldn’t benefit from increased physical and mental energy? Sign me up!
You may also notice your skin looks more dewy and youthful as hydration is restored. Skin conditions such as Eczema and Rosacea may also begin to improve. Alcohol can act as a diuretic, which can increase fluid loss and lead to dehydration, which in turn can be damaging to the skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. The most significant improvement in your skin will occur around the four-week mark.
Lastly, seeing a reduction in belly fat is another attribute of ‘Dry January’ people tend to notice. Alcohol is loaded with calories. At seven calories per gram, a standard glass of wine (5 ounces) can contain about 130 calories. A serving of beer (12 ounces) is nearly 330 calories. That can add up quickly. If you were food journaling every day you might be amazed at the calories you’re ingesting via alcohol that you hadn’t even thought about.
'Dry January' could be your opportunity to see that life is just as fun and enjoyable with less alcohol. That you don’t need it to socialize, relax, or even have fun. With the added health benefits associated, maybe imbibing less frequently will become a part of your health journey. Here’s to you and your health from all of us at Evolve180 Weight loss!