Top tips for Dry January
The VITL Nutrition Team
Our in-house dietician advises how best to succeed with Dry January.
So you have set yourself the goal of not drinking a drop of alcohol for the month of January? Well first off, congratulations are in order! It may come easy to some of us but, more often than not, if you set yourself this goal it’s likely that you feel you need a bit of support in the detox department and it might be a challenge. I am joining you this year as well…
Let’s start with a few benefits of not drinking alcohol for a month:
- We'll most likely sleep better and feel more energised as a result. Alcohol can impact our REM sleep and cause sleep disruptions.
- We'll most likely save money! Stats from Alcoholchange.org state that 86% of dry Jan participants saved money.
- We will be better hydrated because, as weird as it sounds, alcohol (similar to coffee) is a diuretic which causes our body to remove fluid faster through our kidneys which may cause headaches and dehydration.
- After approximately 3 weeks, our blood pressure should reduce along with a reduction in insulin resistance, meaning that overall metabolic health will improve, according to a study done on 94 moderate alcohol drinkers who abstained from alcohol for a month.1
- Our skin should be looking better as more water is absorbed and the premature ageing of skin is prevented.
- Our liver function will improve. Mild alcohol consumption is tolerated by the liver, however increasing consumption can lead to disorders of metabolic functioning. 2
Here are some top tips to ensure a smooth and successful dry January:
- Remind ourselves of the ‘why’ - we may all have different reasons for embarking on this journey but knowing the reason and continuing to think back to it is really important for sticking to the goal.
- Remove all alcohol from our house - it may sound obvious but this will remove any temptation to grab a cheeky drink if it’s really easy to reach.
- Tell people - this is an important one. However attractive it is not to tell anyone just in case we slip up on the occasional drink, telling friends and family will create a support network and keep us accountable.
- Keep a diary - I like keeping track of thoughts, feelings and events that happen in my life. Especially when doing something challenging, writing this down helps me process things better. Maybe that will work for you too?
- Plan, plan, plan - planning is half the work, right?! Well knowing when alcohol will be on offer (work events, Sunday lunch, weekend drinks etc.) helps to mentally prepare ourselves to say ‘no thank you, just some tonic water, please’.
- Organise other activities to do - setting up other things to look forward to will really help us to stay focused. Almost like a treat or light at the end of the tunnel, this can be anything from going to the spa, brunch with friends or an activity we enjoy but don’t have time to do often.
We hope these tips will help you this January! Best of luck and we would love to hear how you are getting on; either via social media or get in touch directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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