After what might have been an indulgent few weeks over the Christmas and New Year period, now is a great time to reset our regular habits including how much alcohol we drink.
January is often a time of reflection and reassessment of our future goals, including how we manage our own health and wellbeing. Many of us will start the new year eating healthier, doing more exercise and cutting out alcohol.
It can be difficult to change our lifestyles so drastically after what is often an indulgent festive period. However, according to Alcohol Change UK, it takes three weeks to break a habit. So why not give Dry January a try?
It is a useful challenge for many of us to cut down on our alcohol consumption, or at least start thinking about how much alcohol we consume, and begin the new year feeling healthier and happier.
(Image: British Heart Foundation)
Benefits of reducing alcohol consumption
Not only can reducing alcohol intake improve our waistline, it can help us feel more energised and provide a welcome break from the post-alcohol fog.
We have some handy hints and tips on how to make the most of Dry January, or any time you are thinking about reducing your alcohol intake, and the associated health benefits:
- Improves quality of sleep
Taking a break from alcohol can help us to maintain a healthier diet and provide us with more energy to do exercise, all of which can help to improve the quality and duration of our sleep. It can also help reduce the chances of getting up in the night to go to the loo and no alcohol = no hangover headache in the morning!
- Helps to maintain a healthy weight
Alcoholic drinks are high in calories, something we often don’t think about as they’re often known as ‘hidden calories’. For example, one pint of beer is the equivalent of a large doughnut. Therefore, the more we drink the more weight we are likely to gain which can lead to other health problems.
Reducing our alcohol intake will Doing more exercise is proven to help physical and mental wellbeing. So why not ditch the pub and head for a walk instead?
- Alcohol-free drinks
The rise of the wellness market means there are plenty of alcohol-free beers and spirits (alcohol-free gin, anyone?) to choose from, not only in the supermarkets but also in the local pub. Brands are constantly improving what they offer to customers and thankfully they are becoming increasingly available in supermarkets, pubs and clubs.
Further resources on how to manage alcohol intake: