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Dry January: The Benefits of Cutting Down

• Written by Josh

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Following on from our article which gave you tips on how to cut down or even quit alcohol, we now take a closer look at the benefits of doing so. Cutting down your alcohol in-take for Dry January is a great way to get started on your healthier lifestyle plans.

Dry January is a public health campaign created by the charity, Alcohol Concern. According to the Alcohol Concern website, 79% of official participants (using the website/app) saved money during the campaign in 2016. 72% had better sleep and more energy, whilst 49% reported that they had lost weight. According to Alcohol Concern, Dry January enable you to:

Take control of your relationship with alcohol and drives a conversation about alcohol: why do we drink it, what does it do and how can we reduce the harm it can cause?

The Dangers

As we discussed in our previous article, there are plenty of dangers linked to heavily drinking. Drinking too much can lead to several long-term medical conditions, such as liver disease, cancer and diabetes.

Drinking too much on a regular basis can also have repercussions for your weight, skin and sleeping patterns. Other dangers include:

  • Personality changes.
  • Disruptive relationships.
  • Alcohol poisoning.
  • Money problems.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Migraines.

With all the dangers it's always a good time to start cutting down. Dry January is a great excuse to get started, so let's take a look at some of the benefits of cutting down.

Extra Money

The cost of alcohol continues to rise. Depending on where you live in the UK, you could be paying around £5 per pint... after a few costs could really start to mount. Spirits and wine cost even more and over time your bank account may start to feel the strain.

By cutting down on drinking you will be saving so much money each month. It will really shock you if you work out on average how much you spend on alcohol every week or month. You could spend that extra cash on a nice trip away or on new clothes for example.

Better Long-Term Health

As previously mentioned, too much alcohol can have huge implications on your health. Cutting down now, rather than later, can improve you long-term health and will cut your risk of being diagnosed with conditions such as cancer.

You may not be able to see the effects but you can rest assured that you are making a huge difference to our long-term well-being.

Healthier Appearance

Not only will the health of your organs improve, but your physical appearance will also thank you for cutting down. Due to the amount of calories in alcohol, you will likely see an increase in your weight if you drink it on a regular basis.

A pint of average strength beer (4.5%) contains 210 calories so drinking five pints will add over 1,000 calories to your intake. - Drinkaware IE

By cutting down during Dry January and throughout the year you will be able to see the difference around your waistline. Taking up a new hobby or going to the gym on a regular basis will also boost your improvements.

The condition of your skin will also improve as you cut down. Alcohol dehydrates your body, which deprives your skin of vital vitamins and nutrients. This can cause your skin to appear dull and grey.

Better Sleep

When you drink too much, you spend less of the night in a deep, restorative slumber. This will of course lead to you waking up the next day feeling tired and exhausted, no matter how late you stay in bed. Alcohol also causes most people to need the toilet more as well, which means you could spend the night going to the bathroom.

Within a week or so of your cutting down plans you should begin to feel the difference. Getting a good night sleep can make such a difference to your daily life, and can lead to other great benefits which we will now go into.

More Energy

More sleep means more energy for the day! You should be able to get through your working day or day of activities and general tasks without feeling tired. Cutting down on alcohol will also give your immune system a well-needed boost, ensuring that you can fight off those sickness bugs.

Better Moods

More sleep will also put you in a much better mood. Alcohol can play havoc with your feelings, especially if you were already feeling anxious or upset before you had a drink. You're actually more likely to feel low the day after drinking, as alcohol interferes with the neurotransmitters in our brains.

You should be able to see the difference in your attitude and personality quite quickly.

Better Relationships

Less alcohol means less personality changes or bad moods. Combined, this will mean that you're relationships will see an improvement. Drinking can cause people to become easily agitated and argumentative, a dangerous combination for partners and families.

This fact, added to all of money being spent of drinking, can put a huge strain on your relationships. Cutting down will solve all of these issues and your relationships will be able to get back on track, thanks to a happier, healthier and more alert you!

Give Dry January a try

We think that everybody should give Dry January a try! It's a great way of starting your journey and can make a huge difference in your life. After seeing how easily you achieved your goals this month, you will be eager to see if you can match it in February.

You may not quit altogether, but just cutting down will have plenty of benefits for you and your loved ones.

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