Inspired living

Regain control of alcohol consumption in January

image of man showing stop gesture and refusing to drink

Credit: BigStock

December is the month of festivities. It is also the month when you indulge in a lot of drinking as you attend parties, events and family get-together. By the end of this month, you are often less energetic, have put on a few kilos and are craving a good night’s sleep. However, you can easily get back on track by abstaining from alcohol and taking charge of your drinking so that you are feel healthier and happier again, according to a new research from the University of Sussex.

The frequency of being drunk also dropped from 3.4 per month to 2.1 per month.

The research was conducted with over 800 people who took part in Dry January in 2018. Dry January is an initiative to encourage people to abstain from alcohol for a month, mainly practised in the UK. The findings of this study came from three self-completed online surveys — 2,821 on registering for Dry January; 1,715 in the first week of February; and 816 participants in August.

The findings showed that abstaining from alcohol for a month helped people stay off alcohol in the long term. People were still drinking less in August reporting one extra dry day per week. Drinking days fell on average from 4.3 to 3.3 per week while the units of alcohol consumed dropped on average from 8.6 to 7.1. The frequency of being drunk also dropped from 3.4 per month to 2.1 per month. People also reported other benefits — nine in ten people saved money, seven in ten slept better and three in five lost weight. These changes were also seen in people who did not stay off alcohol for the whole month, although the changes were smaller.

Overall the results showed:

  • 93% of participants had a sense of achievement;
  • 88% saved money;
  • 82% think more deeply about their relationship with drink;
  • 80% feel more in control of their drinking;
  • 76% learned more about when and why they drink;
  • 71% realised they don’t need a drink to enjoy themselves;
  • 70% had generally improved health;
  • 71% slept better;
  • 67% had more energy;
  • 58% lost weight;
  • 57% had better concentration;
  • 54% had better skin.

Alcohol drinking is associated with many adverse outcomes such as cancer, liver disease and mental health issues. But drinking less can have an immediate positive effect on our health such a better sleep, loss of weight, more energy and better skin. The study shows you that when you abstain from alcohol for one month you don’t need alcohol to have fun and socialise, thus helping you make better decisions regarding your drinking habits throughout the year.

Source: University of Sussex


Meena Azzollini

Meena is passionate about holistic wellbeing, alternative healing, health and personal power and uses words to craft engaging feature articles to convey her knowledge and passion. She is a freelance writer and content creator from Adelaide, Australia, who draws inspiration from family, travel and her love for books and reading.

A yoga practitioner and a strong believer in positive thinking, Meena is also a mum to a very active young boy. In her spare time, she loves to read and whip up delicious meals. She also loves the smell of freshly made coffee and can’t ever resist a cheesecake. And she gets tickled pink by anything funny!