How to Have a Successful Dry January
The festive season is a time we tend to relax, unwind and spend more time socialising than we may usually do. With this often comes more drinking, which is great, but can catch up with you as the year nears the end. Come January, many people look to reduce their alcohol intake or even pack it in completely…sound familiar? We’re on hand to give you five helpful tips on how to have a successful Dry January.
What is Dry January?
Dry January means going alcohol-free for the whole month of January, 31 days to be precise.
What are the potential benefits of committing to Dry January?
The list of potential benefits is endless (and certainly outweighs the reasons for drinking). They include:
- No hangovers – yippee!
- Deeper/ better quality sleep.
- Improved mental clarity
- Heightened productivity
- Improved general health – lowers blood pressure, diabetes risk and cholesterol (1).
- Improved appearance – brighter eyes and skin
- Less anxiety/worry
- Being more in tune with your emotions (and having better connections with those around you)
- Saves money
Alcohol Change reported some interesting stats:
- 70% of people sleep better
- 86% of people save money
- 65% of people notice generally improved health
When it comes to cutting down though, should you go cold turkey, or should it be a more gradual change?
This is entirely dependent on your current level of consumption. If you are a heavy/dependent drinker, it is not advised to stop suddenly, as this can have very adverse impacts, and you may experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms. However, if you are more of a social drinker, adopting Dry Jan can be a helpful challenge/exercise to adopt.
5 tips on how to have a successful Dry January
Whether you’re attempting Dry January or would just like to reduce your intake slightly, I’ve rounded up some tips to help you along the way:
- Tell people you are doing it: Let friends and family know your plan and encourage them to keep you accountable…it may even be encouraging to do it with a friend.
- Be prepared for questions: You definitely don’t need to justify your choice to stay dry in January, of course, but it can be helpful to have your reasons prepped if someone gets pushy and insists you join them for a drink and won’t take no for an answer. Stand your ground, and don’t let them get the better of you.
- Find an alcohol-free alternative: The market is full of great alcohol-free alternatives these days, meaning you can still socialise and enjoy your fave tipple, but without the headache the next day!
- Remember why you are doing it: Circling back to your motivation for adopting this behaviour change will undoubtedly give you the boost you need to succeed as the days progress.
- Pace yourself and/or have a drink limit: If you’re opting for more of a ‘damp’ Jan, setting yourself a limit, e.g. maximum 2 drinks, and sticking to it across the course of the evening/night can be really helpful.
Alcohol Change has also shared some tools for a brilliant Dry Jan here.
What are some of the alcohol-free alternatives available?
Thanks to the extensive and ever-growing market, no matter what your drink of choice is, you’ll be able to find an alcohol-free alternative:
- Spirits: Seedlip spirits, Clean Co and Tanqueray.
- Beer: Days, Guinness and Drynks
- Wine: Nosecco, Blurred Vines and Opia.
So, whether you’re thinking of stopping the booze for January or just cutting back a little, I hope we’ve given you all the info to make an informed decision. Good luck!
If you would like to discuss a bespoke plan, book a call with one of our all-knowing nutritionists to discuss further. Have all the information you need but just don’t want to cook? Give one of our plans a go with £50 off your first 5-days with code BLOG50 – Start your trial here.
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(1) Mehta G, Macdonald S, Cronberg A, et al (2018). Short-term abstinence from alcohol and changes in cardiovascular risk factors, liver function tests and cancer-related growth factors: a prospective observational study. BMJ Open 2018;8:e020673. doi:10.1136/ bmjopen-2017-020673