Should You Try Going Dry this January?

A new year can be a good time to make changes that push you in a healthier direction.

For many, a trendy New Year’s resolution to make is abstaining from alcohol for an entire month, otherwise known as Dry January. And, if you’re a social drinker, there do appear to be some benefits to adopting a teetotaler mentality for a month.

One small study found that those who observed a dry January had improved liver function, the appearance of their skin was better and almost everyone lost weight. Participants also reported sleeping better and enjoying better concentration and sexual function. They even found they were still consuming less alcohol six months after the experiment was over.

Still, some critics think the idea of a Dry January could lead to an “all or nothing” mentality. Plus, for heavy drinkers, stopping completely could be dangerous, potentially leading to serious withdrawal complications such as seizures.

According to the government’s Dietary Guidelines, “if alcohol is consumed, it should be in moderation – up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men – and only by adults of legal drinking age.” The guidelines also advise that if you don’t currently drink, it’s best to not start.

“Remember that guiding your behaviors based on your health goals is always the best plan,” said Grace Derocha, registered dietitian and certified health coach, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

What do you think about the idea of taking an extended break from alcohol? Have you tried it and experienced positive results? Share your thoughts or feedback in the comments.

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