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Dry January can be amazing for your health if you've done the right thing



The dry January, also known as Alcohol in the water in the first month of the new year, is an annual tradition for many people. For some, it is part of a New Year's resolution to drink less, while others claim it was a way to "free detox " from excessive alcohol consumption during the holidays – but all swear that This is the case you are doing beneficial things to your health.

At SELF, we are not usually fans of diets or tricky health changes that are unsustainable in the long run. This is because any kind of deprivation with an expiration date does not bring great benefits after the end. Even if you get some benefits in the short term, you may be over-tired after reaching your goal.

But as far as wellness trends are concerned, dry January seems pretty harmless – in fact it could be really great things for your health – if you approach it the right way.

First, you should deal with the "why".

Before you dry January, think about why you do it. There is obviously nothing wrong with refraining from or restricting alcohol consumption. Excessive drinking and binge drinking can lead to several adverse health effects including weight gain, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Women's Health Expert MD says ITSELF. "Excessive drinking also affects your sleep patterns and increases the risk of certain diseases, including: Breast cancer Heart disease Stroke and liver problems," she says

But if you take a month-long break from drinking, the clock will not necessarily be turned back – and it will not be acceptable to drink as much as you want the rest of the year. Therefore, it is important to consider why you are taking a break from drinking this month.

Next, you need to consider how much you actually drink these days.

In most cases, the benefits of Dry January depend on what you drink. Basic behavior of drinking habits are George F. Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) (19459025), versus SELF. Someone who drinks occasionally will probably not notice as much difference as someone who has four or five drinks in one night – several nights a week. Suppose we are talking about someone who drinks more than "moderate", which actually depends on who defines "moderate".

The USDA nutritional guidelines define moderate drinking as up to one drink a day for women, while the NIAAA low-drinking as no more than seven drinks a week for women or not defined more than three drinks per day. So, if you drink a lot more, remember that this transition may be more difficult for you than for someone else.

You should also be careful and possibly give your doctor a hint before you stop drinking abruptly if you have been drinking much, as withdrawal symptoms can occur. "Most people will think of it as a hangover, but if you are susceptible to seizures or have seizure medications, the sudden stop of alcohol could trigger a seizure," says Koob.

What health benefits can you expect from dry January?

. 1 You could lose some weight.

If you drink several drinks a week, one of the main benefits of having dry January could be the total calorie decrease, as a standard drink normally has about 150 calories, Koob says. If you're trying to lose weight, cutting alcohol is one way to do it without compromising the fuel and nutrients your body needs.

"While alcohol contributes to calories, it does not feel happier – it often strengthens hunger," says New York-based nutritionist Jessica Cording to SELF, as alcohol has a dehydrating effect, He may also contribute to flatulence she says, pointing out that his ability to affect your body's judgment may also cause you to meet bad eating habits that may contribute to weight gain.

2 You could see how your body feels without alcohol.

"The biggest benefit is finding out where your body is in terms of alcohol and alcohol. What you expect from your relationship," says Koob For example, if you have not been feeling well lately and you suspect that your regular (or excessive) drinking habits could help, this could be helpful to see how you feel (mentally, physically, socially) ally, etc.) if you did not drink alcohol for a month.

"For some people, pushing the reset button and getting their systems back on track can be a great way," says Cording. Dr. Wider agrees and tells SELF that "it's not a bad idea, especially if you're trying to reduce your drinking."

. 3 You could sleep better and feel more energetic.

"It can help you to feel clearer and feel better and regular digestion ," says Cording. "This can help make you feel energetic and motivated to participate in your workouts and maintain healthy eating habits."

And the sheer fact that you do not drink most nights can cause you to sleep more and less jumping workouts. All of this can affect how productive you are, how focused you are at work, and how you feel overall, Koob says.

. 4 Your immune system may be in better shape.

When it comes to your immune system, the snowball effect of positive health habits can have more impact than abstaining from alcohol. According to Koob, intoxication can acutely suppress immune function and make it more susceptible to pathogens, while chronic drinking can lead to inflammatory reactions throughout the body. Although there is no data to show that alcohol can protect against the flu, it is likely that drinking less, sleeping more and exercising more can have a positive effect on the immune system.

. 5 Your overall health can improve.

As mentioned above, excessive alcohol intake can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of serious illness. Even if the abstention does not turn around the clock for a month, it probably would not hurt your health.

Although we do not know exactly how dry January affects your liver, we know that alcohol metabolically affects the liver and that about half of all liver disease deaths are due to alcoholic liver disease Koob says. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that abstaining from alcohol intake is generally good for the liver – as long as you do not use this break as an excuse for the other eleven months of the year to drink.

. 6 You can reevaluate your relationship with alcohol.

When the dry January is over, check with yourself to see how the experiment went and what that could mean for your future drinking habits. Feel better? Healthier? Productive? Did you save money? Do you really miss talking to a colleague or a date over a beer? You may have found that you have more energy without all these hangovers, or you are less anxious after a drinking night . Or you may have noticed that you have lost a few pounds, but otherwise you feel the same and miss the social aspects of drinking with friends. These are all useful steps to consider after your experiment. Conclusion: Dry January can have some great health benefits if you go the right path.

Obviously, it does not hurt to attend dry January. However, you benefit from the most health benefits when you consider it a stepping stone to rethinking your entire relationship with alcohol. And remember, your alcohol tolerance is often lower after one month of no alcohol consumption, says Koob. So be careful when you drink something for the first time.

Do not forget to drink alcohol for a month and then, if you resume your usual drinking habits, this will not do much for your long-term health if you tend to overdo it. "This is not a great pattern: binge / abstention, binge / abstention," Dr. Contrary. "Just like other substances, excess alcohol has health consequences, whether you go dry for a month or so." Therefore, she says that overall it is better for your health to have moderate alcohol consumption, rather than from one extreme to another to go to another

record agrees. "This is a great time to think about how realistic alcohol is for your lifestyle," she says. "Think about how you can arrange it to feel balanced."

"Learn from experience," says Koob. "What's your relationship with alcohol and where do you want to be?"

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