We are now well into in January and a few friends are indulging in ‘Dry January’. They will tell you they are feeling great but I detect that some of them are finding it tough.
So the real question is this. Is it actually beneficial to stop drinking for a month or are there more sensible and less drastic ways of moderating the amount of alcohol you consume?
As your body acclimatises from the total absence of alcohol you will probably experience slight dehydration and find it hard to get into a sound sleeping pattern. You may also be restless and sweat more than normal as well as feeling more anxious. Your liver will take up to six weeks to recovery after a hefty period of drinking and thus quite a while before your health really benefits.
However the ‘liver can metabolise a small and steady amount of alcohol without difficulty’ according to Dr Asstein , a renowned gastroenterologist. Giving up drinking for a month reduces your body’s ability to process alcohol so perhaps it is more sensible to drink in moderation rather than abstain completely.
Dry January should become ‘damp’ January. Allow yourself a drink with a meal if necessary but avoid too much drinking on an empty stomach. Perhaps tell yourself you will only drink on perhaps two or three days rather than just the weekend. This spreads the consumption over the week and allow you to be spontaneous rather than rigid.
The real challenge for the heavy drinker is to change habits so I recommend this halfway stage as being a far more sensible and less antisocial route to achieving a more healthy lifestyle. And it doesn’t have to be for only January!