The Benefits of a Dry January

105943929

105943929

Photo by: gemenacom ©Anne-Louise Quarfoth

gemenacom, Anne-Louise Quarfoth

After a holiday season filled with overindulging, you might be ready to make some lifestyle changes. Are you willing to kick off 2017 with a hiatus from alcohol? The benefits may prove motivating!

Liquid Calories

Every alcoholic drink you toss back contains calories and these can add up – fast! Each bottle of beer, glass of wine, and shot of hard alcohol brings along a minimum of 100 empty calories. Pour in a few sugary mixers and the calories multiply, making many popular mixed drinks rack up more than 400 calories each.

Two servings of alcohol a day for a year adds up to nearly 75,000 calories, and that’s not counting the mixers. That means saying bye-bye to these drinks could save you more than 20 pounds a year.

Drying Out

The concept of an alcohol-free January was sparked by a charity in the U.K. called Alcohol Concern. Part of the intention behind this program is to make social drinkers more mindful about their choices, fundraise for alcohol awareness, and reap the personal benefits.

According to the organization, participants in the month-long challenge can lose weight, sleep better and save money. Weight loss aspirations aside, there’s science to back up additional benefits. Studies reveal that even just a month of cutting out alcohol can also spark improvements in liver function and blood sugar control for some people.

Bottom Line: Dry January is not a treatment program, but may be a beneficial hiatus for social drinkers. Taking this 31-day pledge can force you to be more mindful about your alcohol consumption and the calories that come along with it!

Related Links:

9 Ways to Get More Omega-3s in Your Diet

How Much Added Sugar Are You Really Eating?

The 10 Best Picks at the Salad Bar

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

Keep Reading

Next Up

The Benefits of Berries

Fresh berries are now in season and I couldn’t be happier. These babies are unbelievably delicious plus they’re brimming with all types of health benefits.

January's Top 10 Recipes

Want to know what Food Network fans were cooking in January? Get the top 10 recipes of the new year here.

Join Us for a Healthy January Challenge

Get healthy in 2012: join us for a January Healthy Every Week Challenge. The month will be broken into weekly goals built around the goal of overall better health.

Health Benefits of Thanksgiving Foods

Here’s a little something to make you feel better about all the eating that comes along with the Thanksgiving meal! A whole bunch of those holiday staples have serious health benefits.