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6 Benefits of Quitting Alcohol for a Month


WRITTEN BY: BodyChangers
Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

We all know that heavy drinking is bad for our health and have heard that light drinking may have health benefits. With the holidays over, you may feel as though you indulged a bit too much and need a reset.

In the United Kingdom, advocacy groups host events like Dry January and Sober October that ask people give up alcohol for a month and raise money for charity. But does quitting alcohol for a month benefit your health?

The short answer is yes, you’ll likely see benefits. How much is dependent upon how much you currently drink and your personal health and genetic factors.

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Benefits of Avoiding Alcohol

Whether you’re a moderate or heavy drinker, some benefits apply to everyone who goes booze-free for a time.

Manage your weight

Maybe you’ve got a New Year’s Resolution to lose pounds, or you just want to shed the couple you gained over the holidays. Skipping the booze gives you more chance to do that.

Alcoholic beverages are nothing but empty calories. Add in soda, juice, or sugary mixes, and you’ve got even more useless calories. It’s also possible that you indulge more when you eat while drinking.

Add a glow to your skin

Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it causes you to pee more than you normally would. This depletes water from your body. Replacing alcoholic drinks with water can hydrate your body and help you get back glowing skin.

Save some cash

Whether you buy a six-pack (or a few) a week or buy drinks out, you can pocket at least a little extra cash during a dry month.

Sleep well

Alcohol interferes with your body’s ability to reach those deeper levels of sleep. Although you fall asleep quickly, you may wake up in the morning feeling groggy.

A month without drinking can help you re-establish a good sleep cycle.

Give your liver a break

Alcohol makes your liver work harder as it tries to clear the drink from your system. Over time, drinking causes scarring of the liver, which leads to cirrhosis. Abstaining for a month, gives your liver a much-needed break and may possibly allow it to repair some of the damage.

Create new healthy habits

Kicking the booze for a month can have greater benefits for heavy drinkers, giving you a chance to reset. Take the month to add in a new exercise, try new healthy foods, increase your water intake, and find alternative beverages. Then, when you do return to drinking, you may find that you imbibe a little less than before.

Depending on your health, you may see even more benefits of having a dry month.

Check out these five tips to quit or reduce your alcohol intake.

bodychangers

BodyChangers

UPMC BodyChangers is a weight loss management and support program that helps members achieve their weight loss goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle through an array of exercise classes, education and support groups, and group outings. Based at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, UPMC BodyChangers creates a supportive community of like-minded individuals who want to be happy, healthy, energetic, and fit by taking better care of themselves. Read More