The pros and cons of 'Dry January'


By Nicole Abou-abdallah, Epigram Food Online Editor

Another year has gone by, and another month of continuous celebrations has drawn to a close. An over-indulgent, yet well-deserved, break over December may have meant a heavier helping of grub, and a heftier lever of alcohol consumption for some. Making us feel better about ourselves, we start to promise goals and new starts as 2019 approaches. This may mean abstaining from alcohol consumption entirely during the first month, known as 'Dry January'.

'Dry January' is a common New Year's resolution that many people make, which involves going 'cold-turkey' on any alcohol consumption for the whole of the month. This may be due to a heavy intake in the previous month. It may also be as a result of the health benefits, such as lowering risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

However, it is not scientifically proven that simply cutting alcohol out of your system for a month will reverse all of the drinking you may have done for the remaining 11. Rather than looking at the health benefits, many may see this as a psychological program, whereby they are able to assert their own control over their dietary habits and learn boundaries. Social events involving alcohol consumption may pose challenges, but may also be mentally rewarding in the long-run.

assorted-color bottle lot on shelf
Photo by Adam Wilson / Unsplash

The most common question that comes to mind about 'Dry January' is around commitment. Drastically changing dietary habits for a whole month may be deemed difficult for many and unrealistic for others. In this case, it may be helpful to assess quality of consumption rather than quantity. For example, avoiding sugary mixers and drinking moderately, rather than binge-drinking still surprisingly poses health benefits.

Whether you want to give 'Dry January' a go or not, it is important to assess your habits and give yourself realistic goals to set yourself up for a positive year ahead!

Featured image: Unsplash/Kelsey Knight

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