If you are one of the many people who have committed themselves to abstaining from alcohol for the month of January, you are doing your health a favor
But the commitment to a "dry January" can be difficult to keep as the days pass by – and your social calendar begins to fill. Experts say it's worth it. And abstaining from alcohol for a month at a time can be a more feasible goal than going forever with cold turkey.
"Taking a break from alcohol, even for a short period of time, has several health benefits, not to mention it can save a bit of money," he told CBS News Debbie Petitpain, MS, RDN, spokesperson for the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
READ MORE: Dry January is the best thing you can do right Now
Healthy dry January benefits
For beginners, when it comes to health, a dry January can help to improve sleep.
"Even though alcohol makes you sleep, it actually disturbs the circadian rhythm, preventing the body from going into REM sleep, which is when the brain restores and makes memories," Petitpain said.
If losing weight was one of your year's resolutions, staying away from alcohol can also help you there.
READ MORE: One drink a day considered "low risk" [1 9659003] "One drink has 100-150 calories before you even add the mixer, so the withdrawal can save you money. calories that can help with weight loss, "said Petitpain.
Drinking alcohol also affects your immune system, making you more susceptible to colds and other viruses like the flu. Abstention can help you fight the germs more effectively.
January dry tips to help you succeed
So you know that a dry January is good for you, but how do you keep your commitment? Like any goal, seeing it can take some planning.
Follow these tips to make your dry January a success.
Find out why you are doing it. "Define your why." Your "why" is your purpose, your cause, your belief, "said Petitpain," this could be to improve your health or to help you reduce long-term alcohol. because ", Petitpain advises to consider it as a declaration of personal mission for the month and to refer to it often.
Tell people. This will not only make you responsible, but will keep your friends distracted beer when you come. "It also frames the effort in a positive rather than shameful way," said Petitpain
Having a countdown in progress. But not the kind you might think of. days you went without drinking, not how many days remained until the end of the month.Recognise and celebrate your daily successes.
Do not do it alone. If you're going to a party or a social event where you it will be alcohol, invite u A friend who is willing to abstain with you so that you can consider yourself mutually responsible. It is also helpful to tell your friends as soon as you get on your commitment to help minimize social pressure.
Get creative with your soft drinks. Just because you're not drinking alcohol, that does not mean you're relegated to just plain water. "Bring ingredients for a fun mocktail [to a party] Your imagination is your only limit here," said Petitpain. "You might even be surprised how many other people want to have what you're doing, so bring it enough to share."
Do not feel compelled to explain yourself. "Drinking has become so common, it is easy to feel compelled to defend your choice, but it is not necessary," said Petitpain. "Saying" I'm not drinking tonight "is enough." If you really want to say something more, she suggests telling friends that you have a morning engagement or that you are a designated driver.
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