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Do you fear that your drinking may be getting a bit out of hand? Want to start the new year on a healthier note? Do you enjoy a good challenge? Then why not participate in Dry January – a month-long break from alcohol that comes with many benefits. Here are five ways in which taking part in Dry January can change your body for the better.
Your Skin Looks Brighter
Have you ever noticed how tired you look after a long night of drinking? Well, it’s not just because of the hangover you’re likely experiencing. It’s also because of the effect that alcohol has on your body, including your skin. The more you drink, the more dehydrated your skin gets, causing it to appear dry and porous. Alcohol also deprives your skin of necessary nutrients which can lead to waxy skin and rashes and makes you more susceptible to sun damage. These side-effects can have a lasting impact, lead to more wrinkles, and speed up your skins aging process.
Fortunately, your skin can bounce back from the effects of alcohol. By giving your body a month-long break from drinking, you’re allowing your skin to rehydrate and regenerate. The best part is that you don’t have to wait an entire month to start seeing the changes. Most people who give up alcohol notice that their skin is dewy, and healthier looking after just one week. By the end of the month, you’re likely to see less swelling, more even skin tone, clearer skin, and an overall healthy glow.
You Lose Weight
Maybe you think twice about ordering dessert, but have you ever stopped to think about how many calories are in a cocktail? Alcohol is not only filled with lots of sugar and empty calories, but it can also slow down your metabolism, contributing to weight gain. You're also more likely to eat junk food when you’ve been drinking. According to a study by Purdue University, this is because the consumption of alcohol enhances the taste of salt and fat, which is why you crave pizza and not a green smoothie after you leave the bar.
When you give up alcohol, you will significantly cut down on how many calories you consume. And because your energy levels will increase, you will likely be more active than when you were drinking, helping you shred even more weight
You Feel More Rested
You may feel sleepy after a glass of wine and assume that alcohol helps you sleep better, but in reality, alcohol interferes with your ability to get a good night’s rest. This is because alcohol affects your body’s internal clock, which regulates when you fall asleep and wake up. If you’re a binge drinker, you could also be at risk of developing insomnia. But even if you can fall asleep after a night out, alcohol can keep you from getting any REM sleep — the most restorative type of sleep.
Not surprisingly, when you quit drinking, your sleep improves. If you’re used to drinking before bed, falling asleep without alcohol might be a bit challenging at first. But even if it takes you a bit longer to fall asleep than usual, the quality of sleep will improve, leaving you to feel rested and refreshed the next morning.
You Get Sick Less
It seems as if everyone around you is battling a cold, which can make staying healthy a challenge. Fortunately for you, participating in Dry January could help keep you out of the doctor’s office. That’s because consuming alcohol can weaken your ability to fight off infections for up to 24 hours. And if you drink regularly, alcohol will not only prevent nutrients from feeding your immune system but also reduce the white blood cell count in your body, making it more difficult for you to fight off diseases. When you stop drinking, your immune system improves and is once again able to protect you against bacteria and infections.
You Have Fewer Headaches
Alcohol and headaches often go hand in hand. That’s because drinking leads to dehydration, which affects blood flow and pressure to the brain, causing headaches. And if you suffer from migraines, alcohol can often trigger an excruciating headache. But when you stop drinking, you eliminate all those alcohol-related headaches. And because you are likely to be eating better and sleeping more, you might also reduce the number of stress-related headaches you experience.
From weight loss to better skin — there are countless reasons to go a month without alcohol. And once you’ve taken an honest look at your drinking habits and what life without alcohol looks like, you may decide that quitting alcohol for good may be the best move for you. So, why not join the challenge and participate in Dry January this year?