The Truth about Dry January

If you’re struggling with Dry January, don’t stress – it’s not that good for you anyway. Far better to take two days off every week. Take 3 minutes off and read the facts…

If you’re doing it to detox or lose weight then that is of course a good thing, but you will also need to give up a lot more than just alcohol.


Giving up one of your favourite pleasures (wine for example) is going to make you miserable. Whilst there’s no concrete evidence that being grumpy is bad for your health, it will certainly have an impact on your relationships and that can cause stress, which is no fun at all.

Very important
Let’s get one thing straight though before we go on: if you have a problem with any form of alcohol, you need to give up completely; if you’re not sure, then seek help (https://www.gov.je/pages/contacts.aspx?contactId=86) for the sake of your health, your family & your friends.
 
If you don’t and you are in the majority of ‘casual’ drinkers who are made to feel bad for not doing Dry January then read on…
 
Where does Dry January come from?
‘Dry January’ is a relatively new term; the first ever ‘Dry January’ campaign was run by the charity Alcohol Concern in January 2013 who registered the trademark in 2014.
 
They needed funding so they partnered with the UK government (Public Health England) who have heavily promoted the initiative over the last few Januaries. I lived in Australia for 9 years where the ‘Dry July’ campaign has become very successful; they don’t have Dry January in Oz for the same reason we don’t have Dry July here: nobody wants to give up booze during the summer months!
 
There have been a few articles recently in the press interviewing people and the ‘astonishing results’ they have achieved by giving up for a month. The GPs involved work for the NHS in the UK and you can’t blame them for promoting Dry January – the NHS doctors are the ones who have to deal with all the binge drinkers who end up hurting themselves and/or others, especially over the festive period.

Will giving up booze help me lose weight?
If you’re doing Dry January because you need to lose weight then go for it! But….to have any real impact you will also need to cut out fruit juices, fizzy drinks, sports drinks, all foods containing sugar, pasta, bread, processed foods, dairy, energy bars, …(it’s a long list). You can’t just give up wine and expect to lose lots of weight.
 
I’m detoxing! 
If you’re doing Dry January because you think you should detox then I'm afraid you're wasting your time. You’re not going to detox your body by giving up alcohol for a month but not giving up ‘bad foods’ (see above, especially sugar) at the same time. Your body is incredible at detoxing, as long as you help it with good nutrition and exercise.
 
If you really do want to detox then it’s extremely simple, if not easy (you will need some willpower): just eat more healthily by cutting right down on sugars etc., start an exercise program, and don’t stop! If you're not able to exercise then perhaps follow a regimented detox program like this one: The Foodstate Company or contact a nutritionist - I recommend Pippa Campbell - www.pippacampbellhealth.co.uk/  


In a nutshell: it is universally agreed that drinking in moderation and taking two days off alcohol every week is far healthier than drinking ‘whatever you want to’ and then taking a whole month off.

Here is one of a number of articles that explains it all in more detail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2259350/Resolved-alcohol-January-It-harm-good.html

And HERE is what Dr Michael Apstein, a gastroenterologist and a wine writer says about Dry January


Take Mondays & Tuesdays off and drink a LOT of water every day and you'll be far better off all year round…roll on ‘Wine Wednesday’!