So, the Dry January detox is upon us. Many people will be focusing their attention on some great resolutions such as losing weight, saving money, and spending more time with family and friends – but have you considered cutting down on alcohol?
According to statistics, approximately 29 million adults in England consume alcohol weekly, with 24% of those drinking over the recommended standards.
In 2017, men were more likely to drink than women and those aged 45-64 were the most likely to drink, while those aged 16-24 were the least likely to drink.
Alcohol is a massive part of many people’s lives. It can be hard to imagine life without it. But what if you tried going without alcohol for a month? That’s the idea behind Dry January. If you are trying to save money or want to see how it feels, think about how to make Dry January work for you.
We have some simple tips can help you cut down if you drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week.
What does 14 units of alcohol look like? It is 6 pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine.
Here is a useful calculator to help you understand how many units you are consuming each week.
Top Tips for cutting down on alcohol
- Plan ahead
- Set a drinks limit
- Set a budget
- Tell friends you are cutting down
- Take each day at a time
- Make the size smaller
- Choose lower strength drinks
- Keep hydrated
- Have drink free days
What are the benefits of reducing alcohol consumption?
The short-term benefits of cutting down on alcohol include:
- Feeling better in the mornings
- Feeling less tired
- Better looking skin
- More energy
- Improved weight management
It’s worth looking into cutting down because alcohol is linked to seven types of cancer, liver disease, obesity, and a lack of sleep.
The following are some of the long-term benefits of cutting alcohol consumption:
Improved Mood: There is a strong connection between drinking heavily and depression, and hangovers can make you feel anxious and low. If you already have anxiety or are sad, drinking can make these feelings even worse, so cutting back may make you feel better about yourself all the time, too.
Better Sleep: Some things can make it hard for you to sleep. Even though it can help some people fall asleep quickly, alcohol can interrupt your sleep patterns and stop you from getting a good night’s sleep. To help you get more sleep, cut down on alcohol.
Behaviour: Drinking can make you think less clearly and act more recklessly. When you’re drunk, you might act in a way that doesn’t make sense. It’s difficult to remember things while drinking or after consuming a lot of alcohol.
Heart Health: People who drink a lot of alcohol for a long time can have their hearts grow bigger. Stopping drinking can help stop this from worsening, but abstention can’t completely cure it.
Boosts the Immune System: When you drink a lot, it can hurt your body’s ability to fight infections. People who drink a lot are more likely to get infections.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
As always, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, but keep in mind that there are plenty of healthier alternatives to alcohol if you’re not giving it up entirely in January.
Most alcoholic drinks have alcohol-free alternatives, and most supermarkets now have a selection of alcohol-free wines, beers, and ciders. Even cocktails have alcohol-free equivalents, known as mocktails, and liqueurs also have alcohol-free versions.
If you want to try something new, there are many other beverages available – apple and elderflower pressé, anyone?
If you decide to go with alcohol-free drinks, you might be surprised at how similar they taste and feel to their alcoholic equivalents.
Cutting down on alcohol saves money
Although alcohol is unhealthy, it can be very enticing at social gatherings or nights out with friends. Going out is becoming more expensive, so some people limit their alcohol intake, particularly if they have over-indulged at Christmas.
If you’re attempting to reduce your drinking, try having alcohol-free days or drinking in moderation because it’s been proven that cutting down has many health benefits.
Alcohol can affect your sleep
Alcohol can disrupt your sleep pattern, making it difficult to wake up in the morning, and to exercise and lose weight. If you prefer a nightcap, consider a cup of hot chocolate or a cup of decaf tea instead.
Need extra help to cut down?
If you believe that alcohol is becoming too much of a part of your life, don’t stay silent — there are many options for getting help. If you require any additional information, please go to https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/alcohol-support/tips-on-cutting-down-alcohol/
As we further our commitment to supporting our staff and workforce during Dry January 2022. We would like to remind all contracted and employed staff, if you have any issues and queries about Dry January 2022, or any other health & wellbeing issues, please speak to our HR Department. We strive to cultivate an environment that results in our staff and clients benefiting from tailored solutions that meet individual needs, to see our other commitments click here.
For more useful facts and figures, please visit: https://alcoholchange.org.uk/alcohol-facts/fact-sheets/alcohol-statistics