You might lose weight
We all kind of know that alcohol is not calorie-free, but we put up with it because we like it. What might surprise you is exactly how much extra weight you’re carrying just because of beer and wine. For people who drink regularly with an occasional heavier night, a month of abstinence can mean 2 kg of weight loss. But even just not having a glass of wine every evening for a month equals to 0.5 kg less body fat in a month. Or you can eat about 20 extra donuts that month to stay at the same weight.
You will save money
Regular alcohol costs money, especially if you like quality. Giving it up for a whole month will free your budget. That new bike will be just a bit closer. Or maybe a new indoor training setup?
You might think clearer and feel better
Not right away, of course. At first, you will feel irritable and annoyed to give up your favourite drink. But once you get over that, you will discover that your baseline energy is higher, you think clearer, and you are more productive.
You will sleep better
Going to sleep with alcohol in your bloodstream reduces sleep quality. It robs you of precious REM sleep and makes your sleep more fragmented. Don’t be fooled by the fact that it feels easier to fall asleep after drinking. That’s only an illusion. You will be surprised how much better and more refreshed you’ll feel in the morning after not drinking for a month.
Your health might improve
Many people report a variety of health improvements when they abstain from alcohol. It ranges from a clearer skin, stronger immune system, less stress on the liver, to a more regular digestion. Alcohol simply puts additional stress on the body, and lifting that stress might allow your body to be healthier.
You will see your drinking habits for what they are
One benefit that isn’t obvious at first is the fact that not drinking shows you very clearly what your relationship with alcohol truly is like. You might find out how much you really drink and why. It might even make you think about your drinking habits over the long-term. Seeing your drinking habits like that will be a chance to hit the reset button.
You will learn to destress and unwind differently
The need to destress and unwind after a crazy day at work won’t go away. You will still feel the need to reach for a glass. But now that you’ve committed to not drinking, the option is off the table. This will force you to search and find a different way. That might lead you to experience more meaningful connections with people in your life. Or it might allow you to reconnect with a lost hobby or ramp up a current one. Maybe that short evening ride will finally be on the menu.
There’s so much to gain from giving up alcohol for a month and not really that much to lose. Give this dry February a chance, and you might find yourself repeating this challenge every year!