You’ll lose weight
It’s probably not a surprise, but all those extra calories in that cheeky glass of red after work add up very quickly. When you reduce or cut out alcohol, your overall calorie intake will reduce, as long as you don’t replace alcohol with another high calorie substitute. Drinking just two cans of beer each day means chugging down an extra 8100 kilojoules each week. That’s the equivalent of eating a whole extra days’ worth of food!
Your insides will love you
Alcohol has a big impact not only on the outside of your body, but also the inside. Over indulging in booze can result in many unseen issues, from high blood pressure, to cardio-vascular disease and liver disease. Reducing, or cutting out alcohol, gives your body time to recover and over time your risk of alcohol related illnesses will reduce significantly.
Your mental health will improve
It’s no surprise that with every ‘up’ there comes a ‘down’. Alcohol may seem like a mood elevator whilst you’re dancing and having a great time with your friends, but it is actually a depressant that can have serious negative effects on your overall mental wellbeing. Low moods can be exacerbated and low energy levels make situations feel worse. Taking some time off allows your brain to level out and you’ll be able to think with more clarity, dealing with any mental health issues in a more positive way.
Your skin will start to thank you
Within just a couple of days alcohol-free, you will start to notice your skin looking and feeling more hydrated. As a diuretic, alcohol dehydrates the body tissues and skin, which therefore can lead to wrinkles and premature aging. If you suffer from skin conditions such as dandruff, eczema, or rosacea you may also notice a difference.
You will get a better night’s sleep
Drinking alcohol before bed is linked with more slow-wave sleep patterns called delta activity. This is the kind of deep sleep that allows for learning and memory formation. At the same time, drinking before bed increases alpha wave patterns in the brain—a kind of cerebral activity that usually occurs when you're resting but still awake. The result of this occurring is disrupted sleep and is usually why we toss and turn after a big night out. Giving up alcohol will likely leave you feeling more refreshed and sharp the next day.
You’ll have more energy
A less than restful sleep can mean waking up groggy and finding it harder to concentrate throughout the day. When you stop drinking you might find that your energy levels increase, you’ll be able to go harder at the gym and you’ll feel sharper at work.
You’ll take a big step towards reducing your risk of cancer
Drinking booze increases your risk of at least six different cancers including bowel, liver, mouth and throat. This increased risk is seen with all types of alcohol, even red wine. Quitting alcohol or reducing the amount you drink will go a long way towards cutting your cancer risk.
I encourage everyone thinking about doing Dry July to give it a shot – it’s an awesome way to start making good health changes to your life and contribute to a good cause, and there will always be another opportunity to drink. Head to Dry July to get involved.
How to survive Dry July - by CEO Brett Macdonald
Gather your friends and make a team – if you feel alone or isolated you’re going to find the month much harder (and alcohol more tempting!)
It’s important to have a support network around you so you can talk to them when you’re struggling or tempted to break.
Continue to remind yourself of the amazing health benefits that giving up alcohol has on your body
Once you’re past the first couple of weeks you’ll realise you’re sleeping better, have more energy, are potentially will lose weight and definitely save a lot of money!
Remember the cause
Dry July raises money for people living with cancer and every dollar counts – funds raised from this year’s campaign will go towards WiFi in hospital rooms, scalp cooling devices, wigs, transport for patients and a whole range of other comfort items
In the moments when you find yourself struggling, remind yourself of the number of people battling cancer right now to put things back in perspective and encourage you to get through the month.
Plan out your social calendar
Plan your July out, so you’ve got lots to look forward to and are making sure you’re keeping busy during times when you would otherwise be drinking.
There are plenty of non-alcohol related activities like breakfast dates, coffee catch ups and picnics, that you can add to your list!
Finally, it’s important to acknowledge your efforts throughout July with rewards for your hard work
The money that you save on alcohol can go towards a small gift you’ve had your eye on, a weekend pampering session or nice dinner with friends
You can plan these out throughout the month so that you’ve got something to look forward to halfway, and then at the end – or as often as you need to stay motivated!