Dry January vs. Moderation January

Now that the season of buying gifts, holiday baking, and watching Christmas movies has ended, the clock hits January 1st, and people kick it into a whole new gear: setting those New Year’s Resolutions. New Year’s Resolutions are notorious for revolving around weight loss. Most common elimination after the holiday? Committing to “Dry January.” Dry January is the decision to go without alcohol for the entire month of January. There are pros and cons. Dry January could be super beneficial for your physical health if done with the right mindset. However, it may not be necessary if restriction could lead to later bingeing. Here are some things to consider when deciding if this is an appropriate New Year’s Resolution for you personally.

Cutting alcohol out temporarily could help you better analyze your relationship with drinking.

Taking time to abstain from drinking could help you notice ways that alcohol impacts your health that you might not have noticed previously. You may see a financial improvement when you opt for water while dining out. You might feel deprived when you pass up the glass of wine when out for a girl’s night. You may notice more productivity or better sleep. Either way, this could be an excellent opportunity to see how alcohol positively or negatively affects your lifestyle.

You might have a tremendous urge to overdo it once the month ends.

This is the more significant problem that arises when temporarily eliminating food or drink. The moment it hits February 1st, your first instinct could be to pour a big glass of wine. You don’t want to deprive yourself of the first 30 days of the new year to go overboard for the following 30 days. If this sounds like something you would catch yourself doing, it is probably best to skip out on this resolution.

You could see slight improvements in your health, but you may not.

Everyone responds differently to alcohol, especially when considering how much you consume. If you are someone who likes a glass of wine at night, you quite honestly will be less likely to notice much of a difference at all. If anything, you will spend the month counting down the days until you can curl up on the couch with your drink in hand to end a long day. If you are someone who tends to overdo it more times than not, you may see some positive benefits while taking your break, like better sleep quality at night, leading to higher energy levels to sustain you the next day.

The bottom line? Everyone has a different relationship with alcohol and consumption frequency. Quitting alcohol for 30 days might be an excellent idea for your mental and physical health. It will produce little to no difference for some and others may feel some robbed moments of enjoyment. 

A personal approach is to try a “Moderation January” instead. Rather than quitting altogether, consider partaking in alcohol only on weekends. Alternatively, opt for only one drink each night and see how you feel. Don’t feel like you must set a New Year’s Resolution prohibiting drinking just because it’s becoming a trend. Start the New Year off with habits and goals that are sustainable, attainable, and help you feel your best!
Need help with your nutrition goals in 2022? Let’s connect and see if we are a good fit for you! No commitment is required to complete my Nutrition Coaching Interest Form here.

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