Why you shouldn't do dry January
Posted on 8th January 2020 at 17:40
In this blog I explain why going completley cold turkey might not be the best idea.
January can be one tough old month.
The corner where the Christmas tree once was looks bare as hell, your credit card statement can make for grim reading and warmer weather seems an eternity away.
One thing I don’t want to add to my woes this month is not allowing myself to have a beer or glass of whiskey when I fancy.
That’s why I wanted to write this blog on why I believe you shouldn’t do dry January.
Now I reckon there are a fair few of you reading this that might be partaking in this yearly ritual and first of all let me clear one thing up.
I am not calling you out or saying you are wrong but I want to highlight a few things in this blog that might make you think about why you do dry January and how this mindset towards drink and also food could even be detrimental long term.
The first point I want to address is enjoyment. Food and drink are very powerful things. They supply us with the energy we need to survive, they’re both very social and also very enjoyable.
For me having a healthy relationship with food and drink is essential and by saying that for one month a year you're going to cut out alcohol all together I don’t feel quite matches up with a healthy outlook.
Now this is just my opinion but if you enjoy something why would you want to deprive yourself of it all together?
If you have had a big month in December of drinking then I can understand why you want to reduce your alcohol consumption this month but one glass of wine with your partner on a Sunday evening in January is nothing you should worry about. This leads onto my next point.
The diet culture these days and particularly in January seems to be all about restriction and trying to change anything and everything. This attitude rarely works because it’s unlikely you will want to eat and drink like this long term.
As a result you will most likely rebound after a few weeks and this could happen with a dry January by you going over the top in February. Due to the fact alcohol has been off plan so to speak you can end up to drinking more than you would do normally.
I am sure there are also a lot of people going vegan this January, some for different reasons (environmental or ethical) but many I imagine most because they think it will help them lose weight.
There is no guarantee it will lead to weight loss but one thing I can guarantee is your diet will be more difficult to adhere to and won’t be as enjoyable.
We need to stop looking at dieting as a way to remove or demonise certain food groups but instead try and educate ourselves on the calorie content of foods and creating new healthier habits.
With healthier habits in mind why not in January just have one beer when you finish work and then one non-alcoholic beer?
Or a slim line G&T and then just a lime cordial with soda?
Rather than cutting it out all together?
My last point which I mentioned above may sound boring but it’s the only way to be consistent long term.
Understanding how you can enjoy your favourite food and drink in moderation is something that won’t happen overnight but can be achieved. However you won’t achieve it by cutting things out altogether.
You need to get in tune with your cravings, how you feel when you eat certain foods and trying to look food and drink in a different light. A light which doesn’t add a stigma, doesn’t make you feel guilty for eating or drinking something but one that promotes enjoyment but an understanding of where things sit with your goals in mind.
I hope you found this blog insightful and again I am not here to point at you and say you are stupid for doing dry January but instead for you to look at this approach to alcohol and how you might also be using the same approach with diet and exercise?
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