Go Sober For October’ has a nice ring to it doesn’t it? Well if you like the sound of that, you’ll love the health benefits that come from giving up alcohol even more. Geeta Sidhu-Robb, founder and CEO of nutritional health company, Nosh Detox, explains why ditching the drink could be more beneficial than you know…
For many, alcohol has become instinctive, a necessity after work – that we may not want, but feel we need, just to keep up with the Friday night rhetoric. But have you ever truly thought about the health benefits, both physically and mentally, of going a month without an alcoholic drink? The Go Sober For October campaign, initiated by Macmillan, is a superb idea for a great cause – enhanced by the health perks that result. Just think – effortlessly losing weight, and purifying the mind. Ditching alcohol for one month is a great idea. I list out the main benefits from a Sober October and the upcoming Dry January.
1. Lose Weight
The calories in alcohol are astronomical. The key to losing weight is to burn more calories than you consume – and drinking alcohol, especially multiple times a week, makes this much more of a challenge. On average, you start to see visible weight loss within a fortnight. Drinking a large glass of wine (250ml) can add roughly 228 calories to your dinner which is the equivalent of a ham and cheese sandwich covered in mayonnaise on top of your dinner! Let’s not forget, these are empty calories as well – they carry NO nutritional value, unlike certain other calories. If you stop the drinking alcohol and combine this with a healthy month of eating, then even better! I can guarantee that you will soon the difference, and feel the difference within a week!
2. Get Better Sleep
It may seem strange, as something associated with a night full of alcohol is the drowsiness that comes with it i.e. like falling asleep on the sofa and waking up in the morning still wearing last night’s clothes. But, whilst alcohol might send you to sleep – it doesn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, improve the quality f your slumber. The sedative effect of alcohol wears off later into the night and your body comes out of deep sleep and into something called a REM sleep, which is much easier to wake from. An alcohol-free sleep is deeper, longer and above all more restful – it leaves you waking up with a smile and a clear head!
3. Get Better Skin
Naturally, your skin will always benefit when you remove toxins from daily consumption – and alcohol is extremely toxic. Alcohol can make the skin feel less elastic and can cause you to age well before your years. Ditching the alcohol for a month will give your skin a chance to breath, clear and may even stop it ageing.
4. Give Your Liver A Break
Excessive drinking causes your liver to work overtime. Whilst it can handle small quantities, larger measures will cause it to become inflamed – which is often a silent disease. You may not notice it at first, but it can lead to cirrhosis which is a permanent inconvenience. Drinking just two glasses of wine a day can cause you to develop a fatty liver. The glucose is converted into fatty substances that will fill your liver cells and potentially cause it to clog up – with disastrous consequences. Of course, this is in extreme cases, and not every alcoholic drink is going to give you liver disease – but it’s worth taking your liver’s workload into consideration before you open that next bottle of wine. An alcohol-free month will give your liver some time off, allowing it to repair and cleanse, which will in turn leave you feeling purer and healthier. And your liver’s health affects almost every function in your body, as it’s the clearing house for your system.
5. Increase Your Energy
Heavy drinking causes blood cells to become larger and that makes you more tired and lethargic, as it hampers the transportation of oxygen around the body. Once the cells begin to renew, you will feel so much more energetic and healthier all round. Although this can take up to three months to have an effect, your body starts to repair itself immediately.
6. Say Goodbye To A Sore Head
This one doesn’t require much of an explanation. It’s common knowledge that excessive drinking, especially of red wine and beer can leave you waking up to a pounding headache. Needless to say, an alcohol-free month is a hangover-free month – start enjoying your Sunday mornings!
7. Save Money
From giving your liver a break to giving your wallet a break! Aside from feeling more clear-headed, fresh and energetic – is there any better feeling than having a few extra quid in your back pocket? Say you spend £50 a week on an accumulation of after-work drinks, or bottles of wine from the shops, you will be saving £200 a month and £2,400 a year (should you wish to take it forward!). Put it away for a treat?
Geeta Sidhu-Robb is the founder and CEO of Nosh Detox, which develops food and juice programmes that address a multitude of health and well-being issues, from treating problem skin to weight issues, digestive problems to coping with stress and building the body’s natural defences to fight infections.
Nosh Detox products are freshly made and nutritionally supported by experts, and delivered across Europe and the UK.