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Health & Fitness 5 reasons your body will thank you for doing Dry January

10:35  05 january  2018
10:35  05 january  2018 Source:   netdoctor.co.uk

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Well, now that the party season is officially over, you may be tempted to jump on the Dry January bandwagon. To help get you motivated, we've asked some top health experts to discuss the impact that alcohol can have on our bodies

Many people are hopping on the Dry January bandwagon. Find out what experts say it can—and can't— do for your health. If you 're trying to lose weight, cutting alcohol is one way to do it without compromising any of the fuel and nutrients your body needs.

5 reasons your body will thank you for doing Dry January © Danita Delimont / Getty 5 reasons your body will thank you for doing Dry January As soon as December hits, us Brits use it as an excuse to reach for the alcohol – drinking a staggering 3,253 bottles of wine and 14,841 pints of beer every minute during the height of the festive season. But have those endless Christmas parties, evenings with mulled wine and New Year's celebrations left you feeling a little worse for wear? 

Well, now that the party season is officially over, you may be tempted to jump on the Dry January bandwagon. To help get you motivated, we've asked some top health experts to discuss the impact that alcohol can have on our bodies, and how a month off the sauce could be one of the best decisions you make in 2018. 

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With that in mind, you might be tempted to do Dry January . "Certainly in a month of cutting out alcohol and increasing your work outs you will see a huge difference to your body shape, your tone and your weight."

Making it through Dry January is a significant accomplishment for many, but how does a month of no alcohol actually affect your body ? We talked to several health experts and past participants to find out. Take a look at some of the potential benefits below

1. Calorie cut-back

We all know that alcohol can have a negative impact on our weight, but whether we opt for a 'lighter' option of G&T or use a diet mixer, just how calorific is it? Nutritionist Cassandra Barns explains:

"Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram compared to sugar which has 4 calories per gram! Alcohol binges are also a classic way to set up a cycle of cravings for sugary and stodgy foods the following day."

So, if you have a long-term goal of losing weight in 2018, cutting back on the booze is a good place to start.

2. Liver love

It's our liver that suffers the most when we drink, so giving it a good month to recover after the festive season will really work wonders for your health. Alix Woods, Nutritionist at Quest Nutra Pharma explains:

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"Cutting out alcohol for a month means the liver becomes less fatty and functions better, which is so important for long-term health as it has many diverse roles within the body; like digestion, detoxification and hormone balance. Having 'time-off' from alcohol, which in reality is an anti-nutrient, reduces the chances of inflammation and ultimately long-term liver damage. Glucose levels are also reduced and blood glucose balance is better. By having a balance in blood sugar, the chances of developing type 2 diabetes are less likely. Insulin, the regulatory fat hormone, responds better and weight and cholesterol levels should improve."

Probiotics, such as Mega 8 Biotix by Quest Nutra Pharma (13.29, qnutrapharma.com) can help aid the detoxification process by reducing the toxin load of the liver. 

a man sitting on a bench © Provided by National magazine company ltd (Hearst UK)

3. Sleep it off

December probably saw your sleeping habits disrupted from all those late nights out. In addition to affecting the quantity, too much alcohol can also disrupt the quality of your sleep, too, as you spend less time in this deep sleep and more time in the less restful, Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep. This can leave you feeling tired the next day no matter how long you stay in bed. To help get your body into a better sleeping routine, Cassandra recommends upping your magnesium intake.

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5 Things Dry January Does To Your Body . Of course, there are plenty of reasons why you might be interested in participating in Dry January (ideally, you 're doing it for yourself and not because of social pressure), and everyone's experience with it as the month goes on is very personal.

Well done to anyone who's got this far through dry January , the end is almost here! Check out these reasons why going dry is a good idea: http A breakfast well spent pondering healthy snack choices from January ’s incredible Lifebox selection . 🍫 🍫 Tell us what you ’ve been loving this month

"Magnesium is needed to relax our muscles, which in turn can help us fall into a peaceful sleep. Try and include plenty of magnesium-rich foods in your diet such as, buckweat, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, fish and leafy green vegetables."

4. Fresh faced

It might sound counterintuitive, but drinking a lot of alcohol can really dehydrate you – and the first thing to suffer as a result is your skin. Cassandra says:

"Staying hydrated is essential for that healthy glow. Alcohol is a key culprit in leading to your skin feeling de-hydrated and dry. Remember to drink one and a half to two litres of water a day to ensure skin remains hydrated. If you do crack under the pressure and fancy an alcoholic beverage, make sure you increase your water intake to help counteract the negative impact that the alcohol can have on your skin."

Even if you aren't partaking in Dry January, it's always a good idea to alternate alcoholic beverages with glasses of water.

5. Healthy mind

Even though that glass of bubbly can make us feel merrier, in the long-term alcohol can cause low mood levels. Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK's leading Nutritionist and author of Fat Around The Middle explains:

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"Those consuming excessive alcohol may have lower levels of tryptophan (the amino acid that is converted to serotonin – 'happy hormone'). Low serotonin, Selenium and Vitamin B levels are a major feature of depression, mood swings, anxiety and irritation."

Visit our New Year collection for more top health tips. Good luck!

Related: The world’s drunkest countries (provided by Lovefood)

The world’s drunkest countries: Many countries drink comparatively little alcohol, usually because of religious or cultural beliefs, but to other nations boozing is not only a recreational activity, it’s a way of life. Here are the top 20 drunkest nations, according to the most recent figures from 2012 and 2013 from the World Health Organization (WHO), based on alcohol consumed per person per country. The world’s drunkest countries

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