Cut the C.R.A.P – FebFast & A Month Alcohol Free
By Katharine Bennett, Dietitian / Exercise Physiologist ADP, AN, AEP
With school going back for the year, that is the sure sign than the silly season is over and it’s time to get back into the daily grind. February is the most common time of year people start a health kick as the last of the summer public holidays has come and gone and your daily routine is returning to normal.
A growing trend, being spurred on as it’s now linked with a charity is going booze free for February, or FebFast. It’s the shortest month of the year to have to commit to no alcohol and with Australians reporting their alcohol intake triples over December and January¹, no wonder people decide to commit.
But the question on everyone’s mind…. Am I actually doing myself any good by giving up to booze for the month, or do I just think I am?
The good news is you are!
People who abstain from alcohol, even in the short-term report:
- Better sleep – regular alcohol consumption is linked with sleep disturbances and you’ll likely go to the bathroom more frequently
- Improved concentration and higher productivity at work – due to reduced brain fog
- Increased energy levels as you wake up feeling more refreshed from a restful night
- Reduced stress levels
- Higher activity levels – linked with being able to rise earlier, feeling more rested without a hangover or brain fog and wanting to enjoy the outdoors
- Higher bank balance for the month – due to all the money you are saving my not spending it on alcohol
- Improved appearance of skin – alcohol has been linking with damaging the proteins in your skin leading to premature ageing and triggering redness and acne
- And even weight loss – reducing alcohol intake with help reduce your overall energy intake and thus aid weight loss. It is also a big contributor to central adiposity, therefore it is common for regular drinkers to report decrease in their waist line upon abstinence.
But all these benefits aren’t it. Science in on the side of abstinence too. A UK study followed participants who gave up alcohol for 1 month and found going without for this short period of time was enough to reduce liver fat by 15%, blood glucose levels by 16% and cholesterol by 5%. Participants also reported better sleep and improved concentration.²
Another UK study showed those who abstained for 1 month, still reported reduced alcohol intake 6 months later ³, which would also be having a beneficial impact on their health.