Forget long lists of resolutions and try doing one thing proven to boost weight loss, energy and better-looking skin – ‘Dry January’

After indulging in all the festive food and drink, taking part in Dry January not only helps people regain control of their drinking, it helps boost energy, better skin and weight loss.

This is according to research from the University of Sussex which included over 800 people.

The study, conducting in January 2018, also showed that Dry January participants were still drinking less in August. Their drinking days fell on average from 4,3 to 3,3 per week and units consumed per drinking day dropped on average from 8,6 to 7,1

“The simple act of taking a month off alcohol helps people drink less in the long term: by August people are reporting one extra dry day per week,” says lead researcher and psychologist, Dr Richard de Visser. “There are also considerable immediate benefits: nine in ten people save money, seven in ten sleep better and three in five lose weight.”

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Sleep, saving and self-control

“Many of us know about the health risks of alcohol – seven forms of cancer, liver disease, mental health problems – but we are often unaware that drinking less has more immediate benefits too. Sleeping better, feeling more energetic, saving money, better skin, losing weight… The list goes on. Dry January helps millions to experience those benefits and to make a longer-lasting change to drink more healthily,” says Dr Richard Piper, CEO of Alcohol Change UK.

The research showed that:

  • 93% of participants had a sense of achievement
  • 88% saved money
  • 82% think more deeply about their relationship with drink
  • 80% feel more in control of their drinking
  • 76% learned more about when and why they drink
  • 71% realised they don’t need a drink to enjoy themselves
  • 70% had generally improved health
  • 71% slept better
  • 67% had more energy
  • 58% lost weight
  • 57% had better concentration
  • 54% had better skin

You can’t fail

According to Dr de Visser, there are benefits to trying to complete Dry January, even if you do slip up.

“Interestingly, these changes in alcohol consumption have also been seen in the participants who didn’t manage to stay alcohol-free for the whole month – although they are a bit smaller. This shows that there are real benefits to just trying to complete Dry January,” says Dr de Visser.

What’s more, taking part in Dry January helps us learn how to have fun without relying on booze.

“The brilliant thing about Dry January is that it’s not really about January. Being alcohol-free for 31 days shows us that we don’t need alcohol to have fun, to relax, to socialise. That means that for the rest of the year we are better able to make decisions about our drinking, and to avoid slipping into drinking more than we really want to,” says Dr Piper.

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Source: University of Sussex via

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.