Taking a break from alcohol is absolutely one of the best things you can do for your health (and your wallet!).
It is estimated around three per cent of all cancers diagnosed in Australia each year are due to alcohol use. Cutting out alcohol not only reduces your risk of cancer and other alcohol-caused disease, but you can also expect these six great benefits:
1. Better sleep
Drinking alcohol before bed can lead to poorer quality sleep as it disrupts the body's restorative process. Within one week of giving up alcohol, you can expect to experience an increase in wakefulness, better work performance, better sleep quality and improved concentration. Not being glued to the couch recovering also means more opportunities to get out and about and reduce your fatigue long term through exercise.
2. Weight loss
Alcohol is high in energy, with one standard drink containing 315 kilojoules from the alcohol alone. It also promotes weight gain. When we drink alcohol, our body focuses on breaking down the alcohol and getting it out of the system as quickly as possible. When alcohol becomes the metabolic priority, we don't burn fats and sugars as efficiently, and so store more of it as body fat. Taking a break from drinking will go a long way in helping you lose weight, stabilise your blood pressure and it will give your liver a rest!
3. Improved mental health
It might be tempting to turn to alcohol at times of stress, but alcohol can be damaging to our mental health and regular drinking can actually trigger or worsen symptoms of anxiety. You might find that going without alcohol can help decrease feelings of anxiety. Dry July is an excellent time to get to the bottom of the stressors in your life and address the root causes. By giving up the booze you'll also have more time to test out some other ways to cope with stress. Yoga, meditation, exercise or listening to music can all be excellent stress-busters.
4. Healthier skin
Alcohol dehydrates the skin, promotes inflammation and causes small blood vessels in the skin to widen, which can lead to broken capillaries on the face. So giving it up will leave you with hydrated healthier-looking skin.
5. Save money
The average Australian household will save $1664 a year (or roughly 85 avocado toasts) by ditching the booze. That's more money to spend on brunch with friends and less spent on panadol to nurse your hangover!
6. Lower risk of alcohol-caused cancer and other disease
By creating a habit of taking a break from alcohol, you'll not only improve your health in the short term, you'll also lower your risk of chronic disease due to alcohol such as cancers, liver diseases, and stroke in the long-term. The risks of chronic disease are proportional to the overall amount of alcohol that we drink over time, so the less you drink, the lower your risk.
So what are you waiting for? Go dry this July!
We are once again partnering with Dry July to raise vital funds for our 13 11 20 support service. So turn your month off booze into a way to help people affected by cancer. We guarantee it will make the month go quicker and be even more enjoyable.
Sign up for Dry July today. Your body and the thousands of West Aussies affected by cancer, will thank you!