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Doctor warns against Dry January and labels it a myth

Doctor warns against Dry January and labels it a myth

Doctor Alasdair has revealed that Dry January may not be all its cracked up to be for our health.

Dry January - a lot of us seem to think that it's the best way to make up for the excessive drinking done over the Christmas-New Year's period, but is it really?

The idea of an alcohol-free month may not be as beneficial as we think, even though it follows a period of heavy drinking.

Director of London health care service Selph, Dr Alasdair Scott, has called Dry January a 'myth'.

The idea behind it has been compared to a crash diet by Dr Alasdair, who revealed that it has few long-term health benefits.

He told the Daily Mail: "When it comes to dry January, there is a perception that this is an opportunity to give your liver a 'break' to make up for the excesses of December and the New Year.

"But the reality is, you can't simply reset or detox the impacts of alcohol on your health in a month.

A doctor has said dry January isn't what it's cracked up to be.
Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty

"It's a bit like a crash diet in that you do it for a short period of time and you lose some weight, but it's difficult to keep up so you just end up going back to what you did before and the weight goes back on."

The doctor argue that it's more important to try and reduce your drinking in the long-run that go completely dry for a month.

He said: "Whilst cutting out alcohol for one month will leave you feeling much more energised and will help you to sleep better, there is very little benefit if you then continue to drink heavily once January is over.

"Dry January could be the start of a new lifestyle in which less alcohol is consumed. If those new behaviours are maintained, it doesn't even need to be 'dry'."

He did say that that there was no need to go tee-total and that low-level alcohol use is 'absolutely compatible with a healthy lifestyle'.

Doctor Alasdair also re-iterated that alcohol does irreversible damage to your body, increasing the risk of bowel cancer, breast cancer and dementia.

He also presented his top tips on how to reduce booze intake this year:

Drink with food

Rather than drinking glasses of wine in front of your TV, the doctor said to pair alcohol with a meal: "Educating yourself on the best wines to accompany certain foods for example, will mean you have a better understanding and appreciation for the taste of the drink, rather than just the 'feeling' alcohol gives you."

Alcohol can be enjoyed in many other settings.
Getty Stock Images/Oscar Wong

Don't drink every day

It might seem like a no-brainer, but some people may feel inclined to have some wine after a tough day at the office, negatively impacting health in the long-term.

Dr Alasdair suggested: "Try opting for one or two small glasses of wine on a Friday and Saturday evening instead of a large glass every day."

The magic 20 minute rule

Dr Alasdair has sworn by this rule, which consists of taking a 20 minute break after finishing a drink, which can make a big difference to the amount of alcohol consumed.

He said: "Having this time to pause in between drinks will allow you to process whether you are in fact craving more, or if you actually feel tired and as though you've had enough."

The expert explained that it will inevitably end up with you consuming less alcohol overall, so you will ultimately drink less.

Just a few tips then for those of you who want to scrap dry January and go long-term.

Featured Image Credit: Getty stock image

Topics: Health, Food And Drink