Diet & Recipes

Opinion: Dry January is a stupid idea

Seriously, don't waste your time...

Are you doing dry January? Then you must be out of your mind. You see, I really think that giving up booze for the whole or January is a complete waste of time and energy.

January’s a hard month. It’s cold, it’s dark, you’re back at work, and no one gives you any presents (unless you happen to be unlucky enough to be a January baby) – so why would you make it even worse by giving up booze?

Don’t get me wrong – I understand where the impetus for dry January comes from. Christmas is the season for excess – it’s almost impossible to make it through the festive period without eating and drinking three-times your normal amount and putting on at least a couple of pounds (i.e. half a stone) - and the new year feels like the perfect opportunity to embrace a healthier lifestyle. I totally get that. But the problem is, banning yourself from drinking a single drop for a month is just tokenism. It’s not a real change.

Unless you actually have a problem with alcohol (in which case yes, you should definitely seek help and give it up for good), you’re not going to stop drinking for the rest of your life, so I really don’t see the point in taking such extreme action. If you want to make a real, positive, longterm change, why not simply aim to drink more sensibly in general, rather than just ditching the booze for a single month?

Then there’s the fact (as I’ve already mentioned) that January is so HORRIBLE - taking away one of the few things which could possibly perk it up just seems foolish. I’m not talking about getting trashed every night (or any night, actually), but a single glass of wine with a cosy meal out or a post-work cocktail with your work wife are sure fire ways to help keep your spirits up (excuse the pun) during this otherwise gloomy time.

And it’s not just me who thinks dry January's a waste of time. Andrew Langford, CEO of the British Liver Trust explained: "People think they're virtuous with their health by embarking on a liver detox each January with the belief that they are cleansing their liver of excess following the festive break.

"A one-hit, one-month attempt to achieve long-term liver health is not the way to approach it. You're better off making a resolution to take a few days off alcohol a week throughout the entire year than remaining abstinent for January only."

So don’t be a January cliché – join me in ditching dry January, and instead, aim to make a real change in 2017. Bottoms up!

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