After a very gluttonous end of the year, many attempt to begin the next on a healthier note by giving up all of their favorite indulgences, like alcohol. Dry January, as it’s known, began in the United Kingdom and has become popular in the U.S., too, as millions attempt to skip that wine with dinner or after-work drinks.
But is a 30-day break long enough to see true health benefits?
Yes, reports suggest, although some of the benefits, like weight loss, may be short-lived. Many abstainers do drop a few pounds after giving up alcohol, Health reports, citing a study from last year that revealed binge drinkers were 41 percent likelier to be overweight. Data collected over five years showed just one binge drinking session a month made a difference in weight. Skipping the drinks means avoiding that extra weight.
You may not identify as a binge drinker, but chances are you have been at some point. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention estimates that one in six American adults binge drink roughly four times per month. For women, at least four drinks consumed in one instance is considered a binge and for men it’s up to five alcoholic beverages. The CDC reports that most people have eight alcoholic beverages during a binge.