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Dry July and re-vamping your lifestyle

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Dry July was originally created in 2008 by the Dry July Foundation as a way of raising funds to improve the wellbeing for people with cancer.

Since then, Dry July has inspired more than 160,000 Australians to go dry and raise $37 million for people affected by cancer. However, it has taken on a new meaning, with many individuals using it as a great way for kick starting a healthier lifestyle for the backend of the year.

There’s no judgement from Team Slendier if you enjoy the occasional cheeky glass of wine or cocktail with friends. Something to be aware of is that alcohol contains empty calories which do nothing for your health and wellbeing.

Excessive drinking also means you may be a bit more ‘care free’ with your food choices – you know the feeling…. Suddenly throwing caution to the wind and scoffing down a dessert or ordering a cheese platter, swiping right too many times, drunk dialling an old flame… It’s all downhill from there!

Stats and facts

  • 80% of Australians over the age of 18 drank some type of alcohol in the last year.
  • A staggering 1.9 million Aussies are drinking more than 6 standard drinks per day, with 17% drinking at levels that put them at risk of alcohol-related disease.
  • It is recommended that individuals drink no more than two standard drinks per day, with the risks of drinking over these levels having significant negative impacts on your wellbeing.

So what’s the damage?

While drinking within the recommended daily allowances is fine, going above and beyond can cause long and short-term damage.

Short-term risks can see people suffer reduced concentration, poor sleep quality, slower reflexes, blackouts, and intense moods such as aggression and depression.

More concerning is the long-term effects it can have on the body. Irreversible liver, brain, and nervous system damage, heart disease, high blood pressure, and an increased chance of a number of cancers to name a few.

Bring on the benefits

Removing alcohol from your lifestyle can have a great impact and positive health benefits. Apart from the obvious (hello – no hangover), it’s most likely you would see an improvement in your quality of sleep, concentration, and an enhanced work performance (**winning**).

If like so many Australians you are exceeding the two-daily limit, you should find you lose weight, decrease your cholesterol and liver fat as well as lowering your blood glucose level.

Dependant on your personal beverage preference you can also greatly reduce your daily calorie intake.

On average women could potentially cut out 300 calories a day, whilst men could cut up to 433. And although alcohol is a liquid it does cause dehydration. So, whilst going alcohol free, you should also see an improvement in hydration levels with healthier looking skin.

Apart from the internal health advantages of sticking with your Dry July quest, you could also improve your overall mental health. Many people chose to turn to a drink to ease nerves or after a hard day, but alcohol can actually trigger or worsen existing symptoms of anxiety.

Lastly, cutting the booze can save you a decent amount of money long-term. Dependant on the quality and quantity you drink, some households can save up to $1,600 in a year!

With all that said, choosing to take part in a Dry July this year would not only benefit your overall health, you could take it one step further and participate in a fundraiser and feel extra good about your new lifestyle changes whilst helping others.

 

Photo credit: Emma Simpson @esdesignisms

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