Spending a month without alcohol is for many people a less than fun way to spend the month. However your body will thank you for removing a major stressor and allowing it to function more effectively. Also I would recommend that you replace the night at the pub with some other fun activities which don’t involve alcohol – go to the movies, bush walking or try a dance or yoga class. Distract yourself to make it easier to manage the changes to your lifestyle and you may find some of them stick.
Your body will also benefit from these changes in several areas.
First up your waistline will thank you! The high kiliojoule count of alcohol (27kj per gram) particularly when combined with juice or soft drink means that cutting out alcohol removes a significant source of extra kilijoules. One of my clearest recollections in clinic was seeing a weight loss client who had put on over 20kg in a year from consuming the equivilant of half a bottle of wine a night. Cutting out the alcohol and exercising regularly saw her lose the weight in less than six months.
Secondly if you have problematic skin replace the alcohol with 6-8 glasses of water a day and watch it improve. Alcohol is very dehydrating and as the skin is a major organ of detoxification it will often show signs of the struggle on the surface – redness, flushing, blotchy skin, greasy skin and dryness even rashes. A recent UK challenge showed before and after photo’s for a number of women doing a similar challenge with quite amazing results. Have a look at Daily Mail Cold Turkey for some real inspiration. Better still its a lot cheaper than expensive skin care and facials!
Third your liver needs a break and cutting out alcohol for a month gives it a chance to work on eliminating a significant range of other toxins from your system. It may also down regulate your alcohol dehydrogenase pathway which means less alcohol to get a buzz on in future. Fatty liver can be significantly helped by removing the stress of dealing with alcohol as well. You might need to give it a little more than a month and tweak the diet as well but the liver has an amazing ability to regenerate.
Finally you may start to smell better. Skin is one of the biggest organs of elimination so bad body odor or problematic skin is often a sign that we are not coping well with our current diet and lifestyle. We all know how bad someone with a hangover smells as they detox the next day. Removing this burden on your system will really reduce the smell factor!
Christine Pope is a naturopath, homeopath and nutritionist based at Elemental Health, St Ives. She regularly runs Detox workshops and programs. Contact her on 8084 0081 for appointments.