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  • Writer's pictureChristine at Homegrown Holistic Coaching

Didn't Lose Weight in Dry January? Here's 5 Reasons It's Still Worth Celebrating

It's estimated that about 15% of Americans quit alcohol for the month of January.

Many people use it as a jumpstart for losing weight in the new year. But if you’re feeling disappointed by the number on the scale, you may be thinking that something went wrong.


Nothing has gone wrong. While losing a few pounds is a nice dividend for your efforts, there are many other wins worth counting.

Before you pour your next drink or hop over to the next diet trend, it's important to celebrate your wins and evaluate what you’ve learned from your dry experience.

Here’s 5 Wins from a Dry January

1. Your liver and gut had time to heal. Alcohol destroys healthy bacteria in the gut, so a dry month gave your gut time to repopulate the healthy microbiome. These are the organisms that produce a positive effect on your immune system, your mood, your sleep, and digestive system- among other things.

2. You have a little more money in your bank account. Provided that you didn’t go spend your bar money elsewhere, you may have just kickstarted a little extra savings. A dry January can be a real eye-opener when it comes to alcohol expenses. Going forward, is there something else you’d like to put that money toward? How much, if anything, do you want to budget for alcohol next month?

3. You’re probably sleeping a lot better. And maybe feeling less anxious too. Most people think that alcohol helps you get better sleep. But the truth is that alcohol disrupts your sleep cycle constantly throughout the night, and leaves you tired and void of all of the healthy, restorative benefits that come from a sound night’s sleep.

4. You got a good look at your restaurant tab. Drinks and restaurant dining go hand-in-hand. Dining out is not only expensive, but as far as becoming healthier, it can wreak havoc on your goals. Not only is prepared food more calorie-dense than homecooking, but there’s no way to know what you’re eating as far as salt, unhealthy fats, added sugars, and synthetic additives. To save cash and hit your weight loss goals, curb your restaurant spending. Use this experience to evaluate how much you want to continue eating out.

5. You got a good look at your relationships. People who like to drink often have their drinking friends. And, since you weren’t drinking in January, maybe you realized that outside of drinking, you don’t have much to bond over. If that’s you, this might be the perfect opportunity to forge some new friendships.

How do you want to fill your time outside (or instead) of drinking? Part of healthy lifestyle involves play. Explore a new hobby, find a workout buddy, take a fun class. Connection is another important and often overlooked aspect of a positive well-being. Cultivate deeper connections and rekindle your relationship with play.

Dry January can be a great opportunity to adopt new healthy habits, but it isn’t a magic pill. Good health and maintaining a healthy weight require a holistic approach that focuses on more than just cutting out drinks.

A holistically healthy lifestyle isn’t a headline-grabbing approach, but it’s a winning one.

Dry January was just the kickoff.

What will you try next?

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