Food & Drink Health & Wellbeing

The ‘Dry January’ experience

Well. I made it. It’s the end of the month and I haven’t had a single beer. Or any other form of alcohol. And the experience was…underwhelming?

Maybe I wasn’t drinking enough previously to feel the magical improvements in my mind and body that all the Dry January commentators wrote about. Maybe the amount of coffee I drink has cancelled out said benefits. Maybe, it’s more about living a balanced life on an ongoing basis, rather than hard-core deprivation on a very occasional basis?

No big changes?

The first thing I’m surprised about is that I never had the urge to grab a beer from the fridge. Not once. And it would have been easy, as there were several cans of ice-cold Brewdog beers just waiting to be caressed and gently opened. (Beer erotica…is that a thing?).

Nor did I find any big difference when it comes to my sleep. I’m a terrible sleeper at the best of times, but I think we have to factor in the impact of a global pandemic and a national lockdown on the quality and duration of my sleep at this time.

You must be thinner!

I’ve lost a little bit of weight. I mean, it didn’t drop off me like some kind of weight-loss metamorphosis, but I’m definitely lighter than I was at the end of December. Which wouldn’t be hard, seeing as I put on several kilos in December alone, due to the combination of Christmas gluttony, consuming two Brewdog Advent Calendars and treating Prosecco like it was an alternative to water with my meals.

But I’ve also been eating very healthily, with no snacks and just fruit if I’m peckish in the evening. If I really want to treat myself, it’s a bowl of Bran Flakes. Rock and Roll, I know. So there’s a good chance that my diet really helped with the weight loss.

I’m not discounting the impact of beer totally. I know that I’m much more likely to grab a snack when I’m enjoying a beer on the sofa. And so the ’empty calories’ just pile up. But it hasn’t led to a magical transformation.

So, beers tomorrow?

However, I’m not going to feel any guilt when I have my first beer in…I’m not sure. Tomorrow is the 1st of February, but it’s a Monday and I’d really prefer to keep my enjoyment of beers to the weekend. So it may be another week before the IPAs get cracked open and my Instagram stream is once again un homage to the lovely boys and girls at Brewdog. And I’m distinctly unbothered by the whole thing.

Because, as I’ve been known to comment on more than one visit down the Bermondsey Beer Mile, ‘Craft beer is not an alternative to having a personality’.

Onwards, then, to February. When my monthly experiment is going to be about exercise.

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