PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The most popular New Year’s resolutions of the past were losing weight, eating better and working out more. Now, that’s being replaced by “#DryJanuary,” a month of no alcohol.
Following the festive holiday season, giving up alcohol for the month of January has become a popular tradition. Some say it’s a way to detox from excessive drinking over the holidays. For others, it’s a New Year’s resolution to drink less.
“Yes, I could give up drinking for the month of January,” Shalay Thomas said.
But Zach said, “Oh no, no, that’s boring!”
The “#DryJanuary” is all over social media, with photos and videos suggesting ways to stay busy that don’t involve drinking.
“I don’t know if it would be worth it, but maybe for an alcoholic possibly,” Thomas said.
Doctors say excessive drinkers will get the biggest benefits from stopping for a month.
“It depends upon how long that chronic state of drinking had been,” Dr. Daniel McCrimons said.
U.S.D.A Dietary Guidelines define moderate drinking as one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.
Excessive drinking also can increase the risk for things like cancer, heart disease, insomnia and weight gain, doctors say.
“If you take time off from drinking, you have some mild repair,” Dr. McCrimons explained. “But then what happens is that if you go back to drinking again, whatever repair you had will then recede.”
Doctors say abstaining can improve liver function, boost memory, and reduce anxiety.
“There needs to be some kind of moderation with what you are doing in December, no different than what you would do any other month of the year,” Dr. McCrimons said.
Experts say people often underestimate how much they really drink, which also often goes with overeating because alcohol can interfere with perception and will-power.
It is also important to remember, each cocktail can contain between 150 to 350 calories, sometimes even more.