Dry July – The Benefits

By author photo Jenny Craig Team

refreshments · 09 Oct 18

Dry July- The Benefits of Giving up the Drink

The impact of alcohol on your weight:

  • Alcohol can lower your inhibitions and numb your hunger cues, making it easier for you to overeat.
  • Alcohol provides 27 kilojoules per gram, almost double the amount of kilojoules you get from eating carbohydrate or protein! Alcohol is often referred to as ‘empty kilojoules’, meaning it provides a lot of energy for little nutrition. Drinking alcohol in excess of your energy needs can lead to fat storage. This is because the body prefers to process alcohol before protein, fat and carbohydrate.
  • This means that when you drink alcohol, you’ll be less likely to burn fat because your body prefers to burn the kilojoules provided by the alcohol first. Studies have shown that in the short term, alcohol stimulates your appetite.

Dangers of excessive alcohol intake:

While alcohol in moderation should not be harmful to most people, excessive intake can potentially be harmful. Excessive alcohol intake over a long period of time can lead to:

  • Liver disease: The liver is the primary site for alcohol metabolism – the liver detoxifies alcohol and removes it from the bloodstream. Excessive intake can cause fatty liver, hepatitis or cirrhosis
  • Raised blood pressure and triglycerides (a type of ‘bad’ fat in the bloodstream)
  • Problems with blood sugar control
  • Inflammation of the stomach
  • Damage to the nervous system and brain function

What you stand to gain by going ‘Booze Free’:

  • Fewer ‘empty kilojoules’, which will positively impact your weight loss goals
  • Increased energy levels
  • Better hydration
  • A personal sense of accomplishment
  • No hangovers which also means no wasted days on the couch eating ‘junk’ food to try and make yourself feel better!

Tips to get you through:

  • Socialise with others who are also going alcohol free
  • Instead of relaxing with a glass of wine, try yoga or meditation
  • Reward yourself along the way – each alcohol free week is deserving of a little reward (try and go for a non-food reward- maybe a fresh manicure?)
  • Use non-alcoholic drinks such as soda water with fresh lemon and lime, or try one of our mocktail recipes
  • Use this time to focus on yourself – choose one new healthy habit per week to introduce in place of drinking alcohol. Think new exercise ideas, new foods and recipes, or focus on being more mindful.

You can still have fun with drinks while avoiding alcohol! Give these low kilojoule mocktail recipes a go:

Berry, Melon and Mint Delight
Serves 2

Food Groups (per serve): 1 fruit serve

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 cup berries – choose berries to your liking; strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
  • 1 cup watermelon
  • ½ cup shredded mint
  • Place ice, berries and watermelon in a blender and combine until smooth. Stir through mint and serve.

Pomegranate Punch
Serves 4

Food Groups (per serve): 1 fruit serve

  • 1 ½ cups pomegranate juice
  • 2 cups soda water
  • 1 cup strawberries pureed
  • Juice of 1 lime and fresh lime to serve
  • Mix pomegranate juice, soda water, strawberries and lime juice together. To serve, pour over a cup of ice and serve with a slice of lime. Try cranberry juice instead of pomegranate juice for a cosmo-style punch!

Our consultants will provide you with the tips and advice you to manage your alcohol intake for weight loss. To learn more about how a consultant will guide you through your weight loss journey click here.

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