SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– “Dry January” is a month where people voluntarily stop drinking alcohol. The concept is used to start the new year on a more sober and healthy note.
“Alcohol is definitely considered as empty calories,” said Dr. Maame Otabil of Mercy Health.
Otabil says this means alcohol is high in carbs and has no nutritional value.
But, can giving up booze for 30 days really help you in the long run? Otabil says yes.
“It helps people to really evaluate their sobriety,” said Otabil. “When they realize oh my, I can not get off this alcohol.”
She says it’s important to be honest with yourself if you do choose to participate.
“It definitely has to be a conversation with your physician to make sure that it’s safe enough for you,” said Otabil.
Otabil says some patients can experience physical health benefits.
“I’ve had a few patients who are diabetic who when they go off alcohol they realize that their need for insulin and other medications is better,” said Otabil.
Giving up alcohol can also aid in weight loss.
“Patients who have high blood pressure, their blood pressure does lower when they go off it as well,” said Otabil.
Overall, Otabil says “Dry January” isn’t a bad idea.
“I’ve noticed that it’s saving me more money because I’m not spending so much money… I might be having a more clearer thought,” said Otabil.
Which could be the first step in a long-term behavioral change.