With a New Year comes new possibilities and one of those is losing weight. One way in which you can shed a few pounds you may have put on over the Christmas period is by taking part in Dry January. But the is not the only benefit of abstaining from alcohol for a whole month as Ruari Fairbairns, Co-Founder and CEO of One Year No Beer tells Express.co.uk. 

What is Dry January? 

Ruari explained: “Dry January is the time of year when people choose to ditch drinking for a month after the indulgences of the festive period. 

“Quitting drinking for 31 days, starting the New Year hangover free, feeling fresh, and ending the month feeling healthier and re-energised. 

“While you can go alcohol-free at any time of the year, Dry January is usually the most popular with millions of people participating worldwide.” 

Why is it a good idea to embark on Dry January?

“There are a lot of benefits to taking some time away from drinking, from improved sleep, reduced anxiety and improved productivity, to lost weight, improved liver health and saved cash,” he continued. 

“Not only do you get the benefit of the usual outcomes of a break from drinking, but during Dry January, there is a huge sense of camaraderie amongst participating individuals, with popularity in the dry month rising.

“It is much easier to stick to not drinking when lots of people around you aren’t drinking too.” 

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How can Dry January help with health and weight loss? 

The expert said: “As widely accepted in society as alcohol is, fundamentally, it is still a toxin that can damage your body in numerous ways. 

“By reducing your alcohol intake, or taking a break from drinking completely, you give your body the chance to recover and repair itself so it can function properly.

“This doesn’t just positively impact your physical health, but can also significantly improve your mental health (no more hangxiety!).” 

Ruari added: “Alcohol is also filled with empty calories – especially when added to sugary mixers, and overtime can contribute to weight gain. 

“By cutting out these excess calories, it can make it much easier to shift extra weight – not to mention making it easier to exercise (who likes to exercise on a hangover?)” 

What are the things people find difficult about Dry January and how can they overcome these challenges? 

“Alcohol is everywhere and can often feel unavoidable when out and about socialising,” he replied. 

“Even though a lot of people take part in Dry January, it doesn’t make the prevalence of alcohol in restaurants, supermarkets or other public places any less obvious. 

“This is where it is important to try to plan ahead.” 

Ruari’s top tips: 

• Have an alcohol-free drinks order lined up in your mind (plus a back up option if the first isn’t available) that you genuinely enjoy so you are less tempted to order an alcoholic option.

• Plan what you are going to say to the friends and loved ones you are socialising with, or even phone them beforehand so they know not to try to tempt you. 

• Consider your potential triggers and problem solve solutions for them. For example, if you find a Friday night after finishing work is when you really want to relax with a drink, find another way to spend this time so you’re distracted. Start a new exercise class, wrap up warm, get outdoors for an evening walk or book yourself in for a relaxing massage. 

What is your advice for anyone trying Dry January? 

“Enjoy it,” Ruari commented. “This is arguably the best time of the year to go alcohol-free as social pressure to drink is lower after the busy festive season and you can be carried along with the buzz of the ‘Dry January challenge’. 

“Taking a break from drinking is one of the best decisions you can make for your health, productivity, bank balance and more, so take note of all the positives you experience so you can really visualise the impact.

“Keeping track of how you are feeling along the way is a great way to to keep yourself motivated, for example, how much better you are sleeping, how much more productive you are able to be with your weekends, or how much money you have saved. 

“At the end of the month, you can use the saved cash from not drinking to reward yourself with something nice.” 

What is One Year No Beer and how can they help with Dry January?

“A dry month, in January or at any other time of the year might feel daunting, but with a tried and tested process to follow, you are given all the tools and resources you need to successfully complete your challenge,” he said. 

“Our 28, 90 or 365-day challenges offer you daily support, combining fundamental tools and support that allow you to reprioritise alcohol in your life, so you can do more of the things you love.

“We have used the latest in behaviour change science to offer a proven step-by-step method of habit change, so you can easily see what to do each day throughout your challenge to change your drinking behaviour – and it is all delivered conveniently to your inbox. 

“Plus, you will get access to our global community which is active 24/7, so there is always someone to reach out to if you want to share your successes, seek advice or recommendations, or get support. 

“Ninety-five percent of our One Year No Beer members report they changed their relationship with alcohol during their challenge, with a further 87 percent wanting to continue their alcohol-free stint beyond their initial challenge.

“Whether you want to cut back on how much you drink, or stop drinking altogether, we can help you take back control,” he explained. 

About One Year No Year 

Founded in 2015, OYNB is an award-winning behaviour change programme and online toolkit for surviving modern society alcohol-free, aimed at anyone drinking more than three glasses of wine a week. 

With a member base of over 80,000, they believe that having a community is crucial to making a positive lifestyle change, and so the founders are constantly finding new and exciting ways to provide this support.

OYNB is not an abstinence programme; it is not about eliminating alcohol entirely. 

It’s about empowering people to break down old habits and build new ones, creating a positive mindset that lets the individual take back control and make clear-sighted decisions. 

They are now developing technology that will enable members to connect over their common goals, such as caffeine, sugar, gambling and social media.

For more information visit https://www.oneyearnobeer.com. 

About Ruari Fairbairns

Originally from the Isle of Mull, Ruari had a difficult childhood, struggling intensely with his thoughts and finding it impossible to fit in. 

Determined to make his mark on the world one day, the relentless entrepreneur started working at the age of 14 and a sequence of events led him to London where he worked as a senior Oil Broker. 

That binge drinking culture led him to thinking that alcohol was causing him more trouble than good, so he decided to take a break. 

Taking a break from alcohol led to him becoming fitter, faster, healthier, happier, more productive, a better dad, a better husband – all areas of life improved, so began his mission to help other people realise this. 

One Year No Beer is an award-winning toolkit for surviving modern society alcohol-free and has since recruited over 80,000 members worldwide. 

Ruari believes that having a community is crucial to making a positive lifestyle change. 

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