It’s an age-old scenario…we overindulge in December and then spend all of January repenting. Whether it be to atone for our excessive behaviour or simply to detox the body, Dry January has become a highly popular New Year’s Resolution in recent years.
But should we be lumping wine drinking in with all forms of alcohol consumption? Does demonizing wine for an entire month really make sense? In my humble opinion, no.
For those of you heaving a sigh of relief, you’re welcome. For others, staring agape at my reckless attitude, here are 5 great reasons to skip dry January:
***Side note: I have also made this blog post into a short YouTube video. To watch, just scroll down to the bottom & click play.
1. Overly Restrictive Diets often Lead to Binging
Many doctors, psychologists and nutritionists agree that excessive restrictions in your diet can lead to binging once the determined period of abstinence is over. People feel the need to reward themselves for their good behaviour. Even just a few glasses of wine too many once February 1st rolls around can erase the healthful benefits of a month off drinking.
2. Your Liver Doesn’t Need a Full Month Off
I will preface by saying that if you are a heavy drinker, taking an extended period of alcohol consumption is an excellent idea which can potentially lead to some positive, long term changes.
For those who generally drink moderately, but just had a couple too many Prosecco cocktails at holiday parties, the situation does not necessarily call for drastic measures like a month-long detox. In a healthy adult, the liver generally processes an ounce of alcohol every hour. This works out roughly to 5 hours for a large glass of wine. Even if your New Year’s Eve was particularly epic, your liver should have recovered within three or four days.
3. Wine is Good for You!
Again, I cannot stress moderation strongly enough here. This means 1 to 2 (approximately 150mL size) glasses of wine per day.
As I mentioned in my post on the role of alcohol in wine (see here), multiple studies show a strong correlation between modest red wine consumption and a decreased incidence of heart disease, an increase in good cholesterol, and even a slowed down pace of age-related brain decline.
4. Baby, It’s Cold Outside…
For those of us in the barren north, January is an icy cold, dark month that doesn’t need any help in being depressing. Christmas is over. Work picks up with a vengeance. Why would you want to deny yourself the pleasure of a pleasantly warming glass of wine to help you unwind after a hard day battling the elements?
5. New Year’s Resolutions Should be Sustainable
Maybe it’s just me, but I always saw New Year’s resolutions as a way we mortals try to make sustainable changes in our lives to be happier and healthier beings. Long-term success seems far more likely when we counter excess with moderation, rather than total abstinence.
So, instead of swearing off Sauvignon Blanc…why not skip Dry January and make some more enjoyable, positive resolutions instead, like:
Drinking less, but drinking better!
Instead of zero wine for a month, try not drinking for a couple of nights each week. Most health professionals agree that this will give your liver the break that it needs if you exceed the 1 to 2 glass amounts on certain nights. Also, stick to just a couple of glasses on your wine drinking days. With the money you save by drinking less, you could spend a little bit more per bottle of wine, have some fun testing out new grapes and regions, and (hopefully) enjoy your wine so much more.
And finally…you can resolve to:
Boost your wine knowledge!
Learning new things is good for your brain. It’s true! And don’t you find that you enjoy things far better when you understand a little more about them? Naturally, I am happy to help with your wine education.
So, check out my weekly wine series on YouTube: www.youtube.com/jackyblisson and if you like what you see, consider subscribing so you don’t miss an episode. Feel free to send me your comments. I’d love to hear from you.