What happens to your body when you stop drinking alcohol? How just one month off the booze heals your brain, burns fat and leaves skin glowing - and changes start in just one hour

  • Nutritionists have revealed what happens to your body when you give up alcohol
  • Going 'dry' for just 31 days promotes weight loss and enhances mental clarity
  • Quitting - even temporarily - also improves memory, energy and quality of sleep
  • Abstaining is more important than ever after unprecedented lockdown drinking
  • Australians spent a staggering $2billion more than normal on booze in 2020Nutritionists have revealed the ways quitting alcohol for 31 days can improve your health - and the major change that begins just one hour into abstinence.

    Each year countless Australians temporarily give up drinking for 'Dry January' to restore themselves after the overindulgence of the festive season.

    Experts say binning the booze for just one month can transform your health, provided the temporary abstinence leads to a more moderate and mindful approach to drinking in the long run.

    Dietitians and fitness coaches promise even short periods without alcohol will improve memory, mental clarity and sleep, as well as promoting weight loss and reducing pressure on the liver which starts to cleanse itself just one hour after your last drink.

    And for most participants, the habit seems to stick. 

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    Quitting alcohol for just 31 days will improve memory, mental clarity and sleep quality, as well as aiding weight loss and reducing pressure on the liver - but temporary abstinence must lead to a more moderate approach to drinking in the long run, nutritionists warn

    'Dry January' appears to have a long-term effect on the behaviour of the majority of participants, with 70 percent of those who abstained drinking still notably less seven months later, a 2018 study from the University of Sussex found.

    A month 'on the dry' is top of mind more than ever before after 10 months of heavy boozing following the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis.

    Household alcohol spending skyrocketed across Australia after the pandemic turned normality on its head, with Aussies dropping a staggering $2billion more than usual on booze during an unprecedented year of lockdown and confinement.

    Drinkers spent an average of $1,891 per household on alcohol in 2020 - an increase of $270 on the 2019 total, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show. 

    Revealed: Long-term effects of regular heavy drinking

    Brain: Drinking too much can affect your concentration, judgement, mood and memory. It increases your risk of having a stroke and developing dementia.

    Heart: Heavy drinking increases your blood pressure and can lead to heart damage and heart attacks.

    Liver: Drinking three to four standard drinks a day increases your risk of developing liver cancer. Long-term heavy drinking also puts you at increased risk of liver cirrhosis (scarring) and death. 

    Stomach: Drinking even one to two standard drinks a day increases your risk of stomach and bowel cancer, as well as stomach ulcers. 

    Fertility: Regular heavy drinking reduces men's testosterone levels, sperm count and fertility. For women, drinking too much can affect their periods.

    Source: Health Direct

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