#FeelgoodFebruary: Re-think your drinks
Dry January may be over and people may be back in the pub, but here’s why you should make breaking your habitual boozing a year-long resolution.
Well done dryathletes – you did it! But don’t cave into the pressures of Prosecco-wielding girlfriends too quickly. Quitting the booze for five weeks can lower your liver fat by an average 15 per cent, suggests recent research involving 10 ‘normal drinkers’ at University College London.
But saying no to that little glass of what you fancy (hello trusty glass of Rioja) can be tough. It’s science; when absorbed, alcohol stimulates the production of a neurotransmitter called GABA, which releases a calming sensation around the body. That’s what’s behind the the familiar soothing sensation of your first half-glass.
But drinking too much isn’t how to keep healthy. Nutritional therapist – Amelia Freer, Boy George’s diet doctor who is credited with his astounding weight loss – suggests that if you’re knocking back more than 14 units per week, it’s time to make a change.
‘Choose a period of time and find alternative drinks and activities to fill in the times when you might normally unwind with a glass of wine or a pint,’ she says. For starters, try jazzing up your water with Amelia’s coconut water ice cubes.
Just place a fruit slice and herb (we love raspberry and basil or mango and mint) in an ice cube tray, fill with coconut water and freeze, then pop one in your glass of H2O.
It’s important to be able to enjoy that post-work glass of red on occasion without it becoming habitual. So, for this #FeelgoodFebruary, give the booze a break. For our report on Britain’s boozing habits, pick up the new issue of Healthy from Holland & Barrett this Saturday!
For more tips, turn to Amelia’s book Eat. Nourish. Glow (Harper Collins, £16.99), photography by Ali Allen and follow Amelia on Twitter @freernutrition