OK, so it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a month off the alcohol is a good idea. But temptation, peer pressure, a wedding/birthday or even a mate’s promise of the next round can get in the way of your best intentions. So, to help you through the 28 days of febfast, here are six things to keep front of mind.
GET ‘BEACH HOT’
We all know that wine is packed with calories, and beer full of carbs. In fact, a ‘standard’ alcoholic drink contains 56 calories from the alcohol alone and, once you throw in the sugars and other ingredients, you’re looking at around 135 calories per beer or wine. Yikes!
February is the perfect time to shed those extra kilos you put on during the silly season and look great strutting along the beach. A very healthy 48% of 2012 fasters lost weight.
In short, being alcohol free = less calories and carbs = less fat. But that’s not the only reason why you’ll lose weight this Feb…
HAVE BETTER SEX
There, we said it. Now, we know what you’re thinking (“maybe in your house”) but, actually, most of us agree: less alcohol means better sex.
In 2011, we asked about 1000 Aussies whether sex is better with or without alcohol. Low and behold, the vast majority said sex was better without the grog. Even though we all seem to put on those beer goggles after a few drinks (one third of Aussie drinkers feel more attractive after sinking a few and almost one in four believe other people find them attractive) the reality is that most people (70%) do not find people who have been drinking attractive – and that’s regardless of whether they have been drinking themselves.
To sum up: do febfast and, chances are, you’ll get more lucky AND the quality will improve! So put down that bottle and stick on the Barry White.
HEY GOOD LOOKIN’
No, this isn’t Ketut whispering in you’re ear, it’s science. Past febfasters have told us they slept better, their skin improved, and they exercised more during their 28 days off alcohol. In fact, in 2010 a whopping 67% of febfasters told us their overall health improved. That, ladies and gentleman, is why you’re looking and feeling better.
Sleep keeps your heart healthy, helps reduce stress, boosts your memory and, as we all know, is the time our body goes into repair mode. Conversely, collapsing in bed after a night at the pub, a bottle of wine or a sneaky night cap is not the best recipe for a good night’s sleep.
Another no-brainer. Try this quick exercise:
- Guesstimate the average cost of your favourite couple of drinks.
- Work out roughly how often to you drink these in a normal week.
- Multiple that by 52 to give you an annual sub-total.
- Add 10%. Why? Chances are that (conservatively) there are four weeks each year when you have a bigger drinking week: a party, the Melbourne cup, Christmas, Australia Day, holidays etc. On average, people triple their drinking during these breaks.
This is a conservative view on what you’re spending on alcohol. If you’d like to dig deeper into your spending habits, try our bartab-o-meter.
Saving money was the number one benefit of febfast in 2012, so if you’re looking at the household budget and reckon it’s time to tighten the belt a little you’ve found the right place.
RECLAIM THOSE LOST HOURS IN YOUR WEEK
Here’s a great anecdote from a past faster:
“I feel 200% better alcohol free. I was consuming a great deal more than necessary and it was affecting my moods and energy terribly. I have three young children (the youngest is 18 months). I love mornings now, so much so that I am getting up at 6am to jog. Previously the 7am wake up was crucial to my day and the children were not permitted into to my room before this time. Now they wake up to meet me at the door after my glory run. I am happier with myself now than I have been in 5 years and it is rubbing off on the whole family. I don’t even have an interest in drinking. I know that I will return to it but will maintain Mon-Thurs dry”.
A lot of health experts talk about the power of one month in forming new, effective habits. February is perfectly timed to make the most of all those good New Year intentions, including…
NO MORE HANGOVERS!
Hangovers come in two forms. The first is the groggy, headachy, bloated, leave-me-alone-I’m-in-my dressing-gown-till-3pm hangover. The second is what we call the “OMG” hangover, when all you can do is text/twitter/facebook three little characters to let your friends and family know you’re still alive (anything more simply hurts too much).
Both types of hangover suck. The latter is just plain awful and the former – more frequent type – sucks the life out of your weekend. No one likes a hangover. Hangovers are bad. Hangovers are your body’s way of reminding you exactly who is in charge here. Fortunately, going alcohol free means you go hangover free. Nice.