A new study has suggested that abstaining from alcohol for just one month can reduce the risk of developing life threatening illnesses and disease.
The research, from University College London, found patients who gave up alcohol for four weeks saw improvements in their blood pressure and choloesterol levels, and now had a lower risk of developing diabetes and liver disease.
But spurning booze for a month is no easy feat – especially in the cold, dark winter, when a warming whisky never looks more tempting.
If you’re brave enough to take the plunge, however, here are some top tips for getting started.
Nothing is going to make you crave alcohol more than being surrounded by other people who are drinking.
You are obviously not going to be able to persuade your friends to completely abandon the pub in January, but why not suggest occasionally meeting up in a café, the cinema or a museum? You never know, you might asborb a bit of culture too.
Develop a taste for the soft stuff
Dry January doesn’t mean you have to spend the whole month sipping water. Unearth that dust-covered juicer from the back of the cupboard, and get experimenting with some delicious soft drinks. Try some new teas.
And never forget our wine writer Victoria Moore’s top tip of having a tonic without the gin – they’re something about the comforting hiss of the can and the quinine-y taste of the tonic that can almost fool you into believing you’re having a Proper Drink.
Make a friend
Not drinking by yourself is miserable. Persuading a partner or a friend to spurn alcohol with you will make missing out a lot easier.
Put the money you’re saving from not drinking to good use – whether it’s saving up for a holiday or a new pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on for ages.
You’ll be amazed what four martinis can buy you.
Duchess of Cambridge
Break out your favourite skinny jeans CREDIT: REX
Work those skinny jeans
Alcohol is packed full of calories, so you may find that going dry has benefits when it comes to squeezing into your tightest trousers.
If you’re ever tempted to crack open a beer, just admire your newly svelte figure in the mirror and throw the bottle opener down the back of the sofa.
Hide the booze
A wine rack that’s in your line of sight as soon as you walk into the kitchen is your worst enemy.
Clear all alcohol out of the house before embarking on your purge, or, at the very least stuff the bottles in a cupboard. Out of sight, out of mind.
Get a hobby
It’s important to keep yourself distracted and happy – that way, you won’t fall into the trap of having a glass of wine after a stressful day.
Join a book club, start that novel, or sign up to a new course. As long as it’s not wine tasting, that is.