"Moderate" drinking probably isn’t as good for us as we’ve been told.
We know that excessive drinking isn’t good. But we may justify regular drinking with the rationale that a drink a day is good for our hearts. Turns out, however, that the negative health consequences of alcohol – at any level – likely outweigh any positive benefit.
I know. It’s not what you want to hear, but a 2018 report in the Lancet medical journal reviewed studies that included 28 million people and found that even just one drink a day was linked to a higher risk of health issues, such as breast, colon, rectal and throat cancer. Two drinks daily significantly upped the risk of oral cancers, traffic injuries and violence-related injuries.
The report’s researchers note that the health risks associated with alcohol rises rapidly the more we drink.
Each year, we issue an annual Alcohol Free for 40 Challenge, which start on Ash Wednesday.
The challenge is simple: Give up all alcohol from Ash Wednesday, which this year falls on Feb. 26, until Easter, which is April 12, 2020.
This year, we are kicking off the challenge with a free party in each of our Eat Fit regions on Thursday, Feb. 27 from 4-8 p.m. Click here for more details and to commit to the #AlcoholFreeFor40 Challenge.
Here are the Eventbrite links to all of the regional Eat Fit Parties:
Why take this challenge? Here are five benefits you can expect.
- Look better. In addition to dropping extra pounds, you’ll find that your skin and complexion look healthier. We can’t guarantee that your skin will glow, but don’t be surprised if people start to ask what you’re doing differently.
- Feel better. With deeper sleep, better hydration and less inflammation, there’s no way you won’t feel significantly better on the #AlcoholFreeFor40 challenge – especially if you take the extra step with #AlcoholFreeFor40 2.0 and eliminate or drastically cut back on sugar and white carbs.
- Save $$. Even a moderate drinker likely spends hundreds of dollars a month on booze. This online tool by Finder.com calculates your “liquidity” to determine your true savings
- Significant weight loss. Yes, less bloating and less puffiness, but participants also report significant weight loss – shedding real body fat. One caveat: Do not replace booze with sweets, which is what we’ve found some participants have done in the past. This is also why we’ve launched #AlcoholFreefor40 2.0 this year, adding in the option to commit to cutting out processed carbs and sugar.
- Develop healthier habits. Many participants report sustained changes in their drinking habits after participating. As part of the challenge, we encourage participants to gather baseline health metrics on their own with a health care provider, or to sign up for our annual pre-challenge metrics for $25. Click here to commit.
*Note: AlcoholFreeFor40 kickoff events with lab component are available in the following regions: Eat Fit NOLA, Eat Fit Baton Rouge, Eat Fit Acadiana, Eat Fit Northshore and Eat Fit Shreveport. The cost is $25, but anyone can join in the challenge for free without the party and labs.
Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD is a registered dietitian with Ochsner Fitness Center and founder of Ochsner Eat Fit. Tune in to her podcast, FUELED | Wellness + Nutrition and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @MollyKimballRD. Email Molly at email@example.com.
Learn more about Ochsner Eat Fit programs.