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General Category => The Knowledge => Health & Fitness => Topic started by: Greenbank on January 04, 2019, 11:02:35 am

Title: Dry January 2019
Post by: Greenbank on January 04, 2019, 11:02:35 am
Seems there was no thread last year. It's been about 3 or 4 years since I last had a month off the booze.

Up for it this year as I need to shed the weight before the London Marathon, so mine is a Dry Jan (no exceptions) and also mostly Dry Feb/Mar/Apr with the following exceptions:-
* I've got two ski trips (one family, one friends) so it only applies to the UK (airside at airports is considered outside the UK), no other foreign trips planned
* Special occasions (dinner out with Mrs GB, a few beers after doing the Big Half in March, book club in mid-March some time)
* Possible trip to the in-laws in the run up to Easter (most of the weight should be gone by then ideally)

Jan 4 so far and no booze. In the pub for 5 hours last night watching the Citeh v Libpool match, found it quite easy to avoid temptation. No drinking at home is quite easy, the hard bits are going to be in the pub after playing 5-a-side on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Chris S on January 04, 2019, 11:25:17 am
Yeah, I'm in - it's the annual Hepatic Holiday.

This time around has revealed how much I rely on wine to get me to sleep of an evening. Looking at my Fitbit sleep profiles before Christmas and I'm (a) Out like a light, and (b) all the deep sleep happens in the first few hours. Now I'm really struggling to get to sleep (gave up entirely night before last, and did a couple of hours work instead) and deep sleep seems very scarce.
No doubt this will all settle down in due course.

Any weight loss from cutting booze is swamped by the effect of going keto, so goodness knows if not drinking makes any difference to that. My belly loves beer, that's for sure - not so sure about the fattening effects of wine, but a few drinks in the evening usually leads to poor food choices, so I guess there are knock-ons.

I'm aiming for multiple months too, not just January. Late March is my PB.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Kim on January 04, 2019, 01:04:05 pm
Best of luck to everyone (not) partaking!
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: hellymedic on January 04, 2019, 01:24:51 pm
Don't know if I'll participate.
December 2018 was dry. January 2019 might be. I can take or leave alcohol and mostly leave it.

I appreciate this is a struggle for some folk and wish you all well for a successful Dry January.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Oxford_Guy on January 04, 2019, 05:39:56 pm
I'm in, have done it in some previous years, found it not easy, but not horribly hard either. I did make an exception for 1st January this year, as a hair of the dog afternoon pub session with friends was required following the NYE party the night before, so I might extend it to 1st Feb (although that is a Friday...) to make up for it.

I'm going on a skiing trip to the alps in early February (which I definitely won't be "dry" for in the evenings), so hopefully it will help a little with weightloss and fitness leading up to that.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: rob on January 04, 2019, 08:06:30 pm
Hope you all manage OK and even enjoy it.

I’ve just hit 10 years dry.   I did think of heading to the pub on NYD but only bad things would come of that.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: fboab on January 07, 2019, 08:49:22 am
I can take or leave alcohol so it's not difficult. It would be bloody selfish to drink while Mr Smith is struggling without, though, so I'm in as moral support.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Greenbank on January 07, 2019, 09:30:02 am
6 days in, no problems, but I haven't had either of my usual beery nights after 5-a-side footy.

Tuesday will be relatively easy as it's late (in the pub for 10.15pm) but Thursday will be the real test (in the pub for 7.15pm and it's usually a 6 pint evening).

Avoiding the pub isn't an option, it's an important weekly social event for me, and I need to be able to go to the pub and not drink anyway.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: rob on January 07, 2019, 09:47:39 am
The thing I had a problem with was finding something to drink that wasn't sweet or caffeinated.   I have cans of ginger beer in now and a mate introduced me to cranberry or lime with soda water.   

The preponderance of 0% beers now really helps.   Beware those that call themselves alcohol free as the definition seems a bit wide.   Nanny State for instance is 0.5% so I won't touch it.

Becks Blue is pretty common and is OK.   I like the Heinekin and Carlsberg zeroes, also Cobra Zero with an Indian.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Greenbank on January 07, 2019, 10:44:18 am
I've always drunk lime and soda if not having a beer, but I'll only have a couple of them, the rest of the time I'll just have water or just watch others drink (it takes a while to get out of the "must match people one for one" mentality of pint drinking). That or a decaf coffee (since I got rid of caffeine many years ago) if it's the kind of pub that will do that without being a massive inconvenience.

I find the majority of the 0.0% beers (all of the ones you've mentioned) taste horribly sickly sweet compared to normal lager, I've reminded myself of that with Becks Blue, Heineken 0.0% (draft) and Bavaria Alcohol free (whatever they serve in Pizza Express) in the last week so I won't be touching them again (there's no point).

I've heard that Erdinger's alcohol free lager is ok, will remember to look out for it in the shops but I guess it'll just turn out to be another one that tastes sickly sweet.

I do want to keep off booze (so I'll be avoiding stuff like nanny state) but remember that fresh orange juice that's a few days old could be fermenting its way towards 0.5% (if it has added potassium sorbate that'll help stop any fermentation). I also love Tiramisu and some other desserts that contain booze.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Gus on January 07, 2019, 10:54:19 am
Well I can join, but I haven't touched alcohol since May 2018.

Plus I can add Carbonated sugary soft drinks to the list. I stopped drinking them in June 2018
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on January 07, 2019, 11:06:48 am
I've been dry-ish since September, following a wierd mouth infection that seems to get aggravated by citrus, alcohol and a few other things.  I went to the pub with half a dozen people just before Christmas and it went perfectly well having tap water.  I felt great the next morning!

My wife is keen on Erdinger Alkoholfrei Weissbeer, she got through many bottles during pregnancy, but I have just checked and it is 0.5%.

Tiramisu is also loaded with caffeine!
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: rob on January 07, 2019, 11:27:52 am
Yeah the Erdinger stuff is not alcohol free - see my comment about crap advertising.   It might be a Continental thing but I noticed that alcohol free wine in a Calais supermarket is usually 1 or 2 %.   it's a bit like giving a vegetarian wafer thin ham.

I tend to not bother about the odd bit of wine in main courses in restaurants but won't add it at home.   You do have to watch desserts.   My inlaws tried to feed me Christmas Pudding laced with brandy - you could tell immediately.   I believe they just thought I was being a bit awkward.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Greenbank on January 07, 2019, 11:32:02 am
Tiramisu is also loaded with caffeine!

Decaf is about 10% of the caffeine of normal coffee so I probably drink somewhere between half and one normal coffee a day. If I push it to more than 2 coffees worth (by having non-decaf) then I'll notice it. So I've still got some sort of tolerance to it so the caffeine in a tiramisu isn't a problem.

Anyway, booze (or lack thereof).
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: ian on January 07, 2019, 11:42:53 am
The 0.5% is a sort of get-out-clause, with a fermented product there will be some alcohol left, there's no perfect mechanism to remove it all, so 0.5% is the upper bound for residual alcohol. Even bread will be 0.5–2% alcohol despite its spell in a hot oven. Orange juice about 0.5% out of the carton, malt vinegar and soy sauce similar.

I'm doing wet January, so if you have any spare booze, send it to me at the usual address.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Lady Cavendish on January 07, 2019, 01:28:31 pm
I’m in as well (although if I give birth in Jan I may revise that  ;D )

I’m not enjoying the alcohol free stuff, hate all the beers/lagers. ‘Nosecco’ is too sweet, and the no alcohol mulled wine was just basically ribena.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: FifeingEejit on January 07, 2019, 01:35:21 pm
The thing I had a problem with was finding something to drink that wasn't sweet or caffeinated.   I have cans of ginger beer in now and a mate introduced me to cranberry or lime with soda water.   

The preponderance of 0% beers now really helps.   Beware those that call themselves alcohol free as the definition seems a bit wide.   Nanny State for instance is 0.5% so I won't touch it.

Becks Blue is pretty common and is OK.   I like the Heinekin and Carlsberg zeroes, also Cobra Zero with an Indian.

Pick up a bottle of Fentiman's and you'll find a statement.
"up to 0.5% alcohol"

Very very few "non-alcoholic" drinks are truly devoid of any alcohol and anything with sugar in it could.
In Coca-Cola and Pepsi it's around 0.001% ABV.
Bread also has a very low alcohol content.

Whats acceptable depends on which form you wish your Temporary Temperance pledge to be in.

I had a couple of non-alcohol berry ciders for new year, it didn't take me long to figure I could have just got some soda water to go with my Robinsons.

I managed to find a disagreement on what is Haram on Stack Overflow in relation to alcohol content, because of the 0.001% discovered in coca-cola; with the Bread argument used.

I'm not in because being a non-drinker in the first place makes it irrelevant.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: T42 on January 07, 2019, 01:39:57 pm
Drink mock-beer or -wine just makes you want the real thing all the more. When I stopped I switched to Schweppes ginger ale and tonic, but eventually settled on fizzy water.  You still have the pleasure of belching like a beer-drinker.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: hellymedic on January 07, 2019, 01:55:07 pm
Suspect a 'fresh' fruit salad, which is less than totally fresh will contain measurable quantities of ethanol.

Melon balls seem to ferment pretty rapidly.

It must be almost impossible to ingest absolutely no alcohol!
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Greenbank on January 07, 2019, 02:18:53 pm
I want to avoid fizzy drinks (lime and soda or even fizzy water) because of the effects on teeth. I may try lime cordial and plain water to see if that's ok, otherwise I'll probably have a few halves of lime and soda interspersed with plain old tap water.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: ian on January 07, 2019, 02:23:59 pm
Suspect a 'fresh' fruit salad, which is less than totally fresh will contain measurable quantities of ethanol.

Melon balls seem to ferment pretty rapidly.

It must be almost impossible to ingest absolutely no alcohol!

Well, you'll be manufacturing (or your microbiome will) ethanol in your gut anyway. On that basis, even farts aren't alcohol-free.

Anyway, as said, anything fermented will contain some alcohol. Low alcohol beers are typically de-alcoholized, other things like bread and brewed soft-drinks will have a low amount of endogenous alcohol from the fermentation process. Anything with sufficient moisture content and sugar will ferment to a degree, yeasts are ubiquitous. The someone boozy smell of very ripe fruit is generally down to other volatiles unless it's been cut or split and exposed to air.

As anyone who tried to get drunk on Barr's shandy will tell you, there's no physiological effects at such low concentrations so you're not going to get drunk on bread, ethanol at those levels will be dehydrogenated on its first pass through the hepatic system. That's also why the 'but I had a spoon of sherry trifle' arguments against zero limits for breath tests are a bit daft unless you routinely eat it by the truckload.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Jakob W on January 07, 2019, 02:34:41 pm
The Erdinger Alkoholfrei is IMO the best of the readily available beer substitutes; decent bitterness, and devoid of the weird sweet maltiness that lots of the non-alcoholic beers have.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: fruitcake on January 07, 2019, 02:35:25 pm
I've recently discovered ice tea. It tastes better when it's cold brewed (i.e. tea infused in cold water in the fridge overnight) so it's one for drinking at home. Tea is less bitter when cold brewed, and apparently contains less caffeine. Quite a nice drink. And remarkably different to a cup of tea.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: hellymedic on January 07, 2019, 02:46:34 pm
I want to avoid fizzy drinks (lime and soda or even fizzy water) because of the effects on teeth. I may try lime cordial and plain water to see if that's ok, otherwise I'll probably have a few halves of lime and soda interspersed with plain old tap water.

I don't know the pH of lime juice but suspect it to be a bit low to be tooth-friendly.

Many fruit tissanes ('teas') are fairly acidic.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: mike on January 07, 2019, 03:19:31 pm
I'm in.. New relationship as of September and we'd fallen into the trap of opening a bottle of wine every evening or just going to the pub, so we're both going for it.  So far I don't feel any better, not sleeping any better and havent lost any weight.  Hopefully it's a blip...
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Kim on January 07, 2019, 05:25:04 pm
Anyway, as said, anything fermented will contain some alcohol.

A sealed bottle with week-old dregs of room temperature milk in it can be surprisingly alcoholic[1].  (DAHIKT)


[1] I'm assuming it's an alcohol that set off the combustible gas alarm when barakta tried to surreptitiously wash it up without me giving her the Ian Rush lecture.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: FifeingEejit on January 07, 2019, 05:42:39 pm
I'm in.. New relationship as of September and we'd fallen into the trap of opening a bottle of wine every evening or just going to the pub, so we're both going for it.  So far I don't feel any better, not sleeping any better and havent lost any weight.  Hopefully it's a blip...

Either:
It's only a week in
or What have you replaced the alcoholic beverages with?
Example: Replacing a bottle of wine a night (circa 600kcal) with say 5 cans (140kcal per can) of full sugar coke is counter productive on the weight loss front!
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Von Broad on January 07, 2019, 08:54:30 pm
I'm in.. New relationship as of September and we'd fallen into the trap of opening a bottle of wine every evening or just going to the pub, so we're both going for it.  So far I don't feel any better, not sleeping any better and havent lost any weight.  Hopefully it's a blip...

Either:
It's only a week in
or What have you replaced the alcoholic beverages with?
Example: Replacing a bottle of wine a night (circa 600kcal) with say 5 cans (140kcal per can) of full sugar coke is counter productive on the weight loss front!

Expectation management and all that. You may not feel any better, you may not sleep any better and you may not lose any weight. But giving your liver a rest is a good thing, and more importantly, it's good to look at the hold booze has over you/us. So doing a month for that reason is a good thing. It's good to stand back and see the reaction. Treat it like a lab test - just do it and be honest about what comes up, or doesn't, as the case my be.

Although not strictly doing dry January [but as good as, won't be drinking much at all], I recently did 4 months on the wagon from Aug 30th to Dec 25th - mainly due to blood pressure issues and the possible onset of AFib [not quite sure what's going on yet, things are in process]. I decided to stop for 4 months not because beer is the root cause of these health concerns, but I just wanted it out of the way for a while to see if BP regulated at all. That's without doubt the longest I've gone without beer since I was 16. Do I feel any better after 4 months? A bit. But not massively. Am I sleeping any better? Alcohol definitely affects my sleep, so that has improved, but again only a bit, not massively. And I lost a bit of weight, which I've now regained [but weight has never really been a concern]. So in a way, I am a tad disappointed. But that disappointment comes from expectations being dashed [where did they come from in the first place?], and not being content to go with whatever arose during the period. But it's easy to lose sight of the achievement - I proved to myself that I can stop for 4 months, and if I have to stop for health reasons in the future, then, no problem, I know I can do it. That, in itself, feels kind of empowering.

But for me personally, by far the biggest ramification of not drinking is the effect it started to have on my social life. I love pubs, I love beer and it's the loss of that environment that was a constant reality. I don't drink in the flat [mainly because self-control would go walkabouts], all my drinking has mainly happened in pubs with other people. That's where the loss was felt. If this was to continue it would be like staring a whole new life. And as for the low/no alcohol stuff. It's kind of tolerable on a really, really good day, but for the most part - forget it. Junk juice. I won't be drinking much of that stuff.

I packed up the fags about 20 years ago, after years of repeated attempts. Best thing I ever did. But the reality is, I know deep down that to arrive at that same decisive, clear-cut feeling about alcohol [especially good beer] looks a long way off at the moment. So it's a case of trying to maintain a sense of self-awareness about consumption and general management of the situation. We'll see.

Anyway, back to the thread, rambling on a bit  - good luck everybody. Stay clean :)
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: sojournermike on January 07, 2019, 09:05:56 pm
I've recently discovered ice tea. It tastes better when it's cold brewed (i.e. tea infused in cold water in the fridge overnight) so it's one for drinking at home. Tea is less bitter when cold brewed, and apparently contains less caffeine. Quite a nice drink. And remarkably different to a cup of tea.

I spent some time experimenting with cold brewed coffee in the summer. Brilliant to keep a jug on the fridge, but very potent if you make it nice!

Not doing dry January, but won’t be drinking regularly and less than over Christmas and New Year.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: mike on January 08, 2019, 09:28:15 am
I'm in.. New relationship as of September and we'd fallen into the trap of opening a bottle of wine every evening or just going to the pub, so we're both going for it.  So far I don't feel any better, not sleeping any better and havent lost any weight.  Hopefully it's a blip...

Either:
It's only a week in
or What have you replaced the alcoholic beverages with?
Example: Replacing a bottle of wine a night (circa 600kcal) with say 5 cans (140kcal per can) of full sugar coke is counter productive on the weight loss front!

:) I was mostly joking, I didnt expect to see too many changes in a week! (and I've replaced the wine with herbal tea..  perhaps it's the biscuits that are the problem :D)
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Chris S on January 08, 2019, 11:00:06 am
Von Broad - did it help your BP? Asking for a friend...
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: CrazyEnglishTriathlete on January 08, 2019, 02:01:57 pm
I usually give up for Lent and some years extend that from the start of January.  This year I was on holiday in Scotland over New Year so decided on a late start - 6th January.   However, if I ride the Easter Arrow lent will end at 9am Easter Saturday.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Wowbagger on January 08, 2019, 03:28:24 pm
I have now got to the point with my diet that the default position is not to drink anything. I hadn't actually thought about it, but I don't think I've had anything to drink since my glass of wine on NYD. I have an awful lot of bottles of Tempting Things* on the dresser and they are not preying on my mind.

*several single malts, a couple of bottles of gin, numerous fine ales, red wine, two or three different sherries and a bottle of port.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Von Broad on January 08, 2019, 06:53:49 pm
Von Broad - did it help your BP? Asking for a friend...

It has helped, yes, but not as much as I was hoping for [expectations again]. I'm certainly 'capable' of getting more normal readings during the day than I was before when I was drinking. I'm trying to go back to basics - exercise, diet and [especially] sleep & stress are also big factors in all this. Everything relates to everything else though. Drink can lead to poorer food choices which can also lead to poorer sleep which can lead to more tiredness and stress during the day, which can facilitate less interest in exercise, so it can easily have it's own kind of perpetual lifestyle choice.

I'm borderline for meds, but am resisting at all costs, which may not be a sensible approach, but it's one I've chosen for now. I'm in the middle of various tests etc I will only go on meds if I've exhausted all lifestyle options, but you have to be serious about those lifestyle options, there is no temporary quick fix. And yet sometimes you just have to admit that there is nothing else that can be done but to bite the bullet. We're not quite there yet though. It may be delusional but I'm confident of making progress.

There's nothing wrong with alcohol. The issue is ones relationship to it. As you know. I tend to be more of a binge drinker than a moderately consistent drinker and that's most definitely NOT good for BP.

It's such an individual thing though all this stuff.
And an age thing too :-) - 60 this year. The body talks. I'm more in the mood to start listening a bit more attentively these days!
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Greenbank on January 10, 2019, 01:09:31 pm
It may be a complete coincidence (and caused by something completely different) but I'm finding food (the same food) spicier than before. Anyone else?
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Chris S on January 10, 2019, 02:00:43 pm
It may be a complete coincidence (and caused by something completely different) but I'm finding food (the same food) spicier than before. Anyone else?

Any food, or just spicy food? I don't really "do" spicy.

Not much to report here - sleep is improving slowly. Had more symptoms that one might ascribe to withdrawal, but could equally be the return to keto-ways.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: hellymedic on January 10, 2019, 02:12:53 pm
I drink far too little to make any comparison.

Can't recall noticing a difference when I lived in Glasgow, where I drank more but maybe the natives favoured hotter curries.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Greenbank on January 10, 2019, 02:27:00 pm
Any food, or just spicy food? I don't really "do" spicy.

Spicy food is spicier.

i.e. more than 5 different food items (all from different places/supermarkets) which were all comfortable level of spiciness are all suddenly verging on 'oof that's a bit spicy' level.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on January 14, 2019, 10:10:30 pm
giving your liver a rest is a good thing,

Is it?
Is there any evidence that abstaining for a few weeks then going back is beneficial?
 I'd always assumed that it wouldn't be, that you needed to make long term dietary changes to have any effect, but maybe that's wrong.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: whosatthewheel on January 15, 2019, 01:19:07 pm
Dry January is a waste of time, if February is back to business.
If you half the units for 12 months is a lot better than having a dry month... as usual, moderation wins.

I think the 14 units currently recommended are quite a generous allowance, it means 2 visits to the pub per week with 3 pints each... if you can't stick to 14 units, I think you have a problem with alcohol
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Greenbank on January 15, 2019, 01:31:04 pm
But that's part of the rationale behind Dry January.

A considerable percentage of people move on to drink less as a result of taking a month off, it helps them realise that alcohol isn't a crutch that is necessary to get themselves through a normal week. 3 weeks is often quoted as the time taken to break a habit and so stopping it for a month will help many people break the various bad and unnecessary habits.

https://www.britishlivertrust.org.uk/millions-to-do-dry-january-2019/

Quote
Dry January helps people to drink more healthily year-round. Research conducted with over 800 Dry January participants showed that Dry January participants are still drinking less in August:

    Drinking days per week dropped on average from 4.3 to 3.3.
    Units consumed per drinking day dropped on average from 8.6 to 7.1.
    Frequency of drunkenness fell on average from 3.4 per month to 2.1 per month.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: ian on January 15, 2019, 01:51:51 pm
A quick glance didn't reveal any peer-reviewed evidence (as opposed to a self-selecting surveys with no control groups), though I think it's widely accepted these days that any kind of abstinence programme doesn't really work (be it diet, sex, or alcohol). People who are alcoholics aren't likely to do 'Dry January' on account they can't manage 'Dry Tuesday.' Perhaps it helps people understand what they're drinking, but again, if you're aware enough to be doing the thing, chances are you're already aware that you have a problem.

Moderation is correct – there's nothing wrong with having a drink, it just when it becomes breakfast or you find yourself looking for Buckfast in the 24-hour Asda at 3 am.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: whosatthewheel on January 15, 2019, 05:18:51 pm
Moderation is correct – there's nothing wrong with having a drink, it just when it becomes breakfast or you find yourself looking for Buckfast in the 24-hour Asda at 3 am.

Without going to those extremes, plenty of people who knock down 40-50 units a week and think they don't have a problem with alcohol...

If dry January help them realise, then it might be a good thing... but if all they do is counting the days to Feb 1st, tick the box and go for a binge, then it's a waste of time
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: ian on January 15, 2019, 05:34:16 pm
Yes, but people who believe they don't have a problem with alcohol aren't very likely to do Dry January, so it's a bit self-defeating.

Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: whosatthewheel on January 15, 2019, 05:55:14 pm
Yes, but people who believe they don't have a problem with alcohol aren't very likely to do Dry January, so it's a bit self-defeating.

They might do it as a fad... so they can post photos of their depressed faces on Instagram or something
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Kim on January 15, 2019, 05:58:16 pm
There's also the financial aspect....
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Greenbank on January 15, 2019, 06:01:29 pm
Yes, but people who believe they don't have a problem with alcohol aren't very likely to do Dry January, so it's a bit self-defeating.

4 million people do it (or at least start it). That's got to include a fair number of people who do have a problem with alcohol.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 15, 2019, 06:05:32 pm
Yes, but people who believe they don't have a problem with alcohol aren't very likely to do Dry January, so it's a bit self-defeating.
I doubt if everyone who does it has or thinks they have an alcohol problem, just as not everyone doing vegan January eats or thinks they eat too much meat. Thinking that less would be better for you isn't the same as thinking you've got too much now.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: ian on January 15, 2019, 06:17:20 pm
Well, four million people say they're going to do it (extrapolated from a survey), I doubt they actually do. And judging by the couple I know, they don't last a week, and now are convinced they're alcoholics. That's the logic of abstinence, endless cycles of guilt and binging. Now, I've nothing against Dry January, it simply means more for me. That and people keeping drilling their doomed virtue into my ear and then double with the self-thrashing when they inevitably fail. This simply makes me want to drink even more. So, yes, it's pretty selfish. Anyway, the core reason for avoiding any kind of abstinence is the fact you may shortly die from something other than regret.

What's happening in February? It must be the month of something? Come on. Otherwise, they'll be a gap before Let's Lube Up for Lent. I wouldn't Instagram that though, probably against a policy.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 15, 2019, 06:19:18 pm
What's happening in February? It must be the month of something? Come on. Otherwise, they'll be a gap before Let's Lube Up for Lent. I wouldn't Instagram that though, probably against a policy.
Well, Easter eggs and Valentine's cards are already in the shops, so presumably next month is Let's Celebrate Celibate February.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Kim on January 15, 2019, 06:21:06 pm
What's happening in February? It must be the month of something? Come on. Otherwise, they'll be a gap before Let's Lube Up for Lent. I wouldn't Instagram that though, probably against a policy.

Off the top of my head, LGBT history month.  Probably the awareness month for an assortment of medical conditions, as most months are.

Oh look, Wikipedia has a list! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_month-long_observances)

Which leads me to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_food_months

So in answer to your original question, and frankly who cares if someone just *added* it to Wikipedia:  February is National Donut Month
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 15, 2019, 06:27:21 pm
August is funny.
Quote
Get Acquainted with Kiwifruit Month
So pleased to meet you, Mr Kiwifruit.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: ian on January 15, 2019, 06:31:52 pm
Excellent. Anyone remember when Homer got sent to Hell and his eternal torment was that he had to eat doughnuts forever (obviously, that's the eternal bit). Hell, of course, ran out of doughnuts because Homer had eaten them all.

Reminds me, a friend of mine sometimes tries to put me off when we're presenting on a panel with RDS (randomly, depraved statistics) about the audience. She once whispered 'statistically speaking, 4.7% of the men in the audience are wearing women's underwear.' My rejoinder was that '2 % probably had a buttplug inserted."

So, anyway, those were two concepts I didn't want anywhere near the interior of my skull when I stood up to speak because they're impossible to remove. Well, not without the help of a clever Italian doctor and home-made medical contraption.

As you were.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: CrazyEnglishTriathlete on January 15, 2019, 09:46:59 pm
Have been reducing my meat intake and increase other sources of protein, primarily beans.   Have been getting in touch with my inner Mongo.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Greenbank on January 18, 2019, 11:37:31 am
6th visit to the pub in Jan last night, still avoiding booze, don't find it a problem to watch others drink.

According to the tracker app that's 98 units avoided and £98 saved (I'd been tracking my drinking for a while and 40 units/week is roughly about right if a little to the upper end of the scale. £40 is a mixture of London pub pint prices of £4/£5 a pint and much cheaper cans at home. I don't drink wine or spirits.)

First drink will be ~11am on 17th Feb once I'm through security at Gatwick airport. Only one or two as I've got a three and a half hour drive at the other end of the flight.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: whosatthewheel on January 18, 2019, 11:53:26 am
6th visit to the pub in Jan last night, still avoiding booze, don't find it a problem to watch others drink.

According to the tracker app that's 98 units avoided and £98 saved

So that means that in your average visit you would clock 16 units or 8 pints????

Bloody hell...  :o :o
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Greenbank on January 18, 2019, 12:17:42 pm
No, as some (much) of my drinking was at home. The tracker just prorates the weekly figures you'd entered into the app.

A 'bad' week might have been:-

Mon: Dry
Tue: Two pints in the pub after 5-a-side (5 units)
Wed: A couple of cans at home (4 units)
Thu: 6 pints in the pub after 5-a-side (12 units)
Fri: A couple of cans at home (4 units)
Sat: Watching football with wife and daughter. Pre-match pint in a pub, post match beers along with some food (10 units in total)
Sun: A couple of cans at home (4 units)

So that's 39 units.

I know this is bad for many reason (number of units, only one day off, completely unnecessary home drinking, etc). I don't need to be told that, but I did say it was the upper end of it.

More recently I had cut out the drinking at home and the Tue/Thu post 5-a-side pub trips had dropped to ~14 units in total (it helped that the Thursday night pub had a 3.3% "Session Lager".) But that would creep up to ~20 units if there was a night out with Mrs GB or friends/family.

Part of the reason I'm doing it is to recalibrate my booze usage. I'll still go to the pub after playing football but, when I'm back drinking again, instead of 6 pints of lager I might have 3 and substitute soft drinks for the others (especially if I'm going to be running 11.5km in to work the next morning just ~9 hours after leaving the pub). The drinking at home shouldn't return either as I'll have proved to my brain that it's just not necessary.

I've had my time in the past of drinking a silly number of pints (I think I marked my 19th, 20th and 21st birthdays at Uni with a day of drinking involving a pint per year of age) but those days are long gone. As was the week that a housemate and I aimed for a unit per hour for a week (168 units in a week).

I guess it's easy for those people who haven't had a tumultuous relationship with booze to be shocked by these kinds of figures.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: whosatthewheel on January 18, 2019, 12:56:36 pm
you can alternate beer with alcohol free beer. It's not too bad... but it's very fizzy, so if you are a fan of ale, no luck
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Greenbank on January 18, 2019, 01:09:49 pm
I find Alcohol free lager absolutely awful. I haven't found one that isn't far too sweet and sickly[1].

No need to use it though, I'm happy to alternate between beer and just plain tap water.

1. Becks Blue, Heineken 0.0, Bavarian Alcohol free, Cobra 0.0%, Saino's Czech alcohol free, etc. All the same.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: fboab on January 18, 2019, 01:46:31 pm
There's lots of evidence that drinking every day, even when it isn't breakfast, does have something wrong with it. Moderation isn't often the answer when you have an addiction. We don't need alcohol and chastising people who are spending some time without is not helpful. Have you posted on the stop smoking thread that the occasional cigarette is OK?
There's a sliding scale of alcohol dependency and just like never-smokers telling smokers that the physical addiction is gone in 48 hours, the 'moderate drinkers' should zip it in the face of people who are trying to make radical changes in the short term to make smaller, but important changes in the long term.

Even if you're aware you have a problem, changing behaviour is hard, so well done GB for sticking to it.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Kim on January 18, 2019, 02:22:35 pm
Even if you're aware you have a problem, changing behaviour is hard, so well done GB for sticking to it.

This.  In spades.

(A never-drinker who isn't entitled to an opinion, but is trying to be supportive.)
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: rob on January 18, 2019, 02:46:01 pm
When I stopped I did a 50 day cold turkey stint.   I can't remember why but I read somewhere that 50 days was the test.

Of course I then got leathered for 10 days straight - it was Christmas party season.   For me giving up completely was the only option.   I have been asked if I wouldn't mind the odd glass of wine but 1) I don't really fancy it and 2) it could only lead to bad things.

Anyway it seems there's plenty of support for GB on here, so keep at it.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: ian on January 18, 2019, 02:48:43 pm
I think the evidence on drinking regularly is mixed (unlike cigarettes, of which any are bad) but same old story as with diet and anything else, moderation etc.

I'm not sure anyone is being chastised, if you want do Dry January (or any other month), fantastic, go ahead.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Chris S on January 18, 2019, 03:09:36 pm
I think the evidence on drinking regularly is mixed (unlike cigarettes, of which any are bad) but same old story as with diet and anything else, moderation etc.

(my bold)

You think people who have a problem with moderation don't know this? That doesn't make moderation any easier - or even possible; as Rob's experience illustrates perfectly, some folk just have to abstain, my #1 son was the same.

I couldn't moderate my smoking - I was a career smoker for 25 years and the only answer was to stop completely - no way on earth could I switch to "social smoking". I'm a useless drunk; being an emitophobe, I'm self-limiting in my consumption, but I can still drink a bottle of wine a day night1 without any problem; and boom - that's 80 units a week, and suddenly I'm getting that look from the doctor.

I like doing Dry January, and those around me like me doing it too.  :thumbsup:

1 Didn't want to convey the wrong impression there...
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: whosatthewheel on January 18, 2019, 03:16:55 pm
As above, nobody is criticising Dry January per se. My impression, looking at social media, is that many treat it as an advent calendar, counting the days until it's over and they can binge, before going back to the usual routine... which makes it a waste of time, no different from joining the gym and going for a couple of weeks and then never again.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: tiermat on January 18, 2019, 03:25:59 pm
For various reasons I am giving it a more than half arsed go, this year.

For various reasons I am feeling much better for it and am now planning a calendar where I have 8 weeks when I can drink, though in moderation (my drink got badly out of hand at the back end of last year) followed by 4 weeks dry, rinse repeat across the year.

Keep at it, GB, I know of many (mainly work colleagues) that have been beaten by silly things (relationships, work).
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: bobb on January 18, 2019, 03:30:15 pm
There's nothing wrong with Dry Janaury. If you think you've been hitting the booze a bit too much, then stop for a month. All is good. If you're a full on alcoholic, you know and you need to quit for good....
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: fboab on January 18, 2019, 03:39:56 pm
For every *huge number* of January Gym Joiners, some stick.

Even if you never go again, those 2 weeks are better than never going in the first place. You're more likely to try again in Lent. June. September. Whenever.

(I quit my gym in December :) )

We're past half way, Dry January-ers. Keep up the good work :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: hellymedic on January 18, 2019, 03:50:09 pm
People like teh Kim and me do Dry January by default.

We can only offer support and best wishes to those for whom it's an effort.

FWIW I think rob has the correct way to tackle his drinking for himself.

Not every drinker needs total abstinence.

Some do.

It can be tough, very tough.

Keep at it!
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: DuncanM on January 18, 2019, 03:59:47 pm
1. Becks Blue, Heineken 0.0, Bavarian Alcohol free, Cobra 0.0%, Saino's Czech alcohol free, etc. All the same.
Of all those, I find the Cobra almost bearable.  Though maybe that's just because it's like regular Cobra, and that's not exactly great. Then again, I'm not one for lager.
I actually like Nanny State (bottles, not tried can or draught).  Sure, it's Brewdog, so it's got a stupid name, but it actually tastes like beer. On the other hand, if you discover that beer isn't worth it without the alcohol component, then that's great, in some ways it makes it easier to not drink.
Keep it up - it's hard to do something different to what you are used to, especially if it's a routine you've had for a long time, and it's socially accepted (like drinking after football).

I've been on dry January by accident - I don't drink much and I've not had any social thing to go to where booze would have been normalised. I've also discovered that if you don't drink very often then even a couple of pints gives you the hangover from hell, so I'd rather avoid that (unless it's a genuine night out).
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 18, 2019, 04:03:44 pm
I guess it's easy for those people who haven't had a tumultuous relationship with booze to be shocked by these kinds of figures.
Yes-no. While your 39 units a week would be at least a couple of months for me, I reckon everyone has a potential addiction or at least "tumultuous relationship" within them. It might not be a substance like alcohol, it might be an activity like gambling or even something which in itself is beneficial but triggers some switch within you to take it to excess.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Kim on January 18, 2019, 04:07:04 pm
I guess it's easy for those people who haven't had a tumultuous relationship with booze to be shocked by these kinds of figures.
Yes-no. While your 39 units a week would be at least a couple of months for me, I reckon everyone has a potential addiction or at least "tumultuous relationship" within them. It might not be a substance like alcohol, it might be an activity like gambling or even something which in itself is beneficial but triggers some switch within you to take it to excess.

How else would you explain audax?  ;D
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Greenbank on January 18, 2019, 04:31:48 pm
Of all those, I find the Cobra almost bearable.  Though maybe that's just because it's like regular Cobra, and that's not exactly great. Then again, I'm not one for lager.
I actually like Nanny State (bottles, not tried can or draught).  Sure, it's Brewdog, so it's got a stupid name, but it actually tastes like beer. On the other hand, if you discover that beer isn't worth it without the alcohol component, then that's great, in some ways it makes it easier to not drink.

We've kind of done this before but I personally take Dry January to mean no booze and the 0.5% beers still contain enough booze for me to consider them booze.

https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/alcoholic-drinks-units/alcoholic-and-non-alcoholic-beers/ gives a summary of the various legal definitions for labelling in the UK:-

Quote
Alcohol-free beer = no more than 0.05% ABV
De-alcoholised beer = no more than 0.5% ABV
Low-alcohol beer = no more than 1.2% ABV
Alcoholic beer = contains more than 1.2% ABV

Nanny State falls in the De-alcoholised beer category, so it's more than 0.05%

(And we've done the 'but Orange Juice contains booze, bread contains booze, bananas are 1% ABV, anything that contains yeast will probably contain booze' bit upthread, but there's a big hypocrisy, for my own Dry January at least, in choosing to do abstinence and then actively choosing to drink extra/new stuff that kind of goes against the spirit of Dry January. My food intake will remain the same, so my morning glass of OJ will probably contain some booze, the bread I usually eat will probably contain some, but that's a whole world of difference to suddenly upping that to 6 pints of OJ a day.)

That being said, in terms of reducing intake post Dry-January, those kinds of beers (<1.2%) are interesting. I've got a book club evening on the 1st March and it makes it considerably easier if one of us is driving, so I'll look to take a bunch of cans of 0.5% lager (Sainsbury's used to stock a vaguely palatable 0.5% lager although I can't remember the brand, some proto-dutch sounding name IIRC). Even 8 cans of that would still be below half the drink drive limit (and the majority of that alcohol would be processed by the time I got in the car anyway). This is an every-2-months event where I would happily consume somewhere between 16-20 units usually (and not driving obviously), so planning for 2 is a considerable change.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: hellymedic on January 18, 2019, 04:53:08 pm
I guess it's easy for those people who haven't had a tumultuous relationship with booze to be shocked by these kinds of figures.
Yes-no. While your 39 units a week would be at least a couple of months for me, I reckon everyone has a potential addiction or at least "tumultuous relationship" within them. It might not be a substance like alcohol, it might be an activity like gambling or even something which in itself is beneficial but triggers some switch within you to take it to excess.

How else would you explain audax?  ;D

Indeed.

I didn't find it particularly difficult to stop when I couldn't ride though.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: hellymedic on January 18, 2019, 05:14:37 pm
I don't think folk are all equally likely to become addicts, though we all have the potential for addiction, given a suitable environment.
I am fortunate in having avoided most common addictions. I've come from a stable, non-addicted family, which must be the best start.

I decided to shun tobacco and drugs before I was 13 so have never touched these, apart from the occasional spliff.
Gambling has never attracted me as I seldom won anything.
Though I have had fairly massive social binges, I've never had a drinking habit. This is almost pure luck.

My only weakness is sugar/carbohydrate but I think I'm fairly moderate with that.

I am lucky...
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Greenbank on January 30, 2019, 04:06:20 pm
Almost there for Dry January (but I'm carrying on for another 16 days in Feb and on/off until late April).
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Wowbagger on January 30, 2019, 08:47:01 pm
I have reduced my alcohol consumption considerably as part of a weight loss campaign. Having said that, I have had two days where I know I had too much. Neither left me with a hangover, but that's bye the bye.

Regarding comparing smoking with drinking, when my daughter worked for CRUK, she told me that they regarded alcohol as being pretty much as bad as tobacco for its links with cancer, but they simply didn't have the resources to take on another massive multi-billion global industry with very strong links with the world's top politicians.

As with all poisons, the best policy is not to have them at all. Cutting consumption is better than full-on binge drinking. Having been all holier-than-thou in the above statements, I do enjoy beer, wine and whisky and I find it very hard to envisage a situation in which I will never have them again. I gave up smoking completely in 1987, shortly after giving up teaching. I have no desire whatever for a cigarette now.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: hellymedic on January 30, 2019, 08:57:07 pm
I had around 50ml of 5% wine at my niece's Bat Mitzvah meal at the weekend so I haven't been totally dry.

I don't think ¼ unit has any measurable effect on me anyway.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Greenbank on February 01, 2019, 10:26:29 am
Dry January done, now onwards until 17th Feb where mine will stop.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Chris S on February 01, 2019, 11:31:30 am
Dry January done, now onwards until 17th Feb where mine will stop.

31/31 for January here too. I'll probably do Feb too - it's all part of the weightloss thing.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Oxford_Guy on February 01, 2019, 11:36:33 am
Dry for 30/31 of January (not New Year's Day). Leaving today to go skiing in the French Alps for a week, sod staying dry for that...
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: tiermat on February 01, 2019, 11:39:42 am
Dry January done, now onwards until 17th Feb where mine will stop.

31/31 for January here too. I'll probably do Feb too - it's all part of the weightloss thing.

31/31 for me, too, not totally sure how far into Feb I will get....
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: chrisbainbridge on February 01, 2019, 12:46:49 pm
We had holidays in january so we had a half bottle of wine last night,  2013, St Emilion, and are now dry for the next month and probably into March as well as part of the weight loss.
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Lady Cavendish on February 01, 2019, 03:52:49 pm
Having thought I could have a lovely bottle of red, or champagne, or cocktails in Feb, i now find out that I have to carry on injecting fragmin for 6 weeks post childbirth, so dry Feb it is 😡🙈😭
Title: Re: Dry January 2019
Post by: Greenbank on February 16, 2019, 10:43:29 am
Last day for me, going to the pub later and could easily be tempted so will see if I can stick to my original decision.