For many, the holidays was a time to indulge and it wasn't uncommon to hit up the LCBO to ring in the new year with a bottle of beer or wine.
But after all the parties are done, and the recycling bin is filled to the brim with bottles and cans, some of you may want to reconsider your relationship with alcohol.
Thus comes Dry January, a month dedicating to going cold turkey and abstaining from a couple of cold ones.
Dr. Mitch Shulman, has seen his fair share of alcohol related emergency room visits, having treated many patients.
He tells Kitchener's Mike Farwell Show on 570 NEWS that as a doctor, he is going to recommend people to cut back, stop, or just not start drinking in the first place.
"If you're going to drink, drink responsibly and that's entirely up to you, but if you want to take advantage of of this, and stop drinking for the month, it will do you a lot of good."
Dr. Shulman says there's quite of bit of misinformation out there when it comes to the health benefits of alcohol. Articles that say a glass of wine with your meal will do your heart good, runs counter to what doctors recommend. He cites a 2018 study from the Lancet, a general medical journal, that found no level of alcohol consumption improves health.
Meanwhile, taking the pledge to abstain for a month can do the body a lot of good. He says it can give you a chance "to figure out how important alcohol is in your life."
"As miserable as it may make you feel, if you're someone who really uses alcohol as a crutch---as a helper in difficult situation---it's tough to lose that helper."
"But on the other hand, if Dry January gives you the chance to realize that you've been leaning on alcohol as a crutch; as a support, maybe it's doing you a benefit in that sense as well."
If you come to realize you can go without a can of beer for a month, it may be a sign to consider therapy, according to Dr. Shulman.
Some other benefits from going dry; the money saved from passing on a trip to the liquor store, and cutting calories.
"Alcohol whether its wine or beer or spirits, all have a fair amount of calories. Humans are not very good at calculating calories when it comes to drunk calories. And drunk, you not very good at of keeping track of your calories in manner shape of form."
In his experience, people who make it through the month will naturally cut back on their alcohol consumption after realizing how much alcohol plays a role in their life.
But if you take the time to celebrate making it through the month by binging the very next; not only does that not count, but its is even worse for your overall health.
Dr. Shulman says Dry January can be a very positive experience for many people and that many should consider giving it a go. Just don't develop a ego afterwards.
"The problem with anything like a Dry January, you get people who become just totals zealots, fanatics about it, and that's bad. The idea is not to dump on other people because they don't follow your path, but to be happy with the path that you've chosen for yourself."
- KitchenerToday.com/Rogers Media