It’s something you’ve talked about doing for years but have never fully committed to -- probably because the thought of spending the last month of summer with a soda water instead of a Chardonnay gives you sweaty palms, a dry mouth and an imaginary cloud over your head due to last one whole treacherous month.
But before you get all YOLO and defensive (“why on earth would I give up the one thing I look forward to at the end of the day?”) know that you don’t have to quit alcohol to participate. While traditionally that was the case, you also have the option to give up sugar.
So while the average Australian is consuming three times their recommended daily intake, it seems there’s no time like the present to kick the habit. The added bonus of ditching the sweet stuff over alcohol? Your social calendar won’t be affected (just steer clear of the Piña coladas).
"From those who've participated, we know that febfast offers benefits beyond just the month of February -- with the act of self-control inspiring thousands of people to continue this way of life for some time to come," Laura Callow, febfast national director said.
Not convinced? Whether it's alcohol or sugar you're thinking about quitting -- here’s five reasons to join the 29-day fast.
Going booze-free for just one month will do wonders for your body
Research out of the University College London found patients who gave up alcohol for four weeks saw improvements in their blood pressure and cholesterol levels resulting in a lower risk of developing liver disease (and better liver function) and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
You’ll sleep better
Sure, alcohol helps you nod off faster, but the quality of sleep is average. This is because alcohol decreases the amount of REM sleep we get which is important for consolidating memories and learning from the previous day.
It will put you in good stead for the year ahead
A study published in a journal of Health Psychology found those that attempted to quit alcohol for just one month consumed less alcohol and got drunk less in the six months that followed.
It gets you in the habit of reading the label (and being cluey about hidden sugar)
If you’re opting to quit sugar, nutritionist Rebecca Gawthorne recommends checking the label -- on everything! “Even if you don't think something contains sugar, check the label. Sugar can be listed under many different names including sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose...the list goes on!”
You’ll be a happier human
With over 6000 participants in 2015, of which 62 percent reported they lost weight during the month from giving up either sugar or alcohol, 81 percent also saved money to invest in actual fun things, like a holiday.
To learn more or sign up head to febfast.org.au.