empty wine bottle

If drinking less is your New Year’s resolution, you aren’t alone. A Greek (as in fraternity, not Athens) guy in college once swore to me on January 2nd that he’d go sober for 365 days. Incredulous, I asked how that was possible, and he answered: “Well, not in a row.”

Americans like to drink. Not as much as Canadians and Russians, but still a lot. The good news: A recent study published in Preventing Chronic Disease found that most Americans who drink “excessively” (15 or more drinks a week for men; 8 or more drinks a week for women) aren’t alcohol dependent. Meaning they aren’t alcoholics. Meaning if you wanted to stay sober for one month, odds are it wouldn’t lead to withdrawal. Sure, you might suffer from fear of missing out (FOMO), but you shouldn’t lose control of your bodily functions.

But how good is one month of sobriety for your health anyway? The staff of the New Scientist attempted to answer that question, and found that avoiding alcohol for a few weeks may actually do wonders for your body.

The Study

First: 14 staff members gave blood samples and had ultrasounds done to measure the amount of fat in their livers. Next, 10 of them abstained from alcohol for five weeks, while four continued to drink normally. At the end of five weeks, they all went back to the hospital to repeat the blood work and ultrasounds.

Here’s how it played out:

cutting out the booze infographic


Giving up alcohol for one month may significantly improve your health, though more research is required. The only real downside: Those involved in the study felt less social. So if you’re looking for an excuse to binge watch Netflix while possibly losing weight, lowering your cholesterol, and sleeping better, try going dry. Then share your results in the comments section below.