The Weekly Habit Practices are mini-challenges intended to help you fine-tune different aspects of your health and wellness. Offered between Challenges, these practices address fitness, nutrition, stress reduction, productivity, and personal connection — because health is about far more than food and the gym (and we could all use a little practice).
A Week of No Alcohol
- Each day this week, abstain from drinking alcohol.
- Leave the beer in the fridge, the wine unopened, and the liquor cabinet closed. Unlike the Kickstart and Lifestyle levels of the Challenge (both of which allow a relatively small amount of weekly drinking), this Habit Practice foregoes all forms of alcohol at all times.
- The intention of this practice is not to keep you from enjoying life — you’ll still attend parties, go to restaurants, and spend time with your friends. You’ll just do it knowing that you’ve made a conscious choice to keep the adult beverages out of your system for seven days.
Why Is This Skill Important?
It seems like alcohol is everywhere we go — an accepted part of our social lives, an easy way to relax, an expected part of after-hours conduct. As a culture, we drink (and we enjoy it).
At the same time, alcohol consumption has far-reaching consequences for those pursuing calm, balance, and a wellness-oriented lifestyle. Here are some of the potential effects:
- Fat Loss: Ethanol (the primary chemical that gives alcohol its effects) has metabolic priority in the body, ensuring that it is metabolized before fat, carbohydrates, or protein — this effectively stops any ongoing fat loss in its tracks.
- Mood: Alcohol can have an impact on mood, with high alcohol consumption rates linked to depression.
- Sleep: Alcohol consumption is correlated with a reduction in sleep quality and duration, as well as an increase in sleep disturbances.
- Athletic Performance: Alcohol consumption can impair recovery from athletic activities, inhibit motor coordination, reduce muscular work capacity, and increase the potential for injury.
Going alcohol free for a week may seem like cakewalk (or it may be a great personal challenge). Regardless, you’ll get the chance to see the effects that abstaining has on your emotions, physical performance, body composition, and sleep quality — perhaps giving you insight into how you’ll approach drinking in the future.