Ever-popular 30 day challenges are a well-known wellness trend. One especially common self-imposed test is Dry January, which encourages participants to give up alcohol for a month. If that sounds tough, imagine going more than three months without a drop of booze. Now that’s rough.
Freelance journalist and former Men’s Heath UK senior editor Jonathan Thompson went 100 days without alcohol to see how it would improve his overall health. Not only did Thompson give up alcohol, but he also went without sugar and increased his exercise regimen for the last half of the experiment.
“When I started the challenge, I saw the benefits straight away,” Thompson says. “Then, after the initial spike, I started to really crave sugar. So when I quit sugar as well as alcohol, that drove my mood to the floor.”
No one is perfect, and Thompson did slip up one day during the challenge. On Day 56, he drank several sugary cocktails at an event. But he didn’t let that derail his progress. After the slip up, Thompson says he started to find balance —and it had an impact.
Thompson said his stress and anxiety reduced during the challenge. His liver also repaired itself, reducing the amount of scar tissue on the organ for overall better functioning. His physical fitness improved greatly over the 100 days, as did his skin.
The experiment, however, didn’t have an effect on his high cholesterol, proving to Thompson that cutting down on alcohol isn’t a silver bullet when it comes to reducing cholesterol levels.
Thompson’s end verdict is simple: “I feel quite drained. But I certainly saved a lot of money.” Cheers to that.
Watch the whole experiment below: