July 9, 2020

Boost your health by cutting back

Woman hiking looks over town

Not feeling your best right now?

You’re not alone. 

The year 2020 has been tough for all Australians, and 1 in 5 of us are saying we’re experiencing difficulty maintaining a healthy lifestyle.1  For many, routines have been disrupted, gyms have been closed and the fridge and snack cupboard are much closer than usual. And, some Australians are also saying they’ve been consuming more alcohol than they normally would.1

One side effect of these pandemic-induced factors can be gaining a few extra COVID kilos.

After everything we’ve been going through, it’s important to be kind to ourselves now and focus on some small changes we can make to start feeling better, healthier and to up the personal positivity.

Cutting back on alcohol can deliver many rewards

Whatever your iso-drinking pattern has become, cutting back is one way to make a healthy change. 

The evidence is clear - there are so many benefits to cutting down, including dropping an extra kilo or two.

For some people, alcohol can impact eating behaviour and food choices. For example, some people may eat more if they drink alcohol before or during a meal.2 Or people might make less healthy food decisions when they’ve consumed alcohol than they otherwise would make.3

Reducing alcohol consumption also means cutting out extra kilojoules – and the ones from alcohol aren’t bringing your body any nutrients either.

Improved sleep is another benefit that can increase energy and improve mood.4 You might even be more inclined to get up earlier, feeling ready to exercise and get the most out of your day.

Everyone’s experience is different

The benefits you might notice from cutting down on alcohol will be a bit different for everyone.

Since everyone’s body and lifestyle is different, each person’s experience of alcohol impacting their health will be different too.5 In part this is due to differences in age, overall health and sleep, metabolism and lifestyle, including diet and exercise.6

It also hinges on what type of alcohol a person drinks, how much they drink, and how often they drink. 

For example, the health impact of drinks with high sugar mixers (like cola or other soft drinks), or beer, can differ from wine.5, 6

While the health benefits from cutting down will be different from person to person, and is related to your previous drinking levels, it’s a great way to start making a small change to your health that might help you shed some kilos and leave you feeling better in the long run. 

  1. Loneliness most common stressor during COVID-19 [press release]. Online: ABS, 18 May 2020 2020.
  2. Yeomans MR. Alcohol, appetite and energy balance: is alcohol intake a risk factor for obesity? Physiol Behav. 2010;100(1):82-9.
  3. Kruger JS, Kruger D. The impact of alcohol consumption on food choices among college students. American Journal of Health Studies. 2015;30(2):70-3.
  4. Roehrs T, Roth T. Sleep, sleepiness, and alcohol use. Alcohol Research & Health. 2001;25(2):101.
  5. Sayon-Orea C, Martinez-Gonzalez MA, Bes-Rastrollo M. Alcohol consumption and body weight: a systematic review. Nutrition Reviews. 2011;69(8):419-31.
  6. Traversy G, Chaput J-P. Alcohol Consumption and Obesity: An Update. Curr Obes Rep. 2015;4(1):122-30.

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