Top Tips for making it through ‘Dry January’

Every year I strongly consider becoming a “Dry Athlete” and giving up the booze for January. After all, Dry January is the perfect way for your body and wallet to recover from an indulgent Christmas, not to mention New Year celebrations.

By giving up your old friend alcohol for a mere 31 days, you will save a few quid, lose a few pounds, and feel more energised and refreshed in the process. But for some people that’s not as easy as it sounds. January has five whole booze free weekends to get through.

If, like me, you’re considering giving your liver a well-earned break, here are some very helpful tips from Tugend Demir, restaurant manager at The Arch London in Marylebone.

1. Don’t hibernate

The worst thing you can possibly do is to hole yourself up in your house and attempt to hibernate. Make it your mission to get up and make the most of your hangover free weekends and mornings. Plan activities you would never normally get round to at times you would never usually be up.

2. Ditch cocktails for detoxing mocktails

Don’t settle for plain old tap water when you go out. Drinking mocktails is a great way to get through dry January, as you are still treating yourself to a luxurious drink, minus the calories and headache the next morning. For example, at The Arch London you can try Seedlip, the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit, which has zero calories and is sugar, sweetener and artificial flavour-free.

3. Know your numbers

Read it and weep. A Pina Colada cocktail with rum has 644 calories. That’s more than a Big Mac burger. A pint of larger has 180 calories – more than a small slice of chocolate cake. And a large glass of white wine is 185 calories – the equivalent of 4 fish fingers. Calculate exactly how many calories you will save by ditching the booze – odds are you’ll be shocked by how many you can save.

4. Plan a holiday

Planning a holiday is the perfect way to motivate yourself during dry January. Putting all the money you’ve saved on booze into a ‘holiday piggy bank’ will be a visible inspiration to keep going, along with your shrinking waistline of course. Win, win.

5. Recruit a partner in crime

Your driathlon will be about a million times easier if you have a least one of your friends on board the good ship sensible. You’ll have a sober partner in crime to go out with and look suitably smug while your other friends are being drunken idiots around you.

6. Get drunk on love

Replace visiting your old friend alcohol with seeing real actual people that you care about. Arrange to go and see that old friend you’ve been meaning to visit, visit your parents, or make time for your partner. Booking a romantic city break is the perfect idea as it takes you away for a weekend of relaxation, and no pressure to go to the pub with your friends.

Glass being filled with white wine

7. Try a new type of exercise

Taking up a new exercise for the month will boost your levels of serotonin plus giving you something else to focus on. Try a ‘Ravercise’ classes – think daytime clubbing without the booze – for your dancing hit while staying firmly on the wagon.

8. Think positive

Don’t picture your month of sobriety as something negative. Think of it as something great you are achieving purely for yourself. Rather than focusing on denying yourself alcohol, envision your success and how happy you will be at the end of the month when you have reached your goal.

9. Tell Everyone

By telling everyone you are never drinking ever again (well, for January) will increase your chances of success. Why? Because your feelings of shame will be increased by about 98% if your friends or family catch you clutching a sneaky gin & tonic when you shouldn’t be.

10. Cut back, don’t cut out

If all else fails, simply cut back on your alcohol intake and set yourself an achievable goal per week. This will be much more easy to sustain and will certainly alleviate any January blues. There are also plenty of other ways to put goodness into your body, by upping your intake of fruit and vegetables, drinking more water, and taking supplements such as Milk Thistle which protect the liver from alcohol damage and premature ageing by helping to regenerate liver cells.

Will you be signing up for “Dry January” this year?

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18 Comments on "Top Tips for making it through ‘Dry January’"

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I love the sound of having a dry January but I don’t think I would ever manage it!

Starlight and Stories

I like the bit about not hibernating. I think that’s great advice for anyone in the winter months.

Rebecca Smith

Great tips here. I’m afraid I never sign up but that’s because my birthday is in January and I would like to celebrate!

Amanda Millie

You’ve got some great tips here. I’m cutting alcohol for the foreseeable future so I think mocktails are going to be my go-to.


I have considered doing dry January but it is one of the worst months of the year to do it (in my opinion)……I have one more night to make up my mind LOL

Yeah Lifestyle

Just decided that I am going to follow with dry january to detox my system, using your post as a guide to help me. Thanks.

Alan Moore

644 calories in a Pina Colada, wow. Interesting article:)


I involuntarily signed up already, being pregnant and all that lol. Great tips though 🙂


I’m doing this but cutting out soda and dare I say it,COFFEE!! I know coffee will be rough but I’m going to drink tea instead. Wish me luck

Rachel Evans

Great tips – I think a lot of people drink out of habit or they feel that they need it to get through the week, but finding meaningful activities (e.g. as you say, going out with friends or exercising) can help to make life more positive and Dry January easier.


I think you’ve provided some good tips for those who want to achieve dry January. It’s easy for me as I’m a non drinker! Increasing your water intake is also very beneficial

Laura Dove

Great tips for those doing dry January. I don’t really drink anyway so I do dry most months!! I will actually be drinking this January though as I have a trip away to enjoy, good luck!


This time of year i really are tempted to hibernate


I am unable to drink due to health reasons and I have to say it honestly does not bother me one little bit. I love your tips tho!

Nayna Kanabar

This is such a great post and I definitely agree that it really helps if you have a partner in crime to help you and support, it makes it easier. I hope many people take up this. challenge.


I’d toyed with the idea of doing Dry January this year, but I only lasted 12 hours, lol! Maybe next year…

Emily Leary

These are great tips. I very rarely drink and reading this made me realise I do a lot of these things out of habit, such as ordering mocktails!