By Juliet Hodges, Bupa UK on
Bupa UK’s behaviour change advisor Juliet Hodges shares her top ten hacks to help all those who are going booze-free this October.
Believe in yourself
You might be feeling apprehensive about a whole month without alcohol and wondering if you have the willpower to last a full 31 days. Research shows that yes, you do – as long as you believe you do. People who believe that willpower is unlimited tend to be better at dealing with tasks that require self-control, and also tend to be happier. Tell yourself that you can do it, and it’s more likely that you will!
Get your friends on board
Our friends and family are vital to our success with this kind of thing , – they can either be your biggest supporters, or biggest liability if they’re...
By Juliet Hodges, Bupa UK on
‘Go Sober for October’ 2017 is well underway and Bupa UK’s behaviour change advisor Juliet Hodges has shared her top tips to how avoid sweet treats during a booze free month.
Overindulging with sugary treats is a really common antidote to giving up alcohol or taking a break. Sugar is a particularly potent replacement because it has a similar effect on the brain as alcohol, releasing dopamine which gives us a feeling of pleasure. So how can you beat the odds and avoid sugar while you Go Sober for October?
Try “if-then” planning
If you’re determined to keep the sweet treats at a minimum during October, one technique you could try is “if-then” planning, which has been shown to be an effective tool for changing behaviour. For example, you...
By Anne Finch on
Taking a break from booze is absolutely one of the best things you can do for your health. Not only are you giving your liver (and other organs!) a break, but you can expect these benefits:
- Better sleep – alcohol might help us fall asleep, but it leads to poorer quality sleep
- Less bar snacks – drinking stirs hunger, and can also lead to sub-optimal food choices (I’m looking at you late-night fried chicken)
- Less hangover remedies – greasy fry-ups, sugary drinks and fast food are pretty common on Sunday morning, meaning the effects of your weekend drag on
- More movement – not being glued to the couch recovering means more opportunities to get out and about
If you’re looking for even more ways to treat your body right, we’ve got some...
By Go Sober Team on
No one said that being a Soberhero was easy. Only the bravest and most fearless heroes will see it through to November without any alcohol touching their lips. You’re doing something amazing – and we salute you.
In preparation for your Go Sober:
- In September try to slow down your alcohol intake to half of what you would normally consume.
- Plan your social calendar. If you have an event that you really want to drink at, ask someone to buy you a Golden Ticket.
- Have a substitute for your usual weekend drinks. Try a mocktail or juice instead.
- Plan your meals and your shopping list.
- Remove all temptation from your house. Ask a friend or family member to mind your alcohol for you during October.
- Prepare your mind as well as your body...
By Peter Rule on
We all seek the taste of sweet foods naturally in our diet, however it can be easy to crave excess high sugar foods for many varied reasons.
We have 5 basic recognised tastes – sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami (savoury) however we can become imbalanced in our food choices due to stress, low energy, eating on the run, looking for psychological reward or treat or nutritional deficiencies, just to name a few.
Refined sugar is addictive due to the release of dopamine from the brain. Dopamine is one of the principal neurotransmitters involved in creating substance dependence on things like alcohol. The excess dopamine that is produced gives rise to powerful feelings of pleasure; however these excess levels also take a long-term toll on...
By Go Sober Team on
Carry on your good work from October through to November and beyond. Here are some practical tips if you want to try to cut down on the amount of alcohol you’re drinking.
- Before you start drinking, quench your thirst with a non-alcoholic drink
- Drink slowly – have a drink of water with your alcoholic drink
- Make every second drink non-alcoholic – this will help space out your drinks.
- Eat food when you’re drinking, but avoid salty foods – these make you thirstier.
- Try to dilute your alcoholic drinks – for example, a shandy (beer with lemonade) or a wine spritzer (wine with mineral water).
- Designate at least two alcohol-free days a week
- Know your standard drinks – buy an alcohol measure for at home
- One standard drink equals:
By Kirsty Welsh on
You’ve committed to a month without booze. That’s pretty huge! Here’s a virtual-fist pump from me to you!
It makes sense to maximise the next 31 days in terms of your own health gains; without alcohol in your body you can think clearer, move easier and you are creating a far more receptive environment for nutrient absorption, detoxing and cleansing. All these things move you closer to looking and feeling your best and most youthful.
Think of it as a 31-day health challenge, where you can actually do all the things you’ve been meaning to for so long!
I suggest that for the next 31 days you make healthier eating choices in general, but, and keep an open mind here… Why not try some lifestyle changes are directed at the mind-body connection?...
By Melissa Ingram on
The goal of detoxing is to cleanse the body of toxins however the truth is our body is detoxing all the time, via our skin, liver, kidneys and bowel. Even if you’re very health conscious, detoxifying once in a while is still important to give your body a rest from chemicals.
While abstaining from alcohol during Go Sober, try not to overdo it on other stimulants. Why not try a complete detox and cut back or cut out altogether things like caffeine, cigarettes and sugar and give yourself the best possible chance of a healthy October!
Some dos and don’ts when detoxing
- A slow approach is advised and more likely to result in a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix.
- Don’t starve yourself – being hungry simply makes the experience...
By Sarah Gibson on
Tips from psychologist Sarah Gibson
Thinking of taking on Go Sober? Wondering if you’ve got the willpower to see it through? For so many Brits, the prospect of a dry thirty-one day stretch can seem as gruelling as any marathon. Psychologist Sarah Gibson shares a few tips to help you rise to the challenge.
Link your goals to what you value
Remind yourself each and every day of how Go Sober relates to the kind of person you want to be: someone who helps people who are dealing with serious illness, someone who invests in their own health, someone who embraces challenge. Remember that such values-oriented action can have profound psychological wellbeing benefits as well as the obvious physical benefits of abstaining. It’s not just a win-win. It...