Did you enjoy numerous glasses of wine, beer, champagne or imbibe in too many other alcoholic beverages during the winter holidays? Are you ready to reset your diet for the New Year? “Dry January,” or going alcohol-free for the month of January, is an annual tradition for some people as a part of their New Year resolutions as a way to detoxify from the overindulgences of the holiday season.

Did you enjoy numerous glasses of wine, beer, champagne or imbibe in too many other alcoholic beverages during the winter holidays? Are you ready to reset your diet for the New Year? “Dry January,” or going alcohol-free for the month of January, is an annual tradition for some people as a part of their New Year resolutions as a way to detoxify from the overindulgences of the holiday season.

What can you expect from one month with no alcohol? That will probably depend on your usual drinking behaviors. Someone who drinks occasionally probably won't notice as much of a difference as someone who has four or five drinks in one night or drinks several nights a week.

For women, low-risk drinking is defined as no more than 3 drinks on any single day and no more than 7 drinks per week. For men, it is defined as no more than 4 drinks on any single day and no more than 14 drinks per week. If you drink more than that regularly, you may experience some withdrawal symptoms, similar to a hangover.

But, giving up alcohol for just one month can have some surprising benefits.

You might lose weight. One beer has about 150 calories; a small glass of wine has about 120 calories; and mixed drinks ranging from 100 to 400 calories or more per drink. Cutting these calories can help with losing some weight. Alcohol also tends to increase our appetite and make us less likely to resist impulse eating, so you might find yourself eating less.

You will sleep better. You may think alcohol makes you drowsy, but it really is a sleep disrupter. Alcohol interferes with the important REM stage of sleep, making your sleep less restful. Plus, alcohol is a diuretic, so you may not need to get up to use the bathroom at night.

You’ll give your liver a break. Alcohol is a toxin, and it is the liver’s job to filter toxins out of your body. Heavy drinking can take a toll on your liver and lead to fatty liver or cirrhosis. The liver is a remarkable organ capable of repairing itself and even regenerating provided too much damage has not already been done.

You might avoid the usual winter colds and flu. Just one bout of drinking in excess can weaken your immune system for up to 24 hours. Throughout time, large amounts of alcohol can blunt the ability of your immune system to fight off illnesses.

Your blood pressure may be lower. Consuming more than 3 drinks in one setting can temporarily increase your blood pressure. Frequent alcohol consumption can lead to long-term increases in blood pressure. Alcohol also can interfere with the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.

Your brain will be clearer. Alcohol dependence can make it harder to think or remember things. Throughout time, heavy drinking can slow your thinking and affect your motor skills. Alcohol also can enhance anxious and depressed feelings.

You will look better. Since alcohol is a diuretic, it can cause your skin cells to lose their natural plumpness that makes you look younger and healthier. Alcohol also can cause redness and puffiness in your face.

You’ll save money. Alcoholic drinks can be expensive, especially if you typically drink at bars or restaurants. You may be surprised at how reasonable dinner out is without the usual alcoholic beverages tacked on.

You’ll have more energy, not only from sleeping better but also because alcohol can deplete your supply of B vitamins, which have an impact on your energy and mood. More energy means you’ll be better able to stick to exercise routines and healthy habits.

You’ll remember how to relax, socialize and have fun without alcohol. Too often, social gatherings are centered around alcohol. Eliminating alcohol can lead to more authentic connections with others.

If you resume your alcoholic beverages after “Dry January,” take into consideration how much you typically drink. For heart health, no more than one drink per day for women or 2 drinks per day for men is recommended. One drink is considered to be 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ½ ounces of hard liquor.

Anita Marlay, R.D., L.D., is a dietitian in the Cardiopulmonary Rehab department at Lake Regional Health System in Osage Beach, Mo.