febfast: Pause your drinking for a cause this February

By Efrosini Costa

febfast: Pause your drinking for a cause this February
We all love an excuse for a drink – in fact, it’s engrained in our culture. We drink to celebrate, commiserate and commemorate, but our love of booze could be a problem.

Whether it’s after work, at our favourite sports event, on public holiday, Australians and New Zealanders don’t mind ‘a bit of a drink’.

But if we take a look at the facts around our love of drinking, some of the statistics are sobering.

On average, those of us over 15 years of age drink up to ten litres of alcohol each year. That’s the equivalent of 500 bottles of beer!

For those more vulnerable to health issues – be it fluctuating weight, mood swings, or low immune systems – this love of alcohol can cause major problems when combined with other substance and lifestyle-related risk factors.

In fact, it can be a potent mix, with four teenagers dying and more than 60 rushed to hospital as a result of alcohol abuse every week. With a 70 per cent increase in liquor outlets, (that’s one store per 300 people) it’s not hard to understand why we’re so easily inclined to drink.

Enter the Febfast challenge; it’s urging all of us to give up booze for 28 days, (according to our calculations, it’s precisely one day less than last year’s leap year!) and enjoy the benefits of a month-long detox. You’ll also be helping troubled teens and families, with all money raised going to partner organisations, Youth Support + advocacy group and family drug support.

Here are three great reasons why you should try giving up alcohol for a month:

1.    Lose weight & look great

We are all aware that wine and beer are pack full of carbohydrates and calories. In fact, a standard drink of alcohol contains up to 56 calories and once mixed with other ingredients, could creep up to almost 150 calories per drink. So why not try to shed those extra kilos by forgoing your next drink? You’ll also notice an improvement in your sleep, skin and memory.

2.    Save money

This reason doesn’t require quite as much explanation. Try calculating how much you spend on average for your drinks every week. Multiply that by 52 and you’ll get your annual total spend on booze. Take that number and then add 10 per cent, as public holidays and long weekend tend to triple your drinking on average. Then imagine what you could do with your spare cash, a holiday, new electronic device and fancy shoes?

3.    Hangovers be gone

Hangovers can be crippling; they can mean days of being unable to go outside, socialise and meet with family and friends. They can also cause you to be late for work, meetings or deadlines. No one likes a hangover and no one should. It’s our body’s way of telling us that we’ve crossed a boundary. Going alcohol-free means you will be hangover-free.  Morning run, swim, breakfast date or stroll around the weekend markets anyone?

Will you be joining the febfast team this month? Share your progress or words of encouragement for those who are getting involved in the comments section below, or join the discussion on our Facebook and Twitter pages.


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