Proof you DON’T need to give up booze to live longer

Proof you DON’T need to give up booze to live longer: Fascinating experiment on a group who admit to drinking most days (but not to excess) finds reducing their alcohol intake had surprisingly little impact on their health

  • TMOS recruited volunteers to find out if giving up alcohol improves health   
  • New government-guidelines suggest a person drinks 14 units of alcohol a week
  • Those who gave up alcohol lost weight and saw their liver-fat measurements fall 

Can giving up alcohol for a month turn your health around? 

It’s a question millions of Britons will no doubt be considering when they Go Sober For October – quitting booze to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support – or take part in the annual Dry January campaign next year.

But does going cold turkey for such a relatively short time make a difference? 

Or would we benefit just as much by simply sticking to the new Government guidelines: 14 units – the equivalent of about six pints or glasses of wine – spread evenly over a week, with several non-drinking days?

The Mail on Sunday set out to answer these questions, by recruiting 12 men and women to take part in a unique experiment.


Can giving up alcohol for a month turn your health around? The Mail on Sunday recruited 12 men and women to take part in a unique experiment. Angela, 49, Sarra, 45, Borlina, 32, Sophia, 55, and Clare, 34, (pictured left to right) gave up alcohol and reported positive health results


Our volunteers were chosen because they, like one in ten British adults, admitted to enjoying a tipple at least five days a week.

None, it must be pointed out, drank to what they considered excess – a glass of wine with dinner, perhaps a gin and tonic afterwards, and maybe a bit more on an evening out at the weekend.

Five of them agreed not to touch a drop for a month, and five were instructed to adhere strictly to the Government’s 14-units-a-week guidelines.

Two were allowed to carry on as they normally did, drinking as much, and as often, as they liked.

At the beginning and end of the month, all 12 had their blood pressure, cholesterol and vital statistics measured – and underwent a raft of blood tests designed to measure liver function.

One of the tests was a new kind of ultrasound scan that measures inflammation and fat in the liver.

It is the liver that is primarily responsible for processing alcohol in the body, and regular drinking can cause fat to accumulate within the organ. 

Drinking too much or too often can also ‘overload’ it, resulting in damage to the liver cells and affecting the organ’s ability to repair itself. Eventually, this can lead to inflammation, scarring and potentially life-threatening liver failure.

The results of our trial gave a fascinating insight into the relative benefits of abstinence, versus a little self-control (or none at all).

Perhaps most surprisingly, both those who abstained from drinking entirely and those who drank within the recommended 14 units per week saw similar benefits in terms of liver health.

In just four weeks, two participants in both the cold-turkey group and the Government-guidelines group saw a drop in the amount of the fat that had built up in their liver. One of those still drinking 14 units a week went from a high-risk liver fat category to normal.

‘These results show that the problem can be reversed in a short amount of time by cutting back on alcohol,’ says Professor Stephen Ryder, medical adviser to the British Liver Trust. ‘Both groups saw improvements because most were consuming far too much alcohol, and cut back.’

NO ONE WANTED TO ADMIT TO BOOZING

Recruiting for our experiment proved difficult. We initially put out feelers via social media, and through personal and professional contacts. 

We were contacted by scores of people who fitted our criteria of drinking most days, but never to excess, and were interested to know exactly how their habits were affecting their health.

But when it came to the crunch, many didn’t want their employers or families to know they drank so often. Others changed their minds – sheepish, when it was totted up, about how much they knocked back.

Once we had our 12 willing drinkers, we allowed them to choose which group they wanted to be in – where possible.

They had a consultation with Dr Tim Cross, a consultant liver expert at the Spire Hospital in Liverpool, where the tests were conducted.


Tom, 54, Jonathan, 48, Hayley, 51, Maurice, 54 (pictured left to right) stuck to drinking 14 units of alcohol a week. The new Government guidelines: 14 units – the equivalent of about six pints or glasses of wine – spread evenly over a week


Before the tests, Dr Cross said: ‘I don’t expect to see any huge changes in their liver in a month. Damage takes place over decades, rather than days or weeks. Sensible drinking needs to be long-term to have any effect on liver health. But there may be improvements in cholesterol, weight and blood pressure, all of which affect our general health – and the liver.’

All the appointments for the first round of tests took place on the same day. And as our participants gathered in the hospital’s reception area, their conversation centred on booze.

Sophia Kupse, 55, an author and health therapist from Bradford, told us a glass of red wine with her evening meal was her reward at the end of a busy working day. But her seemingly harmless habit racked up a staggering 23 units a week – nine more than the recommended limit.

Marie Stonham, 66, a retired nurse from South Bretton, Cambridgeshire, enjoys a glass of red while she cooks dinner, as well as occasional ‘binge’ sessions at the weekend. The odd beer at her local took her total up to more than twice the Government recommendation.

MANY DRANK FAR MORE THAN THEY THOUGHT

Dr Cross made a note of how much alcohol the patients said they drank each week.

For some, like Lowri Davies-Warwick, a 19-year-old customer care representative from Swansea, who drinks most nights, it was a lot – she drank wine, cider, rum, vodka and cocktails, amounting to almost three times the recommended amount.

Not surprised at her units, she didn’t see any harm in her drinking. Others, like Tom Nash, a 54-year-old writer from North London, drank about ten units per week – mostly red and white wine. 

The lightest drinker, he initially underestimated his intake – like many Britons, he wasn’t sure how much constitutes a unit.


Lowri, 19, and Marie, 66, continued normal drinking during the experiment. Lowri (left) said she drank most nights, amounting to almost three times the recommended amount. Marie (right) who enjoys a glass of red while cooking dinner, occasional ‘binge’ and the odd beer – taking her total up to more than twice the government recommendation


Maurice Garbutt, 54, a plant operator, and his wife Hayley, 51, a care assistant, from Hunmanby, North Yorkshire, enjoyed a gin and tonic in the hot tub or several drinks with friends on a night out.

They both admitted to having ‘no idea’ how much they drank, so were shocked when Dr Cross revealed their total: 20 units for her, and 34 for him.

Dr Cross explains: ‘Some people confused a glass with a unit, so many were drinking far more than they had estimated.’

One unit equals 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol. So a pint of four per cent beer, lager or cider or a 175ml (large) glass of 13 per cent wine is just over two units. A 25ml shot of 40 per cent spirit is one unit.

PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT CAN HELP

To make sure there were no mistakes, those drinking to Government guidelines were each given measurement cups provided by alcohol education charity Drinkaware, along with information sheets about units.

The participants were also offered psychological support with clinical hypnotherapist Georgia Foster, an expert in alcohol reduction, who could answer their queries by email or telephone.

They were given access to her online programme, 7 Days To Drink Less, which contains a series of 25-minute hypnotherapy sessions to help with stress management, positive thinking and self-esteem.

‘There are two types of drinker, in my experience,’ says Foster.

‘Some have a glass of wine while they make dinner. For them, cutting back is easier because it’s just a habit that needs to be broken.

‘But then there are emotional drinkers who use alcohol to cope with stress, anxiety, loneliness or boredom.

‘Drinking might make them happy, relaxed and more confident – so their brain will always be looking for that fix.’


Dr Tim Cross, a consultant liver expert at the Spire Hospital in Liverpool, said: ‘The message from this experiment is not to stop drinking completely, but to drink sensibly, according to the recommended guidelines. Giving up alcohol for a month is beneficial – but only if it leads to sensible drinking the rest of the year’


Only Sarra Smith, 45, a performance coach, from Manchester, and Angela Furlong, 49, an administrator from Liverpool, both in the cold-turkey group, used the programme.

At the halfway stage, everyone was doing well. Couple Hayley and Maurice, sticking to Government guidelines, had bought a tandem and were riding round the North Yorkshire countryside. 

Clare Clark, 34, an administration assistant from Peterborough, another in the cold-turkey group, was taking her children for regular visits to the park.

No one admitted to falling off the wagon. Only one of our participants, who was also in the Government-guidelines group, pulled out – for personal reasons.

THE RESULTS… WITH A SURPRISE IN STORE

After four weeks, 11 volunteers returned to the hospital to collect their results. 

At the beginning of the experiment, most of the volunteers had moderate-to-high liver-fat levels with two volunteers showing worryingly high levels. 

In just one month, two in the cold-turkey group saw their liver-fat measurements fall significantly. Their drastic reduction in alcohol had paid off.

The other three in that group saw no change in liver fat – which Dr Cross said was a sign they may have to change their diet as well as their drinking for a longer period to see a difference. 

Two of them lost weight, each shedding 2 lb to 3 lb. 

But two of those who’d gone a month without drinking a drop actually gained a little weight, one putting on 1 lb, the other just under a pound. 

‘This could be down to compensatory behaviour,’ suggests Dr Cross. ‘They may have eaten more instead of drinking.’

There were no changes in blood pressure and cholesterol.

Prof Ryder comments: ‘They may need to keep their regime going for longer to see an improvement in blood pressure and cholesterol.’

So what of those who drank to the Government guidelines of 14 units a week?

Surprisingly, two volunteers in this group also saw significant falls in liver fat levels. 

One of these volunteers saw the biggest drop of all participants – from dangerously high to within healthy levels. 

The other two had no significant change. All four lost a small amount of weight – an average of just over 1 lb – and one saw his cholesterol levels fall slightly.

The control group – the two who carried on drinking as much as they liked – saw no improvement in liver fat, weight, blood pressure or cholesterol.

In all groups, the special liver scan – the Fibroscan – showed no serious liver damage.

But Dr Cross pointed out that if they carried on drinking as much as they had been, it could cause problems in the future.

Last year there were almost 15,000 liver-related deaths in the UK and it is now the biggest cause of death among 35-to-49-year-olds.

Dr Cross said: ‘It can take decades to see any significant damage to the liver.’

But he added: ‘It’s reassuring that we have seen some health improvements, even within a month. Losing weight, lowering cholesterol and reducing fat in the liver can only be a good thing.

‘The message from this experiment is not to stop drinking completely, but to drink sensibly, according to the recommended guidelines. Giving up alcohol for a month is beneficial – but only if it leads to sensible drinking the rest of the year.’


TESTS THAT REVEAL THE DAMAGE TO YOUR LIVER 

Participants underwent a series of detailed tests at the beginning and end of the experiment to measure aspects of health known to be affected by alcohol intake.

WEIGHT AND BMI

Alcohol is high in calories and drinking large quantities is known to pile on the pounds, increasing the risk of a host of obesity-related diseases. 

The researchers computed participants’ body mass index – or BMI – before and after the experiment. 

Those with a BMI over 24.9 are considered overweight, and at increased risk of heart disease.

BLOOD PRESSURE AND CHOLESTEROL

Blood pressure and cholesterol are known to be high in big drinkers. 

Alcohol increases the rate at which blood is pumped around the body and, once digested, the toxins break down into cholesterol and fatty acids, leading to a build-up of cholesterol in the blood. 

High blood pressure and high cholesterol are the most common causes of heart attack, heart failure and stroke.

LIVER BLOOD TESTS

All participants were subjected to the same series of blood tests, designed to detect liver problems. 

Some tested for an increase in proteins released during liver-tissue repair, indicating good organ function. 

Others looked for enzymes released when the liver tissue is damaged. Another test measured blood-clotting time, as liver damage affects the body’s blood-clotting ability.

THE FIBROSCAN

A special type of ultrasound, called a Fibroscan, measured the amount of scarring and fat content of the liver – both indicators of disease. 

Doctors use a hand-held device, connected to a computer, to deliver high-frequency sound waves to the liver. 

 The speed at which the waves ‘bounce off’ the liver indicates the level of scarring. Another pattern of sound waves tells doctors how much fat is contained within the organ.

For more information about the 7 Days to Drink Less program click here

You can read the original Mail on Sunday article by clicking here

 

HYPNO NEWS: Interviews, LIVE Webinars, LIVE Seminars ESBD & ERT inside!

It’s been a very busy year in all great ways. My In-Law’s were here from the UK for 3 months which was just wonderful. We were all very sad to wave them goodbye at Melbourne airport last week.

Here’s an update about a few things I have been up to since my last Hypno News.

US Nurses and Military

I was recently interviewed by a radio station in the US for Nurses and spouses of Military personnel too. I know people in these professions are seriously at the coal face and experience things we will never have to endure. They are truly courageous in their career choices. During these interviews we discussed stress triggers which can be many and often involve food, alcohol and general anxiety.

Emotional Resilience Training

I am receiving some beautiful emails from people who have started using my new Emotional Resilience program (ERT) that I co-created with Virginia Alexandra. I know we are all too familiar with mental health issues which includes negative thinking, anxiety and low self worth. I am offering below an extended 50% off to help those who would like to become familiar and comfortable being emotionally safe in their every day lives.

ESBD Families – new children’s anxiety program

Some exciting news for us parents out there… Since becoming a mum to triplet boys, I know only too well how important early self esteem can be. Aristotle famously said ‘Give me the child till the age of 7 and I will create the man!’ We know this means all boys and girls. The good news is, this program is for stressed out parents too who are looking for some healthier coping strategies, so it’s not just for the kids! Watch this space for this exciting new program which I have co-created with the help of some amazing friends and practitioners to truly help families out there.

Webinars

In the last two weeks, I’ve enjoyed running my 7 Days To Drink Less Webinar.

Thank you to everyone that joined me from the US, UK and Australia. It was truly a fantastic experience. If you missed it, you can catch a replay by following the links below.

Also, my new Weight Less Mind webinar is ready too. If you are struggling with emotional eating then it’s a definite must to watch!


I am over being told I have to ‘quit’ are you?

But you see I just don’t get it!

What is wrong with moderation?

Why can’t we control ourselves enough to enjoy the occasional treat or glass of wine or two?

Well, I know you can… In fact I have been helping people take control of their ‘guilty pleasures’ for 24 years.

Join me for my free webinar where I will help you understand how you can choose to alleviate your fears about how much you drink and learn more about my online alcohol reduction program 7 Days to Drink Less.

Register for webinar


Melbourne & Sydney seminars and finally Canberra too!

My next round of seminars in Melbourne and Sydney are just around the corner and the great news is I am coming to Canberra for the first time too!

If you live in or near any of these cities, come and experience LIVE hypnosis and walk out feeling great, while naturally drinking less in just one day!

I have extended my early bird special until 20th May, so come join me for a life changing experience.

Yes, book my early bird seat NOW for Melbourne!

Yes, book my early bird seat NOW for Sydney!

Yes, book my early bird seat NOW for Canberra!


This is your very last chance to get our special launch price of our new Emotional Resilience Training Program.

Perhaps you resonate with these statements…

  • I life feel like life is struggle
  • I am consumed with negative emotions
  • I am emotionally exhausted
  • I worry about my future a lot

Not only does negative thinking, anxiety and stress impact on your self-esteem… It can be a major cause of weight gain or massive weight loss, high blood pressure and emotional unrest.

The GOOD NEWS is there is a quick, no-nonsense approach here for you RIGHT NOW!

Learn more about the program here or buy now with 50% off


I am over being told I have to ‘eat this or eat that’ to be happier and healthier are you?

We live in a social media fuelled world where every day we are told we have to ‘quit’ sugar, fat, carbs, alcohol – just about every guilty pleasure needs to go. It’s seriously boring and seriously depressing! I worked out I spent a crazy 15 years worrying about my weight which kept me in a perpetual spiral of anxiety and self doubt and a BIG part of me feels really sad about this.

I know how hard it is to imagine life feeling free from the chains of the ‘diet’ mentality. If you’ve ever felt this way too join me on my free Weight Less Mind Webinar where i’ll alleviate any concerns you may have about your relationship with food.

Register for the Webinar


 

Hypno News! New Seminar Dates, USA, AUS & NZ. TV Interview, New Products and Early Bird Discounts!

HYPNO NEWS: New Seminar Dates, USA, AUS & NZ. TV Interview, New Products and Early Bird Discounts!
 
I hope that you are having a fantastic January… just a few updates for you!
 
Exciting news! I am coming back to Auckland on Saturday 2nd February, so anybody that side of the world, if you want to learn in one day how to drink less alcohol then this day is for YOU! Early bird discount is still available if you ACT NOW! https://www.georgiafoster.com/the-drink-less-mind-seminar-auckland
 
Join me for the Drink Less Mind Seminar in Melbourne on Saturday 9th March. https://www.georgiafoster.com/the-drink-less-mind-seminar-melbourne
 
Join me for the Drink Less Mind Seminar in Sydney on Saturday 16th March. https://www.georgiafoster.com/the-drink-less-mind-seminar-sydney
 
I travelled to London twice last year to run seminars, which as you may know was my stomping ground for 22 years! It was great to be back there. I am planning the next round of London seminars later this year. So if you are interested keep watching for the early bird offer!
 
2018 saw the launch of the new and improved program The Weight Less Mind. For those who bought the original program, you got a free upgrade and as a reminder the 50% launch discount is still open but only until 31st January, so if you want to kick start your New Year resolution, do it NOW! https://www.georgiafoster.com/the-weight-less-mind-50-off
 
I am really excited that my first Drink Less Mind Seminars in the US will be held in New York, February 23rd and Los Angeles, March 2nd with early bird discounts. Whilst there, I will also be launching my Emotional Resilience Training with Virginia Alexandra (Transformational Specialist). For those who would like to discover how to become calmer and more confident in how to deal with general life and the twists and turns it gives us, then this day is for you. https://www.georgiafoster.com/ert-dlm-seminar
 
I was so lucky last year that I spent quite a bit of time in Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand getting to know the Kiwi’s. They are wonderful people who love a drink or two! Here is the Anika Moa TV interview if you haven’t seen it. https://youtu.be/UT9aKWnkk0A
 
For those of you that have bought Dry January, I hope you enjoyed listening to it as a great support for an alcohol free month. For those of you that felt Dry January was not right time and you want to embrace a Dry February then the Dry February recording is here for you. ** Please note those currently subscribed to my Mind Maintenance program you will automatically be receiving this in your inbox as an extra bonus! ** https://www.georgiafoster.com/dry-february
 
Last year also saw the launch of my social media reduction program, The Swipe Less Mind. ** For those that are part of my mind maintenance program, I am adding this to your account free of charge too ** https://www.swipelessmind.com
 
Speaking of Mind Maintenance, which was officially launched last year, for those who missed out on the email, these monthly recordings help keep your mind in tip top condition. This subscription based program delivers fresh new recordings every month, so if you want to join now, simply click here to join the club! https://www.georgiafoster.com/mind-maintenance-order-form

Ruff Christmas? Ate too much!

If you or a family member struggles with yo-yo dieting or food issues, then The Weight Less Mind is the PERFECT SOLUTION

I receive a lot of emails from inquisitive men and women about my unique approach to discovering how to eat intuitively.

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I know you’ve heard these diet stories before but this one is different. It truly IS different. Because I discovered that changing my relationship with food bizarrely had nothing to do with food at all!

I often say to people struggling with their relationship with food; ‘It’s what happens before you eat that is the problem.’ This crucial overlooked stage is the key to changing behaviours around food.

The Weight Less Mind is a win/win situation because it puts you in the driving seat of taking control of food that gives you a very different outcome to what you’ve experienced before.

I believe everybody including YOU has the inner resources to improve your relationship with food. And when I did this myself, my entire life changed for the better. Because it wasn’t just that I was managing my weight, it was far more than that! This is what a typical Weight Less Mind customer achieves within just 7 days.

You will…

Become an intuitive eater who doesn’t have to think about what, when and why they eat
Cope with life better without food in the equation
Forget about eating unless you are hungry
Stop the ‘all or nothing’ dieting mentality
Embrace that not all eating situations will be perfect and be at ease with this
Feel relaxed before eating
Feel calm while eating
Feel happy after eating
Natural increase in self-esteem
There are so many more AMAZING outcomes that I could go on about!

Forget the restriction mentality about food RIGHT NOW!

Come and join the 1,000’s of men and women who live a Weight Less Mind and life!

Please remember, I have been helping people for over 22 years and my word is my bond, so that is why I have offer a 60 day no questions asked money back guarantee, because it works!

Buy NOW at this special launch price (50% off) but only until 24th December.

Why don’t you start TODAY a very different journey with food and your weight without all the angst and drama! Uncover your desire to eat intuitively with just one simple click!

Even if you think you’re not quite ready because of the festive season approaching, make this your first New Year Resolution and grab it now and its ready when YOU are!

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