“I Took On The OcSober Challenge — And It Totally Changed My Relationship With Alcohol”

So long, alcohol 👋🏽 Hello, clear skin 🙌🏽


Women's Health |

Women’s Health ex-marketing manager, Lisa Woldendorp, could not imagine hitting the town without some social lubrication. “Nights out with friends involve me averaging six Castle Lites,” explains Lisa. And once she’s got the buzz? “A few tequila shooters follow. And the night often ends with a juicy burger or a steaming plate of hot chips.” Lisa’s diet demise is drinking.

As a marketer, she’s often at events where platters of finger-licking nibbles do the rounds. Her objective? Obvs! To lose weight.

The problem

While you’re sipping on bubbly, alcohol triggers the release of party-time chemicals like dopamine. Your inhibitions are lowered, so saying yes to that chilli popper is as unavoidable as getting up on that table when the DJ plays your jam.  Just drinking three boozy beverages can cut the body’s level of the feel-full hormone leptin by 30 percent, making post-drink munchies (basically) inevitable.

READ MORE: This Is Exactly How Drinking Alcohol Affects Your Workout

The verdict

Lisa told her friends and family that she was quitting the happy juice and taking on the Ocsober Challenge. “In fact, my brother joined me for the four weeks. I also decided to eat more healthily at the same time; I found it easier to make better food decisions, so why not eat better?” The first three weeks weren’t easy. “You have to retrain yourself in social situations. People also ask you a hundred questions, which you have to be prepared to answer. But, if you order a Coke Light instead of, say, a water, you can avoid all the questions and peer pressure. Not only did I fit back into my previously tight size 12 pants, my skin became clearer too,” says Lisa.

READ MORE: Seriously Now, Is Alcohol Really THAT Bad For Your Sleep?

Stick with it

  • Do a swap. Replace your favourite poison with a non-alcoholic one. “I enjoyed lime and soda,” says Lisa.
  • Amp up your workouts. Physical activity is a sure-fire way to combat fatigue and irritability when wanting a drink. “After I had a stressful day — and all I wanted was a beer or seven — I would go for a run, take a long bath or read a good book instead,” she explains.
  • Adjust your attitude. In the beginning, tee-totalling can make you feel like a pariah. “Not having a drink can actually make people around you uncomfortable. So as long as you’re having a good time, all will be well.”

Booze-free drinks to try instead

1. CASTLE Alcohol Free Lager

Tastes like real beer, brewed with the same homegrown ingredients… minus the alcohol.

Buy It

CASTLE Alcohol Free Lager (24 X 340ml)

R 219

Buy It

2. The Duchess Virgin Gin & Tonic

This non-alcoholic alternative is crafted with botanically infused tonic water and all the traditional aromatic layers. Think of it as a traditional Gin & Tonic without the hangover (or the sugar)!

Buy It

The Duchess Virgin Gin & Tonic (pack of 4)

R 88

Buy It

3. SAVANNA Non-Alcoholic Lemon

Expect a crisp, sparkling and dry apple cider-like taste with a lemon zing.

Buy It

SAVANNA Non-Alcoholic Lemon (24 X 330ml)

R 309

Buy It

READ MORE ON: Alcohol Health Health Advice Real Women