There are a lot of extreme TikTok trends. But the “damp lifestyle” one is all about moderation. Drinking in moderation, that is. Living damp, a term coined by TikToker Hana Elson, means staying soberish: No heavy drinking, but no complete abstinence either. Embracing that approach can help you feel much healthier this holiday season. Here’s what you need to know.
Why The Damp Lifestyle Is Appealing
Everyone has a different relationship with alcohol. In a world where drinking is associated with social occasions, wine-mom culture and happy hours, it’s fair to question your relationship with booze. More and more people are choosing to go completely sober these days. Fun fact: Gen Z is the soberest generation, according to a study by Drinkaware. Others choose to dabble in sobriety and go on detoxes, which you can see with trends like Dry January after the holidays.
The damp lifestyle is the perfect solution if you don’t feel like you need to abstain completely and do enjoy drinking, but don’t want to deal with the negative consequences of overdoing it, from hangovers to regrettable behavior. Not to mention the general effects of drinking on your waistline: Sugary cocktails can set you back a few hundred calories. While wine and beer are lighter choices, they add up when you have several drinks in a row.
Going damp during the holidays means partaking in fun without feeling like garbage by January 2. Yes, that’s because alcohol alone can come with unpleasant side effects, but also because it makes you more likely to overeat sweet treats. Moderation keeps your blood sugar levels steadier, which comes with a host of benefits. “If you’re in the mood for an alcoholic drink, I agree you should go easy during the holidays. It can lower your resistance to high-carb/high-sugar holiday goodies. Spikes in blood sugar can play havoc on your health, energy, mood, and waistline,” says Colette Heimowitz, Vice President of Nutrition and Education at Atkins.
You’re also setting yourself up for long-term success by setting realistic goals. Aiming to cut out drinking completely when you like the social aspect of it may be counterproductive if you binge-drink after a week of abstaining.
Tips to Live Damp This Holiday Season
Ready to embrace the damp lifestyle? Here are a few tips to make the most of it. First, keep your drink choices smart. “Distilled spirits (rum, whiskey, vodka, gin, and tequila) don’t have carbs. Sip them with moderation on the rocks or mix them with club soda – or drink them neat or on rocks with a lemon twist,” recommends Heimowitz. You can also opt for a light beer or a glass of wine with dinner.
Speaking of dinner, don’t make those couple of drinks your only meal. “Alcohol should not be consumed in place of food. This is not to say that you can’t enjoy alcohol occasionally, assuming that you do not have trouble controlling how much you drink. Alternate each alcoholic drink with club soda or water to avoid dehydration,” adds Heimowitz.
Finally, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of drinking if you’re on a low-carb diet of some sort. According to Heimowitz, it puts your body in a state where fat burning will be put on hold until the alcohol is out of your system. “This rapid breakdown of alcohol [..] tends to put low-carbers at risk for quicker intoxication, especially if no other food is consumed to slow absorption,” she says.