Dr Sarah MacLean, of the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, knows a thing or two about FebFast. She is an expert in the field of alcohol and regularly takes part in the hardest event of the year, FebFast. Take her advice on how to make it through 28 days without a single drop of alcohol and conquer February hand-in-hand with Holsten. We’re in it together, guys.

Sarah, lets start at the root of the problem and ask the hardest question. Do you think Australian men have a drinking problem?

 Yes, we know that too many Australian men have a drinking problem. In our research with young adults in Victoria, many men reported that they would find it difficult to refuse a drink when they were with their mates. Having to play sport the next day or being the designated driver were used as excuses to explain why they didn’t want to get drunk. 

Saying no to your mates can be difficult when a tray of schooners are at the ready. However, choosing to fill up your glass with something non-alcoholic, like a Holsten 0.0%, must have its health benefits? 100%. 

I believe that doing FebFast reduces my risk of getting sick in the future, although I need to sustain reductions in drinking throughout the year. 

Perfect, now the positivity ball is rolling. How do you stay motivated over FebFast? 

Remember, it’s only 28 days. I think about how important it is for me to know that I can stop drinking alcohol when I choose to. I also think about how I’m giving my body a chance to cleanse itself. 

Remembering the health benefits of FebFast is definitely at the forefront of why so may people take part in the event. Do the health benefits play a big part in staying motivated? 

Definitely, research on short term alcohol reduction programs suggest that people find it easiest to stop using alcohol if they develop a positive story about why they have decided not to drink. 

I guess support from friends can be of huge benefit too? 

Of course. My recommendation would be to buy rounds of non-alcoholic drinks or set up arrangements so that everyone buys their own drinks. Most importantly, don’t assume that your friends want to drink alcohol. 

We couldn’t agree anymore. Besides, a Holsten 0.0% tastes much better than any soft drink, and you still feel like you’re the life of the party with a cold bottle in your hand. Do you recommend starting to drink non-alcoholic beer over FebFast? 

For people who are made to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable not drinking, drinking non-alcoholic beer or wine is an easy way to be involved and have fun.