NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — If self care is on your list for 2023, consider taking the Alcohol Free For 40 Challenge. Reduced anxiety, better sleep and increased energy and productivity top the list of benefits that participants typically experience, not to mention significant improvement in weight and body composition, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides and liver enzymes.

The eighth annual Alcohol Free for 40 Challenge starts after Mardi Gras, and Ochsner’s Eat Fit team makes it easier than ever to go alcohol-free, complete with before and after metrics to make it your own personal self-experiment to the true impact of alcohol, inside and out.

THE CHALLENGE: Give up all alcohol from Ash Wednesday until Easter.  Establish the following pre-Challenge metrics and repeat again at end of Challenge.  Do this on your own or sign up here to do your pre-challenge metrics for $40 one of six Alcohol Free For 40 kickoff events across the state.


  • In-depth pre- and post-challenge metrics including labs, body composition analysis, weight, blood pressure and before-and-after photos ($400+ value). Participants must sign up for pre-challenge metrics by midnight on Sunday, February 19.
  • In Covington, participants have the option to donate blood as well, receiving a thank-gift you in return.

THE SUPPORT:  #MindfulMondays to start each week on the right foot.  Zero Proof Cocktail demos.  Local restaurants will offer Zero-Proof Cocktails. Social support at Alcohol-Free For 40 Facebook Group.  Follow @EatFitNOLA on social to stay in the know.

BENEFITS:  Less inflammation, better sleep, reduced anxiety, improved mood & energy, healthier-looking skin, potential weight loss. Here’s a snapshot of the many benefits that this extended detox will have on your mind, body and spirit:  

  • Within days you’ll typically notice improved energy, sleep and clearer eyes with less under-eye circles 
  • Within one week you’ll notice less fluid retention and can start to see brighter skin. You’ll also likely notice fewer cravings, mental clarity and an ability to focus.
  • Within a month you can start to see and feel the changes in weight, particularly if alcohol was contributing a significant bit of excess calories.  

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Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD is a registered dietitian + nutrition journalist in New Orleans, and founder of Ochsner Eat Fit nonprofit restaurant initiative. Tune in to her podcast, FUELED | Wellness + Nutrition and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @MollyKimballRD. See more of Molly’s articles + TV segments at, and sign up for Eat Fit Wellness Bites weekly newsletter, here.