SAN ANTONIO -

As many are hitting the treadmill to lose the five pounds or more they gained over the holiday months, some research journalists have proven the first stop should be at the liquor cabinet.

New Scientist journalist Andy Coglan reports in an article in the Daily Mail that he and nine of his colleagues proved that by abstaining from alcohol for the month that followed New Year’s, dubbed "Janopause," they lost on average 3.3 pounds.

But there were more benefits, such as feeling better and sleeping more soundly.

They also cut cholesterol levels by 5 percent and blood glucose levels by almost a quarter.

At the YMCA Semmes branch off North St. Marys, nearly every fitness machine has been pressed into duty. The fitness instructors and personal trainers, however, agreed with the study, saying if you want to lose weight faster, get rid of the beer, wine and liquor.

“I've actually had people come up to me to ask me what I was doing to lose weight, and I hadn't changed anything but (stopped) drinking,” said Wiley Lee, who is part of a spinning crew that is raising money for the Y with every mile they pedal.

He said when he’s dropped alcohol out of his diet, it’s noticeable.

The lead fitness trainer at the YMCA said it’s a simple case of biology.

Josh Sandoval explained, “Alcohol is pretty taxing on the liver, so once you take that out and just start drinking a lot more water, the liver begins to operate a lot more efficiently, a lot more optimally, and the body can metabolize fat a lot more quickly."

It can also repair itself better from the abuse that alcohol does to the liver. The study also showed that liver fat levels fell by 15 percent on average, proving that living without a drink for a month will allow the organ to recover.

Other benefits include sleeping better and having a more positive self-image.

“You feel good, you have a lot more energy, you feel a lot better about yourself ... it's great," agreed Sandoval.

For a list of recent stories Ursula Pari has done, click here.