Valerie Bertinelli is doing Dry January to ‘regulate’ her body: ‘This is mainly about sugar’

TODAY -- Pictured: Valerie Bertinelli on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Valerie Bertinelli has announced she's giving up alcohol for the month of January. (Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Valerie Bertinelli has decided to quit drinking alcohol this month in an aim to “reset and regulate” her body.

On Thursday, the Food Network star, 62, announced on her Instagram stories that she’s doing Dry January — for which participants pledge to go alcohol-free for the month — in an effort to have a healthier mind and body.

Inspired by her friend, food blogger Jo Stougaard, who is also doing Dry January, Bertinelli shared that she’s giving up alcohol temporarily for two reasons.

“One, I want to try and cut down the cravings for my sugar. And I think alcohol exacerbates that,” she said in the Instagram video. “And two, I want to calm down the cortisol in my body that has been raging for the last five, six years. I've been in fight, flight, freeze, fawn mode — and I want to go into rest and digest mode."

"I think cutting alcohol will help me do that," Bertinelli noted. “I’ve been drinking less and less the last seven months anyway, so this is mainly about sugar and resetting my… fight, flight, freeze, fawn mode,” which she is also helping through “meditation and with journaling.”

“I think with all that I may reset my whole body," she said. "Anyway, that’s my theory. I’m not a doctor."

Indeed, according to a 2022 study published in the Harm Reduction Journal, taking a brief break from alcohol may produce immediate health benefits — including weight loss, better sleep, a reduction in liver fat and blood sugar, improved mood and energy levels and much more.

Bertinelli has been an open book about her health in the past — and has never been shy to shine a light on her own mistakes.

Last year, after posting an emotional video calling out body shamers, the former Jenny Craig spokesperson called herself out for perpetuating "diet culture" when she was criticized on Twitter for spending "decades telling the rest of us to get thin."

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"I’m not a victim. I can take the heat," Bertinelli tweeted at the time.

"Yes, I spent 6 years ‘shilling’ for Jenny Craig," she wrote in a followup tweet. "I have been buying into the diet industry my whole life and then I became part of the problem, so here I am today receiving the karma of my actions. You can go ahead and judge all you like. However, I can warn you, from experience, that kind of karma doesn’t feel great either."

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In April, the One Day at a Time alum penned an essay for New Beauty in which she described feeling less-than-confident in her own skin, especially when she was not at her ideal weight.

“For me, the big thing is my weight — it’s the thing that holds me back. But I want to start feeling the same about myself — no matter what weight I am,” she wrote. “I don’t have to wait until I’ve lost weight to be kind to myself and to be kind to others. It shouldn’t matter what I look like. I’m trying to make that a reality in my life, and then, hopefully, my body will follow.”

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