25 Nov 10 Useful Tips For Cutting Down On Alcohol Consumption
Most people living in the United Kingdom enjoy the occasional alcoholic drink with friends and family.
Unfortunately, it is easy for alcohol consumption to get out of hand and become dangerous for your health.
Excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of many different chronic illnesses including heart disease, obesity, cirrhosis of the liver, pancreatitis, cancer, and dementia.
Drinking too much can also impact your social life, relationships, and career.
If you believe you have been drinking too much recently, you have reached the right place.
This article will share 10 useful tips for cutting down on alcohol consumption.
These tips have been proven to be effective and will help you regain control of your drinking.
Monitor your intake accurately
The best way to understand if you are dependent on alcohol is by tracking how often and how much you are drinking.
For the next 2 weeks, record how much you are drinking.
Write down the types of drinks that you consume each day and how you felt the next morning.
After the two weeks is up, calculate how many units of alcohol you consumed in total, along with how much money you spent to purchase your drinks.
Reflect on how you felt after drinking.
Experts recommend that you should not have more than 2 standard drinks per day, as any more than that will increase your risk of chronic disease.
Looking at your records, how many days did you exceed 2 standard drinks in the past two weeks?
If it occurred frequently, then you may have a problem that needs to be addressed.
You can continue tracking your drinks over the next few weeks to assess how well your drink reduction strategies are working.
Space your drinks out with non-alcoholic beverages
If you only drink socially but want to cut down how much you drink, consider using drink spacers.
After you have finished an alcoholic drink, have a glass of water or soft drink.
This will slow down your rate of alcohol consumption and ensure you remain hydrated.
Measure your drinks
Many people will pour the ingredients for their mixed drinks without using any measuring tools.
As a result, they end up with a gin and tonic or bourbon and coke that is extremely strong.
This can quickly lead to excessive consumption of alcohol.
To avoid this kind of “accidental” over-consumption make sure you use a shot glass when mixing your drinks.
Commit to only drinking with friends
It is easy to get into the habit of coming home from work and having a beer or glass of wine.
It feels like a great way to relieve stress.
Unfortunately, drinking by yourself is a significant risk factor for alcohol dependence.
Get out of the habit of drinking by yourself by committing to only drinking on social occasions.
Wait until you have a dinner with friends or family before cracking open that bottle of red.
You will find that you enjoy yourself much more and you are reducing the risk of alcohol dependence occurring.
Don’t keep alcohol in the house
One of the simplest ways to break the habit of drinking every day is to remove alcohol from the house.
Don’t join a wine club, don’t buy beer when you go grocery shopping, get rid of your whisky collection.
By removing alcohol from your home, you are less likely to form a drinking habit or turn to alcohol when you have a bad day.
When you do have alcohol in the house, keep it in a remote part of the house.
If you want to limit yourself to a single glass of wine at dinner, pour the glass then put the bottle back in the basement — don’t leave it on the dinner table.
Drive to parties and other social events
One surefire way to ensure you don’t drink excessively at a party or social gathering is to be the designated driver.
Your friends will be greatly appreciative of the gesture and you will wake up the next day without a hangover.
Develop healthy habits to replace drinking
Many people turn to alcohol after a stressful day at work.
This often turns into habitual drinking that can contribute to chronic health problems.
If your drinking is associated with stress, use some stress reduction techniques instead of drinking, including:
- Spending time in nature or gardening
- Spending time with friends
- Walking the dog
- Listening to music and dancing
- Take a nap
- Have a cup of tea or a hot bath
- Read a good book or watch a funny television show
- Ringing a trusted family member to discuss the sources of your stress
- Venting your stress by writing in a journal
Switch to low alcohol drinks
If you are in a pub and want to have a drink with your mates without overdoing it, switch to low alcohol drinks.
There are some excellent low alcohol beers, ciders, and wines available that have flavour of a full strength alcoholic drink, without damaging your health as much.
Write down your drinking rules
You can devise a number of rules that will constrain how much and how often you drink.
Write these rules on a piece of paper and tape it to the fridge or inside your liquor cabinet.
Some useful rules include:
- I will never drink on a weekday
- I will only drink on social occasions
- I will only consume drinks that contain a lower alcohol content
- I will only drink beer, avoiding the higher alcohol content in spirits and wine
- I will never drink more than 2 standard drinks per hour and no more than 8 standard drinks in total
Calculate how much money not drinking saves you
One of the biggest benefits of not drinking as much alcohol is that you will save a substantial amount of money.
It is common for habitual drinkers to save thousands of pounds per year when they cut down.
You can track precisely how much money you are saving by not drinking and use that as a motivational tool.
Consider diverting the money you normally spend on alcohol every week into a savings account, then spend it on a holiday to Spain or a present for yourself.
I hope you enjoyed reading 10 Useful Tips For Cutting Down On Alcohol Consumption.
If you have any useful tips for reducing alcohol consumption leave a comment below!