At some point in our lives, many of us wonder if we’re being overindulgent with our alcohol consumption. Sometimes this is after a period of heavy drinking, such as Christmas, or while we’re on holiday. But it can also be in our day-to-day lives. You might have noticed that you reach for a beer at the end of every day, or that you are spending more mornings than you’d like struggling with a hangover.
The fact that you are even questioning your consumption probably means that cutting back a little would be good for you. Alcohol can, however, be a big part of our lives, and cutting back, even if you don’t want to give up entirely, can be hard. Here are some tips to help you.
Find Non-Alcoholic Drinks You Enjoy
As adults, one of the issues can be that we’re not sure what else is available. We’re told not to drink too much caffeine, and to avoid sugary fizzy drinks, so an evening without alcohol, especially when you are out with friends, can be tricky. As beneficial as water is, it’s not the most exciting thing in the world.
The good news is, non-alcoholic beverages are soaring in popularity, and there are some great tasting options like these kombucha flavours and fruity sparkling waters. If you enjoy the taste of alcohol, there’s a massive range of non-alcohol, or low-alcohol beers, ciders and wines on the market, and most bars stock at least a couple of options.
Find some soft drinks that you enjoy, ask in your favourite bars for options, and explore different flavours at home.
Monitor Your Intake
Often, one of the most effective ways to cut back on alcohol is to become more aware of how much you are drinking. Most of us drink more than we think we do over the course of the week, but we don’t see a glass of wine with dinner as a big deal. Make a note of any alcohol you drink, or just count units for a few weeks to get an idea of how much you can reduce.
Try to Stick to Specific Days
If you drink every day, stopping entirely some days is a great way to significantly reduce your alcohol consumption. If possible, choose two or three specific days, perhaps weekends, or a Friday and a midweek day when you drink alcohol and stick to them as much as possible.
Drink Smaller Measures
Drinking single measures, smaller glasses of wine or half pints instead of larger measures is a way to enjoy alcohol while cutting consumption in half.
Drink Water with Meals
Try to get out of the habit of drinking with meals. Drink water or another soft drink when you eat, even when you are eating out, or if you will be drinking later, and you’ll stop associating food with alcohol. This can make cutting back easier.
Find Other Ways to Relax
It’s common to reach for an alcoholic drink when we’re stressed out, upset, or we’ve had a hard day. We drink to relax our minds and bodies, and it can be effective. But it’s certainly not the only way to relax. Try going for a walk, taking a hot shower, working out or talking to a friend.
Cutting back on alcohol even slightly can have a big effect on your health and well-being, and it’s probably not as hard as you think.