People love to have a drink. After work, we either have a beer or a glass or two of wine. People love to have alcohol at a party or to unwind. It is such a staple of life especially if you are an adult that you don’t notice how much it appears in your everyday diet. And if there’s a national holiday this only increases. If you do find yourself drinking just a bit too much or just want to lower it a little bit it can be a struggle with how much it accounts for in our culture!
Today I’m giving you some tips and tricks to lower the amount you drink alcohol.
How many units do you drink?
Before you decide to lower your alcohol intake, the first thing to do is to know how much you usually drink in a week. So spend some time during the week to work out how much you drink over that period. You want to work out how much you have alcohol because it will help you work out which drinks you may overdo it on or have a bit too much on, and so you know where to lower the intake.
If you want an actual measure to work with, you go on the NHS website regularly drinking 14 units per week. Now obviously, if you drink lower than that, you can lower your drinking habits if you want.
Make a plan
Once you’ve worked out your weekly units, you can see which type of alcohol you have the most and can begin making plans to cut down the alcohol that is your kryptonite. You can write down a realistic goal for cutting down.
For example, you could say, ‘ I will cut down how much cider I drink by not drinking two fruit ciders every Saturday and replacing it with flavoured water.’
Or something similar in your plan. Just make sure it is realistic, and you’ve written down the multiple ways to realise that goal.
Sometimes when we go shopping, especially when it’s an alcoholic drink, we don’t budget and buy what we crave. And the more you drink, the more you buy without thinking of a budget! Next time you go shopping, set a budget for the amount of drink you buy and stick to it. One that’s not so high you buy what you usually get but enough to get two bottles of wine or a couple of cans of Strongbow. It’ll help you cut down and save some money for a rainy day. It’s a win-win!
Cut down slowly
When cutting something out of your life that you are used to having over time, it can be challenging to get it out of your life straight away because your body and brain are adjusted to having it in your system. This feeling is more potent if you have a full-blown addiction! However, it will just cause a craving and a slight need for it to wet the palette for the average person. And that craving will make you stop you from cutting down your intake. To slowly ‘wean’ yourself out of the need for alcohol, cut the stuff out from your life.
Suppose you drink seven gin and tonics a week. You’d go down to four, then three, then once a week (or go down to five and leave it there because you’ve lowered the intake enough.) You slowly cut it out as if you do it all in one go, your body can go into shock, whereas doing it slowly will give the body time to adjust slowly!
Alcohol-free/ smaller sizes
Cutting down on alcohol doesn’t have to mean putting it out of your life ultimately. It can just mean reducing the amount per week in small doses. It doesn’t have to be a big mammoth task.
Instead of having a full-blown 12 vol glass of wine after work, you can have a half glass of that volume of wine. Or you can swap out an intense wine for something with a lower ABV percentage.
Or, if you like cider instead of having an alcoholic one, you can get one of the non-alcoholic ones. It’ll have the same packaging, and so in terms of the physicality of drinking alcohol, the non-one can match that it’s just the fizz that’ll be different.
Pros of lowering your alcohol intake
There are many pros to lowering how much alcohol is in your diet, such as:
- Lower depression
- Stronger immune system
- Improved sleeping pattern
- Better looking skin
- Improved weight management
There are many ways you can combat how much you drink per week! And with the many benefits and non-alcoholic options out there, why wouldn’t you do it?
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