Okay, before we dive into this article I thought it was only fair to point out that I am no angel – I keep myself healthy through certain fitness (cardio) options, but at times in my life I have enjoyed a drink (or ten!).
If I’m going to publish an article about cutting down on drinking alcohol – I felt it was only right I put all my cards on the table first.
These days I regulate my alcohol quite well, but there were times in the past when things were very different…
Have you recently been concerned about the amount of drink you are throwing down your throat?
Maybe you’ve seen some negative health effects from it?
Maybe you’re getting a little older and the drinking sessions are causing unbearable hangovers?
If the amount of booze that you have been drinking exceeds recommended guidelines, and is in the territory of affecting your health, you may want to try cutting down or moderating your consumption.
Here are a handful of tips that I was introduced to when I first decided to cut back on the beer…
Let’s Cut Back on Drinking Alcohol
If I’m honest with you – I feel that about 80% of us (in countries where alcohol is legal) are smashing through the recommended guidelines for drinking and staying healthy. We’ve all heard of them…but not many of us pay them much attention.
Let’s face it – these guidelines are incredibly low, and I struggle to see how two drinks a night will ravage your health…but then again…I’m not a medical professional (not even close!).
Remember – The key to successfully cutting down is to find something that works for you personally. If only one of the tips below appeals to you, go for just that one!
No. 1 – Be Realistic – Goals are Hard Enough to Reach!
First things first – set a realistic goal to hit.
Only YOU know yourself well enough to do this part, so grab a pen and paper then note how many drinks you want per day and how many days a week you want to drink.
The thinking behind this?
Writing these sorts of goals down is a surefire way to remind yourself, day after day, that you are serious about cutting back a bit.
No. 2 – Start Counting Your Drinks (Go Figure!)
This is a lot more effective than you first may think – try counting your drinks as you’re going along through the night.
Seriously, it’s surprising how fast this process takes hold of you, and even makes you feel a little guilty (I actually used it last night…and opted to go to bed instead of that extra glass of red wine!).
I wouldn’t really recommend taking a pen and paper out with you, but it is simple enough to record your drinks progress on your smartphone.
No. 3 – Try Pacing Yourself For Once!
Now, I personally found this one a little difficult – when I get that ‘buzz’ off my first couple of drinks the floodgates tend to open…and I’m not exactly a slow drinker!
But, this does work.
I prefer to sip my drink slower than normal, but others have had success with using the ‘one drink per hour’ routine – it’s up to you which one you choose.
No. 4 – Try Nonalcoholic Beverages Between Drinks
This is yet another trick that actually worked pretty well for me, but a night out did end up costing a little bit more than usual (how do they get away with charging those prices for Coke in a bar?).
Simply slip in a nonalcoholic drink between each alcoholic drink (water, juice or soda).
Remember – no matter how much you guzzle in a night, it’s always a good idea to drink plenty of water along with it (if you can!).
No. 5 – Stuff Your Face!
Yep seriously – eating a bit of grub can actually fan the flames of that alcohol craving, and in my case, it even slows down my drinking on a night out. Bear in mind that this does not work for all drinkers.
A good habit to adopt is to eat at all the normal times, regardless of where you are on your night out.
No. 6 – What Triggers You?
Most, if not all, habits, have some sort of trigger – what triggers you to drink?
If you are used to going out and getting slammed with particular friends, maybe it’s worth avoiding them for a month or two?
Also, try and avoid places that you are comfortable drinking in (that local town where you have spent untold amounts on nights out!).
No. 7 – There’s More To Life Than Alcohol
If alcohol has become a solid part of your life, why not try doing something else for a change?
I took up running every morning, pretty long distances, and I began to like the way it made me feel, and the weight it took off me (I’m very vain!). On top of that – getting up to go for a run AFTER a night on the booze is hard, hard work. In some cases this actually stopped me from opting to go out for a few pints.
Cut Down on Drinking Alcohol
It’s worth pointing out that if you can’t cut down the amount you drink, and you REALLY want to…you may well have a bit of a problem with the old alcohol. Maybe it’s worth taking a long hard look at yourself and maybe seeking some outside help?
It’s nothing to be ashamed of – it happens to the best of us!
I also feel that the western world is a modern society where we’ve lost the ability to just say ‘no’ and actually mean it for once. How often have you ended up with four drinks inside yourself when you didn’t really plan to drink that night?
How often have you caved in to the mate who preaches “Go on – I’m buying!!!!”.
The key to successfully cutting down your drinking habit, is to find something that works for you. Try these tips and if one doesn’t work, try another until you find one that helps you cut back on your alcohol consumption.
Good luck, and stay healthy! 🙂