Tips for Cutting Down on Your Drinking
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- Leave your cash card at home
Cash back from the bar or midnight trips to the cash point for more booze money can quickly add up. Instead leave the plastic at home, that way you can’t drink more than your budget allows. Remember to have the money put aside for a cab, bus or train home though!
- Remember the short and long term effects of cutting back
Drinking less reduces the longer term risk of serious diseases such as cancer, liver disease and stroke; improves the condition of your skin; can have a positive effect on sleep patterns, and can even boost your sex life. Worth remembering next time you’re at the bar.
- Beware of rounds
Drinking in rounds may be a British tradition, but they can be expensive, and dangerous if it means keeping pace with the fastest drinker in your group. Stay in control (and save cash) by opting for smaller rounds with only a couple of friends within your group or giving rounds a miss.
- Eat up
After-the-pub grub is another drinking tradition, but why wait until the night’s nearly over to load up on fast food? A healthy meal before you go out, and snacks between drinks can help to slow down the absorption of alcohol and so helps you stay in control. With less alcohol inside you that greasy pizza or kebab will look a lot less appetizing at chucking out time too.
- Home measures
It’s worth buying an alcohol measure for when you next have a drink at home. There’ll be no more guess work involved and you’ll be able to keep track of how much you’re drinking. If you’re a wine drinker, buy small (125ml) glasses for the house rather than large ones.
- Make space
Sipping a soft drink between alcoholic drinks slows down the rate of your drinking, to help you stay sharper. If you’re out clubbing, take a bottle of water out with you on the dance floor. At home or down the pub? Then go for a non-alcoholic mocktail, a premium soft drink, or just a glass of water.
- Take the right approach
Gradually cutting down on the amount you drink is more likely to be something you will stay committed to as opposed to cutting out all alcohol immediately AKA cold turkey.
- Stress less
Some people drink alcohol to relax, but in reality alcohol can make you feel even more anxious. Try not to make alcohol key to your after work wind down, and try some alternative stress-busters like hitting the gym with your mates or running a bath for yourself at home and putting some relaxing music on.
- Ask for support
Tell friends and family that you’re trying to cut down, they might be more supportive than you think. But beware, some people don’t like to have their drinking behaviour challenged, so be prepared to defend your decision by remembering the benefits that cutting down brings.