Are you concerned about your alcohol intake? Maybe you feel that you're drinking too much or too often. Perhaps it's a habit you'd like to better control.
It's always wise to check with your doctor — she should be able to help you decide whether it is best for you to cut back or to abstain. People who are dependent on alcohol, or have other medical or mental health problems, should stop drinking completely.
HOW TO CUT DOWN ALCOHOL
There are lots of simple ways to cut down on the amount of alcohol you drink. It can help to work out if there are particular times or situations when you tend to have a drink, whether that’s a bad day at work or a weekly pub quiz tradition, and plan what you’ll say and do differently next time.
- Have more alcohol-free days a week. Try agreeing on certain days with your partner or a friend and help each other to stick to it.
- If you are planning to drink alcohol, decide on a limit in advance and make sure you don’t go over it.
- Swap every other alcoholic drink for a soft one – starting with your first drink.
- Try shandy instead of a pint of beer, or swap some wine for soda and have a spritzer.
- Don’t stock up on beer, wine or spirits at home.
- Finish one drink before pouring another, because topping up drinks makes it harder to keep track of how much you’ve had and when you planned to stop.
- Avoid buying drinks in rounds, that way you don’t have to keep pace with anyone.
- Tell a friend or partner that you’re cutting down on alcohol, they can support you – or even join you.
- Keep a diary of your drinking
- For three to four weeks, keep track of every time you have a drink.
- Include information about what and how much you drank as well as where you were. Compare this to your goal.
If you're having trouble sticking to your goal, discuss it with your doctor or another health professional.
10.Don't keep alcohol in your house. Having no alcohol at home can help limit your drinking.
Most people who successfully cut down or stop drinking altogether do so only after several attempts. You'll probably have setbacks, but don't let them keep you from reaching your long-term goal. There's really no final endpoint, as the process usually requires ongoing effort.