Cutting back on drinking alcohol

19-25 November is Alcohol Awareness Week and this year, the theme is ‘Change’. If you think you are drinking too much alcohol and want to cut back, here are some things you can do.

Try new approaches.

  • Pay attention to why you’re having a drink. Is it just habit? For example, don’t drink just because it’s 6 p.m. or because it’s Saturday night.
  • Teach yourself to drink slowly and really savour the taste. It may help to use only expensive liquor. Or try the opposite approach. Buy really cheap liquor that doesn’t taste as good.
  • Use smaller glasses for your drinks.

Find substitutes.

  • Find some favourite non-alcoholic drinks that you can drink regularly. If you like sweet drinks, find a fruit drink you like. Or try iced tea with honey. If you prefer drinks that aren’t sweet, try tomato juice or tonic or soda water with a slice of lemon or lime.
  • Become an expert at making tasty, unusual non-alcoholic drinks, like smoothies or “virgin” drinks. (For example, a “Virgin” Mary is a Bloody Mary without the alcohol.)

Drink more water.

  • Have a large glass of ice water along with every drink. Use the water to quench your thirst. Use the alcoholic drink to please your taste buds.
  • Drink a large glass of water between drinks.

Learn to say no.

You don’t have to accept an alcoholic drink each time someone offers you one. Practice the following ways to say no politely.

  • “Thanks, I’ve had enough.”
  • “Thanks, but I have work to do later, and I don’t want to get distracted.”
  • “Thanks, but you know, I’ve noticed that I feel better when I drink less.”

Take a break from alcohol.

Pick a day or two each week when you will not drink at all. Bit by bit, take more break days every week. Think about how you feel on these days. Do you feel better physically and emotionally?

Do the math.

  • Figure out how much you’re spending on alcohol each month. How much is that a year? What might you do with the money you save by cutting back?
  • Figure out how many calories are in each drink. How many calories does that add up to in a day or a week? Cutting back on alcohol will save you lots of calories.

It can be difficult cutting your alcohol consumption. It’s normal to feel sad or angry. At totally Health, we want to help people feel more motivated, confident and in control of managing their own health, so they can make changes that help them feel better.

We help people with all types of cancer related health issues. We are here for you – when you need us. We listen. We understand. We help. We want you to live your life to the full, feel good and take charge of your health.

If you would like to know more about our service and how we could help you, please call 0333 004 0043.