Leading a healthy lifestyle has never been so important. Maintaining a healthy relationship with alcohol is just one way you can improve your health and wellbeing.
· Keep an eye on those units. Use a measuring beaker when pouring drinks at home. With drinking at home being the new normal we’re less able to rely on the bartender’s measures.
· Spread out your units. Guidance suggests having two alcohol free days a week and to avoid binge drinking. Binge drinking for a male is consuming 8 or more units on one occasion and for a woman consuming 6 or more units on one occasion.
· Chose a drink with a lower alcohol percentage (ABV%) Try swapping to a 4% beer or a 9% wine.
· Sip your drink slowly. Pace yourself. Try to make the first drink a pint of water and alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
· Set out a drinking window. Only drink alcohol at a certain time of the day e.g. only drinking with dinner between 6pm and 8pm.
· Get to know your units. Use a drinks tracker/calculator to work out your weekly units and set yourself goals each week.
· Maintain a healthy diet. Your diet is really important. It has been suggested that some foods can help reduce cravings for alcohol such as complex carbs. Its also important to make sure that you eat something before you start drinking. Drinking on an empty stomach means that the alcohol is absorbed much more quickly into the bloodstream and intensifies the negative side effects.
· Going out? Make a plan and stick to it. Only take a certain amount of cash, avoid unfamiliar drinks, alternate with Mocktails or chose to drive.
· Confide in a friend and build a supportive network. Identify which relationships are helpful or unhelpful with regards to drinking. Surround yourself with people who offer support and love without judgement.
· Remind yourself of what is important. Consider the benefits of sticking to moderate levels of drinking and reward yourself for your progress.
Laura Bell, Drink Less Lead
December 21, 2020