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The top 5 ways to drink less alcohol

The top 5 ways to drink less alcohol

Let’s be honest, we all have a vice or two and one of the more common ones (including mine) is often enjoying a drink or three.

While there is nothing wrong with enjoying a wine or beer, drinking too much can have serious health effects, derail your weight loss program or counter balance all the great training you put in.

With Coronavirus and having to work from home, a lot of people have told me how they have ended up drinking more than usual. Plus alcohol is just empty calories and can quickly add up to the same calorie count as a small meal!

So if you feel your drinking is getting out of hand, here are my top 5 tips to reduce the level of booze you consume.

1. Always have water with every alcoholic drink

This is one I swear by. Not only will you stave off the likelihood of a splitting hangover, but you will feel fuller and less likely to drink more than you should.

And when you do drink, try to drink slowly (ideally only drink when you are eating). Like eating, don’t rush but enjoy the experience. By taking more time, you will slow down the amount you drink and lessen the chance of going overboard.

2. Schedule in an early morning training session

Let me tell you there is nothing worse than exercising when you have had too much to drink. Exercise hurts at the best of times but add a painful headache to the occasion and you will find yourself in a world of pain and less likely to reach for that extra drink next time.

3. Avoid drinking games and shouts

This can be really dangerous (and expensive). Try to avoid drinking games, shots, skolling races or anything that aims to get you intoxicated fast. Play pool, dance or debate about reality TV instead. Do anything but try to keep up with your friends.

And never be afraid to just say no.

4. Set alcohol free days

Try to keep four to five days alcohol free per week. When you allocate certain days of the week to go drink-free, you’re more likely to stick to it. Challenge yourself to come up with other activities at home instead of drinking alcohol in the evenings or at weekends, for example, having a games night, taking a long bath, reading a new book or trying a new recipe.

If you are drinking every day, you need to take a look at yourself and think ‘Do I really need to drink every day? If so, consider my last tip.

5. Identify the real reason you are drinking and think of the benefits

Think about what triggers you to drink too much – is it stress, feeling unhappy, being bored, a bad relationship, your job etc.

Can you replace bad habits with a more healthy alternative? When you next want to drink, stop for a moment and think do you really need that drink? Is it for enjoyment or is it to forget? Think about the extra calories, how it often leads to another drink and how it won’t solve your problems in the long term.

If you ever do feel like your drinking is getting out of control, then make sure you seek help and ensure you have a good support network. Always focus on the benefits – improving your mood and sleep, saving you money, increase your energy and improve your relationships.