How to Drink Less and Be OK

alcohol habit reducing Feb 20, 2019

I know this is going to be controversial, but it’s ok, I am ready for it. I am writing this because essentially, I want you to be happy, it’s about quality of life, we only have one life. So please don’t waste it giving yourself a hard time or being wasted.

Now this blog isn’t for everyone, so be honest. How much alcohol is too much? You have to be honest with yourself when answering this question.f you are someone that can’t stop once they have 1 drink, then this isn’t for you. If you are someone that puts themselves and others at risk when they drink, this isn’t for you. If you are someone that has a mental health issue or any physical health problem’s, then this isn’t for you. 

Are you drinking too much? Are you drinking more than you would like?

You can drink less and feel better. You can let go of that endless internal dialogue. Beating yourself up over why you can’t do the year alcohol free.

Please don’t compare yourself. Not everyone can, wants to, or needs to be abstinent from alcohol.

Stop it right now.

How to cut down on alcohol

Start with this, is alcohol a problem for you? What are the negative effects of alcohol for you? Are you drinking too much? Get clear about this. Yes, we know about the impact to our physical and emotional wellbeing, but what specifically is the issue for you?

Next, let’s get your alcohol consumption to at least below 14 units a week. When considering how much alcohol is too much, it's best to get your drinking to under the recommended 14 units a week. Test out having 1 drink. It is a good idea to stop drinking too much, remember the less you drink the better - just one drink occasionally. 

With alcohol free becoming a hot topic and more and more people talking about taking a break from drinking, I have noticed a few people giving themselves a hard time about being abstinent.

There are also many ways to learn how to cut down on alcohol, how to drink less and feel better. I get slated a bit for this. Teaching people how to drink less can be controversial, but helping people to reduce and drink occasionally can work. I know, I have over 15 years experience helping people change their behaviour with alcohol and have successfully done this with quite a few people who were drinking too much. Now when you work with me, if I think you need to take a break or stop altogether, I will say, and I will explain why as well. But a good number of you can drink less.

Here are some of my top tips for how to cut down on alcohol.

These tips will help you to drink less and feel better:

  •  Whenever you would normally have an alcoholic drink, don’t. Drink a soft drink first, a big one. And drink it slowly. Make this a life rule, a new habit. If you drink the drink slowly, you relax into your event/evening and it changes your habit of starting out with an alcoholic drink.
  • Don’t drink at home.
  • Only drink on special occasions.
  • Practice having one alcoholic drink.  Start with the big soft drink first, then later on have your 1 alcoholic drink.
  • Drink lower % alcoholic drinks, this helps you control how much you are drinking and can help stop you from drinking too much
  • Drink alcoholic drinks with mixers, so they are bigger and last longer.
  • Take a break if you can, to reset your habits around booze, so you understand what alcohol is for you.
  • Educate yourself about alcohol.
  • Track your units and calories.
  • Use the takeaway rule. Ok so we all know that eating McDonalds every night or even a few times a week is a bad idea. Be honest how often do you eat a takeaway? I mean a meal that you know has very little if any nutritional value? I want you to put alcohol in the same bracket. Alcohol is a toxin, it has no nutritional value, so why make it part of your daily food and drink intake? When you apply the takeaway rule you only drink occasionally, same as eating an ice cream sundae.

Ultimately this is about mindset, messing with your habits and playing a game with your head. Try these things and see which one’s work, then keep using them.

You can drink less and feel better, you can cut down and stop drinking too much. If you want to learn more check out my book: There is no Magic Button 

Stephanie Chivers is a habit and addiction specialist, coaching people to change their behaviour around alcohol and drugs. Find out more about how I can help you cut down on alcohol and contact me for coaching support today.



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