Thursday, 7 July 2016

Tips on Reducing Your Alcohol Intake

Recently the UK government changed the guidelines on safe alcohol consumption. Whereas previously the safe weekly limit was 14 units for women and 21 units for men, it is now 14 units for both sexes.

If you regularly consume more than 14 units a week – the equivalent of six average strength pints of beer or ten 125ml glasses of 9% ABV wine –  you may want to cut down.
It’s quite easy to do if you think ahead and follow these simple tips.
Make an easy-to-follow plan

Before you go out or open that first bottle, set yourself a limit and stick to it.
Create a budget and stick to it If you’re out and about, take a set amount of cash and leave your bank card at home.

Tell friends and family
Tell them that you’re cutting down on your drinking and ask them to support or even you.
One day at a time If you prefer, cut back a little at a time, so if you have a drink every day, switch to every other day.

Undersize yourself

No-one’s saying you can’t enjoy a drink, but how about opting for a bottle of beer rather than a pint, or a small instead of a large wine?
Lose some strength
Look at the ABV in % on the bottles you buy. You might be surprised to see your favourite wine is 14%, so try another that’s 12%.

Stay watered

Drink at least a pint of water before you have your first drink. This prevents you from trying to quench your thirst with alcohol (which doesn’t work). Throughout the night, have a soft drink or more water.

Give your liver a rest

Promise yourself two or three nights a week when you can drink and experiment with non-alcoholic cocktails on the other nights.

Don’t underestimate yourself

You may drink more than you realise – it’s easy to lose track, so keep a diary over a week and see what you can eliminate.

The benefits

Immediately you’ll feel better – no hangovers in the mornings, as well as much more energy and clarity. Your skin will start to look younger and smoother after just a couple of weeks and you will notice some weight loss. You’ll also be at less risk of prosecution for driving under the influence, so you won’t be needing

Longer-term you’ll find your moods improving. There are strong links between heavy drinking and depression or anxiety. If you are prone to feeling low, alcohol will make it worse, not better.

You’ll also sleep much better as alcohol messes with your sleep patterns and prevents you from deep sleep. You’ll feel like you’ve actually rested when you wake up if you don’t drink.
You might also find your general behaviour improves – alcohol can make you irrational, argumentative or aggressive and you may also have memory problems.

If you’re a long-term heavy drinker, your heart can become enlarged and while the condition can’t be cured, you can partly reverse it or at least stop it progressing by quitting alcohol. Your immune system will also improve.