Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t only the heaviest drinkers that could benefit from cutting down at least a little. Quite to the contrary in fact, as research suggests that the overwhelming majority of UK adults regularly overstep the mark when it comes to recommended daily and weekly alcohol intake. The simple fact of the matter is that while careful and very modest alcohol consumption doesn’t necessarily have to be harmful, excessive consumption can have a catastrophic effect on the body.
Which is precisely why experts are continually urging the public in general to be more thoughtful and proactive when it comes to alcohol consumption. The way they see it, you don’t have to find yourself in a position where you are looking for local alcohol rehabilitation centres before even considering cutting down at least a little. Not only this, but reducing alcohol intake immediately and for the long-term doesn’t have to be nearly as difficult a task as it may appear on the surface.
Here’s a quick overview of eight ideas and suggestions from the experts on how to begin making a difference right now:
1 – Break the Habit
One of the first and most important things to do is to carefully consider whether your current drinking habits represent part of a routine that you have somehow found yourself caught in. For example, if your current routine sees you instinctively and without thought cracking open a few beers or a bottle of wine every night, make concerted efforts to break the habit. It may be difficult to do at first, but once you get yourself into a slightly more health-focused and proactive routine, you’ll find the rest takes care of itself naturally.
2 – Sip and Enjoy
Another highly effective way of reducing alcohol intake is to get out of the habit of drinking like it is a competition and instead enjoy what it is you are drinking. For example, if you would currently drink a larger amount of generic lager in one sitting, then think about reducing this to something considerably more enjoyable? Drinking alcoholic drinks you don’t particularly enjoy just for the sake of getting as much as possible inside you really doesn’t make a great deal of sense at all.
3 – Smaller Measures
A quick tip but a useful tip nonetheless, one of the easiest ways of reducing alcohol intake is to proactively seek smaller measures and vessels. If for example you currently favour gigantic 660ml bottles of beer, you could make a huge difference simply by reducing the size of the bottle and drinking more slowly. The same also goes for those who favour spirits and mixers – stepping down from double measures to singles will not affect the flavour, but will certainly do your health and wellbeing a world of good.
4 – Include Food
Given the fact that it can be difficult to go over the top with alcohol consumption with a belly full of food, this in its own right represents a great way of cutting down alcohol intake. Of course, it’s not a case of needlessly and relentlessly pigging out on the kinds of foods and snacks that are likewise not particularly good for you. Nevertheless, if you ensure you include food in or around any drinking you take part in, chances are you will drink considerably less.
5 – Stop Stockpiling
There’s no two ways about it – if you have a huge stockpile of alcohol around the house, you are bound to dive into it on a regular basis. It’s the kind of temptation that is simply too much for the vast majority of people to bear, so if you are really intent on cutting down, try keeping your home free of alcohol for a while.
6 – Warm Beer
The same also goes for temperature, as if you have a glorious stockpile of ice cold beers ready and waiting in the fridge, you are far more likely to indulge than if they were somewhere else in the house at room temperature. Anything you can do to reduce temptation cannot be a bad thing.
7 – Budget
Another effective method for cutting down how much you drink is to set yourself a specific alcohol budget each month and ensure that under no circumstances do you exceed it. That being said, it won’t be particularly helpful if you deliberately and meticulously planned out your budget in a manner that ensures every penny is spent on the cheapest possible alcohol you can afford, in order to make it go further!
8 – Sit Down
Last but not least, a wide variety of studies have shown that for reasons that still remain unclear, most people drink faster and in greater quantities when they are standing. As such, when you are out and about for any reason and have the intention of enjoying a drink or two, you are statistically less likely to overdo it if you spend the evening sitting down.