10 Practical Ways to Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption

Drinking too much alcohol can have serious long-term physical and mental health effects. If you find that your alcohol consumption is affecting your day-to-day life, you may want to consider cutting back on your booze.

Here are 10 top tips for reducing your alcohol intake.

Alcohol effects

Evaluate Why You Drink

It’s important to first understand why you drink in the first place. Consider what triggers you to reach for a drink or have more than one. It could be as simple as being in a particular environment, or it could be related to deeper emotional needs, like stress or anxiety.

Knowing your reasons for drinking can help you create practical solutions that work for you.

Once you’ve uncovered why you might be drinking, make a plan on how to address those triggers. By preparing ahead of time, you can find ways to cope or divert your attention if the urge arises.

For instance, if spending time with certain people is a trigger for drinking excessively, it may be best to come up with an excuse not to attend events that involve those people.

Set Limits on How Much You’re Drinking

It can be helpful to set limits or goals for how much you drink on any given day and even at a particular event. Think about setting daily and weekly limits and tracking your progress as you work towards them.

Try setting a limit of one or two drinks per night, or commit to having no more than three alcoholic drinks per week. Use self-monitoring techniques such as counting the number of drinks in your hand to stay within your limit.

Self-imposed limits can also help you avoid drinking in risky situations, like when you’re feeling bored or lonely.

Consider setting a goal of consuming no more than three drinks per evening. Try to space these drinks out over time and ensure you aren’t drinking until you feel tipsy.

By keeping track of your alcohol consumption and setting limits for yourself, you can take small steps towards better health and a life with less alcohol.

Track Your Alcohol Consumption

Keeping a record of your drinking can be an effective way to manage and reduce your alcohol intake. Track how many alcoholic drinks you have in a day and over the week, and set yourself goals to reduce your overall consumption. Monitor your progress by reviewing this log each week and make changes as necessary.

Recognize the triggers that lead up to drinking too much, such as certain events or people, so that you can avoid them or substitute other activities when possible.

Have Healthier Alternatives Available

It’s easier to reduce your alcohol consumption if you have alternatives available. Seltzer water, sparkling fruit juices, or health drinks can help satisfy the urge to have something in your hand.

You could also try non-alcoholic wine or create mocktails with fruits and carbonated beverages. Make these options accessible and easily visible so that they are top of mind when looking for an alternate option to alcohol.

Establish an Accountability System with Friends and Family Members

Reach out to family and friends for help when trying to reduce your alcohol consumption. Let them know that you need their support and accountability in sticking to your goals.

You can have friends or family members remind you of your goals and remember to drink in moderation when going out with them.

They can also check in with you from time to time on how you’re doing and provide encouragement during any tough times.

Carry Cash Instead of a Card

Paying in cash provides a great way to monitor and limit your spending on alcohol. Having physical limits, (i.e., running out of cash) will act as a trigger that can alert you when it’s time to put away the wallet. Plus, carrying cash leaves you less likely to pursue impulsive purchases that aid with over-consumption.

Being able to see the actual money pile up will make it easier for you to stick to a budget and break the habit of blindly ordering drinks at the bar or overindulging at home.

Schedule Non-Drinking Days or Hours for Yourself

When it comes to cutting down on alcohol consumption, avoid drinking every day. Consider scheduling non-drinking days or even a few hours where you’re not allowed to order drinks. Doing this will make it easier for you to stick with your goal and have a better understanding of the amount of alcohol you’re actually consuming each week.

Alternatively, take smaller breaks from drinking throughout the week (like one day off every two days) to reduce the amount consumed.

Avoid Drinking Triggers When Possible

It can be hard to resist temptations and triggers when you’re trying to cut down on drinking. Learn to recognize your triggers and plan ahead for them.

For example, if going out with friends usually results in excessive drinking, try something new like going to a movie or taking a walk together. This will reduce the temptation to drink alcohol while still allowing you to spend quality time with your friends or family.

Empty Alcohol From Your Fridge

One of the easiest and most effective tips for reducing alcohol consumption is to simply remove it from your house. If you don’t have any bottles or cans to reach for then you won’t succumb to temptation as easily.

Alternatively, if keeping alcohol around is important but moderation is still the goal, try purchasing smaller beverage containers so that it’s more difficult to consume too much in a single sitting.

Avoid Boredom

Alcohol consumption is often an attempt to fill a void—particularly if you’re dealing with loneliness or boredom. It’s important to address these situations head-on and find ways to reduce their influence in your life. For instance, try developing hobbies, spending time with friends, or pursuing other forms of entertainment for long evenings free from alcohol.

 

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