Everyone loves to go out and have a good time every now and then! Whether unwinding from a hard work week, letting off some steam, or celebrating a life event, we can guarantee that one thing will be in abundance: alcohol.
Within the last year, England revised their recommended weekly intake to be limited to only 14 alcoholic units for both men and women. That’s about 5 beers (or 5 glasses of wine) a week maximum for optimal health.
This means that a lot of us probably need to cut back. Not only is alcohol full of empty calories but it lowers our inhibitions for overeating. And hello, hangovers anyone?
We all want to have fun with our friends, but there are some better ways to cut back your alcohol consumption to not only enjoy the evening more, but have a less regretful morning.
Tips for Drinking Responsibly
Eat a healthy meal before heading out.
If you eat a full meal before ordering your first drink you’ll feel the effects much less. When your body is digesting food it slows the absorption of alcohol and will help you stay in control throughout the night. This also means you’ll be less likely to order a greasy burger or pizza later on.
Track your intake.
In the same way that using a hydration tracker helps keep your water intake in check, using a drink tracker will help you stay aware of how much alcohol you’re consuming. There are plenty of apps that you can download straight to your smartphone that provide community support, goals, and even calculators to show how much money you’re saving!
Create space between drinks.
Ask for a water or seltzer water in between each alcoholic beverage (skip the sugary sodas). It will create more time between each drink and help you pace yourself. You’ll probably end up more hydrated as well.
Less is more.
If you prefer mixed drinks order your drink as a “single tall”. You’ll get the same amount of alcohol as a short drink (one shot), but in a tall glass with more mixer. Save even more calories by sticking to seltzer water as the mixer, and add that packet of True Lemon you keep with you at all times. If you prefer beer, ask if they can pour a short glass rather than a full pint.
Find a distraction.
Grab a friend and hit the dance floor or find a bar game to play like pool or darts. You will be having so much fun you’ll forget all about ordering the next drink.
When cutting back on your alcohol intake remember that it will get easier as you begin to form healthy habits. Let your friends and family know that you’re making an effort to cut back and ask for their support – they may even join in your endeavor. Be aware of the health benefits you feel when you drink less and how much money you’re saving. Focus on the positive impact these small changes make in every aspect of your life!
[Credit: Drinkaware. “How to Cut Down.”]