How to reduce alcohol intake – My top 5 tips
When I gave up alcohol because of liver failure it was one of those moments. I had no choice but to give up or risk losing my life. I was in fact just a social drinker so nothing out of the ordinary but I have learned with alcohol which is of course a poison that things can progress quicker than you think, especially your social lifestyle.
So now I am often asked : How to reduce alcohol intake? Now for some people they want to give up completely for others it’s “you know what Phil, I have seen what you went through. I really need to cut down my alcohol intake! ”.
It’s amazing what being given 48 hours to live does in terms of alcohol awareness for your friends. While some dismiss it and are too embarrassed to talk about it, others start to question their own drinking. How to reduce alcohol intake? Well it becomes a real and present question.
Addiction ( yikes!)
I don’t really like labels. I think they are unhelpful.
It is really easy to put a label on people and say that it is what they are. Of course, you are much more than that! However, when we think of addiction it can be a dirty word like you will need a week of so-called “rehab”. In reality addiction come up in every area of our lives including
- Everyday Food
- Cream cake ( I had to mentioned them separately)
- Extreme sports
- Fitness training to the detriment of other things
- Hobbies that create no balance in other area of our life
- Toxic friends
- Cleaning ( I found this one even hard to write)
- Checking up on your partner
- Social Media ( Increasing daily)
- Bad news on TV
And of course there is a very good reason for this. It’s our brain is constantly moving away from pain towards pleasure even when that pleasure may not be so good for us.
This begs the question of how to reduce alcohol intake when we get so much from it ( or at least we think we do)
So for my drinking friends out there including you let’s count down my top 5 tips on how to reduce alcohol intake.
Drink Water ( Boring it’s what you are made of remember)
This is a classic but did you know why they leave nuts on a bar pre-lockdown of course, it’s to make you drink more. Alcohol dehydrates so together with some salty snacks the cycle gets bigger and bigger. Feeling thirsty I know I’ll have another beer so you get the idea. Now get this fact,water makes up
60 percent of our body
That is crazy isn’t it, the image of us degrading our core body as we continue to drink.
So before you have a beer or large glass of wine down a pint of water and see if you feel the same. I have suggested this to so many people and it is amazing how many people see their alcohol consumption go down. So in between alcohol drinks have a glass of water. Simple and shake it up a bit!
Beware of social pressure
Social pressure is a killer and I mean literally. We bow to it and get influenced by the people that should care the most. It’s typically in the form of “wanting to fit in”
- Go on have another
- You not drink tonight then?
- Your slow tonight
- I’ll get a few more in you will catch up
- Dry January will sort you out; you are fine for now
In truth that since I gave up drinking I get more pressure for not drinking. I don’t need to drink and if you live in a drinking culture make your own call. I found alcohol free options including gin really take the pressure off feeling like you have to fit in.
What Is interesting now is that my friends are passionate about going to places with plenty of alcohol free options so that “I am OK” even when I am happy with a cola.
Know your own mind and if you are fine with it they will be!
The working culture
A therapist that I know said to be there is no such thing as working drinking culture; it’s also down to our own attitudes. I am not sure they live in the real world. Impressing your boss does matter to so many executives rightly or wrongly and of course being liked as part of the crowd, well it’s a key human driver.
However, with some careful navigation of bars with alcohol free beer it can be done and you may be start “to be in” with the new trend crowd.
The latest research from the University of Bristol shows that up to 23 per cent of the population here in the UK, would choose a non-alcoholic option if the choice was good enough. Growth in non-alcoholic options has also grown by around 24% so you are in good company.
For my Christmas, the bar manager at the local restaurant decided to get some peroni alcohol free ( my review is here) and he presented them in a wine cooler at my table.
However, guess what, he got them in for me but it turned out to be one of the best-sellers of all time on Christmas Day. If you are seen to be riding a new trend it can really be seen that you are fitting in while enjoying an after work beverage.
Show the lead and you could find out how to reduce your alcohol intake and how others might want to as well.
Imagine checking in the day after
By constantly reminding yourself how alcohol affects your performance the next day can really help answer how to reduce your alcohol intake. If the pain is greater than the pleasure eventually a habit can be formed.
Picture and feel yourself really waking up with that hangover, you wonder whether you are safe to drive. Really feel it and see it!
Forward pacing is a good technique to really see the pain but then think of how you want to be the next day. At the end of the day it’s an addiction or habit, name it what you will.
One of the best coaches I learned from is Mark Tyryll who is really matter of fact about how addiction can happen and how we don’t realize what it is before it “crept up” on you and of course could lead to every health scare going.
I really rate him and if you are interested in reading about his course just click on the banner below. I get a small commission but this does not change the price you pay and it really worked for me on so many levels including loosing weight. After all addiction comes in all shapes and sizes and if you are uncomfortable with the food or drink addiction just replace it with the word habit.
After all changing your habit is the best way to reduce alcohol intake, I know I have been there.
Remind yourself you have one liver
Until my liver started to fail I conveniently forgot that I only have one, then it’s gone. People talk about heart and breaking a leg but they never talk about the liver. It can only take so much battering and the changes you make now and (no don’t give it all up if you don’t want to), could make a massive difference to your long term life. Including :
- Work ethic
- Family life
In a drinking work culture when in doubt, always leave early and never drive.
What’s your view?
Are you part of a drinking work culture? I would love to know how you deal with it. What alcohol beers have you tried? Read some of my reviews here if you like and comment on that page.
Let’s get a great debate going, sharing strategies and making a difference. Good luck! Leave me a message below and I always get back to you.