Are you drinking more than the daily recommended dose of alcohol?
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans defines moderate alcohol consumption as no more than 1 alcoholic drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. Moderate alcohol consumption is the recommended limit for everyone. If you are drinking more than that, you need to assess your drinking behavior and alcohol dependency. Is your alcohol consumption increasing because you are stressed? Are you feeling depression symptoms and want to hide them with alcohol? If you are suffering from a dual diagnosis of alcohol and depression, your best option is to seek help for both mental health problems. If you are only diagnosed with depression or are experiencing depressive symptoms, do not mask it by increasing your alcohol consumption. Seek help for your depression and scale back on your alcohol intake. Most likely, you are not at the stage where you are abusing alcohol, but you are toeing the line. That is why it is vital to change your drinking behavior sooner rather than later. Here are a few tips to help you decrease your alcohol consumption.
Tips To Cut Alcohol Consumption
Avoid downing your alcohol. Take small sips and not big gulps. You can slow down by increasing the time between your sips. Also, alternate your drinks. You can do this by making every second drink a soft drink or water. For example, a night out drinking will consist of the alcoholic beverage of your choice followed by a Coke or water. You cannot consume any more alcohol until you finish that beverage in between.
Find A Distraction
If you occupy yourself by doing something else, you are less likely to drink too much. For example, between your sips, play a game on your phone. This can also work as a way to pace your sips. If a game lasts 2 minutes, you know that you are taking a sip every two minutes. When you do something that enjoyable while you drink, you are more likely to drink less.
Mix it Up
Change your drink of choice. A beer has less alcohol than hard liquor. Opt for a beer over hard liquor. Also, instead of having that second beer, why not have a glass of water or a soft drink? A mocktail can give you the fruity flavors of a cocktail without the alcohol. If you are a man, you can have your second beer after you drink something non-alcoholic in between the beers. Remember to always stay hydrated so one of your other beverages should be water.
Measure Your Alcohol
If you like to drink at home, you can buy an alcohol measure or smaller wine glasses to stop you from drinking more than you intended to drink. If beer is your first drink of choice, try lowering your measurements. Instead of drinking a pint of beer, trying cutting that down to half a pint or opt for a bottle or can of beer instead of a mug of beer.
Don't Do The Rounds
You are not a party pooper if you opt out of rounds. Doing rounds with your friends can result in you drinking more and drinking faster. Either opt out of doing the rounds or substitute the rounds with non-alcoholic beverages.
Be Wary of Cocktails
Cocktails may contain more alcohol than you think. Ask your bartender for the measurements. Or use your smartphone to look it up before ordering. Some cocktails mix different alcohol. Although the measurement may be small, the mixture can be more potent than you imagined.
Use Your Support System
Let your family and friends know what alcohol limit you have set for yourself. They can help you when are tempted to break your limit.
Take A Break
You do not have to drink everyday. Take a break on the odd days.
Take It One Day at A Time
If you try to cut back a little every day, you will find more success this way than trying to do everything at once. Going all in at once may cause you to relapse and binge drink.If you like to drink at home, you can buy an alcohol measure or smaller wine glasses to stop you from drinking more than you intended to drink. If beer is your first drink of choice, try lowering your measurements. Instead of drinking a pint of beer, trying cutting that down to half a pint or opt for a bottle or can of beer instead of a mug of beer.