So you're ready to look at some easy ways to cut down. Taking some time out can do wonders for your waist-line, bank balance and generally make you feel lots better in yourself.
There are lots of health risks associated with drinking, even at low levels, and cutting back can have positive effects on our health.
It’s easier than you might think to take a break from the booze and even just taking days off every week can bring about many benefits.
Here are our top tips to help you along the way.
- Take more drink free days. This can really help your body recover and stop your drinking from becoming too regular. It's likely also to help you sleep better and wake up fewer times in the night, and feel brighter and more alert the next day.
The Drink Free Days app is a simple and easy way to track the days you drink alcohol and the days you don’t. It's important not to binge on the days you do drink though.
- Take part with a friend and spur each other on. If you’re both in it together, you can help each other through and enjoy other activities and treats.
- Track your Units. Most of us underestimate just how many alcoholic units are in a drink, and the units can mount up. We've pulled together easy information to help you understand alcohol units.
- Get fit. Join a gym, take part in another sporty activity or fitness class and use your break from the booze as a chance to feel fitter and healthier all round. You might just discover something you really enjoy! It’s also a great idea to set yourself goals and targets to aim for.
- Do other things. Substitute drinking with interesting non-alcoholic alternatives and rather than the pub, why not have a night out at the cinema, a music gig, game of bowling or spa day. Or get out and enjoy some fresh country air.
- Stay positive. Don’t focus on the idea that you’re giving something up. Try and turn it on its head so you think about a fresh new start. It’s a good idea to associate taking a break from alcohol with starting something new and exciting, like taking up a new hobby or embarking on healthier lifestyle choices.
- Think about the impact cutting back can have on your appearance. You could start to see real improvements within weeks. It's not just weight. Over time alcohol is also thought to have a permanent effect on the skin as it deprives it of vital vitamins and nutrients. That's why many celebrities and younger people are now more health conscious about alcohol.
- Don’t tempt yourself by buying alcohol in. Avoid buying beer, wine or spirits when you’re doing the weekly shop. If it’s not in the house, you won’t be as tempted to have a drink. And you’ll save yourself money too.
- Set a budget. Only take a fixed amount of money to spend on alcohol. If you keep track, you’ll find your bank balance is looking a lot healthier too.
- Avoid drinking in rounds. It’ll help you stay in control of what you’re drinking and go at your own pace. It’ll help you keep your units to a lower level and means you save money.