Learn to go lighter on the booze this party season with our top tips on cutting back on alcohol for a happier, healthier you.

Meet friends for a coffee, not a drink

have a coffee with friend

If your aim is a good chat in a relaxed environment—whether for business or pleasure—find a nice café. That way, you’ll keep alcohol out of the equation.

That can only be a good thing considering it has a part to play in some 60 medical conditions, from cancer to depression.

 

Always have two glasses on the go

One of wine and one of water. Use water not alcohol to quench your thirst and sip on the alcohol for the flavour.

 

Keep the wine bottle off the dinner table

jug of water for the table

It’s just too easy to keep pouring until you’ve drained the bottle.

Instead, keep a jug of water on the table, then pour one glass of wine, cork the bottle and put it away.

 

Find an alternative to your favourite tipple

Non-alcoholic of course. What about iced tea or a smoothie, or pleasantly fizzy elderflower pressé? Or it could be a walk or a hot bath. Do it for two weeks until it becomes your new habit. 

 

Work out how much money you’re spending

how much money are you spending

…on booze each week. Nothing will be more sobering!

And once you know, commit to spending half that amount and save the rest for something special. 

 

Make a list of rules

For instance, no more than one drink a day; drink only at weekends; drink only wine spritzers; drink only when you’re dressed in your best clothes, and so on.

Post the list near the fridge or drinks cabinet. 

 

Don’t drink alone

couple drinking alcohol

Not because it’s sad–there are plenty of times when a glass of wine by yourself is very nice and totally appropriate–but for the discipline.

It’s too easy to start drinking excessively if you drink on your own. 

 

Tell everyone you’re cutting back

The hope is this will prevent people from urging you to have just one or just one more.

 

Have a No-vember

no-vember dry january stoptober

You’ve heard of Dry January, but why wait? There’s evidence that giving up booze for a month can help you lose weight, sleep better, and lower blood glucose levels (a risk factor for diabetes) and cholesterol.

But it’s important to use it to cut down on your drinking overall—it’s no good going on a binge at the end of the month! 

 

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