7 Steps to Lowering Your Alcohol Intake

You have recently decided to limit your alcohol intake. This is often done for a myriad of reasons as too much alcohol has been shown to have negative impacts on our physical and emotional health, and, to be honest, our bank accounts.

Or perhaps you want to simply reduce the impact that alcohol has on your brain so that you’re less often tipsy and more often level-headed. Whatever the reason for wanting to limit your alcohol intake, you can go about it in several ways.

Remove alcohol from home

It can be so tempting to consume anything that you already have at home, and alcohol is no different. Stop buying alcoholic beverages at the grocery store and bringing them home. Instead, limit your drinking to when you go out to bars and restaurants.

Taking advantage of a certified bartender is preferred over doing the bartending yourself at home. Of course, going this route, if you continue to drink the same amount as before, would have an adverse effect on your financial situation.

However, it’s hopeful that the benefits will instead be twofold; you’d be able to lessen how much you drink due to less access to it and also desire it less when you’re out since you know that it’ll cost you more to drink the same amount in that setting.

Count your drinks

Regardless of whether you take advantage of the first suggestion, start counting your drinks. You can do so via a note that you add to in handwritten form or on your smartphone. It doesn’t really matter how this information is recorded.

The important thing is that making this note stops your brain and allows it to continuously notice how much you’re drinking and, as a result, will generally allow you to naturally drink less than you had been prior to starting this habit.

You’ll also want to use a standard measurement as far as this goes. For example, a beer with 5% alcohol content generally needs to be 12 ounces in order to count as one standard drink. Conversely, wine at 12% alcohol content will consist of about 5 ounces for every standard drink.

At the top end of the spectrum are spirits. Ones that are 80 proof will take up a standard drink in just 1-1/2 ounces, which is roughly how much goes into a shot.

Some keep a detailed record of their drinking for weeks or months. Notes pointing out what you were doing at the time are sometimes helpful when you look those over down the line. You can also see if there are any patterns as far as when you drink more often and when you drink less often. It can be useful to make notes of how you feel every day so that you can see how alcohol intake may impact that.

Pace yourself

Drinking slowly will allow you to more thoroughly enjoy your drinking experience while concurrently consuming less alcohol. You can also limit yourself to one drink per hour when you are out as a way to reduce your alcohol intake.

If you’re patiently waiting for the next hour and another drink, consider consuming a non-alcoholic drink or getting something to eat. Doing those other things will also oftentimes cause you to not crave that next drink as much as you had been.

Do other activities

If you always go out on Friday nights and drink more than you would like to, consider doing something else during that time. You could spend it at the gym or checking out a movie or play, or you could have a non-alcoholic experience at a sports event.

Or, instead of going out drinking every Friday night, alternate weeks so that, every other Friday, you’re doing something that does not involve alcohol while still enjoying alcohol-infused days on the remaining Fridays.

Be prepared to turn down alcohol

If you’ve always accepted offers of alcohol from friends and others, you may need to mentally prepare to turn down some of those invitations. This is because you may be in the habit of always accepting those invites, and habits, regardless of what they involve, do take some time to change. Also be wary of people who encourage or pressure you to drink more.

Enjoy alcohol-free days or weeks

Depending on how often you currently drink, you can set aside alcohol-free days or weeks. If you currently drink every day, perhaps have Mondays be alcohol-free days. If you tend to drink once or twice a week and want to cut that down, consider making one week every month alcohol-free.

Be persistent

Don’t worry if your attempts to limit your alcohol intake fail from time to time. Keep the big picture in mind, and keep pushing towards that, even if you occasionally stumble as you make your way there.

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