Experts say that for the best health, men should have no more than 2
alcoholic drinks a day. And women should have no more than 1 drink a day.
Tips about changing your habits
Know your reasons.
Write down your reasons for wanting to cut back (for example, to lower blood
pressure or to lose weight). You're more likely to be successful if you know
exactly why you want to change.
Set some specific goals. You're not as likely to be successful if your goal is just to
"drink less." Have a long-term goal, like lowering your blood pressure or
losing weight. And set some short-term goals that will get you there, like
having "no-drink" days.
Have a plan for dealing with barriers. Expect slip-ups. When you have one, think about what led
to it. You can use this information to avoid a similar result next time.
Get support. Changing habits is usually
easier when you get support from friends and family. Tell them what you're
trying to do, and ask them to help.
Reward yourself. Plan to treat yourself every time you reach one of your goals.
It could be a night at the movies, a new pair of shoes, or just some quiet time
Tips for cutting back on drinking
Try new approaches.
Pay attention to why you're having a
drink. Is it just habit? For example, don't drink just because it's 6 p.m. or
because it's Saturday night.
Teach yourself to drink slowly and
really savor the taste. It may help to use only expensive liquor.
Or try the opposite approach. Buy really cheap liquor that doesn't
taste as good.
Use smaller glasses for your drinks.
Find some favorite nonalcoholic drinks
that you can drink regularly. If you like sweet drinks, find a fruit drink you
like or try iced tea with honey. If you prefer drinks that aren't sweet, try
tomato juice or tonic or soda water with a slice of lemon or lime.
Become an expert
at making tasty, unusual nonalcoholic drinks, like smoothies or "virgin"
drinks. (For example, a "Virgin" Mary is a Bloody Mary without the alcohol.)
Water is your friend.
Have a large glass of ice water along
with every drink. Use the water to quench your thirst. Use the alcoholic drink
to please your taste buds.
Drink a large glass of water between
Do the math.
Figure out how much you're spending on alcohol each
month. How much is that a year? What might you do with the money you save by
Figure out how many calories are in each drink. How
many calories is that a day or a week? Cutting back on alcohol will save you
lots of calories.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerPeter Monti, PhD - Alcohol and Addiction Christine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health
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