Keep a record - If your drinking is gradually increasing, but you’re finding it hard to gage by how much, use a Drink Diary to work out what’s passing your lips in an average week. It might be the wake-up-call you need to reduce your drinking, or you may discover you’re not drinking in an unhealthy way at all.
Try a new tipple - If your evening meal seems half-baked without a drink on the side, try swapping your favourite tipple for a soft drink a few nights each week. It doesn’t have to be boring old orange juice. There are loads of high-end sodas and smoothies now, available from all supermarkets. You may discover something new, and your head will be clearer the next day.
Get hydrated - It’s easy to get in the habit of downing a few swift pints at lunchtime or on your way home, but who enjoys a mid-afternoon or early evening hangover? Keep your drinks to a minimum. And if you do drink, try alternating your drinks so that you have water or juice in between the alcohol. Keeping yourself hydrated will leave you feeling a whole lot better.
Habit forming -Variety is the spice of life, and helps to break bad habits. If you associate a certain activity, such as watching TV, with a drink, listen to your favourite album instead, or cook yourself a nicer meal with the money saved from the wine.
Try something new - Tackle the link in your mind between alcohol and relaxation. If you reach for a pint after a day’s work, try having a steaming bath, going for a swift walk or a yoga class.
Get money wise - With your drink diary in hand, tot up how much money you have spent on alcohol in the previous week or month. Work out how much you could save by cutting back and choose a gift for yourself as an incentive.
Fill your boots - Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Wait until you’ve starting eating your evening meal before drinking your wine or beer, or have a few nibbles beforehand to slow down the effects of alcohol on your body.
Slow down - Recognise when you’re drinking too quickly. Sometimes you might just be thirsty rather than really wanting an alcoholic drink. Down some water or a soft drink first, and see if you still want that pint. If you do drink booze, sip your drinks more slowly. You may find you rediscover the taste of good wine or your favourite beer that you’ve been missing by guzzling.
*Information & Statistics sourced from Drinkaware.co.uk (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).