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Rethinking your drinking

drink less gain more - set your goal

Know the amount you drink – lots of people are surprised when they stop to work it out. Try out our drinks calculator

Keep a drinks diary for a week or two to understand when and where you drink, and how much. Download a drinks diary

Find out about low-risk drinking, to reduce alcohol-related risks. See the low-risk drinking guidelines

Get motivated

Healthier lifestyle or a personal challenge? Think what you want to get from cutting down / taking a break. See some benefits

Set a target

For example:

•    Try to stick within the low-risk weekly limits
•    Increase the number of drink-free days you have per week
•    Cut out a certain number of standard drinks per week
•    Limit yourself to 3 standard drinks per session
•    Have some times when you won’t drink (on an empty stomach, when minding kids, on work days)
•    No alcohol for a month, or a year!

Take small steps

Even drinking a little bit less can mean less regret on nights out and make you feel better, physically and mentally. Try alternating alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, cutting out one drinking day or stopping for a week. Read more about drinking less.

Do it with friends

Getting some mates to cut down or quit with you means you can support each other and enjoy some alcohol-free activities together, plus there will be less pressure on you to drink if you’re friends are doing the same. Or join a temporary abstinence initiative together, like Dry January.

Set a date

Choose a time to start when it won’t be too hard – Avoid starting at times when you usually drink the most - the weekend, on a big night out, or during a trip away.

Add in good things

Cutting back on alcohol is not just about giving something up, it’s about opening the door to new good things – new experiences, better health and more happiness. There are lots of things you can do with the time and money you save.

  • If you are going to the pub less, don’t just sit at home – do something fun
  • If you want to lose weight or be healthier, try getting more active - play sport, walk with friends, have a go at a new sport or activity
  • If you’re saving money, treat yourself to something that makes you happy with the money you save

Before and after - Ways to check your progress  

•    Make a note of how much you drink – see how much you can cut back
•    Weigh yourself  
•    Take your blood pressure
•    See how much you spend in a week / How much did you save
•    Write down the changes that are important to you / Are you achieving what you want?  
•    Monitor your mood. See if you feel happier, calmer or better in yourself after cutting down.

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Worried about your drinking?

If alcohol is causing you problems or you feel you need help to manage your drinking, see our section Worried about your drinking?

Tips, tools and guides

Get motivated – great reasons to cut down                                                                                                                                                                                                 Keep a drinks diary. Track your drinking and set a target to cut down.
Low risk drinking – stay in the zone
Temptation and peer pressure – tips to keep on track
How to drink less and cut your alcohol intake
Alcohol free activities                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Keep a drinks diary. Track your drinking and set a target to cut down.

You may also notice unexpected benefits! For example, your relationships might improve, you may do better in work or your children may seem happier.

Photo credit: anitapeppers@morguefile.com

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