Whether you love to enjoy a crisp craft beer, a glass of wine with dinner, or if you’re a Scotch fan, there are times when cutting down on drinking will become your main focus. There may be health reasons, you may want to save money for something special, or maybe you just feel like you’ve been indulging too much. Whatever the reason is, it’s possible to cut down, and despite what some people will tell you, you can reduce your consumption without abstaining completely.
The best way to cut down is to have a plan and a strategy, and these four simple tips can help you to be successful with your goal.
Be Honest About Why You’re Cutting Back
You don’t have to be an alcoholic or have a drinking problem – sometimes you might just feel like alcohol is taking time away from other activities, or may even be costing you too much financially. If you’re going to cut back, then you have to understand why and be completely honest with yourself. By understanding your personal reasons for reducing your alcohol intake, you will be more motivated to stick to your plan.
Reduction Can Be More Effective Than Abstinence
Going cold turkey can be extremely difficult, especially if you will need to attend business or social engagements where alcohol might be involved. Unless you’re cutting back strictly for medical reasons, then reduction is usually more manageable than complete abstinence. Try to limit your drinking to half of your normal intake, or incorporate ‘dry’ days into your week where you don’t consume any alcohol.
Replace Alcohol with Other Beverages
If you’re out with friends, it can be difficult to avoid drinking completely. Instead, replace every other alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic one. This helps you to overcome the awkwardness of not having a drink in your hand, and if you replace the odd drink with water, you’ll help your body to stay hydrated and process the alcohol. Non-alcoholic drinks will also help to fill your stomach, and you might find that you don’t even feel like drinking alcohol when you rotate your drinks in this way.
Use Chasers and Mixers
Chasers and mixers can be a great way to dilute the alcohol content per sip. As you drink the drink down, do yourself a favor and keep adding in that mixer. When you get in the habit of this, you will find yourself cutting back on how much you are drinking and you’ll be pacing out your drinks.
Stop Buying in Bulk
Some people like to build up a liquor collection. It can be great to make sure that you have a whole variety of drinks for any mood or occasion, but it can also mean that there’s temptation when you’re trying to cut back. Limit your purchases to exactly what you intend to drink, and set up a budget. By limiting what you allow yourself to spend on alcohol, you can hold yourself accountable for your drinking and you’ll know exactly when you’ve gone over your new limitations.
Cutting back on drinking can open you up to new experiences and hobbies. Cutting back doesn’t mean missing out on social events, and it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favorite beer, wine, or spirit. Be realistic about the kind of reduction you want to make, and remember that moderation is the key to drinking responsibly. As long as you’re disciplined, you can meet your goal.[Image Credit]