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How to Lower Your Alcohol Consumption and Still Enjoy a Drink

Alcohol is a common part of many social occasions, but it can also have negative effects on your health, mood, and relationships. If you want to drink less alcohol, but still enjoy a drink from time to time, you are not alone. Many people are looking for ways to reduce their alcohol intake and improve their well-being. In this blog post, we will share some tips and strategies on how to lower your alcohol consumption and still enjoy a drink. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about alcohol and moderation.

Why Drink Less Alcohol?

There are many reasons why you might want to drink less alcohol, such as:

  • Improving your physical health. Alcohol can affect your liver, heart, brain, and immune system. It can also increase your risk of certain cancers, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Drinking less alcohol can help you avoid these health problems and improve your overall fitness and vitality.
  • Improving your mental health. Alcohol can affect your mood, memory, sleep, and concentration. It can also worsen anxiety, depression, and stress. Drinking less alcohol can help you feel happier, calmer, and more focused. It can also improve your self-esteem and confidence.
  • Saving money. Alcohol can be expensive, especially if you drink frequently or in large amounts. Drinking less alcohol can help you save money and spend it on other things that make you happy, such as hobbies, travel, or gifts.
  • Enhancing your relationships. Alcohol can affect your communication, judgment, and behavior. It can also cause conflicts, arguments, and misunderstandings with your family, friends, or partner. Drinking less alcohol can help you improve your social skills, empathy, and trust. It can also help you enjoy your time with others more.

How to Drink Less Alcohol?

Drinking less alcohol does not mean that you have to give up drinking completely. You can still enjoy a drink occasionally, as long as you do it in moderation and with awareness. Here are some tips and strategies on how to drink less alcohol and still enjoy a drink:

  • Set a limit. Decide what you want to drink in advance and stick to your plan. You can use the NHS guidelines or the [CDC guidelines] to help you determine a safe and sensible amount of alcohol for you. For example, you can limit yourself to one or two drinks per day, or three or four drinks per week. You can also choose alcohol-free days, where you do not drink at all.
  • Practise your drink refusal skills. Plan what you will say if you are offered a drink and say it with confidence. You do not have to explain or justify your decision to drink less. You can simply say “No, thank you”, “I’m good”, or “I’ve had enough”. You can also suggest an alternative activity, such as playing a game, dancing, or having a snack.
  • Try drinking low-alcohol and no-alcohol alternatives. Swap your usual alcoholic drink with alcohol-free alternatives, such as water, soda, juice, or mocktails. You can also try lighter beers, wines, or spirits, which have lower alcohol content and fewer calories. You can also dilute your drink with ice, water, or mixer, to make it last longer and reduce its strength.
  • Drink slowly and mindfully. Sip your drink and savor its taste, aroma, and texture. Drink soda, water, or juice after having an alcoholic beverage, to stay hydrated and prevent dehydration. Never drink on an empty stomach, as this can make you absorb alcohol faster and feel its effects more strongly. Eat a meal or a snack before or while you drink, to slow down the absorption of alcohol and keep your blood sugar stable.
  • Replace drinking (or a drink) with another thing. Doing something you enjoy allows you to focus on action (taking a bike ride, for example) rather than inaction (not drinking). You can also find other ways to relax, cope, or celebrate, such as meditation, exercise, music, or hobbies. You can also reward yourself for drinking less, such as buying yourself a treat, watching a movie, or taking a nap.
  • Monitor your drinking habits and progress. Keep track of how much, how often, and why you drink. You can use a diary, an app, or a website to record your drinking patterns and goals. You can also measure your drinks, using standard units or a measuring cup, to know exactly how much alcohol you are consuming. You can also monitor your health, mood, and behavior, and notice how they change as you drink less. You can also celebrate your achievements, such as reaching a milestone, reducing your intake, or avoiding a trigger.

FAQs About Alcohol and Moderation

Here are some frequently asked questions about alcohol and moderation, and their answers:

  • Q: What is a standard drink?
  • A: A standard drink is a measure of alcohol that contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol. This is equivalent to 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits. However, different drinks may have different alcohol content and serving sizes, so you should always check the label and measure your drink carefully.
  • Q: What is moderate drinking?
  • A: Moderate drinking is defined as drinking within the low-risk limits of alcohol consumption. According to the NHS, this means no more than 14 units of alcohol per week for both men and women, and spreading them over at least three days. According to the CDC, this means no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men.
  • Q: What are the benefits of moderate drinking?
  • A: Moderate drinking may have some benefits for your health, such as reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. However, these benefits are not guaranteed and may vary depending on your age, gender, genetics, and other factors. Moreover, these benefits may be outweighed by the risks of drinking more than the recommended limits, such as liver damage, cancer, and accidents. Therefore, you should not start drinking or drink more for health reasons, and you should always consult your doctor before making any changes to your drinking habits.
  • Q: How can I tell if I have a problem with alcohol?
  • A: You may have a problem with alcohol if you:
    • Drink more than the recommended limits or lose control over how much you drink
    • Drink to cope with stress, emotions, or problems
    • Drink in situations that are dangerous, such as driving, working, or caring for children
    • Experience negative consequences from your drinking, such as health issues, relationship problems, or legal troubles
    • Have cravings, withdrawal symptoms, or tolerance to alcohol
    • Neglect your responsibilities, interests, or hobbies because of your drinking
    • Feel guilty, ashamed, or worried about your drinking

If you think you have a problem with alcohol, you should seek professional help as soon as possible. You can talk to your doctor, a counselor, or a therapist, who can assess your situation and offer you treatment options. You can also join a support group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, where you can meet other people who are recovering from alcohol addiction and learn from their experiences. You can also contact a helpline, such as the National Alcohol Helpline in the UK (0800 917 8282) or the National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service in the US (1-800-662-HELP), where you can get confidential advice and information.


Drinking less alcohol can have many benefits for your health, happiness, and well-being. You can still enjoy a drink occasionally, as long as you do it in moderation and with awareness. By following the tips and strategies in this blog post, you can lower your alcohol consumption and still enjoy a drink. You can also find more resources and support online, such as the Sunnyside app, the Alcohol Change UK website, or the Real Simple magazine. Remember, you are not alone, and you can make positive changes in your life. Cheers!

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