Have you been considering cutting back on drinking? Maybe you have encountered some adverse health or relationship issues due to your drinking, or you just don’t wish to go over the limit in your next drinking session with your friends.
If you are drinking too much, well beyond you tolerance level which puts you at risk for alcohol-related conditions such as liver damage, then you might need to cut back on your consumption. Even little changes can help decrease the risks that alcohol consumption causes. Besides, you can improve your overall health and lifestyle in the process.
The solution to successfully decreasing alcohol consumption is to look for something that works for you. If one doesn’t appeal to you or just doesn’t seem to work, then look for an alternative. Here are some tricks and suggestions to consider in order to avoid drinking in excess, whether you have it in a bar or at home.
Set a Practical Goal
Note down how much you desire to drink and on what days in a week or month you wish to drink. Write this goal and stick it in some place where you will notice it. It can act as a reminder that you need to restrict your drinking. Remember, those who drink alcohol within the prescribed guidelines have reduced chance of acquiring drinking related issues.
Count Your Drinks
In fact, go a step further and make an effort to write down how many drinks you consume everyday. This will help you decrease or slow down your alcohol consumption. You can make use of your smartphone to keep count. When you consciously watch and count the drinks you consume, it can have an instant effect on your drinking habit. Just develop the ability to watch yourself and you will see the difference.
Measure Your Drinks
Besides counting the number of drinks you consume, you can get more precise by measuring the drink you pour in your glass. Inform yourself of the measure what counts as a standard drink. Stick to your goal even when you are out dining out. You don’t have to shy away from asking your server about how much alcohol is in every drink.
Maintain Pace While Drinking
Most drinkers wanting to decrease their alcohol consumption have been successful by effectively pacing their drinking. You can try sipping the alcohol slowly or ensuring you have just one drink in one hour or at an event. Generally, those who gulp the first few drinks quickly are at a high risk of ending up with alcohol-related problems, as they now lose control.
Remember to Eat
Eating food while drinking can help decrease the craving to a certain extent for some people. You can try this technique by planning your drinking session along with meals. In fact, having food in the stomach when consuming alcohol lessens the effects of alcohol.
If you can, cut back on drinking by avoiding places or people who can lead you to drink in excess. Do not forget that your health is at risk, so try avoiding triggers that lead to alcohol consumption.
Dr. Cidambi is a leader in addiction treatment and innovator of safe and effective ambulatory (outpatient) detoxification level of care for alcohol, benzodiazepines, opiates, and suboxone. Prior to founding the Center for Network Therapy, she completed her residency in Psychiatry at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn and an Addiction Medicine Fellowship at NYU/Bellevue Hospital in New York. Due to the successful detoxification program, Dr. Cidambi was featured frequently by media outlets, including NPR, CBS, NY Times, and Wall Street Journal.