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Whether you’re wanting to cut back because you’ve noticed your one glass of wine every couple of nights with dinner has turned into every night, or you’re wanting to lose weight or feel better overall, cutting back on the amount of alcohol you drink can benefit your mind and body in many ways.

Have you been thinking about cutting back on the amount of alcohol that you drink? Maybe you have experienced some negative health effects because of your drinking. If the amount of alcohol that you have been drinking exceeds recommended guidelines and puts you at risk for developing alcohol-related problems, you may want to try cutting down or moderating your consumption.

  1. Set a Realistic Goal

Write down how many drinks you want to drink per day and how many days a week you want to drink. Writing down your goals can help remind you that you want to limit your drinking.

People who drink within the recommended guidelines have a much lower risk of developing problems.

  1. Dinner Only Drinking

For many people coming home from work after a long day is synonymous with cracking open a bottle.

“Drinking once you get through the door is very habitual but it’s an easy habit to break and will instantly help you reduce the amount of standard drinks you’re having,” said McKay.

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Rather than putting away a few drinks before eating, wait until dinner is served and then have your first drink.

  1. Never Drink Alone

Not because it is so evil—indeed, there are plenty of times when a glass of wine by yourself is appropriate. Rather, do it for the discipline. If you learn to drink alone, it makes it too easy to begin drinking in excessive amounts.

  1. Make Substitutions For Drinking Alcohol

Yes, it is difficult to sit at the sports bar with other cheering fans and sip on a beer. Instead, always order a glass of water along with that frosted mug of brew. Having something else to sip on will delay finishing that beer. Also, have you noticed that ginger ale, root beer, and even iced tea poured into a beer mug can appear to be beer? With all the new varieties of craft beers with their fruity odors and unusual colorations, no one will be the wiser!

Wine spritzers look pretty, especially adorned with fruits and crystallized adornments but have less alcohol content when mixed with seltzers. Ginger ale sipped from a tall fluted champagne glass looks very festive.

Substitutions to your alcoholic drink of choice and help with reducing your alcohol intake and/or quit drinking with fancy non-alcoholic beverages and can help you to stay on track.

  1. Shrink your drinks

Sounds simple. But some people automatically order ‘a large’. Swap a large glass of wine for a small one, or a pint of beer for a half – or even a shandy. Try to savour your drink and enjoy the flavour. This will make it last longer and mean you’re less likely to order more.

  1. Ask For Help
    If you’ve been drinking more heavily after a series of ‘bad days’ or to avoid problems, it might be a sign that you need some support. Go and have a chat with your GP to talk through the reasons why you might be drinking so much, and better ways to cope.

Chances are you are going to be in situations in which someone is going to offer you a drink or expect you to drink with them as you have done in the past. Learn how to politely say “no thank you,” and really mean it. Say it quickly and firmly so that you don’t give yourself time to change your mind.