Advice for cutting down on alcohol

Tips to drink a bit less

Many of us enjoy a drink to unwind in the evening, but it can be surprisingly easy to exceed the recommended limits for alcohol.

The UK’s chief medical officers advise both men and women not to exceed 14 units of alcohol per week – and to spread those units across several days.

This is equivalent to six pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine. A standard 750ml bottle of red, white or rosé wine (ABV 13.5%) contains 10 units alone.

If we’re honest, many of us probably exceed this quantity – so if you’re looking to cut down or stop completely (for Sober October or for the longer term), here are some useful tips:

Tell people you’re cutting down

Sharing our desire to reduce alcohol consumption can help in several ways. It can stop friends and family encouraging us to drink and it will give them the opportunity to support us.

Also, the act of sharing a goal like this can make us feel accountable, and therefore less likely to slip back into old habits.

Go soft or go home

Try drinking smaller drinks or low-alcohol options, and alternate alcoholic drinks with water or soft drinks.

Consider calling it a night earlier than usual, rather than drinking until closing time or until the party ends.

Designate drink-free days

If you’re in the habit of having a drink most nights, try to plan a number of drink-free days into your week – perhaps allowing yourself a tipple on two or three nights a week.

And if you feel you are likely to be tempted, consider planning other activities instead – going to the cinema or exercise classes, for example.

Drinking less alcohol can bring improvements in mood, sleep and overall health – as well as helping with weight loss if that’s a goal.

Watch our short video showing simple tips for cutting down on alcohol.