Worried about how much booze you are putting away over the festive period? Here are some nifty tricks for cutting out a few extra units.
Include food! Don't drink on an empty stomach; having alcohol with food means that it is absorbed into your system more slowly but doesn't prevent it. If you drink again and again, try only drinking with your main meal.
Don't have the bottle on the table, just pour one glass and put the bottle away
Out of house, out of mind: if it's in the house, you're more likely to drink it. Avoid stocking-up when you're doing the shopping
Buy a drinks measure to check how much you're really drinking. Pouring your own means you're likely to drink more. A small glass of wine is 125ml.
When you get the urge to pour yourself a glass, resist it by doing something completely different instead. Go for a walk, phone a friend, do some odd jobs around the house.
Set yourself a budget: only take out a set amount of money to spend on alcohol.
Start later: turn up later and you can drink less. But don't drink at home before you go out.
Drink at your own speed. Don't feel pressured to keep up with others.
If someone's getting a round, don't feel you must have a drink.
Sit one out: buy yourself a soft drink when it's your round.
Replace your usual: try a smaller glass, or a lower-strength drink, or add a mixer.
Make up an excuse by telling your friends you're cutting back on drinking to watch your weight. That one always works!
Drink with your meal only: if you're heading out for dinner, try just drinking with your main meal.
The Department of Health, Change4Life healthy living initiative have launched an online tool to help you keep track of how much alcohol you're drinking, which also calculates how much you are spending and how many calories you are putting in your body.
If you want to check your drink intake, visit nhs.uk/Change4Life
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