Never drink alone. Photo: Thinkstock
"No one should need alcohol to function socially."
• Dilute your drinks with sparkling water. It doesn’t contain the sodium of soda water and still mixes well with wine and whisky. This can help you to cut down on alcohol consumption, not just because it dilutes your drink, but also because the bubbles make you feel full.
• Keep the wine bottle off the dinner table. It makes it too easy to keep pouring until it’s empty. Instead, keep a jug of water on the table. Then pour one glass of wine, cork the bottle and put it away.
• Create a list of rules for drinking. For instance, no more than one drink a day. Drink only at weekends. Drink only wine spritzers. Drink only when you’re dressed up in your best clothes, etc. Post the list near the drinks cabinet/wine rack.
• Keep a drinking diary. Tracking how much you drink may provide you with some surprising information that will encourage you to cut down or quit.
• Make a list of reasons why you want to cut back on drinking. These could be: lose weight, sleep better, fewer headaches, get more done, improve blood sugar control, better sex, perform better at work. Stick the list in a prominent place and read through it every time you think about having a drink.
• Work out how much money you’re spending on alcohol every week. Now commit to spending half that amount. Put the savings into a special account (or even a large glass jar) and use it for something special for you (not a bottle of properly cellared wine).
• Tell everyone you know that you’re cutting back on your drinking. The hope is that this will prevent people from urging you to have ‘just one’ or ‘just one more’.
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