The party season is in full swing, and many of us will have been lucky enough to have received invites to a number of Christmas celebrations. These will invariably involve a lot of eating and a lot of drinking, and with both glass sizes and alcohol measures increasing it can be very easy to over indulge without actually realising it.
14 units spread across the week, is the Governments recommendation for your alcohol intake. However as alcoholic drinks vary in strength and size, it isn’t as simple as one drink equals one unit. A rough guide is six pints of average strength beer or six 175ml glasses of average strength wine but many of us will easily consume this, especially if we have back to back parties to attend. So if we want to make it through the Christmas and New Year festivities relatively unscathed here are some helpful hints to manage your alcohol consumption.
Avoid drinking in rounds
Try and avoid drinking in rounds, you can then set your own pace and not feel obliged to ‘keep up’ with anyone else. This will not only help cut the amount of alcohol you consume but help your wallet too.
Get a friend to cut down with you
Not drinking by yourself is no fun at all, but having a friend in the same boat as you will make it a whole lot easier.
Don't drink on an empty stomach
Alcohol affects the part of the brain associated with decision making, so too much alcohol can lead to taking risks, that if sober we wouldn’t make. The alcohol will also be absorbed faster, making us feel drunk quicker.
Avoid caffeinated mixers
These can compound the effects of a hangover, adding to a general sense of ill feeling.
Hide the booze
Or better still don’t buy any in the first place. You won’t be tempted if there isn’t any alcohol to hand.
Alternate a non-alcoholic drink with an alcoholic one
Try alternating alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and a bottle of water on the go also. This will help to keep you hydrated and reduce the overall amount you drink.
Use the money you save something else
This is an expensive time of year, so put the money you save from not drinking towards something special, you will be amazed how quickly it mounts up.
Try a smaller glass
Ask the bartender for a small glass of wine, or if you are at home buy some smaller glasses.
Don’t top up
Stop topping up your glass before its empty, you will then be able to keep track of just what you are drinking.
Avoid drinking alone
It can be really hard to notice how much you are drinking if you pour it for yourself. Your drinking can easily escalate and become habit forming. Automatically pouring yourself a beer or glass of wine after a hard day’s work can soon become the norm and before long the amount of alcohol being consumed is a lot higher than the recommended levels.
If you want help in cutting your alcohol consumption please complete the assessment tool here