Easy ways to cut back

The best way to stay healthy is not to drink more than the sensible drinking guidelines and to have at least two alcohol-free days every week, giving your body a break. It's never too late to turn things around. Here are some easy ways to start.

  • Remember size isn’t everything

    A large glass of wine can contain over 3 units of alcohol. Think about how that adds up over a night if you’re drinking more than one, and perhaps go for a smaller glass for a change.

  • Set yourself a drinking budget and stick to it

    Think about how much you’re going to drink before you go on a night out. One way of making sure you don’t go over this is to take only enough money to buy the drinks you want (and a bit more to get you home safely).

  • Eat before you drink

    Eat a good meal before you start drinking, or enjoy some snacks while you drink. This helps to slow down the effect of alcohol on your body.

  • Alternate alcohol with soft drinks or water

    It will help you cut down the number of units you consume and avoid a hangover the next day. Drink water regularly whilst you’re out drinking and also when you get home to keep hydrated.

  • Keep the sensible drinking guidelines in mind

    The guidelines are lower than you might think – women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units per day and men 3-4.

  • Have a break

    Aim to have at least 2 alcohol-free days every week to give your body a break.

  • Know your strength

    The strength of drinks varies dramatically depending on what you’re drinking. So make sure you know how many units are in your drink, and keep tabs on your intake. A cocktail can contain as many as 4 units, while a 750ml bottle of table wine (12% vol) totals 9 units

  • Measure your drinks

    Use a unit measure cup to keep track of how much you’re pouring at home.

  • Keep a diary

    Try keeping a drinking diary, noting how much you drank and where and you’ll get a better idea of your alcohol intake.

  • Avoid bulk buys

    Try to avoid multi-buy offers. Their prices might tempt you, but so will the big quantities of alcohol you’ll have in the cupboard.