Support your friends

How many times have you said or heard 'Go on, have another one!', 'Let's finish the bottle', or 'You can't leave now, it's your round.' When you're out with friends, it's often very hard to say all you want is a soft drink or that you'd rather not drink in rounds. The pressure to do what everyone else is doing can be too much.

Ask for the support of your friends

If you've realised you're regularly drinking too much tell your friends and family you're trying to cut down and ask for their support.  Ask them not to twist your arm, explain to them you're doing it for your health. Who knows, you might even convince them to do it with you?

Fun alternatives

Try to find ways to get out and have fun that don't always involve alcohol. Why not visit the cinema, go bowling or swimming or try a new gym or dance class? You could join a 5-a-side football team near you or start one at work.

Be a good sport

All day drinking can go hand in hand with big sporting occasions. If you have a big football or rugby day ahead of you, make sure everyone has a good lunch as eating food helps to slow down the effects of alcohol on the body. Avoid drinking in rounds and don't be pushed you into drinking more than you'd like to. Stick to the sensible drinking guidelines and enjoy a day at the match that you'll remember.

Go heavy on the water

Planning a night in with friends? Keep the table topped up with plenty of water. It's easy to drink too much when the wine glass in front of you is the only option. Throw in a twist of lemon, and maybe some fresh mint or fruit and you might even give your best local restaurant a run for its money!

And don't forget, if you're feeling the pressure to drink when you're out, there are lots of tricks you can use such as alternating 'or spacing' alcohol with soft drinks or water, or ordering a small glass of wine rather than a large one to stop you overdoing it. Remember, you can stick to the sensible drinking guidelines and still have a great night out.

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