4 simple ways to reduce your alcohol intake

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Health Assured team

27 October 2021

Alcohol Awareness Week is just around the corner—and this year, the event will take place from the 15th-21st November. The week serves as a good time to pause… and reflect. 

Alcohol is an accepted part of UK culture. From birthdays and weddings to after-work drinks and catch-ups with friends, it’s rare an occasion isn’t celebrated with a good old tipple. 

Now that’s not to say that alcohol is inherently a bad thing. We raise a glass to the people we love in our lives and wind down with a glass of wine over a dinner for two. But all good things are to be enjoyed in moderation. There are many adverse health risks that can arise as a result of excessive alcohol consumption. Some of these risks include: 

· Cancers of the mouth throat and breast

· Stoke

· Heart disease

· Liver disease 

· Brain damage 

· Damage to the nervous system

The NHS recommendation for weekly alcohol consumption is 14 units per week. This is considered low-risk alcohol consumption. 14 units is the equivalent to six pints of lager, or six medium glasses of wine. 

Alcohol awareness week is a good time to try and cut back on your alcohol consumption. So we’ve come up with a few ways you can start to reduce your alcohol intake below. 

Try something new

Humans are creatures of habit. Our behaviours and routines take shape, and we tend to repeat these learned ways of living. It can be hard to shift well-recited rituals, like that glass of wine after work or the weekend booze-up with friends. But one thing that can help is to try out something new. Maybe it’s an instrument you’ve always wanted to play, a language you’ve always wanted to learn or a hobby you’ve always wanted to try. This injection of newness into your routine will help take your mind off drinking and get you thinking. 

Drink-free days

If you can block out at least a few drink-free days in your diary your overall weekly consumption will decrease dramatically. Writing down a plan or schedule will help you to set your intentions in stone. The plan keeps you accountable and this will increase the likelihood of you sticking to your new goal. 

Low alcohol alternatives 

Many of the negative implications of alcohol come from excessive unit consumption. If you’re missing the taste of your favourite tipple, you could try one of the many low alcohol alternatives available. Make it an alcohol-free fun night and shake up some tasty mocktails to accompany your evening meal. It’s fun to mix things up and try something new!

Alcohol health check 

The alcohol health check in the My Healthy Advantage App will help you stay aware and keep on top of your alcohol consumption. This quick survey will compare your consumption to recommendations and guides. We’ll look at your drink habits and help you on the road to creating better ones. 

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