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How to have a healthy relationship with alcohol

Cutting down on your drinking is great news for your overall health and wellbeing. We’ve put together some tips to help you set up and maintain a healthy relationship with alcohol. 

We should start with a little note to say that if you start to feel unwell at any point as you cut down your drinking then please call your GP. Your health is important to us. On with the tips! 

Measure up. Keep an eye on your pouring. Use a measuring beaker so you don’t end up drinking more units than you think.  

Banish the binge. Binge drinking is classed as having 8 or more units on one occasion for men, or 6 for women. Aim to have 2 alcohol free days a week. 

Look for lower levels. Opt for lower alcohol options on your favourite drinks. Try changing to a 4% (ABV%) beer or a 9% wine.  

Pace yourself. Sip your drink slowly and try to have a pint of water with your first drink then alternate between alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks. 

Set a drinking window. It could be that you only drink with dinner, say between 6-8pm, for example. 

Know your units. Use a drinks tracker to keep an eye on how much you’re drinking and set yourself goals. Try Drinkaware’s free app.  

Eat well. Be sure to eat before you have a drink. If not, the alcohol will absorb into your bloodstream much more quickly which could leave you feeling worse for wear. Some foods, like complex carbs, can help reduce alcohol cravings. Next time you feel like a drink, have a handful of nuts or a couple of slices of cheese and see if that helps to stop the craving. 

Plan ahead. If you’re going out, make a plan and stick to it. Try only taking a certain amount of cash with you. Avoid drinks like cocktails if you’re not sure how many units they contain. Or choose to be designated driver on your next night out. 

Seek support. Share your thoughts with a friend. Have a think – are there any people in your life who aren’t a good influence on your drinking? Surround yourself with people who support you and love you without judgement. 

Remember your ‘why’. Remind yourself what’s important. Keep the benefits of cutting down your drinking in mind and congratulate yourself when you’re making progress. 


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