7 tips to help you reduce your alcohol consumption

Group of various bottles of alcohol on the wooden bar counter

Over the past year, many Canadians have enjoyed a glass of wine or a beer to cope with the added stress, boredom and loneliness caused by COVID-19. According to a recent Statistics Canada survey , almost a quarter of Canadian drinkers (24%) have increased their alcohol consumption since the start of the pandemic.

If you think it’s time to cut back on your alcohol intake, here are some tips on how to drink less alcohol in your daily life.

1. Make a plan

You may know your goal is to drink less alcohol, but you need to make a realistic plan to get there. Whether you’re cutting back on alcohol to lose weight, save money, or want to give it up for health reasons, it’s important to set a clear benchmark against which to measure your success. Decide if you want to cut alcohol out of your life completely, abstain on workdays, or set yourself a weekly drinking limit.

2. Watch your drinking

Still life. pour or whiskey in to glass.

You need to watch how much you drink if you want to reduce your alcohol intake. Count the number of drinks you drink at one time and implement strategies to adapt. Try to sip slowly, limiting yourself to one drink per hour and enjoying a glass of water between alcoholic libations. The simple act of logging your drinks on paper or in an app will likely encourage you to slow down and reduce your drinking.

3. Focus on the health benefits

Drinking less alcohol is good for your wallet, your waist, and will improve your mental and physical health. Limiting your intake can reduce your risk of serious long-term health problems such as high blood pressure, liver disease, heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. It will also help you sleep better, lose weight, improve your skin, and feel happier and more energetic.

4. Offer to drive

Want a good excuse to stay sober all night? Offer to be the designated driver for your group. Holding the keys will keep you from drinking booze – plus your friends will enjoy getting home safely.

5. Drink non-alcoholic beverages

If you like the ritual of having a drink on the weekend, there are plenty of non-alcoholic alternatives to try. Flavored seltzer waters, dealcoholized beer and wine, and non-alcoholic spirits can all provide the taste of alcohol without the harmful side effects of alcohol. Experiment with creative , low-calorie mocktail recipes that are both healthy and delicious.

6. Plan alcohol-free activities with friends

Group of young people partying on the beach at sunset. They are all holding bottles of beer and celebrating. Tight crop with close up of hands.

Certain people, places, and situations can trigger your urge to drink, so try changing your environment to stimulate habit change. Instead of meeting party-loving friends at bars, beer halls, and other places that usually lead to drinking rounds, suggest activities that don’t involve alcohol. Plan a hike, take a rural trip to a nearby farm, spend a pampering day at the spa, or go to the movies.

7. Use an app

If you find it helpful to use a smart device to track your daily habits, a sobriety-focused mobile app is a great way to stay motivated and accountable.Apps like NoMo and DrinkControl (available in English) let you log your weekly drinking habits and set actionable goals to reduce your drinking.

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