7 tips to help you drink less alcohol

August 17, 2021

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

7 tips to help you drink less alcohol

[Photo Credit: Andrey Cherkasov]

If you’re thinking it’s time to cut back on the booze, here’s some guidance on how to drink less alcohol in your daily life.

1. Make a plan
You might know your goal is to drink less alcohol, but you need to develop a realistic plan to achieve it. Whether you’re cutting back on booze to slim down, save money, or you want to give it up for health reasons, it’s important to establish a clear benchmark for what success looks like. Decide if you want to eliminate alcohol from your life entirely, abstain on workdays, or set a weekly drink maximum.

2. Monitor your consumption
You need to be mindful of how much you’re drinking if you want to reduce your alcohol consumption. Count how many beverages you have in one sitting and implement strategies to pace yourself. Try slow sipping, limiting yourself to one drink per hour, and enjoying a glass of water between boozy libations. The simple act of recording your drinks on paper or in an app will likely encourage you to slow down and reduce your intake.


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3. Focus on the health benefits
Drinking less alcohol is good for the wallet, the waistline, and will improve your mental and physical health. Limiting your intake can reduce your risk for serious long-term health conditions 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 leave you feeling happier and more energized.
4. Offer to drive
Want a great excuse to stay sober for the night? Offer to be the designated driver for your group. Holding the keys will prevent you from imbibing in alcoholic beverages – plus, your friends will appreciate the safe ride home.
5. Imbibe in zero-proof drinks
If you enjoy the ritual of raising a glass on the weekends, there are plenty of non-alcoholic alternatives to try. Flavour-infused seltzer waters, de-alcoholized beer and wine, and zero-proof spirits can all deliver the taste of alcohol without the harmful side effects. Experiment with creative, low-calorie mocktail recipes that are equal parts healthy and delicious.

6. Plan booze-free activities with friends
Certain people, places, and situations might trigger your desire to drink, so try changing your environment to stimulate habit change. Instead of meeting up with party-loving friends at bars, breweries, and other locations that typically lead to rounds of drinks, suggest activities that don’t involve alcohol. Plan a hike, take a rural road trip to a nearby farm, enjoy a day of pampering at the spa, or go to a movie.

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 keep you motivated and accountable. Apps like NoMo and DrinkControl allow you to record your weekly consumption habits and establish concrete goals to curtail your drinking.

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