Find something that you enjoy that will occupy the time during which you would usually be drinking. Chances are you are going to be in situations in which someone is going to offer you a drink or expect you to drink with them as you have done in the past. Learn how to politely say "no thank you," and really mean it. Say it quickly and firmly so that you don't give yourself time to change your mind.
You may need to try to quit drinking altogether or seek help to quit. Learn the best ways to manage stress and negativity in your life. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. More in Addiction. Set a Realistic Goal Write down how many drinks you want to drink per day and how many days a week you want to drink.
Count Your Drinks Recording how many drinks you have may also help you reduce or slow down your drinking. Measure Your Drinks If you are going to count how many drinks you have, make sure you are accurate.
Stick to your goal even when you are away from home, dining out or in a bar. Pace Yourself Some drinkers trying to cut down have been successful by pacing their drinking - sipping their drinks slowly or making sure they have only one drink per hour. Space Your Drinks Another trick for cutting down alcohol consumption is to use drink spacers—nonalcoholic beverages between drinks containing alcohol. Don't Forget to Eat For some drinkers, eating food will reduce their craving for alcohol.
Of course, it is not wise for anyone to drink on an empty stomach. Avoid Your Triggers Whether you are trying to cut down or quit drinking altogether, it is a good idea to avoid situations in which you are used to drinking. Do Something Else If drinking has become a big part of your life, try substituting other activities during those times when you might usually drink. Learn How to Say 'No' Chances are you are going to be in situations in which someone is going to offer you a drink or expect you to drink with them as you have done in the past.
You may want to practice what you will say the next time your friends ask you to have a drink. If You Can't Cut Down If you find that you cannot cut down, you may have already developed an alcohol use disorder.
How much alcohol is safe to drink?
By using Verywell Mind, you accept our. Regular physical activity and a healthy diet will help your heart without the risks of alcohol. Drinking alcohol isn't harmful unless you drink too much—and what is a safe amount for one person may be too much for another. Because of things like age, sex, weight, and health history, alcohol affects people differently. But here's what experts say:. Drinking has a greater effect on women because they typically weigh less.
But this isn't the only reason.
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Women's bodies have less water than men's bodies. Alcohol mixes with body water, so alcohol is more concentrated and more "powerful" in women than in men. Think of putting a drop of red food coloring in both a small and a large cup of water. The water in the smaller cup will be much redder.
To find out if the amount of alcohol you drink could be harmful, take a short quiz:.
It's important to remember that the only way to guarantee that drinking alcohol will not harm you at all is to not drink at all. If you're worried about your health and want to stop drinking or cut back on how much you drink, your doctor can help you. For more information about quitting drinking, see:.
To get some tips on how to limit how much alcohol you drink, see:. There are certain times when drinking any amount of alcohol is unhealthy. You should not drink if:. Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health. Author: Healthwise Staff. Medical Review: E. Drinking and Your Health. Skip Navigation. Topic Overview Alcohol can be a safe and enjoyable part of life.
What health problems can drinking cause? These problems include: Cirrhosis or pancreatitis. High blood pressure. Certain types of cancer, including breast cancer. A brain disorder called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Alcohol and your heart Light to moderate drinking may actually help your heart. How much drinking is safe? But here's what experts say: For the best health : footnote 1 Women should have no more than 1 drink a day or 7 drinks a week.
A standard drink is 1 can of beer, 1 glass of wine, or 1 mixed drink. Men should have no more than 2 drinks a day or 14 drinks a week. Both men and women age 65 and older should limit themselves to 1 drink a day. You are putting your health at risk if you are: footnote 2 A woman who has more than 3 drinks at one time or more than 7 drinks a week. A man who has more than 4 drinks at one time or more than 14 drinks a week. Need help cutting back or quitting?
How to Cut Back on Alcohol—and Still Have a Social Life
To get some tips on how to limit how much alcohol you drink, see: Quick Tips: Cutting Back on Drinking. When is ANY drinking unhealthy or unsafe? You should not drink if: You need to drive a car or operate other machinery.
You are pregnant. Drinking during pregnancy makes a miscarriage or fetal alcohol syndrome more likely. A child who was exposed to alcohol in the womb may have physical and emotional problems.
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