Sometimes it’s difficult to say no to another after-work-drink in the sun, and even easier to lose track of how many you’ve had.
With over 300,000 Essex residents drinking at hazardous or harmful levels and almost four per cent of the county alcohol-dependant, Essex County Council is continuing to support the county-wide Don’t Bottle it Up campaign.
In an effort to not only raise awareness of alcohol misuse and the dangers associated with drinking, but help residents understand behaviour change, Essex County Council’s Public Health Team has put together some advice on cutting down your alcohol intake without sacrificing your social life.
1. Buy your own drinks
It’s normal to drink in a round with your friends, but not only will this mean you’re rushing your pint to keep up with the fastest drinker of the group, but you’ll spend more money too. If you stick to buying your own drinks you’ll probably drink and spend less.
2. Don’t go hungry
When you drink on an empty stomach you’ll have no food to slow the absorption of alcohol. Drinking often suppresses the feeling of hunger too. Make sure you’ve eaten enough during the day, and that you don’t skip lunch or dinner – it’ll absorb the alcohol more and even make you less tempted to snack on unhealthy takeaways at the end of the night.
3. Have a lower-strength drink
No one will even know if you order a lower strength alcohol, but it’ll make a difference to your alcohol intake. You’ll find the information on the bottle. Also think about ordering a smaller measure to your usual choice.
4. Throw in some non-alcoholic drinks
Alcohol dehydrates your body, so no matter how much you have you’ll never quench your thirst. Be sure to drink non-alcoholic drinks before and in-between alcoholic drinks, which will not only space out your drinking during the evening but make you feel better the next day.
5. Make plans for the next morning
If you’ve got someone relying on you the next morning then you’ll have a real reason not to drink too much. Plan in breakfast or an exercise session with a friend and don’t let them down. You could even use the money you saved from drinking less to treat yourself.
Cllr Graham Butland, Cabinet Member for Health, said: “Responsible drinking doesn’t have to mean not socialising. Just a few changes can make a big difference to your health without any difference to your enjoyment.
I would encourage everyone to give these easy tips a try and notice the immediate benefits; such as feeling less tired, consuming less calories and feeling fitter and more awake the next morning.”
You can reassess your drinking levels, understand your alcohol risk and get further information via the free Don’t Bottle it Up tool: https://dontbottleitup.org.uk/