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February 24, 2022
11 STEPS TO REDUCE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION WITHOUT REDUCING PLEASURE | By Hubert Cormier
According to Statistics Canada, nearly one in five people report having abused or been dependent on alcohol in their lifetime and movements that promote sobriety or even just cutting down on alcohol consumption are increasingly common. In fact, February is often referred to as alcohol-free month and many people are challenging themselves! Even if you choose to drink less, it doesn't mean you'll have less fun! Here are 11 small steps to make it easy!
1. SET LIMITS FOR YOURSELF AND STICK TO THEM!
You should know these recommendations off by heart, but the main goal is the following: 10 drinks/week (or 2 drinks/day) for women, and 15 drinks/week (or 3 drinks/day) for men. Ideally, you should not drink every day! When you arrive at a party, set a limit for yourself before you start drinking, so you can better control your intake of alcohol. Next, set a weekly goal that addresses your total weekly consumption. Then, gradually decrease it to ensure a smooth transition!
2. DRINK BETTER AND DRINK LESS!
To increase the pleasure, drink a little less on each occasion, but opt for better quality products. For example, choose a premium scotch or gin and enjoy! Instead of drinking six commercial beers, try ones from a local micro or nano brewery.
3. ONE ALCOHOLIC DRINK: ONE NON-ALCOHOLIC DRINK!
It sounds easier said than done but alternating every alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink will cut your intake in half (yes, it's math!). Whether it's a tasty mocktail or a glass of flavoured sparkling water, it will be easier to meet the daily recommendations.
4. ENJOY DISCOVERING TONS OF NEW PRODUCTS!
The non-alcoholic beverage sector is booming in Quebec, much to the delight of consumers. There are now hundreds of alcohol-free products available to you. Have fun discovering them!
5. THINK OF FOOD AND DRINK DIFFERENTLY!
Explore new ways of arranging your food and drink! For example, try sparkling water with a splash of grapefruit juice to get the same bitterness as beer when serving "sausages and beer". Opt for a non-alcoholic apple cider for a more refined tasting with terrines and cheeses. Sparkling apple or pear juice may surprise you!
6. LET YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY KNOW ABOUT IT!
Once your friends and family know, they will be able to help and perhaps even accompany you on your journey. This will also avoid unexpected offers.
7. AVOID DRINKING ALONE!
Getting into the habit of drinking alone is very risky, as the experience is likely to be repeated. The important thing is to keep consumption moderate, social, and enjoyable. This will reduce how often you drink and ensure you have more fun doing it.
8. AVOID ALCOHOL WHEN FEELING NEGATIVE EMOTIONS!
Alcohol can quickly become an escape, or a way to relieve problems. Avoid drinking as often as possible when you are depressed, stressed, angry, or sad. In most cases, this will only make the situation worse.
9. REPLACE A BAD HABIT WITH A GOOD ONE!
If having a drink is a habit that is ingrained in your daily life, replace it with another one! When you used to have a drink, go for a walk or go to the gym instead! Find new things to do (knitting, reading, working out, TV shows, night classes, cooking, etc.)
10. DON’T LEAVE THE WINE BOTTLE ON THE TABLE!
When you are enjoying a nice dinner, the reflex to refill your glass with wine is often well entrenched. Do not leave the wine bottle on the table during meals, as this will force you to get up to refill your glass. And who knows, you might even forget about it!
11. WRITE DOWN YOUR PERSONAL GOALS IN A JOURNAL!
Finally, write down your goals and the reasons why you want to cut down on your drinking in a journal or notebook. In more difficult times, it will be easier to abstain if you can remember why you made the choice you did.
Moderation can be enjoyable, pleasant, and even delicious! Cheers!
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