There are ways to control your alcohol intake and still enjoy a night on the town. Irresponsible drinking – even if it is only occasionally – is so not good for you in so many respects. Alcohol is only evil if it is abused, if you let it take over and control your actions, which is very much in its remit and capability. There are reasons for drunk driving laws – alcohol reduces your clarity of thought, focus and physical co-ordination, and that’s not including what it can be doing to your insides. But you can still be a party animal without chucking a load of booze down your neck. Let free some inhibitions, let your own spirits soar – but responsibly, with these ways to control your alcohol intake.
1. Alcohol Awareness
Educating yourself (and others) about alcohol is one of the most important ways to control your alcohol intake. Being aware of the alcohol myths that exist, as well as drinking myths and “hangover cures,” will help you in your goal to drink sensibly. Though alcohol is drunk by the tankload the world over, not many truly know what it is they’re putting into their bodies and how the human body responds. Educating yourself about what you’re drinking and about the ways your body and mind react to alcohol will allow you to make better choices.
2. Drink in Moderation
If you’re a person with some semblance of self control, you can certainly moderate your drinking instead of eliminating it altogether. Alcoholism is a disease of serious alcohol dependence, but you know your habits and your dependencies, so you know whether or not you’ll be able or willing to stop once you’ve started. If you can, then you might simply learn to be sensible about partying instead of depriving yourself altogether. Deprivation can lead to overindulgence, whereas enjoying an occasional drink now and again will remind you that you’re not missing out on much.
3. Enjoy a Booze-free Beverage
Your choice of beverage doesn’t have to be alcohol for you to enjoy a drink. All sorts of delicious drinks are available to you – juices, smoothies, sodas, mocktails, nonalcoholic beers, coffees, teas. With such a bountiful bevy of beverages to test out, try them all and find your favorite replacement refreshment. One of the classic ways to drink less is to alternate alcohol and alcohol-free drinks. Another is to order a single shot but double mixer – making the drink longer and weaker.
4. Pass on the Pub Crawl
Whether you’re trying for an alcohol-free lifestyle or simply want to stay sober on occasion, avoiding social situations which cater to alcohol consumption should be a no-brainer when it comes to ways to control your alcohol intake. Pub crawls, happy hours, wine tastings, drinking games – though sometimes these things seem like necessary evils you must engage in to stay social, they are evils nonetheless, and if you’re serious about sobriety, you should avoid them at all costs. The temptation to indulge yourself is simply too strong at alcohol-centric social gatherings. Instead, choose social activities that don’t throw you in harm’s way, such as getting back to nature on a long hike through the mountains or going to a concert where the music is all you need to be entertained. And never, ever give in to peer pressure to drink!
5. Don’t Dwell on Disadvantages, Buoy Your Non-alcoholic Spirits
At times, you might feel like wallowing in self pity, wishing you could join in the “fun” of getting stupid drunk. The incoherent screams and shouts of the intoxicated may make you feel isolated. But stop for a moment to think what you feel like when intoxicated...probably incoherent, right? Certainly the early-drinking buzz can be pleasant, but the further you drink, the more quickly pleasantness is replaced with dizziness, blankness, and a nighttime of sleeping on a bathroom floor so as to be nearer the toilet to vomit up your regret. When you cut down or eliminate booze, you’ll have more energy, a clearer head, an all-around healthier mind and body, and – what’s more – no regrets or toilet-side beds. Stay motivated by focusing on the benefits.
6. Keep a Drink Diary
If you’ve ever tried to slim down, then you know all advice suggests to keep a diary of the foods you ingest throughout any given day. This reveals to you the empty calories which you consume without even thinking about it. It’s a handy way to force yourself to own up to the reality of your diet, and it will work if you’re trying to account for your alcohol consumption as well. Even better, you can use an app to track all the alcohol you’ve consumed in real time. Drinking apps will also chart out a calendar, logging the details of your drinking habits — how much you drank, what you drank, when and where you drank it. As a reminder to yourself, you can also input any relevant consequences of your drinking habits. This will help you to recognize your behavior patterns and how to break them.
7. Don’t Backslide
Every struggle has its slip ups, but don’t let a lapse steamroll your efforts. When a lapse in judgment or willpower causes one to overindulge, the person often backslides, spiraling out of control. Said person sees this error as fatal, other than what it truly is – human. Instead of convincing yourself that you’ve failed, convince yourself that you will try harder, you will succeed, and don’t allow a tiny hiccup push you down the mountain you’ve climbed just before you reach the summit.
I had a period in my mid-late twenties where I looked forward to the weekend when I could go out and get drunk. I saw getting drunk as part and parcel of the major fun I (thought I) was having. When I look back, I realize there were times I probably didn’t even remember how I had spent an evening – what’s the sense in that? And when I think of how much money I spent in the name of booze I shudder. We now know this as binge-drinking! Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy an occasional drink now, but I’m wiser in my choices and knowledge of alcohol. I know there are ways to control your alcohol intake and still have great nights out. What are your thoughts on alcohol? Do you think it’s “needed” to have a good time?