January 1, 2008
Stop Drinking For Your New Years Resolution
Maybe you’ve decided that you (and your liver) need a break from the excesses of the Christmas and New Year partying.
Maybe you’ve looked in to the number of empty calories that reside in alcohol and decided that it will help your weight loss.
Whatever the reason, the next thing to do is actually put your decision to stop drinking alcohol – or at least to cut down the amount you drink – into practice.
If you have been drinking daily, it is probably best to cut down gradually rather than cut out alcohol completely.
If you’ve been a social drinker rather than a heavy drinker, cutting out alcohol completely should be fine.
If you’re not sure, the usual warning is to consult your doctor. They’ve got plenty more experience in this area than you have, although the rate of alcohol dependency in high stress jobs such as being a doctor is scarily high.
Avoiding times and places where you would normally drink alcohol can be a good tactic. Many people use the month of January to give their body a "detox", so you won’t appear abnormal if you simply tell other people that you’ve quit (or cut down) alcohol for the month.
If you normally drink at home – maybe pouring yourself a glass of something to unwind when you return from work – then it’s not always as easy.
Start by reducing or locking away your alcohol supplies. Maybe use the loft or the cellar for this exercise. If you have to consciously find something to drink, you probably have time to convince yourself to not drink.
Find an alternative activity to help you unwind – maybe listening to a favorite CD or putting on a comedy show on television. Anything to distract your mind long enough to skip the routine of "I’ve got home, now I need a drink".
If you find yourself still craving alcohol, cut down the serving size. Use a smaller glass for your shots or wine. Use smaller cans or bottles for beer.
Dilute your drink more – a mixer for spirits, some soda to turn your wine into a spritzer, a "lite" beer. All these will help you cut down your alcohol consumption.