Tips for cutting down

Thinking about your drinking but not sure where to start? Here are some tips for cutting back.

Drink and think in units

The UK’s Chief Medical Officers (top doctors) recommend not drinking more than 14 units a week; that means about six pints of lager or a bottle and a half of wine. Use our handy unit calculator to help you work out exactly what you’re drinking.

Keep a drinking diary

Keeping a drinking diary for a few weeks will help you understand your drinking pattern, so you can work out what you’re happy with and what you’re not.

Pace yourself

Enjoy each drink slowly, and remember that you don’t have to join in with every round! It can help to only drink the drinks you really enjoy and skip the ones you’re drinking for the sake of it.

Try drinking low alcohol and alcohol-free drinks

Alcohol-free beers, ciders, wines and more used to be rubbish, but they’ve improved so much in recent years that they’re winning awards in place of their full-strength competitors. Lots of supermarkets now have alcohol-free sections. Check out our no- and low-alcohol reviews to help you get started.

It’s fine to say no!

Not everyone drinks alcohol, and it’s fine to say no. It’s surprising how many people think it’s OK to pressure other people to drink – it’s not!

Have a few days off every week

Having a few alcohol-free days each week is a good way to cut down and give your body a rest.

It’s safest not to drink more than 14 units per week, spread over three or more days and with a few days off.

Eat before and while you drink

Have something to eat before you drink and, if possible, while drinking. It will slow down the alcohol being absorbed into your bloodstream and help you pace yourself.

Ask for help

Ask for help if you feel your drinking is getting out of control. There’s nothing to be ashamed of; lots of people struggle with alcohol at some point in their lives and need support to turn things around. Talk to your GP or contact your local alcohol treatment service.