There are a lot of reasons that people want to cut back on the amount of alcohol they drink. Some reasons, like alcohol dependency, aren’t something to be taken lightly. They require serious attention and sometimes medical help.
But other reasons, such as the nasty effects alcohol can have on your fitness goals, can be addressed through simple changes in the way you drink. And I do mean simple!
Each of the six changes mentioned below requires nothing more than a little bit of patience and the willingness to try.
The best part is that these tips are simple, but their impact adds up. Some tips, such as avoiding certain drinks and tracking what you consume, have even further-reaching effects than just cutting back the calories in your glass or the amount you drink!
1) Eat Before or While You Drink
Anyone who drinks regularly knows that the alcohol affects you slower if you have food in your stomach. However, you shouldn’t just polish off a bag of Doritos and call it a day.
You need to make sure you eat something balanced and healthy. Specifically, you want to make sure you get protein and a healthy amount of fat. Your body will burn through these more slowly than it will burn through carbs.
Your body also breaks carbs down into sugar, which is what alcohol is processed into as well. Both starchy carbs and alcohol break down pretty quickly, which means your blood sugar takes a nasty hit if you don’t eat a rounded meal before or while you drink.
High-fiber carbs such as vegetables are still a good option, though, since they’ll help keep you feeling full for longer.
2) Track Your Alcohol Consumption
I’m sure you’ve played the “keep my bottles next to me so I know my count” game. But keeping tally gets a little harder when you’re dealing with poured drinks or drinking different things over the course of an evening. And when you don’t know how much you’ve imbibed, there’s no way to know the amount of calories or sugars you’re taking in.
So the next time you drink, try to keep a close eye on your glasses and mixers. You might want to use a notes app on your phone if you’re serious about tracking.
And you’ll want to brush up on the comparative sizes of the most common drink orders.
3) Be Honest with Yourself
Tracking your drinks is all well and good, but you also need to be honest when you’re tallying up your intake for the night. It might not seem like much to round down on the number of beers if you’ve got a partial left on the table… or you might be tempted to lose track of the glasses of wine your friend gets you because they’re “not that full.”
But if you’re trying to cut back, these habits are only going to hurt you in the long run. If you’re cutting back for fitness or health reasons, lying to yourself causes even more damage than you might think.
It gets you in a frame of mind where you don’t accurately track what you’re doing. You might underestimate your food and drink intake and overestimate the exercise you do.
Ultimately, this will leave you discouraged when you feel you’re putting in a ton of work but not seeing the results you expect.
So be honest with yourself. Use a tracking app or enlist a friend if you have to. You’ll thank yourself later when you reach your goals.
4) Opt for ‘Heavier’ Drinks
After all this talk of tracking your drinks, it might not make sense to suggest that you opt for drinks that will sit heavier in your stomach. After all, won’t those carry more calories?
In some cases, yes. A heavy beer like Guiness might pack more calories than a vodka and Sprite. But it’s also going to make you less inclined to order more drinks since your stomach will feel fuller.
Have you ever downed a glass of water and needed a minute before you could eat something? It works a bit like that.
Another good option is a switch to kombucha. Not only do you get the health benefits of kombucha, but its effect on your stomach will slow down how much you drink.
Over time, this leads to fewer drinks. It’s a complete win-win situation.
5) Cut Back on Cocktails
This one might go without saying after the suggestion that you reach for ‘heavy’ drinks, but you might always want to cut back on cocktails. They’re tasty and, in some cases, as sweet as candy. That’s the problem.
Our brains are wired to make us like sugar. It’s a way to ensure we get all the carbs we need for the energy our bodies require.
But when sugar is plentiful, that becomes a bad thing. If you’re already getting sugar from the way your body breaks down alcohol, sugary cocktails are a double-hitter of the sweet stuff.
People also tend to over drink when they opt for something sweet. The sugary taste covers up the alcohol and the drinks feel more like desserts. That makes it harder to cut yourself off when you’ve reached your limit.
6) Increase Your Water Intake
If you only choose one tip from this entire list, make it this one. Drinking a serving of water between each alcoholic beverage ticks off several of the other boxes on this list and it keeps you hydrated. As any regular drinker knows, hydrating while you drink is a good way to stave off hangovers the morning after.
Among the many reasons to drink water when you’re drinking alcohol is the fact that it will help you create that full sensation in your stomach. Like heavy drinks and kombucha, this will limit how much you drink overall.
Water will also dilute whatever alcohol is already in your stomach. This will reduce some of the side effects you usually get after drinking.
It’ll also help you clear your head more quickly so you can better track how much you’ve actually imbibed.
If you’re a social drinker, cutting back might be a little tough. Your usual buddies might not understand why you want to scale back, and they might not get why you’re reaching for water.
But if your drinking is sabotaging your health goals, these steps are going to help you stop that cycle. Not only will they help your fitness, they may help you avoid long-term alcoholism health consequences that come with drinking frequently.
You don’t have to stop drinking alcohol entirely, but a few small changes to your habits will help you reach your goals that much faster. And you might find that you actually prefer your new way of drinking to your old one!
It just takes a little patience, a little honesty, and a little time to adjust.
Britney Johnson is a Digital strategist of Backlinks Media. She has good knowledge about digital marketing. She can help any website to get rank within couple of months.
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