COVID-19 Health Nutrition & Recipes

Alcohol special: 10 ways to curb your drinking

By Jo Waters • 5th November 2020

In part one, health writer,  Jo Waters reported on the rise of the lockdown lushes. As the 28-day winter lockdown gets underway, we’ve got some practical tips to help anyone facing a battle with the booze

  1. Drink within safe limits: Don’t exceed the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendations for low-risk drinking of no more than 14 units of alcohol a week.[vi] This equates to six pints of beer (547ml 4% ARV) or six medium glasses of wine (175ml 13.5% ABV).
  2. Track your drinking: Either keep a drink diary or download one of the drink tracking phone apps
  3. Measure out your units: Pouring your own measures at home? You might be telling yourself you’re having only one glass of wine. It could actually contain one-third of a bottle – up to three units of alcohol.
  4. Check the alcohol content on wines and beers: Some of them are shockingly high. A large (250ml) glass of wine with an ABV of 12% contains 3 units of alcohol, an ABV of 14% and it’s 3.6 units. A single 35ml shot of spirits is equivalent to 1.4 units, and beers can be from 1 to 2 units per half-pint depending on their strength.
  5. Have alcohol-free days: This will give your damaged liver cells a chance to regenerate and stop drinking become ingrained as a habit.
  6. Don’t binge drink: Using up all your units in one massive session is worse for your liver than spreading them through the week and also raises your risk of accidental injuries. Binge drinking can also lead to impulsive risk-taking behaviour.
  7. Try low-alcohol or no-alcohol alternatives: The non-alcoholic drinks market now offers lots more choice. Try these non-alcoholic mocktails or drink soft drinks in between alcoholic ones.
  8. Subscribe to a support services: These include One Year No Beer who’s courses start at £59 for a 28-day course and Club Soda who currently offer a free online course to help you manage to drink more mindfully.
  9. Get help with managing stress: Talk to your GP if you are concerned about using alcohol as a prop to deal with stress, during lockdown, they may be able to offer cognitive behavioural therapy or counselling to help you manage stress better.
  10. Call an alcohol charity or NHS addiction service: Alcohol support services. Drinkaware has an anonymous online chat service and a confidential helpline 0300 123 1110.

Jo Waters

Jo Waters writes about health and medicine for national UK media. MJA Case Study Writer of the Year 2018 & Journalist of the Year (Health Food Manufacturers' Association) June 2017. Check out Jo's latest articles at Contently: https://jowaters.contently.com.

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