It should come as no surprise that some Brits tend to consume a lot of alcohol around December. It’s the season of festive family gatherings and office parties, so most of us are guilty of occasionally having one too many. Scientifically we are more likely to drink in the winter months, as the nights draw in and the temperature drops. A new study has proved that countries with colder climates tend to consume more alcohol. Finally, science has proven what we all know already, a little tipple can help us feel nice and toasty.
For many people, having a drink or 2 with friends or familyis an enjoyable experience. But like other drugs, if you drink too much it can seriously harm your health. Excessive drinking or binge drinking can be incredibly detrimental to your physical and mental wellbeing. Between 2016 and2017 there were 5,507 deaths attributed to alcohol and 337,000 people were hospitalised due to alcohol-related diseases in the UK.
Alcohol affects everyone differently, so it’s important to know when enough is enough. Typically, the Government recommends you drink no more than 14 units each week (7 pints or 9 glasses of wine). But make sure you don’t ‘save up’ your entire weekly allowance to drink all at once.
So, how can you ensure you stay safe where alcohol is concerned? The experts at the well being charity CABA believe the first step is learning to recognise your limits. But if you suspect you sometimes get a bit too merry too often, here are some tips to help you drink less on a night out:
1Know your limits
Set yourself a limit for how much you’re going to drink that night. If you’re going out, setting yourself a fixed budget for drinks or only taking a set amount of cash out with you may help.
2Give yourself a break
Have at least one soft drink or glass of water with each alcoholic drink. This will help you to spread your drinks out throughout the night.
3Try the smaller option
Instead of drinking pints or large glasses of wine, opt for halves or bottles of beer, and ask for wine in a small glass.
4Don’t be afraid to take it slow
Don’t try to keep up with other people or drink in rounds, which can make you drink much faster than when you’re buying drinks just for yourself.
5It’s not a crime to water it down
Dilute your drinks – try having a spritzer or a shandy.
6Why not take a seat?
Sit when you drink rather than stand (it helps you drink more slowly, as you won’t constantly have your drink in your hand).
There’s nothing wrong with having a couple of drinks, and where large parties are involved, it’s easy to feel like a mood killer if you’re counting your units. But, it’s important to understand the impact alcohol can have on your health. Just remember, if you have a bit too much this month, there’s always Dry January for those who want to cut down or cut out the boozethroughout the year.