Rethinking your drinking
Know the amount you drink – lots of people are surprised when they stop to work it out. Try out our drinks calculator
Keep a drinks diary for a week or two to understand when and where you drink, and how much. Download a drinks diary
Find out about low-risk drinking, to reduce alcohol-related risks. See the low-risk drinking guidelines
Healthier lifestyle or a personal challenge? Think what you want to get from cutting down / taking a break. See some benefits
Set a target
• Try to stick within the low-risk weekly limits
• Increase the number of drink-free days you have per week
• Cut out a certain number of standard drinks per week
• Limit yourself to 3 standard drinks per session
• Have some times when you won’t drink (on an empty stomach, when minding kids, on work days)
• No alcohol for a month, or a year!
Take small steps
Even drinking a little bit less can mean less regret on nights out and make you feel better, physically and mentally. Try alternating alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, cutting out one drinking day or stopping for a week. Read more about drinking less.
Do it with friends
Getting some mates to cut down or quit with you means you can support each other and enjoy some alcohol-free activities together, plus there will be less pressure on you to drink if you’re friends are doing the same. Or join a temporary abstinence initiative together, like Dry January.
Set a date
Choose a time to start when it won’t be too hard – Avoid starting at times when you usually drink the most - the weekend, on a big night out, or during a trip away.
Add in good things
Cutting back on alcohol is not just about giving something up, it’s about opening the door to new good things – new experiences, better health and more happiness. There are lots of things you can do with the time and money you save.
- If you are going to the pub less, don’t just sit at home – do something fun
- If you want to lose weight or be healthier, try getting more active - play sport, walk with friends, have a go at a new sport or activity
- If you’re saving money, treat yourself to something that makes you happy with the money you save
Before and after - Ways to check your progress
• Make a note of how much you drink – see how much you can cut back
• Weigh yourself
• Take your blood pressure
• See how much you spend in a week / How much did you save
• Write down the changes that are important to you / Are you achieving what you want?
• Monitor your mood. See if you feel happier, calmer or better in yourself after cutting down.
Tips, tools and guides
Get motivated – great reasons to cut down
Low risk drinking – stay in the zone
Keep a drinks diary. Track your drinking and set a target to cut down.
You may also notice unexpected benefits! For example, your relationships might improve, you may do better in work or your children may seem happier.