Tips to help reduce alcohol intake

Australians love entertaining with a glass or 3 of social lubricant. And many of us like to unwind after a stressful day with a glass of wine or two.

Our wine industry is one of the best in the world when it comes to quality of product. But let’s face it, it seems that daily alcohol consumption has become increasingly more normalised in Australian culture. And that’s not ok.

The new safe recommendation for weekly consumption of alcohol is: 10 standard drinks for both males and females. However, females usually have a smaller frame and may not effectively metabolise the same amounts, as a male can.

How does weekly safe consumption look in real terms? Based on alcohol content, ten standard drinks/weekly allowable consumption plus serving sizes are listed below:

 Ten standard drinks per week is either:

·        Wine or sparkling wine (100mls)  = 1 bottle plus 250mls

·        Cask of wine 1L= 10.5 standard drinks

·        Light beer (425mls)=12 stubbies per week

·        Mid strength beer (375ml)= 11 stubbies per week

·        Full strength beer (285ml)= 7 stubbies per week

·        Cider (285ml)= 10 stubbies per week

·        Spirits: vodka, whisky, rum (30mls)= 10 drinks (shots) per week

 Points to remember:

·        Keep in mind that many beers, ciders and premixed drinks come in different bottle sizes, so standard drink quantity will vary.

·        Many of these drinks come in different strengths, so high strength beverages will usually have a higher alcohol content than 1 standard serve.

·        Depending on your age, gender, body size you will metabolize alcohol at different speeds.

 How to lower your alcohol consumption:

If you feel like alcohol consumption is becoming problematic, there are lots of things you can do to gradually reduce it.

·        Reduce the size of the glass you drink from. If you pour into a smaller glass, you are immediately drinking less. So use a pot sized glass for beer (instead of a schooner/pint), or use a sherry glass or small wine glass (instead of a large brandy balloon type glass). Even if you drink the same number of glasses, you are already cutting back on the number of standard drinks.

·        Aim for at least 2 alcohol free days per week. For maximum health, aim for 5-7 alcohol free days.

·        If someone visits, offer them a cup of tea or glass of mineral water, rather than alcohol. You can still have enjoyable connections without the need for alcohol!

·        Team up with a buddy to give each other accountability. Meet for walks, rather than drinking sessions.

·        Choose alcohol free beverages that taste like the real thing. There are many wines, ciders and beers now available in bars and bottle shops, so you won’t feel like you’re missing out.

·        Make a public declaration of your intention to consume less alcohol. It gives you extra accountability to stick with your goal.

·        Spend minimal time with friends who are heavy drinkers. It’s difficult to avoid temptation when you are aiming

 Going out with friends:

·        Volunteer to be designated driver, so that you’ll be more conscious of how much you are consuming.

·        Ensure you have eaten a meal before consuming alcohol to slow down alcohol absorption and reduce the need to fill up on it.

·        Aim to have only one beverage per hour, and drink mineral water in between.

·        Plan to have a set number of drinks in your mind and stick with it. Stop drinking once that limit is reached.

·        Avoid going into a shout, as you’re more likely to drink more quickly and have your weekly alcohol intake or more in one night!

·        Use an alcohol intake tracker to keep tabs on your consumption. Here’s a good link:

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