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Health Benefits of Cutting Down Alcohol

Listen to “Health Benefits of Cutting Down Alcohol”.


It’s possible to have problems with alcohol without being an alcoholic. You can have problems with alcohol and not want to quit. It might seem obvious, but we become so good at convincing ourselves or allowing others to convince us that we’re fine, that we stop listening to our gut instincts. If you have the feeling of wanting to change something, then let that be enough to get you started. 

How much is too much? It’s a common question, especially when you’re trying to determine if your own drinking habits are worrisome.  

For adults, the recommended low-risk limits for alcohol consumption in the UK are less than 14 units a week on a regular basis. If you regularly drink as much as 14 units per week, it’s best to spread your drinking evenly over three or more days.

Severe alcohol use disorder is a chronic disease. Some of the signs and symptoms of severe alcohol use disorder include:

  • The inability to limit drinking.
  • Continuing to drink despite personal or professional problems.
  • Needing to drink more to get the same effect.
  • Wanting a drink so badly you can’t think of anything else.

Below are some of the ways alcohol can affect the body and mind.

Mood

There’s a strong link between heavy drinking and depression, and hangovers often make you feel anxious and low. If you already feel anxious or depressed, alcohol will make it worse. 

Sleep

Although you may find drinking alcohol helps you get to sleep, it can interrupt the quality of your sleep and leave you with less energy the following day. 

Even just a few drinks can have a major impact on your regular sleep pattern, which will directly impact the quality of your sleep. Reducing your alcohol intake will help you have a deeper sleep, which will help you feel more energized throughout the day.


Heart

Long-term heavy drinking can lead to your heart becoming enlarged. This is a serious condition that can’t be completely reversed; however, stopping drinking can prevent it from getting worse.

Here are some tips on how to cut down:

  • Change your drinking habits. Control the amount of alcohol you drink by setting goals for yourself, such as not drinking alone or when stressed. 
  • Don’t drink on an empty stomach. A full stomach slows the absorption of alcohol. 
  • Quench your thirst with water. This will help prevent the risk of gulping down alcoholic drinks.
  • Sip your drink slowly. Put your glass down after each mouthful.
  • Take a break. Make every second drink a glass of water.
  • Try not to drink during your working week. 
  • Avoid salty snacks, such as potato chips or peanuts. Salt makes you thirsty and will make you more inclined to drink quickly.
  • Let your friends and family know you’re cutting down and that it’s important to you. They can help and provide you with additional support.

Cutting down on alcohol has lots of benefits mentally, physically, socially and financially. One of these benefits is that your appearance will improve.

Alcohol has a high-calorie content, with a pint of average strength beer (4.5%) containing 210 calories. Drinking 5 pints will add over 1,000 calories to your caloric intake for the day and will also dehydrate your body, making your skin look dull. Cutting down the amount you drink will help you maintain a healthy weight and appearance as it allows your body to replenish its vitamins and minerals that it has previously been deprived of.

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