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5 tips for cutting down

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Whether you’re attempting Dry January, or just looking to be healthier this year, reducing the amount of alcohol you drink is a worthy goal.

Cutting down means you’ll consume fewer empty calories – just one pint of cider can cost you 200 calories with no nutritional benefits – and save money.

Health benefits include improved quality of sleep, clearer skin, and a brighter mood. Alcohol affects our happy hormones and is associated with symptoms of depression.

In fact, charity Alcohol Change UK says that 80 per cent of Dry January participants save money, 70 per cent sleep better and 66 per cent have more energy.

Our tips for success…

Make a plan

From weight loss to shopping better and reducing waste, planning ahead gives you goals and a framework to stick to. Set a limit for how much you’re going to drink in a week and keep a record – the NHS has a Drink Free Days app which can help.

Size matters

It’s recommended that adults drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week. You might think that would be the same as 14 drinks, but that’s not the case.

A pint of beer, a 175ml glass of wine and a double shot of spirits are both over two units each. Many bars and restaurants serve wine in 250ml glass, adding another unit to your consumption. A bottle of wine alone can take you to your limit, depending on its’ strength.

Simple swaps

There are so many alternatives on the market these days. From non-alcoholic beer, cider and even No-secco prosecco, you’ll be able to find your choice of tipple without alcohol.

We love the range from our Love Local producer Belvoir Fruit Farms, which includes passionfruit martini and J&T.

Time for tea – or coffee

It’s tempting to meet friends in the pub but why not shake up your social life this January? Meet for a coffee or a tea, go for a walk together of try an activity like bowling. You don’t always have to catch up over a pint or a wine glass.

It’s NOT your round

If you are heading out and you’ve decided not to drink – or just want to drink less – avoid getting into a cycle of rounds. They can mean you face pressure to change your choice of drink or have more than you’d planned. Offer to buy the snacks instead!

Interested in learning more?

Here’s some useful resources:

Drinkaware aims to change the UK’s drinking habits for the better. This website is packed full of useful tools, including a unit and calorie counter and advice on professional support.

One You Lincolnshire is the county’s healthy living service. It includes a Drink Less programme and the Drink Less App which can help track alcohol consumption. The programme also offers advice on smoking and weight loss.

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