- Dr Gary Bolger, chief medical officer at AXA PPP healthcare gives his top 6 tips
- Try to drink water, soda or orange juice from one of your wine glasses, he says
- Don’t have alcohol on your own – you’ll probably end up drinking large amounts
Two weeks into Dry January and most of us are already gagging for a drink.
And on a Friday night, peer pressure at the pub can easily turn one glass of wine into a bottle.
But don’t worry, there are some simple steps to prevent you from spending a fortune on a night out – or treating yourself to a kebab.
Here, in a MailOnline exclusive, Dr Gary Bolger, chief medical officer at AXA PPP healthcare, reveals his top tips.
Dr Gary Bolger, chief medical officer at AXA PPP healthcare, reveals his top tips to help you cut down on alcohol in a MailOnline exclusive
He said: ‘Keeping your drinking under control can make a big difference to your health, and your happiness.
‘Unfortunately, too many of us find it difficult to keep to healthy limits, so the start of the year is great time to reassess your monthly intake.
‘Regularly drinking more than the daily guidelines can affect your health in many ways.
‘Heavy drinkers increase their risk of developing high blood pressure, cancer, liver and heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis.
‘Binge drinkers can also develop unpleasant short-term effects, such as sweating, shaking, bad skin, diarrhoea, blackouts and problems sleeping.’
DRINK FROM A WINE GLASS
Drinking a soft drink from a glass you would usually fill with alcohol can be a great way to cut back on alcohol.
It will help you to stop feeling like you’re missing out – tricking your brain into believing it’s wine.
He says heavy drinkers increase their risk of developing high blood pressure, cancer, liver and heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis
AVOID DRINKING ON YOUR OWN
There’s many reasons you shouldn’t drink on your own.
But a major one is that you succumb into the inevitable effects of drinking more – but not noticing.
Pouring your own measures stops you from noticing exactly how much you’re drinking.
Whereas pre-measured units from pubs are always the same size, and can’t be manipulated by your input.
WEAVE IN GLASSES OF WATER
Paradoxically, alcohol dehydrates you so it’s important to drink water before you begin drinking.
It’s also advised to consume it in-between alcohol drinks.
People often guzzle the first alcoholic drink because they’re thirsty.
But alternating alcoholic drinks with water or soft drinks will not only help stop you getting intoxicated, it will reduce headaches and hangover symptoms the next day.
DON’T TRY DRINKING TO FORGET
Drinking to forget can actually strengthen bad memories, a study claimed earlier this week.
Scientists found evidence that alcohol not only prevents you from forgetting bad memories but makes them stronger.
It does this by strengthening nerve cells connected to the brain’s fear response center, researchers from Johns Hopkins University discovered.
Replacing this form of self-medication with short-term drug therapy and behavioral therapy is the only way to weaken – or even rewrite – bad memories.
GIVE YOURSELF A GOAL
If you want your attempts at cutting down on alcohol during January to be successful, set yourself a target.
This could be anything, from stopping altogether or aiming to only have alcohol at the weekend.
But deciding on a date or a set goal will help you stick to your plans to give your body an alcohol-free period.
Food is known to slow down the rate that alcohol is absorbed into the body.
Drinking on an empty stomach irritates the digestive system, according to Stanford University researchers.
Before going out, eating a healthy meal high inn carbohydrates can help to prepare your stomach.
STOP THE TOP-UPS
If you really want to cut down on your alcohol intake this January, stop topping your drink up.
Getting a refill before your glass is empty causes you to lose track of exactly how much wine you’re having.
Beware of the over-vigilant party host who won’t let your glass stay empty – they could stop you from achieving your goal.