What is the best way of cutting down drinking?

Excessive drinking can affect health in the long term. There are two types of excessive drinking: binge drinking (4 drinks or more for women, 5 drinks or more for men- all consumed on one occasion) and heavy drinking (8 drinks/ week or more for women, 15 drinks/ week or more for men).

To cut down on drinking, try the following tips:

  • Have a plan in mind. Set a limit (and respect it) on how much you intend to drink at the next party.
  • Come up with a fixed budget. Take only a set amount of money you want to spend on alcohol.
  • Ask for support. Let your family and friends know about your efforts to cut down the amount of alcohol you consume.
  • Take small steps. Cutting down a little each day can help you succeed.
  • Go for smaller sizes. You can cut down the amount of alcohol once you choose smaller glasses of wine or smaller beer bottles.
  • Go for lower-strength drinks. Make sure you choose wines and beers that have lower strength (ABV in %).
  • Drink plenty of water. Try to alternate your drinks with water; it is also helping you to stay hydrated.
  • Decide that several days a week to become drink-free days.

Which are the benefits of cutting down the alcohol intake?

When you give up drinking alcohol, you may observe immediate positive effects and long-term benefits. 

Immediate positive effects include:

  • losing weight or better weight management
  • feeling that you have more energy
  • better looking skin
  • waking up with a better mood in the mornings 
  • feeling less tired during the day 

Long-term benefits include:

Improved sleep patterns

Many heavy drinkers are affected by insomnia or other sleep disorders. Alcohol may give you the false sensation that it helps you fall asleep faster, but your sleep will not be a deep one. Giving up alcohol will improve your sleep and will make you feel more rested in the morning.

Better heart functioning

Excessive drinking can affect your heart as well, the organ becoming enlarged. This is a serious medical condition. Quit drinking for better heart functioning.

Improved immune system

Heavy drinking can harm your immune system. Regular drinkers tend to develop more infectious diseases as the body’s ability to fight infection weakens. 

Improved behaviour

Regular drinkers can have their behaviour and judgement affected. Most alcohol users become irascible and aggressive when they are intoxicated. Heavy drinking can also affect memory.

Better mood

Depression and excessive drinking are closely related. Hangovers can also make the alcohol user feel anxious and low. If you are dealing with anxiety, drinking regularly can make it worse. Cutting down the amount of alcohol you consume can help you with improving your mood.

Can you stop drinking on your own?

If you or a family member have an alcohol addiction, you should know it is dangerous to stop drinking suddenly, without professional help. Getting advice from rehab specialists can help you enter a personalized programme. These types of programmes are created to lead you to regain self-control and sobriety.

When an individual with a physical addiction stops drinking, the body will suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are dangerous, and in some cases, leading to death. A person dealing with alcohol addiction should not try quitting drinking without professional supervision.

A detox programme plan includes specific steps that allow the body to release alcohol safely. 

To stop drinking means more than just becoming sober. Rehab experts can help you understand the cause of your dependence and how to develop new healthy coping mechanisms. These techniques will enable a person with an addiction to maintain their sobriety and to avoid the danger of relapsing.

What happens to your body when you stop drinking?

There are significant health benefits when you stop drinking. Your body will change for the better, and you will feel a mood improvement as well. Here are a few health benefits:

Losing weight

Stopping drinking even for a week will make you feel a weight difference. Alcoholic drinks contain empty calories with no nutritional value. When you give up drinking, your body can focus again on burning the extra calories you consume.

You probably wondered how much weight can I lose by quitting drinking? A drink contains 100 to 200 calories, and 3500 calories equal approximately one pound of weight. By doing a simple math calculation, giving up nightly cocktails and weekend binges, you can lose a couple of pounds a month.

Improving digestion

The liver is the organ that helps the body to get rid of toxins, including alcohol. When you stop drinking, the liver can focus on filtering and cleansing the body of other less harmful toxins, encountered in the food products you eat. Heavy drinking is also associated with liver diseases, fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, or liver failure. Your digestive system can be affected by drinking alcohol. Beer and wine drinks are fermented beverages that can produce excessive gastric acid, causing various stomach troubles. When you stop drinking, you eliminate the risk of developing liver damage and an irritated stomach.

Sleeping better

Normal sleep patterns can be restorative. Heavy drinkers can experience disrupted sleep patterns and even insomnia. Alcohol consumption can reduce the production of melatonin. Binge drinking is responsible for diminishing the quality of your night sleep. Alcohol abuse can also affect your brain, resulting in waking up often during the night. Cutting down on alcohol is the right solution for your sleeping troubles.

Getting sick less

Binge drinking can increase the risk of inflammation in your body. Once you quit drinking, you will reduce and reverse inflammation, restoring the strength of your immune system.

Staying more hydrated

Alcohol is a diuretic that can increase the level of your dehydration. When you drink, your kidneys are forced to produce more urine and retain less water. Quitting drinking helps your body remain hydrated and feeling better. Not only the kidneys are working harder when you drink, but your heart is also forced to work more to pump the same amount of blood. Avoid heart and kidney failure by cutting down your alcohol intake or quitting drinking.

Better looking skin

Once you give up drinking, you may notice improvements in your appearance. Alcohol can dehydrate your body resulting in unwanted effects such as red cheeks, wrinkled and dry skin, red eyes, and eczema. Avoiding alcohol is the first step in restoring your healthy better-looking skin.

Feeling less anxious

Alcohol can affect the brain’s chemistry. You may deal with unbalanced emotions, low cognitive abilities, and changes in your behaviour. Drinking can make you feel anxious, tired, or depressed. Your brain will produce feel-good hormones once you take a break from alcohol or you quit entirely.

Excessive drinking may lead to health problems and social difficulties. If you are struggling with alcohol addiction and you feel overwhelmed, you should seek professional help. Castle Health specialists can give you support 24/ 7, guiding you in choosing the right treatment plan. Contact us today for more information and confidential advice!