Consuming alcohol on a regular basis can affect your body and health in a variety of ways. Alcohol dehydrates the body which can cause headaches and has an effect on your skin; it also causes weight gain due to the high calorie content. Furthermore it affects sleeping habits and increases stress levels.
Women are affected by regular alcohol consumption more than men therefore their recommended daily units are lower. Women’s bodies cannot process alcohol as well as men’s and it can affect fertility, increase risk of breast cancer and increase menopause side effects. Alcohol in excess can also lead to high blood pressure, raised cholesterol, cancer and type 2 diabetes for both men and women.
It is important to identify whether you are drinking more than the recommended amounts for your gender and if so identify why you are and how you could stop.
Here are some things to consider when reducing your alcohol intake:
- Identify how much you currently Is it more than you thought?
- Identify why you are drinking alcohol, is it social, habit or to relax?
- Measures at home tend to exceed pub measures so use smaller glasses or try non-alcoholic drinks.
- In order to spread the drinking out over an evening, try drinking a non-alcoholic beverage in between each alcoholic one. This will also help keep you more hydrated.
- Dilute your drink by asking for a spritzer; alternatively choose lower strength drinks. Be careful of cocktails as they contain more alcohol than you think.
- Ask for family and friends to support or join you. You’ll be twice as likely to stick to a healthy change!
- Set a limit on either the amount of alcohol you drink each day or week and limit how much you spend
- Aim for 1-2 alcohol free days a week.
Reducing your alcohol intake will improve your health and quality of life. For more information on alcohol, the risks of alcohol, the benefits of reducing your alcohol and free tools available to help you calculate your unit intake visit www.drinkaware.co.uk