We’ve heard it time and time again, but how many of us actually listen when we are told that we need to keep a closer watch on our alcohol consumption? It’s likely that many of you reading this will be aware of the dangers of excessive drinking and yet it is also highly probable that many of you will not know exactly what constitutes ‘excessive’.
Would you, for example, be able to tell precisely how many units are in a glass of wine? Chances are that you wouldn’t if you think you could as there are so many variants involved in such a calculation. Things such as the size of glass and the alcoholic volume of the wine must all be taken into consideration in order to accurately measure the amount of units being consumed.
Whether it is a diagram from a medical stock illustrations specialist or a photograph of the damage done to the liver, it is easy to see just how badly alcohol abuse can disrupt the performance of this vital organ. And yet so many of us continue to drink excessively without even knowing that we are doing so. According to UK guidelines men should not exceed 3-4 units per day, while women should only consume a maximum of 2-3 units. This only amounts to 1.5 pints of 4% beer for men and a single pint for women per day, far less than you think.
So what can be done in order to start making a change in our drinking habits? Well, the fact that you are reading this article is a great start as any knowledge that you can obtain will help you to make a change in your lifestyle. However, what you do next is far more important:
Calculate your intake – Finding out just how much you are actually drinking may come as a bit of shock but that should be seen as a good thing. If it shocks you then you know that you need to start making a change in your drinking habits. There are numerous online alcohol calculators available that will give you your seven day intake amounts. Use this figure to find out how alcohol is affecting your body and also as a barometer for change. Once you have your current weekly figure you will have a target to work towards lowering.
Monitor your intake – Now that you have your seven day intake amount, keeping track of all of the alcohol that you consume will give you an insight into whether or not you are on course to lowering your consumption. It will also give you new targets to work towards breaking.
Lower your intake – Once you have a few weeks of statistics to work with you can begin to consciously set yourself achievable goals if you haven’t already started to do so. Lower the amount of alcohol you consume at home by switching a fridge full of beer and wine to some soft drinks instead. Make sure that you have some completely alcohol free days too as this will give the body an opportunity to recover as you progress to a healthier lifestyle.
Following these steps will help you become more aware of your daily, weekly and monthly alcohol consumption. If you feel as though you need further help with your drinking there are plenty of options available to you. Speak with your doctor; they will be able to advise you on how to lower your intake healthily. Stick with it and you won’t regret it, the time to make a change is now.