CUTTING DOWN – TIPS TO STAY ON TRACK
Surviving the party season
It's the party season - can't wait? Or dreading it?
Here's some top tips for surviving (and enjoying!) all those festive dinners, parties and events that can sometimes lead to severe embarrassment, guilt or worse...
1. Be yourself - we may live in a North European drinking nation (the Vikings brought us binge drinking), but this is 2016 and you really don't have to follow the drinking crowd or feel pressured to have one too many by your peers.
If you decide not to drink, or to stick to a small number of drinks, just say so!
"No thanks" or "I'm fine, thanks" works perfectly well in any situation. Just make sure no one tops up your drink when you're not looking.
2. Be drink savvy - when you've had enough, make sure you're sticking to the soft stuff - you have to drink something right? Why not place a full alcoholic drink next to your soft drink and leave it there?
That way no-one will bother you with more alcohol while you can enjoy your strawberry smoothie / tonic water and lime / soya latte.
3. Plan ahead - the good news is you're in control. It is perfectly possible to make yourself a little plan to only drink the exact amount you choose in advance. You really don't have to "go on, have another", you can choose to limit yourself to one, two, or three drinks and then switch to soft drinks or (gasp!) tea or coffee.
Just be mentally prepared to stop at your pre-planned limit and don't let anyone change your mind. This is called a revolution.
4. The obvious stuff you've seen on the BBC - really, you all should know this by now: Make sure you eat before you drink, drink lots of water before and after alcohol, be mindful of the lower-risk guidelines (no more than 14 units per week for both men and women and preferably spread out across a few days) and stay off the salty snacks.
Don't forget, once you've had four of most drinks you're straying into binge drinking territory.
5. Watch out for your mates - the benefit of being relatively sober is you can look after yourself much better, but that also goes for being able to keep an eye on your friends.
Have fun! .... and stay safe.
Top Tips for looking after yourself:
Make a plan – Before you start drinking, set a limit on how much you are going to drink.
Set a budget – Only take a fixed amount of money to spend on alcohol
Make it a smaller one – Go for smaller sized drinks. Try bottled beer instead of pints, or a small glass of wine instead of a medium or large one.
Have a lower-strength drink – Swap stronger strength beers or wines for ones with lower alcohol strength (%ABV). You’ll find this information on the bottle.
Stay hydrated – Drink a pint of water before you start drinking and don’t use alcohol to quench your thirst. Have a soft drink instead.
Drink-free days – Try to stay off the booze all together at least 2 or 3 days per week.
Be assertive – Let people know you’re only planning on having a couple of drinks.
Love your liver - Try to stay off the booze all together 2-3 days per week. Go for a run or a swim instead.