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What are your top tips for cutting down on alcohol?

(25 Posts)
WhenCanIWine Tue 05-Jul-11 19:27:51

Beyond simple will power that is. I am drinking half a bottle of wine a night, which I know is loads by some standards and not much by others, but I feel/know I should be drinking less. Yet at the end of a hard day I just really want to sit and chill with a couple of glasses of wine. Really really want to! Not beer, or spirits, has to be wine!

Which is probably my most pathetic post ever. What ever happened to my will power? Sigh.

bibbitybobbityhat Tue 05-Jul-11 19:31:11

No alcohol Monday to Wednesday. No ifs not buts. Get lots of appealing soft drinks in.

Thursday is negotiable - I am often invited out on a Thursday, so can drink then if am out.

Friday, Sat and Sun I drink what I like, but as I hate getting pissed and haven't done it for years and years, then I end up having a just about acceptable amount of alcohol every week.

OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 05-Jul-11 19:39:52

I think the first step is noting how you feel, for instance, how well do you sleep, could it be improved? How do you feel in the morning when its time to get up - bright eyed and bushy tailed or is it a bit of a drag? Do you want to lose a bit of weight that is being quite stubborn? Would the extra money be handy for something else?

Then just try a few days of not drinking. You dont have to see it as a long term thing, just a week or so. After a few days, see if you feel different at all.

I think the key is to see it as something positive to do rather than negative. if you can see benefits it makes you want to do it more and makes it much easier.

Good luck smile

bigTillyMint Tue 05-Jul-11 19:44:27

None on nights when you have to go to work the next day.

Try to drive when you are going out during the week so you can't drink!

How old are your children? I found I needed a drink to survive when mine were small grin

WhenCanIWine Tue 05-Jul-11 19:49:33

Thanks for the tips.
Bibbity - thats my plan too, but I always end up drinking. I really have just absolutely no will power at the mo. its wierd.
OYBBK - yep, a bit over weight and cant shift it, feel better in the morning when I havent drank....but despite that i seem to have convinced myself there is no other way of relaxing than having wine.

I am really annoying myself with how easily i give in to the urges!

WhenCanIWine Tue 05-Jul-11 19:51:52

Mine are small-ish bigMilly! I childmind other small children too! Tho the working the next day thing does work actually, the only thing that does. But Im very part time!

bigTillyMint Tue 05-Jul-11 20:04:39

Childminding? well, you deserve a drink then wink

nagynolonger Tue 05-Jul-11 20:25:12

I've managed quite well to limit wine to Friday and Saturdays. I do like a glass of cider down the cricket ground during the junior matches(twice a week) but I make a 1/2 pint last. I'm sure I'll find it much easier to only drink twice a week come the end of the season. I can no longer use small DC as the excuse, but with DH and 3 teenage DS I think I still need the oddwine.
I'm sure I heard somewhere that red wine was good for the over 40s. Let's hope so!

shodatin Wed 06-Jul-11 01:07:13

I got used to watered wine in France, far fewer calories and no problems when I had to stop altogether - give it a try!

TaffyandTeenyTaffy Wed 06-Jul-11 01:23:29

I used to be a bit like you - so I bought those little bottles of wine (you say you want a couple of glasses - well they contain 2 rather than the 3 in your half a bottle, so thats one bottle less a week)
I would add a little soda water to white wine or some orange juice and lemonade to red wine to make a sangria so that i had a couple of decent drinks - but less alcohol.
Hardly drink at all now as Im dieting - and I prefer to use my slimming world syns on chocolate, chips and treats than alcohol through the week and just drink at weekends/when I am going out. Would working out the calories help you?

Nobdie Wed 06-Jul-11 07:19:44

I think it's easy to get in the habit of having a drink when ds's have gone to bed. I don't drink in the week now, and it doesn't really bother me that much now I've got used to it. I don't buy it until fri, and it's usually gone by Sunday, and then I won't buy any more.
I do feel better for it, try it for a few weeks and it will get easier. You just have to break that habit

bacon Wed 06-Jul-11 09:18:30

Perhaps an interest or hobby even when your knackered???? I do the odd night baking. AT this time of year gardening so that your busy till 9pm-ish. Hubby usually goes back out to the workshop/farm in the evenings so we are busy.

We used to drink everynight but the expense was getting out of control plus the rough feeling in the evenings. Mainly weekdays now as booze free.

I did the 50% soda water mix and that worked. Not buying it also works.

It takes time to re-adjust so do it slowly but it takes both partners to back each other up.

upahill Wed 06-Jul-11 09:28:37

I think the key is to change your routine.
It is easy to get into the habit of something whether it is a drink at the end of the day or buying a bar of chocolae every time you fuel up the car or whatever.

A few years ago we got into the habit of having a large bar of chocolate and a bottle of wine between us. At first it was a treat, then it became a 'oh go on then, why not!' then it was every night.

I made a point of asking DH not to buy chocolate when he picked up the evening paper. At first it seemed really weird because every night we got used to getting the kids to bed and sitting down for the 10 o'clock news and drink.

We moved ourselves into to the middle room and I would read and after a while the habit was broke.

It was quite painless. I think because it is a certain time and you are in a certain place your body seems to know what is coming next IYSWIM.

WhenCanIWine Wed 06-Jul-11 14:43:40

Thanks everyone, will be using lots of these tips. Yes, habit and boredom are the biggies I think. I do need to do more with myself in the evenings, me and DH just turn into lethargic blobs once the DCs are in bed. We both need a good shaking quite frankly.

Will be writing a list of reasons not to drink, along with photo of increasingly tubby me, for when boredom sets in and resolve waivers!

Madlizzy Wed 06-Jul-11 14:46:38

I just quit drinking completely a month ago, as it was having a negative effect on my moods and my waistline. It's been easier than I thought it would be, and I was drinking around 4 bottles of wine a week. There are still nights where I'd love a glass of wine, but it's far easier to resist now.

missorinoco Wed 06-Jul-11 14:49:08

Typing in a hurry so sorry if it has been said already, but what worked for me was to drink only at the weekend, but make it a nice bottle of wine. ie I am drinking less, but it's a bottle I enjoy.

I like the idea of non Mon to Wed and Thursday being negotiable, makes it easier to start.

Definitely get nice soft drinks it, there's something less satisfying about settling down with a peppermint tea!

By the way, when I went from half a bottle a day, plus cocktails on the weekends to "only" drinking 1/3 bottle 5 out of 7 days my weight fell by about half a stone.

dreamingbohemian Wed 06-Jul-11 14:58:02

Do you like to read? I find it easier to ignore the wine when I have a really good book going, then I'm looking forward to getting into that all day instead of a glass.

How does your DH feel about it? If you're both on board with cutting down it will be a lot easier.

I often have this struggle as well, especially when things are stressful. I also find the best incentive comes if I don't drink for a week or so, I'm so much less puffy looking that my vanity keeps me from drinking too much!

I think it helps to set a definite goal, like 'I will not drink for a week', rather than a vague 'I will cut down a bit.' You will probably feel so much better if you can stop for a bit, it will keep you going.

nickelbabe Wed 06-Jul-11 14:59:04

to cut down on wine, drink lemonade with it.

or get some nice tasting juices - like red grape juice, etc.

noddyholder Wed 06-Jul-11 15:02:26

Use it like a shot about an inch in a glass topped up with soda and have 2 of these or 3 even while you relax Have at least 3 nights no alcohol. If you still can't moderate you may have to abstain for a while and try and learn to relax without. Sometimes the feeling of better sleep and wellbeing after a few days without is enough to spur you on And you will def be slimmer and look better

aStarInStrangeways Wed 06-Jul-11 15:05:27

"habit and boredom are the biggies I think. I do need to do more with myself in the evenings, me and DH just turn into lethargic blobs once the DCs are in bed."

It's a vicious circle, because the drinking will be largely responsible for the lethargy, so that the next evening you feel bored but don't have energy for much other than...drinking [been there emoticon]

I agree with changing habits/routine; DH and I recently instigated an eating-in-the-kitchen policy as opposed to in front of the telly, and it's made a real difference to how well we communicate as well as how much the tv gets switched on these days. Find a different room, a different thing to occupy your hands (no snurking at the back please), something to occupy your mind.

If you like white wine, topping your glass up with sparkling water is a good way to feel like you've had a few drinks without actually having had them iyswim.

Finally, I can attest to the weight-loss powers of not drinking - both times I've been pregnant the weight has fallen off me. I couldn't believe the difference it made.

nickelbabe Wed 06-Jul-11 15:11:31

i was getting to that stage, though.
I was trying not to drink, but was finding that at the end of the day, it was all i fancied to drink.

when I got PG, i didn't want an alcoholic drink. just stopped wanting it overnight (which was funny cos i'd had two glasses of wine the night before my BFP!)
I still get the urge once a week or so, but i've gone off the taste, mostly.
I'm drinking a lot of water.

WhenCanIWine Wed 06-Jul-11 19:56:27

Thanks for the suggestions everyone, its been very useful for me to think it all through. I have actually had a bit of a light bulb moment today. I don't think it is wine I am craving from 5 onwards, I think that actually I am just hungry, and because I often have a drink before I eat (bad idea, I know) I think I have got the 2 confused. My children eat at 5 but I wait for DH and dont eat til 8 by which time I am fairly desperate to eat! so, I am going to start eating with the children and see if that knocks the urges on the head. I actually do think it might work. Think I will need many of the other ideas too - a good book, something constructive to do etc, but at least I won't be too wine induced dozy to not be bothered to do something. Will be name changing to whencanicupoftea smile

vigglewiggle Wed 06-Jul-11 20:03:15

I've started taking an iron supplement and glucosamine tablets because I am shattered by the end of the day and I would often reach for the wine. After a couple of weeks I can honestly say that it is easy to do without the wine and pop the kettle on. As others have said, I now stick to weekends only and i'm feeling much better for it. Can't say my waistline has seen the benefit yet though grin.

PaleHandsILoved Wed 06-Jul-11 20:06:12

If it helps, I have all-but given up booze for the last month (we're struggling to conceive and I've reached the point where I will try anything that might help), and the difference to my skin is amazing. My lines have practically vanished, and I used to get spots round my jaw which have gone. I have also lost weight but that isn't actually such a good thing for me as it has tipped me below the ideal BMI for TTC.

<<Whispers - I don't actually feel any moe energised or healthier, though...>>

dreamingbohemian Wed 06-Jul-11 20:10:03

OP, you might be spot on about the food thing. I think sometimes my wine cravings at night are not so much about alcohol (I never get actually drunk) but more of a sugar craving. Sometimes I find having some mint tea, with just a spot of sugar, is just as relaxing.

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