Research says that abstaining from or limiting alcohol consumption is important to help you stay healthy.
While some studies show that moderate drinking might have a protective effect on the heart/circulatory systems and may help protect against type 2 diabetes and gallstones, most health risks linked to drinking alcohol (including the risk of many cancers) go up with any amount of consumption.
If you decide to drink, 7-9 drinks per week is the max. amount for women and 14 drinks per week is the max. amount for men. Neither group should have more than 1-2 drinks per day.
TIP: One drink equals: 9 oz (266 mL) of beer, 6 oz (177 mL) of wine, or 1 oz (30 mL) of spirits.
DRINK LESS & BE HEALTHIER
Excessive drinking can lead to:
- changes in liver function
- weight gain
- increased risk of certain cancers
- sexual dysfunction
Alcohol is a depressant drug that can be addictive. Long-term effects include permanent liver damage. The good news is that if you stop drinking, your liver functioning will usually return to normal.
Benefits of giving up alcohol:
- improved energy
- better sleep
- consumption of fewer calories
- reduction of risk for liver disease and certain cancers
BUILD TINY HABITS
Take a breath: Give yourself time to make a conscious choice before you order or make a drink.
Drink water with meals: At every meal, make water your default beverage of choice.
Count & measure your drinks: If you do decide to drink alcohol, keep track of what you’re consuming!
Switch it up: If alcohol is already a habit, exchange it for some other action. For example, go for a walk before dinner or sip on sparkling water with lemon or ginger while you’re preparing a meal.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
Set realistic goals: Cold turkey might not be your style, but you can cut back slowly. Set a goal you can stick to!
Understand your triggers: Know what your trigger is for having a drink. Choose to avoid it, or when it comes up, acknowledge it and make a conscious decision to choose something besides alcohol.
Increase friction: Remove alcohol from your house to make it less convenient to have a drink.
Get help: If you need extra support, talk to your doctor about getting help to change your drinking habits.
Carebook Health & Wellness Team – Last reviewed 04-2019 Visit Carebook.com for information about our content team & processes