Your weekly drinking results

A few changes could make a difference to you

A few changes could make a difference to you

80%

You drink MORE than 80% of women your age

This week you've drank the equivalent of 5 doughnuts (not counting any other snacks or mixers!)
14
To burn off the calories that you've drank this week, you'd need to walk for 14 miles
How drinking less could benefit you

Less alcohol = less calories.

It's shocking to see how many calories are hidden in alcohol. Cutting out a drink here and there can really reduce calories and help you lose weight. For every large glass of wine you don't drink, you'll save 235 calories. For every pint, you'll save 180 calories. Avoiding spirits and mixers can save you lots of calories too.

Drinking less can help you sleep.

Regular drinking can affect the quality of your sleep, making you feel tired and sluggish. When you drink alcohol before bed you may fall into a deep sleep quicker, but as the night goes on you spend more time in the less restful Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep. This can leave you feeling tired the next day, not matter how long you stay in bed. To help you sleep better, stop drinking earlier before bedtime. This will give your body time to process the alcohol you've drunk. On average it takes two hours to process a glass of wine or pint of beer. For more advice to help you sleep visit www.nhs.uk/livewell/sleep/pages/sleep-home.aspx

Drinking less can lift your mood.

Some people drink when they're feeling down, but this usually only makes them feel worse. Initially alcohol may make you feel more energetic or cheerful, but then - because alcohol is a depressant - you could end up feeling worse. For other ways to lift your mood visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/

Click here to see more benefits of drinking less
Your top tips

Now we know more about how you drink, we'd like to suggest some simple tips that you could try using to drink less. You don't need to do them all. Pick what works best for you and your life.

Swap to a lower strength to cut your calories.

Knowing the alcoholic strength of what you are drinking is really quite important. A simple way to reduce the amount of alcohol and calories you're drinking is to swap strong beers or wines for ones with a lower strength. The strength can be seen on the side of cans/bottles and on pumps in pubs as "% ABV", which stands for alcohol by volume. This is sometimes written as "vol" or "alcohol volume". A 1% difference may not sound much but it adds up over a few drinks.

Cutting down alcohol may help lift your mood.

There's a strong link between heavy drinking and depression, and hangovers often make you feel anxious and low. If you already feel anxious or sad, drinking can make this worse, so cutting down may put you in a better mood generally. Making changes in your life, such as resolving a difficult situation, talking about your problems or getting more sleep, can usually improve your mood. Check out the following useful link for tips about how to be happier, more in control, and able to cope better with life's ups and downs https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/feel-better-and-happy.aspx

If negative feelings don't go away, are too much for you to cope with, or are stopping you from carrying on with your normal life, you may need to make some changes and get some extra support. Talk to your GP or call NHS 111. There is more information about help for low mood at https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/low-mood-and-depression.aspx

Drinking to boost your confidence can backfire.

Alcohol suppresses the parts of the brain which control inhibition, so a drink or two may make you feel more socially confident when out socialising. But these pleasant effects wear off fast and as you drink more, more parts of the brain are affected. Alcohol may also make you angry or aggressive or can make you feel more anxious or down. You may do or say things that you wouldn't when you're sober, and which you regret the next day.

If you would like information about how to build your confidence and help you relax in social situations, without the need to drink, there is a wide range of useful resources on NHS Choices. See: http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/mentalhealth/Pages/Mentalhealthhome.aspx

Drop a drink size.

A really easy trick to drink a little less without feeling like you are missing out is to go for smaller sizes. Try bottled beer instead of pints, or a small glass of wine instead of a large one.

Keep wine for longer.

Why not save some wine until tomorrow? Most wine keeps for a couple of days if you use a bottle stop.

Keep an eye on how much is in your glass.

It's easy to drink too much when you're at home. Pay attention to how much you or your friends and family pour into your glass and always make sure to finish one drink before pouring another. Topping up drinks makes it harder to keep track of how much you've had and to know when you planned to stop.

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