Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 145 total)
  • Reducing Beer Intake – Any Tips?
  • johnjn2000
    Full Member

    I have decided that I need to cut down quite significantly on beer as I have been slowly ramping up on wet days versus dry days culminating in a 2 week holiday, and then holiday drinking levels continuing when I returned home.

    I would say I have gone from 3/4 dry days a week down to 1/2 and I am talking completely dry not a sneaky half or a G&T. So this is the situation, it isn’t bordering on a visit to AA I realise that, but I am finding it harder and harder to not grab a beer each evening. A habit is definately forming. Tonight I can’t have a drink as I have to pick wife and daughter up from the airport at 11pm but I thought about it at 5.30pm when the last meeting finished.

    I then decided that distraction was the way forward so went to fit a new dropper post on the bike, I then realised that bike maintenance time was an activity that involved me, planet rock, and a beer or two, so an association has built there as well. There are other situations which have become associated with a beer such as a post ride beer, a Thursday night beer etc. etc. I am sure you all get the picture.

    What I don’t need is for everyone to tell me how great they feel after ditching the booze. I ditched the booze for 100 days back in 2018 as a challenge with a mate, I didn’t loose any weight, and I didn’t feel like a new person, I did have more cash though 🙂 What I am asking is what people have done in the past that has been successful in breaking the associations. I just want to find that reset switch so the moment I relax in the evening it isn’t done by reaching for a beer.

    I almost wish I liked tea rather than coffee but I really don’t like the stuff. I tried AF of many varieties but it just sucks.

    Any real time successes?

    martymac
    Full Member

    Don’t have it in the house, then you need to make a conscious decision to have one, rather than just being able to lift one willy nilly.

    Phil_H
    Full Member

    Don’t have it in the house, then you need to make a conscious decision to have one, rather than just being able to lift one willy nilly.

    This.

    TheBrick
    Free Member

    When you say have a beer are you having a beer or several?

    leffeboy
    Full Member

    Don’t have it in the house

    When I saw guys buying single cans of beer in a supermarket I used to think it was a cost issue but now I realise it’s a control issue.  That’s what I do as if it’s in the house I am likely to drink it

    Singletrack Reader Awards - Most Desirable Mountain Bike: Atherton AM 150

    Singletrack Reader Awards - Most De...
    Singletrack Video Archive: Singletrack Reader Awards - Most Desirable Mountain Bike: Atherton AM 150
    piemonster
    Full Member

    Exeter Universities Food Trainer App worked for me, basically just gets your brain to associate alcohol with something you dont ‘select’

    Takes a couple of minutes once a day, its free, you dont really have a lot to lose by giving it a shot.

    johnjn2000
    Full Member

    I am now clear of having it in the house as I consumed the final 3 last night so stage one complete.

    In answer to the “is it one or a few” question. It varies but I wouod say one usually leads to 2 or 3 as it breaks the self control that was minimal in the first place.

    I will download the app and give it a try.

    Thanks for the tips, keep em coming peeps.

    jambourgie
    Free Member

    Have you considered switching to wine? I did this for a year or so. Great for my waistline. Thing is, tolerance creeps up and before long you’re having a few bottles of red instead of a few ales.

    Or you could substitute for weed? Not so great for your waistline.

    ibnchris
    Full Member

    Have you tried enough of the AF ones? I only drink real beer twice a week now and very happily have the odd AF during the week. But because it’s not as delicious as real beer it breaks the habit weirdly…

    Best AF beer I have tried is Guinness, or if lager then Freedam or Heineken. All the crafty ones are a bit shit.

    Keva
    Free Member

    kill two birds with one stone by making sure Thursday is alcohol free so that you’re fresh for Friday.
    Go for a bike ride on Thursday evenings so as to avoid post ride beers.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    How many units a week? I would suspect you might well be a high functioning alcoholic from the description you give. I have known a few

    Only a suspicion and i could easily be wrong

    andrewh
    Free Member

    Not much help in the short term but I’ve noticed that as I’ve drunk less since I stopped being a student my tolerance has gone down which means I drink less so my tolerance goes down more
    It’s a virtuous circle if you can get it started.

    HoratioHufnagel
    Free Member

    None in the house and AF stuff worked for me. The trick with the AF stuff was to get it really cold and put it in a nice glass so it at least looked like beer.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    Not having it in the house is a good option. You might fancy a beer but the effort if going to buy it will out you off. I like trying various beers as I’m primarily in it for the taste. As a result, buying just a couple of different cans or bottles with the weekly shop is about my upper limit. I’ll still have 2 or 3 pints after an evening ride with the mates but that’s every couple of weeks. Not having much in-between times means I feel the effect of them and so don’t normally drift past that intake

    hardtailonly
    Full Member

    Like you, I’ve drifted in the past to drinking weekday evenings, or when the intended 1 beer becomes 2 or 3 …

    A mental determination to just drink weekends (Fri, Sat, Sun) has helped me. Will also have a couple of beers after a night ride with mates, but as that tends to only be once every 3 or 4 weeks, doesn’t massively affect the ‘drink only at weekend’ plans.

    AF has helped sometimes. It partially satisfies that desire for something cold, refreshing and beer(ish) tasting, eg when pottering about doing bike maintenence mid week. And as someone else said, because it’s not all that nice, or rather it’s a pale imitation, the desire to follow with another few is much reduced. Erdinger is pretty good, as is Guiness, both of those, for me, would suffice if I wanted beer but decided not to drink alcohol.

    Not having it in the house helps. So, by all means buy what you’d intend to drink on Fri/Sat etc. But once it’s gone, don’t buy any more until you decide its your next drinking night.

    Good luck.

    simondbarnes
    Full Member

    The easiest way is just to stop buying it. If you haven’t got it you can’t drink it.

    andrewh
    Free Member

    The not having it in the house works for me and sugary food, if there were biscuits I would eat all the biscuits.
    However, I bought a pineapple since my resolve is much stronger in the supermarket so I’m having fruit instead.
    Maybe try making smoothies? Taste nice and are good for you

    johnjn2000
    Full Member

    How many units a week? I would suspect you might well be a high functioning alcoholic from the description you give. I have known a few

    I used this to describe myself to a friend when talking about it but after a bit of research we decided I hadn’t reached that status yet. The key is I am not dependant on it, I have just got into a habit of associating it with more situations. Units vary from 10-20 spread across the week. Last week was a bad one at 21 which kicked me into action.

    Yes, I have tried many AF beers and surprisingly ice cold Heineken AF was probably the best. I prefer IPA’s or craft beers/lagers and just can’t find anything in those ranges that deliver anything better than Heineken. Haven’t tried Guinness AF yet though

    esselgruntfuttock
    Free Member

    Get a job driving a bus load of kids to school. It stops you drinking the night before anyway.
    Works for me.

    TheBrick
    Free Member

    It sounds like the not in the house rules may work for you. Then just buy one or two beer on a day when you fancy one, don’t fall for the multi pack deal or the I’ll buy 6 pack because that will do Friday and Saturday night.

    It’s easy for me to say as I like trying loads of different beer so buying one / two at time is no bother as I am not interested in the big packs of Corona, Stella etc.

    Another tip mate told me was when he goes to parties he now takes a pack or normal beer and a pack of AF. Then alternates his drinking, that way he doesn’t get drunk the same but still feel in the drinking groove so to speak.

    johnjn2000
    Full Member

    I am not sure I would benefit from the mixing of AF with normals. I really really like the flavour and mouthfeel of the good craft beers and I think it would be just as effective to have a glass of water in between, also a lot cheaper 🙂

    Tonight has gone surprisingly well just being distracted by this chat, so thanks all for humouring me. Tomorrow night I will see if I can steal a bus and ferry people from stop to stop.

    toby1
    Full Member

    I finally admitted I have an intolerance to it, if I drink 1 I get bloated and gassy, it ruins my sleep and I spend loads of the next day in the bog. Not an option for everyone, but as much as I love beer, I prefer not feeling like crap!

    As for habit forming, you are likely like me, you can break the habit, you just have to want to enough.

    chaos
    Full Member

    Do you drink much water / squash / etc during the day?

    I find that slaking my actual thirstiness with a pint of squash helps with the craving for the post-work beer.  Doesn’t eliminate it but reduces it, especially the tastier ones like the Bottlegreen/Belvoir ginger and lemongrass cordial rather than bog standard orange or ribena.

    singletrackmind
    Full Member

    You could try mixing af and real beer.
    Just buy 1 of each, then blend them together in a pint pot.
    That way you end up drinking 2 pints of say 2% beer of an evening and thays it.

    If that doesn’t sound like a plan try posh soft drinks. San Peligrino is nice, add ice and lemon and its lush after a ride. Or traditional lemonade or ginger beer, sugary though so domt go mad on them.

    I binge drink, so 10 to 12 uniits once a week but got fed up with the 24hr recovery afterwards so have stopped totally for now.

    butcher
    Full Member

    Alcohol is addictive even on a casual level, in my experience.

    If I start drinking regular, I crave it. Doesn’t matter if its in the house or not, I’ll be itching to go to the shop and make excuses to go – maybe I need some bread… Even just a couple of glasses of wine at the weekend, I’ll crave them through the week and count down the days.

    If I’ve not had any for a while, it doesn’t bother me, no temptation or interest in it whatsoever. It’s more than a habit. If you want to reset I would suggest stopping completely for at least a month.

    sofaboy73
    Free Member

    very similar to you OP. i’ll go through phases where i’ll only have one or two beers in he week (obviously excluding weekends) to having 3 or 4 beers every night

    tried AF free beers and tired pretty much most of the more easily available ones – they were all pretty grim. the only ones that were ok were big drop brewery (the IPA tastes fairly indistinguishable form ‘normal’ stuff) and the best larger AF i found (well 0.5%) was the Guinness open gate brewery ‘pure brew’

    what o found worked best, but isn’t really ‘not drinking’, is buying low alcohol beers – theres a few decent 2-3% beers around. one or two on an evening that you feel like a beer ticks the boxes, but it keeps the units down, didn’t effect my sleep and wasn’t fuzzy headed the next day. however it kind of goes against the ‘not having them in the house advice (which does work) as you indefinitely have to buy them online / in advance

    jeffl
    Full Member

    Similar to the OP, found I was drinking more nights of the week than not drinking. So since 1st June stopped drinking apart from special occasions.

    We don’t have any booze in the house which helps. I did hanker for a beer at the start, mostly prompts similar to yours. To address that I bought some AF beer, which is good enough to scratch the itch but after one or two you don’t get the moorishness of real beer.

    Did drink on holiday a couple of weeks back and found that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I used to, so something is obviously working.

    richardkennerley
    Full Member

    Have you tried Brooklyn special effects? It’s by far and away the best AF I’ve tried. Ymmv.

    gs_triumph
    Full Member

    I’m very interested in this post. Have a similar relationship with beer. Me and the missus don’t take much encouragement which means we’re bad for each other.

    We now don’t drink mon-thurs nights. It’s a rule we stick to. Helps massively to not have it in the house. Occasionally have a hankering for a midweek beer and allow ourselves some AF. Usually Heineken. Perfectly pallettable if you get it ice cold.

    One of my other hobbies is home brew. So always have around 90 bottles kicking around at various stages of conditioning. Was always difficult to not just grab one when I kept a suppmy in the fridge. I keep them in the spare room for first two weeks conditioning then move to the shed for storage. They need 24hr in the fridge to dissolve the co2 prior to drinking so, again, don’t have them in the house. I pop them in the fridge thrurday night so they are good for the weekend.

    el_boufador
    Full Member

    Fizzy water and fruit juice

    Tonic, elderflower cordial and ice ( recommendation from in here, really good 👍)

    YoKaiser
    Free Member

    I did dry January years ago and it was a great way to break the habit. A month off, and it would probably have been the most I hadn’t had beer for 25 odd years, showed me how much better I felt mentally and physically and how much I would try to fit beer into most free time. Going out for dinner – few beers, bike ride – few beers after, sitting down to watch something – few beers, few days of work – have a beer. Anyway it broke the back of the habitual stuff and whilst I’m not tee total I drink less in a year than I used to in a month and I feel I appreciate it a whole lot more.
    As for af beer, I like erdingers but I don’t drink them to fool myself that I’m replacing an alcoholic beer, it’s just a different drink. They actually taste very nice after a bike ride.

    unfitgeezer
    Free Member

    Reducing Beer Intake – Any Tips?

    Have a glass of wine instead !

    johnjn2000
    Full Member

    The Erdinger labels always make me smile as they have ‘Isotonic Drink’ on them 🙂

    Lots of good support here people thank you. Will invest in some soda water/tonic water/posh cordial and try and beat the temptation to buy gin to go with it 😉

    didnthurt
    Full Member

    The only solution I’ve found is, do not have any booze in the house. It’s so easy to have drink if it’s just a few steps away. Not so easy if a walk to the local offy is required.

    didnthurt
    Full Member

    I’ve recently been introduced to Kombucha, they’re very refreshing after a ride.

    breadcrumb
    Full Member

    I find that having beers in the house meant I’d get in from work and have one with my supper, then probably another one or two after that.

    More or less broke that habit now. So it’s another vote for don’t have beers in the house.

    seosamh77
    Free Member

    johnjn2000
    Full Member
    Units vary from 10-20 spread across the week. Last week was a bad one at 21 which kicked me into action.

    5-10 beers a week? Jebus someone phone the polis the man’s out of control! 😆

    greatbeardedone
    Free Member

    Eventually you’re going to have to bite the bullet and quit the booze completely.

    I’ve never met anyone whose been a long term drinker and not a jakey.

    Current thinking is that drinking alcohol causes inflammation of the brain, possibly resulting in Parkinson’s disease, etc.

    Alcohol is like a bullet ricocheting through your body, affecting all kinds of functions.
    It doesn’t just go in and out discretely.

    It might take years of abstinence for your body to regain its equilibrium.

    I don’t know if alcohol-free beers will break the link with your cravings.

    Hopefully this doesn’t sound too patronising, but I hope you can find something of use, here.

    On the plus side, you’re aware of that it’s a problem, and quitting the booze will have as much of an impact on your cycling as quitting smoking.

    I was always quite amazed as a young adult, just how detrimental alcohol is to one’s fitness.

    Very best of luck👍

    greatbeardedone
    Free Member

    Keeping a cube of blu-tak or a fidget spanner to hand might help with the cravings.

    You’ll need something to do with your hands. Some kind of musical instrument?

    Maybe it’s the just the fizziness that you crave? Plenty of of chilled soft drinks, maybe with a scoop of ice cream.
    When you’re that ‘gassy’, there’s less room for beer.

    Whenever anyone quits the drink, they find they have a craving for sweet things.

    So, I’d keep on top of dental hygiene. Tongue brushing too.

    reeksy
    Full Member

    I’m guessing it’s a self discipline issue for you OP.
    15 years ago I decided to not drink on weeknights and unless there’s a celebration, holiday or something similar I stick to that.

    Set a rule. Stick to it.

    I rarely don’t have any beer in the house and it makes no difference to me.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 145 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Thanks for popping by - why not stay a while?IT'S FREE

Sign up as a Singletrack Member and you can leave comments on stories, use the classified ads, and post in our forums, do quizzes and more.

Join us, join in, it’s free, and fun.