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  • Reducing Beer Intake – Any Tips?
  • tjagain
    Full Member

    Iirc the 14 unit limit is actually based on decent science. One of the issues is harm is cumulative and can take decades to show. So right now your excessive drinking is causing no symptoms but they may well appear in future years by which time its too late. The damage is done.

    greatbeardedone
    Free Member

    It’s not just the amount of units drunk, but the timescale too.
    With each drink, you’re painting yourself into a smaller and smaller corner.

    I’ve encountered people who drank small amounts habitually.
    Some crisis in their life, they upped their alcohol consumption, and whoosh!

    Life is precarious enough without having someone/ thing, ready to pull the metaphor rug away from your feet.

    Like I said in my opening reply, drink is like a bullet ricocheting through your body, with unpredictable effects.

    And the inflammatory effects on your brain are to be avoided at all costs.

    But, if you’re also getting off from the flavour/ scent of beer, it may help to plug your nostrils with cotton wool when drinking. This may break the Pavlovian response.

    IdleJon
    Full Member

    I’ve encountered people who drank small amounts habitually.
    Some crisis in their life, they upped their alcohol consumption, and whoosh!

    We all encounter people who drink small amounts habitually because that’s what a significant portion of the population do.

    28.9 million people report that they had drunk alcohol in the week before interview.

    Almost 1 in 5 higher earners drink alcohol on at least 5 days a week. (It’s 18% compared to 12% of people who earn £20-30k and drops in line with income.)

    That’s from ONS (my italics), and presumably relies on interviewees telling the truth, which people always do when talking about alcohol.

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    “The damage is done” is a bit melodramatic. The vast majority of moderate drinkers have entirely normal healthy lives. I’ve seen alcoholism and its effects in my extended family, and I’m not claiming that the amount I drink is actually beneficial, but toast and roast potatoes are also bad for you (acrylamide). I’m not giving them up either.

    dazh
    Full Member

    Like I said in my opening reply, drink is like a bullet ricocheting through your body, with unpredictable effects.

    And the inflammatory effects on your brain are to be avoided at all costs.

    Maybe. But compared to a lifetime of socialising with my mates and the general relaxation I get from it after a day at work I’ll accept the risk. Pretty sure if I didn’t drink I’d be a social recluse or even possibly dead as a result of the negative mental health affects. That’s something that’s very specific to me though so I’m not applying it to anyone else. More than anything else, I just enjoy it. That’s enough for me.

    saxabar
    Free Member

    Interesting thread and mix of views. Obvs not having in the house/drinking at home/alone is the first step, but just to add that life goes on if OP or anyone else decides there is a problem. Over 15 years since I’ve had alcohol and I can confirm that banter, laughs and socialising are all still possible! The yoof have done us a favour too in normalising low/no drinking and AF beers. I totally get the pleasures, but it’s really not that much of a loss if one decides it’s not doing them any favours.

    TiRed
    Full Member

    Hardly drink at all (about 3 units per week – none last week), but I will say that Robinson mint cordial and tonic water is a lovely G&T substitute if you want to cut down. I don’t really drink at home, but one measure of a nice single malt whilst ironing also is again a treat. It probably also helps to feel guilty about opening a bottle of wine for one glass and then saving the bottle – I’d never think to finish it, so seldom open a bottle. I suppose my attitude is that I drink quality over quantity and not for the effects, just the taste.

    I’m not convinced it’s attitude or even rules, otherwise diets would work and pension funds would be full. I think it’s a mindset about why do you drink. For me it’s definitely a treat not a staple.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    Robinson mint cordial and tonic water

    Noted. Added to shopping list.

    EDIT: actually, the mint is still growing strong… going to make a fresh one now…

    johnjn2000
    Free Member

    I am going to have so much cordial in the house 😂

    andy4d
    Full Member

    I am going to have so much cordial in the house 😂

    Just keep it under 14 units a week and you will be fine. Roses lime cordial with soda water is my go to.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    The association game is very real. You have to find out what is driving your desire to drink.

    Binge-watching Battlestar Galactica was a real one for me. It seemed there was at least a couple of whiskies in every episode and when the characters had one, I wanted one too!

    reeksy
    Full Member

    The government set ‘limits’ are very interesting.
    Years ago when I wrote for beer magazines I looked up the weekly intake recommendations for different countries and there was a big variation. IIRC Japan was the country which suggested the most.

    Since then it’s changed though.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recommended_maximum_intake_of_alcoholic_beverages

    There was a great tv show with the Van Tulleken brothers a few years ago

    https://www.bbc.com/news/health-32798569.amp

    CountZero
    Full Member

    Life is precarious enough without having someone/ thing, ready to pull the metaphor rug away from your feet.

    Like I said in my opening reply, drink is like a bullet ricocheting through your body, with unpredictable effects.

    And the inflammatory effects on your brain are to be avoided at all costs.

    But, if you’re also getting off from the flavour/ scent of beer, it may help to plug your nostrils with cotton wool when drinking. This may break the Pavlovian response.

    Thanks for the lecture. I’ll take it under advisement. I drink when it suits me, not when someone on the internet tells me when to or not.

    dazh
    Full Member

    OP I’ve tried every trick in the book to reduce the amount I drink and the only thing that ever worked was playing computer games. It’s very difficult to drink when you need both hands on a game controller for hours on end. It’s also hard to be good at it if inebriated.

    That’s a different type of addiction though which in my experience is more destructive than going down the pub with your mates or passively watching telly whilst drinking a nice DIPA. You have to choose your poison.

    greatbeardedone
    Free Member

    Other than for treating insect bites, I wouldn’t touch alcohol.

    There’s three main issues, even with drinking small amounts regularly.

    1) Factor in something stressful, like bereavement, and drinking patterns can spiral out of control. I’m always a bit wary when people use alcohol to relax. I think they need to find safer methods of relaxation.
    It may help to factor in a ‘stress-test’ to see how you cope without it.

    2) Science is just beginning to understand the dangers of inflammation to the brain.
    The current advice as regards units consumed doesn’t factor that in.

    3) Physically, it wrecks the body. You’re pissing away all the essential nutrients.
    Maybe not such a big deal if you live near the Mediterranean and are being force-fed sunlight and vitamins. Unless you enjoy being made of balsa wood, at these latitudes, you need every last scrap of nutrition.

    On an anecdotal tip, doesn’t beer contain oestrogen?
    Might explain why, by the time freshers week ends, the blokes have gone up a couple of octaves.

    johnjn2000
    Free Member

    Well that is 2 nights in a row done, and tonight is MMA night so filled with driving and fighting so should be an easy one to negotiate. Last night was a little bit of a trying one as we had an issue with my son that was quite stressful from a parenting viewpoint and afterwards I did catch myself thinking “God I need a beer” Fortunately I had a bottle of adult fizzy drink in the fridge so filled a gin goblet with that and a load of ice. I then brushed my teeth at 8.30 which completely removes any taste pleasure if you drink beer after toothpaste 🙂 In bed by 9.30 and had 8hrs solid sleep

    dazh
    Full Member

    You’re pissing away all the essential nutrients.

    Calling bullshit. If this were true drinking lots of water would be bad for you.

    Greatbeardedone I’m sure your intentions are genuine but your comments come across a bit holier than thou. Drinking alcohol has some benefits. If it didn’t millions of people wouldn’t do it and there wouldn’t be a multi-billion drinks industry.

    johnjn2000
    Free Member

    @dazh, I think the problem is that any percieved benefits are in relation to the effect of alcohol rather than the alcohol itself. There is a path of thinking that if someone inventted beer/wine/spirits today it would be banned as per class A drugs due to its addictive qualities, effect on cognitive behavoir, and health implications. I might be wrong here, and cannot offer any proof to back this up without a proper Google, but I think weed is less harmful and comes with a lot of the same effects of relaxation and good feelings.

    All that said, I am just trying to find a balanced positioning becasue, like you, I am not going to suddenly bin off alcohol and take up smoking weed, I accept the risk in the same way I accept the risk when I go out on my bike. The scary thing for me about accepting the alcohol risk is that you just don’t know when it will come back to bite you, and when it does, it is usually in a way that cannot be fixed.

    yetidave
    Free Member

    If it didn’t millions of people wouldn’t do it and there wouldn’t be a multi-billion drinks industry

    So you think that the drinks industry would stop what they are doing if someone found it wasnt good for you, but they carried on wanting to drink anyway? Like smoking. Big business does not care if your unwell, they only care they are making money from you.

    dazh
    Full Member

    There is a path of thinking that if someone inventted beer/wine/spirits today it would be banned as per class A drugs due to its addictive qualities

    And prohibition would be as successful as it is for other drugs. Instead of seeking to prohibit use we should be educating people about risks and benefits, encouraging sensible use, and helping those who fall through the cracks. Same goes for smoking. Just shouting ‘smoking is bad!’, or ‘drinking is bad!’ doesn’t really help anyone.

    Anyway, off topic, there’s not much more I can say to the OP than I already have. I hope whatever approach he takes results in the outcome he wants.

    johnjn2000
    Free Member

    Anyway, off topic, there’s not much more I can say to the OP than I already have. I hope whatever approach he takes results in the outcome he wants.

    Just a remionder that I was the OP 🙂 Your contribution has been excellent. Great to have a relatable viewpoint, and one that is honest, thank you.

    dazh
    Full Member

    Just a remionder that I was the OP

    Ha! Sorry not looking properly. 🙂

    The scary thing for me about accepting the alcohol risk is that you just don’t know when it will come back to bite you, and when it does, it is usually in a way that cannot be fixed.

    True but is the risk any worse than the unpredictable risk of cancer or some other life threatening illness? A few years ago a close friend suddenly died of a brain haemorrhage age 42. I think at that point I made the decision to stop worrying about the future and instead concentrate on living today. After that I became a lot more relaxed about all sorts of things which I previously worried about, my alcohol use being one of them (work was another).

    johnjn2000
    Free Member

    I think at that point I made the decision to stop worrying about the future and instead concentrate on living today.

    Sorry to hear this.

    I have moments of this whenever someone goes early whether it be a famous person (Rob W as a recent example) or someone I know. I just can’t stick with the ‘living for today’ thing in a complete way like maybe you can. I sit on the fence flip flopping between caution and danger 🙂

    involver
    Free Member

    I found this podcast episode about alcohol interesting:

    poly
    Free Member

    To break the habit you need to make the cue invisible (not having beer in the house), make the craving unattractive and difficult (having to leave the house to get it) and make it unsatisfying (the health benefits might be one, extra cash, losing weight, enjoying riding more)

    I think this is probably generally good advice – it fits with the psychology that is behind the Noom weightloss app – understanding why you eat (or eat bad stuff), what you can do to discourage / substitute this and what it is you are trying to achieve by doing so.

    I do think you’ve not quite got the cue logic right though (by all means don’t have it in the house, but that is about making it inconvenient).  Actually, there is another cue – the one that made you walk to the fridge.  Work stress?  Needing to “switch mode” .

    I think you do need a goal for it though – simply “being healthier” or “not becoming an alcoholic” are too wishy washy.  I have a friend who has just quit smoking with the motivation being the cost – and a calculation that by paying that money into her pension she can retire 2 years earlier.  She has a visible way of tracking that – I suspect it might work for drink too – if you are not strapped for cash £20 a week might not actually seem that significant.  But £20/wk for 20 years is quite a lot of pension… and unlike saving for a holiday or new bike it doesn’t suddenly stop once you have enough.

    seosamh77
    Free Member

    catfood
    Free Member

    It’s very easy to get in to the habit of drinking beer most days, why? Because it’s lovely that’s why.

    During Covid we, like a large proportion of the population were drinking most days, we decided that probably wasn’t really sustainable long term as well as being quite expensive, so we made a move to only drink toward the end of the week, we’re not terribly strict about it but now generally drink about three days a week rather than five or six.

    The only real way to make it work is not buy booze early in the week, if it’s in the house I’ll probably have a beer.

    singletrackmind
    Full Member

    And drinking loads of tap water will kill you.
    See US radio show competition where you could win a car if you drank the most water. Except the water stripped out sslt and one entrant died and others were hospitalised

    duncancallum
    Full Member

    Live with my missus.

    She’s my very own personal conscious.

    Adamns zero fun beer is OK.

    WCA is probably a good person to ask

    johnjn2000
    Free Member

    Stopping drinking that killer tap water, thanks for the tip on that.

    Sailed through Wednesday night thanks to MMA and picking daughter up from work. Tonight should be an easy one as riding on Friday at FoD so don’t want a fuzzy head. The big days are going to be Fri/Sat/Sun and I am accepting that at least one will be a beer night………….but you never know.

    Comments on here keeping me focussed thank you

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Classic STW – bloke knows he’s drinking a bit too much and decides to cut down, asks for some advice & experiences.

    People tell him he’s wrong.

    😀

    Good luck to you OP, I’ve cut down a bit and want to cut down more. I think you just have to find a way of not drinking that works for you, then force yourself to do that until it’s a habit.

    crymble
    Full Member

    Don’t keep it in the house.

    My ex-wife is an alcoholic and she went from being a function alcoholic to full blown very quickly. Hopefully you are aware and want to do something about it in time.

    K

    johnjn2000
    Free Member

    @crymble, sorry to hear this, I can imagine that created some tough times for you and maybe still does.

    Fortunately I am not at that stage, or even close with regards to the volume, but I do form habits easily (only bad ones curiously) and I could see that I was trending towards an unhealthy regularity. The biggest problem at the moment is that whenever I tell myself I need to cut back on something whether that be food, drink, spending, or anything else that i get pleasure out of, I laser focus onto it from the moment I wake. I am hoping that a few weeks of limited to no drinking will just reset my minds expectations.

    singletrackmind
    Full Member

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1770067/

    Your welcome. Everyone likes learning new things dont they.

    That reply was aomed a dazh, who syated that it was fine to drink loads of water, when actually it isn’t

    keefezza
    Free Member

    If you’re laser focussed on NOT drinking and that actually brings more attention to it, why not flip that around.

    Decide what you are going to consume instead, be it water/cordial/fizzy drinks/whatever. Make that your focus, change the perspective of your thought patterns. You will have to force this to happen, as you may automatically and subconsciously be focusing on the bits you don’t want. So try to increase your awareness (sounds like you are well aware already but I hope you know what I mean here) of the good stuff you want rather than the “bad” stuff you don’t want.

    As for weekends?
    Have a few, you’re only cutting down aren’t you? Not cutting it out altogether?

    Maybe just buy a specific amount to make last the weekend and set yourself that goal if you don’t want to overdrink at the weekend.

    LAT
    Full Member

    it seems there is some misunderstanding about the recommended units per week. it isn’t about wether or not you are an alcoholic, they are about the long term health effects of drinking that amount of alcohol.

    alcohol is bad for your health. weather you care, are willing to accept it, or are in denial is a different matter.

    personally, i’m in denial

    johnjn2000
    Free Member

    @keefezza, took your advice. Had a call to pick daughter up from town and then she wanted to stop by the garage for something. She asked me if I wanted anything, I ummed and ahhhed and said yes, one beer. Felt guilty, phoned her in the shop and got her to scan the shelf of grown up soft drinks and selected a load of those while thinking of a long cold drink with ice. She still bought me a beer, it is still in the fridge. I even went out and did some bike maintenance and took a soft drink. Turns out I can do this 🙂

    keefezza
    Free Member

    Good on you pal. With the right mindset a lot can be achieved, not always easily or without setbacks, but those are to be learned from.

    Keep going and make yourself proud 😉

    augustuswindsock
    Full Member

    Sounds daft, but if I’m fancying a beer on an evening a bowl of cornflakes or rice crispies works as a distraction, try it!

    IdleJon
    Full Member

    Classic STW – bloke knows he’s drinking a bit too much and decides to cut down, asks for some advice & experiences.

    People tell him he’s wrong.

    😀

    What I’ve found interesting about this thread – and every alcohol thread on here – is the number of teetotallers who leap on it to tell us all the dangers of drinking. It is completely disproportionate to the number of teetotallers I know in real life. I wonder if this says something about this forum, or about people who don’t drink?

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