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Tips to reduce your drinking

Want to have a good night out without the hangover? Here are some tips that’ll improve your health and your hip pocket.

  • Know your triggers. If you drink more alcohol when you are stressed or tired, try going for a walk or doing something else to distract you.
  • Try having an alcohol-free house.
  • Challenge yourself to alcohol-free days, say Sunday to Thursday.
  • Join in community events such as Dry July to keep you motivated.
  • Count your ‘standard drinks’ - to stay within the Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol
  • Try a low-alcohol (or no-alcohol) beer, wine or spirit.
  • Alternate between alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic drinks like sparkling water or soda and lime.
  • Ensure that you schedule in a meal when drinking or eat before you go out. Dilute alcoholic drinks using ice or soda water.
  • Gain friends by nominating yourself the designated driver. Just make sure you stay under .05.
  • Use water to quench your thirst and sip alcoholic drinks slowly.

What to drink instead of alcohol

Here are our top alternatives to alcohol

  1. Soda and fresh lime. Proof that simple is still the best.
  2. Berries in iced water. This summery drink will keep you refreshed and revitalised.
  3. Kombucha. The new kid on the block and definitely the ‘it’ drink at the moment. Again, just check the sugar content is no more than 5g/100ml.
  4. Virgin bloody Mary. For those looking for a saltier taste, this reworked classic is also a great option for those wanting to pack the vegies in too.
  5. Virgin Mojito. Without the rum a Mojito has about 35-40 calories and less than two spoons of sugar so this is a good option.
  6. Half soda/half cranberry juice and muddled lime. Keeping the juice to less than half a glass cuts down the sugar content and gives you a healthy, tasty treat.
  7. Soda and fresh fruit. Mix fresh fruit with soda and a dash of fruit juice for a taste of summer.
  8. Mocktails. Mocktails can be high in sugar, but why not treat yourself to one and then switch to lime and soda for the rest of the night. Try these recommendations from  Dry July.

‘Diet’ drinks

  • Although diet drink options do not contain the same level of kilojoules as sugar-sweetened versions, water or low-fat milk are healthier options.
  • Diet soft drinks have been associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity.
  • Diet versions of soft drinks are acidic and can also contribute to dental erosion (wearing away of the tooth enamel).

Non-alcoholic beer

  • This can be a good alternative, especially if you are only having one or two, however just be aware that they can sometimes become a gateway to the alcoholic version for non-beer drinkers.

Check out LiveLighter for these and other healthy drink options.

Real-life stories

This July over 38,000 Australians gave up alcohol as part of Dry July, to raise funds for people affected by cancer.

Although going dry to step up for those affected by cancer, those who participated were also stepping up for their own health – perhaps without even realising it.

For Kathryn, who celebrated 2 years of being alcohol-free this July, giving it up has given her more than she imagined. Read her story.

Meet David, Kylie and Cassie and hear how they reduce their drinking to improve their health and as a result are living life more.



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