Steps To Reduce Alcohol Consumption

It doesn’t take an expert to tell you that drinking too much isn’t the best for your health, but how do you stop it for good?

By URLife Team
06 Jun 2023

It’s the parties you’re attending, it’s the hangouts with your friends, it might even be that dinner with your colleagues: alcohol has suddenly become the norm for all social gatherings. Societal trends can shape our lifestyles in unforeseen ways. One such trend that has gained momentum recently is the rise in alcohol consumption. Alcohol has been consumed for centuries and plays a significant role in many cultures and social gatherings.


Researchers today state that there is no safe limit for alcohol consumption. Whether it is moderate alcohol consumption or  excessive alcohol intake can have detrimental effects on the body. As per the reports published by World Health Organisation, 2023, no level of alcohol consumption is safe for our health. Let us understand the short-term and long-term consequences of alcohol consumption.


Need all your wellness solutions in one place? A whole new world awaits just a click away.


Short-Term Effects of Alcohol Consumption

1. Alcohol is a depressant that affects the central nervous system, leading to mood, judgment, coordination, and reaction time changes. Even a tiny amount of alcohol can impair cognitive function, making tasks such as driving dangerous.


2. The liver is responsible for metabolising alcohol. Excessive drinking can overwhelm the liver, leading to inflammation, fatty liver disease, and even liver failure. Acute alcohol poisoning can also occur, a life-threatening condition requiring immediate medical attention.


3. Alcohol irritates the digestive system, leading to increased production of stomach acid, which can result in inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis). It can also interfere with absorption of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, contributing to malnutrition.


4. Alcohol acts as a diuretic, causing increased urine production and leading to dehydration. Dehydration can cause fatigue, dizziness, and headaches, and negatively impact overall well-being.


Related story: Ways To Banish Morning Fatigue


Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Consumption

1. Excessive and prolonged alcohol consumption can lead to alcohol use disorder (AUD), commonly known as alcohol addiction or alcoholism. AUD is a chronic disease characterised by an inability to control or stop drinking despite the negative consequences.


2. Long-term alcohol abuse can cause serious liver damage, such as alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. These conditions can be life-threatening and may require a liver transplant for survival.


3. Regular heavy drinking can lead to high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythm, and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Alcohol can weaken the heart muscle, leading to a condition known as alcoholic cardiomyopathy.


4. Alcohol abuse is closely associated with an increased risk of developing mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and alcohol-induced psychosis. These conditions can have a significant impact on an individual's overall well-being and quality of life.


5. Alcohol can irritate the gastrointestinal tract, leading to conditions such as gastritis, stomach ulcers, and gastrointestinal bleeding. Long-term alcohol abuse can also impair nutrient absorption, leading to malnutrition and deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals.


6. The consumption of alcohol has been associated with an increased risk of developing various types of cancer, including those of the liver, oesophagus, throat, mouth, and breast. The risk escalates with higher levels and frequency of alcohol consumption.


7. Excessive alcohol consumption weakens the immune system, leaving the body more vulnerable to infections and diseases. It impairs the ability of immune cells to fight off pathogens, making individuals more susceptible to illnesses and reducing the body's capacity to recover effectively.


8. Alcohol disrupts the natural sleep cycle, leading to poor sleep quality. While it may initially induce drowsiness and help you fall asleep faster, it can interfere with the later stages of sleep, including REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is crucial for restorative rest. Consequently, individuals who consume alcohol before bed often experience fragmented and less restful sleep.


9. Alcohol contains empty calories that provide little to no nutritional value. It's important to recognise that alcohol contributes significantly to overall calorie intake. For effective weight reduction, it's necessary to monitor and limit alcohol consumption to create a calorie deficit.


Related story: How To Calm Mind And Get Good Night's Sleep


Ways to Reduce Alcohol Consumption

Managing alcohol consumption is essential for maintaining optimal health and well-being. By adopting strategies to moderate and control our alcohol intake, we can reduce the risks associated with excessive drinking and pave the way for a healthier lifestyle. Let's explore practical ways to manage alcohol consumption and prioritize our well-being.


Set Personal Limits

1. Establish specific limits for alcohol consumption, both in terms of quantity and frequency. Determine the number of days per week you will consume alcohol and set a maximum number of drinks per occasion. By setting boundaries, you can take charge of your alcohol consumption and avoid excessive drinking.


Alternate with Non-Alcoholic Beverages

2. Intersperse alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic alternatives. Opt for water, sparkling water, or non-alcoholic mocktails between alcoholic drinks. This practice not only slows down your alcohol consumption but also helps to stay hydrated and reduces the overall intake of alcohol.


Be Mindful of Serving Sizes

3. Be aware of standard drink sizes to accurately gauge your alcohol intake. Different beverages have varying alcohol content, so familiarise yourself with the standard measurements. By understanding serving sizes, you can keep track of your alcohol consumption more effectively.


Related story: Exercise And Other Healthy Habits


Limit Alcohol Consumption Close to Bedtime

4. Avoid consuming alcohol within a few hours of bedtime. This practice allows for proper digestion and metabolism of alcohol before sleep, reducing the likelihood of disrupted sleep patterns. Instead, opt for non-alcoholic alternatives or herbal teas to promote relaxation in the evening.


Set Alcohol-Free Nights

5. Designate specific nights in a week as alcohol-free nights. This approach not only helps reduce overall alcohol consumption but also allows for better sleep. Use these nights to prioritise relaxation techniques, such as reading, taking a warm bath, or practicing meditation, which can promote healthy sleep patterns.


Related story: What Your Body Type Reveals About Your Health


Plan Ahead and Choose Alternatives

6. Before social events or outings where alcohol may be present, plan ahead by considering alternative drink options. Opt for non-alcoholic beverages or explore mocktail recipes that provide a refreshing and enjoyable experience without the need for alcohol. This proactive approach enables you to participate in social occasions without solely relying on alcohol for enjoyment.


Seek Support and Accountability

7. If you find it challenging to manage your alcohol consumption independently, seek support from friends, family, or professional resources. Engage in open conversations about your goals and challenges, and ask for their understanding and assistance. Consider joining support groups or seeking guidance from healthcare professionals who specialize in alcohol addiction or moderation techniques.


To assess your alcohol consumption and its potential impact on your health, you can utilise tools like the UR.Life Health Risk Assessment (HRA). Our Health Risk Assessment is designed to provide insights into various health risk factors, including alcohol consumption and cardiovascular health, and can help individuals understand the need for managing their alcohol intake. Remember, moderation is key, and being proactive about managing alcohol consumption is a step towards a healthier and more fulfilling life.


Need all your wellness solutions in one place? A whole new world awaits just a click away.


Regular health checks are essential for everyone, but they are particularly important for individuals who are at risk of or already have some underlying conditions. Taking regular health checks can help detect conditions at an early stage when it is easier to manage and treat. With the UR.Life HRA, we help you to invest in your well-being through seamless interventions and targeted medical treatments. Our holistic wellness approach caters to all aspects of your well-being. We ensure that you can bring your whole self to work.

With our medical professionals by your side, routine health check-ups will never be an issue. Advanced laboratory technologies back UR.Life’s Occupational Health Centers (OHC), and with highly qualified experts/technicians, we’re committed to delivering trusted and quality recommendations, modifications and advice to you.



Follow Us On Instagram