5 tips to reduce your drinking and start feeling better about life

5 tips to reduce your drinking

MY Reset Your Mindset blog this week is very different – it’s got 5 tips to reduce your drinking and it’s been written by a lovely member of my social media team, Kirstin Chaplin. Her advice is all the more special because it comes from personal experience. Here’s her 5 tips to reduce your drinking…

Hi, my name is Kirstin and I haven’t had a drink for almost four years.

When I tell people that I usually get one of two reactions – ‘Wow! I wish I could do that.’ Or, ‘Wow! I could never do that!’

Now, I’m not here to tell anyone to stop drinking. What constitutes ‘problem drinking’ varies from person to person.

I wouldn’t say I had a ‘drinking problem.’ But I would say alcohol was a problem for me.

A couple of glasses of wine in the evening would make me feel jittery and tearful the next day. Any more and my anxiety would be through the roof.

Drinking’s on the rise

Worryingly, last week a report revealed the number of people drinking to dangerous levels had doubled during lockdown.

If you’re questioning your relationship with booze, ask yourself these questions:

Does alcohol disrupt your sleep?

Does it make you feel tired or lethargic the next day?

Do you often regret drinking and scold yourself in the morning?

Do you feel anxious, irritable, or weepy the next day?

Does alcohol make you crave unhealthy foods?

If yes then there’s no better time to take action and cut down.

5 tips to reduce your drinking

Here are my 5 tips to reduce your drinking:

1. Change your social media habits

‘What has social media to do which how much wine I drink?’ you’re thinking. Quite a lot.

You see, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter show you more of what you engage with.

So every time you like or laugh at a ‘Wine O’Clock’ meme you’re telling the algorithm ‘Hey, I want to see more of this.’

What this then creates is a drip-feed of information to your brain which says ‘it’s OK to crack open the vino every night. Why not? Everyone is doing it!’

Simply stop liking, sharing and commenting and you’ll soon stop seeing those posts.

2. Change your triggers

Have you noticed how a familiar TV theme tune can make you crave a certain food or drink?

This was something I struggled with until I recognised what was happening and took action 

Now, when a new season of a favourite show starts, I make sure I build new habits. For example, I’ll make a cup of tea as the Bake Off titles roll.

After a few episodes, when I hear the music, my first thought is ‘tea!’

3. Distraction tactics

I remember speaking to Sandra not long after quitting and explaining how flat life felt. Saturday nights were as exciting as Tuesdays with nothing (and by that I mean booze) to look forward to.

Sandra explained that I was missing the ‘buzz’ that alcohol gave me and I needed to replace it with something else.

It’s worth bearing in mind that life might feel a little drab for a while and you’ll need to find a distraction. But once you’re over this particular obstacle, it will be worth it.

4. Try low alcohol alternatives

When I first stopped drinking, I leaned on no-lo (no and low alcohol) drinks. There are so many fantastic alternatives out there you’ll never feel like a sober-saddo at a party.

5. Never say never

As you know, feeling deprived is not a great motivator for success. When I first gave up drinking, I couldn’t contemplate never drinking again.

Instead, I committed to giving up for a year. This had two advantages:

* I had a get out of jail free card at the end of 12 months

* My friends stopped hassling me to ‘just have one’

I believe committing to a longer period of abstinence is easier not least because the longer you go for, the better you’ll feel. And you never know, you might, like me, love it so much you decide to never go back. 


How’s the challenge going?

Have you been eating extra spinach, avocado and broccoli for the past week? What differences have you noticed so far in your energy levels and your weight management?

Please let me know by leaving a comment below. And do please let me know if alcohol is an issue for you.

I read all your comments and they help me to create new and valuable content for you.

New to my Mindset Challenge?

If you’re one of the hundreds of people who’ve joined the Slimpod Community in the past few weeks, then a big welcome! There’s still time to join my Reset Your Mindset challenge – you can catch up here:

Week One: Improve your health from the inside out

Week Two: Supercharge your weight loss

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25 thoughts on “5 tips to reduce your drinking and start feeling better about life”

  1. Happily managed to eat more of green three this week. Still having issues with the wine drinking. Answered yes to 4 out of 5 will try these tips. I have the alcohol pod, hardly ever hear it as I fall asleep listening to the Slimpod first. Suppose I should turn it round and listen to that one first!

  2. Hi there first post. I joined a week ago and it’s true I do feel better about myself. The spinach avocado and broccoli is a winner with me. I don’t like spinach much so put it raw under the cooked broccoli. I’ve always eaten avocado on the QT as not allowed on SlimmingWorld. Thanks for helping me break free.

  3. My problem is alcohol & did get the alcohol pod but I can’t listen to that because I actually want to stop & the pods just encourages you to cut down so I’m trying just on my own

    1. Hi Julie, I’m going to be joining Sandra live in the Slimpod Community this week to talk about how I stopped but just wanted to give you some advice here. I started by writing a list of 50 reasons why I wanted to stop (it included the negative impact alcohol had on my and my visions for an alcohol future) I figured if I could find that many reasons I really had no excuse.

      I also came to terms with the fact that there would never be a perfect time to stop. There was always going to be another birthday, another holiday, another meal out. I just had to accept that I was going to have to tackle those events without alcohol. The funny thing is that I enjoy them all so much more now as I am fully present and don’t feel like death the next day!

      To begin with I couldn’t cope with the idea of stopping forever, it seemed impossible. So I set myself the challenge of stopping for a year. Four years later, I’ve never looked back. if I can do this, you can too. Honestly, it’s so worth it.

  4. Hi I’ve been consciously adding more broccoli, spinach and avo (and more vegetables in general) to my plate every day since it was suggested, leaving less room for the other food types- but not skipping them altogether. I don’t weigh myself, but I’m hopeful that this is helping me to progress along the journey!

  5. Loving avocado. Just peel and munch
    Alcohol no longer an issue I’ve discovered. Brought a bottle of gin on holiday. 10 days in and it’s unopened

  6. Hello – I’ve cut down on alcohol. I have always only drank on Saturday evenings. Before Slimpod I used to drink two bottles of wine on Saturday evening. Now I drink maybe 2 glasses of wine. Have incorporated broccoli, spinach and avocado in my meals. I don’t think I’ve lost weight but am not concerned. I do eat chocolate once a day, but it stops with the chocolate. Before I joined Slimpod I would have started with the chocolate and it would continue with me eating crisps, biscuits, sandwiches etc I do feel much better and happier in myself.

  7. I’m generally feeling STUFFED quicker – but I’m not yet eating less! I’m still packing the food away despite feeling full, I’m on day 13 so perhaps early days …

  8. I think most of my triggers relate to alcohol! Having a hard day, getting home from work, end of the week..Habits that have built up over many years so I doubt they’ll change quickly. Have been using the alcohol pod but definitely less impact than the Slimpod – perhaps a harder nut to crack? My sleep is all over the place regardless of whether I’ve been drinking or not. If I could sort that out perhaps it would help with everything else! Had avocado and tomatoes on toast for breakfast though!

  9. Luckily for me, alcohol isn’t one of my problems as I get frequent migraines so don’t usually dare to drink! I’ve certainly been adding extra spinach to salads and managed to find a ripe avocado so had my first quarter today. It’s allowed on slimming world (everything is) – you just have to include it in your daily syns. Broccoli is already one of our staple foods – we have it regularly. I’m trying not to be fixated on the scales and to see my success in terms of other things in my life but I was really pleased to have lost 4.5lbs this week! The greens are surely helping!

  10. Thankfully I drink less than I use to (a lot less!) however a glass of wine is a reward at the end of the day. I find that it often compliments the food & if something stressful has happened it’s my reward for behaving as an adult. On other occasions it takes the edge off my feelings. I very rarely regret my wine with a meal. If I ever feel that I may feel ill, I stop drinking. Thankfully it doesn’t trigger any food binges & it doesn’t make me feel anxious or weepy. I would like to know how to cope with the raw emotion that I sedate with alcohol. I would like not to think of wine & food in the same thought. I would like not to drink habitually during the week. I really enjoyed M&S 8% reduced alcohol wine but they no longer sell it & I haven’t found a replacement…… Suggestions , advice & help would be very welcome.

    1. I like Freixenet alcohol free wines for special occasions and there are a couple of red wine alternatives which are dry enough for me. I generally don’t substitute though and stick to tea, coffee and water

    2. Hi Janet, dealing with raw emotions without alcohol is tough to start with. There’s really nothing else for it but to feel the feelings and get through it. I’ve actually found that I deal with things better now without alcohol as I have a clear head and I am less emotional. Taking alcohol away has balanced my moods. My mother-in-law passed away suddenly five months after I stopped drinking. Typically a terrible event like that would have sent me rushing to the wine but a few days after the event I realised I hadn’t thought of alcohol once and I was able to stay focussed on supporting the family. xx

  11. I like Kirstin think alcohol is a problem but I don’t have a drink problem. I actually think I am intolerant to it. I don’t feel good the next day although I don’t get a hangover as such. I can take it or leave it and it doesn’t make me eat more but through habit I drink 2 bottles of wine a week. My thought process is “ it’s Friday night so I’ll open a bottle” After the first few sips I think “I don’t really like this but it’s Friday night and this is how I reward myself” The programmes I watched while drinking aren’t on anymore but I’m fighting to maintain the habit. When I’ve finished the glass then I go into get rid of it mode. If I have another couple of glasses and the same on Saturday night then I’ve got rid of one bottle. If I do the same again on Sunday and Monday then I’ll have none left and then I won’t buy any more. Then we get to my Friday shopping and go in with the mindset not to buy any until I get to thinking I’d better get some in just in case my friend comes round so in go another 2 bottles and the circle starts again. I happily drink water on my alcohol free nights and don’t even think about wine. I don’t like any fizzy drinks or cordials so finding a wine replacement Isn’t easy but actually I don’t need one. I like water. The hard part is the world we are currently living in where there is nothing to look forward to. You can’t plan anything because we don’t know what tomorrow looks like. What do we put in its place?

  12. Kristina Mackay (Tina)

    Thank you Sandra. I’ve just finished week 5 and a couple of days ago I bought your reduce drinking pod. A drink in the evening was becoming habitual and at 6 o clock the bell in my head would ring ‘time for a g & t’. I had started to have an alternstive before I bought the pod but i havent had any alcohol for a week now. Will no alchol larger slow my weight loss?

  13. Only joined last week so starting the reset challenge today and my Tesco Delivery should have the avocado, spinach and broccoli, although I eat loads of greens anyway. Decided 6 years ago to knock off the booze which has benefited me greatly and the only time I miss it is when I fly which is strange!

  14. What I’ve discovered about alcohol….
    It doesn’t actually taste nice!
    It stops me concentrating
    It disturbs my sleep.
    It gives me palpitations.
    It makes me tired the next day.
    I am starting to crave water in the evenings!!!

  15. Alcohol definitely an issue for me. Apart from the empty calories I’m tempted to eat unhealthy foods after drinking wine, same evening & the next day. Also, I think we burn alcohol before burning fat? Even though I know this I still crave my nightly wine. So much effort to limit my self to 2 glasses (250ml) Crazy! Know all this and still I continue. My eating is healthy, wine’s the problem!

  16. I have been struggling to give up alcohol as it’s having a negative impact on my life affecting relationships with friends, family and my partner. It’s also made me gain weight. So I’m going to keep trying to cut it out. Well done to you for doing so.

  17. I have decided to stop drinking by cutting back a little at a time….i tried to stop and go cold turkey but had the most horrible side effects…shaking, dizziness, anxiety plus a tight chest. I was advised by a Dr when I rang 111 to definitely not stop straight away….I’m ashamed to say my body must have become so dependent on the alcohol that it could cope with a huge change….so cutting back a bit each day has to be done. Good luck to anyone else in the same situation as me.

  18. i am trying so hard to quit the drink but its not easy I am a 72 year old woman and I have been drinking for years. i want to lose weight to give me confidence to go on holiday.

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About Sandra
Founder of Thinking Slimmer
Food addiction expert
Member of All-Party Parliamentary Obesity Group
Huffington Post contributor
DipCHyp HPD NLP MasterPrac
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