11 ways to curb your drinking

I want to show people that you can live a good life without the influence of alcohol. I want to be a friend that people don’t feel pressured by. I know that 1 in 4 college students report that drinking causes them to miss class, fall behind, and/or receive lower grades. I know that 1,825 college students die from alcohol-related injuries. I know that 39% of college students engage in binge drinking, and 12.7% of college students engage in heavy drinking. I don’t want to know if I could be part of those statistics.

I don’t want to possibly hurt my relationships with others. I choose not to drink because I want to be in control. I don’t want to regret something I say or do because I wasn’t in control. I choose not to drink because I want to take in the world consciously, fully, and uninhibited. I how to take a break from alcohol want to see everything around me with absolute clarity. “Someone who averages one boozy drink per day could definitely see weight loss within a week if they’re not making up those calories with other caloric beverages,” New York–based registered dietitian Jessica Cording tells SELF.

Julia Bainbridge, author of Good Drinks, gives us the tea on making the best zero-proof drinks

So depending on your drinking habits, cutting back on the booze could definitely help you get both your eating habits and weight in check. Taking a break from alcohol for an entire month provides one with an opportunity to assess their patterns of alcohol consumption and how it affects them physically and mentally. It gives a person a chance to cultivate alternatives for relaxing, socializing, and coping with stress.

Researchers have yet to uncover the specific ways that drinking raises your risk of developing these health conditions. And the benefits of sobriety might be years, not months, down the road. Still, it’s good to know that the protective effects can be both fast-acting and long-lasting.

I Tried ItI gave up drinking for a month — and what I learned about myself surprised me

For some people, it may be part of a New Year’s resolution to incorporate healthy behaviors into their routine. It’s always a good idea to periodically examine your relationship with alcohol. A popular way to do this is to participate in a sober month like Dry January or Sober October, which are health and wellness trends that emphasizes taking a break from alcohol for an entire month. But you don’t have to wait for a designated month to take a break from alcohol.

This means there are many social groups in which alcohol consumption is not the norm. People looking to cut back should seek out activities with these groups, which could include exercise, volunteering, and civic, cultural and religious activities. If you do take a break from alcohol, make sure you don’t just jump back into the booze like you used to, says Deutsch.

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Whisk vigorously until the mixture thickens and gets frothy, like cold pancake batter (sounds weird, but that’s what you want), about 2 minutes. (Well, it took my friend Mindy 2 minutes, but it took me 5. She’s strong!) Use immediately. Fill a collins glass with ice, then add the ginger beer and cherry juice. In a small saucepan, combine sugar, salt, rosemary, and 3 ounces of water. Warm over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, then fine-strain and discard remaining solids.

I don’t want to have an increased risk for conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, certain cancers, and others. I want to be around as long as I can; not only for me, but for the people I love. It’s hardly a secret that having a few drinks alters the way your brain works. There are many reasons why people choose to participate in Dry January—a time when people take a break from drinking and examine their relationship with alcohol.

Consider what benefits alcohol provides to your life

Work hard at this one if you are going to make it one of your New Years cliches. Toxic relationships should stay in the past, but it is up to you to keep them out of your life. A great song to get inspired, keep going, and work hard to achieve your dreams. Everything is possible if you are determined to make it happen.

It can also be helpful to focus on activities that don’t usually involve alcohol. Encourage your friends to meet up in the morning for breakfast, for example, or suggest healthy activities where alcohol is less likely to be present. Recent evaluations of their Daybreak program – which includes one-on-one chats with health coaches – shows it leads to significant reductions in drinking, and improvements in physical and mental health.

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