Monday, May 21, 2018

13 Ways To Quit Drinking This Summer

The summer is fast approaching, and that means many people will be joining gyms, dusting off the running shoes and starting all manner of weird and wonderful diets.

It's the time of year where your health and fitness is put into sharp focus, and the clothes you want to wear either fit well or need some work to get into.

Alongside exercise and eating well, one of the biggest summer goals is to stop drinking alcohol, or at least cut down on your intake. It can be tough with all those parties, BBQs and weddings you'll no doubt to invited to, but cutting down on your drinking can have a huge effect on your health and fitness, whether it's short-term goals or a lifetime decision you're making.

With that in mind, let's take a look at 13 ways you can quit drinking this summer - and kickstart a new, healthier you:

Stay Hydrated
One of the best ways to avoid the alcohol is to stay hydrated during the hot summer months. It can be tempted to head to the nearest beer garden or bar when the sun is out at the weekend, but the reason for the extra temptation is often because you are not drinking enough water, not because you are eager to drink an ice cold beer. Keeping hydrated with water will keep you feeling full and less thirsty, and will help keep you on the straight and narrow.

Seek Professional Help
If you feel like you need to quit drinking because it is becoming a major problem in your life, you can find Rehab Centers all over the country. They are here to help, and can offer you a number of options on how to quit alcohol for good. Talking to people about your issues is often the best way to deal with them and make that next step in kicking it out of your life for good, so search for centers in your area and speak to them as soon as possible.

Inform Your Friends and Family
If you’re serious about stopping drinking, it’s a good idea to tell the people who care about you the most - your partners, friends and immediate family in the majority of cases - of your plans to steer clear of drinking. They can help you stick to your goals, and because you value their opinions and the way they perceive you, there is a better chance of you sticking to your plans over the long haul.

Track Your Steps
The summer is a beautiful time of year, and the perfect time to get fit and healthy away from the booze. While it’s easy to say ‘join a gym,’ not everybody wants to do that, and it’s easy to start going and then stop within a couple of weeks. Another great way to get fit and stay motivated is to track your steps via your smartphone. If you walk a lot - or even if you don’t - tracking your steps will motivate you to do more exercise, and can open you up to a healthy lifestyle without the pressure of joining a gym.

Make It A Competition
Whether you’re quitting alcohol for the summer or long-term, sometimes you need a bit of a extra motivation to stick to your goals. One way to do this is to make it a competition. This can be achieved in a number of ways: You can ask a friend, partner or family members to join you, and see who can stay off the booze for the longest time. You could also join a sobriety group either online or at a local club (you can search for them online) and use this to keep motivated and on track for a life without drink. Once your competitive instincts kick in, you’ll be less likely to drink than going it alone.

Give Yourself Goals
If you are self-motivated, one way to help quit drinking is to set goals for yourself. These can be extreme or measured, but they should be realistic, as failing even the smallest of your goals could cause you to give up on the rest and lead you on the wrong path back to drinking. You could set a short-term goal of two drinks a week for the first month, then change to one drink a week after two months, one drink every two weeks for the month after that, etc. Whatever you choose to do, keep people notified so they can keep you motivated. You could even go public with your goals and turn it into a fundraising campaign.

Have Exciting Non-Alcoholic Options Available
Due to the growing issue of substance abuse, more and more big name brands of alcoholic beverages are creating non-alcoholic alternatives to their products in order to give choice to people who want to quit drinking but still would like to taste their drink. Non-alcoholic beers are hugely popular, but you don’t need to focus completely on what you can buy on the street. You can make your own non-alcoholic beverages that are fun, exciting and taste great. If you enjoy making cocktails, you can make mocktails for you and your guests instead. A Pina Colada tastes just as good when it’s missing the rum. Use fresh pineapple, bananas and coconut milk, and enjoy a delicious smoothie instead.

Get Running
Beating the booze is a lot easier if you are mentally and physically fit, and one of the best ways to achieve this is to start running. The summertime is the perfect time to get a pair of running shoes on and hit the road, and whether you’re a new starter or a seasoned pro, it will go a long way to keep you out of the bar and away from the alcoholic beverages. If you start to feel fit and healthy - and you can see the positive changes running is making on your life - you are far less likely to have even one drink on a night out, let alone going hard all night long. It’s one of the many reasons running is so addictive: it changes your mindset as well as your body.

Use Social Media for Motivation
Going public with your plans is a great way of keeping motivated, and in the modern era, that means announcing your non-drinking plans on social media. The likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are used by billions of people, and once you announce that you’re sober, your friends and followers will be eager to see how you get on in your quest. Write regular updates on social media - including weight loss news, healthy lifestyle changes you are making, etc. and you will soon develop a following of well-wishers who you will want to please, and therefore keep on track of your non-drinking goals.

Evaluate the Cost of Drinking
Many people are shocked to hear how many calories are in alcoholic beverages, but if you only drink in moderation, you are less likely to make the change and quit drinking. However, when you evaluate the cost of drinking, you are more likely to quit as you will see what a difference it makes to your finances. If you’re going on holiday in the summer, quitting drinking in the months leading up to you going away could save you a great deal of cash, especially if you drink on a regular basis. When you see the difference it makes on your finances, there is a good chance you will make further cuts to your alcohol budget.

Have Designated Drinking Days
Many fitness fanatics swear by living like a nun for five days a week, then enjoying a cheat day or two over the weekend. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be doing the same with your alcohol intake, and it could help you quit for good. If you are tempted by drink in the working week, make a promise to yourself to only have a drink at the weekend. Or if you only drink at the weekend, tone this down to one day instead of Friday to Sunday. Small changes in theory, but they could have a huge effect on your health in the long term.

Make Your Home an Alcohol-Free Zone
You are likely to be spending more time out of the house and in the sunshine this summer, so why not make a drastic change at home by making it an alcohol-free zone? If you have no booze in your fridge and cupboards, you are only ever going to be able to drink when you’re out of the house, and this costs more money and is likely to be less convenient, particularly if you are driving at the time.

Keep a Diary of Your Progress
If you really want to quit drinking this summer, you should consider keeping a diary of your progress. You can do this in a number of ways, including writing down exactly what you drink every day, or tracking your food and alcohol intake on a smartphone app like My Fitness Pal. Keeping track of what you drink will help motivate yourself to beat your previous totals, which in turn will keep your alcohol intake in check and help you move towards a healthy, booze-free lifestyle this summer.

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