‘I can’t stop drinking, what should I do?’

One Starts at 60 reader is having trouble reducing their alcohol intake. Source: Getty

Q: I’m 65 years old and struggle with my alcohol intake. It has now gotten to the stage where I sometimes drink a bottle of wine per night. My weight has increased and I’m really not happy. But, when 5pm comes and I start the dinner, out comes the wine. Any suggestions?

The recommendations for a healthy person is no more than two standard drinks a night and no more than four standard drinks in a 24-hour period at any time. These suggestions are made to lower your risk of alcohol-related diseases.

Some helpful tips for reducing your alcohol intake include:

  • Write down your alcohol intake on the fridge – it acts as a reminder to consume less
  • Never drink on an empty stomach. Wait to have dinner first, then have a wine after dinner
  • Schedule two nights a week where you don’t drink. Go to the movies, have a nice walk or have a coffee with a friend or relative instead
  • Set new habits and rituals. Try meditation or listen to relaxing music at the end of the day or invest in some calming loose-leaf teas to help you unwind
  • Add sparkling mineral water to your drink to make it more refreshing, less damaging and last longer, or make every second drink non-alcoholic
  • Walk away from your glass between sips or put your glass down between mouthfuls
  • Have a look at lower alcohol options – this will reduce the amount of ethanol affecting brain function.

If you have a question for Starts at 60’s health experts, email it to [email protected].

Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and information purposes only. It does not take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. It is not personalised health advice and must not be relied upon as such. Before making any decisions about your health or changes to medication, diet and exercise routines you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from a medical professional.

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