‘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].

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