Women and Wine Part 3 – Top tips on reducing wine
In a recent survey I created, we had over 50 responses from women aged 27 to 64:
• Less that 15% of women said that they drank the equivalent to or less than the recommended weekly amount of 14 units (7 glasses of wine)
• Over 75% of women said that they drank between seven and 25 glasses of wine a week
• 35% are drinking between 15 and 25 glasses a week (that is 30 to 50 units by the way) and 5% said they drank over 25 glasses a week.
61% said they were habitual wine drinkers, 12.5 % were binge drinkers and 26.8% said they were both.
I’m not surprised by these figures as I’ve coached and trained hundreds of women over the past 10 years who drink too much. As you know, I love my wine, but some simple reshuffles and looking at habits allowed me (and my clients) to decrease our wine consumption. So here are my top 10 tried and tested tips on getting that wine intake down!
1. Have wine every other day – If at 6pm on a Monday, you fancy a glass of wine, knowing you can have one in 24 hours can actually make a wine-free night manageable. If you drank two glasses Monday, Wednesday, Friday and perhaps one or two on a Sunday, you’d not only be around the recommended amount per week for women but also your liver would have nearly 48 hours to recover.
2. Cut back over a year – Have an alcohol free day every week, an alcohol free week every month and an alcohol free month every year and again, you’d reduce your wine intake substantially. Four weeks plus 11 weeks from the remaining months and 37 days from the weeks you drink only six days a week, results in not drinking for 20 weeks of the year.
3. Water wine down – Many women I know love that first glass of wine but they can actually cope by watering down the second or third glass. This way, you enjoy one glass but massively reduce the wine you have for the rest of the evening (or day). Also you are less likely to feel drunk, get the munchies and you stay hydrated too.
4. Save money – For every bottle you cut back on, put the money you save into a pot. One client of mine cut her wine in half and saved herself over £150 in a month.
5. Commit to four alcohol free nights a week – this worked really well for me and is something I implement as much as I can. I personally found it much easier if I drank on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. It meant I knew I could enjoy a few glasses a few times a week but was giving my liver a break, plus it made me look at other things I could do to relax me after a busy day.
6. Chill out – On that note, Epsom salts baths are great for relaxing you. I often have one at 5pm before I take over my children at 530pm. When I do this I am relaxed and chilled out and find I don’t crave a glass of wine as much.
7. Create time limits (and stick to them!) – For some women it’s saying no wine until after 8pm, for others it’s no wine after 6pm. At weekends I often decide to either have a glass or two at lunch but nothing in the evening or vice versa.
8. Drive – one of my previous clients who was drinking heavily – six glasses of wine most days, now only drinks a couple of days a week and what helped her was driving everywhere. Not only did she not have to come up with an excuse on why she was drinking (because let’s face it, driving is the only excuse people don’t say ‘go on, just have one more’ to), but she saved so much money in taxis. We worked out one month she saved over £500 in wine and taxis combined!
9. Plan your wine like you would your food – The other weekend my brother was over from Australia and I hadn’t seen him for 18 months. I drank (pretty heavily for me) every day for four days over a long weekend. But in the week building up I drank very little and ate exceptionally well (doubling up on juices each day and eating lots of liver friendly foods) and did the same after he left. I balanced it out and I had planned it, so it wasn’t willy-nilly wine drinking. It is very rare for me to drink that much and I didn’t feel guilty because I don’t do that all the time. Like food, think about your wine consumption over a week and try to balance it out.
10. Understand that habits can be broken – One of the things I established was that pre being a single parent I never used to really drink in the week. Now actually I find it easier not to drink at the weekend! But I realized that when the daily glass of wine or two was a daily occurrence to cope with my situation, I could remind myself that it was just a habit and I hadn’t done it all my life. All habits can be stopped, changed and improved and it’s easier than you think!
Finally, if you approach reducing your wine by giving yourself a hard time and being very self-critical, you can end up feeling guilty, feeling more stressed and actually shutting down and drinking more! Work with your strengths, know your weaknesses, understand that a bit of time and practice will make all the difference and also that with the right approach and support (and I’m not talking AA!), you can get your wine consumption down.
My Wine Management Made Easy course is an uplifting and inspiring three week webinar-based program that will help women reduce their wine drinking and get a weekly wine plan that works for them. The six main calls are:
1. Why women are drinking more wine and working out your wine story
2. The dangers of too much wine
3. How to manage and reduce your wine consumption at home and when socialising
4. Breaking your own wine habits and creating better habits
5. Mind tricks and mind management to help you drink less wine
6. Creating a plan so that you control wine and wine doesn’t control you
And there are about another 20 or so tried and tested ways that I’ll be sharing on the course to help women cut back alcohol – after all, no-one wants to go tee-total!
It’s not just an information course, but a transformation course as they’ll be lots of self-coaching, meaning you get to unravel your individual habits and of course work out what you need to do as an individual to regain a bit of control. The one on the 12th August is a live course meaning there are also three additional hours of Q and A’s so I can answer any questions you have and help you unravel your habits and inspire you to create the change you want!
If you are thinking, this is all well and good but I love my wine and I don’t think I want to give it up, part four of this wine series will be looking at the dangers of drinking too much and how our short-term and long term health is affected by too much alcohol.
“I only drink champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad.
Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone.
When I have company I consider it obligatory.
I trifle with it if I’m not in a hurry and drink it when I am, otherwise I never touch the stuff unless I am thirsty.”
― Lily Bollinger