Find out how you can reduce your alcohol intake

Alcohol Awareness Week aims to raise awareness about alcohol consumption and the damage excess drink can cause.

This is particularly important ahead of the festive season and Christmas where alcohol is often consumed more regularly.

What are the daily guidelines for alcohol consumption?
  • Women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units per day.
  • Men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units per day

Typically, for men this equivalent to a pint and a half of 4% beer and for women it is equivalent to a 175 ml glass of wine.

Calculate what is in your drink here:

Why stop/reduce alcohol consumption?

Excessive alcohol consumption can affect you both mentally and physically causing dependence and can affect your quality of life, relationships and work. Excessive drinking means regularly exceeding the above guidelines for alcohol consumption.

Alcohol and diet

Did you know a standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate, and a pint of lager has about the same calorie count as a packet of crisps?

The average wine drinker in England takes in around 2,000kcal from alcohol every month.

Drinking five pints of lager a week adds up to 44,200kcal over a year, equivalent to eating 221 doughnuts.

In addition, people also consume salted snacks or chocolate whilst drinking which doubles their calorie intake. The table below shows the equivalent of alcohol to food.



Calories (kcal)

Food equivalent

A standard glass (175ml) of 12% wine


 1 Cadbury Heroes miniature bar

 A pint of 5% strength beer


 1 packet of McCoys salted crisps

A glass (50ml) of (17%) cream liqueur


 1 Milky Way bar

Alcohol and appearance

Alcohol in calories can affect your appearance leading to:

  • Dehydrated skin and can lead to rosacea, a skin disorder that starts with a tendency to blush and flush easily and can eventually lead to facial disfigurement, is linked to alcohol
  • Spotty skin
  • Bloated face and stomach also known as a 'beer belly'
  • Toxins in alcohol have also be linked to cellulite
Reducing alcohol intake

There are many things that you can do to reduce your alcohol intake and prevent alcohol from affecting your health:

  •  Stick within the guidelines and educate yourself to know what the units are
  •  If you drink everyday try to abstain for at least two days
  •  Pace yourself, sip slowly and space your drinks out with a soft drink or glass of water in between
  •  Halve your intake- drink a smaller bottle of beer instead of a can or drink half a pint. Drink a single shot of alcohol rather than a double
  •  Choose a drink with less alcohol content ("ABV" - you can find this on the side of the bottle or can). There are drinks with less alcohol and some of them are cheaper too.
At home
  •  Don't drink on an empty stomach as food slows the absorption of alcohol into the system
  •  Try only drinking with your main meal. Only include a glass instead of a whole bottle. Use a bottle stopper or cork so you're less inclined to finish the whole bottle
  •  Avoid stocking-up on alcohol when you're doing the shopping
  •  Use a bottle stopper or cork so that you are not inclines to finish the whole bottle in one sitting
  •  Buy a drinks measure to check how much you're really drinking. Pouring your own means you're likely to drink more. A small glass of wine is 125ml.
Distract yourself
  • Instead of meeting in the pub/bar why not meet in the library, café or coffee shop or go out for a walk in the park or around a museum
  • Agree a budget and bring a fixed amount of money when going out for a drink. Also make a plan of what you will drink in the evening
  • Sip your drink and take your time. Try to opt out of rounds and don't feel pressurised to keep up with others
  • Sit down as you are likely to drink more slowly than when standing
  • Enjoy yourself! Do something else while you're out like dancing.



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