How do I cut back on booze
I’m trying to cut down on alcohol but find it creeping back into my life particularly on the weekends. How much is too much and what is a good replacement? Thanks, Kerry
Hi Kerry. Most people are aware that alcohol can impact health in a detrimental way when regularly over-consumed. However many are naive to the extent at which this can occur.
Reducing your consumption of alcohol is one of the most effective ways of reducing your risk of many diseases including numerous cancers. While there is evidence to suggest that red wine may be beneficial for heart health, particularly small amounts, the evidence linking alcohol consumption to an increased risk of cancer is significant.
One of the key points to consider is how much you’re actually drinking. Many people pour themselves wine in bucketsized glasses and end up consuming significantly more than a ‘‘standard drink’’.
One standard drink contains 10 grams of alcohol. A standard drink is as small as a 330ml can of 4 per cent beer, 100ml of wine, or a 30ml nip of spirits. Current guidelines from a variety of research-based health authorities suggest that people consume no more than two standard drinks a day and no more than 10 standard drinks a week.
We drink for wide and varied reasons. For some, it is the way they socialise, or the way they wind down from the day. Some use alcohol to distract themselves from thoughts and feelings they’d rather avoid. It can be a way that people cope.
Regardless of the reason, many of us drink too much without even realising it. Utilising strategies that don’t involve alcohol to help you mitigate stress in your life such as meditation, regular movement, talking about your problems with a friend are all sustainable changes. However, sometimes people drink literally because they are thirsty and sparkling water with fresh lemon and mint or kombucha can really hit the spot instead.
I travel a lot for work and often arrive overseas feeling half alive, what are your top health tips for transitioning into a new time zone? Thank you – Doug
Hi Doug. Eat lightly, stay hydrated and avoid coffee or alcohol if you’re on long-haul flights – as these will only dehydrate you further. I have found that many flight attendants are more than happy to bring hot water so that you can brew your own teas, this is another great way to stay hydrated.
It’s particularly easy to fall into a mindless eating trap on plane, as food can become an occupier/ an activity. As many of us have been raised to ‘‘eat what we’re given’’ it can be challenging for people to turn down meals. I cannot encourage you enough to simply eat when you are hungry and turn down any other meals you are offered. More often than not you will be offered far more Email your questions for Dr Libby to email@example.com. Please note, only a selection of questions can be answered. food than is needed.
As soon as you land in your new destination, look for a nourishing vegetable juice to start filling your body up with the nutrition it needs. If you can’t find a vegetable juice look for one with fruits that are high in vitamin C, citrus is a great option.
It’s unlikely that you’ve had many ‘‘fresh’’ foods over the last few days of your travel so they’re a great reviver. It can also be a good idea to travel with a vitamin C supplement to further support the immune response after being in the recycled air on the plane. When you get to your destination, despite how tired you may feel, stay awake until the local nighttime so you can get onto the local time zone.
Dr Libby is speaking across the country during October with her From Surviving to Thriving tour. More information and tickets available from www.drlibby.com
Many people pour themselves wine in bucketsized glasses and end up consuming significantly more than a standard drink.