Pace yourself

A common difficulty in cutting down your drinking is slowing down your speed of drinking. Use these tips when you are out drinking.

Know how much you have drunk

This is a reminder about self-monitoring. Try to record every drink in your drinking diary. If you are at a party, measure out your drinks. Don't fill your glass until it is empty - otherwise you'll lose track of what you have drunk. And fill in your drinking diary every day.

Don't mix your drinks

Why? Because you take in alcohol much faster this way.

Make them singles

The longer the drink the slower the rate of alcohol intake. So top them up with non-alcoholic mixers, making sure you add more mixer than you have spirits.

Start later

If you have not already made a rule for yourself about when to drink, think about starting drinking later than usual. Instead of going to the pub at 8 o'clock, go at 9 o'clock. If you usually have a drink before your evening meal, miss it out - at least sometimes.

Try a 'spacer' instead of a 'chaser'

A 'spacer' is a non-alcoholic drink that you take in between alcoholic ones - you space them out. That way you slow down your drinking. You will be surprised how good and refreshing a spacer can be in between alcoholic ones. On occasions a low-alcohol beer might do.

Or, just refuse drinks every so often and accept that you may pay out more than you will drink, if people are buying rounds. If you get drunk, you won't appreciate the extra drink anyway.

Take smaller sips

As well as planning how long each drink should take, slow down the rate at which you sip your drink. Sip less often and take smaller sips.

Put your glass down between sips

Don't hold your drink. Put it down on a table or shelf after each sip. If it's in your hand. you'll drink it more often.