06 January 2020
Pledging a ‘new you’ in the ‘New Year’? Cutting back on alcohol is a very common New Year’s Resolution, and one we want to help you stick to.
This New Year’s resolution isn’t only for heavy drinkers, did you know that even drinking moderate amounts of alcohol has a negative impact on your health and wellbeing? It can even increase your risk of cancer.
Here’s why you should choose to cut back on alcohol in the New Year:
- To reduce your risk of cancer
Alcohol consumption is linked to approximately 3,000 cancer cases in Australia each year. Even drinking moderate amounts of alcohol increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, breast and bowel. The more you drink and the longer you have been drinking, the greater the risk. Your risk of cancer is the same for all types of alcohol consumed―including beer, wine and spirits.
- To improve your health
Even at low intake, alcohol contains a lot of energy (kilojoules or calories) so it can easily contribute to weight gain. Being overweight or obese also increases your cancer risk. Heavy use of alcohol is also linked to many serious health problems―such as cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, alcohol dependence, stroke, injury and car accidents.
- Save money
Australian households on average spend the same amount on alcohol as they do on fuel and power! Cutting back will save you plenty of money.
- Improving mood and sleep
Alcohol consumption can lead to poor sleep and mental health problems such as depression and anxiety―particularly after heavy drinking.
- It’s personal!
You may have your own reason for wanting to cut back on alcohol. It could be your behaviour when drinking, the impact drinking has on your relationships, or family history….the list goes on.
If cutting back on alcohol is part of your ‘New Year, new me’ plans, give yourself the best chance of success. Here are some tips on how to make it happen:
- People ‘fail’ at keeping their New Year’s resolutions all the time and often very soon after making them, but it is important to accept any mishaps and move on―tomorrow is another day!
- Be clear on the reasons why you want to cut alcohol from your life so you can stay motivated to keep on track.
- Be mindful in situations when you would normally drink alcohol―perhaps offer up a café for a catch up rather than the pub. Or if you head to the pub, don’t choose a beer out of habit―there are plenty of great non-alcoholic options.
- Be aware of triggers. A stressful day? Go for a walk instead. A birthday party or celebration? Try a fancy mocktail if you think it might hit the mark. Whatever you opt for, keep in mind if it is an option high in sugar and calories, limit it to one on special occasions or on days when you would have otherwise chosen an alcoholic beverage.
- Tell your family and friends your goal. You will often find that they will be more supportive and less likely to try and coax you into having a drink.
For more tips to help you reduce your alcohol intake for occasions when you do choose to drink, click here.