Indulging in alcohol is a popular way to de-stress and socialize. But over time, this occasional activity can turn into a habit, and can progress to alcoholism and pose serious health risks. This is why knowing how to control alcohol cravings is essential to achieving better long-term health.
Curbing alcohol cravings can be a challenge, but it is not impossible.
Before discussing how to control alcohol cravings, we first have to define how much alcohol intake is deemed healthy.
In most cases, drinking moderately is defined by having one drink for women and two drinks for men daily. A drink will usually be 355 milliliters of beer, 148 milliliters of wine, and 44 milliliters for hard drinks.
The Benefits of Knowing How to Control Alcohol Cravings
Before we take a deeper look into how to control alcohol cravings, let’s delve into the benefits of quitting alcohol.
Better Sleeping Patterns
In a study conducted by the National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism, sleep problems are more common among those dependent on alcohol.
Just a week of abstaining from alcohol can have several benefits to our sleeping patterns.
When we drink and fall asleep, we are essentially circumventing the REM (rapid eye movement) phase of sleeping which can help regulate performance and behavior during the day.
For better overall daily performance in our everyday lives and at work, having a good amount of sleep can help.
Staying hydrated is essential in keeping our body at peak condition.
However, when we drink alcohol, we are flushing out much needed salt and potassium, which are needed to keep our nerves and muscles in good working condition.
Better Liver Function
Our liver is one of the most important parts of our body. Not only does it filter toxins and alcohol, it also helps the conversion of nutrients and minerals from food and distributes this to essential systems in our body.
Once an individual has quit drinking alcohol for a month, the amount of fat in the liver decreases by 15%.
Younger Looking Skin
Alcohol can accelerate the rate of skin aging. After a month of quitting alcohol, an individual will notice that their skin will have a moisturized, healthy glow.
How to Control Alcohol Cravings
The habit of drinking can be hard to resist especially for those who are dependent on alcohol. But there are ways to curb alcohol cravings to prevent this habit from progressing to alcoholism.
Here’s how to control alcohol cravings.
Visualizing Your Goal
Whenever we feel like we’re craving a drink, we can imagine our future self enjoying a life of sobriety.
But first, we’ll have to take things day by day. We can set a limit on how much we’ll be drinking each week.
Be Aware Of What You’re Drinking
Mindfulness is the best way to cut down on a habit; when you’re aware of what you are drinking, you’ll be able to record the amount that you’re taking in your system.
Keeping track of your alcohol intake will help you know when to slow down.
Know that Cravings Don’t Last Forever
Resisting cravings is not a 24/7 struggle. It usually fades after 20 minutes, so keeping this in mind can help strengthen your resolve in resisting them.
Engage in Productive Distractions
Distracting yourself with activities that divert attention from cravings can help. Examples of these are meditation, exercise, or calling friends or family for support.
Stress and anxiety can often trigger alcohol cravings. So making sure to adopt stress-management techniques can keep resisting alcohol easier.
Keep Reminding Yourself of the Benefits
Lastly, we have to remind ourselves of the different benefits that we can get from cutting alcohol from our bodies. Not only does it impact overall health, it can also help improve our relationships.
Getting Professional Help
While looking for advice and tips can help individuals cut back on their habits, it is always a rational choice to look for a medical practitioner that will be able to guide you to the goal of sobriety.
It’s important to note that even long-held habits can be broken.
In the quest for overall health, giving up alcohol is one of the best first steps we can take.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.