Social Drinkers Listen Up: 5 Ways to Cut Back on the Booze and Still See Your Friends

08/10/2012

Social drinkers photoSocial drinking can be a pain. It means that even if you don’t feel like drinking you often do it anyway in an effort to hang out with your friends. Of course you could drink water when you’re out, but maybe either you don’t feel like it or you don’t feel like constantly explaining yourself.

Either way just because you cut back on drinking doesn’t mean that you have to lock yourself up at home. Find a balance that you can stick with, here’s how:

1. Club Soda is Your Friend

I’m a huge fan of the homemade wine cooler, especially at bars. I order a 1/2 glass of wine and fill the rest with club soda. Add a squeeze of lime and you’re all set. That way when everyone else has moved on to drink two you’re still on your first. 

2. Empty Water Glass Trick

Do you have friends that are constantly trying to buy you shots? When someone buys me a shot even after I say I don’t want one, I wait until they’re taking it and then subtly dump it in a nearby water glass. Peer pressure is useless and you shouldn’t have to listen to it, but in the case that a shot is forced, this is a good way to take matters into your own hands.

3. Eat Before You Go

Unfortunately, if you forget to eat before you go out with friends even one drink can cause you to lose your inhibitions. Never go out with friends on an empty stomach, it leads to excessive drinking and hangovers. 

4. Workout With Your Friends

I see my best friend everyday and it’s not over a glass of wine, it’s while we’re hitting the pavement on a jog. Whatever you like to do, do it with a friend so that you get your social time in everyday and don’t feel like you have to go out to bars.

Social running photo
Photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

5. Socialize at Brunch

I love brunches because there’s little pressure to drink. Even if you do order a mimosa or a glass of wine, it’s easy to avoid getting more than one. It’s a great way to see friends without the pressure of staying out late and drinking excessively. 

Photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

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Sara Novak writes about health and wellness for Discovery Health. Her work is also regularly featured in Breathe Magazine and on SereneKitchen.com. She has written extensively on food policy, food politics, and food safety.


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