Drink less and still have fun

You can have too much of a good thing, so how can you drink less and still have a good time?

Drink less and still have fun

What’ll it be? Whether it’s vintage wine, craft beer or strong, golden liquor on the rocks, we all indulge now and then. But you can have too much of a good thing – so how can you drink less and still have a good time? 

Know how much alcohol

One standard drink contains 10g of pure alcohol, but the average alcoholic beverage is usually more. Check the label on the bottle (or ask the server) to find out the amount of alcohol in your drink – is it more than a standard drink? 

Know your limit

Know your limit before you start drinking, and pace yourself for the night. It’s recommended that men have no more than two standards in the first hour and one drink every hour thereafter. For women, one drink in the first hour and one drink every hour thereafter is recommended. 

Keep up the water

The first drink of the night always seems to go down too easy. After practically ‘inhaling’ that first delicious beverage, the temptation to go for a second is strong. But water is vital to controlling your alcohol intake. Try this tactic: when you first arrive at the bar or restaurant, order a glass of water. Then order your first alcoholic drink and do your best to savour it and make it last. Stick to the one-drink-per-hour rule, and alternate each alcoholic drink with water, juice or soft drink. 

It’s all in the glass

Drinking from a smaller glass can decrease the amount of alcohol you consume. In a recent study, participants who used wide glasses while pouring a drink, poured 11.9 per cent more alcohol than subjects using narrow ones. Also, those holding the glass as opposed to leaving it on the table resulted in a 12.2 per cent bigger serving – most likely because it is more difficult to judge how much is being poured. 

When drinking beer and wine, use a glass marked with the standard-drink line if available. Avoid refilling your drink before it is finished, so that you know exactly how much you’ve had.

Take notes

Take stock of how many drinks you’ve consumed. Do this by keeping a note on your phone, or by using a drink-calculator website or app for iPhoneiPad and Android

Go light

Drinks containing a lower amount of alcohol are a good way to cut down how much alcohol you consume. With many great-tasting choices being available, such as cider and light beer, it’s easy to do.

‘Low alcohol’ drinks are drinks that have an ‘alcoholic strength by volume’ (ABV) of 1.2 per cent or less. ‘Reduced alcohol’ drinks contain an alcohol content lower than the average strength of a certain type of drink – e.g. wine with an ABV strength of 5.5 per cent is a reduced alcohol wine, as opposed to a low alcohol wine.    

Take a break 

If you’re a heavy drinker and would like to reduce your consumption, you might consider cutting out alcohol completely for a period of time. A detox of the strong stuff over a few weeks can lower your alcoholic tolerance, meaning you’ll drink less when you get back to it. Afterwards, you can reintroduce alcohol using the tips in this article. 

Find out more about reducing your alcohol intake at the Department of Health


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    2nd Apr 2015
    In Victoria in a lot of pubs a pot (10oz) is $4.80 whereas a schooner (15 oz) is $5.00 what are you to do?
    2nd Apr 2015
    Ask for the 2 oz difference for 2 Bob !! :-)
    Polly Esther
    2nd Apr 2015
    I don't drink any more.
    I don't drink any less either.
    3rd Apr 2015
    But I think Ill have a XXXX Now !! :-)
    2nd Apr 2015
    One of the problems with social drinking is the peer pressure to drink more. Best to drink mixed drinks like gin & tonic or vodka and orange. When the glass is half-empty get it topped up with just the soft drink. No-one need be the wiser that your drink is getting weaker whilst you are keeping strong!
    2nd Apr 2015
    Good idea but I had a couple of vodkas once and sat next to a river one minute it was below me the next above me nobody told me about orange juice.
    Young Simmo
    2nd Apr 2015
    20 years ago in Kalgoorlie 15/16 cans per day was normal, today 4/5 cans fills my tummy up. Today at 75 my tummy is not smaller, in fact it is twice as big as those days.
    Something doesn't add up.
    2nd Apr 2015
    well, 55 years ago, I would be on the booze day and night, or at least most of, then about 1982, I switched off, I have a nip of rum every 2nd year as a toast to lost shipmates, other times I can stand at the bar or table with mates and drink coffee and no one says boo.
    Sorry young Simmo but I lost my big belly, ha ha ha .
    3rd Apr 2015
    3rd Apr 2015
    You got Taxed Heavily for that !! :%)
    5th Apr 2015
    I know people who reckon they have as good a time when they don't drink alcohol at all. In some counties in Europe some drink more alcohol because a glass of Coca Cola costs more than beer does. A work colleague of mine went to Europe on a holiday. She told us she thought she heard wrongly and queried the prices. She took a complimentary copy of the list to prove it. None of her friends or work colleagues would have believed her otherwise.
    Young Simmo
    5th Apr 2015
    Yeh Blossom, there are a lot of different angles to this booze thing. I started as 1 of the Scarborough Boys back in the 1950s. Probably peaked during the 1980s / 90s and 2000, when 15/16 cans per day was normal.
    Today at 75, I still like my 4 cans and a couple of Reds, but can't get close to the Good Old Days.
    I have no regrets as my life has been a beautiful enjoyable ride, and now at 32 years longer than my father, (Died on his 43rd Birthday in 1953 ), I promise not to complain or make a noise when I fall off the perch.
    It’s just the way I am made.
    Young Simmo
    6th Apr 2015
    Boy, this discussion died fairly quickly, and I would like to kick it along.
    These days as we are in our mid 70s,and we are a lot quieter in our drinking habits.
    BUT,,,,, Tonight I said to Mum, sorry darling, My beautiful wife of 55 years, it is Easter Sunday, let's cut loose, Hic, so Hic,I have, HIc and it is a lovely enjoyable SSUUNNNDDDDay night.

    Young Simmo
    6th Apr 2015
    Happy Easter PARTICOLOR.
    7th Apr 2015
    I have found that in the last 12 months I cannot drink white wine. I love it, it does not like me so I have more or less decided that I will limit myself to only one glass and that will be on the odd occasion.
    Red wine seems ok but I usually only have around 200mls when I do have one.

    Lamenting the loss of my favourite drink champers...oh well, that is how it is. My health is more important at this stage of life.
    Young Simmo
    7th Apr 2015
    Yeh Radish (F), a couple of years ago I decided to limit my self to one glass but my wife said,
    "For God's sake, go back to the old way, you having to use 2 hands to pick up that bucket is embarrassing when we have company."

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