Many people think you have to drink alcohol in large quantities in order to have a good time socially. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. If you enjoy a drink now and then, that’s alright. You can learn ways to reduce your alcohol intake without taking the fun out of your social life. It’s isn’t nearly as hard as you might think.

Perhaps you have a good reason to cut back on your alcohol intake. Drinking too much can wreak havoc on your heart, raise your blood pressure, and could lead to your having a stroke. In addition, certain medications must not be mixed with alcohol, so it’s important to know how to reduce your alcohol intake. Here are some of the ways you can achieve this.

Rather than ordering a full-size glass of wine with dinner, order a small glass or a wine spritzer. This will reduce the amount of alcohol you consume quite a bit. You could also ask to get a glass of ice water with your wine so you can drink that along with the wine.

Avoid drinking alcohol on an empty stomach. Having food in your stomach when you drink will give the alcohol something to be absorbed into. This means less of the alcohol will go directly into your blood stream and the effects won’t be as bad.

You may also want to avoid drinking at all during the week. Limiting your drinking to the weekend while you’re out with friends means your social life won’t be affected. Of course, you can still use the two previous ideas to help you drink less.

Treat yourself to something nice with the money you’ve saved from not drinking. Mixed drinks while you’re out can be quite pricey. If you choose to drink club soda or soft drinks rather than alcohol, you can save a good amount. And since you’re expected to leave a tip based on the price of your drink, you can save that way, too. Use the money you’ve saved to buy something you’ve wanted but chose not to get because you felt you couldn’t afford it.

Most experts recommend a woman drink no more than two servings of any alcoholic beverage a day. That may not seem like much if you’re used to drinking more. Men are allowed one more drink per day. If you’re drinking to reduce the amount of stress you feel each day, going to the gym or finding other means of reducing stress may help you drink less, as well.

There are a lot of reasons people choose to drink. If you have something to celebrate, that doesn’t mean alcohol has to be part of the celebration. You can find ways to reduce your alcohol intake without taking the fun out of your social life. It may take a while to get used to going without alcohol, but before too long you won’t miss it all.