Less alcohol in 2023 – techniques for alcohol weaning

The new year has started, you read again a lot about “dry January”, let’s stop alcohol, and so on. If you want to live healthier, you need to try to zero your alcohol consumption or drive down the recommendation of science. Your body decides what’s good for you. What is good for you may be bad for someone else.

The general recommendations, according to the German Nutrition Society (DGE), are with a conservative estimate of current scientific literature:

  • Women : maximum tolerable alcohol intake 10 g/day
  • Men : maximum tolerable alcohol intake 20 g/day

The indication g/day should not be understood as a request, but should mean a limit. What does this amount mean – what drinks can you drink so that it is still healthy?

The amount of about 10g of pure alcohol corresponds, for example, to a small glass of beer, an eighth of wine, a glass of sparkling wine or a double shot of schnapps.

The amount of about 20g of pure alcohol corresponds to about half a liter of beer, a quarter of a liter of wine, two glasses of sparkling wine or three single shots of schnapps.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, women should avoid alcohol to avoid exposing their child to risks, such as alcohol-induced fetopathy.

Explore your relationship with alcohol

The first step to effectively quitting alcohol is to figure out why and how much you drink.

You may not think you’re an alcoholic, but you may wonder if you’re already drinking too much. For example, if you’re going out for a “quick drink,” you’re usually drinking three to four beers, wine, or shots to go with it. Can you go longer than two or three days without “drinks”? It is recommended that you give your body at least 48 hours to recover. Rather more. Not every day.

What causes you to drink excessively? Most people drink alcohol to numb their emotional pain or calm their nerves in stressful situations. However, if it turns out that you are depending on alcohol to cope with difficulties, you should think about whether alcohol is preventing you from finding other, healthier solutions to cope with your feelings. If you’re not able to do this on your own, see a therapist. Otherwise, exercise regularly, measure your blood pressure, and go for regular health screenings. Are your blood pressure levels too high? Do your triglycerides show abnormal values? Talk to experts soon enough.

If you’re having trouble identifying your triggers for drinking, here are some of the most common:

  • Relationship difficulties
  • Problems at work
  • Insomnia
  • stress
  • Anxiety
  • Loneliness
  • Desire for more creativity
  • Desire for more imagination
  • Feelings of inferiority
  • Being lost
  • Emptiness

Once you are clear about the triggers for your drinking behavior, you can plan ahead and think about how to control your need to drink or not do it at all.

Think about your approach

Are you thinking about quitting alcohol altogether, or aren’t sure if you want to cut it out of your life altogether? It’s not a sign of weakness if you don’t quit completely. Just understand what is healthy for you. The most important thing is to reduce your alcohol consumption to a level that is good for you. You are establishing a better and healthier relationship with alcohol, if possible, which will allow you to make more conscious choices.

Once you are comfortable with the minimal amount of alcohol you consume, you can consider reducing it further. You don’t have to. Can you, more and more often?

Find a person or group to support you on your journey

Involve your family and friends in your plans to reduce or even stop drinking. Your social circle has something to say. Know that it can be stressful for those around you to hear about your drinking. There may be people who say the opposite. Most of the time, however, when other people know about your plans, you are not left alone. You will not only be encouraged and supported, but motivated.

Also need to take more responsibility. It’s never a bad thing to quit drinking. Don’t put up with anything. It’s a shame that drinking is more socially accepted than “not drinking”. Who’s stronger if you don’t want something?

It would be even better if you have someone who can guide you on your way.

For example, if your partner, friend, or buddy is also thinking about cutting down or quitting alcohol altogether, you can support each other.

Having a “buddy” to quit with will increase your motivation to quit even more. Plus, you can keep each other accountable.


Don’t rush and be patient. Go step by step and allow for outliers. You are not perfect. Nobody is perfect. We want to have fun. And if possible, we want to stay healthy. Do we?

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