Limit time spent in bars
Meet friends, dates, or business associates at a coffee bar, not a tavern. If the point of the get-together is fun, casual conversation in a friendly, loose environment, there are many ways to do that without the alcohol. Other possibilities include bistro-style restaurants, bowling alleys, and even sushi bars. These are things happy couples do (and the places they go!) after work.
Watch sporting events at home
Watch sporting events with friends at your home or theirs. A night at a sports bar almost guarantees a morning with a headache. Guys, how can you resist the temptation to guzzle beer in a room filled with beer guzzlers? Make your watch party even better with these easy chicken wing recipes.
Make this one a rule: Never drink alone
Not because it is so evil—indeed, there are plenty of times when a glass of wine by yourself is appropriate. Rather, do it for the discipline. If you learn to drink alone, it makes it too easy to begin drinking in excessive amounts.
Never drink for solace
It’s the old stereotype: downtrodden businessman, sitting at the bar, necktie yanked down, clothes disheveled, muttering, “Pour me another one, bartender.” Again, we say, Drink for joy, not for pain. Drink to feel alive, not to feel dead. Not feeling so great? These are the warning signs of depression.
Don't have a habitual drink
You know what we mean: “Seven o’clock, time for my martini.” “Done with cutting the lawn, time for my beer.” “Friday night, time to hit the bar with the gang and have my weekly margaritas.” Think through your week to see if you have a specific drinking routine or habit. If yes, commit to finding a substitute for it.
Replace one habit with a better one
Choose a pleasant substitution for your after-work drink. It could be a nonalcoholic drink, like a spiced ice tea or a fruit smoothie. Or it could be a walk, or a hot bath, or a sliced peach. Do this for two weeks until it becomes your new habit. There are the 12 steps to breaking any habit.
Swap your standbys
Switch to mixed drinks with a lower-proof alcohol. There are lots of alternatives to the standard, high-power alcohols of gin, vodka, or whiskey. For example, a flavored cognac with seltzer has half the alcohol content of a gin drink, and probably twice the flavor.
Always drink double-fisted: your drink, and a large glass of water. Don’t use alcohol to quench your thirst. That’s what water is for. Sip on alcohol for the flavor and the pleasure.
Keep the wine off the dinner table
Instead, keep a pitcher of water on the table. It makes it too easy to keep pouring until it’s empty. Instead, pour one glass, then cork the bottle and put it away.
Discover the glories of seltzer water. It mixes with wine, whiskey, vodka, cognac, indeed almost any alcohol other than beer. Making your drinks with seltzer cuts down on alcohol consumption, in part because the bubbles in the seltzer help fill you up.