Healthy Tip: Go cold turkey before Christmas - Heart Research UK
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Healthy Tip: Go cold turkey before Christmas

07 November, 2018


With bonfire and Halloween celebrations behind us and more festivities on the horizon, November could be a good chance leading up to Christmas to have a think about your drinking habits and consider the effects on your health both now and in the future.


Drinking alcohol increases your risk of more than sixty medical conditions, many of which affect the heart, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and depression.  Whilst you may feel you don’t have a problem with alcohol you’d be surprised at what a difference you could make by putting a cap on your intake.  Before the festive celebrations start why not see how much healthier and happier you could feel by cutting down or even going cold turkey…?


Get the unit know-how
The low risk guideline of 14 units per week is around six pints of beer or medium glasses of wine, but can vary depending on strength and the size of your glass.  Take a screen shot of our handy unit calculator on your phone and check out our examples of how to cut down simply by having a smaller glass.



  • 1 pint (568mls) of 5% lager: 568 x 5 ÷ 1000 = 2.8 Units
  • 1 can (440mls) of 4% lager: 440 x 4 ÷ 1000 = 1.8 Units (save one unit)
  • 1 large glass (250mls) of 14% wine: 250 x 14 ÷ 1000 = 3.5 Units
  • 1 small glass (125mls) of 12% wine: 125 x 12 ÷ 1000 = 1.5 Units (save two units)



Maximise your energy
Alcohol is deceptively high in calories.  Three daily pints in the pub could lead to an annual weight gain of 52lbs (nearly 4 stone).  Replace a post work tipple for an equally sociable but much healthier activity like a game of badminton, burning energy instead of drinking it.  You’ll soon see the waistline shift in the right direction and will end your day feeling energised and refreshed.


Take a break
Try having a weekday drink-free zone a couple of times a week.  Drop a slice of lemon or orange in some sparkling with a splash of natural fruit juice as a natural pick up with a touch of class.  Offer to drive for an alcohol-free night with friends or a start a dry month sponsor page.  Set realistic, time measured and achievable goals and reward yourself to keep motivated.


Don’t leave it until January to sober up to the facts about alcohol and your health.  Start making positive lifestyle changes now and look forward to happy times with loved ones for many Christmases to come.