Jessica Venning-Bryan from Cheers has some tips on mastering the fine art of monitoring your intake.
It’s one thing to keep track of your alcohol intake at the bar, but quite another when you’re hanging at a mate’s place where the pours are a little more generous – and continuous.
At Cheers we encourage people to be really aware of how much they are drinking and one of the best ways they can do that is to school up on what a standard drink looks like (see graphic below and visit www.cheers.org.nz). Once you have that visual it’s a matter of keeping count of your drinks. If you do that and pace yourself with non-alcoholic drinks, and eat protein-rich foods, you’ll be on track to staying in a safe and social zone. But for a little extra guidance here are a few more quick tips:
- Serve yourself. It’s easy to lose track of your drinking when everyone’s relaxing over several hours so don’t let your host top up your glass. Serving yourself makes it much easier to keep track.
- Alternate. Space every alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic one. This will help you maintain a moderate pace, and, if you choose water, it will help you stay hydrated.
- Eat. And make sure it’s something more substantial than chips and dip. If the host goes light on the snacks, take the initiative and suggest ordering pizza.
- Stay sober. The number one rule as a party host is to stay sober. If you’re in charge you need to have your wits about you.
- Offer alternatives. Always make sure there are interesting low-alcohol and non-alcoholic drink options available. People get tired of orange juice really quickly. Think about light beer, spritzers, punch, a range of juices and soft drinks, or even just sparkling water served in a nice glass with a wedge of lemon.
- Cater well. Serve high-protein foods because protein stimulates the body to process alcohol. Salmon or chicken sushi, mini-burgers, gourmet sausages with relish, and frittata are all great options. And make sure you don’t leave the cooking until the last minute. Feed everyone early so they’re not drinking on an empty stomach.
- Provide entertainment. If you’re hosting an all-day get-together organise an activity to break up the day and get everyone focused on something other than eating and drinking; maybe a walk in the park, touch rugby or a game of charades.
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