Are you a good judge of your alcohol consumption? Most people would say that they are. However, the research shows that people who drink often underestimate how much they drink. According to one survey, drinkers are off by as much as 40 percent.
How People Rate Their Own Alcohol Consumption
Other studies show that upwards of 80 percent of those questioned knew that they were consuming too much alcohol. They also understood that overconsuming alcohol had health and social risks. However, they would not define themselves as heavy drinkers. They definitely did not think they had a problem.
Most people described themselves as being moderate drinkers. Even though the evidence pointed to heavy alcohol use, they had no plans to minimize their alcohol consumption. There can be a cognitive disconnect in some people that makes it easy for them to identify alcohol misuse in others while underestimating the amount of alcohol they consume.
Underestimating alcohol consumption can impact your lifestyle and is risky for your health. Alcoholism is not something that happens overnight. It is a slow process that is often marked by warning signs, such as overindulgence, that go unnoticed.
The Danger of Underestimating Your Alcohol Consumption
The only way that a person who is in danger of developing alcohol addiction can change is recognizing that some of their habits are hurting them. They can then take steps to avoid these harmful habits.
A good way to get an unbiased view of your alcohol consumption is to write a drink diary. There was an awareness campaign that encouraged people to keep a 14-day drink diary. To the shock and dismay of many participants, most were drinking alcohol that equated to a supersized serving of wine each day. This is more than most participants realized they were drinking.
When you know appropriate levels of drinking and then are able to objectively compare them to your own, you can start to evaluate your habits and have a clear picture of how much you drink. If you notice that you are consistently drinking above recommended limits, this is a clear sign that you might have a problem and that you need to make some adjustments.
Over Drinking Damages Your Health
Most professionals recommend that women limit their alcohol consumption to between two and three drinks a day. Men should limit their consumption to between three and four drinks a day. Anything above that can put you at risk for cancer, liver disease, high blood pressure, and heart issues.
People who have changed their drinking habits report improved emotional and physical well-being. There are many health and lifestyle benefits that come from reducing alcohol consumption. When a person realizes this or they start to see the positive effects in their life, they may be more inclined to get treatment for their alcohol abuse.
Some of the benefits that come from reducing alcohol consumption include:
• Weight Loss
• Money Savings
• Improved Sleep
• Increased Energy
If a person underestimates their alcohol consumption, they are robbing themselves of a higher quality of life. Unfortunately, most people don’t even realize it.
How to Know If You’re Drinking Too Much
For many people, knowing how much is too much can feel confusing when it comes to alcohol. Most people think that they know when they have overdone it. However, excessive drinking eventually catches up to them, and they find themselves drinking more than they would like. Here are some signs that might indicate you are over indulging.
You Set Limits but Find It Difficult to Stick to Them
You go out to have drinks with your friends and limit yourself to X number of drinks, but you always go over. This could be an indication that are struggling with alcohol addiction.
Your Friends Are Concerned about Your Drinking
A major red flag that your drinking is out of control is when your drinking buddies are surprised at how much you drink or how good of a tolerance you have. Most people get feedback from others about their over drinking well before they notice it. Alcoholism can destroy your life. But even small amounts of alcohol can increase your risk for liver, pancreatic, and esophageal cancer.
You Can Have Fun or Relax without Alcohol
If drinking is the center of your social life and you are the one trying to encourage others to drink, you may be in dangerous water. Or if every time you get stressed you turn to alcohol, it could be an indication of a problem.
Do you feel that your alcohol use has gotten out of control? Are you ready to make a change? We can help. Contact us at 844-903-2111.