Kate's Blog

Why Common Tips On Cutting Down Alcohol Don’t Work

Have you ever googled “how to drink less alcohol” or “tips for cutting down”?

If you have, you’ve probably noticed that the same few suggestions or “strategies” are repeated over and over again on various different websites.

When you keep seeing the same advice everywhere, it’s natural to assume that it must work… and when it doesn’t, you blame yourself.

If this sounds like you, we need to have an important conversation about these so-called “tips”.

I talk all about it in this week’s video.

Key points

Common tips on cutting down that don’t work

Waiting until a certain time before you begin drinking, only buying the alcohol you plan to drink that day, buying wine in those really small bottles. Alternating every other drink with water. Limiting the amount of money you take out with you. Buying alcohol you don’t really like the taste of. Adding lots of ice to your drinks. Only drinking on certain days of the week or buying low-alcohol versions of your favourite drinks. These tips might give you a few initial wins and work once or twice, but in the long term they will fail.

The problem with these so-called “tips”

There’s no science behind these ideas. And there’s a limit to the number of ways you can control the use of an addictive, mind-altering drug. Which is why you see those same few ideas repeated over and over again. The big problem with these so-called tips is that they do nothing to address your desire for alcohol. In fact, if anything, they increase it. When you just try cutting down, you’re not doing any of the mindset work – all you’re doing is taking away something you like!

Drinking problems are thinking problems

Right now, you think that drinking does certain things for you. You think it’s enjoyable, that it helps you manage certain emotions and provides a certain benefit or service. You have a relationship with alcohol, so you can’t just remove booze without working on your thoughts. Inside my Getting Unstuck coaching programme, we focus on changing your thinking, so alcohol seems much less appealing to you. That’s how you get true freedom from booze – by making it small, irrelevant and unimportant.

Looking to create an alcohol-free life you love? Click here to learn more about my Getting Unstuck course.

Hi, I'm Kate

I founded The Sober School to show you there’s another way out of your shame that doesn’t involve AA or rehab. 


25 responses

  1. Have tried most, mainly days on days off and only buying for the weekend . Funny how that then spills into Monday . The mind games , delusional thinking is seriously annoying. My latest is , never to buy wine , only light beer. Ha ha. Lots of it!!
    Not funny at all and I’ve absolutely had enough now. Back to reality. Thank you Kate.

    1. I could have wrote this my self, foggy head after having coors light last night. Fooling myself by thinking a few beers won’t hurt

  2. I have literally tried all of the tips, not one worked for me!
    Listening to an actual person whom I can see is making me more positive and determined.

    1. I’ve tried all the tips to moderate my drinking

      This never worked for me. I am not a social person, yet your book containing tips to quit drinking was my solution. Thx again. I always keep myself updated on your comments

  3. I’m going to make you all laugh…Ive tried so many of the cutting down strategies, I thought moving to the one/two serving little bottles was good… well, I just bought more of them. But this latest one even has me rolling my eyes… i decided to switch out wine for IPA craft beer… now it has less alcohol at 6.4% and I probably have reduced my alcohol consumption a bit…but Oh my…i do find Im drinking rather alot of craft beer and Im getting fatter too…. Its made me chuckle a bit but I know its not really all that funny. I started back drinking a year ago after stopping for two years before that… I do believe stopping altogether is the best strategy.

    1. I am drinking alcohol free wine and after a bit of it, I really like it. Also Heineken Zero beer is alcohol free and really good. I am so happy and clear being alcohol free after taking the course.

    2. Keeping alcohol in the picture, even just a little bit, means we teach our brains that we cannot live without it. My online course looks at the myths and beliefs we have held for many years and debunks them, so alcohol loses it’s appeal. It’s empowering and sustainable and I’d love to help you shift your mindset on my next course, here are the details: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  4. This is spot on … breaking free of alcohol is the best option. Why give it any brain space and consideration? I loved the Getting Unstuck Course and appreciate I can go back to listen to the lessons for a refresher. Thanks for the video, Kate. I enjoyed hearing this .
    Deanna / Class of Oct. 2022

  5. Thinking about how much to drink (one glass vs one bottle), when to drink (when kiddos are asleep), what to drink (wine/beer vs “healthier” kombucha/Japanese plum wine)… all that were exhausting!! Cutting it ALL out of my life makes life that much easier. Thanks Kate for getting that to my head!

  6. Kate, what a great video and so true, I’ve been on courses, tried numerous ideas from the nhs site but as you say, nothing works. The only solution to me drinking is to be totally t total. I have spent a life time battling. I love the comment about the mould in the bathroom and I will be writing that up and pining it on the wall. Today I am finally going to start help with finding out what my actual relationship is with alcohol, which is key to exorcising it from my life once and for all. Best wishes and luck to everybody, it is achievable we all need to believe in ourselves. Thanks Kate, look forward to your next video

  7. Hi Kate, you’re totally wright. I have days and weeks without drinking, then something changes I still don’t want to drink but my head thinks just one won’t matter. Then it’s 4/5 later, so sickening. I limit the units to 13, which is sad.

    1. By allowing that thought “one won’t matter”, it lets Moderation Mary back into your life. The subconscious mind is very powerful so the neural pathways need teaching a different lesson. Have a listen to my free pep talk when Mary comes whispering again: https://thesoberschool.com/pep-talk

  8. All the comments and testimonials for me are like looking in a mirror. Alcohol is ruining my life yet I feel helpless in trying to tackle it. My GP suggested going to a group which horrified me and filled me with
    dread and shame. The comments I read and the info shared speak to me as it is completely relatable. I went to a friends house last night, had a lovely meal and conversation and drank nearly a whole bottle of wine. Coz it was only nearly I opened a bottle when I got home. Am going away today which I’ve really been looking forward to but can’t get ready yet as feel so rubbish – ridiculous!

    1. We sometimes forget that alcohol is addictive, just like nicotine but we don’t blame the smoker for becoming addicted? We use very different language where alcohol is concerned and blame the user, not the substance which is absurd. My approach will help retrain your mind and challenge long held beliefs about what alcohol can and crucially, CAN’T do for you. My online sober community provides the support you need without the necessity of face to face meetings. I do hope you join us for the summer class of Getting Unstuck 🙂

  9. Oh wow you have absolutely nailed it Kate. I mean I was told don’t keep alcohol in house. Well as I speak there are 15 bottles of wine in Kitchen been there ages numerous bottles of champagne and gins in dining room and boxes of pero I in garage and more wine! If I want a drink I would literally buy more to hide the fact from hubby which of course does not. Obviously hiding is my main thing and the reasons don’t matter I have as positive solution hypnotherapy which worked for a while and it still does to a certain extent but the simplicity of this has d so relatable and re shredding compared to like you say NHS advice and so on. I’m also know my trigger is tiredness and hunger particularly needing quick sugar fix d which of course don’t last. Today I have reviewed my list and of course despite having to rein puppies been to yoga for me (cannot do that even with a sniff of the cork) and I know which one I love and which one does nothing but give me grief.

    1. So glad this resonated with you Bernadette. Sobriety delivers everything alcohol promised…and more! ❤️

  10. Alcohol took up so much space my brain before I became sober in 2018. Before I quit 100%, I would only allow myself to drink in a pub about 3 km from my house. Then I discovered I was going there 3 x per week and only on days that ended in “y”. Ridiculous! The air freshener in a moldy room is a great analogy!

  11. It’s costly… mentally, physically, relationships/socially, economically and much more. I want it to be trivial and far from my mind but drinking is front and center because much of my time is spent confronting and repairing the damage it has done in my life. Stopping completely is the only true control. Here’s a new take on small bottles. I would buy a big one and a little one, drink from the big one and leave the little bottle out so no one would know how much I drank. I recognized I didn’t want others to recognize how far I had gone. Thanks for the thoughts you share and for making me think honestly about alcohol.

  12. I can’t wait until the masterclass this weekend! Thank you Kate! listening to you as someone new is working for me!


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