Drink Less

Gradually reducing the amount of alcohol that you consume can help improve your health and wellbeing. It can also help to improve your energy levels as well as helping with weight loss and to save money.

NHS alcohol reduction service

On this page you will find lots of information on the units and calories there are in alcoholic drinks and the benefits of cutting back on your alcohol consumption.  There are also links to some very helpful tools and apps.

Do you feel like you need to cut back on how much alcohol you are drinking?  It can be easier than you think.  You can either register now for support with us or call our health advisors on

020 8973 3545
Units in alcohol

NHS alcohol consumption guidelines recommend that both men and women do not drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week regularly. However, many people are not aware of how many units are in their favourite alcoholic drinks.

14 Units - There is no completely safe level of drinking, but sticking within the guidelines lowers your risk of harming your health.
3 Days - Spread your drinking over 3 days or more if you drink as many as 14 units a week.
Glass of red, white or rose wine (ABV 13%)
Small 125ml - 1.6 units
Standard 175ml - 2.3 units
Large 250ml - 3.3 units
Beer, Lager and Cider
Regular (ABV 4%) - Pint: 2.3 units, Large can: 1.8 units
Strong (ABV 5.2%) - Pint: 3 units, Large can: 2.2 units
Extra Strong (ABV 8%) - Pint: 4.5 units, Large can: 3.5 units
750ml bottle of red, white or rose wine (ABV 13.5%)
10 units per bottle

Other drinks
25ml Single spirit and mixer (ABV 40%) - 1 unit, 275ml Bottle of pre-mixed drink (alcopop) (ABV 5.5%) - 1.5 units
Understanding ABV - Alcohol by volume (ABV) is a percentage measure of the amount of alcohol in your drink. The higher the percentage the stronger the drink is.
Try lower strength drinks - Cut down on alcohol by swapping strong beers or wines for ones with a lower-strength (ABV in %).
How many calories are in alcoholic drinks?

Alcohol also contains a lot of calories as well so if you drink and are looking to lose weight you need to be aware of exactly how much alcohol you are consuming.

Alcohol and weight gain - Alcoholic drinks are made by fermenting and distilling natural starch and sugar. Being high in sugar means alcohol contains lots of calories
Cutting back on the amount you drink can significantly heklp reduce your calorie intake
Food comparison for each alcoholic drink
Food equivalent
1 Standard glass of wine - 125ml / 12%
131 KCAL
1 Chocolate covered bisuit - 25g
1 Pint of beer - 570ml / 5%
187 KCAL
1 Slice of loaf cake - 60g
1 Glass of cream licquer - 50ml / 17%
152 KCAL
1 Standard bag of crisps - 30g
1 Standard bottle of alcopop - 330ml / 4%
172 KCAL
1 Chocolate pot dessert - 80g
1 Double measure of fortified wine (sherry) - 50ml / 17%
1 Jam filled biscuit - 14g

Medical warning

Get medical advice before you stop drinking if you have physical withdrawal symptoms (like shaking, sweating or feeling anxious until you have your first drink of the day). It can be dangerous to stop drinking too quickly without proper support.

The benefits of cutting down on alcohol

Cutting down your alcohol consumption can have many benefits including:

Improved mood

Drinking can affect anxiety and stress levels and this in turn can have a direct impact on your mental health. Cutting down on alcohol means that you should notice an improvement in your overall mood.

Better sleep

When you drink alcohol, this affects your sleep because it prevents you from having a deeper, more restorative sleep. Therefore, by cutting back on alcohol you should notice that you sleep more deeply and feel more refreshed upon waking in the morning.

Increased energy levels

As mentioned in the points above, as alcohol affects your mood and sleep it stands to reason that your energy levels are also going to be affected as well. Simply by being able to have a deeper, more restful sleep and also by feeling better in ourselves day to day we should also notice that our energy levels increase as we cut back on alcohol consumption.

Save money

By going out to drink less and buying less alcohol to drink at home you can end up saving a significant amount of money depending on how much alcohol you normally consume. You could put the money you would normally use on alcohol into a jar and then treat yourself at the end of the month or put the money towards something you may be saving up for.

Healthier weight

Alcohol is highly calorific and so by cutting down how much you drink on a regular basis you should also notice that you lose weight also as long as you are following a healthy balanced diet (visit our Eat Well page for info on a healthy diet). Find out about calories in alcohol.

Drinking too much & getting support

If you or someone you know is drinking too much and you would like to get some support, then help is available.