How To Drink Less Over The Holidays

Advertiser Disclosure

Unbiased Content. Factual Advice.
In order to provide top tier advice from industry professionals - for free - we partner with sponsors. This post contains affiliate links and we will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links.
We want you to know this does not impact the quality of our content as writers are not influenced by this process. Links are added after the article is finalized. By doing this, we strive to bring you the most straightforward, factual advice to help you through your 20s. Learn more about our content process here.

Shorter Version

Est. Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Family gatherings, office parties, and holiday get-togethers with friends can lead to a lot of drinking. Celebrating the holidays can cause anyone to get carried away, but it can really cause young adults to indulge a little too much. 

You’re merrily eating and drinking, and you’re in an excellent mood, so it makes sense that you could go a little “overboard” with the adult beverages. We’ve all been there at one time in our lives. But, even though you’re in a festive mood, it is still important to be mindful of your actions during this joyful time – especially when they have to do with your health and well-being. 

Side effects of drinking too much

Drinking too much during the holidays can affect your mood and your behavior. More specifically, it can lead to bouts of anxiety or depression, while lowering your inhibitions, so you aren’t really mindful of what you’re saying or doing. It can numb you from reality causing you to jump in a car drunk because your mind tells you that it’s okay. It’s not.

Excessive drinking can also mess with your mind causing you to become anxious or “paranoid” for no reason. And, the next day, it can cause you to feel like crap – i.e. sick to your stomach with a blinding headache and “the blues.” Sound familiar?

Not to mention how it makes you look in front of other people – like a “sloppy drunk.” It’s embarrassing – maybe not for you at first because you aren’t fully aware of your actions while you are drunk, however, it is super embarrassing for the people around you. Then, when you awaken and remember or hear of your antics from the night or day before, it can cause you to feel shameful and even more depressed. An even worse scenario? Acting like a fool in front of your boss at an office party because you’re drunk. Yikes! 

How To Drink Less?

Your boss will never look at you the same again, which could hurt you when it’s time for your first big promotion. If you like to drink during the holidays, you can still partake without going “overboard” with alcohol.

Why not opt for a glass or two of your grandma’s infamous spiked eggnog, a couple of candy cane martinis, or holiday cocktails?

Keep in mind that drinking too much alcohol during the holidays can lead to weight gain, especially if it is a common occurrence. Most alcoholic beverages are chocked full of empty calories. And, as you know empty calories can lead to weight gain. Alcohol can also boost your appetite causing you to eat more.  

So, keep that in mind as you enjoy holiday foods and beverages like cocktails, wines, etc. The good news is there are ways you can curb your drinking. In fact, an effective way to drink less during the holidays is to stay busy and munch on healthy snacks, while you partake in adult beverages and enjoy the holiday festivities. 

Skip to Actionable Steps

A Gift For You

Win a free 1:1
coaching session!

A Gift For You

Win a free 1:1 coaching session!

Longer Version

Est. Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Let’s be honest, the holiday season isn’t known for having restraint, especially when it comes to alcohol. It’s a time of happiness which is why it is so difficult to put that cocktail, beer bottle, or glass of wine or champagne down. When you drink too much during the holidays, it is called binge-drinking and, if you do it enough times, you will feel the effects of it on your health and in your personal, social, romantic, career, and financial lives. And, it will not be pretty. 

Understand that it is okay to let loose occasionally, possibly drinking more than you usually do, but getting “wasted” is never cute. It can also have long-term effects on your friend circle, romantic relationship, and even with your co-workers and boss.  

How To Drink Less

It can also affect your self-esteem if there are witnesses to your drunk behaviors. It can lead to depression, anxiety, weight gain, mood swings, uncharacteristic behavior (i.e. driving while drunk, having unprotected sex, or getting into fistfights), and nasty hangovers. It could also lead to alcohol abuse or alcoholism, although it does not have to.  

In fact, approximately 90% of “holiday binge drinkers” are not alcoholics or alcohol abusers.

Still, binge or excessive drinking can cause a myriad of problems in your life. Yet, most young people still do it. Why? Because it’s an opportunity to relax and enjoy life. Many times, those opportunities dwindle once you become an “official adult” aka an adult with a demanding job and lots of bills to pay. 

So, getting “wasted” during the holidays becomes a release or relief of sorts. It’s a harken to when “adulting” wasn’t a thing and you could just be a carefree adolescent. So, you let your guard down – way down – and you end up indulging a little too much, even though you know there will be hell to pay the next day.

In fact, approximately 64% of adults showed up at work hungover the next day following a holiday party and approximately 40% of young adults and their friends and family admit looking forward to holidays so they can binge-drink or get drunk.  

How to drink less over the holidays

How can you drink less during the holidays while still partaking in the holiday festivities? Well, by using this super easy trick, of course! What is that? This super-easy trick is often overlooked during the holidays because most of us can’t wait to let loose. 

Tip 1: Eat Dinner

What is this trick? Eating. Let me explain. You drink less during the holidays by eating a meal before partaking in alcoholic libations. And, when I say “meal” I don’t mean chips and a soda. I’m referring to a full meal with lean meat, fish, or tofu, veggies, bread or carb, and water or juice. A real meal. You are more inclined to drink less when you consume a meal first. In other words, you are unable to drink excessively because you’re already full. 

So, before you go to a party, celebration, gathering, or before you relax at home with a bottle of wine, champagne, or multiple cocktails – eat something first. If you are unable to eat something in advance, snack on hors d’oeuvres before you start drinking. Try to stick to the healthier snacks; if there are none, opt for the hors d’oeuvres that will stick to you and fill you up.

Tip 2: Sip on Another Beverage

You can reduce how much you drink by alternating between water, juice, or soda, and alcohol. With other fluids in your body, you’ll be unable to binge drink to the full extent. You’ll be too full! Another tip is to drink later in the day or after you’ve been at a party for a while. That reduces the amount of time you have to drink, so you end up drinking less overall.

Tip 3: Be Aware

Also, try to be aware of how much you are drinking. Set a limit of how much you plan to drink, then stick to it – even if you aren’t feeling the effects of the alcohol at the time.

You can drink less during the holidays if you make a conscious effort not to. 

It is important to know your limitations so you can enjoy yourself without becoming sloppy. Keep in mind that you can still drink during the holidays, you simply have to keep it in moderation. You don’t have to binge drink during the holidays to have a good time. 

Actionable Steps


Sip on water in-between alcoholic beverages

The great thing about water is it flushes toxins out of your body and keeps you hydrated (alcohol dries you out). It also makes you feel “full,” so there is less of an urge to fill-up on alcohol. 


Sip slowly

Sipping your alcoholic beverage slowly will help you drink less during the holidays. Put your drink down to socialize, picking it occasionally for a sip or two before putting it back down again. Repeat that process until your drink is finished.


Focus on your friends and loved ones

Busy yourself with friends and loved ones, so you’re not thinking as much about getting “wasted.” Try to pay attention to what they are saying to you. Ask questions. And, think about how they’d feel if they had to witness your drunk behavior. Then, cut the drinking off before it gets to that point. 


Set realistic holiday goals

Set a limit or goal on what and how much you will drink during the holidays and stick to it. For instance, if you say, you’re only going to have three alcoholic beverages when you go to holiday parties – make a conscious effort to only have three alcoholic beverages when you go to holiday parties. 


Eat a full meal

Lastly, before you fill-up on alcohol, eat a meal or, at a minimum, eat several heavy snacks to pad and fill-up your stomach. If you’re pretty full from a meal, you are less likely to excessively drink. Because alcoholic beverages are laden with empty calories, try to stick to a healthy meal or snacks to reduce potential weight gain.

Coaches For All Your Self-Improvement Needs!

About the Author

Dr. R. Y. Langham

Dr. R. Y. Langham

Ph.D. in Family Psychology

Ree has a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy (M.M.F.T.) and a Ph.D. in Family Psychology. She spent over ten years counseling families, couples, individuals, and children on adjustment issues such as blended families, same-sex couples, dysfunctional family relationships, relationship issues, etc. Now she writes for famous health organizations and is a published author.
Full Bio | LinkedIn

favouriteLoadingAdd to Favorites

Leave a Reply

Related Posts

How to Store Seasonal Food Long-Term

Trying to save money by buying in bulk and storing food? Use these tips on how to store food long-term to save money and eat well.

Hey there! Let’s get started.

Sign up with email
Have an account? Log in
By signing up, I agree to this platform’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Hey there! Join for free.

Access 1,000+ resources to change your life today. Sign up with email
Have an account? Log in
Are you a coach? Click here
By signing up, I agree to this platform’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Sign in with email

All sign in options

Welcome Back

Sign in with email
Don’t have an account? Sign up
By signing in, I agree to this platform’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Win a FREE Coaching Session

Achieve success like member Michael M - our coaches helped him to increase his salary by $60,000! Enter to win a free session with a self-improvement coach on our Sweepstakes page today.