A Little of What You Fancy
Alcohol is a depressant which has the effect of dulling the brain and nervous system. In small quantities, alcohol can actually be beneficial to health. In large quantities, on a regular basis, it can have a very serious negative effect on health. At one extreme it can kill. Cirrhosis of the liver, for instance, is killing an increasing number of people, as are drivers who drive whilst over the limit. At the other end of the scale, excess consumption of alcohol can lead to poor co-ordination, impaired vision, a weakening of the immune system, impotence and obesity.
The accepted safe limit for a man is 28 units a week and 21 units for a woman. One unit is equal to approximately one glass of wine, a single measure of spirit or half a pint of beer/lager. Also an important fact to consider: a man’s liver can process only eight units of alcohol in a period of 24 hours and can take 72 hours to recover fully. Therefore it is easy to see how this vital organ can be damaged by over-indulging.
How to Cut Down
One way of cutting down on alcohol is maybe to drink a mineral water or soft drink with your lunch/dinner instead of a glass of wine. Drink a shandy instead of a pint of beer/lager or cider (this is a mixture of either one of these drinks with some lemonade).
How to Avoid a Hangover
The most effective way to avoid a hangover is not to drink too much! Failing that, if you have over-indulged, drinking large quantities of water before going to bed is very effective in warding off the worst effects.
A Healthy Diet
You Are What You Eat
If your diet is lacking, your body has ways of letting you know, for example, you may be overweight or you may have a spotty complexion or suffer from constipation.
A bad diet can lead to more serious problems such as heart disease, etc.
A good diet helps fight off disease and makes you look and feel good.
Eight Steps To A Healthier Diet
- Reduce your consumption of carbohydrates such as white flour and white sugar. The daily intake of sugar should be not more than two ounces – and that includes all the sugar already present in food, especially processed food.
- Drink plenty of water. The recommended minimum amount is two pints.
- Cut down on fat intake. Choose meat that is lean and trim off fat. Use low fat spreads.
- Use wholemeal bread instead of white bread.
- Cut down on your salt intake. Never add salt to your food before tasting. Most processed foods have enough salt added to them; there is no need to add any more.
- Try nuts and fruit as a treat instead of the usual sweets and chocolate. This will provide a good fibre intake.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. These should make up 80% of your daily intake.
- Try to avoid overcooking vegetables, as this will cause the loss of minerals and vitamins. Steaming and microwaving are much better methods of cooking vegetables than boiling.
- It helps reduce weight
- It helps reduce stress
- It makes you feel and look better
- Once you have found a form of exercise you enjoy do it:
- Often enough – two or three times a week for 20-30 minutes
- Hard enough – to make you fairly breathless
- Long enough – it must become part of your life for good.
- Remember: if you are not used to exercise start slowly and build up gradually.
Why Give It Up
Over 100,00 people die each year in the United Kingdom from smoking-related disease. Every cigarette you smoke can shorten your life by an average of five and a half minutes. Babies of smokers are, on average, 200 grammes smaller than those of non smokers.
How To Give Up
You must want to give up rather than feel you should give up.
Set a date a week or so in the future when you intend to stop.
Tell all your friends, relations and work colleagues that you are giving up on that day and ask for their support and encouragement. If at all possible, find someone to give up with you, so that you both can support one another. When the big day comes, plan it carefully with plenty to keep you occupied. Avoid situations where the desire to smoke will be strongest such as whilst driving or during coffee breaks.
Finally, carefully put the money you would have spent on cigarettes on one side, each day, to save up for some special treat as a reward.
Preventing A Relapse
Whenever you feel the need for a cigarette, go back to the procedure which helped you give up in the first place. Avoid complacency and remember that you are a non-smoker. Think how unpleasant smokers smell now that you have given up. Do you want to smell like them?
Dr Christopher J Ducker & Dr Christopher B Warburton
11th June, 2018