How to make an alcohol diary: Help get your intake back on track


Do you think you’re drinking too much? It can be difficult to understand what is too much and for different people that is a different amount. However, if you’re beginning to think that is the case, then it’s probably true.

There are many reasons to start an alcohol diary. For one, it can just be as simple as keeping on top of how much alcohol you’re consuming, while in other cases it can be a determining factor as to whether you need help or not.

Alcohol addiction is growing at a rapid rate, and more and more people are checking into alcohol rehab these days to manage their problem, treat it, and begin to live a life of sobriety. But is that something you need to do?

Well, an alcohol diary can go a long way to telling you the answer. It’s important to be honest when it comes to tracking your intake, and not only that but you should also include some finer details too that will help you understand your drinking habits further.

There are many diaries available online, and here are the sort of things you should be tracking…

The drink itself

Of course, first and foremost, on every day that you drink you should include a number of details about the drink you have consumed. This should include the type of drink it is, the size of drink it is (e.g. pint, 330ml can etc.) and a number of other details like strength and the number you drank. Create a little checklist that includes:

  • Type of drink (even include brand names in this)
  • Strength (ABV)
  • Units
  • Volume of liquid (e.g. how many ml)
  • Number of drinks had

You can then total the number of units for the day, to get the bigger picture in line with the national recommendations.

Your reason for drinking

It’s also a good idea to note down the reasons and circumstances as to why you were drinking that day. For example, did Dave invite you for a beer to celebrate his birthday, or did you have a particularly stressful day. 

Note down in your diary the following:

  • Reason for drinking
  • Where did you drink
  • Who did you drink with
  • What time did you start drinking

From this, you’ll then be able to identify key trends. For example, are you drinking more heavily after big work meetings on a Thursday afternoon? In which case, it may be your career that is having a negative effect on you and leading you to drink. Alternatively, you may notice that it’s the same person you are going with. Are they having an influence on how much you are drinking?

By finding the root of the problem, it can be instrumental in helping you fix that problem.

Note down your moods

Equally, jot down your mood before you went for a drink, and perhaps even how you feel following that. This can be another big indicator on your reasoning for drinking. If you’re turning to alcohol because you’re feeling low, this is another major factor in understanding you may have a problem.

Regularly study the results

It’s all well and good logging the results, but it’s also important that you study them. A diary can offer good insight into whether you have a problem with alcohol and the determining factor to get the help you need to manage your intake or go sober for good.


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