14/08/2014 16:41 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Do You Drink Too Much? Here's How To Tell

Enjoying a drink or two after work plays a big part in the lives of many 20 or 30 something-year-old women. Why shouldn't we relax with friends or colleagues at the pub after a long week in the office?

As with most things, it's perfectly fine to do this - in moderation. It sounds boring, but it's easy to drink too much, particularly if we're using alcohol to compensate for having a rough day.


So - aside from struggling to walk in a straight line after a big night out with friends, how can we tell if we're drinking more than we should be?

Gabrielle Glaser, author of Her Best-Kept Secret: Why Women Drink and What They Can Do to Regain Control, told Refinery 29 the first thing to address is who your drinking buddies are.

"Women drink alongside men and take those habits with them when they graduate," she says. "I'm not saying this is necessarily a bad thing, but it's important to keep in mind that the genders process alcohol differently."

Because women process alcohol more slowly, it's likely to be more concentrated in our bodies. So if you're the one who's always attempting to drink your best male friend under the table, it's probably going to backfire.

Glaser also suggests thinking about your reasons for drinking.

"Women whose drinking veers out of control aren't drinking because they're powerless over their drinking, they're drinking too much because something in their lives is veering out of control, and the alcohol is temporarily making it feel better," she says.

Then there's the issue of binge drinking. If you find yourself saying 'yes' to every drink your boss buys you at the bar after work, it's likely you're over doing it.

Refinery 29 states binging is "a woman consuming more than four drinks or a gent more than five drinks in a two-hour period." In the US, 70% of binge-drinkers are over the age of 26 - and it's professional women who are showing the biggest increase in this group.

"What you find most profoundly is that the person who really cares what and how much you drink is the person who has a drinking problem themselves," says Ann Dowsett Johnston, journalist and author of Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol. "Most people don't care how much you drink."

The easiest way to cut down on alcohol? Every once in a while, try saying no.

Source: Refinery 29

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