Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Three Gear Drinking Brits

This article is for;

People who drink too much and want to cut down.

Reading this will give you;

You’ll realise that British drinking patterns are just habits. British drinking habits might be unhelpful and limited but they can certainly be changed. Moderate drinking is a skill and like all skills it can be learnt by most people.

Brits and their three gears of drinking

0 (neutral if you like) – Don’t drink.
3 – Drink fast
4 – Drink until you’re very drunk.

If this was a car, you wouldn’t be very happy. It’ll get you into a lot of trouble and you’ll be making an ass of yourself most of the time you’re driving. Same with drinking, you either be fine, when you’re in neutral or when you do drink, you risk the chance of hangovers, missing much of your weekend, feeling bad, sounding slurred, insulting someone you didn’t want to or even getting into trouble with other people. Drinking with three gears isn’t great and yet many British people drink this way. I did for twenty five years and the majority of people I know who drink, drink this way too.

Why are we so bad? Culture, perhaps? Weak minded? Peer pressure? The causes could be debated forever, the end result is that many of us only drink using third and fourth. We don’t drink using gears one and two because essentially, we don’t practice them. When was the last time you stopped after one? When was the last time you started with water? When was the last time you ordered a jug of tap water with your round?

What are gears one and two?


1 – Drink one or two drinks and stop
2 –Drink two, three or four drinks, with a soft drink starter or alternating between alcohol and soft drinks.

If you can master even one of these gears, your drinking will radically change. They are not difficult skills to master, you only need to practice them to get good at them.

I’ve practice ‘drinking one or two drinks and then stopping’ and for me, this has been my silver bullet. It has changed my attitude towards drinking. I now think before and during drinking about what could happen the next day. If possible, I drink with a soft drink too, to slow me down. The amount I drink now is much lower than before. I hardly ever drink more than four pints at a time. That used to be my minimum.

You don’t have to be a three gear drinking Brit. You don’t have to get drunk every time you drink (check out Scare Yourself with numbers). You don’t need to feel bad about yourself the next day. Take control of your drinking by practicing gears 1 and 2. Once you’ve got these gears, your drinking will change for the better.

Other articles on Moderate drinking

Overview of the Moderate Drinker
Will-power is overrated


  1. Hey there Moderate Drinker,

    I've just been enjoying your blog and interested to hear how you're going!

    Any chance of an update?

  2. Hi Princess Amber

    Thanks for your comment and I'm sorry I've been away for a while.

    On the drinking side, it's been ok, I got drunk a couple of times in December but not too bad, since it was Xmas but I regressed big time in January for a couple of weeks. Back on track in February and plan for March to be dry.

    Despite the set back, I'm confident that I'm more in control of my drinking than I have been since I started 25 years ago.

    I'll post soon.