How to say no to drinking during the holidays (or anytime). This is for the Chicago Tribune.

I think what you are really asking is why to say no to drinking, not how to say no. To say no you simply say no thank you but most people feel they need a good reason to say no, so they do not feel awkward or ostracized. First, I will give a few reasons to make people feel comfortable saying no, then I will give a few things to do so you do not get or at least lessen the physical urges to drink.

Most alcohol contains a lot of calories, so for anyone watching their weight, this is a good, smart reason not to drink and to say no.

For people with sensitive skin, the sugar and other chemicals in the alcohol can cause your skin to break out, this is another good reason to say no.

For those who like to always be in control of their emotions and thinking, drinking can most definitely impair ones thinking and actions and is another good reason to say no.

For those driving, any drinking can cause problems if stopped, that will cost you a lot of money and have many other possible long term effects. This is another reason to say no.

If you are going to be with your children at a holiday party, is this the example you want to give? This is another reason to say no.

If at an office or company party do you really want to take a chance on saying or doing something that can affect your career? This is another good reason to say no.


To lessen the chances of having the physical urges to drink follow the following steps:

Drink one half your body weight in ounces of water everyday but especially during the holidays and parties. This will help keep you feeling full and less thirsty and is also very healthy for you.

Do not eat foods that stimulate the opiate receptors. The opiate receptors are clusters of cells that are in the brain, spinal cord and gastrointestinal tract, that when stimulated release chemicals that give you urges, like drinking. Sugar, gluten, dairy, caffeine, sugar substitutes except for Stevia and most heavily processed foods stimulate the opiate receptors, which will cause urges. Actually, all our urges except for sexual ones come from stimulating the opiate receptors. Doing this will make it a lot easier to say no, since you will not have the physical urge.

Eating all natural healthy foods on a regular basis and exercising regularly will also help give you some of those good feelings that people look to get from alcohol but you will be getting them naturally and will find it much easier to say no.