The first step to reducing your drinking at business dinners is to approach the night with confidence. By developing a game-plan before you enter the room, you can comfortably enjoy your evening. Consider these seven tips for drinking less while at a business dinner. 

1. Set Limits and Remain Aware of How Much You Drink 

Set a reasonable limit for how much you would like to drink throughout the evening. Maybe you would prefer to hold off until you've eaten, for example. Consuming alcohol with a meal will likely slow your absorption, which can help you to stick to your limit. 

As the night continues, be sure to remain aware of how much you drank. If you set a mental limit of only having three drinks, make a conscious effort to switch to something non-alcoholic after number three.

2. Pace Yourself 

Find ways to pace yourself. For instance, have one drink before dinner, one with your main course, and one afterward. Not only will this method help you stick to your limit, but it will also prevent over-drinking early in the evening.

3. Keep Cocktails to a Minimum

Cocktails, and hard liquor in general, have a much higher percentage of alcohol by volume compared to wine or beer. If you want to reduce your drinking at business dinners, keep the cocktails to a minimum. Instead, order a glass of wine or beer. If you do choose to order a cocktail, drink it slowly, and do not have more than one. 

4. Alternate with Water or Seltzer

Always keep a glass of water or seltzer by you throughout a business dinner. A water glass allows you to alternate between alcoholic beverages and stay hydrated throughout the evening. 

Plus, holding seltzer water with a garnish like lime or orange is an easy way of making it look as though you're still drinking, so you don't have to feel uncomfortable around colleagues.

5. Watch What People Around You Are Doing

Be sure to read the room at a professional event. If your peers aren't drinking much, that's a sign you shouldn't either. If people are drinking quickly, and you're trying to stick to your limit, slow your pace, and remain aware of what you're drinking. Swapping out an alcoholic drink for a seltzer or cranberry juice with a garnish is a simple way of adhering to your limit without standing out from the crowd. 

6. Strike a Conversation (or Several) 

Remember, a business dinner is a networking event for yourself and your colleagues. So, get to chatting! 

Strike a conversation with the person seated next to you or across the table, but if they are drinking faster than you would like to, feel free to excuse yourself and join another discussion. 

7. Speak with Confidant 

If attending professional events that involve alcohol intimidates you, reach out to Confidant today. We can provide you with educational resources and connect you with a qualified professional. 

If you're struggling to get your drinking under control, Confidant can also provide a safe, affordable medication aimed at helping you drink less. Naltrexone is a clinically-tested and FDA-cleared medication that removes your desire to drink by blocking your reception to endorphins, the chemical that encourages you to consume more alcohol. 

By taking Naltrexone 30 minutes before drinking or as a daily-use medication, you can still feel the effects of alcohol without the nagging desire to have another drink.

Business dinners are your chance to interact with colleagues and professionals in your industry. Don't let a fear of over-drinking cloud your opportunity to participate. By following these tips to reduce drinking and seeking assistance from Confidant, you can confidently enjoy your next business dinner.