Tracking alcohol intake for 150 days changed my drinking forever

Tracking my alcohol intake for 150 days changed my drinking forever

With Dry July upon us, it's a good time to evaluate your alcohol consumption. Pulling the handbrake on boozing can be tough, but drink-tracking apps can make mindful drinking doable

AS A REGISTERED dietitian and performance coach, I’ve spent years perfecting the art of mindful eating, coaching high performers, and navigating the complexities of health behaviour.

But the pandemic turned my drinking upside down, revealing cracks in my habits. Enter therapy, mindfulness tools, and Sunnyside, a mindful drinking app that reshaped my relationship with alcohol and significantly impacted my physical, mental, and social health.

Here’s how 150 days with Sunnyside transformed my life and why I can’t stop talking about it on my “Can’t Believe I Made It” podcast and beyond.

Benefits of tracking your drinking

I experienced a few.

Physical benefits

When I first encountered Sunnyside, my drinking was already on a steady decline from 2020, but it still created concern. The pandemic had turned my home into an office, gym, and bar. Despite hitting 10K steps, lifting heavy, and maintaining solid nutrition, my nightly drinks were undoing my efforts.

I started using Sunnyside sporadically in 2023, and it was only until the end of 2023 that I was able to remain consistent that its impact was immediate. By tracking my drinks and setting weekly goals, I started to see the numbers: fewer empty calories, more dry days, and better sleep quality.

Over 150 days, I saved more 10,000 empty calories and shed 4.5 kilos. But it wasn’t just about the weight. My recovery from workouts improved, my energy levels soared, and I became more motivated to stay active. The app’s gentle nudges and daily reminders kept me accountable, making mindful drinking a natural part of my routine.

Mental and emotional benefits

Before Sunnyside, drinking was my go-to stress reliever. After long days of balancing work, family, and everything, a drink (or three) felt justified. But the app introduced me to a different kind of mindfulness rooted in self-awareness and honest reflection.

Tracking became second nature. I began to see the connection between my drinking and my mental state. By reducing my intake, I experienced fewer mood swings, less anxiety, and more clarity (duh, right?). My text sessions with Sunnyside’s mindful drinking coaches felt like talking to a compassionate friend who understood my struggles without judgment.

This shift in perspective was invaluable, not just for my drinking habits but for my overall mental health.

Social benefits

Social interactions are where mindful drinking truly shines. Initially, I was “eh,” about how my friends and family would react. Would they think I was boring? Would I feel left out? But Sunnyside’s approach made it more accessible. The app’s community feature connected me with tactics, the scientific insights, and people all striving for balance rather than perfection.

I shared the co-founder of Sunnyside’s App, Nick Allen’s journey, on my “Can’t Believe I Made It” podcast, sparking conversations about mindful drinking just in time for Dry-ish January, a campaign Sunnyside does yearly. The feedback was overwhelming. Listeners resonated with their story and joined the journey. One former client, who struggled with social drinking, took part in our Dry-ish January challenge and hasn’t looked back since. Now, five months sober, they’re a more present parent and partner, and their transformation has positively impacted their business and community.

Even in social settings, Sunnyside provided tools to stay on track. Whether ordering drinks with half shots, mocktails, alternating with water, or having a plan helped me enjoy nights out without overindulging. The app’s emphasis on community and support made all the difference, turning what could have been a solitary journey into a shared experience.

Does tracking your drinking work?

My 150 days with tracking my alcohol intake has been transformative.

I’m healthier, more mindful, and better equipped to handle life’s challenges. The app’s impact extends beyond physical health, touching every aspect of my well-being.

This piece originally appeared on Men’s Health U.S. 

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