A scientific study has found that drinkers who consistently follow the same pouring rule tend to stay sober for longer. Applying the "half-glass" rule or "two-fingers-from-the-top" rule can cut down on your drink size by as much as 20 per cent.
Researchers from Iowa State and Cornell University studied the relation between wine consumption and different pouring scenarios among young adults. They found that over-pouring can be easily controlled by adopting a personal rule of thumb, such as always pouring half a glass of wine, no matter the size of the glass.
Indeed, using the “half glass” rule-of-thumb reduced the volume of wine poured by over 20 per cent. The results were the same for both men and women. This substantially reduced the pours by men at high BMI levels.
“We would suggest using a rule of thumb with pouring because it makes a big difference in how much people pour and prevents them from overdrinking,” co-author Laura Smarandescu explained in a statement.
While the study only analysed pouring, it stands to reason that smaller drink sizes translates to less consumption; especially in social situations where it's not deemed acceptable to constantly refill your glass.
"Increasing awareness of pouring biases represents an early and effective step toward curbing alcohol consumption among men, and especially those who are overweight," the report concludes. "Additionally, using a simple “half glass” rule-of-thumb may be an effective way to curb overpouring, despite non-standard glass sizes."
So if you want to remain sober and sensible, stick to a general rule of pouring instead of keeping track of each and every drink.