Moderate Drinking Made Easy: Celebrate Responsibly with 10 Proven Tips

by | Nov 8, 2023 | 0 comments

Are you interested in a more moderate drinking style when it comes to your alcohol intake? On Halloween night, I found myself in a situation. Honestly, I hadn’t indulged with wine for a while. It’s the kind of thing that catches you off guard. You might think, “well, what’s the harm in having just a couple of drinks?”

Cutting back on drinking alcohol
Cheers to finding moderation in how you drink

Moderate Drinking Recommendation

As per the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025, it is advised that men limit their alcohol intake to two standard drinks a day, while women should aim for just one standard drink a day. (source)

This moderate consumption has been associated with a decreased risk of chronic diseases, while heavy drinking (>4 drinks/day) increases the risk of death and cardiovascular disease, making it one of the leading causes of premature deaths in the U.S. (source)

Be cautious, especially for younger folks, as the balance of risks and benefits from alcohol isn’t as favorable, and there isn’t strong proof of its benefits because there’s a risk of alcohol misuse. (source)

Moderate Drinking recommendations
Moderate Drinking recommendations

Health Benefits to Moderate Drinking?

You might have heard about the potential health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption, like reducing the risk of heart disease. However, recent research is shedding new light on the subject. (source)

It turns out that even sticking to the recommended limits for alcohol may not be as safe as we once thought. There is emerging evidence that links alcohol consumption, even at low levels (less than one drink a day), to increased risks of certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases. (source)

Moderate drinking and heart health
Protecting your heart doesn’t need to include drinking.

While some older studies suggested that moderate drinking had protective effects on health, the latest research is challenging that notion. The catch is, it is tricky to pin down whether these improved outcomes are solely because of alcohol or if other factors, like lifestyle and genetics, come into play.

Even if you are keeping your daily intake within one drink for women or two drinks for men, there is still a risk of binge drinking, so it is something to be mindful of.

The bottom line? Going above the moderate drinking guidelines can significantly raise the chances of both immediate and long-term health problems. If you are finding that it is hard to stop and limit on your own, it would be valuable to get help.

What About a Good Night’s Sleep with a Drink?

For some, while alcohol can help you fall asleep faster, it can lead to disrupted sleep in the latter part. If you’re dealing with alcohol-related sleep problems, you might experience insomnia, daytime sleepiness, and changes in your sleep patterns. (source)

It is worth understanding that your body’s sleep regulation can get thrown off by alcohol, which can lead to various sleep issues. Better not to drink at all if you’re worried about a good night’s sleep!

If you need to improve your sleep, check out this post about natural remedies for the cold and flu.

Mastering the Art of Moderate Drinking: 10 Proven Tips

If you’re seeking ways to cut back on your alcohol intake while still being the life of the party and protecting your health, consider these strategies that I personally follow and share with my clients:

  1. Set a limit: decide in advance how many drinks you will have and stick to it. Having a clear limit can help you avoid overindulging.
  2. Choose lower-alcohol options: opt for drinks with lower alcohol content, like light beer or wine spritzers.
  3. Alternate with non-alcoholic beverages: have a glass of water, soda, or a non-alcoholic cocktail between alcoholic drinks to pace yourself and stay hydrated.
  4. Eat before drinking: this one is a big one. A meal can slow down alcohol absorption and reduce its effects. Eating before socializing can help you drink more responsibly.
  5. Avoid drinking games: refrain from participating in drinking games or challenges that can encourage excessive drinking.
  6. Be mindful of glass size: smaller glasses can help control your portions, making it easier to keep track of your alcohol intake.
  7. Socialize away from the bar: spend more time away from the bar or drink-serving area to reduce the temptation to keep ordering drinks.
  8. Engage in activities: participate in activities or conversations that don’t revolve around drinking. This can distract you from continuously sipping your drink.
  9. Use a mocktail strategy: this is my favorite. Create or order non-alcoholic mocktails that look and taste like regular cocktails. This can help you “blend in” while staying alcohol-free. Going on vacation? Here’s how you can indulge like a pro.
  10. Have a support system: let your friends know about your intention to drink moderately, and ask for their support in sticking to your limits.
Moderate drinking with red wine
Clink! Here’s to enjoying the good times while making responsible choices along the way.

Drinking Moderately Can Still Be Fun!

With these practical tips, you can take control of your alcohol consumption, enjoy social gatherings, and prioritize your well-being without the burden of excess.

Like food, this is about finding the balance that works for you and embracing a healthier, more mindful approach to how we consume food and alcohol.

Plus, the inner you who “comes alive” at a party when drinking is still … YOU. You can make this happen with practice, and drinking non-alcoholic beverages, too.

Let’s raise your glass to celebrating responsibly and living a life that is in harmony with your goals and values. Cheers to a journey of moderate drinking that helps you savor life’s moments while staying true to your commitment to a balanced and healthier you.

Reach Out for More Support

Feel free to share your own experience, tips, or questions about moderate drinking in the comments below. Your insights and questions could inspire others on their path to a more mindful and moderate approach to alcohol.

Looking for 1:1 support when it comes to living a more balanced, moderate life without the influence of chronic dieting and strict all-or-nothing mindsets? That’s the specialty here. You can start your journey today by getting started here.


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Marissa Beck, MS, RDN, Founder of REVV Health, is an award-winning dietitian and recognized nutrition counselor with over 13 years of experience.

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