Alcohol consumption is a definite American pastime. American culture is awash in alcohol advertisements, and it seems to be a prerequisite at many parties. Even though it is legal, alcohol is a drug that can be addictive and cause a host of problems. Nonetheless, drinking alcohol isn’t necessarily something to be avoided altogether. It is possible to drink alcohol in moderation, enjoy yourself, and not go overboard.
What counts as a healthy relationship with alcohol for you may not look the same as it does for the next person. Even so, following a few key tips can help you enjoy moderate consumption of alcohol that doesn’t put yourself or anyone else in danger.
How Much Alcohol Per Day Is Safe?
Before exploring some key tips for consuming alcohol in moderation, it is worth answering, “How much alcohol daily is safe?” The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have released official dietary guidelines for alcohol consumption. They recommend limiting alcohol consumption to two drinks or less per day for men and one drink or less per day for women. In addition, the CDC also outlines people for whom no amount of alcohol consumption is considered safe. This category includes people who are:
- Pregnant or may be pregnant
- Younger than 21
- On certain medications that interact negatively with alcohol
- Recovering from an alcohol use disorder
The CDC also notes that even sticking to their guidelines for moderate consumption of alcohol still entails some amount of risk. For instance, studies point to the fact that even moderate alcohol consumption increases the risk for certain types of cancer. More recent research also upends some historical understandings about the health benefits of alcohol. This new research ultimately declares it is impossible to draw any conclusions about health benefits stemming from alcohol usage.
How to Enjoy Alcohol in Moderation
It is possible to enjoy alcohol in moderation. Here are four tips for keeping your consumption in check and maximizing your enjoyment.
1. Recognize Patterns
Many people develop patterns in their drinking behavior. For instance, they may drink at certain times or be more likely to drink excessively whenever they find themselves in specific scenarios. Learning to recognize and potentially disrupt behavioral patterns is important.
2. Track Consumption
One of the best ways to learn how to consume alcohol in moderation is to track your consumption. Many people have no idea how much they actually drink until they begin keeping track. Once you establish a baseline, you can create a plan for holding yourself to a moderate level.
3. Get Comfortable Saying No
It can be hard to say no when out to dinner or at a party. But if you’ve hit your limit, it is imperative that you get comfortable saying no. To make things easier, communicate your intentions and even bring an alternative that is non-alcoholic for you to enjoy.
4. Set Goals and Involve Others
Set goals for yourself to meet and make them specific. Don’t just tell yourself you are trying to drink alcohol in moderation. When you enter a situation with alcohol present, set a goal to have two drinks or one drink. To reinforce this, let someone else you trust know about your goal so they can help hold you accountable for sticking to it.
Insight Into Action Therapy Has More Tips for Enjoying Alcohol in Moderation
Do you need help moderating your consumption of alcohol? Even if you do not have an alcohol use disorder, therapy can be a major help in aligning your consumption with what is healthy and safe for you. Call 703.935.8544 to learn more about consuming alcohol in moderation.