The benefits and risks of moderate drinking change over a lifetime. In general, risks exceed benefits until middle age, when cardiovascular disease begins to account for an increasingly large share of the burden of disease and death. However, a prospective study following almost 15,000 men at four-year periods found only an increased risk of minor weight gain with higher intakes of alcohol. Compared to those who did not change their alcohol intake, those who increased their intake by 2 or more drinks a day gained a little more than a half-pound.

  • Characterizing heart disease in stages allows physicians to match treatment with severity.
  • Women have less tissue with which to absorb alcohol.
  • These calories add up — and getting more calories than you need can make it harder to stay at a healthy weight.
  • Individuals who received moderation training substantially reduced their alcohol consumption on average by 50-70% and, as a result, significantly reduced health and social problems related to their drinking.

It helps to reveal the nature and extent of your attachment to alcohol, including the degree to which you rely on chemically altering your mood to cope with stress and other negative emotions. Once you form your new drinking habit, you’ll want to maintain it.

Rethinking Alcohol: Can Heavy Drinkers Learn To Cut Back?

You can’t easily separate moderate drinking from the people who drink moderately, which means that you can’t easily identify whether it’s actually the alcohol that’s improving people’s health or something more complex. By being conscious of your drinking habits, you can find what helps you drink responsibly and practice pacing yourself. Moderate drinking isn’t something that occurs overnight, but can be rewarding as you begin to change your relationship with alcohol.

  • (One drink equals one 12-ounce bottle of beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits).
  • Alcohol’s two-faced nature shouldn’t come as a surprise.
  • Drink for the taste, drink to socialise, but don’t drink because you think it’s going to cure your depression or heal your heart.
  • Women who drank this amount of alcohol but did not have a family history of breast cancer and ate at least 400 micrograms of folate daily did not have an increased breast cancer risk.
  • It affects levels of lipids and insulin in the blood, as well as inflammation and coagulation.
  • Treating alcoholism by stages might prevent many people from progressing to more severe and debilitating stages of the illness.

Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The Nutrition Source does not recommend or endorse any products.


This Finnish proverb can be applied to many things in life but particularly holds true when can you moderate your drinking it comes to alcohol consumption. After all, life is all about balance and moderation.

Is it healthy to drink alcohol moderately?

Moderate drinking seems to be good for the heart and circulatory system, and probably protects against type 2 diabetes and gallstones. Heavy drinking is a major cause of preventable death in most countries.

Connecting with medical professionals and a peer support network can give you the tools to reach your goals, and set you up for long-term success. Discuss with your doctor the risks of drinking while you are taking any prescription drugs, over the counter medications, dietary supplements, or herbal remedies. Using alcohol to self-medicate negative emotions is a setup for overdrinking. However, if you do find yourself out with heavy drinkers, try having a club soda with lime in your hand so you can skip the next round and deflect unwanted attention. Whilst this may seem counterintuitive, try drinking your vodka, whisky, rum, or other spirit of choice neat. Drinking spirits in a cocktail makes them easier to down, so not the best choice if you’re trying to moderate your drinking.

So Are 2 Drinks A Day Really Too Many?

In fact, none of these government agencies advise you to drink at all. It seems that moderate drinking probably isn’t good for our health after all. While there may be some minor heart health benefits, alcohol is addictive and causes damage to many other organs, so the trade-off is not in our favour. Whether you’re on the path to sobriety or drinking in moderation, it’s a rewarding result of self-reflection and the beginning of a new and healthy relationship with alcohol. Another tip to consider when exploring how to drink in moderation is setting attainable goals.