If you’re reading this blog, it’s probably because you or a loved one drinks more than they think they should….maybe even a lot more. And if you have a problem with alcohol, usually you just want to be able to “drink like a normal person” – whatever that is. We usually don’t want to give up drinking entirely, and we sure as heck don’t want a negative label such as “alcoholic.”
I became aware of the concept of moderate drinking about 8 years ago when I heard about it on the news. As an ex-AA member, I couldn’t help but think what an awesome concept it was, but would it really work for someone like me? Well, the answer is definitely “Yes,” but the learning process was not nearly as easy as I thought it would be. But all the learning helped me to design this program, which I call a “solution-focused” program versus one that it focused on the problem, or the drinking.
So what is “moderate drinking?” Well, if you want to see what the medical community considers moderate drinking, then read this comprehensive article in Medical News Today.
But moderate drinking to me is even more than that…it’s about enjoying a drink or two occasionally with friends or with a meal, simply to enhance the experience and not to cope with the experience. Which also means that you aren’t using alcohol to escape from negative situations or slamming down drinks in order to feel as good as you possibly can in as short of time as possible. So here are some guidelines that I like to use for drinking in moderation:
- Develop a plan and think about what your maximum number of drinks will be.
- Take your MODER8 or MODER8 Stress Relief capsules before you drink if that is a part of your plan.
- Pace yourself when you drink. Really – you’ll still feel good…just give it a try and drink slower. You don’t have to slam it down to get a buzz.
- Drink water if you’re thirsty instead of guzzling your cocktail.
- Alternate non-alcoholic beverages in between your regular alcohol-containing drinks.
- Eat –before, during or after. If you’re watching your weight, you can still eat lower calorie, healthier options. And guess what? If you’re trying to watch your weight but overindulging in alcohol, you’re going to have a really difficult time keeping your waistline in check.
- Make sure that you aren’t drinking to self-medicate. Deal with the issue if possible, first, or you could end up having an unplanned binge.
Being able to drink moderately gives you a new boost of confidence, has some health benefits, and gives you the opportunity to participate in social or special occasions without feeling like there is something wrong with you. But it takes staying mindful and being vigilante. Practice these guidelines on a regular basis and you’ll become more confident and in control.