top of page

Moderation or quitting alcohol?

This is THE most frequent question my clients and anyone wondering about their relationship with alcohol will ask either to themselves or to the internet.


It makes sense: in a world where happy hours, celebrations, and social gatherings often revolve around alcohol, the choice between moderation and abstinence can be a tough one. For many, alcohol is a staple of relaxation, socialisation, and enjoyment. But what happens when moderation turns into excess, and enjoyment morphs into dependency?


Let's uncork the debate and examine the benefits of alcohol moderation versus the advantages of quitting alcohol altogether. Whether you're considering cutting back or cutting it out entirely, understanding the potential impacts on your health, happiness, and lifestyle is essential. I think this is the most difficult question to answer and it should be a very personal answer not based on anyone’s opinion.



Benefits of Alcohol Moderation:

1.        Improved Health: Moderating alcohol intake can lead to better overall health, reducing the risk of liver disease, heart problems, and certain cancers associated with excessive drinking.


2.        Weight Management: Alcohol is calorie-dense, and cutting back can aid in weight control. By moderating consumption, you can enjoy the occasional drink without derailing your fitness goals.


3.        Enhanced Mental Clarity: Alcohol can impair cognitive function, affecting memory, decision-making, and concentration. Moderate drinking allows for clearer thinking and better mental acuity.


4.        Financial Savings: Drinking moderately can save you money in the long run. By skipping that extra round or avoiding costly bar tabs or fancy wine, you'll have more cash to spend on experiences that matter.


5.        Improved Sleep: While alcohol might help you fall asleep faster, it disrupts the quality of your rest. Moderation may promote better sleep patterns, leading to more restorative rest and increased daytime productivity.


6.        Social Enjoyment: Alcohol often accompanies social gatherings, and moderate drinking allows you to partake in these occasions without the negative consequences associated with excessive consumption.


7.        Reduced Risk of Addiction: Moderation decreases the likelihood of developing alcohol dependence, ensuring that you maintain control over your drinking habits rather than the other way around.


8.        Enhanced Relationships: Excessive drinking can strain relationships with friends, family, and partners. By moderating alcohol intake, you can foster healthier connections and avoid conflicts related to drinking behaviour.


9.        Long-Term Sustainability: Adopting a moderate approach to alcohol may allow for a sustainable lifestyle that balances enjoyment with responsibility, ensuring that you can maintain healthy habits for years to come.


10.  Personal Empowerment: Choosing moderation empowers you to take control of your relationship with alcohol, making informed decisions that prioritise your well-being and happiness.


Woman drinking alcohol
Moderation or Quitting Alcohol?

Benefits of Quitting Alcohol Definitely:


1.        Complete Health Transformation: Quitting alcohol offers the most comprehensive health benefits, including improved liver function, reduced risk of heart disease, and decreased susceptibility to certain cancers. No level of alcohol consumption is safe when it comes to human health according to a World Health Organization statement (January 2023).


2.        Mental Clarity and Stability: Abstaining from alcohol clears the fog from your mind, leading to enhanced mental clarity, improved mood regulation, and reduced risk of anxiety and depression. Furthermore, your brain can fully rebalance through homeostasis process and the dopamine baseline can go back to normal i.e. depression may subside or decrease.


3.        Physical Rejuvenation: Without the dehydrating and inflammatory effects of alcohol, your skin will appear healthier and glow, your energy levels will increase, and you'll experience fewer aches and pains.


4.        Financial Freedom: Cutting alcohol out of your budget can lead to significant financial savings over time, allowing you to invest in experiences, hobbies, and pursuits that bring lasting fulfillment.


5.        Deeper Sleep and Restoration: Eliminating alcohol from your nightly routine promotes deeper, more restorative sleep, leading to increased energy levels, better concentration, and overall improved cognitive function.


6.        Expanded Social Connections: Sobriety opens the door to new social opportunities and connections, allowing you to form meaningful relationships based on shared interests and genuine connections rather than alcohol consumption.


7.        Emotional Resilience: Sobriety equips you with the tools to cope with life's challenges without relying on alcohol as a crutch, fostering greater emotional resilience and self-reliance.


8.        Heightened Self-Awareness: Quitting alcohol encourages introspection and self-discovery, enabling you to identify and address underlying issues without masking them with substance use.


9.        Inspiration and Creativity: Sobriety unleashes your creativity and inspiration, allowing you to pursue passions and projects with newfound clarity, focus, and enthusiasm.


10.  Authenticity and Freedom: By choosing sobriety, you reclaim your autonomy and authenticity, living life on your own terms and experiencing true freedom from the constraints of alcohol dependency.



In conclusion, whether you opt for moderation or complete abstinence, the decision to re-evaluate your relationship with alcohol is a powerful one. Both paths offer unique benefits that can enhance your health, happiness, and overall quality of life. In the end, the key lies in finding the approach that aligns with your values, goals, and personal journey towards fulfillment.


What is the best option?

The ease of quitting alcohol versus moderating intake varies greatly among individuals. For some, quitting altogether may be simpler, providing clear boundaries and eliminating the need for self-control. Others may find moderation easier, as it allows for occasional indulgence without complete abstinence. Factors such as genetic predisposition, social influences, and personal motivation play significant roles in determining the ease of either approach.


Ultimately, the most effective strategy depends on how much mental space and time is stolen by alcohol. Do you think about your drinking rules often? Do you keep bargaining with yourself and failing at maintaining moderation? If you think about alcohol and when you can/should/may drink all the time, maybe closing the door completely is where lies your freedom and your answer.


Get in touch

If you feel that this resonates with you or if you have any questions, feel free to book a free 10-minute inquiry call and this way you can see for yourself if those counselling services could suit you.


bottom of page