The holiday season is upon us, and you know what that means: family, merriment, and heavy boozing.
Whether it’s a glass of red wine, or six, at the Christmas Eve dinner table, some spiked eggnog, or shots of whiskey with your cousins in the basement trying to forget your drunk uncle’s off color jokes, the holidays can be stressful.
And they can be joyous and merry and filled with love and gifts and hugs and no one judges you when you ugly cry watching "Love Actually" four consecutive nights in a row.
But whether they’re euphoric or whether they’re stressful, either way, they will mostly likely be unsober.
So here’s how to booze better in this beautiful holiday season, so that you don’t wake up January 1st wanting to crawl down a shame hole and die for worst three months of year.
Sound good, cookie?
So drinking and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can often be at odds, but it can be done— there is indeed a way to have your cake and eat it too, if you do it right.
Rule number one when you’re drinking:
You absolutely, 100% need to be consuming water.
Otherwise, you’ll wake up with a shitty hangover, hungry as Fashion Week, and you'll most certainly skip the gym and be craving crap food all day.
So here’s the rule: for every alcoholic beverage you have, you need to be chugging a full glass of water afterwards (preferably without ice).
Minus maybe one if you’re feeling the need for some extra buzz— but just one.
Rule number 2: eat, but not too much.
So eating before you drink might seem counterintuitive.
"I mean, if I don’t eat before, I’ll get drunker quicker and drink less overall, right?"
But getting drunk and sitting down at a dinner table is like walking into a pick up bar with a nice buzz: ya got drunk goggles on and reflecting back on your actions the next day, you might find them less attractive in the harsh light of morning.
In other words, you’re at high risk of overeating and making unhealthy choices.
Go into your drinking situation with something healthy already in your stomach.
If you’re going to a party, eat a light, healthy dinner before, not after.
And if you’re enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail, have a healthy snack before that— hummus and veggies, cottage cheese and fruit, a hearty protein shake, etc. Just have something clean and wholesome in your stomach to buffer the booze.
Buzzed overeating, more than anything, is what gets people during the holidays.
Drunk Goggles = Bad Choices
Which brings me to my final rule, which is:
Rule number 3: make a plan and know your limits.
If you know you’re going to be drinking on a given day, hydrate as much as you can, and plan calorically for the shitshow that’s about to go down later on.
And before you commence activities, make it a point to say out loud to another human being “I’m only gonna have three drinks tonight and I’m only going to allow myself one cocktail with sugar in it,” or whatever your goal may be.
(Helpful Hint #1: try to make these goals realistic).
(Helpful hint #2: if you wanna double down on your goals, tell a friend or family member you’ll buy them a pricey bottle of champagne if you don’t stick to your plan. And trust me, everyone likes champagne, and that person will watch you like a hawk all night.)
And, of course, know your limits.
Don’t be stupid.
And, more importantly, don’t be unrealistic.
I'm not ashamed to admit: I’ve carried around organic jerky sticks in a clutch before, double fisted water and booze for entire nights out at a bar, left parties for twenty minutes to go eat a carton of cottage cheese by myself half drunk in my heels at a deli. And I feel great about all those decisions. Cause ya know what? I always make it to the gym the next day.
So, yes, my dear Bar Flies, it can be done. It just takes a little extra thought, a little extra effort, and the occasional organic jerky stick in your clutch.
You got this.