Typically my first tip for avoiding that dreaded fallin-down-slurred-speech level of drunk is pretty fool-proof: offer to be the designated driver. This works for me, becaue of a) the law, and b) it’s sometime easier to follow a rule I’ve made for myself if others will be impacted by my decision not to follow it. However, I feel that New Years Eve is only part complete without a sparkly beverage in hand. Here are some tips that have worked for me in avoiding the slop.
1) DON’T DRINK
As fun as it is to attempt moderation, it’s not a reality for all of us at this juncture in time. If you feel the need to go sans alcohol for the night, but fear your ability to stick to it, drink something like sparkling water (or even the infused ones are pretty good), or a diet soda with a lime. I find that drinking something that feels almost cocktail-esque fills my need to over-indulge in the real stuff. 7Up and OJ is also a favorite of mine!
2) STEER AWAY FROM SHOTS
When ingesting shot after shot, our bodies have zero time to alert us to the fact that we’re tipping over into schwasty territory. Try to stick to mixed drinks if you’re drinking hard alcohol.
3) STICK WITH BEER, YOU’RE IN THE CLEAR
If you’re just learning how to moderate your drinking, sometimes it can be extra challenging to follow a loose set of guidelines that tell you to “not drink TOO much, just a little.” When I first began my journey into moderation, I found it very useful to cut out hard alcohol for a while. Beer and wine will at least show you you’ve had enough through signals other than the swirvs—once you feel full, it’s hard to keep drinking! Eventually you’ll be able to figure out ways to slip it back into your life in moderation. A plus to drinking beer—hangovers are far less severe without the use of those high-sugar mixers.
4) H2O! (…and other virgin bevs)
Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks throughout the night. This will force you to shoot through your alc more slowly, and if you’re spending the evening at a bar, you’ll save money too! Having your non-alcoholic drink be water is probably your best bet, as it’s important to stay hydrated. However, I know it’s often difficult to pull off once others around you have lost their inhibitions, and may want to push alcohol on you. It’s easy to disguise a non-alcoholic beverage, using some of the ideas in Tip #1 (you can throw a lime in almost anything, and ask for it in a high ball glass or tumbler, and trick most people… ;-)).
Also, in any situation involving drinks—ALWAYS be sure to stay hydrated, and eat properly leading up to drinking (well, ideally, all the time…). Drinking on an empty stomach typically ends… not well.
Everyone have a FANTASTIC New Years Eve. Have fun, and remember that a good evening is a waste if you can’t remember it :).
See you all in 2013!