Always eat when you drink
While the Harvard research suggests it’s wise to factor in those cocktail calories, it’s actually more important to eat right than to eat less, the experts stress. Skimping on food in order to “make room” for drinks will only backfire and send you straight to the bottom of the candied nut bowl. Here’s why: Most cocktails are loaded with simple carbohydrates, “so during a night of drinking, people end up with soaring blood sugar, followed by a ‘crash’ that leaves them ravenous,” says Jason Burke, MD, an anesthesiologist and hangover researcher who runs a hangover treatment clinic in (where else?) Las Vegas.
Know that some drinks make you hungrier than others
When it comes to waist-friendly cocktails, the simpler the drink, the better. Not only do the sweet-and-fancy ones tend to have more calories, but the additional sugar can make you even hungrier: Your blood sugar skyrockets higher than it does on beer, wine, or a shot of something, making the plummet (and the resulting cravings) worse.
Stick to a drink or two, tops
One drink a day is the widely accepted definition of moderate drinking for women, but there’s a misconception among some bar-hoppers that you can go without alcohol all week and save your seven drinks for the weekend. “That’s the worst thing you can possibly do for your weight,” Dr. Peeke says. (And, of course, for your health.) “It has a much bigger effect than one drink a day.”