10 Tips - How to survive the party season

Simon Clark, publisher, Men's Fitness, Dennis Publishing

1. PROPER PRE-PARTY PREPARATION

Drinking milk before a boozy night out won't line your stomach. Instead, have a bowl of soup and a wholemeal roll. The soup will prevent dehydration and the roll is packed with fibre that will slow alcohol absorption, giving you a few more minutes of coherent chatter. 2

What's your poison?

The basic rule is: the darker the drink, the worse the hangover. The toxic by-products in dark drinks set off the bomb in your skull and coat your tongue with fur the day after.

3. AVOID A BEER BELLY

One pint of lager has 170 calories. Beer calories are also nutrition-free, so will be converted into fat and find a resting place in your sagging gut. Order a gin and slimline tonic instead, and ignore the taunts of your beer-swilling, belly-swelling mates.

4. BOWLED OVER

Most crispy snacks are an inviting concoction of salt and fats - basically, a heart attack in an easy-to-nibble form. Scan the snack bowls, then aim for the Twiglets (12% fat) and sidestep the Hula Hoops (32%), Pringles (37%) and salted peanuts (53%).

5. GRAB A SEAT

People drink more when they stand up, according to recent American research. This could explain why bars hide chairs and force everyone to indulge in what is referred to as "vertical drinking". So if you don't want to get obliterated at the office do, find a seat and guard it with your life.

6. DRINK WATER

Ignore the idiots who claim water dilutes booze and gets it into your bloodstream faster. Water is your most essential weapon in tackling the party season. Keep a two-litre bottle on your desk at work and aim to chug the lot every day.

7. WRAP UP WARM

When you get kicked out of a club at 2am and decide to walk the three miles home, the chances are you won't feel the cold, as alcohol will have numbed you to any sensation at all. However, alcohol increases blood flow to the skin, which leads to greater heat loss than normal. So take a coat, hat and gloves - and try to remember where you left them.

8. MORNING-AFTER RECOVERY

Hold the fry-up - the saturated fats will only make you feel worse than ever. Instead, have a big glass of orange juice, a bowl of Coco Pops and a banana. The juice will rehydrate you and help boost low blood sugar levels, the Coco Pops have extra vitamins and bananas provide potassium.

9. LEAVE THE CAR BEHIND

It takes about an hour for your body to metabolise one unit of alcohol. That means if you have seven pints of lager before quitting at 1am, it will be around 3pm the next afternoon before you are officially sober again. When you stagger out of bed at 7am, the chances are you will still be over the legal alcohol limit to drive.

10. RUN OFF YOUR BIG NIGHT OUT

How long would it take to burn off the calories you consume at a Christmas party? If you have a full three-course dinner, washed down with several pints of lager, that will add up to a hefty 3,000 calories. The average man burns about 800 an hour, so to lose your Yuletide blowout, you would need a run of three hours 45 minutes!

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