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46. Eat before you drink.

Talk to the waitstaff before you talk to the wine steward. About 20 percent of the alcohol that you drink is absorbed in the stomach and can reach the brain almost immediately, especially if you're sipping on an empty stomach. If you find that booze causes you to put your willpower on the rocks, don't imbibe until you place your order and begin eating your meal. A full tummy can help slow down the absorption of the firewater and delay your good judgment from becoming narcotized. If you are solo, consider ordering wine by the glass; or if it's dinner for two, uncork a half-bottle to keep to a more reasonable amount. As always, women should drink no more than one alcoholic beverage daily, whereas men should keep to no more than two daily.


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All tips written by Joan Salge Blake, M.S., R.D.

--Updated August 2003


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