How NOT to overdo it on Black Wednesday

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Tonight’s Black Wednesday, an evening to blow off steam before a long weekend of relatives.

Bars, restaurants and hotels have drink specials. There are free or cheap eats at many of them.

It would be very easy to eat too much and drink even more tonight. Don’t. You need to be at your best if you’re going to listen to Uncle Bob’s corny jokes again on Thanksgiving.

Here are a couple tips on how to have a good time without regretting it tomorrow:

Pace yourself. Got this tip years ago from Chicago dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner; I think it’s one of the absolute best. Instead of downing three fast drinks at a time, have one and drink it slowly. For your next drink, switch to water. (Or club soda. Ask the bartender for a slice of lime in it if it bothers you to be holding a beverage that doesn’t look like alcohol.) Again, drink slowly and keep alternating. You will drink less.

Just dance. It’s hard to drink and eat too much while you are on the dance floor. Dancing keeps you socializing without shoving drinks and food into your mouth.

Eat before you go. Yes, there will be food there, and it will be cheap. But the price you’ll pay for eating a lot of so-so food is unneeded calories. Do you really think it’s a wise idea to overeat the night before you’ll be at huge Thanksgiving feast? Remember, you want your pants to still zip up come Monday. Have a reasonable and satisfying dinner before you head out and the free eats won’t be that tantalizing.

Find music. There are a number of concerts on Black Wednesday and throughout the weekend. It’s easy to listen to one of your favorite entertainers without eating. Give it a try.

And whatever you do, don’t drink and drive! Get a cab. Take the L. Just don’t drive.

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