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Jim Karas shares how you can drink up while still slimming down this summer

Jim Karas

Jim Karas

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Updated: July 1, 2013 5:20PM

Whether you know it or not, you are probably sailing on the summer “Booze Cruise.”

Why do I use the word “booze” instead of “alcohol” or “wine” or “beer?” Because “booze” is just fun. To me, it conjures an image of Frankie, Dino, Joey and Sammy — the whole “Rat Pack” — singin’, swingin’ and carousing, drinks firmly in hand.

The official start day of the cruise is Memorial Day, when the parties, the barbecues, the last-minute “let’s have a drink on the patio” events begin — and it seems like “it’s happening” (as they said in “Bridesmaids”) constantly.

My question to you is: What’s your plan? Honestly, you can’t get on the “Booze Cruise” without being the captain of your ship, or you may start to weigh as much as the anchor. That’s not my goal, and I doubt it’s yours.

So I want to give you my “Cruise 101” recommendations:

1. Start every morning with a big breakfast. I know I’ve told you this before, but the more you eat for breakfast, the less you will eat later in the day, which saves room for those extra “liquid” calories.

2. Keep count. A glass of wine is generally 5 ounces and contains between 20 (most whites) and 25 (the reds) calories an ounce, so count each glass as 100-125 calories total. Hard liquor is between 60-140 calories an ounce, depending on the proof. The more proof, the more alcohol, the more calories.

3. Eat before you party. Nothing hits you harder than a glass of wine on an empty stomach. I’m six feet tall and 175 pounds, and I can tell you that it has shocked me how buzzed I’ve previously gotten off of very little alcohol. Ideally, you should eat protein and fat. A hard-boiled egg, a few pieces of rolled up turkey, some low-fat cheese or a 2 percent yogurt will do the trick.

4. Be a two-fisted drinker. Drink 2 ounces of water for every ounce of alcohol. By doing so, you will probably drink less and look and feel so much better in the morning — alcohol robs the body of water as it breaks down while you sleep. By starting out with more water, you mitigate (that’s my SAT word for the column) the harmful effects of the booze.

5. Don’t go overboard, or odds are you’re going to drink and eat too many calories. Consider that you’re showing some skin in your clothes, and that you may even find yourself in a bathing suit (and no, you can’t wear a muumuu as a cover up).

See you at the bar. …

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