If you’re a longtime reader of my column, you’ll notice that I write a lot about what I term Hong Kong Balance, which is a life of excess in both extremes—detox and retox. Why? Because I’m uncreative. Other why? Because I think it’s an apt description for life here; we don’t do anything moderately. So with this Hong Kong Balance in mind, I asked my nutritionist Elisa Haggarty (Shout out! www.elisahaggarty.com ) the following question: Can we be healthy while going out on a huge bender? Her answer: No. Ok, fine. New question: how can you be the healthiest when you’ve decided to go full unhealthy for the night? Her answer (plus some tips from me): Pre-Party If you want to be cheap and cheerful: light dinner. Leafy salad with chicken/salmon. The drinks will hit you FAST. If you want to pace it, go hearty: carbs, veggies, protein, two to three glasses of water. Then, go after it. Alcohol is “empty calories” and will make you gain fat. Well, duh, but we’re talking unhealthy/health here. So if you are drinking: Beer : Miller Lite, Michelob Ultra, and Yuengling Light are the lowest calorie beers. They are also not widely available here and have the smooth taste of gravel. So stick with Guinness in a can (126 calories) or Tsingtao (153 calories) in a bottle. For the hard stuff: one word—vodka. 100 calories a shot. Best you can do. Wine drinkers : you should be ashamed of yourself. This isn’t a dinner party. Partying For mixers, stick with soda water. Tonic has high fructose corn syrup. That stuff is wicked bad. Other things not to drink: diet sodas / Redbull. They’re evil. Also, a rum diet coke is not healthier than a rum and coke if you really want it. Take the sugar, avoid the studies-have-been-inconclusive-linked-to-cancer-um-maybe beverages. People say that while drinking you should try to alternate each drink with a glass of water. Are these people idiots? Seriously, are you a camel? Non-camels, avoid crazy hangovers by choosing a time before partying to shut down the booze. So despite how insane it gets, you know you’ll be done drinking at, say, 2am and you can water yourself to life before 4am. Sometimes, for the hell of it, order a glass of just soda water. It will hydrate you and give you a short break for all the bad things you’re going to do. This is a more realistic option. If you know you’ve had enough but you have to do a shot (b-day, aggressive friend, whatever), “take” the shot, then have a sip of your drink and spit it into your drink. Disgusting? Yes. Better than vomiting in a trash can? Yes. Post-Party Don’t eat late at night. That’s what the sober me tells my drunk self one day too late. If you do eat, minimize the gain via a) ordering from the kid’s menu—it’s a good drunk convo topic; b) trying simple things like an egg with toast, or a mini-omelet with vegetables. Stop a little before you’re full and wait to see if you really are full. Push your plate away from you to stop errant drunken snacking. The Morning After If you’re not home, sneak out of whatever apartment you’re at and head home. Then— Drink coconut water. Stock it in your fridge. It has four times the amount of electrolytes than Gatorade and twice the amount of potassium as a banana. Walk around outside. Have some regular water. Orange juice is ok too. Deep breaths my friend, we’ll get through this. We always do. Yalun Tu is a columnist for HK Magazine. You can reach him at email@example.com or @yaluntu on Twitter.