Alcohol is a simple sugar and in fact the simplest sugar there is. While most sugars have to travel to the intestinal tract to be absorbed, alcohol can be absorbed through the wall of the stomach, which is why you can do a few shots and feel it relatively quickly.
While most sugars yield 4 calories per gram, alcohol yields 7, and they are basically worthless calories. They are easily converted into triglycerides and stored as fat. The sugar also affects insulin balance, so you can not release stored fat. End result over time = beer belly.
Worst of all, since about 90-120 minutes after consuming a fair amount of alcohol, blood sugar drops, your body sends it these little chemical signals (neurotransmitters) trying to drive you to the foods that will restore blood sugar quickly. That's why you end up in Denny's or Jack in the Box at 3 AM.
Trick #1 is of course limiting alcohol consumption to one day per week (the Cheat Day). You can't get fat in a day, and if you're spending six days of the week boosting metabolism, your body will learn to burn through . . . . well . . . even a Denny's meal once in awhile. If Trick #1, seems too restrictive, that doesn't mean you can't do this. There are some steps you can take that will hinder alcohols negative effects on your physique.
First, if you are planning on having a few, a complete meal, consisting of a good amount of protein and some complex carbs (like a chicken breast and a potato) one hour before will allow you to get to those quality nutrients before those empty calories hit the bloodstream. Since protein has a "thermic" (heat producing or calorie burning effect), it will lessen the metabolic slowdown you'll bring about by drinking on an empty stomach and help to put your body in a state where it is more likely to burn at least some of those alcohol calories as energy. It might also be beneficial to swallow two carb blocker pills about 30 minutes before drinking. These are carb grabbers that inhibit the amylase enzymes that converts excess sugars into fats, lessening the likelihood the alcohol will be stored as body (read: belly) fat. It's also best to eat something sugar free along with alcohol to slow the rush of alcohol sugars into the bloodstream. Some low fat Doritos made exclusively from corn and some chicken wings might help slow the sugar rush (if consumed along with alcohol and of course not in excess).
Finally, the "post drinking" meal should be preceded by lots of water, even if you're not thirsty. This will minimize the dehydration that makes hangovers far worse, and should include foods free from sugar and low in fat. I know when you have those post-drinking cravings the little voice is begging you to get a chili cheeseburger, fries, and a chocolate shake, but I assure you, if you can discipline yourself to go for an egg white omelet with some whole grain toast or a grilled chicken breast and potato, after the meal the cravings will be gone. Level of sugar in the blood will become constant.