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The energy-efficient design of short-distance wireless communication systems requires the inclusion of circuit energy consumption in the system's total energy budget. We consider the design of constant power link adaptation schemes in which circuit energy consumption is included in the total energy budget and in which the system's instantaneous bit error rate (BER) must never exceed a predefined threshold. We show how-in numerous cases of practical importance-the dimensionality of the associated nonlinear optimization problem can be reduced from N + 1 to 1, where N denotes the number of available transmission schemes. The main contribution-a methodology that significantly simplifies the design of such constant power link adaptation schemes-is then illustrated by an example.