Its no surprise to anyone with a health or fitness goal that alcohol is difficult to factor in. Alcoholic drinks are often high in calories, sugar, and carbohydrates. But does having a health or fitness goal mean you have to skip out on the alcohol all the time?

There’s no getting around the facts. High calories, high sugar content, and high carbohydrate intake are not conducive to a healthy diet or weight loss. In addition to the nutrition label, alcohol actually stalls your metabolism, so it can in fact set your health goals back.

That being said, life is about balance. And we know you work hard to maintain your health. That’s why we’ve compiled these tips on how to choose the healthiest alcoholic beverage when you’re out. Here’s how you can incorporate the occasional alcoholic beverage without derailing the healthy lifestyle you worked so hard for.

Go light. If you have to drink beer, go for the lighter alternative. Light beers, while they may not taste as good, can have just a fraction of the calories and/or carbohydrates.

Get back to the basics. Straight alcohol isn’t for everyone, its definitely an acquired taste. There’s a reason sugary drinks are the norm.. they taste better! That being said, straight alcohol has far fewer calories than their sugary counterparts. So if you can stomach it, skip the juice and soda mixers. Try a vodka soda or tequila on the rocks. You may surprise yourself.

Just have one or two. Stopping after just one or two drinks not only helps cut down on the calories, sugar, and carbs, it helps eliminate the hangover the next day too. Bonus! If you’re not ready to go home after one, but don’t want to hang with friends empty-handed, switch to a diet soda or sparkling water. You’ll still feel included and your friends won’t be the wiser.