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Lower-calorie Alcohol Swaps To Stay on Track With Your Workout Goals

Happy hour can still be fun with a few simple tweaks.

Let's be honest: You may be really disciplined when working out at the gym. But it can be quite challenging to make healthy decisions while going out on weekends with your friends and keeping up with social plans. Many of us look forward to enjoying a few drinks when we're out and about or wrapping up the night with a cheesy slice of pizza or two. Fear not, because we're here with some lower-calorie alcohol swaps and more that'll make it easy to stay loyal to your exercise goals.

Making easy swaps can make your fitness journey sustainable.

man workout, unhealthy food concept

According to Luke Hughes, Level 4 Personal Trainer and MD at Origym in a press email, a simple weekend of socializing can negatively impact the fitness journey you've been working so hard managing. Fear not, because a weekend out on the town does not have to derail your workout diligence.

Hughes says, "The key to staying on track when on a fitness journey is ensuring you're informed when it comes to the effect certain foods and drinks can have on your body," adding, "Making simple food and drink swaps can make sure your fitness journey is sustainable, you're still able to enjoy yourself without jeopardizing your results. It's like damage control."

A few smart swaps can enable you to kick it up, have fun, and stay on your road to fitness success. Keep reading to learn more—it's all about choices!

Related: What Working Out Too Much Does to Your Body, Expert Reveals

Just a "few drinks" can cost you 2,000 calories or more.

cocktails lined up on bar, demonstrating lower-calorie alcohol swaps

When you're drinking, you're likely not keeping track of the calories in each beverage you down, but beware, because they can really add up. Once you learn the tweaks you can make, opting for better choices during your nights out on the town can be a total game-changer when it comes to staying on track.

Hughes points out, "Pre-drinks, a few pints in the pub, followed by a cocktail, then let's not forget the obligatory takeaway on the way home. Before you know it those 'few drinks' have turned into 2,000 calories and they'll have a knock-on effect on your fitness journey." Hughes suggests, "Why not try and make a conscious effort to choose healthier cocktails or drinks and opt for a healthier takeaway."

Needless to say, bag the cheese-loaded French fries or pizza, and choose some nuts or veggie sticks instead! You can save hundreds of calories. We have more easy swaps that will really come in handy for your next night out.

Related: The Best Fitness Habits That Slow Aging, Trainer Reveals

Swap out your sweet wine for a dry wine.

rosé wine bottle and rosé in vintage glasses

As far as alcoholic beverages are concerned, here are a few things you can easily switch up, so let's get into these lower-calorie alcohol swaps. Wine is so popular but can bring on a lot of calories if you don't choose the right one. Instead of a glass of sherry or marsala at 164 calories, a healthier alternative is a glass of pinot noir, merlot, or rosé reports Delish. Oh, and by the way, ordering a sweet white wine can give you an extra 100 to 150 calories for every single glass you drink, according to Popsugar. Opt for a dry wine instead!

Forbes reveals a margarita can be close to 740 calories, compared to ordering a mojito for 160 calories. A piña colada can be 644 calories, while opting for a Cosmopolitan would be around 150 calories. A Long Island iced tea could be close to a whopping 780 calories, while a gin/vodka tonic is a lower-calorie choice at 200 calories. When you mix up a few different types of liquor with a cordial pack, expect to get a higher-calorie adult beverage, Forbes notes.

Loaded potato skins aren't as bad as you'd think—but stay away from the blooming onion.

loaded potato skins

Beware, because one of the absolute worst things you can eat is a blooming onion, which can be as much as 1,950 calories, according to WebMD. You can opt for a crab cake at only 300 calories instead. And those cheese fries you love so much? They will cost you 2,000 calories. You can have just one loaded potato skin instead, which is only 150 calories. And know that the cheeseburger sliders are not your friends, either, although they do look quite tasty and tempting. Complete with melted cheese and sauce, three sliders can have as many as 1,270 calories, and that's a hefty price to pay when you've been so dedicated to your fitness! One 1/4-pound serving of beef skewers can be only around 130 calories, which is much more reasonable.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa