Hey Gorgeous Keto People!
Dining out on the Keto Diet can be a challenge in the beginning. But, once you know what to look out for you can ditch those cheat sheets and order with confidence.
It's easy and you won't have to feel like you are being fussy when you order because you'll know what you want and how to ask for it in a way that fits into your lifestyle.
I love the Keto Diet and shout from the rooftops about how it helped my husband get off of his medication all of the time.
But, when I go out to eat I don't necessarily want Keto to be the only topic of discussion...every time.
Sometimes I just want to choose from the menu and enjoy my meal with my family or friends.
What to eat at a restaurant on the Keto Diet
Knowing what you CAN eat on the Keto diet and what to avoid is going to be one of the biggest time-savers when dining out.
Check out and familiarize yourself with some healthy Keto Food Options on our Keto Shopping list if you are new to the Keto Diet.
This will give you a head start when you are trying to figure out what to eat at a restaurant (and at home) on the Keto Diet. (Plus, you won't have memorize any specific dishes for certain restaurants if you don't want to).
The Keto Diet is chock full of amazing food choices!
Going out to eat should be more about what you CAN eat and less about " I can't have this and I can't have that" type of mentality but you should know what to avoid...
Before we go any further....
Are you tracking your macros? If you already have something that you love than fantastic!
If you are still just guesstimating than you should check out this app. It's Stupid Simple Keto and it really is stupid simple.
Just click on the image and you will be able to sign up...oh yeah, it's FREE! There is a paid version but I like the free version just fine thanks...it's up to you but it's really cool.
I am not sure about the calorie calculations (they seemed a little low to me).
But, I just entered my own custom calories and was good to go. I got my macros from our nutrition calculator because it give me the BMR index and all of that good stuff. If you haven't figured your macros for a while, you should check it out.
A good rule of thumb is to re-calculate every time you drop ten pounds or more...this will keep you on track with your goals.
Coffee Shops (like Starbucks and Whatnot)
Of course plain black coffee, or black coffee with a shot of heavy whipping cream are always great options. Although the calories in heavy whipping cream can add up quickly.
Most coffee houses also have tea and iced choices (like cold brewed coffee), as well.
I know that Starbucks offers sugar free syrup but they should be considered a treat and not a go to because they are sweetened with sucralose...a nasty chemical that causes all sorts of problems.
You can read about Low Carb Sweeteners here if you want to know more about them.
Sticking to black coffee or packing your own Erythritol or Monk Fruit sweetener is a great idea if you need your coffee to be sweetened.
Sandwich & Sub Shops
A sub in a tub is...you guessed it, a salad. Sort of. You can still order your favorite sandwich, just ask for a sub in a tub instead of on bread.
Watch out for sneaky carbs here. Lots of dressings have enough carbs to kick you out of Ketosis but Mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip), Mustard and Bleu Cheese Dressings are usually a fairly safe bet.
Avoid vinaigrette's, they are laced with sugar.
Whether you are dining at Taco Bell, Chipotle or any Mexican Restaurant further up the food chain burrito bowls without chips are a good choice.
Avoid sneaky carbs in savory and cream sauces. Many of them are thickened with flour and will blow your carb count and progression in a hurry. And, hold the beans and rice.
Burger places are actually an excellent Keto Friendly option. Just order your burger without the bun wrapped in lettuce or take the bun off yourself as you eat your tasty burger. Speaking of burgers, if you make your own, check out these EXCELLENT Burger Buns. They are easy, tasty and fast.
Side dishes without carbs can be a rarity but some restaurants offer lower carb options like green beans, broccoli or salad.
Unless you are just going to eat the toppings without sauce than pizza places can wreak havoc on your carb count.
If they have the...Buffalo Wings are a superb Keto meal.
Just make sure to ask if they are battered and if there are any options without sauces like Barbecue sauce, Teriyaki, or Honey. Most "spicy" wings are made with red pepper sauce and vinegar. Opt for fatty dressings like bleu cheese or ranch dressing to dip your celery sticks in.
Any Place that Serves Breakfast All Day (Denny's and Mom & Pop's)
Meeting friends for breakfast and brunch offers up the best Keto options but some restaurants offer breakfast all day.
Bacon, eggs and/or sausage are about as Keto as you are going to get. Plus, this is a meal that will keep you full for the rest of the day.
Fast food chicken places and sit down restaurants alike usually have grilled options.
If you elect to have a chicken salad ask for it without croutons and feel free to pick out any higher carb accompaniments or ask them to leave them out.
Chinese Food is Tricky on Keto
But, there is a reason that I cook Chinese food at home. Most Asian inspired sauces contain a boatload of sugar. It gives it the "takeout" taste that I crave.
But, if you do find yourself at a Chinese restaurant with a group of friends, fear not.
If there is a buffet...you know what to do. Stick to sauteed veggies, small amounts of foods in "brown" sauces ( think broccoli & chicken) and Egg Foo Young types of dishes.
Avoid anything with too many caramelized onions. Onions are higher in carbs than you would think.
Green onions are a great choice and often used in good dishes with brown sauce like beef & broccoli. If there is a lot of sauce than skip it or ask the staff.
If you are at a sit down restaurant, Moo Shu Pork and Moo Shu Chicken are lower carb than most choices. Make sure to ask if the sauce comes on the side. Don't eat it.
Sticking to simple ingredients is going to be your best bet when dining out on the Keto Diet....
If you are not sure about "Special Secret Ingredient" sauces or any dish just skip it.
I hope this posts help you enjoy eating out on the Keto Diet. Travel is an important part of our lifestyle around here and if we never ate out at restaurants we would never get to travel again.
Building a Keto Lifestyle should bring you joy. Not make you feel like you have to avoid going out of the house.
And speaking out hanging out with friends...check out these Keto Cocktail options. Vodka and soda is a fantastic low carb drink. But you don't have to avoid mojitos or margaritas when you're a low carby....
Remember that Ketosis affects how you metabolize alcohol and you can read about Keto & Alcohol here.