When it comes to eating out, here are a couple things you can do to stay on the keto diet:
- Stick to meat, cheese, and vegetables. Stick with the simplest ingredients you can find and avoid any fried or breaded foods.
- Avoid the bun. Whether you’re ordering a burger from a drive-thru or a table menu, opt out of the bun. Typically you can also add in extra sides like avocado, bacon, and sauces if you want some more fat.
- If you get a salad, read the ingredients. Many salads have berries, dried fruit, and croutons that are very high in carbs. It’s better to stick with simpler salads that include meat and/or cheese and ask for dressing on the side.
- If it’s breaded, try to avoid it. Typically chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, and other fried items will have a wheat flour-based breading. If you have no other choice, try to peel off as much of the breading as you possibly can. Pair the now naked meat with a fatty sauce. If you can, try to order your food with no breading.
- Be careful of condiments. While sauces and dressings are a fantastic way to get both fat and flavor into your food – they usually are filled with sugar. Be very careful with any sweet tasting sauces and try to opt for fattier salad dressings like ranch, Caesar, and bleu cheese (as long as they have no sugar in them). If you have the choice when it comes to sauces at a sit-down place, you can usually order an extra side of butter.
- Make a special request. You can request to the waiter that the meal be prepared in a certain way (gluten-free, low-carb, etc.). If you’re not sure, skip it.
- Track your macros. You’d be surprised at how many hidden carbs, sugars, and calories you’ll find in your favorite menu items. This can add up to the point where you end up causing your own weight loss plateau. Make sure you track your macros to keep you on track.
- Check online. Many food establishments put their nutritional information online. Some even offer a “build your own” style app where you can choose what ingredients you’re eating. This is a perfect way to see how many carbs and calories are in the meats and extra side dishes.
For a deeper look at how to implement these strategies with specific suggestions for popular restaurants, check out this article.