Going out tonight? Wonderful! This guide will assist you in continuing your low carb diet while eating out. Get ready for delicious food — anywhere! Whether you are out with friends for a meal, getting some grub by your workplace or having supper at the home of your in-laws, we have recommendations for how to stay within your keto or low carbohydrate diet.
Low carb eating works anywhere. Here are seven awesome tips:
Most restaurants now have their menu available online. If you are a beginner to the ketogenic diet and apprehensive about making decisions while dining out, why not take a look at what your options are before you leave your house?
Look at the menu for items that are suitable for the keto diet, which are probably not sweet and are likely to be tasty. When you arrive at the restaurant, you can order dishes in a way that allows you to tailor them to your personal ketogenic or low carbohydrate diet.
Eliminate the Starch
Bounce the bread. Pass on the pasta. Purge the potatoes. Refuse the rice. Avoid making bad food choices by not including any starches with your meal.
- If ordering an entrée, most restaurants will substitute a salad or extra veggies for the starch.
- If ordering a sandwich or burger, most restaurants will substitute lettuce wraps for the bun.
- If they will not substitute, simply eliminate the unwanted item, regardless.
If your meal comes with a side item that is high in carbohydrates, think about what you can do with it. If you are certain you can leave it in its place and not touch it, go ahead.
If you are very tempted to consume some of the starch, ask your server to put the meal on a new plate without it. If you’re in an informal setting, make sure to throw out any unwanted pieces of carbohydrate before starting to eat.
If you feel the need to give an explanation (to the waiter or people at the table with you), simply tell them it’s due to digestive problems, an allergic reaction to food, or that you’re on a diet.
Even though fitting in is desirable for many of us, our health should be prioritized. Go with your gut feeling when deciding what dish to order and don’t feel as though you have to follow your dinner companions’ decisions.
Add Healthy Fat
Eating at restaurants can make it difficult to feel full without consuming carbohydrates, as the food usually tends to be low in fat. But this problem can be resolved by adding fat to a standard offering:
- Ask for extra butter and melt it on veggies or meat
- Ask for olive oil and vinegar dressing and drizzle the oil liberally on salads and your meal.
- Some restaurants serve cheaper vegetable oils rather than olive oil. This is possibly not as healthy, unfortunately, as these oils are highly processed.
- In addition, they are very high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which most of us may consume too much of.
- To avoid this, many seasoned low carb eaters carry a small bottle of olive oil with them.
- Ask for heavy cream for your coffee or tea.
Keep an Eye on Sauces and Condiments
Some sauces, like Béarnaise sauce, contain mostly fat. Others, like ketchup, contain mostly carbs. Gravies can go either way.
If you don’t know what is in the sauce, inquire about the components and abstain from it if it consists of sugar, flour, or other grain-based thickeners. Request the condiment separately and regulate the amount you put on your food.
Choose Drinks with Care
Perfect drinks are water, sparkling water, tea, or coffee.
If you decide to drink an alcoholic beverage, champagne, white wine, beer, or whiskey — plain or in a mixer — can all be good alternatives with fewer carbs. For further information, please refer to our guides on alcohol consumption in a low-carb and ketogenic diet.
Are you really still hungry? Take a moment to relax and enjoy a hot beverage like coffee or tea while you wait for the others to finish up eating their desserts. Maybe you don’t feel like having coffee because it is already late? Consider requesting decaf coffee or a herbal tea instead.
If you are in need of sustenance, seek out a platter of cheese and some berries in cream. Sometimes just cream or butter added to coffee is enough to be enjoyable.
Get Creative if Necessary
If you don’t find anything on the list that suits you, don’t hesitate to think outside the box.
- What about the Spaghetti Bolognese item – could the restaurant serve just the sauce in a bowl, like soup, with a large serving of sautéed green veggies on the side? Both would be perfect sprinkled with Parmesan cheese!
- Or, might you order two or three appetizers? A salad paired with shrimp cocktail and a cheese plate makes a delicious low carb dinner.
Just ask! As the customer, you deserve to have the meal that you want, provided it is reasonable.
At Buffet Restaurants
Buffets offer a huge selection of options, from low carbohydrate and keto meals to more. Do not consume food with the sole purpose of getting what you paid for – eat in order to be healthy and appreciate the taste instead. And never blame the chef if you overeat. You alone are in charge, so choose wisely.
Set Rules Before Leaving the Table
Before proceeding beyond the numerous tempting options, take a moment to reconfirm your decision to avoid the most harmful ones. Remember GPS – grains, potatoes, and sugar. Don’t put these on your plate.
Be deliberate. Be intentional. Do not overlook that if you take shortcuts, you are only deceiving yourself.
Focus on Fats, Vegetables, and Protein
Concentrate on all of the nutritious food accessible: salads, carvery selections, seafood dishes, and veggie medleys are especially appealing.
You can regularly locate some beneficial fats to include in your meal: olive oil, butter, creamy cheese, and sour cream. Request from your servers that they bring you some if you do not spot them.
After tasting your delicious low carb choices, you should no longer be wanting the unhealthy food.
Don’t Overfill Your Plate
Leave a little space on your plate while eating so that it is not filled to the brim with food.
You should strive to eat a similar amount of food as you normally would during a regular meal. If you desire to experiment, begin by sampling only a small portion of each item. If you haven’t had enough to eat, you can always get extra.
Take Your Time
Enjoy your dinner companions and the conversation. Drink your water and sip your coffee or tea. Allow yourself some time to digest before deciding if you need more food when attempting to slim down. It’s possible that you will eventually feel content and opt to forgo a larger helping.
What to Order at Restaurants
Fajitas are perfect for keto! Barbecued steak, peppers, and onions – it doesn’t get any tastier than this! Request that the server not bring the tortillas and instead provide extra vegetables in place of the rice and beans.
You can top your food off with sour cream, cheese, guacamole, and salsa. Ensure the salsa consists mainly of tomatoes, onions, and chilies, and does not possess a higher carbohydrate content due to components like corn, mango, or black beans.
At well-known Mexican fast-food places, you can get meat, cheese, and vegetables served in a lettuce bowl instead of a wheat tortilla.
Middle Eastern and Greek Cuisine
Choose kebabs or other grilled meat dishes. Ask for extra vegetables or meat instead of rice. It is suggested that one should not eat hummus and pita bread, stuffed grape leaves (which generally have rice), or anything else with beans or high carbohydrate content.
Try the famous grilled meat specialties from these cuisines, and don’t forget to include marinated feta cheese, olives, seared halloumi cheese, and a tzatziki or other type of yogurt sauce.
Indian, Afghan and Pakistani Cuisine
This is akin to the food usually found in the Middle East. Avoid rice, pita, and naan. Choose curries and dishes featuring grilled or roasted meat and vegetables; refrain from consuming chickpeas and potatoes. Some Indian restaurants are vegetarian.
It could be more challenging to select meals with fewer carbohydrates in this instance, considering that there might be numerous beans, potatoes, and other kinds of starch.
Chinese, Japanese and Thai Cuisine
No General Tso’s? No problem! Ask to have your food prepared either steamed or without any sauce. Substitute sugary and starchy sauces with soy sauce, wasabi, or mustard when seasoning your food.
Chinese take-away could include steamed chicken or shrimp with a side of veggies. Some eateries provide grilled chicken and beef on sticks.
Steer clear of dishes containing rice, noodles, wontons, dumplings, deep-fried items, and items that are fried in tempura batter. Sashimi is an excellent choice; just avoid sushi rice.
For Thai restaurants, avoid noodle and rice dishes. Select a curry with both meat/seafood and vegetables, along with spices and coconut milk. You should inquire to your waiter/waitress if the curries are thickened with either flour or cornstarch; they may possibly be able to leave those components out.
Pasta is definitely not an option, but there are loads of other options at Italian restaurants that work well with low carb diets. Opt for some greens, beef, poultry, pork cuts, or kind of fish with vegetables.
Refrain from eating bread and breadsticks and tell the waiter not to put any croutons on your salad. Ask for additional non-carbohydrate vegetables to be served as sides instead of pasta, potatoes, or polenta.
Pub, Diner or Bistro
These places usually offer a wide variety of options, making it simple to find something suitable. Employ the same approach that you would for any other situation: no grains or starches and no sugary treats for after the meal.
Some terrific options to consider include Caesar, chef, or cobb salads and bunless hamburgers or sandwiches. Request non-starchy vegetables in place of fries or any other starch-heavy accompaniments. It is common to switch out a carb-laden accompaniment in place of a house salad.
Options to consider include any type of roasted meat, poultry, or seafood, or an array of hard-boiled egg, tuna salad, or chicken salad served atop lettuce leaves.
Stick with eggs, bacon, ham, and sausages. Steer clear of flapjacks, Belgian waffles, spuds, toast slices, bagel-shaped rolls, cupcakes, produce, fruit drinks, preserves, etc.
Omelets with a combination of meat, cheese, and/or low-carb veggies are an excellent choice. (Think ham, onion, peppers, spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, greens).
You can have your eggs any way you like; it’s up to you to choose between poaching, scrambling, over-easy, and hard-boiling.
Avoid bottled ketchup, which contains high-fructose corn syrup. Use mustard, mayonnaise, or hot sauce as condiments. I’d like to have either coffee or tea, but I don’t want orange juice or a fruit smoothie.
Entrée Salad Options
You can modify your salad however you like, just avoid dried cranberries, other fruits, or crunchy noodles. Stick with lettuce, spinach, and other leafy greens.
Examples of appropriate ingredients to add to a meal are chopped hard-boiled eggs, bacon, cheese, avocado, ham, turkey, chicken, steak, salmon, olives, cucumbers, cut peppers, radishes, and other vegetables that are not high in starch.
You could opt to use a mixture of oil and vinegar or go with a dressing that is high in fat, like ranch or blue cheese. Steer clear of thousand island, French, honey mustard, raspberry vinaigrette, and other dressings that are high in sugar.
The same principles are applicable for drinks as for meals: steer away from the obvious sources of sugars and carbohydrates and choose options that you know will work for you.
Still or sparkling H2O is always a secure selection, as is brewed coffee or teas. You may choose to drink diet soda if you are including artificial sweeteners (or natural low-carb options such as stevia) as part of your nutritional plan. Do not disregard the capacity of freshly-extracted lemon or lime to liven up water or sparkling water.
You may find it unexpected that distilled liquors contain almost no carbs and that most wines have a moderate amount of carbohydrates.
Effects of alcohol may become more intense and happen more rapidly when you are on a low-carb or ketogenic diet, so be cautious and don’t drink when you are hungry.
Special Requirements When Eating Out
The recommendations provided here are meant primarily for those who are on a reduced carbohydrate or ketogenic diet program for the purpose of controlling weight or improving overall health.
If you have an autoimmune condition or a severe intolerance to gluten, soy, dairy, or another dietary component, you must take extra precaution when it comes to meal planning.
Visit these places when it is not very busy, when it might be possible to talk to the manager and cooks.
At a hectic dinner service, it is not proper to discuss extended medical details. Being polite and respectful when detailing any particular needs should keep diners from viewing the requestor as a nuisance.
You should tell them that if they accommodate your specific requirements, you will become a regular customer and advise others to also do business with them.
Even before the time of popular sites such as Facebook and Yelp, people telling their friends about a good experience at a restaurant was the best promotion a restaurant could receive.
It’s conceivable that decisions may be altered if one takes into account any principles related to the environment or ethics in particular, or if specific ingredients (such as soybean or corn oil, feedlot meats, farmed fish) are purposefully avoided.
If you only want to eat organic fruits and vegetables, and animal products that come from grass-fed or pastured animals, there may be restaurants near you that have this type of food, or something similar.
In case you are highly allergic or sensitive to certain components, it would be essential to avoid them altogether.
If you make a dietary decision based on individual preferences, remember that being able to interact with your loved ones and experiencing the joy of a joint meal is a distinctively human activity.
Loneliness and isolation have substantial negative impacts on health. It may be beneficial at times to break your own standards in order to mingle, talk, and take care of yourself in ways that don’t involve diet.