Keto diet will help people lose weight, improve health, increase energy and inevitably make them spend more time in the kitchen. Of course, being on keto diet doesn’t mean that you are banned from your favorite restaurant and forbidden to eat out. Eating out while on keto can be a daunting task but certainly doable with a little planning ahead and gathering more info on the menu of the restaurant you are heading to.
Follow some tips and tricks I am using when we go out and what to order to stay keto while enjoying with your family and friends.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK REGARDING THE RESTAURANT YOU ARE HEADING TO
If you know where you will dine out, check online what kind of food they are serving and browse through the menu to see what can be your options. Nowadays, there are many restaurants that will accommodate special diets like vegan, vegetarian or gluten free and hopefully keto in the future. You can always stick to good, old steak and veggie option or burger with lettuce instead of a bun. And don’t be shy to ask questions if you want to know where their meat comes from, if your dish comes with a sauce or condiment since it can be loaded with sugar and starch or if meats and seafood come breaded or not.
Those questions will help you choose the right option and enjoy your food without any guilt.
EAT AT HOME BEFORE YOU GO OUT
You don’t want to leave your house hungry. By that, I don’t mean you should eat a whole meal, but a light snack will help you with not overeating at the restaurant and staying on track with your diet. In that case it is unlikely that you will lean toward unhealthy options and you will not be hungry at the end of the lunch or dinner.
STICK TO KETO FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS
Some restaurants have menus that are more meat or seafood based and some have meal options loaded with starchy vegetables, bread and heavy, sugary sauces. You want to choose healthier types of restaurants like seafood venues, steakhouses, Mediterranean or Greek restaurants. Fast food joints, sandwich bars, taco places and some Chinese fast food restaurants are places you want to avoid since they are not too keto friendly. If you end up at any of them, try to avoid bread or breaded options. Go for grilled chicken, chicken wings or sandwich wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun. At taco places, order meat tacos and simply toss taco shell full of unhealthy carbs and fats. Avoid burritos and quesadillas, as they can be loaded with rice and beans with very little protein.
DON’T STRESS OVER IT
Family and friends are important and having or sharing meals together over some nice occasion is a reason to celebrate and not stay out of it. Your loved ones will understand your hard work and all the effort you put in on your path to losing weight or improving your health and I am sure you can make a compromise by choosing a restaurant option that will be suitable for both sides. And even if you end up consuming some extra carbs hidden in sauce or dressing, don’t beat yourself up! Tomorrow is a new day and new chance to recover and get back on track.
Here is a little guide on some restaurants and keto friendly options you can order:
INDIAN RESTAURANTS- the best option is tandoori chicken with meat but without naan. Their curries can be loaded with potatoes or dairy so be careful about those.
CHINESE RESTAURANTS- choose stir-fry dishes but pay attention to sauces or meat and rib soups and leave out noodle and rice.
ITALIAN RESTAURANTS– they have surprisingly wide variety of keto-friendly options if they are not Americanized. Choose among veal, salad and antipasti dishes, steak dishes or seafood with steamed veggies or fresh salad without heavy dressings.
MEXICAN RESTAURANTS– you will be safe by ordering guacamole, ceviche, grilled salmon or burrito bowls with salads instead of rice and beans.
MIDDLE EASTERN RESTAURANTS- these restaurants are one of the best options for keto dieters. They have large variety of good meat proteins, seafood, fish and meatballs (check for the breadcrumbs) and salads with light dressings.