Just because you follow a keto diet, does not mean you cannot eat out at a restaurant or order the occasional fast food.
I know, given our focus on high carb food, eating out may be somewhat intimidating.
We can find places to eat, and at most restaurants we can get “something” good to eat. Your may just have to be more careful with your food choices.
So, when a friend invites you for a meal, don’t panic! You got this!
Your first and best option is to find a restaurant that specializes in low carb or keto-friendly foods. But this is not always an option.
If you cannot do that, you’ll want to make the best food choices at a standard restaurant. You really can eat keto fast food at any restaurant without sacrificing your diet.
Just be prepared, know what to expect, decide what you will be eating and stick to it.
One of the problems with eating out, especially early on in your keto journey, is the temptation when you are at a restaurant.
If you know the smell of bread will be triggering you to eating high carb foods, then stay away from a bakery or deli.
In the same way if you are at a restaurant that serves bread the moment you sit down ask them not to. Or ask your companion if they want bread and if they don’t ask the waiter to remove it.
So, always focus on setting yourself up for success and remove unnecessary triggers.
Choose the type of restaurant that either won’t trigger you or the ones that have more LCHF food options.
Keto-friendly Restaurant Options
Many of our typical restaurants have several keto-friendly meals.
The best keto-friendly restaurant options include the following:
1 – Steakhouses
Steakhouses are an excellent option for those on a keto diet.
Choose you preferred cut of meat and combine it with a green salad.
But say no to all the starchy side dishes and sugar filled sauces.
2 – Seafood Restaurants
Plates of seafood can be really high carb or the perfect low carb meal. You choose!
When dining at a seafood restaurant, make sure to avoid anything that is battered. Yes, what is important is how the fish is prepared. Stick to fish or seafood that is either grilled, broiled, or steamed.
Again, you’ll have to say no to the chips, rice and sugar laden sauces.
3 – Barbeque Joints
If you’re wondering how to stay on your keto diet while at a BBQ joint, here’s the answer.
Grilled or smoked meats, such as pulled pork, burgers, and steaks are the best barbecue choices.
However, be cautious with their BBQ sauces since they could be high in carbohydrates and sugar.
4 – Burger Joints
Even though burger joints are all about bread and buns, you can still wrap them with lettuce, the best substitutes for anything wrapped.
Or if you’re not into that leafy green, you can ask to serve the sandwich filling or the burger on a plate and eat it with a fork and knife instead.
5 – Chinese Restaurants
When you crave your favorite Chinese fast food, don’t worry about your diet, you will find some tasty low carb options at most Chinese restaurants.
Do take a close look at what you order though.
Good options include pork belly, steamed meats, garlic sauce, beef, and broccoli. Other great options are hot pots and buffets since you can decide what goes on your plate.
If you don’t see the best options on the menu, ask your server for help or ask if they have a second menu. Many Chinese eateries has a second menu.
6 – Mexican Food
Even though Mexican food is primarily high in carbohydrates, you can still make variations that can work with your diet.
Your favorite burrito fillings can be served with no rice, beans, or tortilla; just let it be served in a bowl.
Instead of high-carb corn chips, you can still enjoy salsa with sliced veggies, such as cucumbers.
Lastly, you can also serve your tacos in a lettuce leaf instead of a tortilla.
7 – Sushi Dining
If you like sushi, you can still eat out at a sushi restaurant.
However, you’ll need to skip the rice and the fried and breaded dishes.
Stick to dishes like nori rolls with cucumber and avocado, hand rolls with salmon or tuna, avocado and vegetables.
And ask – your favorite sushi restaurant might serve sushi made with cauliflower rice.
8 – Italian Eateries
Pasta is known for its richness in carbohydrates. But it’s not the tasteless pasta itself that people love. It’s the pasta sauce that creates the tasty flavor.
You can still get the pasta flavor on your Italian meal.
Instead of pouring sauce on pasta, you can pour the Alfredo sauce or the marinara sauce to your veggies and meat to enjoy the same taste.
9 – Breakfast Diners
Eggs will always be one of the main items served at a breakfast table. The good thing is, they can be done in many ways and still be safe for your keto diet.
You can incorporate steak, bacon, avocado, cheese, or meat with it. Moreover, you can also pick breakfast bars as a healthy alternative for eggs, provided they’re of the low-carb type.
What you must avoid in breakfast dining includes toast, waffles, pancakes, oatmeal, muffins, and hash browns.
In contrast to the keto-friendly restaurants above, there are also specific eateries you may want to avoid like pizzerias and sandwich delis.
And this is not just because the types of food they serve but also because the smell of freshly baked bread that trigger many of us.
Guided by the keto-friendly restaurants above, let your friends understand how it’s vital for you to stay on track with your diet by considering where you want to eat.
Wherever it is, it will surely be fun as long as you’re with great company.
Considerations when Eating Out
Now that you have an idea of the better restaurants to frequent if you want to order a keto-friendly meal, let’s have a look at a few of the other principles that will help you to stay on track when dining out.
Here are a few of those things:
1 – Bread
Avoid bread! When you’re to be served with sandwiches, you can escape the buns by wrapping them in lettuce and remain keto-friendly.
If the restaurant can’t wrap it with lettuce, you can still skip the bread and order a few large leaves of lettuce for you to wrap and cover it yourself.
2 – Side Dishes
Play safe on choosing your side dishes.
Instead of the usual fries, you can eat veggies that are low in carbohydrates, such as mushrooms, cauliflower, or asparagus.
Another option could include a simple side salad.
3 – Salads
Not all salads are low in carbohydrates. There could still be carbs hidden from you that you need to watch out for.
Ask what’s in the salad. Avoid those with corn, beans, and starchy food.
4 – Salad Dressing
As your salad dressing, you can use olive oil or oil and vinegar. For your toppings, skip the bread or anything candied since they are laden with sugar.
You also have to watch out for croutons. You can ask for your salad to be dressed in olive oil, vinegar, and lemon instead.
It is useful to ask for salad dressing and for that matter all dressings on the side, so that you can monitor how much and what you eat.
5 – Butter
Make sure the little packets of butter you get are real butter.
Some could be margarine, and those buttery flavors are from vegetable oils.
If you know the brand, great! If you don’t, ask.
6 – Sauces
Most sauces like teriyaki, honey, or barbecue and even mayonnaise is filled with sugar. Best avoid them.
If you are looking for a sauce on your steak or burger, try plain butter with pepper or cheese sauce.
But always ask what is the in the sauce.
7 – Soda
Obviously, you want to skip soda drinks as they contain way too much sugar.
You might want to try a carbonated water or plain seltzer.
You can even carry our own little bottle with Stur water enhancer to enjoy a refreshing drink with your keto-friendly meal.
Eating out while on a keto diet is not that bad and your lifestyle choices shouldn’t have to compromise your social life.
There are better and worse options as to where and what you can eat.
Start by doing research, so that you can choose the best restaurant that caters for your keto lifestyle.
Don’t be afraid to ask the chef about their dishes or to request a specialized meal.
Always be mindful of which food items you choose, and don’t get side-tracked by all the high carb food items on the menu.
If you are new to keto, then you’ll also want to download our eating out guide…