Will eating out on keto be difficult to do? This is the question that many following a keto or low carb diet have whenever they get invited to dine out.
People who go on a diet often forego eating out thinking that it will probably just ruin their diet, but this does not have to be the case with the keto. You can still go out with friends and enjoy great food even when you’re on the keto diet. The key is to plan ahead and know the best places to go.
Whether you’re grabbing a quick snack, attending family dinners, or enjoying a night out with friends here are some great tips when eating out on keto.
Eating Out On Keto
1. Plan Ahead
If you’re living the ketogenic lifestyle, it’s always a good idea to plan your outing ahead of time. Look for restaurants that serve delicious, healthy, and keto-friendly meals. Come up with a list of these restaurants and suggest this to whomever you will be dining out with.
In this day and age of the Internet, it should be easy to look for restaurants that serve delicious and healthy meals. More and more restaurants are now including keto friendly dishes on their menus due to the fact that the diet has become so popular.
Try searching the net for “keto-friendly restaurants near me”. Check out the menu of these restaurants to discover the kind of food they are serving. If you have questions about the ingredients used, call the restaurant.
I always call restaurants to find out if they can serve me some green veg after I explain I don’t eat potatoes, carrots or rice. They don’t seem to have a problem with that.
2. Order The Right Food
If you get invited to a restaurant and you don’t have time to research in advance, the best thing that you can do is to choose your meals wisely. Look for foods that are made with healthy fats, moderate protein, and low carb veggies.
To be sure that you will not get kicked out of ketosis, you should be familiar with the foods that you ‘re allowed to eat.
“Remember that gluten-free doesn’t equal keto, so ask if there are any added sugars or grains in the dish you are about to order”.
Be careful with the sides as well. Most restaurants serve protein meals along with starchy sides, such as steak with fries. Ask if you can have it modified to suit your keto diet. You can perhaps request for grilled low cab veggies as the side instead of fries.
3. Be Mindful of the Sauces and Condiments
When eating out on keto, you need to be mindful of each and every item you put on your mouth, including the sauces and condiments. Before you grab that bottle of ketchup or dip in the BBQ sauce in front of you, find out what they are made of.
Many spices and sauces may be keto-friendly but some of them may have sugar that could put you out of ketosis. Hot sauces and mustard are usually the safest choices. Consider taking your own low-carb sauce or seasoning with you that can enhance the flavor of your meal.
I always take a small bottle of extra virgin olive oil and Himalayan salt with me to put on my meal because restaurants rarely have any unrefined olive oil or decent salt.
Sea salt has plastic in it these days so you don’t want that! Himalayan salt or Real salt is from ancient sea beds so does not contain it.
4. Get Creative With Your Meals
If you get invited to a restaurant that does not serve any keto-friendly meals, try to be creative and make good of what they have. For instance, if you can’t find any low-carb dishes for the main course, then skip the mains altogether. Instead, order some healthy sides that are keto-approved.
“ask for no croutons and opt for olive oil and vinegar in lieu of a sugar-laden salad dressing.”
5. Add a Dose of Healthy Fats to Your Meal
Make your meal more fat-friendly by adding an extra dose of healthy fats in it. For instance, check with the restaurant if they can add avocados on your salad. You may have to pay extra for it but at least you will have had more balanced dish.
See if they can boil a large egg for you to add to your meals. You could ask for more butter on your dishes or sides. Or perhaps, ask if they can double the amount of olive oil that they use for the salad dressing. Just be aware that they may be using a refined olive oil or refined sunflower oil.
6. Choose your Beverage Wisely
Eating out on keto is like going to a battlefield where you need to be alert and focused at all times since there are enemies everywhere. The culprits could be hiding somewhere and are lurking on your beverage!
A drink might look and sound safe enough but it may be loaded with sugar that could put you out of ketosis. You can still enjoy alcoholic drinks when you’re on keto. In fact, there are plenty of keto-friendly alcoholic drinks that you can order at some restaurants.
Related reading: 6 Damaging Effects Of Sugar On Your Body
Ask for low-carb cocktail drinks but avoid tonic water since they are often loaded with sugar. Steer clear of beers as well since most of them are high in carbs.
Related reading: What Can You Drink on a Keto Diet?
An alternative to be on the safe side is to stick with water. If you think that’s too boring you can request a slice or two of lime or lemon to add to your water to give it a bit of flavor.
7. Get Creative With Desserts
Don’t deprive yourself of desserts just because you’re on a low-carb diet. You cannot just sit there and watch your friends indulging their sweet tooth. Look for low-carb options on the menu, such as fresh fruits that are low in carbs. Berries are good if they have them.
Related reading: 5 Healthy Fruits You Can Eat On A Low Carb Diet
You can also have sugar-free chocolate truffles, peanut butter pudding or you may be lucky and find they have gluten-free fruit tarts. Yes, they may have a little grain in them but you might get away with it depending on how low carb you are keeping to.
You might finish the meal with some coffee with cream.
Related reading: What Is Keto Coffee and Should You Drink It?
8. Don’t Hesitate To Ask Questions
When eating out on keto, don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as you can. As a customer, you have the right to ask the restaurant for anything. For instance, ask if the sauce is sugar-free. Find out if they can prepare a low-carb salad for you, etc.
For as long as your questions and requests make sense, then there’s no need to worry. The best restaurants are very patient with their customers and are often very willing to accommodate every request. They are used to people on diets these days.
Remember that asking questions is important when eating out on keto so you won’t accidentally eat something that could kick you out of ketosis.
Want to get started on Keto? Take the 28 Day Keto Challenge. The 28-Day Keto Challenge is a well-crafted plan that guides you through your first month. You’re never left to figure things out on your own. The 28-Day Meal Plan guides you every step of the way.