Keto diet has become very popular in the last few years. It’s a low-carb high-fat diet that helps you lose weight.
The goal of it is for your body to enter a state called ketosis, in which your body burns fat for energy, which is obviously amazing for weight loss.
Keto diet (aka a ketogenic diet) is strict and structured. It requires you to eat foods that have high healthy fat, moderate protein, and low carb intake.
Since keto is so strict and structured, eating out when you’re on the keto diet can be really challenging. When you’re on any diet eating out can be hard, but keto especially.
You need to find substitutes for a lot of ingredients, you have to sit next to people eating non-keto food that you love but can’t have, and you have to have complicated requests for waiters (usually) to make the necessary changes to your order so it’s keto-friendly.
But, with proper planning and research, you can actually enjoy eating out while sticking to your keto diet.
So, in this post I’m sharing with you some tried and tested tips on how you can make the right choices and enjoy eating out without ruining your diet.
How To Eat Out On A Keto Diet
Most of the tips you’ll see can be used whenever you’re eating out – no matter if it’s a fancy restaurant, a buffet, a fast food place, a coffee shop, a bakery, or anything similar.
Check The Menu Before You Go
This is probably the main tip you should follow – check the menu before you go.
This way, you’ll know exactly what to expect. You’ll know if the restaurant has keto friendly options and low carb options (in the last few years, since keto became so popular, many restaurants started offering keto options as well), or if there are some dishes that would be easy to turn into keto, by switching some ingredients, or removing some ingredients (maybe you can ask for a bunless burger, or remove croutons from your salad, or switch regular rice for cauliflower rice in your burrito bowl).
And if you see they don’t have any keto options, nor can you turn some dishes into keto dishes, you can tell the people you’re going with to switch the restaurant.There are many keto friendly restaurants out there, so you just need to do a little research and find them!
Finding the menu iteam you want to eat before going to the restaurant can save you some headache when you get there.
Fill Up On Healthy Fats Before Going
In many cases, the only keto options you’ll have are salads and veggies.
So, if there are too many people going so you don’t want to ask them all to move the location to a more keto-friendly place, or you simply can’t change the location since you’re not the one who organized the gathering, fill up on healthy fats before you go.
That way, you won’t be super hungry, you’ll be able to eat your veggies/salads, and not be too tempted by other people’s non-keto meals.
Don’t Be Tempted By The Bread Basket
We all know bread is delicious, and bread baskets are sooo tempting (yes Olive Garden breadsticks, I’m talking about you!), but you need to ignore the temptation when you’re on keto.
That’s another reason why eating something keto-friendly with healthy fats before you leave the house is a good idea – you won’t be super hungry, so you’ll be able to wait for your actual keto meal to arrive.
People who aren’t on the keto diet can snack on the bread you get at the table before your dishes come out, but you sadly can’t. So, if you’re not too hungry, the temptation will be much easier to resist!
Salads Are Always A Good Choice
One thing you can count on in most cases is that you’ll be able to find a keto salad on the menu. Whether that’s a side salad, or hopefully a full meal salad, they’re always there.
While not all salads are keto friendly (you’ll see what I’m talking about in the text tip), they are usually easy to modify – take out the croutons (for example Ceaser salad can be a high carb salad if you leave in the croutons and if the dressing is high carb), take out or switch out the dressing (many of them aren’t sugar-free), switch an ingredient, etc.
So, if all else fails, find a keto friendly salad, OR a salad that has the most keto ingredients, and just ask the restaurant to remove the non-keto friendly ingredients out of the salad, or switch them for some keto-friendly options. You can definitely enjoy some leafy greens and low carb veggies when going out, if you pay attention to the ingredients.
Keep An Eye Out For Dressings And Sauces
As I said in the previous tip, salads are usually great options when you’re on the keto diet. However, you need to be careful. While all dressings seem to be keto friendly, in reality, a lot of them aren’t. Many of them aren’t sugar free, since they have added sugar, and therefore they have a high amount of net carbs in them.
That’s why looking at the menu before you go is so useful – you can not only see which dressings they have and research if those dressings are keto friendly, but you can also see which other dressing options they have, so you can ask them to switch it out.
So, always check if the dressing on your salad is keto friendly!
The same goes for lettuce wraps, or any other (seemingly) keto dishes. All of the sauces and dressings can only seem keto (unless the dish is clearly labeled as ‘keto’), so do some research before you ruin your keto diet on such a silly thing.
Choose Good Drinks
If you’re new to keto, this may be surprising, but many drinks aren’t actually keto-friendly! In fact, most alcoholic drinks aren’t.
Beer, wine, sangria, cocktails, and many more, are some drinks you can’t have if you’re on a ketogenic diet.
However, tequila, vodka (just the alcohol, not with chasers), and pure alcohols similar to that, are usually keto-friendly. But definitely be careful what you mix them with, since many sodas are not keto friendly!
Since we’re mentioning sodas, you may be wondering – what about non-alcoholic drinks?
Well, a lot of non alcoholic drinks aren’t keto friendly either! Sodas, sugary drinks, syrups – all of that isn’t suitable for a keto diet.
But, what you can drink is water, coffee, keto friendly fresh squeezed juices, etc.
So, just choose good drink options, so you don’t ruin your keto diet without even noticing it.
Now that we covered tips for eating out in restaurants, let’s cover eating at a friend’s or a family member’s house – aka eating somewhere that’s not your home, but not a restaurant either.
Communicate With Them
This tip obviously depends on your relationship with the host.
If it’s someone you’re close with, or someone you know well, definitely let them know you’re on a keto diet and what you can and can’t eat. It will make things less awkward than coming to their party and not being able to eat anything – they will feel really bad, and you will be hungry.
So, if you’re close to them, just tell them!
However, if it’s someone you’re not close to at all, or even worse, someone you don’t know (that can happen when you’re a plus one), you will probably not be comfortable enough to tell them.
So, in that case, fill up on keto food before you go. We already covered that tip above, but making sure you’re not hungry when you go somewhere where you probably won’t be able to eat, is the best thing you can do.
Bring Your Own Food
This tip also depends on your relationship with the host.
But, if you talk it out with them, you can maybe bring a keto-friendly option to the party!
Make a keto-friendly dish you think even non-keto people will enjoy, and bring it! That way, you’ll have something to eat, you won’t be bothering the host by asking them to make or buy something just for you, and you’ll give other guests a new option that they probably wouldn’t be able to try otherwise!
Or, if the host already has a full menu prepared for the guests, and doesn’t need any extra food for everyone, you can talk to them and bring something for yourself – so you don’t have to ask them to get you something.
It all depends on what works for you and the host, so definitely talk it out, and find the best solution for everyone!
I hope you found these tips helpful, and good luck on your keto journey!