While you should stay at home and cook as much as possible, there will be moments when this isn’t plausible. Whether you are eating out at fast food or a sit-down restaurant, when eating out on the keto diet, you need to make smart choices.
Remove the Bun or Tortilla
An easy way to start eating out and sticking with your keto diet is to order a meat-based dish, but get rid of the tortilla or bun. The bread or tortilla in any meal is often one of the items that adds the most carbs, in addition to some vegetables. It is easy to eat your meal without it as long as you have utensils. You can get a chicken sandwich or cheeseburger, then get rid of the bun and think about the remaining condiments and whether or not they follow with the keto diet. For things like fajitas, it is easy to eat your chicken and veggies with salsa, and just skip adding the filling into the tortilla. In fact, this is one of the best options available at Mexican restaurants.
Don’t Eat Pasta or Rice as a Side Dish
When you are going to sit-down restaurants, you also need to be careful with your side dishes. Many dinner options, even those on the healthy side of the menu, will come with either rice or pasta as a side dish. These are a big no-no on the keto diet since they add in a lot of carbs you don’t need and that are not included on the menu. Try to think of other alternatives instead of always having pasta or rice on the side of your main course.
Always Get a Salad or Veggies on the Side
An easy way to substitute these high-carb side dishes is by asking for salad or veggies instead. Many restaurants are more than willing to give you a side salad instead of the pasta the chicken or fish usually comes with. If you are going to a fast food restaurant, choose their little side salad along with your grilled chicken sandwich, instead of getting fries.
Tips For Specific Fast Food Restaurants
When you order food at a sit-down restaurant, it tends to be a little easier to stick to a keto diet than if you were to eat fast food. Fast food offers less options overall and rarely have substitutions. Here are some ideas for having a low-carb, keto meal from these popular fast food restaurants:
Burger King, McDonald’s and other burger joints
When you go to a burger joint, you have two main options: you can either get a chicken sandwich or an actual cheeseburger. If you can, try to get a chicken sandwich since they tend to be a little healthier than burgers. Ask for a grilled chicken sandwich instead of one that is breaded if it is an option, and of course don’t have the bun. These burger joints also usually have some type of salad, so you can either get a side salad or forego the burger altogether and get a big salad. Just don’t use the croutons and be careful with the type of dressing you use.
At Wendy’s, you have many of the same choices, though they do tend to be better with their salad options. On occasion, you can also choose to get a small cup of chili, but don’t eat the crackers. While their chili does have some carbs, it is still less than something with breading or having French fries.
If you can choose a sandwich shop you are probably going to be better off. This is a good option because you are building the food item yourself, so you have complete control. Many sandwich shops, like Subway, allow you to create a salad or wrap instead of using a big roll, so that helps you remain on keto.
How Do I get Started?
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