You don’t want to miss the business dinner with potential clients or lunch with your family, right? You don’t have to, even if you are on a keto diet. Although dinning out when following a high-fat low carb diet such as this one can be challenging, it’s not impossible.
It may be harder to choose the right meal since restaurants don’t usually have a special keto menu offering Philly cheese steak wraps for lunch and keto chocolate shake for dessert. But, they do have a menu in which you can find some keto-friendly meals. All you need is to plan in advance and consider the foods that you could eat in a restaurant. If this is your first dining out since starting your keto diet, here are several tips on how to dine out when on keto.
Copyright: Unsplash / author: priscilladupreez / I License: CC0 Public Domain
- Plan Before The Event
Most restaurants put their menus on their websites or social media pages. Therefore, before you go out, you can have a look at what the restaurant offers and plan what you are going to order. If you are not sure, you can always check your list of can and can’t eat foods. It will help you identify the meals that contain those foods.
- Choose Meals That Are Rich In Proteins
Whether you are on a brunch, lunch or dinner, you can always choose meals that are rich in proteins. Hence, you can choose meals that include: eggs, steak, bacon, mushrooms, cheese, salmon. You should also include a low-carb veggie salad with olive oil and vinegar.
- Remove The Starches And Grains From Your Plate
Pass on the bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, and other starches and grains. If you are ordering an entrée, you should swap the offered foods with a salad or steamed veggies. If there isn’t any keto-friendly option on the menu, you could order appetizers or sides.
Additionally, if you are ordering a burger or a sandwich, you should ask the staff to replace the bun with lettuce wraps. Also, be aware of the sauces coming along and make sure they aren’t sugary. So, instead of ketchup, BBQ sauce, marinara, and honey mustard, you can choose salsa, mustard, mayo, guacamole or hollandaise.
- Add Healthy Fat
The meals offered by restaurants are usually low in fat. In order to make them keto-friendly, you can add healthy fat. So, you could ask for extra butter which you can melt on the meat or veggies. Also, you could ask for heavy cream to add to your coffee or tea.
Copyright: Unsplash / author: cant89 / I License: CC0 Public Domain
- Choose Grilled, Not Fried
When choosing your main course, you will most probably choose meat, such as chicken, beef or pork. Although meat is keto-friendly, when it’s fried it’s not that friendly. It’s because one medium-sized piece has 8-11 grams of carbs. And, you don’t need that.
Choosing grilled over fried is also a great idea when eating at a fast-food restaurant. Since they offer fried chicken, they usually also offer a grilled chicken. The only thing you should be aware of is the bread that goes with it. But, you can always replace with lettuce or take it in a plate instead of wrapped.
- Choosing Drinks
The keto diet suggests avoiding alcoholic drinks because they contain a big amount of carbs. Luckily, there are many low-carb beverages, such as wine, vodka, gin, and tequila you can drink. When it comes to the non-alcoholic drinks, the best is to order water, black coffee, unsweetened tea, or sparkling water. You should avoid tonic water, mixed juices and all other sugary drinks.
- What About Dessert?
When it comes to dessert, you should ask yourself if you really feel hungry? If not, pass it on. If, yes, you can order berries with heavy cream or cheese plate. Or, you could just order a cup of coffee or tea.
It turns out that dining out isn’t as difficult as you thought. But, it requires a bit of planning ahead. By knowing which foods you can and can’t eat and which drinks you can drink, you won’t have a hard time deciding on what to order. Plus, you won’t feel awkward or ashamed being the only keto-er in the group.