How to stay low carb and keto while eating out?
We know you want to stay on track, even when you're out and about. Eating out on keto can be super daunting but there are so many dishes coming out that can easily be ketofied! Staying on low carb and keto when you are planning on drinking, having fun with friends and family may seem hard but with these tips, it'll be easier than ever. We're making a list of keto eating at chains as well as general tips to help!
What options do I have when eating out on keto?
Keto subway options:
Salad bowl with any of the meats, mayo (watch out for those high sugar condiments), no corn but as many of the other salad toppings. Add some cheese for extra fats.
KFC keto options:
Opt for the grilled chicken range over the fried. (reduced menu currently with COVID so the grilled is not available)
For sides: coleslaw or green beans or salad
Starbucks keto options:
Try and have the black coffee as much as possible and then you can add heavy cream or unsweetened non-dairy milks. Sugar-free syrups Are only 1 gram net carb per drink.
Or pick unsweetened iced/ hot tea!
Chipotle keto options:
Try a Burrito bowl, no rice, no beans, extra meat or guacamole, you can add fajita veggies too. Add sour cream and cheese if you'd like but know they are a little on the high carb side.
Chipotle has a great macro checker so you can see exactly what's in your bowl.
(Tortilla in the UK is also a great option for those and is similar to chipotle and has it's own macro calculator)
Five Guys keto options:
Fully customisable burgers from Five Guys make it super easy to stay on keto while eating out, you can just swap the bun for a lettuce bun and ditch the fries.
Mcdonalds keto options:
- Breakfast sandwich without the bread
- Double sausage and egg McMuffin no muffin
- Double cheeseburger no bun
- Any of the salads no croutons
Wetherspoons keto options:
- the beef burger with salad, no bun
- Grilled chicken burger with salad, no bun
- 5oz gammon and eggs
- steak and salad (don't go for the high carb jack daniels sauce but the peppercorn is only 5g net)
- for more of a treat, try one the curries but no rice or poppadoms!
Nando's is actually one of the best restaurants around for keto! Almost everything on the menu can easily be ketofied.
Nandos sauce is surprisingly keto (except the mango and lime).
Ditch the fries for the salad
Go for the whole chicken products (wings, thighs, whole chicken, breast)
They provide skin on items for most of the chicken so it is a great way to get higher fat into your meal.
Keto Cheesecake Factory Options:
Their menu is so long! 21 pages with 250 different items. Deciding even before keto was hard! Here are the best 6 meals to get from the cheesecake factory!
- Pan-Seared Branzino Fish w/ Lemon Butter & Vegetables
- Spinach, Mushroom, Bacon & Cheese Omelette
- Seared Tuna Tataki Salad
- Tuscan Chicken
- Bacon Bacon Cheeseburger
- Chipless Nachos - this one is particularly shocking to me! Try having your nacho toppings on a bed of lettuce.
Staying on keto at brunch can seem difficult, lots of waffles, pancakes, pizza and other tempting carbs. You can opt for these types of dishes:
- Eggs benedict no bread,
- Full English, no bread, no hash browns, no beans, extra egg
- Salad, hold the grains
- Breakfast burrito, no-wrap
- Any breakfast combo, swapping the carbs for veggies, berries or salad
*most restaurants also let you bring your own bread if you like to make keto bread at home!
Green smoothies on keto
Don't be fooled by the item description, many green juices contain banana, mango, apple, pear or other high carb fruits alongside the celery, spinach & kale.
Opt for water, iced tea or coffee.
Keep the condiments away
Dips and sauces like "honey mustard, thousand island, BBQ & sweet chilli" normally contain a lot of sugar. Opt for mayo, sugar-free ketchups, ranch & blue cheese sauces unless you know the nutritional of the dip! Ask for these on the side, so you can control the amount you're using.
General keto tips for eating out:
Breaded? No thanks!
Skip a dish if it says “breaded” or “coated” (high glycemic carbs) and same with meals glazed in things like sweet chilli, maple, honey etc.
Pair any grilled meat or fish with salad or veggies for easy meal swaps. Think steak and salad, salmon and salad or veggies. You don't need to make it hard for yourself as you'd rather be enjoying that time with friends and family than stressing over what to eat.
If there truly is no good swaps and nothing on the menu that you would enjoy, have what you would enjoy and don't worry. You can have one meal out and not ruin all your progress.
- Stay away from the carbs in wines, prosecco & champagne is on the lower end of carbs, however.
- Pick spirits and diet drinks instead. I know the pina colada is calling but those bad boys have over 50g of sugar
Dessert is probably out of your carb count but if they do have some berries with cream that would be a great dessert option. Make it work for you. Again, treating yourself once in a while is better than leaving somewhere unsatisfied and as if you didn't enjoy it. You can always bring your own keto cakes and desserts like ours, and get them to add some cream! This can be especially helpful for birthdays and special occasions.
Don’t be afraid to bring your own bread to restaurants. If you ask ahead they’ll usually prepare it with your meal so you don’t need to worry. Wraps you can pop in your bag and bring anywhere. Find easy and tasty keto bread recipes here
"Dressing on the side thank you"
Always ask about the dressings and if in doubt then you can always opt for vinaigrette dressings instead of potentially sugary alternatives.
We hope this helped you in picking some good options for eating out on keto.
Check out these resources: