For those of you trying to live a keto-friendly lifestyle, it can be hard enough even preparing meals for yourself. However, when dining out it can be extra challenging and maybe even tempting to cheat considering many restaurant menus are chalk full with buns and bread, pizzas and pasta, fries, sugary sauces, and fried stuff. You may think you’re only option is going to be ordering a bland salad, right? Well, think again! Here are some simple tips for ordering keto-friendly when dining out.
Say Bye Bye to the Bun
This can be easier said than done but you’ll be so happy you made the choice when you feel light and full of energy after your meal since you simply said bye bye to the bun. When ordering a burger, chicken sandwich, etc. simply ask for it without the bun. If there is a sandwich that may be impossible to eat without the bun ask for them to wrap it in lettuce. You can have them wrap the burger or chicken sandwich in lettuce as well if you prefer a hand held.
Pass on the Potatoes, Fries, or Rice
When they ask what side dish you want, it’s so tempting to say fries, right? Well, sorry, not on a keto diet. Simply sub the fries, potatoes, rice etc. for the mixed veggies or side salad. I know, it’s hard to make these choices, but think about the satisfaction you’ll have when you go home and feel great instead of stuffed and lethargic from all the heavy carbs. And, hey…often times, the mixed veggies or side salad will surprise you and be absolutely delicious. These are habits are hard to get into the first few times but so easy once we train our brains.
Say toodles to the tortilla
If you’re ordering Mexican, pretty much EVERYTHING comes with tortillas…tacos, burritos, tamales, enchiladas, tostadas, etc. Simply order without the tortilla and have them add/sub extra avocado, meat, beans, cheese, etc. so you can still indulge. The extra avocado and cheese will likely add more flavor than the dinky tortilla anyway.
Don’t forget about the sauces
The sauces and dressings can be an ingredient we look past when ordering, not thinking of them as being the carb culprits, but some of them are so high in sugar they could blow it. Try to stick to oil-based or creamy sauces and dressings. Ranch dressings, sour creams, and vinaigrettes are typically keto-friendly. Try to avoid barbecue sauces and many Asian style sauces and dressings that can be high in sugar. Here are some tips on ordering keto-friendly at Chinese restaurants.
DON’T FEAR EXTRA FAT
No matter what it is your ordering, you can always have them add some extra fat. If it’s a burger or sandwich you’re ordering, have them add extra avocados and sauce. If it’s Mexican you’re ordering, have them add extra avocados, beans, meat, sour cream, etc. If it’s a salad you’re ordering, have them add extra avocado, beans, meat, dressing, etc.
Ordering Alcoholic Beverages
Believe it or not, you can drink alcoholic beverages in moderation on a keto-friendly diet. Most dry wine (red, white, and sparkling) has only 2 grams of net carbs per serving. When it comes to other drinks, pure spirits like whiskey, brandy, cognac, vodka, gin, and tequila contain zero carbs and they are all fine on keto. However, avoid sugary cocktails and beer, which are much higher. Here is a good guide on how many net carbs are in popular cocktails. It is lower than you might expect, which for me, is GREAT news.
Sorry, YOU’LL LIKELY HAVE TO DITCH dessert
There really is no such thing as keto-friendly desserts at restaurants since I’m pretty sure none of them are substituting out sugar for stevia. Dessert is a challenge when on a keto diet. Let me know if you have any tips on this section!
I hope these tips for ordering keto-friendly when dining out help make your dining experience easy and enjoyable.