Don’t know what or how to order Keto when you are going out to a restaurant? In this post, I tell you my Top 8 Tips to Eating Out on Keto Diet
Guess what? Summer is finally here, well, for the most part. Do you know what I think of when I think of Summer? Patios & Tacos. For real though…
Everyone loves going out to eat, especially in the summer. It’s a social thing. Friday night happy hour, weekend birthday parties, your cousin’s graduation celebration, and The Cheesecake Factory, summer is full of events all related to food and going out to eat.
However, there is one slight problem, you’re on a Ketogenic Diet. You’re committed to it and although if you do cheat on occasion, you can easily get back into ketosis by using the tips described in this post, cheating every weekend will catch up to you.
So, what do you do? You can’t decline every offer to go out just because you are on a “diet”. If you want this to be a sustainable lifestyle choice, you will have to figure out how to adapt it to your social life. Which is much easier than you may think.
I love going out to eat and I would never give that up. I have also been following the Ketogenic diet for almost 4 years and have discovered tips to eating out on a Ketogenic diet and how to easily stay Keto when going out to eat whether it be summer, winter, a social event, or even when you are traveling.
Here are my Top 8 tips to eating out on Keto:
1. Before you go to a restaurant, check out the menu online and plan what you will order
Ideally, if it’s up to you to choose a restaurant, choose something that has a lot of protein and veggie options. For the love of God, don’t choose an Italian restaurant, pizza joint, or Chinese buffet. You will be setting yourself up for failure and the temptation to cheat is way too high.
If it isn’t your choice, look up the menu online and start planning and thinking about what you can order. Take a mental note of what your options are so when you are there you are not tempted to order something non-Keto and you are prepared.
2. When it comes to ordering alcohol on Keto, you have some choices
I am going to start with this one because, well, duh! Having drinks is all part of the “going out” experience! Also, it is the first question that the server asks you when you’re ready to order.
When it comes to eating out on Keto, you can absolutely drink alcohol Here’s how:
If you love wine as much as I do, go for the dry red or white. Stay away from the Moscato and Reisling. If you are confused as to how many carbs are in each wine, check out my Keto Alcohol Guide.
PRO TIP: Download the app, “My Fitness Pal” to your phone. Pick a wine that sounds appealing and kindly ask the server to bring the bottle to you. Promise him/her that you aren’t going to drink straight from it ????.
Now, open up the app and using the scan feature, scan the barcode of the wine bottle. Most of the time, common wines used in restaurants are stored in My Fitness Pal’s database and it will tell you exactly how many carbs are in a glass.
It’s genius, you’re welcome. Ever since I discovered this little trick, I use it all the time, even when I am choosing wine at the grocery store.
Although the fancy cocktails sound amazing and are drool-worthy, most of them contain specialty syrups that are straight sugar. Instead, choose your liquor of choice and ask them to add soda water and lemon or lime.
- Some of my favorites are:
- Gin with soda and lime
- Vodka with soda and lemon juice
- Rum with soda water, lime juice, and mint
- Straight whiskey chilled baby.
The point is, you have options. One glass of wine won’t break keto. However, if you start splitting bottles with your girlfriend, you might be in trouble. Consider switching to liquor instead if you are planning on having more than one drink.
3. When it comes to ordering apps, go for the Charcuterie or Cheese Board
Most restaurants have some kind of cheese and meat plate on the appetizer menu which is great for Keto. All you have to do is ask them to hold the crackers, or maybe they will be nice enough to add more pickled vegetables instead. Or, just give the crackers to your non-keto dining companion.
Besides that, a shrimp cocktail is also another great option when it comes to ordering appetizers.
Stay clear of anything that is “breaded” or “fried”. If they have wings on the appetizer menu, ask them if they are breaded and what oil they fry them in. Stay clear from bad oils such as vegetable oil.
4. If you order a salad, ALWAYS ask for the dressing ingredients
I’ve made this mistake way too many times when I was “too shy” to ask the waiter what the salad dressing ingredients were. Always ask. Most of the time, the wait staff won’t know the answer and they will have to go back to the kitchen and ask the chef.
A lot of salad dressings in restaurants contain some kind of sweetener. I once asked a waiter if a specific salad dressing had any sugar in it and he said “No, it’s just oil, lemon, vinegar, and honey.” Ha. You may laugh, but just remember, most people don’t know that Honey is sugar.
Whether it is Honey, Agave, Coconut Sugar, or “Organic Cane Sugar”, it doesn’t matter. It’s all sugar and it will kick you out of ketosis if you consume too much of it.
Trust me, it’s not worth getting kicked out of ketosis over some salad dressing. I want to get kicked out with a cookie the size of my face. Just saying.
Ok, so now that you’ve asked everyone and their mother about the salad dressings, you realize that every single salad dressing has some kind of “sweetener” in it.
Besides that, when ordering salads, make sure you ask them to omit the croutons and all of the non-Keto fruit so that they may be used as a topping.
5. When it comes to ordering the main entree, go for the protein
Most restaurants will offer a variety of protein dinner options. When you are choosing one, don’t be so concerned with the sides it comes with, focus on what they cook the protein in.
For example, if you want the chicken but it’s a “Chicken in a maple bourbon glaze” type of deal, that is probably not a great choice.
On the other hand, maybe there is a “Pan seared garlic thyme Pork Chop”. Ok, now we are talking. I can do that. The point is, pick a protein that is either plain like a grilled steak (which you can’t ever go wrong with), or a piece of fish or meat that isn’t swimming in sugar sauce.
Most of the time, you can ask if you can get the protein without the sauce and there will be no issue. However, sometimes, the protein is marinated in that sauce and made in advance and there is no way to have it removed.
Again, ALWAYS ASK. Do not be afraid to ask questions. You are paying lots of money to go out to eat, there is nothing wrong with asking questions about what exactly is in the food you are eating.
6. Substitute the sides with vegetables or ask to omit the carbs altogether
Ok, so you found your protein option, but it comes with french fries and creamed corn. So, what do you do? This is the natural part.
Go through the menu look at the a la carte side dish options and pick two veggie sides that are Keto friendly. Almost all restaurants will have asparagus brussels sprouts or broccoli.
If they only have one then ask them to double up on that vegetable and omit the carby stuff.
Again, be careful with this as well, and ask questions about how those vegetables are made. Most of the time, the name will let you know if there is any sugar in them.
For example, a lot of restaurants will serve honey mustard brussels sprouts, or something like that. That’s not going to work for you so you may want to ask if you can omit the sauce. If you can’t get another vegetable. There are always other options.
7. Ask for extra butter or olive oil
When it comes to eating out on a Keto, don’t be afraid to ask for extra butter or oil so you can drizzle it on top of your protein and veggies.
This will help you get full so you don’t feel deprived or tempted when you see your dining companion bite into that juicy burger.
At first, this will be very awkward because let’s face it, people are still deathly afraid of fat.
You may get a weird look from your server and crazy looks from the people you are out with but who the heck cares what other people think?
Nowadays, Keto is so popular, you are bound to have at least one person understand why you want to drench your broccoli in butter.
PRO TIP: I usually always take the butter from the bread basket and use it for my food. Bread Basket butter is most likely the best quality butter that restaurant has so I’m all over that.
8. BYOD- Bring your own Dessert
Don’t you love when servers nonchalantly slip the dessert menu in front of your face and that peanut butter blondie brownie topped with Nutella ice cream covered in Carmel whipped cream is calling your name??
Ok, I don’t think such dessert exists but wouldn’t it be soo good if it did?
Back to the point here, if you are a sugar freak like the rest of the world then have your own dessert ready.
Either place some Lily’s or Choc Zero in your purse or pocket and secretly take a bite when no one is looking or make some keto dessert before you go out and know that when you get home, that will be your “dessert”.
This works so well because you won’t have FOMO (fear of missing out) on dessert.
Your brain will tell you, “Hey Girl”, you have those Fudgy Keto Brownies waiting for you at home or that Nutella Skillet Cookie that is ready for you. (Yes, both of those are Keto and both of those are my recipes that you can make in no time.)
Final PROTIP to Eating Out on Keto :
Tell the server you have a Gluten and Sugar allergy
Think about it. When you go out to eat or to a social event, and you say you are on a “diet”, what is the typical reaction?
It’s usually, “Ok, cool, so is the rest of the world.“
However, if you have an allergy to a specific food, no one ain’t messing around. The last thing a restaurant wants to do is be responsible for someone having an allergic reaction to their food. That’s just bad press.
So, if you are really serious and want to make sure 100% that you won’t get fed any carbs or sugar, simply state, ” I have an allergic reaction to gluten and sugar”. Can you please make sure that none of the food I order contains any gluten or sugar? Thanks. Be nice and tip well. ????
You don’t have to be dramatic about or explain yourself. It’s none of their business if you are truly allergic to gluten or sugar, however, they will take you more seriously and pay more attention to the food they are serving you.
Ok, that is it, my friend!! You are now equipped with my top 8 tips for eating out on Keto! It’s much easier than you thought right? At first, it will be a bit overwhelming and you will have to get used to asking a lot of questions but after you get the hang of it, it will be like second nature.
Remember, this is your body and your health. What you put into it matters. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to make the best decisions for yourself. Don’t be too embarrassed or shy about it. You are overpaying for restaurant food so you might as well get the most out of it!
If you enjoyed these 8 tips for eating out on Keto, share them with a friend! Comment below some of your tips for eating out on Keto!
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