If you have no time for food prepping, or you just have zero interest or motivation to pack food for work, you can certainly eat in restaurants and order take out. Today, it’s commonplace to grab food in a restaurant or at a takeout establishment during your lunch hour. This is a daily reality for many, so a strategy for keto meal ordering at restaurants is helpful to allow your routine to coexist with the keto nutrition plan. Some are led to believe that cooking at home is the only option upon starting a healthier lifestyle, but that can’t be further from the truth. Yes, you can still go to restaurants and enjoy wonderful company with these tips for ordering keto-friendly restaurant meals.
Keto Meal Ordering Basics
It’s misconception that one must seek out a designated keto-friendly restaurant, however, the majority of dining establishments are privy to the keto and low-carb lifestyles, and allow modifications to their menus. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that you can make your meal align with ketogenic macros at most restaurants—all it takes is a little simple finagling of the food options.
Follow these simple guidelines to make ordering your keto-friendly meal a snap:
· Feel free to order your favorite protein—whether it’s meat, poultry, or fish—just make sure it’s not breaded.
· Replace all pasta, potato, and rice side dishes with low-carbohydrate vegetables and/or a side salad.
· If a pasta main course sounds delish, replace the noodles with squash or vegetables but still enjoy that chicken smothered in alfredo sauce—add some parmesan if you like.
· Choose a packed salad with protein and fat (think chicken, cheese crumbles, olives, and avocados) and smaller amounts low-carbohydrate toppings such as tomato and onion—hold the croutons and use oil and vinegar, or any low-carb, high-fat dressing.
· Inquire about the soup—select cream or broth based. You may have to ask if there are any high-carb wheat or flour thickeners.
· Get it lettuce wrapped. Most dining establishments are familiar with removing the bread and buns from their sandwiches and burgers.
· Think omelets and scrambles at breakfast—for something a little fancier, order a benedict but replace the bread base with sliced tomato. Or get the lox platter and ask for sliced cucumber and tomatoes instead of the bagel.
· Add the avocado—many restaurants have them on hand and it’s a simple way to up your healthy fat intake.
· For beverages, stick to water, sparkling mineral water, and unsweetened tea or coffee. Low carbohydrate wine or hard alcohol in moderation won’t derail your keto nutrition plan.
· If your meal is large (many are!), only eat half and take the rest for an easy lunch of leftovers.
· Chain restaurants like fast food restaurants are required to have nutrition menus onsite so check them out—you can see if your meal meets your keto macros or if you need to adjust with a substitution.