One of the biggest challenges people face when starting a diet is ‘fitting the diet in’ around events they have planned. The good news is that, just because you're following a very low-carb or Ketogenic diet, you don’t have to abstain from eating out occasionally!
While restaurants may not always provide many low-carb alternatives – not appetising ones, at least – you can turn almost any choice into a low-carb meal if you know how to order. Here are some ideas to make dining out as healthy as cooking at home when on a low-carb diet, without getting FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out!) from other people’s plates.
Tips and Tricks To Eating Out On The Keto Diet
1) Plan Ahead
Take a look at the menu online before you leave for the restaurant (most restaurants have an up-to-date menu on Facebook that includes daily specials). Preplanning your meal helps you to make a well-informed selection and prevents you being forced to hurry and make an unhealthy choice at the last minute. Plus, you'll have more time if you need to calculate any nutritional information beforehand.
2) Pass On The Starch
Bread, chips, pasta, pizza, potatoes and rice are a recipe for disaster when on Keto, no matter how healthy the meal. Avoid temptation by ordering your meal without these starchy sides. When ordering a meal, most restaurants will replace the carbohydrate with a salad or additional vegetables on request. And if they are unable to substitute, simply eliminate the unwanted item.
3) Add More Healthy Fats
‘Healthy’ restaurant meals tend to be low in fat, making it difficult to feel full without carbs. Luckily, there is an easy fix to this—healthy fats! Request olive oil if you're having a salad. Many seasoned low-carb diners even bring a small bottle of olive oil with them to ensure their healthy fat intake.
4) Keep an Eye On Sneaky Sauces and Condiments
Do your homework on the restaurant before you go, so you know what sauces are low-carb and Keto-friendly before you arrive. Gravy typically contains flour and many vinaigrettes and sauces have added processed sugar – which is one of the easy-access carbohydrates you need to avoid when following a keto plan. Condiments like mustard and mayo are fantastic additions, but make sure it's yellow mustard and not sweet mustard like honey mustard. Avoid ketchup and barbeque sauce, both of which are high in sugar.
5) Choose Drinks Wisely
When ordering drinks at a restaurant, plain water is always a safe and healthy choice, although it can be depressing to be stuck on water when everyone else is sipping cocktails. Mineral water with cordial, unsweetened iced tea, hot tea, and coffee are also great options. Alcoholic drinks are usually high in sugar, so be careful when ordering. If you choose to include an alcoholic beverage, dry champagne or wine, light beer, or spirits — either straight or mixed with low calorie tonic — are all excellent low-carb options. But remember that alcohol is just empty calories, and be aware that you’ll feel the effects of alcohol more strongly on a low-carb, low-calorie diet than you would do normally.
6) Skip The Dessert
Don't let your sweet tooth sabotage your Keto plans. It’s preferable to skip dessert altogether, but if forced, request fresh berries, such as raspberries or blackberries, and a small dollop of fresh cream to satisfy your sweet craving. Otherwise, a cup of coffee or tea is ideal while you wait for others to finish their desserts.
Find Out More
At PronoKal, we understand the importance of dining out with loved ones. Our nutritionists will coach you on what to eat outside of our scientifically proven PnK weight loss programme, so you can enjoy your eat-outs without undoing your good work. PnK combines PronoKal Keto products, a Keto diet exercise plan and coaching. Get in touch today to find out more.
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