Eating out does not have to be hard, once you know what you can eat and what to look out for, it’s easy.
There is the obvious – Avoid bread, rice, potatoes and desserts. This included breaded/fried foods. Unless you have carb’ers with you…ask the server to not bring the bread.
There is the not-so-obvious –
- Sauces – Sauces can contain sugars, flour, and cornstarch
- “Seasonal vegetables” – Can be ok, but it’s always good to ask, watch for carrots or more sauces.
- Seasonings – Sometimes meats are rubbed with sugar based seasoning
- Scrambled eggs and Omelets – Some restaurants add flour or pancake batter to their beaten eggs (IHOP)
- Ketchup is full of sugar, added sugars on top of the natural tomato sugars.
- BBQ sauce is also full of sugar and molasses.
- Salad dressing can go either way – avoid ones that are typically sweet like thousand island.
- Gluten Free does not equal keto, but if you are looking at something like parmesan breaded fish and it says gluten free, that likely means it is keto and has no flour in it.
- I take my own ketchup, BBQ sauce, buns or wraps with me if I know I will need it.
I don’t worry about every little ingredient and a carb here and a sugar there…I plan on doing this for life and I am not going to limit my options by stressing each and every carb. I plan for them, I watch my carbs for the day if I know I am going out, and I know if I make a mistake I will do better tomorrow. Enjoy your time out with your friends, family and that special someone.
Just be as informed as possible and drink lots of water.
Restaurant Hacks –
- Burger – no bun, no ketchup – Add things like bacon or an egg, get all the veggies.
- Steak or Chicken with veggies (watch for sauces and rubs)
- Seafood (watch for sauces) tartar sauce should be ok. Keep in mind that mollusks (oysters, clams, squid and mussels) have carbs, they are fine to eat, just count those carbs.
- Sides & A La Carte menus can be useful too, especially for breakfast…. skip the “meal” and order the side you like to make your own meal.
- Sub out fries for a side salad or double veggies
- Sub out potatoes with double veggies or veggies and a salad
- Fajitas without the tortilla (skip the beans and rice) and take your own tortillas.
- Taco salad and don’t eat the bowl
- Some Mexican restaurants will bring you veggies for your salsa instead of chips, some even have pork rinds (Chicharrones)
- Eggs and bacon or sausage, sub out the hash browns and skip the toast. (Ask about the eggs)
- Order water or iced tea and bring your own drink drops (I like Blueberry Stur in my ice tea)
- Most sushi restaurants will make your sushi wrapped in cucumber with no rice.
- Miso soup can be carby, but I still consume about half.
- Avoid imitation crab (surimi), that crap can have 14 carbs per stick
- You can usually sub out grilled shrimp in place of the tempura shrimp
- Ask them to leave off the panko, tempura flake
- Pizza – eat the toppings or some places will make you a pizza bowl or crustless pizza.
- Naked wings can be a good choice – but they have an incredible amount of calories.
Some of my favorites
Always check the online nutrition facts before ordering…things change and they have surprising ingredients. Your tracker app may not be correct.
- Texas Roadhouse – Steak, Caesar salad (no croutons) and loaded broccoli (Cheese, bacon, butter and sour cream) – see the statement at the bottom of this page.
- Cattle Company (Black Angus in some states) – Steak, Wedge salad and Asparagus
- In-N-Out Burger – Double double, protein style
- 5 Guys – Bacon cheeseburger -no bun all my favorite veggies
- Joe’s Crab Shack – If you know me, you know it’s the crab by the pound…but if you avoid the corn on the cob and potatoes, the buckets are pretty safe. Add a nice side salad.
- Burger-Fi – Double Cheeseburger, Green Style w/ all my favorite veggies
- Red Robin – Wedgie style burger with a side salad (it’s bottomless) –
- Benihana – Any meats, seafoods and veggies…no rice
If you are in Alaska, I have more keto friendly restaurants listed on my AlaskanKeto Facebook page.
Anyone who knows me, knows beside crab…Texas Roadhouse is one of my favorites. I thought I was doing good, steak, caesar salad, and loaded broccoli…sounds good right?? Here are the macros for that meal per the Texas Roadhouse website…1210 calories.. 86 fats… 15 carbs and 103 protein. If I add mushrooms & onions it adds another 310 calories, 25 fat…16 carbs… and 4 protein. They soak EVERYTHING in SUGAR…I know I looked up all this food last year, and I swear this was not the numbers….I think they updated their numbers. Lesson learned You can ask for salt and pepper only on your steak
The numbers are slightly less that what I posted as I don’t eat the croutons, and I trim the fats off my steak.