So, you finally get that elusive spot in a sizzling new restaurant in town and everyone’s calendar seems to be synchronized perfectly. You are dying to be there but, lo and behold, you’ve just gotten over the dreaded keto flu. It’s been almost two weeks that you’re off its symptoms. Will dining out on keto be possible with your tastebuds back on track? Won’t you blow off your rather revved up ketosis with this?
Staying on the keto track can be especially tricky when dining out. Maintaining a high-fat, low-carb consumption is just not in many restaurants’ menu. But there are actually ways to work around this dilemma and not plunge down what you’ve toiled for the last two weeks.
Your first agenda is to order food that’s low in carbs. Typical meal set-up in restaurants are meat, veggies and carbs. Most carb-friendly menus call for noodles, rice, French fries and mojos, tortillas and chips, bread and pastry, sugary sauces, root type veggies as side dishes and alas, desserts. Feel free to request for accommodation like say, ditch the mashed potatoes or rice and just add leafy greens. Instead of sugary sauces, ask for vinaigrette using olive oil. Temptation can be hard when out but always remember that you can opt out from such situations.
How to Add Healthy Fat
Adding healthy fat to your order can also be done. It’s okay to eat a slab of meat so long as it’s not breaded. Go for grilled or steamed if you can. Seafoods like salmon, mussels, and prawns are also best options for their high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Many restaurants offer vegetable salads with a plethora of dressings. Go for leafy greens and skip the artificial stuffs on those dressings. Slather your order with olive oil instead. Going Mediterranean? Have a charcuterie plate. Breakfast extravaganza with other carpool Moms? Go for any egg dishes and your ketosis will work just fine. All in all, ditch the grain-based, starchy stuff. Save on protein and low-carb veggies instead.
How to Choose Drinks
Time to switch to spirits, light beer and dry wines. Cocktails, juices, dessert wines, dark beer like lager and stout, and liqueur are absolute no-nos. Sodas and soft drinks even iced teas and lattes contain a chockfull of sugar and carbs. Ditch them. Go instead for brewed coffee or tea, sparkling water or herb-infused water.
What About Desserts?
Anything sugary and made of starch are to be ignored. No looking back. Save that saliva for something else. Go instead for diabetic-friendly desserts. Some of these are labeled gluten-free. Many restaurants offer these nowadays. If you can’t help it, just make sure to even this out with lower carb consumption in the next days or weeks.
Buffets are sprouting like mushrooms nowadays. Each of these establishments can hold an impressive list of mouth-watering menus. Since you are allowed to pick whatever you like, choosing what’s good for your keto diet can be easy. Think: roast meats, grilled and steamed fish, fresh or steamed vegetables, and so on. Now, how about these themed buffet restaurants?
- Chinese Restaurant. Ditch lo mein, stir-fried noodles, chow mein, misua and wonton soup. If there’s one thing about Chinese buffet, it’s versatility. There are just so many other dishes to suit your keto diet like roasted duck, stir-fried beef, egg foo young, moo shu or seasoned pork belly.
- Indian Restaurant. A safe haven for keto dieters, many Indian dishes are actually friendly to low-carb eaters. For one, they have ghee (clarified butter) that offers nothing but unadulterated fat. It can be added to just anything. There are also kebabs, tikka masala, tandoori dishes and curries (without the potatoes, of course!). You may also want to check out Raita and paneer. Do stir clear of rice and naan.
- Mexican Restaurant. Ah, those tortilla chips are complete no-nos! Instead go for a burrito filled with either pork, steak, shrimp, chicken or turkey, barbacoa, etc. Don’t eat the burrito wrap though. Instead ask for a bowl or unwrap it and just enjoy the content with a pork. You can add a few carbs of peppers and onions on your fajita, too. Goat’s cheese and guacamole, sour cream and salsa are also safe bets. Some Mexican restaurants offering buffet may also accommodate keto-specific requests. Just make sure to steer clear of rice and beans.
When dining out on keto, it always is an advantage to be prepared. Though the most important thing in dining out is to bond with the people or person you’ll be with, it never hurts to also see to it that the food you consume does not wreak havoc to what you’ve toiled doggedly for the last few weeks. So, try checking out menu being offered beforehand and check if the restaurant can accommodate a little substitution. With such, dining out doesn’t have to be as nerve-wracking.