There are plenty of strategies for keeping to your keto diet when you are out and about or in a rush and must eat out. You can create your own snacks to go or look for specific items off the fast food menu board. Either way, you can stick to your low-carb formula.
Here’s a rundown of the do’s and don’ts when you are out and about:
- Hold fast to cheese, veggies, and meats. Simple ingredients are best. Carbs and sugars can hide in complex ingredient lists.
- Ditch the bun. Too many carbs and sugars. Add extra sides like avocado and bacon, by request.
- Beware of salads. Bet you didn’t see that one coming. Some of those greens and berries can be higher in carbs than you realize. Request that dressing is put on the side. Go for simple, low-carb salads with meat. And ignore the croutons.
- Avoid breaded menu items. Remove the fried breading, when it can’t be avoided. Add a sauce instead.
- Choose Ranch, Caesar, and Bleu Cheese dressings over others in order to avoid the sugars, but gain from the high fat. Butter is your friend.
- Don’t be afraid to make a special request for something to be left off or something extra to be added to make sure you’re eating as keto as possible.
- Don’t chance it. Hidden sugars in a sweet sauce can add 15-20g carbohydrates to your daily intake. Skip it if it’s in question.
Know what you can bring for snack food in order to fill up low-carb style:
- Meal bars (not energy bars) can make good choices when the carbs are in check and there’s an adequate amount of fiber to result in few net carbs. Some strong examples include Pure Protein Bar, Epic Beef Apple Bacon Bar, and the Thunderbird Hemp Sunflower-Pumpkin Seed Bar.
- Veggies such as carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes provide crunch and are totally tote-able.
- Low-carb fruits can be a good option as well: apples, grapes, strawberries, and bananas. These choices are satisfying and easy to stay stocked up on.
- Hard-boiled eggs equal healthy protein and a good wallop of fat with that yoke. They’ll fill you up and let you keep going.
- Mozzarella sticks make a portable snack that’ll provide protein and dairy. They store well and are quick to consume.
Order these specific items from these specific fast food chains when you want to keep it keto and low-carb:
Go for the Grilled Chicken Salad and the Parfait. For a sandwich, choose the Grilled Chicken Sandwich-no mayo, no bun, extra lettuce. You could also choose a burger without the bun or ketchup. Even two round eggs with bacon and cheese will suffice.
Chili or the Grilled Chicken Go Wrap are your best bets.
Choose the Bacon, Egg & Cheese on 3” Flatbread or the Chicken Bacon Ranch Melt Chopped Salad. Another good possibility is the Spinach Salad piled high with veggies (light on the tomatoes) with olive oil and vinegar.
Choose the Greek Salad with the Greek dressing or the Romaine & Kale Caesar Salad with Chicken. Here the chicken has been raised without antibiotics, so it’s an easy choice. The topping of house-made parmesan crisps adds to the keto factor.
Go for the Salad with a choice of meat. Add in salsa and vegetables with some vinaigrette dressing. Otherwise, pick the Burrito Bowl with a fattier meat like beef or pork, extra cheese, salsa, veggies and light on the black beans. Add extra sour cream and avocado.
The Roast Beef ’n Cheese Slider is best for a sandwich. The Chopped Farmhouse Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing and Roast Turkey will work.
The Buffalo Salad with blue cheese works, as does the Bacon, Egg & Cheese Pocket.
Choose the Chick-Fil-A Nuggets or a Cobb Salad without the dressing; it’s bursting with good protein and fat.
Order the Broccoli Beef or the Mushroom Chicken and you’re safe. Each comes with a light ginger soy sauce.
Order the Protein Style Burger and add extra cheese slices and mustard. It’s lettuce-wrapped. The Flying Dutchman Burger will provide you with meat and cheese and more meat and cheese.
Choose the Unwich Sandwich, which subs in lettuce for the bread. Your best bets are the Vegetarian and Gourmet Veggies Unwiches. Add on lots of mayonnaise, avocados, and olive oil. Need some meat? Order the Italian Night Club or the Ultimate Porker.
Cold brew works. Much else is riddled with sugar. Watch out: their Sugar-Free Vanilla syrup contains maltodextrin. Order straight coffee with some Sugar-Free Caramel Syrup for a little love.
And now you know how to hack those fast food places that you might be visiting in the near future, like it or not. You can keep to your goals and keep to keto and low-carb by following this simple plan. You have choices and choice provides you with freedom. Grab it and go!