In a world where most food in restaurants tends to be processed and full of carbs and sugar, trying to eat healthy and still enjoy eating out can be stressful. However, with a little bit of knowledge, it is very easy to adapt food from almost any cuisine at any restaurant to suit a low carb or keto way of eating.
Just remembering three things will keep you on track when you eat out:
- Know what you can eat, and what to avoid!
- Plan ahead!
- Stick to your guns!
Eating low carb means you actually have a lot of flexibility with your food. Knowing which foods to avoid makes it easier to eat out without trying to guess what is acceptable. Great choices to look for when eating out include meats that are not breaded or battered, vegetables, salads, and fish that is not battered. Potatoes are pure starch that turns to sugar and must be off the menu, but why not try extra veggies instead?
Consider eating ‘outside the box’. If you want a juicy burger, go ahead and have it, without the bun. Replace the fries with carrot sticks for low carb eating or a green veggie for keto eating to round out your meal. for some melted butter for that steak or chicken or fish. BUT- make sure it is real butter. Not whipped spread made from oil and chemicals. Salads offer unlimited options, as almost any meats and vegetables can be thrown in, and many restaurants offer some type of salad on their menu. Steak and mixed vegetables are always a great choice, and tasty, too!
Perhaps the most overlooked key to successfully eating out on a low carb lifestyle is planning ahead. This simple step can save a lot of stress and worry. You already know what you can eat, so the next step is finding out what is on the menu at the place you want to eat at. Go online to view menus ahead of time. You can even call the restaurant and ask questions about food preparation and ingredients. This way, you will be armed with the info needed to make good food choices. This step eliminates the stress and worry over what you’ll order once you arrive, so you will be able to focus on enjoying your meal! With so many doctors and health professionals realizing that a low carbohydrate lifestyle is the way to go, many restaurants are upping their game with both low carb and in bigger cities keto options on the menu. Look for this trend to continue as the months and years go by and more and more research is available on the health benefits of a low carb lifestyle.
The most important thing you can do when eating out low carb is to stick to it. Many are tempted by the bread basket, teased by the desert tray, and give in to the pressure to be ‘normal’. Maybe you don’t want to seem demanding. Whatever the reason, just remember, you deserve to feel healthy and be happy. If it helps, consider your low carb lifestyle the same as anyone that requires a special diet for a medical condition. There will be some foods you just can’t eat, but don’t be afraid to ask for the ones you can! For most people, once they have been low carb for a longer period of time, the health benefits and the way their bodies feel are so amazing that the temptation to eat the things that make our bodies less functional seems to go away.
Always remember that for optimal health, you need a combination of a healthy diet mostly void of sugar and processed food and starchy food, amazing gut health supplements, as much exercise as you can get in, and a happy mind and soul.