Eating Out On A Keto Diet
Beginning any diet or lifestyle change takes work, especially if it is of the no-carb variety! The Ketogenic diet, also known as the Keto diet, is no different. It generally takes some time to master the basics. Preparing meals at home becomes second nature as we master the list of whole food ingredients, completely overhaul our kitchens, and begin to challenge ourselves with new recipes. Then, we are invited out to dinner with friends. The first thing we do is panic as we longingly imagine the bread bowl being passed around. We flood with panic and feelings of loss and sadness; however being prepared will enable us to feel empowered. We recall why we have decided on the Keto journey in the first place and reflect on how we can enjoy a restaurant, eat healthy, and still feel satisfied without sabotaging ourselves and our optimal health and wellness. Below are five, fabulous tactics to aid in our success while dining out!
#1 – Be Prepared
When eating out, we’re paying someone to prepare food and wait on us. It’s alright, and even expected at many restaurants, to ask questions. Ask how the food is prepared, about ingredients and to alter anything. The majority of the time, restaurants are more than happy to accommodate individual dietary requests. We can always prepare a bit ahead of time, checking out the restaurant website for ingredients, options, and plan how we can request a meal to make it more Keto-friendly. Another suggestion is to call ahead and ask how flexible the chef is with modifying meals and accommodating individual requests. This is definitely a situation of knowledge being powerful. The more we know, the more we can plan ahead so that we are able to focus more on enjoying our company.
#2 – Fear The Fryer
When eating out on the Keto diet, we want to look out for and avoid anything that is fried. If there is a dish that is prepared sauteed, we can ask about the type of oil that is being used, any spices, sauces, or additives it may have. We need to be very specific. Is our dish being stir fried in a vegetable oil or an animal based oil? Even if we crave that fried taste, there are tons of spices and safe sauces that we can use to provide flavor and zest. When in doubt, if the word fry is mentioned in menu item or description, we can bet on the fact that it is not the best choice for us, even if fried Cauliflower is actually a vegetable technically!
#3 – Make Water Fun
Water can be boring. Sometimes we want to try a little fruity number or something with a twist of fun involved. It’s important to remember that even a small amount of a sugary, sweet something may toss our optimal ketosis state out of whack. By ordering that sparkling sweet apple-tini, our bodies process sugar in a way that ultimately derails our health and weight loss journey. Our metabolism changes and we have to work harder to maintain that optimal state of health and wellness.
When ordering water, one option to help keep on our Keto is to add lots of ice and some fruit to the water. We can ask for lemon or lime and even request sparkling water if we want a little zing and are craving that carbonation sensation. Another option is to look at the drink menu and if you see an exotic fruit or combination that you don’t normally have at home, ask for that to be added to your water. Ask for papaya and pineapple or lime, lemon, and some mint. Fellow diners will likely be envious as they stare longingly at such a frilly, diet friendly drink.
# 4 – Stick To Whole Foods
When dining out, we may not be able to focus on eating organic, but we can decide on eating as whole as possible. This means that if an item contains only a few ingredients, it is likely a better, more whole and less processed option. This is a good guide for those of us on a Keto diet. In addition, it is recommended to not skip the area of the menu that lists sides. In this area, there is a gold mine of options for us including seasonal vegetables and other less common sides like quinoa or “riced” veggies. Usually we can opt to have it prepared anyway we would like. Ordering it steamed and then bringing a special sauce or spice blend for the side is another option for eating out.
# 5 – Mindset – Don’t Consider It A Cheat Day
When we allow cheat days to enter our vocabularies, we can cause some extensive damage to our diet. Ultimately, when we chose to participate in the Keto lifestyle, we decided on a lifestyle change. We chose Keto because of the scientific findings surrounding how it works medically and how foods, insulin, and glucose function in our bodies. This diet is not only for weight loss, but medically founded and based on information that works with our bodies and chemistry. When we think of having a “cheat day” we deprive ourselves of positive strategies and sabotage our goals. Instead we wind up feeling guilty and ashamed because ingesting foods that we know essentially will make us feel awful and set us back will make it even more difficult to continue thriving on that intrinsic motivation and success.