Guide to Eating Out on a Ketogenic Diet

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Ideally, you would be able to prepare all of your meals for keto at home in order to completely control your diet. However, if you are anything like me, doing this day in and day out is pretty much impossible. Eating out on a ketogenic diet can be VERY difficult and until you develop a really good understanding of the macronutrient ratios of foods, making good choices can be challenging. Therefore, I’d like to provide some of my personal favorite suggestions for eating out on a ketogenic diet. This list is by no means comprehensive, but these options are all widely available and I find them to be the most convenient choices.

 

Chipotle Mexican Grill

In general, I find Chipotle to be by far the best all-around restaurant for any diet. It is highly customizable, fast, relatively inexpensive and can easily be split into two meals. For a ketogenic diet, just make sure you avoid the tortilla, rice and beans.

What I Order:chipotle salad

Chicken Salad with
Fajita Vegetables
Mild Salsa
Cheese
Sour Cream
Guacamole

Nutrition Totals:

Calories: 660

Fat: 40g

Protein: 48g

Net Carbs: 12g

 

Jimmy John’s Unwich

Many sandwich places will offer to replace bread with a lettuce wrap, but Jimmy John’s is my personal favorite because it is so quick. Order any of their sandwiches as an unwich for a super easy low-carb lunch. The gargantuan is huge and can easily make two meals if you will be away from home

 

jimmy johns unwhich

What I Order:

Italian Night Club w/ Peppers

Nutrition Totals:

Calories: 618

Fat: 51g

Protein: 29g

Net Carbs: 8g

 

 

 

Wendy’s

In general, fast-food burger joints like this aren’t going to provide a ton of options for a keto dieter. In a pinch, you can make them work by ordering a couple dollar menu burgers and eating them without the buns, but I don’t recommend making that part of your daily routine. However, Wendy’s stands apart in that it offers really excellent salads, one of which is perfect for a keto diet.

 

What I Order:

wendys cobb salad

BLT Cobb Salad w/ Avocado Ranch Dressing

Nutrition Totals:

Calories: 490

Fat: 30g

Protein: 44g

Net Carbs: 8g

 

 

Other “Sit-Down” Restaurants

Honestly, whenever I’m doing keto, I try to avoid most of these restaurants unless I’m on my weekend carb-up. However, if it’s unavoidable, my top choice is to go to a steakhouse. Any steak is fine, but make sure you watch out for the sides. Ask to swap any potatoes or chips for a Caesar salad without croutons or steamed vegetables.

If you find yourself somewhere where you really have no clue what to order, just pick a Cobb Salad. It’s almost impossible to go wrong with that choice and it will be available at a large majority of restaurants.

 

My Keto Cutting Cycle: Week 1

Scale

Initial Numbers:           Before Carb-Up:           After Carb-Up:

 

Weight:185                                            Weight: 180.6                              Weight: 182.6

Body Fat: 17%                                        Body Fat: 15.5                                    Body Fat: 17.4%

 

After my less than pleasant last week, I took a couple days off before jumping into the cyclical ketogenic diet that I know to be significantly easier to follow. The Four Hour Body diet did prove to be effective in that I lost both weight and body fat, but I felt quite a bit weaker in the gym after the week and would not have been able to sustain hard training.

 

Don’t let the big drop in weight surprise you. Although I certainly loss some true weight, a large portion of this is simply water weight. A reduction in carbs always makes your body retain less water, so you should experience a similar unexpectedly large drop in the first week. Although this can be fantastic for motivation, it is important to know that it is not true weight loss and anyone using a cyclical diet will experience a similar weight increase after a carb-up. These large fluctuations in water weight have been the bane of many dieters (particularly women, who have even larger fluctuation throughout the month). Try not to let day to day changes in either direction effect you; just stick to the overall plan and you will succeed. This water weight variation is another reason keeping track of bodyfat is so crucial for measuring success.