Eating on the Run
Let’s face it. Everyone is on the run these days and many people find they fall off the wagon when they eat on the run. The good news is, many restaurants now have low carb options and there are simple ways of adjusting what you are eating.
If you’re like me when you go out to eat, you feel like you’ve failed before you even get into the restaurant. There is bread everywhere! On chicken, with salad, it’s fried on a side, or already at your table for an appetizer. And the sugar. Oh the sugar. They sneak it in wherever they can. Fortunately, restaurants offer some good low-carb options. In addition, most meals can easily be modified for a low-carb lifestyle.
Here’s a sure fire game plan to kick those carbs aside while out and about on the town.
- Eliminate the starch
Basically anything white you’ll want to steer clear of. Give bread the boot. Push out the pasta. Pass on the potatoes. Reject the rice. Keep temptation at bay by ordering your meal without the starchy sides. When ordering an entrée, most restaurants will substitute a salad or extra veggies for the starch. Salad is always a great option for more fiber intake. More greens please! Choose broiled, roasted, or grilled chicken over battered or breaded. If they don’t have the option, you can peel off the skin to take off some of the carbs. When that sandwich or burger is calling your name, you can always ask them to hold the bun and substitute it for a lettuce wrap instead. Or take off the bun and eat it with a fork. This is one of the best options in most cases. If by chance, they won’t substitute an item, you can choose to eliminate the unwanted food.
- Add healthy fat
Restaurant meals can be low in fat; therefore, making it hard to feel satisfied without eating carbs. This too can be solved. It’s all in the condiments, and not the ones loaded with sugar!
Butta. Ask for extra butter and melt it on veggies or meat. Request olive oil and vinegar dressing and drizzle the oil liberally on salads and your meal. Be careful with sauces and dressings. They can be packed full of sugar and it’s where most of the carbs are sneakily hiding, ready to knock you out of ketosis. Some sauces, like Béarnaise sauce, contain mostly fat. Others, like ketchup, contain mostly carbs. Gravies can go either way. Stick to fatty and low carb sauces. Always use a vinaigrette for your salads. If you are unsure about the sauce, ask about the ingredients and avoid it if it contains sugar or flour. You can also ask for the sauce on the side so you can decide how much to add to your meal. Adding some avocado or bacon on the side will provide additional fats as well.
- Choose drinks with care
Perfect drinks are water, sparkling water, unsweetened tea, or black coffee. If you choose to add an alcoholic beverage, champagne, dry wine, light beer, or spirits – straight or with club soda – are awesome low-carb choices.
- Stick to simple ingredients
Stick to mainly meats, cheeses, and veggies. Many restaurants and fast food places add extra sugars and carbs in their ingredients. You can steer clear of the unknown or look online. Many restaurants list nutritional information there.
- Rethink dessert
Really? Still hungry? If your stomach is still feeling deprived and you feel you need more food, try a cheese plate or a berry plate with heavy cream. Sometimes just cream or butter in your coffee is enough to satisfy. Get creative if necessary. When the menu just isn’t cutting it, feel free to improvise. Maybe piece together different items in an la carte or order a couple appetizers with a salad.
Being mindful of what you are eating makes all the difference in the world. Make better choices of the options you have while eating out and it will pay off. Before you know it, you will be a pro at what is keto friendly and what to steer clear of.