Making healthy eating habits at home is challenging enough, no one needs the stress of figuring out what to do when dining out. However, sometimes eating out is the only option. What can a low carber do to avoid potential pitfalls? It’s easy to fear you will fall into temptation and ruin your low carb lifestyle. That’s why I believe planning is key for success.
Fittoserver Nancy Ochotorena, shared with me her solution when she orders a breakfast wrap at Subways. “Hilda, I simply swap the bread for egg whites”. I thought this was pure genius! Imagine using eggs as a wrap? It amazes me what creative strategies people use to help them stay on course.
3 Low Carb Tips When Dining Out
1. Do Your Research
It’s vital to go prepared when eating out. If necessary do your homework by looking online for the restaurant’s menu. If you plan ahead you won’t be overwhelmed when your server takes your order. Be willing to ask questions regarding how the food is prepared. It’s not difficult to swap high carb options for healthier low carb ones you just need to be willing to ask. Remember you’re a paying customer entitled to get what you need. Being clear and polite goes a long way when ordering off menu.
2. Know What to Order
Pass the complimentary bread that most restaurants offer. This way you won’t be tempted with a basket full of carbs you can’t have right in front of you. Out of sight, out of mind.
Look for dishes cooked simply. Stay away from items with complicated sauces, or ask how they are made. This is important since many establishments use flour to thicken their sauces. Swap starchy options for green vegetables or a side salad. Don’t forget to say no to the croutons in your salad, no need to fish them out when you can avoid them completely.
Order your burger lettuced wrapped and ditch the bun. Most restaurants will have a burger or two on their menu, making it easier to order low carb. If they don’t offer a lettuce wrapped burger, educate them and then just have your burger less and on top of a side salad.
What about ordering breakfast for dinner? Many restaurants serve breakfast all day long. Order an omelet and ask for extra vegetables. Pass on the carb-loaded potato hash browns and order extra bacon or sausage instead.
What about dessert? Why not order a small bowl of whipped cream? Most places won’t even charge you for this. This is a great solution especially when others are ordering carb rich desserts. There is some sugar in this option but only a few carbs per serving and it may just get you over a dessert temptation.
3. Low Carb Fast-Food Options
Sometimes stopping at a fast-food restaurant is your only option when dining. This is especially true when traveling. Don’t lose hope you can still make a healthy choice. My dream shape created a great infographic that can assist you in choosing your best option to stay in ketosis. Knowing ahead of time how many carbs are in any given meal, will be very beneficial.
Don’t make eating out an excuse to not stay on your low carb plan. There are always good alternatives when dining out. It’s encouraging to see that more restaurants are making eating low carb easier. The consumer always dictates the market. The tide is turning and low carb options will some day become mainstream.
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