Can you eat keto and still go to restaurants? Absolutely!

The keto (short for ketogenic) diet can be an amazing way to lose weight and get your health in check, but it can also make it hard to do things like go out to eat with friends and family. Keeping carbs low (usually under 50 per day) while increasing both protein and fat (with fats sometimes making up over 50 percent of your calorie intake) can be hard to do at restaurants. It seems like every entree is served with bread, rice, potatoes, or pasta, and most of the sauces have hidden carbs (as sweeteners or thickeners). Thankfully, there are some tried-and-true ways to keep your meals keto, even when you eat out.

Steak Houses

steak

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This might seem like the easiest place to order a meal and stay keto: get the steak and hold the potato, right? That's just part of the package though. Remember that on keto, you severely cut carbs, but you also add healthy fat, and that's the challenge here. Steak is a good choice, but remember that you don't need a huge piece of meat. To add fat, you can ask if they have avocado to add to a side salad and opt for olive oil and vinegar are your dressing. Don't forget to get your veggies in too. A side of broccoli is always a good choice.

Japanese

japanese meat

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Sushi is hard on keto since so much of it has rice. You can order sashimi, which is just the raw fish, but filling up on that might take a while. If you do order sashimi, opt for some of the fattier fish, like salmon, to get your fat calories in. It is also always worth asking if they have keto options. They may offer a veggie rice substitute (like cauliflower) that you can eat with your sashimi. Some might even have Miracle Noodles or konjac ramen. Finally, remember that most restaurants have other protein options like shabu-shabu or yakitori; just watch out for the sauces, which often have added sugar.

Breakfast

eggs and bacon

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Breakfast joints are actually not as much trouble as you might think. As long as you can handle the overwhelming smell of syrup and the pancakes and waffles on every plate, there are usually a few keto-friendly options. Eggs, straight up, without anything added are always a healthy keto choice. You can pair them with bacon; just remember to tell your server to skip the toast. Omelets are also a great choice, and they are a good way to work in some veggies. Get mushrooms, peppers, and onions in your omelet along with bacon or ham (or both, why not), as well as some cheese. You can even ask for guacamole to top your omelet if they have it, and get some healthy fats in that way.

American

grilled chicken

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American chain restaurants (think Applebees or Fridays) tend to have a few items on the menu you can choose from. There is often a burger option, which you should order without bun or ketchup. Remember to swap the fries for a non-starchy vegetable like broccoli or asparagus. Ask for some olive oil to drizzle over your veggies and add avocado to the burger if you can. There is usually also a grilled chicken option. Ask your server if the chicken is seasoned or marinated (a potential source for sugars), and order it as naked as it can be.

Do you have any tips for staying keto-friendly when you go out to eat? Tell us in the comments!