When you embark on the keto diet, you may think that you can only eat food that you prepare at home. The good news is that this simply is not the case. As long as you educate yourself and learn what foods you can eat on the keto diet, you will find that you have loads of options, even when you are on a road trip where you can’t find anything besides fast food. You absolutely can eat fast food and stay true to your diet because keto fast food does exist, and many fast food restaurants have low carb options that are quick, easy, and delicious.
The keto diet is all about restricting your intake of sugar and carbs and getting approximately 75 percent of your calories each day from high-quality fats. This includes meats, cheeses, dairy products, and high-fat vegetables such as avocado.
The reasoning is that you are conditioning your body to transition from getting its energy from glucose (which comes from the carbs) to getting its energy from ketones that are produced when stored fats are burned. You need to reduce your carbohydrate intake to deplete your body of its glucose reserves so that it will turn to the stored fat.
Keto Fast Food Options
There are a number of options when you go to fast food joints luckily. The one big thing to watch out for besides the obvious breads and carbs is hidden sugars. Some of the sugars can be found in the dressings so be cautious about what you slather on your meals.
For the most part, mustard is usually the safest along with oil and vinegar. Ask for the ingredients if you aren’t clear. Restaurant ketchup has added sugars so avoid that if you can as well as some of the salad dressings. Sugar free options still can contain unnatural sugars that are also not allowed on the keto diet, so again always just ask for ingredients and enjoy!
Below are some of our favorite options for ordering keto at a number of fast food joints throughout!
Order Without the Bread
Most fast food restaurants offer the standard burger- meat in a sandwich form on a bun. Unfortunately, the bread is loaded with carbs, but the meat and cheese are ok on the keto diet. The vegetables are, too. You can order your burger or chicken breast wrapped in lettuce or simply without the bun.
You will get the meat and cheese you need without the carbs. For example, a McDonald’s double cheeseburger has 34 grams of carbs, but when you simply remove the bun, it only has 7 grams. Here is a link to McDonalds’ nutrition calculator, where you can find out the carb content by editing any of their foods.
Enjoy Mexican Dishes in a Bowl Without the Tortilla
Mexican food is a favorite for many people, and you might worry that it can’t be a keto fast food item to enjoy. However, this is not the case. There are many great ways to create a satisfying dish that you can enjoy and feel completely satisfied.
You will find that a 13-inch tortilla has 54 grams of carbs, which is almost double your daily intake. However, when you remove the tortilla and have a burrito in a bowl, such as the one offered by Chipotle, you can get your Mexican food fix with under 10 grams of carbs. Here is Chipotle’s nutrition calculator. Don’t forget to add the guacamole, yum!
Order a Salad
Many fast food restaurants are making a big effort to offer low carb options, and salads are a part of most menus today. For example, Wendy’s offers a Southwest Avocado Chicken Salad, and you can order a half portion, which contains just nine grams of carbs.
Take a look at Wendy’s nutritional content on their website. Try their bacon cheeseburger without the bun and find yourself bacon bliss. Their chicken sandwiches are pretty good as well.
Drink Coffee or Tea with Cream
When you are eating keto fast food, you definitely need to avoid soda or any kind of sugary drinks. However, coffee and tea are great substitutions. Both are carb-free, and you can add in half and half, which typically has only 0.5 grams of carbs.
Heavy cream is also low in carbs and low in sugar unlike milk, even though it will have a high calorie count. Either way, when you drink coffee or tea, you will be able to stay on the keto diet. They also contain caffeine, which can help to speed up your metabolism. Caffeine can also act as an appetite suppressor as well. Check out this article on the potential benefits of caffeine.
Have a Sub Sandwich in a Tub
A submarine sandwich is a great fast food meal, but it has more than 50 grams of carbs. If you order the contents of the sub in a tub and skip the bun, the carb count goes down to below 10 grams.
Jersey Mike’s was the first to offer a “sub in a tub,” but most sub sandwich restaurants can prepare it for you. Check out the nutritional content of the Jersey Mike’s Turkey and Provolone Sub in a Tub, and note the eight grams of carbs here. While this might seem to good to be true, it is on the keto diet foods list!
When you need to grab breakfast on the go, you can go to McDonalds or other fast food restaurants. Get the Egg or sausage McMuffin without the muffin. The bread is what makes the meal so high in carbs.
When you remove the bread, the sandwich only has three to four grams of carbs. Try this tactic at any breakfast place you visit when eating out. Don’t forget that you can look up the nutritional content of almost any fast food restaurant’s menu items online, so you can arm yourself with knowledge before you order.
When you are on the keto diet, you may think that you can’t eat fast food because it is known to be so high in carbs. However, once you discover that the bread, buns, fries, and soft drinks are the real culprits, you will see that you can customize your burger, taco, or sandwich to be a low carb keto friendly meal. Enjoying all kinds of foods on the keto diet make is less restrictive and easier to follow even while on the road, on vacation, or just in town.