In this article we are going to look at some of the practical applications of your new nutritional knowledge! By far the biggest nutritional issues you are going to have eating on keto are your own habits and other peoples!
The world hasn’t quite caught up to keto yet and there are very few restaurants or food items specifically designed with keto in mind, well apart from ours, but we are specialists. But as the diet becomes more popular and we spread the word about its benefits it will naturally become easier to meet your keto needs outside the home. For now though, planning is key!
As your appetite reduces you will be able to more easily manage your food requirements. This makes it easier to plan when and what to eat. There are loads of keto recipes suitable for any occasion, main meals, keto snacks, desserts and treats, just have a look at our growing recipe collection. [hyperlink]
It is worth having a few emergency meals and keto snacks on hand, or frozen, that you can quickly eat. Nuts or MCT oil are an easy go to for a quick energy fix. If you are caught short feeling hungry and out on the streets it can be frustrating when trying to find food to meet your keto needs.
When you know how much you want to eat, by calculating your macros, you can plan your meals and work out how many meals you want per day. Many people opt to skip breakfast and have just two meals or even keto snacks. Choose your protein based on your allowance, now add some vegetables, checking their carb count, and healthy fats, or even easier, use our recipe database to choose the perfect keto meals for you based on your favorite foods.
Failing to plan is planning to fail! You can’t just walk out of the house and hope to find a keto meal. Imagine yourself like a hunter, you need to go out and actively find, or prepare, food. Foraging or grazing through cafes and fast food joints will often result in bad choices from limited keto food availability, so you need a more active plan of what you want and where you will get it.
How you plan your food will be dictated by appetite, fasting, time and convenience. Keto is a really different way of eating. You will need to experiment with missing meals, fasting, snacking, drinking more water. Plus many other variables, to find what works for you. We each have unique dietary preferences, habits and other needs, finding out how your body operates and how to perform optimally can be an exciting experiment. There are no simple one size fits all answers, but there are simply and tasty solutions to eating out or eating in.
Knowing what you want, or need to, eat is the first step, that’s when the knowledge comes in. The next bit is asking for it. Sometimes it can be difficult to ask for what we need. Telling relatives or friends that you can’t eat the delicious meal they made especially for you. But, you have to put your keto needs first! If you eat something you know will disrupt your keto diet it can do psychological damage, in addition to kicking you out of keto. Is it really worth it just to people please? So, rule #1: Find your “No”, give yourself permission to politely decline carb-pushers, including your gran!
Navigating Restaurants on Keto
When eating out information and persuasion are the key ingredients. Check menus and ingredients (online in advance or just before eating). Be prepared to ask for something custom made to your requirements or swap things around on the menu. When you are in a restaurant choose meats, cheeses and vegetables but avoid the buns and bread. Request starches like pasta, bread and rice be swapped for veggies with extra melted butter, for example. Ask about the ingredients in salads and other dishes, they may not be as innocent as they seem. Avoid crispy coatings made from bread and sticky sauces like sweet chili which are sugar based and be wary of condiments and sauces as sugar is often snuck in, you need to read or ask for ingredients.
If you order a meal and are surprised to find it is not as keto as planned you need to think strategically. Don’t be afraid to send it back, your repeat custom and satisfaction is worth much more to restaurants than one meal. Many restaurants are happy to make adjustments as a result of misunderstandings, they really do want you to enjoy your eating experience. If bread is served with a meal, I recommend immediately sending it back or giving it to somebody else. The smell of tasty hot bread lingering in front of you when you can’t eat it is like torture!
Ask for what you need. Replace things you don’t want, like carbs, with vegetables. Ask for butter or olive oil to ensure you get enough fat. Discuss your needs with the staff and let them help you find solutions. You may not be the first person to come in asking for a keto meal. Your request could prompt them to add something to the menu that is perfect for keto.
Rarely will you find a keto dessert in a restaurant. But, they might add some cream to nuts and berries for you, or you might have to make do without. You can treat yourself in other ways, like carrying a bar of sugar-free chocolate to indulge in after the meal if a sweet finish is important for you (it’s also an excellent keto snack).
Carrying a knife and fork will enable you to picnic on the go. Buying fresh ingredients from supermarkets is often easier than picking through carb-laden menus. Avocados, cheese or meat plus some salad leaves are a simple solution for a lunch on the run. Carrying your own equipment makes it much easier to make last minute choices and feel satisfied. Don’t make the mistake of making do, mediocre or meagre food will drop your spirits and lose motivation, you deserve deliciousness at all times!
Most people have never taken the time to plan their nutritional needs, or find out how to optimize them in their life. People follow the standard nutritional advice, eat cereal for breakfast and have 3 meals a day plus snacks. Well, this hasn’t worked, standard nutritional advice has not prevented the epidemic of diet related lifestyle disease! The keto diet, when done correctly considering your nutritional needs, is a healthy option shown to reduce inflammation and risk of disease. But, two main issues people experience on keto are dehydration and lack of vegetables, so make sure you factor them into your dietary preparation.
Take your time to plan your needs. Think about what you want, what you REALLY want. Not what your sugar-addicted, habit driven, instantly gratifying ego might like! Never be rushed into decisions or persuaded to eat what is convenient for other people. Your needs and desires to improve your health should be the pivotal factor in your nutritional decisions. Take care when eating outside of the safety of your keto friendly kitchen, ask for what you want, and keep it keto.