Dining out when you’re on any diet can be a minefield, and a low carb diet is no exception. Restaurants and fast food joints seem to have their menus filled with deliciously tempting high carb foods which are strictly no-go. It’s all too easy to turn down offers of dinner dates and evenings out with friends because you don’t want to be tempted and fall off the diet wagon. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Yes, there will be a lot of items on the menu that are out of bounds for you, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a fantastically delicious meal and enjoy a night out.
If possible check the restaurant’s website, a lot of restaurants will have their menu on their websites so you can study the menu at your leisure and decide what you can and can’t choose from. If you feel that there really isn’t anything that suits your diet plan you could ring them to see what specials they may be serving up that night.
Some restaurants are going to be less low carb friendly than others, maybe leave the pasta and Indian restaurants until you feel more confident in making the correct diet choices.
A lot of fast food restaurant chains now serve up low carb options; Burger King for instance, will sell their burgers without a bun and provide cutlery for you. Most will happily serve you your food without the bread if you ask, and all will have salad options that you can chose over fries. Remember to stay clear of those sodas and milkshakes though.
Ask for extra vegetables or side salad in place of potatoes, fries or rice with your meal. Your waiter or waitress will be used to special dietary requests and won’t bat an eye.
Do fill up at the salad bar, a lot of restaurant chains have excellent salad bars with a huge amount of choice, although do remember which vegetables your particular diet permits.
If you find the salad choices on the menu a bit bland, why not ask if the kitchen can put a sandwich filling that you like the look of on top of a plain salad for you.
When the bread basket arrives, make sure it’s as far away as possible from you, it’s all too easy to subconsciously start nibbling on something in front of you. Likewise with the breadsticks.
In the unlikely event that a restaurant won’t swap your fries for extra vegetables, you’re bound to find an eager fellow diner in your party who will be more than willing to gain some extra fries in exchange for his broccoli.
You will probably have to forego a dessert unless there’s a sorbet or fruit option. However, you can always reward yourself with a low carb dessert when you get home.
Watch the sauces and salad dressings as these can be laden with hidden carbs. If in doubt take your own low carb dressing and ask for your salad without any dressing.
Consider ordering two starters instead of a main course if the starter menu looks more low carb friendly.
If you’re going around to a friend’s house for dinner warn them in advance of your low carb eating regime so that they can cook you some tasty alternatives.
Above all, have fun. After eating out a few times you’ll become a seasoned professional at picking low carb choices and it will be second nature to you.