Ultimate Guide to Eating Keto at Your Favorite Restaurants and Fast Food Spots

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While cooking your own keto meals often gets you the best results, sometimes you just have to eat out, whether you’re out running errands or at a restaurant with friends. I’ve gathered your best keto options at tons of popular fast food places and restaurants so you’ll never wonder what to eat!

APPLEBEES

They’ve got lots of keto friendly options. Pick a protein and add a veg or salad. Easy. One option is the Grilled Chicken Breast With a Side of Fire-Grilled Veggies.

BAJA FRESH

Build a bowl with Lettuce, Chicken, Guacamole, Cheese, and Pico de Gallo or ask for the Side By Side, which is charbroiled chicken, jack cheese, handmade guacamole, and Pico de Gallo alongside an avocado topped salad. I’ve found that it’s a bit of a secret menu item. It’s not always listed on the menu, but they usually will ring it up if you ask.

BAREBURGER

If you’re sick of lettuce wrapped burgers, Bareburger will cover your beef, turkey, or bison burger in collard greens. They also have keto-friendly fats like cheese, bacon, avocado, and other veggies that you can add as well.

BLAZE PIZZA

They’ve got a keto pizza crust now made from a base of cauliflower, mozzarella cheese, flaxseed, and eggs. Each slice is just 3 g net carbs.

BONEFISH GRILL

They specialize in seafood so stick to grilled and seared proteins like salmon, sea bass, steak, shrimp, and trout.

BOSTON MARKET

Get the rotisserie chicken and a caesar salad or one of the veggies like green beans or broccoli. The creamed spinach is another option.

BUFFALO WILD WINGS

Their Traditional Wings have 0 carbs and many of their sauces only have 1-3 grams carbs. Try Mild, Medium, Hot, Wild, and Blazin' sauces, as well as the Parmesan Garlic and Spicy Garlic.

BURGER KING

The Bacon and Cheese Whopper minus the bun is my go-to lately.

CHEESECAKE FACTORY

Check out their Skinnylicious category. The grilled salmon, lettuce-wrap tacos, and salads are all good choices.

CHICK-FIL-A

They’re known for chicken, so check out their grilled chicken. They are one of the few places serving grilled nuggets. Their salads are pretty good, too.

CHILI’S

Get the steak plus a green veggie. Burgers are always an option (minus the bun).

CHIPOTLE

Bowl with no rice or beans. Add fajita peppers, cheese, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, and/or guacamole, as desired. I usually choose sour cream OR guacamole to keep calories in check.

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IN-N-OUT

Choose "The Flying Dutchman," which is two patties with two slices of cheese melted in between. And you should definitely get that "Animal Style" with extra spread, pickles, and grilled onions. East Coasters are crying.

JERSEY MIKE’S

Just get the Sub in a Tub. It’s all the toppings and fillings of your favorite sub minus the bread.

JIMMY JOHN’S

Get the unwich and your favorite sub. I like the turkey with provolone or the tuna unwich. If you think you’ll miss the chips, get a pickle as a side.

MCDONALD’S

Get the Quarter Pounder with Cheese or Big Mac and toss the buns. The Big Mac special sauce will add carbs, but I’ve eaten it and still lost weight if I watch the rest of my carbs for the day.

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NOODLES AND COMPANY

They’ve got zoodles now! Your best option is the Zucchini Pesto with Grilled Chicken. The Caesar Salad with Chicken (minus the croutons) is another good choice.

OLIVE GARDEN

The herb-grilled salmon is a good option. Watch the salad as it will add carbs from the dressing.

OUTBACK

Order a salad or other veggie instead of a baked potato. Pick any of the steaks or fish like lobster, halibut, crab, and salmon. Their salmon is actually really great!

PANERA

Get the green goddess salad, which has chicken, egg, and avocado.

PRET A MANGER

Get the Pret’s Chef Salad With Herb Ranch Dressing with roasted turkey, eggs, avocado, and bacon over the top of greens with cucumber. Add herb ranch dressing for a keto-friendly meal.

RED LOBSTER

Just say no to the Cheddar Bay biscuits. Choose items like the steamed lobster, crab legs, grilled shrimp, or scallops. Add some veggies or a salad.

RED ROBIN

Red Robin is known for their burgers so get one with a lettuce wrap or just toss the bun and use a fork and knife. The Royal has a fried egg on top and the Guacamole Bacon is a keto lover’s delight.

RUBY TUESDAY’S

They specialize in Cajun-style dishes so look for the dry rubs. They also have burgers and steaks and chicken dishes with avocado or bacon.

SHAKE SHACK

Get a burger with a lettuce wrap or consider the Smoke Shack (minus the bun), which has cheese and bacon and spicy relish.

SUBWAY

Get your fave sub as a salad. Don’t bother with the chopped salad (they bring out a giant bowl and chop everything up). Just ask for the regular salad. They’ll just layer everything in a bowl. Much quicker and easier for everyone! Just avoid sugary dressings and stick to vinegar and oil. I like the tuna salad.

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TACO BELL

Go for the Cantina Power Bowl, but skip the rice and beans. Get lettuce, sour cream, cheese, extra protein, guacamole, and hot sauce.

TGI FRIDAYS

Try the Cobb Salad with Grilled Chicken or a lettuce wrapped burger. The salads are a lot of calories so order the smaller lunch size. Ranch, blue cheese, and Caesar are your best dressing choices.

WENDY’S

The Baconator is a good choice here. Toss the bun and hold the ketchup. Wendy’s has grilled chicken, too.

3 Tips For Making Keto Easier

I’m always looking for timesavers and hacks for doing keto. Anything that can make it easier to stick with helps keep me on track and sticking to my plan.

Have you ever run out of cream for your coffee? I used to hate when that happened. Now, when it happens, I don’t panic because I keep butter and coconut oil stocked up so I can make Bulletproof coffee. Some days, I’m just in the mood for Bulletproof coffee, but other times, it’s because I’ve run out of cream and am too lazy to go to the store!

I made a keto pumpkin spice bulletproof latte using the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice K-cups, coconut oil, and butter. I add a tablespoon of butter and oil to the brewed coffee and whip it for a few seconds in my bullet blender. It’s frothy and yummy. I was worried the butter/coconut oil might not work with the Pumpkin Spice but it tasted great!

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Tip #2 is for making roasted brussel sprouts. I made these last week and liked them, but wanted them crispier - that’s the best part. So, this time, I cut the brussels smaller and sort of fanned them out so they weren’t in a little ball. I tried to separate the leaves as much as possible. Then I added oil and Montreal Chicken Seasoning (which is great on everything) and baked for 35 minutes in a 400 degree oven. The leaves came out crispy and browned, just like I like them! It takes a bit longer to do this, but you can make a big batch and have them for during the week.

My last tip is making a list of your go-to fast food meals for those days when you have to work late or just need food NOW. Chipotle is usually my standby, but I wasn’t in the mood so I went to one of my other fast food options - the bacon and cheese Whopper from Burger King (minus the bun). It’s got all the good toppings - lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mayo, and ketchup with the added bonus of bacon and cheese. It’s an easy meal that is on plan. I usually scrape off some of the ketchup because it’s higher in carbs and also because without the bun, the ketchup can be a bit overwhelming. Bunless burgers are always a good bet for fast food restaurants!

Bunless Big Mac to Celebrate Another Pound Down

I feel like I’m fighting for every pound on the scale this time around, but I am getting smaller and I’m going down sizes so I’m trying to ignore the numbers on the scale. I still feel like my weight loss isn’t all that obvious, but the computer guys at work noticed and commented it on Friday telling me that I looked good and to keep doing whatever I was doing!

I’m at that zen-like place in my weight loss journey where I’m not really having cravings for things. I have my certain foods I eat and that seems to be enough. I’m even struggling to figure out what I want to eat because I’m never really craving much of anything!

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Today, I got a bunless Big Mac for dinner. The bunless Big Macs are actually a great treat. They aren’t tons of carbs, but they taste very much like a regular Big Mac so I don’t even miss the bun. The Quarter Pounder with Cheese (minus the bun) is also another great option that I’ve eaten in the past. Most fast food places can be keto-friendly if you toss the bun. I had some veggies and dressing at home as a side and finished off the meal with some keto fudge (coconut oil + cocoa powder) that I make in batches and keep in the freezer.