Tips to Snack and Eat Out at a Restaurant on a Ketogenic Diet

by Carolina Ventura

Keto diet diagram

Following a “non-traditional” diet can be expensive and time-consuming. From expensive and rarely-available ingredients to the lengthy process of meal planning, it’s not uncommon that we neglect our health and our desires to stick to a new diet. But what if we told you that it doesn’t have to be like that?

The latest craze taking the health and fitness world by storm is the “Ketogenic Diet”. Also known simply as the Keto Diet, this diet is primarily a high-fat diet, designed to drive your body into producing ketones. Although this may seem like a complicated process, the final goal is as simple as it can be: to make ketones the primary source of energy.

As you may know, when you eat something high in carbs, your body will produce glucose, which will then be used up as energy. On the other hand, once there’s an absence of glucose, your body produces ketones which will, in turn, be the new energy source.

By now, you may be wondering, why would I want to bring about a change in metabolism? According to KetoVale and several other scientific articles released since the late 1980s, a Ketogenic diet can aid in:

  • Weight Loss
  • More Efficient Insulin Management
  • Improved Brain Function
  • Increased Cardiovascular Health
  • Reduced Cancer Risk
  • Improved Hormone Balance
  • Improved Physical Performance
  • Better Digestion

Snacking Tips

Now that we have talked about what the Ketogenic Diet is, let’s move on to the snacks! What can you eat when you are trying to load up on healthy fats? And, perhaps most importantly, how can you snack on a budget?

First off let’s focus on the fat portion of your snack! Although you may have heard of and even used coconut oil, this is one ingredient that does not come in cheap. Luckily there are several inexpensive alternatives! From high-quality butter to lard, olive oil, and even cocoa butter, the options are endless! Since the prices for these ingredients may vary according to your location, a quick trip to the supermarket is enough to find out which one is the cheapest option!

So, you already have the fat portion of your snack covered, what’s next? Well, the best part about following a Ketogenic Diet while on a budget resides in the simple fact that you don’t have to follow a strict structure to create a delicious snack!

If you lead a busy life and simply don’t have the time to plan out your snacks in advance, a handful of almonds or a full-fat Greek yogurt are ideal solutions when it comes to snacking! On the other hand, if you do enjoy a heartier snack, cheese, meat, and eggs are all excellent options! Instead of focusing on the carbohydrate content of your meal, focus instead on picking healthy, unprocessed fats and proteins.

The rule of the thumb is: Go for full-fat ingredients.

Tips for Eating Out at a Restaurant

Whether it’s a low-carb diet, a vegan diet, or even a Ketogenic diet, sticking to a diet can be tricky when it comes to eating out. But with some tricks and tips up your sleeve, I guarantee that this dreaded moment can be fully avoided by following one simple rule:

Include one part of protein, two parts of vegetables, and one part of fat.

When it comes to protein, your options are virtually unlimited! All the different types of meat, cooking methods, and seasonings align quite well with the Ketogenic Diet. Salmon, tuna, pork, beef, chicken, turkey, bison, are high-fat proteins which are also fulfilling, delicious, and widely available!

Although traditionally complementing the protein portion of your meat or fish, you would receive a side of carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, or pasta, try to pick instead a side of vegetables. Here you should aim to pick low-carb vegetables, such as spinach, avocado, asparagus, eggplant, tomato, zucchini, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, and many others. Having a hard time remembering which veggies to have and which to avoid? Low-carb vegetables are usually the ones that grow above the ground so, for example, potatoes would not be included in this group.

Lastly, the fat portion! Although we have already discussed fats previously, it can be hard to ask for a fatty side dish when eating out. On the other hand, a lot of the protein options in restaurants already have a decent amount of fat. By complementing your dish with a portion of heavy cream, cream cheese, or butter, you are respecting the above-mentioned rule. On the other hand, seasoning your food with olive oil, which is readily available in most restaurants, is a great way to keep on the right track!

Although it may sound confusing, let’s take a look at three examples:

  • Mexican restaurant: Beef sirloin or chicken with a side of salad and guacamole;
  • All-American restaurant: Hamburger (no bun) with eggs and mayonnaise;
  • Vegetarian restaurant: Stir-fried tofu with season veggies, cashews, and soya sauce.

As you can see from these examples, there are numerous different food combinations you can try basically at any restaurant!

Whether you are just looking to try something new or looking for new snack ideas to complement your Ketogenic Diet, the above-mentioned snacks are as nutritious as they are delicious!

I hope you enjoyed this article and are pumped for your next snack-break or night out!

(Carolina Ventura is a medical student, currently attending her final year in University. With a strong medical knowledge and an interest in dieting and health, she’s currently one of the main writers in With a tight budget and even tighter schedule, her goal is to share with others some of her tips and tricks on how to not spend a fortune while following a Ketogenic Diet.)

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