Like most people, I love eating out but passing on the carbs can be a difficult thing to do. Most places serve bread, pasta, chips, alcohol, soft drinks and sauces of all kinds. More importantly, you don’t know exactly what is in some foods and sauces unless you make it yourself, and it can vary wildly from restaurant to restaurant. So, the best advice I can give you is to just not go out at all! Problem solved.
But that’s no fun, is it. Here’s what I do for restaurants, plus some specific places around town. I live in the UK so if you don’t have some of these places where you are, hopefully you can find somewhere equivalent.
If you’re going to go out to a restaurant, just steer clear of the biggest culprits like breads (pizza, the bread tray, breaded finger foods), pasta, potato and chips, and you should be ok. Life is too short to worry endless about what is in the sauces. If you’re not sure about it, either only have small amounts or skip it altogether.
Generally the places I tend to go have steak, so I’ll get a steak with vegetables and some sauce, or there’ll be chicken or fish. Have a large cheese burger with bacon and skip the bun.
Other good options are of course salads with any kind of meat; chicken cesar, any kind of fish salad, eggs or cheese.
Unfortunately in most cases you’ll have to skip the desserts as there’ll be enough sugar in there to blow your socks off. Instead, wait until you get home and have some full-fat greek yoghurt or drop a few fat bombs.
In case you didn’t already know, Subway also do some quality salad boxes in addition to awesome sandwiches that are also a bit cheaper. Choose one or two main “meats” (tuna, steak, chicken, etc) and then the salad that you want on top, plus a bit of mayo and cheese, and you’re sorted. At the time of writing, you get a bottle of water too!
I really like my cafe latte, but unfortunately the milk isn’t really conducive to a low-carb diet. However, most gourmet coffee places will do you an Americano with cream instead of milk, if you ask for it. They also do sweetener, but there are varying types and I would encourage you to take around a little box of Stevia-based sweetner with you.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen (gbk)
GBK do some fantastically expensive burgers, but they are pretty tasty. Fortunately, they also do a “naked” option where you get either corn on the cob or salad instead of the bun (personally I go for the salad). For some reason that I haven’t managed to work out, it does cost 50p extra to do this, but I think it’s worth it. I mean, how much do you value you health? Much more than 50p right?
Oh, and do try the halloumi bites and the blue cheese coleslaw – both are amazing.
Nandos mainly do chicken, which is great. Here I usually skip the chips and garlic bread (my old favourites) and instead get a portion of ratatouille and halloumi instead. Go easy on the sauces as they do contain sugar and vegetable oil.
An old favourite amongst myself and my work colleagues, Toby Carvery is great for meat and vegetables. Have as much meat as they’ll give you and grab some veg; cauliflower cheese, carrots, cabbage.. just skip the potatoes, yorkshire puddings and peas. Take a little gravy but be careful as it contains a lot of corn flour and sugar.
Those are the main chain places I visit for something to eat – got any more to share? Let me know!