It is a common theme when following a certain diet:
How can you ensure that you continue to follow your diet outside the door, where you have a less direct influence on the foods that are available?
Two situations generally occur:
- You go out to dinner at a restaurant and are therefore dependent on the menu and the offer of the restaurant
- You go out for a longer period of time (when traveling, for example) and you have to rely on the foods that you can take with you or that you could purchase on the way
The ketogenic diet is a bit trickier in this respect than other diets because you have to be fairly strict with the macronutrients that you get from your diet.
The so-called macros (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates) of the ketogenic diet have the following distribution:
The image above shows that the distribution of your macronutrients consists of approximately 70% fat (fats), 25% proteins (protein) and 5% carbohydrates (carbs).
Within the ketogenic diet it is permitted to obtain these nutrients through the following foods:
- Meat and animal products such as fish, beef, lamb, poultry and eggs
- Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and kale
- Vegetables that grow above ground, such as broccoli and cauliflower
- Full-fat dairies, such as cheese, whipped cream and butter
- Nuts and seeds, such as macadamia nuts, walnuts and sunflower seeds
- Avocado and berries, such as raspberries, blackberries and other berries with a low glycemic index
- Sweeteners such as stevia, erythritol, monk fruit and other sweeteners with a low carbohydrate content
- Fats, such as coconut oil and (un) saturated fats
The fact that you can’t consume a lot of carbohydrates means that a whole group of foods is also ‘missing’ as options to eat outside:
- Cereals such as wheat, corn, rice, muesli, cruesli, pasta, pasta
- Sugar, such as honey, agave, white table sugar
- Fruit, such as apples, bananas and oranges
- Root vegetables, such as (sweet) potatoes and yams
As you understand from the above list of excluded products, you can NOT eat a whole lot of things outside the door.
For example, many products that you buy on-the-go at a train station, airport or gas station contain carbohydrates and so they form a kind of ‘ on-the-go-no-go’ list ( breaker alert !! ):
- ‘Healthy’ sandwich
- Muesli bars
- Sausage rolls
- sausage Rolls
- Banana (or almost any other piece of fruit)
- Breakfast drinks
- Dried fruit such as dates
All the above products are a clear NO GO during the ketogenic diet because they bring you out of ketosis. The same applies to many dishes served in restaurants.
A restaurant wants to provide its guests with TASTEST meals and not necessarily HEALTHY meals. Often means that dishes are a combination of sugars, carbohydrates and fats.
In order to be able to continue eating outside the door according to the ketogenic principle, you will, therefore, have to make very conscious choices about where you will eat and which dishes you then choose.
First, let’s discuss the options that you have when you are traveling and on-the-go.
Ketogenic Diet out the door: Traveling
When you have to go out and travel during the ketogenic diet, it is useful to take a number of precautions to ensure that you do not have to fall back on foods that will get you out of ketosis.
Eat before you leave home
This sounds incredibly logical, and it is. If you make sure that you have eaten a good meal with lots of fats before you leave home, you can enjoy it for a long time outdoors.
This has various reasons. Firstly, fats have a long-lasting satiating effect , which means that you will not experience a recurring feeling of hunger when you have eaten a high-fat meal.
In addition, when you are in ketosis you will also be less likely to be hungry because your body is geared to using fat as a fuel. Your body will therefore use your fat reserves more quickly as an energy source.
This combination between consuming a high-calorie, high-fat meal and being in ketosis can provide you with energy for a longer period of time, which means that you may not necessarily need extra meals in the period that you are traveling.
Make sure you have ready-made keto snacks in your home
If you are away from home for a longer period of time, and a fat-rich meal just before your door is not enough to satisfy your hunger, you can prepare to ensure that you have responsible ketosnacks with you.
There are certain foods that you don’t even need to process or cook to use directly as a ketosnack. So let’s discuss a few of these options so that you can ensure that you always have some of these products in your home (or in your backpack) when you need them.
Ready-made Ketosnack # 1: The Macadamia nut
One of the most suitable ketosnacks is the macadamia nut. Of all nut types, this nut is most suitable for use as a snack during the ketogenic diet.
This is due to the healthy fatty acid ratio, where the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are reasonably balanced. In addition, macadamias are low in carbohydrates compared to nuts such as cashews and pistachios, which are relatively carbohydrate rich and can therefore bring you out of ketose
In addition, the macadamia is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats.
Various scientific studies have shown that diets rich in macadamia nuts lower total cholesterol and also LDL cholesterol. This type of cholesterol is known as the ‘bad’ variant (1).
In addition, macadamia nuts also prevent certain risk factors for heart diseases, including oxidative stress and inflammation (2)
The only disadvantage of this super nut is the price, macadamias are unfortunately not as cheap as a bag of salted peanuts from the lower shelves of the supermarket.
Ready-made Ketosnack # 2: The Avocado
Another very suitable option is the avocado. This fruit (yep, the avocado is officially a piece of fruit) we have previously labeled as a true ketogenic superfood and you can read more about it in our article: The 5 Proven Health Benefits of Avocado.
An average avocado of approximately 200 grams contains 320 kcal, 4 grams of protein, and 30 grams of healthy fats. Of the 18 grams of carbohydrates that the fruit contains, 14 are fiber. This means that such a whole avocado contains only 4 grams of net carbohydrates, making it extremely suitable as a snack during the ketogenic diet.
Avocado does not need much to be tasty. Cut it in half and sprinkle some salt and pepper on it and you’re done! You can sprinkle some olive oil over it if you want to take it with you in your bag.
Ready-made Ketosnack # 3: Sardines
Fatty fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel are ideal foods during the ketogenic diet because they are rich in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates. The disadvantage is that they are not exactly ideal to take as a snack in your bag.
You will understand that, for example, when it is high summer and sultry hot, it is not a good idea to throw a few herrings or a smoked mackerel in your bag before you leave the house . You will probably have a quiet train journey because nobody wants to sit next to you.
Fortunately, there are better options for carrying high-fat fish that are sustainable and, not unimportantly, are sealed airtight and therefore do not release fish odors. We are of course talking about canned fish , such as sardines.
For example, canned sardines with olive oil are a very good option to take with you. They contain virtually no carbohydrates, contain healthy fatty acids from themselves and olive oil , and they also contain proteins that have a satiating effect.
If you ensure that you always have a supply of canned sardines at your disposal, you can, when the need arises, throw a can (or two) in your bag before you leave the house.
Prepare keto snacks before you leave the house
In addition to the ready-made keto snacks, there are of course also foods that have a simple preparation before you can use them as keto snack.
We will now discuss some of these snacks so that you have an idea of how to prepare tasty and nutritious ketos snacks without spending too much time in the kitchen.
Simply prepared Keta snack # 1: The Boiled Egg
One of the absolute ‘classics’ among the keto snacks is the boiled egg.
The boiled egg contains ideal nutrients to serve as a handy and nutritious ketogenic snack. An egg is almost carbohydrate-free. In addition, the egg yolk contains fats and of course an egg contains the necessary proteins.
The combination between the fat and the proteins ensure that a boiled egg is a satiating snack that effectively combats hunger.
The traditional view of excessive consumption of cholesterol when eating eggs has now been overtaken by scientific research. So you don’t have to worry about this.
An egg contains cholesterol, that’s right, but consuming cholesterol from food has no proven negative effect on the health of your heart and blood vessels (3) .
Cholesterol is also not a bad nutrient . We discussed the role of cholesterol and the influence of the ketogenic diet on the health of your heart and blood vessels in the article on The 2 Biggest Misconceptions about Fat .
So you can tap an extra boiled egg with confidence!
PRO TIP: boil some eggs at the beginning of the week and then store them in the fridge. So you always have a boiled egg ready if you need one!
Easily prepared Keto Snack # 2: A Keto Salad
Of course, the old trusted salad should not be missing in this top 3 . You can make a salad very quickly because you can put all the ingredients in one container, put the lid on and you’re done! Another advantage is that you can vary with different Keto-friendly ingredients .
You can prepare the next keto salad in less than 5 minutes!
- 1 slice of bacon
- Avocado half
- 100 grams of chicken fillet
- 30 grams of salad cheese in cubes
- 1 boiled egg
- 1 crop of Romaine lettuce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
This recipe only contains 5 grams of net carbohydrates.
- Start by cutting the head of romaine lettuce into pieces and placing it in a plastic container.
- Next, cut all other ingredients into cubes and / or slices and then divide this into the lettuce.
- The final step is to add salt and pepper to taste, then add the olive oil and apple cider vinegar as a dressing.
And voila, the salad is ready, full of good fats to provide your country house with the right ketogenic fuel!
The great thing is that the recipe above is just one of the many variations you can make with a salad. There are so many (leafy) vegetables that you can use, you can vary with meat and fish types. That way you can continue to eat healthy and surprisingly tastyfood!
Simply prepared Ketosnack # 3: The Keto Sandwich
The third snack that you can prepare in an instant is ketowraps and sandwiches. The principle of these snacks is fairly simple.
Where you would normally use a dough wrap / tortilla or a slice of bread to make a sandwich, you now use leaves of green leafy vegetables such as lettuce or chard. These green leaves have the right size and firmness to hold all ingredients together.
Ketogenic Diet outside the door: In a Restaurant
Now that we have discussed how you can apply practical solutions to keep eating ketogenic while you are out and traveling, it is time to discuss how you can stay within the ketogenic guidelines during a restaurant visit.
If you are flexible in the choice of the type of restaurant where you are going to eat, then it is best to choose restaurants where the range can be more tailored to your ketogenic diet .
For example, consider the following restaurants:
- Seafood restaurant
- Grill restaurant
- Tapas restaurant
- Greek restaurant
- Wok restaurant
The above restaurant often has good pieces of meat on the menu that you can combine with various vegetables and salads.
Logically, you will miss out on carbohydrate-rich side dishes such as fries and bread . In general, dishes are accompanied by such side dishes as standard, but if you prefer to indicate salad (without sugary dressing) or vegetables (steamed or cooked) when ordering, then this is usually not a problem.
To increase the fat content of your meal you can ask for a butter sauce or you can pour extra olive oil over your salad.
At a Mexican restaurant you can make a request not to get tortilla with your dish but extra cheese or guacamole. You can easily change a dish into a low-carbohydrate meal that is rich in fats.
Avoid starchy dishes
It was mentioned above: carbohydrates will have to be avoided in a restaurant. These are not only hidden in the known culprits such as potatoes, pasta and bread. So do not order sandwiches in advance and ask the waiter to only serve the pasta sauce or burger or omit the potatoes or rice. Most restaurants serve instead:
- Salad or vegetables as a starter or side dish
- Lettuce wrap around the hamburger
- If they do not replace the starchy food, simply remove it from your plate.
If you do get something with starch even though you have said in your order that you do not want this, leave the dish on your plate if you can resist it. If you can’t do this, ask the waiter to take it away. If you are in a friendly restaurant, you can also throw it away yourself.
If you feel that you should explain to others why you do not eat pasta, rice or potatoes, tell them that you are on a strict diet or have stomach problems.
Be careful with sauces and other flavorings
Some sauces, such as butter sauce, often only contain fat. Other sauces, such as ketchup, contain sugar or other carbohydrates. With gravy it can go both ways.
If you are unsure about what’s in your sauce, ask the waiter and omit the sauce if it contains carbohydrates. You can also request the sauce separately with your meal, so you can decide how much to add to your meal.
Do not feel obliged to eat extensively
Spending a dinner with friends, family or business relations not only provides you with food, it is also largely a social affair.
You better adhere to the ketogenic guidelines by focusing less on the dining area of the meeting, but focusing more on social interaction. Make it a social occasion instead of a place to eat. You are therefore not obliged to order all kinds of dishes.
If you know that you are going to a restaurant where the choices with regard to ketogenic nutrition are limited, you can choose to eat a meal in advance. In the restaurant you can then limit yourself to a small dish, or even explain that you are fasting and stick to a cup of water or coffee (or something similar).
Some people will find this extreme and there may be a certain social pressure to have a nice dinner. But in the end you decide for yourself which food you provide your body with.
From this article you have been able to conclude that the ketogenic diet absolutely does NOT have to be a restriction in eating outside the door.
When you travel or need to eat somewhere outside the door, you can take certain ketosnacks that are easy to prepare . Classic examples include the macadamia nuts, boiled eggs, salads and avocados.
During a restaurant visit you can rid your dish of certain side dishes such as fries and bread in many restaurants in order to scrap many carbohydrates . You can also ask restaurant staff to replace carbohydrate-rich foods with vegetables.
In addition, you can raise the fat content of your meal yourself by asking for a butter sauce or by adding olive oil to your dish. It is better to take this with your dish than other, possibly more carbohydrate, sauces.
In addition, it is important to be firmly in your shoes during a restaurant visit and not to feel obliged to ‘have a nice meal’ if there are no ketogenic options available. You can choose to have a meal at home so that you only have to take a small, responsible meal in the restaurant.
Do you want to know more about the food you can eat during the ketogenic diet? Then take a look at our Ultimate Ketogenic Nutrition List !