Dine-In vs. Takeout: Making Keto-Friendly Choices

As a follower of the keto diet, it is important to make the right choices when it comes to dining out or ordering takeout. Eating out can be a bit challenging when you have specific dietary needs, but with a little bit of planning, it can be easy to stick to your keto plan even when dining out. In this article, we will explore some tips for making keto-friendly choices whether you are dining in or ordering takeout.

Dining In

1. Look for Meat and Veggie Options

When dining in at a restaurant, look for menu items that consist of meat and vegetables. You can opt for a steak or grilled chicken breast with a side of steamed veggies. Avoid anything breaded, fried, or coated in sauces that might contain added sugars.

2. Swap Carb-Heavy Sides for Veggies or Salad

Many restaurant menus offer side options like mashed potatoes, rice, or bread. It is best to swap these options for low-carb veggies or a side salad. You can also ask the server to skip any starchy sides altogether.

3. Be Mindful of Sauces and Dressings

Sauces and dressings often contain hidden sugars and carbs, which can derail your keto plan. It is best to stick to low-carb dressings like olive oil and vinegar or ask for sauce on the side so you can control the amount that goes on your meal.

4. Choose Grilled or Baked Options Over Fried Foods

Fried foods are often breaded and coated in flour, which is high in carbs. Choose grilled or baked meats instead.

5. Research the Menu Ahead of Time

If you are unsure about what options are available, research the restaurant’s menu ahead of time. Many places now offer nutritional information online, which can help you make informed choices.


1. Stick to Simple Meat and Veggie Options

When ordering takeout, stick to meat and veggie options like grilled chicken, steak, or salmon with a side of veggies. Avoid anything breaded, fried, or coated in sauces that might contain added sugars.

2. Choose Grilled or Baked Options Over Fried Foods

Similar to dining in, it is best to choose grilled or baked options over fried foods. Fried foods can contain added carbs from the breading or coating.

3. Dressings and Sauces on the Side

When ordering a salad or meal with a sauce or dressing, ask for it on the side. This allows you to control the amount that goes on your meal.

4. Be Specific with Your Order

When ordering over the phone or online, be specific with your order. Ask for any starchy sides to be swapped for veggies or salad and any sauces or dressings to be on the side.

5. Look for Keto-Friendly Options

Many restaurants now offer keto-friendly options, so be sure to look for those on the menu. These options will usually be higher in healthy fats and lower in carbs.

Keto-Friendly FAQ

1. Can I Eat Fast Food on the Keto Diet?

While fast food options are generally not the best choice for a healthy diet, you can still find keto-friendly options at most fast food restaurants. Look for grilled or baked meats and opt for low-carb sides like veggies or salads. Avoid anything breaded or fried.

2. Can I Eat Pizza on the Keto Diet?

Traditional pizza crust is high in carbs, but there are keto-friendly pizza options available. Look for cauliflower crust or try making your own pizza at home using a keto-friendly crust recipe.

3. What Can I Drink on the Keto Diet?

Water is always the best choice, but you can also drink unsweetened tea or coffee. Avoid sugary drinks like soda or juice, as well as sweetened tea and coffee drinks.

4. Can I Eat Fruit on the Keto Diet?

Most fruits are high in carbs and not recommended on the keto diet. However, you can enjoy small amounts of berries like strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

5. How Do I Know if a Food is Keto-Friendly?

Check the nutrition facts label for the total carbohydrate count and subtract the fiber to get the net carbs. Aim for foods that are low in net carbs and high in healthy fats.


Maintaining a keto diet can be exhausting, but it’s important to stay diligent, even when eating out. By following these tips and being mindful of your choices, you can enjoy dining in or takeout while staying true to your diet.

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