Low Carb Life: Fast Food Meals You Won’t Believe
Disclosure: Part of this article is a re-syndication collaboration with FBOMB Nut Butters.
2017 was a big year for me in terms of my lifestyle. After many, many years of corporate life with lots of meetings, lots of restaurants and let's face it, a lot of carbs to comfort the political boo-boos, I had taken on weight.
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Add onto that the year and a half in the RV leading a somewhat sedentary life (between all the park adventures) and I added more. In 2017, I shedded 40 pounds.
And I have never felt better. I am thinner than I was in my twenties with a ton of energy and a new lease on life. I lost 40 pounds because I made the decision to adopt a low-carb lifestyle and it worked. I am a big believer!
I would say the hardest part of a low-carb lifestyle is eating out. Doubly hard is eating out while traveling as you don't always have a lot of choices! Mr. Misadventures and I do the best we can to plan accordingly. We bring our own food for some meals.
I ate a lot of nut butter and low-carb bread sandwiches on my last business trip to Barcelona! We make the best decisions we can in restaurants, particularly if our only choice is fast food. We do the best we can and we do not punish ourselves!
What I found during this process is that there is a fantastic community of bloggers, recipe developers, and food brands producing great content and great products to support a low-carb lifestyle.
Today I am re-syndicating part of an article from FBOMB Fat is Smart Fuel because I love the brand, I love their style and the article has some really great tips.
Don’t let upcoming travel stop you from maintaining your ketogenic diet. Find the right low-carb/high-fat (LCHF) meal at every fast food restaurant while on the road.
It’s no secret that eating healthy while on the go is a challenge. Add the fact that you may be championing a ketogenic diet, and that challenge becomes even greater.
You’re probably thinking there’s no way to consume fast food and remain true to your ketogenic diet. But it is possible! This is where the famous quote, “If there’s a will, there’s a way” rings truest: If you’re focusing on low-carb choices and you have plans for upcoming travel — travel that will likely require you to consume fast food — it’s totally possible to stay on track.
Sure, it’ll be tougher than normal, as most lifestyle choices are while on the go. But it’s nothing a little hard work and a lot of creativity can’t solve.
And we’re up for the challenge. Let’s start with a quick review of what the ketogenic diet is and how it affects your body.
The ketogenic diet, simply stated, is a diet very high in fat (75% – 80%), moderate in protein (15% – 20%), and very low in carbohydrates (5%). The extreme reduction of dietary carbs puts the body in a state of ketosis, a physiological state in which your body breaks down fat (instead of carbohydrates) for energy.
This means that fat becomes your primary, and essential, source of everyday fuel. This often leads to weight loss for many people.
Depending on your body fat, gender, age, and daily activity level, the general breakdown for maintaining ketosis on a 2,000-calorie daily diet is as follows:
- 167g fat
- 100g protein
- 25g net carbohydrates
Now that you’re caught up on what the ketogenic diet is, read on to discover how to stay low-carb on the move, specifically when it comes to fast food consumption.
Can I eat fast food and remain low-carb?
The answer is YES! You can eat fast food and remain low-carb. But be prepared to make some choices when going through the drive-through, as fast food restaurant menus can be loaded with all the carbs and sugars we need to avoid.
Perhaps the first choice you can make is to skip the drive-through — get some fresh air, and order inside the restaurant.
Some tips to get your order started:
- Know what NOT to eat and drink. Stick to the simplest ingredients to avoid added carbs. When in doubt, leave it out!
- Plan out your meals ahead of time, and check the nutritional information in advance. McDonald’s and Burger King make it easy by offering customizable menu builders. These allow you to remove certain ingredients from your meal and more accurately track your macros, so you’re not stuck wondering, “What if?”
- Stick to meat, cheese, and vegetables; avoid anything breaded.
- Add extra high-fat sides, such as bacon and avocado, to meats and salads. (Avocado may be hard to find at fast food restaurants, but it’s an easy item to bring with you on the go.)
- Read your labels, and opt for fattier dressings such as ranch, balsamic, blue cheese, and Caesar. Or add an extra side of butter. Remember that many high-fat sauces and dressings are deceiving — they can be filled with sugar and other added carbs.
- Hold the bun (and the ketchup). Get the side salad instead of the fries.
- Speaking of salads, avoid high-carb salads with berries and starchy items. Simpler salads with protein and high-fat dressings are the way to go. FBOMB MCT Oil is great drizzled on salads. Avoid croutons!
- Choose water or diet soft drinks over regular soft drinks. Use natural or artificial sweeteners in coffee and tea.
Supplement your meals and beverages with high-fat items such as FBOMB Nut Butters to help you reach your macros.
“Sticking to ideal macro ratios on the go can be tricky when you rely on getting your fat primarily from protein-heavy sources, such as meats and cheeses. Using FBOMB oils and nut butters to supplement these meals is a quick and easy way to keep your macros in check,”
says Molly Devine, RD, LDN, and nutrition advisor for FBOMB.
Restaurant by Restaurant
We’ve selected 10 of America’s most-frequented fast food and fast-casual establishments to help you create the ideal ketogenic meal at each — some for breakfast, some for lunch, some for dinner. The list includes McDonald’s, Starbucks, Subway, Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, Panera Bread, KFC, and Chipotle.
Are you salivating over all your keto-friendly fast food options yet? Eating keto while traveling or on the go is definitely possible with a little discipline and creativity. And if you get stuck between meals, having convenient and portable keto-friendly snacks on hand, such as FBOMB nut butters, can hold you over until you find an exit on the highway with your preferred fast food pick.
Whether you’re on the road for hours, days, or weeks, travel can throw a wrench in meeting our health goals, particularly when it comes to diet and exercise. We can’t avoid travel, but we can take steps to prepare ahead of time to maintain our ketogenic diet (and even eat fast food!) while on the go.
Keto and Fast Food: On the Go on ruled.me.
Keto Starbucks Hacks, and How to Order! from Keto Connect.
Thank you FBOMB for the great info and resources, you've made my low-carb life easier and I greatly appreciate it!
How about you? Do you have any tips for eating healthy on the road? Do you have a fast-food tip?
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So helpful! I really like to know whats good to get when IM out and about!
This is an impressive list! I can’t believe that there are so many different options.
true! get the salad instead of fries, I was kinda guilty about this lol but eating in a fast is a temptation to carbs and if you dont discipline yourself then you’ll end with all the calories and gain instead of dieting.
My wife has gestational diabetes and has had to be on a low carb diet. This is a fantastic list.
It really is hard to eat low carb if you’re going out to eat. I haven’t tried nut butter but my DIL swears by it!
I am striving to eat less carbs lately and am finding it super hard. These are great tips, I am so going to try nut butters!
Oooo what a list!!!! I can’t belive how many fast food options are actually low carb! Good to know.
Oh wow! I had no idea there were so many low carb fast food options. A low carb diet is something I tried once and it’s just not for me.
I’m not sure this will work for me, maybe one day I’ll try it
I try to eat semi-low carb and always struggle with fast food / eating out. So helpful!