When you’re out and about, sticking to a low-carb diet can be hard work. It seems that everywhere we turn, we’re constantly faced with temptation!. Restaurants, coffee shops and fast food outlets are on every high street, and if you’re following a low carb diet then even convenience foods such as pre-packed sandwiches, fruits and most pre-packed salads are all out of the question!
It’s no secret that following a ketogenic diet involves a lot of cooking, since you’re consuming a higher amount of fat and protein and a lower amount of carbohydrate than on a regular diet. Meat, dairy and fresh vegetables are all staples here.
On the face of it, this doesn’t lend itself too well to a busy, on the go lifestyle – but that really isn’t an excuse to fall off the wagon and start eating high-carb junk.
The best thing to do is to be prepared. If you’re travelling or planning a day out and are in need of low carb snacks – consider some of the following helpful tips to ensure you stay on track, and keep faithful to your low-carb lifestyle even when you’re on the go.
1) Take Pre-packed, Mini Cheeses with You
This is a no-brainer. Who doesn’t love cheese? The idea here is you throw one of these into your bag or purse, the same way you would a candy bar or a piece of fruit. I personally think cheese tastes better at room temperature, so don’t feel the need to refrigerate.
However – if you’re a fan of cream cheeses (such as Dairy-Lea Triangles), then this might not be the best option, as soft cheeses tend to have a low melting point. Opt for something like cheddar sticks, or waxy cheeses like mini baby bell. And as an added plus, they come ready-wrapped for convenience!
2) Choose Dried Meats like Jerky, Instead of Chips
You should enjoy these in moderation, as some brands of dried meats and deli meats can contain carbs. But, having said that, they’re better than the carb-loaded alternative! Instead of tucking into a bag of chips, come armed with a packet of beef jerky, pork rinds or beef sticks.
You can buy dried meats in bulk online (jerky keeps for a VERY long time) – or if you’re feeling adventurous you could even try making your own!
3) Know Your Fast Food Outlets
When you’re following a low-carb lifestyle, you’re probably inclined to avoid fast-food outlets all together, and this is not a bad thing. There’s just so much temptation out there, and let’s face it – fast food joints aren’t known for their healthy offerings, nor for the nutritional value of the food on their menus.
But, if you’re absolutely desperate – it can help to know which items on the menu of popular fast food restaurants fit best with a ketogenic diet. If you’re absolutely starving, consider some of the following options:
|Fast Food Outlet||Best Menu Option||Carbs|
|Burger King||Chicken BLT Salad with Tendergrill & Dressing||11|
|Dominos Pizza||Buffalo Wings (6 Wings)||3|
|KFC||Grilled Chicken Drumsticks and Green Beans||4|
|Mcdonalds||Double Cheese Burger (without bun)||3|
|Starbucks||Iced Coffee with Whole Milk (16oz)||3|
|Pizza Hut||All American Chicken Wings (6 wings)||0|
|Subway||Chicken Salad with Ranch Dressing||13|
4) Keep a Can Opener Handy
When you’re out and about, try and keep a can of tuna or other meat or fish handy – wither in your bag or in the glove box of your car. Canned meat keeps for years (literally), and meat is pretty much a staple on any ketogenic diet.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep a can opener handy. There are plenty of compact can openers on the market (such as this mini can opener from Walmart), and you can even get varieties so small that you can put them on your keychain.
You might get a few strange looks from people around you when you delve into your bag and start tucking in to a can of tuna rather than a sandwich, but it’s better than going hungry – or worse – giving in to carb cravings out of convenience!
5) Measure out Nuts and Keep in Sandwich Bags
Nuts are nutritious, tasty and extremely effective in satisfying your hunger pangs since they’re high in fat and calories. They’re also higher in carbs than some of the other keto-friendly snacks you might be used to – so it’s deceptively easy to go overboard.
Instead of taking a packet of nuts with you when you travel – measure out your portions into zip-lock sandwich bags. This way you know exactly how many carbs are in the portion, and you can’t accidentally go overboard if you’re feeling a bit peckish.
To make a more informed choice, use following information, showing the amounts of protein and net carbs for various types of nuts:
|Nuts (1 oz)||Calories||Protein (g)||Net Carbs (g)|
As you can see – some nuts are lower in net carbs than others, so this is something to be mindful of when you’re packing up your snacks for the day!
Do you have a tip for eating low carb on the go? We’d love to hear it – so please feel free to share it in the comments section below.
Photo Credit: Kyle Brammer, (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr