Fast Food To Avoid For Keto
Some of these are obvious and some not so much, but here is a general list of fast food items to avoid for a low carb diet:
- Anything breaded or fried Chicken, fish, mozzarella sticks, etc.
- Bread of any kind Including buns, wraps, toast, croutons, etc.
- Potatoes French fries, tater tots, hash browns, chips, etc.
- Most side dishes Most other fast food sides are high in carbs as well, such as corn, rice, beans, onion rings, etc.
- Desserts Unfortunately I have yet to find keto sweets at any fast food chain.
- Sweet dressings & sauces If its even slightly sweet, it has sugar added.
- Creamy or thick soups These are almost always thickened with flour.
Can I Skip Breakfast On A Keto Diet
When following a keto diet there is always the option to skip breakfast. This can happen for a number of reasons. One reason is that when you start eating more fat you may feel fuller and not be hungry for breakfast.
It is important to listen to your hunger cues when eating keto. Another reason is some choose to do intermittent fasting with their keto diet. Intermittent fasting concerns when you eat your food, instead of what you eat.
An example would be someone eating all their meals between 12:00pm-8:00pm and then fasting until noon the next day. If you are interested in learning more about intermittent fasting see our beginners guide to intermittent fasting.
How To Make Your Own Keto Fast Food
Choosing the best keto fast food options can be a bit like walking through a minefield at first, but you can see from the list above that its totally doable!
Still, to get truly clean ingredients and better control, make your own low carb fast food meals at home instead. They arent quite as quick, but many can be made ahead so that they are fast when you need them.
Here are some top-rated homemade keto fast food ideas to try:
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Double Cheeseburger With No Bun
You may not be up to eating an entire Big Mac, but the double cheeseburger is just as keto-friendly as long as you skip the bun on this one too.
While a cheeseburger may not be as filling as an egg or sausage biscuit, it does have the added perk of being lower in saturated fat.
With the bun, the double cheeseburger is only around 450 calories. And, if you ask for the sandwich minus the bun, youll get 4 grams of carbs, 20 grams of protein, and 20 grams of fat.
Keep in mind that the cheeseburger does come with a pickle, which has an artificial preservative on it.
If youre not a fan of artificial preservatives, you should ask for the cheeseburger without the pickle as well.
Chipotle / Moes Southwest Grill / Other Mexican Chains
Up for Mexican food? Youre not alone! Mexican is our favorite go to food when we are craving spicy while on the go. At many build-a-burrito places, you can choose between a burrito bowl sans rice and beans or a salad. Theres normally a lot of options to choose from for a ketogenic diet, too. Just be careful as the carb counts do start to creep upward as you add more toppings.
We recommend ordering a salad bowl with a combination of the following:
There are countless options you have when building a salad at places like this. They normally have many toppings and sides to choose from, so try to stick with the simpler and lower carb options. Bigger chains almost always have their nutritional information online, so make sure to check out the respective website of where you visit.
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How Many Eggs Can I Eat On Keto
Because of their very low carb count of just 1 carb per serving, eggs are a great option for the keto diet. Whether youre eating an omelette for breakfast or snacking on boiled eggs throughout the day, you can beat the convenience and versatility of eggs.
The amount of eggs you eat is up to you, as long as you stay within your daily carb counts. Some people follow an egg fast for 3 to 5 days to help them enter ketosis or to accelerate weight loss. The foods allowed on an egg fast diet are mainly eggs , cheese and butter. Its important to know that egg fast diets are considered to be extreme, and very low in nutrients.
Bunless Burgers Or Lettuce
You may think burgers are automatically a no-go when it comes to a keto diet, but youre wrong. Much like the breakfast sandwiches, burgers can be ordered without a bun. Some restaurants like Shake Shack and Chick-fil-A will offer lettuce-wrapped burgers as a low-carb option.
The key to ordering a burger from a fast food restaurant is to ask for no ketchup on your burger. Many burgers automatically come with lettuce, tomato, onions, and ketchup. Unfortunately, ketchup contains too many carbs, so opt for mustard or mayo only.
And dont forget to skip the fries and opt for a diet soda or water. In fact, you might be able to substitute a side salad instead of fries.
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Sausage Egg And Cheese Mcmuffin
While most of McDonalds keto-friendly options are on their lunch and dinner menu, one keto item that you can still order for breakfast at McDonalds includes the sausage, egg, and cheese McMuffin hold the muffin.
Even without the muffin, youll still get plenty of protein with the sausage patty and cheese.
As far as nutritional information goes, a sausage, egg, and cheese McMuffin thats minus the muffin still has around 3 grams of carbs, 29 grams of fat, and 16 grams of protein.
Best Keto Fast Food Options
Youre in luck! Youve just found the ultimate guide to keto fast food and keto restaurants
Some of our best moments are shared over meals, and just because youre eating a ketogenic diet doesnt mean you cant share a meal or fast food snack with friends. Despite what you may have heard, keto and weight loss is sustainable when eating out!
Weve made it easy for you with our list of the best keto friendly fast food joints and restaurants. Below theres a breakdown from standard fast food restaurants, all the way to sit down fast casual. If youre unsure of whats keto near you, read through this guide and begin ordering like a pro!
This guide contains a few of the top options from each restaurant. For a more detailed guide and every single order, read the full guides for each individual restaurant.
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Keto Options At Subway
Subway is a fast-food chain that specializes in sandwiches. However, they do have a few keto-friendly options. For example, you can get a sub in a tub which is basically just meat and cheese on top of lettuce. You can also get a keto salad which is a salad with chicken, bacon, cheese, and avocado.
Keto Burger King Breakfast
Burger King isnt really known for their breakfast options, but they do have a keto option available.
Burger King Breakfast Hours: 6am 10:30am
Keto Friendly/Low Carb Options:
1. Ultimate Breakfast Platter
This meal comes with scrambled eggs, crunchy Hash Browns, savory sausage, baked biscuit, and three pancakes. Make sure you get this without pancakes, hash browns and the biscuit to make this a low carb/keto option. I would not recommend this as a go to item because you dont get enough food for the money you will be spending.
How to order: Ultimate breakfast platter with no hash browns, no biscuit, and no pancakes.
What to exclude: hash browns, biscuit, and pancakes
Optional add-ons: sausage, extra eggs
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Low Carb And Keto Fast Food Options
Following a low carb lifestyle doesnt mean you have to sacrifice the on-the-go convenience of fast food. There are plenty of ways to stay true to your low carb goals while at your favorite fast food restaurants. Plus, if youre following a more flexible keto diet like Atkins 20® or Atkins 40®*, you have even more options when youre out and about. Here are just a few keto fast food picks to consider:
Stay Keto At Starbucks With:
- Bacon Gruyere Sous Vide Egg Bites 9g net carbs
- Salami & Monterey Jack Snack Tray 0g net carbs
- Grande Americano 2g net carbs
- Tall Caffe Misto 3g net carbs
- Grande Hot Coffee or Iced Coffee 0g net carbs
- Grande Keto London Fog* 3g net carbs
- Grande Keto Pink Drink* 1g net carbs
- Venti Keto White Drink* 3g net carbs
*These last 3 are not official Starbucks drinks, so you cannot ask for them by name. You must remember the ingredients and create your own drink each time.
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Mcdonalds / Burger King
Both McDonalds and Burger King offer things that can be made low carb at a low price this makes it a great stop on a road trip as one of these restaurants can usually be found in the smallest of pit stop towns.
You can ask for a breakfast sandwich at either restaurant and order it without the bun , and the same goes for a grilled chicken breast or burger for lunch or dinner. Try to avoid the chicken nuggets as theyre always breaded and climb in carbs very quickly.
Our personal favorite of these two is the McDouble from McDonalds without a bun or ketchup. They will usually serve it in a bowl and sometimes will add lettuce with it. Pretty tasty and keto-friendly at only 4g net carbs !
If youre looking for more delicious keto McDonalds meal orders, give these options a try:
- An Egg McMuffin without the muffin
- A Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit without the biscuit
- Double Quarter Pounder, without the bun or ketchup
- Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich, no bun, with creamy ranch sauce on the side
Burger King has several satisfying keto order options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well:
- Eggnormous Burrito in a bowl, no tortilla or hashbrowns
- Fully Loaded Crossainwich without the croissant
- Bacon King Sandwich without the bun, ketchup, and mayo
- Whopper with Cheese, hold the bun, tomato, ketchup, and mayo
What To Order: Fast Food Tips To Keep You On The Keto Diet
While there are more and more keto-friendly items popping up on fast food menus, it can still be tricky to navigate the drive-thru if youre trying to stick to the ketogenic diet.
Here are a few tips to help you make the best choices when ordering fast food:
When in doubt, choose grilled chicken or fish. Avoid meat this is breaded.
Skip the bun and go for a lettuce wrap or skip the bun all together. Many fast food places will allow you to order just the meat and whatever toppings you want without a bun.
Order extra meat and cheese to make up for the lack of carbs.
Load up on healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, and bacon.
Say no to sugary sauces and dressings. Stick with salsa, guacamole, or mustard.
-Read the ingredients. Fast food chains pack unhealthy ingredients into most of their food and cook most food with seed oils that are high in calories and inflammatory.
Choose any carb free toppings that you like these include:
These items are high in carbs and added sugar so they will quickly kick you out of ketosis. Carefully read through the ingredients and nutritional information before ordering to make sure your meal will fit into your daily carb limit.
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Sausage Egg & Cheese Biscuit
Like the previous biscuit, with no biscuit, youre getting some fluffy egg and melted cheese here.
The main difference is the McDonalds sausage patty, which bumps the total price up to $4.39.
Honestly, even though the price point is a little high, I enjoyed the nostalgia from this flavorful McDonalds breakfast sausage. When it’s combined with the fluffy & delicious egg, and the soft melted cheese, it reminds me of my childhood. My grandma used to take me to McDonalds when I was a kid, and this was always my order.
Anyways, when comparing this to the Bacon, Egg, & Cheese combo, both are absolute winners but the sausage version gets a couple of extra points for nostalgia.
By the way, this menu item comes out to 3 net carbs and 270 calories.
Keto Or Low Carb Fast Food Whats The Difference
Alright, so most people that have been trying keto know that there is a very big difference between strict keto, lazy keto, and the low carb diet.
Not all low carb foods are keto friendly options.
The main thing that qualifies if something is keto friendly or not is the number of carbs and the effects the food item has on blood sugar levels.
All of the keto options above also qualify as low carb options, but not all low carb options qualify as keto friendly.
This is simply because there is a limit to the number of carbs you have during keto diets. On a strict diet, you may not have the option to try any of the best low carb meals because itll just be too many carbs for a single day.
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Keto Friendly Fast Food Restaurants
Now, the most important question: what are the best keto fast food options at the most popular chains? I polled my to find out which restaurant menus you want me to cover, and finally, here they are.
I hope you find this list of low carb fast food restaurants helpful! If there are other major ones I missed and you need keto fast food ideas for those, let me know in the comments below.
Disclaimer: These brands and their logos are trademarked. This keto fast food guide is my interpretation of how to order low carb at fast food restaurants, but is not to be construed as an endorsement by these companies. There is no affiliation between myself and these brands. Trademark remains the property of its owner and is used here only to describe the product.
Carb counts below are approximate. Some restaurants have info readily available, and some required estimating based on ingredients.
What Keto Fast Food Can I Eat For Lunch
When it comes to lunch, there are a few more options as most fast-food places offer salads. The key is to build a salad that has plenty of protein and healthy fats.
- Load up on greens and veggies
- Add in some protein such as grilled chicken, steak, hard boiled eggs, or shrimp
- top with a healthy fat such as avocado, olive oil, or nuts
- avoid high carb items such as croutons, tortilla strips, and fruit
- ask for dressing on the side or choose oil and vinegar
When choosing salad dressing avoid anything that says creamy as it tends to be high in calories, fat and added sugar. The best option is to bring your own salad dressings and sauces that you know are keto-friendly.
There are also some fast-food places that offer wraps. These can be a good option if you find the right one. Look for a wrap that has:
- a large spinach or lettuce base
- plenty of protein
- fewer carbs such as cheese, avocado, and bacon
- avoid sugary sauces or dressings
Now that you know what to look for when ordering fast food breakfast and lunch its time to see the best fast food options.
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Tips For Ordering Low Carb Fast Food Breakfast Bowls
This list of keto fast food breakfast bowls will help you pick up great breakfasts that keep you active throughout the day. Is there any keto breakfast bowl that you love that we left out? If so, help us add that to this list to help out other keto dieters, by letting us know in the comments below!
Keto Fast Food Options
PUBLISHED · MODIFIED December 26, 2020 · BY · 1810 words. · About 10 minutes to read this article.· This post may contain affiliate links · As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases·
If you think you cant find keto fast food options when dining at fast food restaurants, weve got great news for you! The rise in popularity of the keto diet, fast food restaurants are getting on board and offering customers some delicious and easy keto fast food options. Below Ill give you some general tips for staying keto while you dine at fast food restaurants, as well as some specific items to order at popular restaurants.
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