This blog post is about being on a Ketogenic Diet while away from home. To learn more about the Ketogenic Diet, see my blog post here and this fantastic website Ruled.Me here.
Trying to stay on the Ketogenic Diet while traveling, or otherwise away from home, can be difficult for many reasons. Without having the ability or time to prepare and cook your meals, you are at the mercy of restaurant menus and other people who don’t fully understand what Keto is all about. But fear not, all is not lost! There are plenty of ways to try and stay in ketosis, or at least limit the damage caused by eating carby foods.
1. Learn about basic food stuffs/ingredients.
The more you know about basic food ingredients, the better prepared you will be for the curve balls you will encounter when you are away from home. At restaurants and friend’s homes, you’ll be able to pick out the “bad” foods from the “good” foods. This is a large topic, and I cannot begin to cover it here. My advice is to start Googling foods you are unsure about. And understand that sugar and carbs are hidden in many things, so if you’ve never looked it up, don’t assume it’s OK until you learn more.
2. Don’t take advice from friends who aren’t keto aware.
People who don’t know what ketosis or ketogenic diets are will often not understand enough about food in general to give you good advice. I can’t begin to count the number of times I tell people I can’t have carbs, and then they turn around and offer me fruits or a beer. People also have hundreds if not thousands of excuses they are armed and ready to fire at you, to peer pressure you into cheating. “It’s just this once.”, “You can go back on it tomorrow.”, etc. etc. Only you should have the authority to grant yourself a cheat day, based on your progress and you past determination. Do not accept other people’s excuses as your own.
3. Take advance of the grocery store while on travel!
While you may not be shopping for groceries as if you were home, that doesn’t mean the grocery store is no longer a viable option. If you’ve got a refrigerator in your hotel room or friend’s apartment, you can buy some frozen things like Jimmy Dean’s egg and sausage breakfast bowls. If you’ll be around an area for a few days, you can buy some stuff like a package of shredded cheese, which you know if you use it every day for 3-4 days, you could use it up no problem. Also look for hard boiled eggs, which can be a handy snack or breakfast item. You can even find some good stuff at 711’s and other convenience stores. I found a single serve mozzarella stick wrapped in prosciutto the other day, and that was amazing. Prefer fat-protein ratio with virtually no carbs! Also: bacon jerky. Seriously. Enjoy.
4. Watch out for relying too much on protein for calories.
You should not rely too much on protein for your calories, as this will kick you out of ketosis as your body burns protein for fuel. You MUST prefer fat over all other macros. This is why I avoid lean beef jerky and steaks, because they are just too protein focused. As I mentioned above, bacon jerky is a great alternative here, as it has a higher fat content than other jerky.
5. Learn and research common restaurants so you have options when your in a pinch.
Most burger places are actually a pretty good choice, as it’s easy to tell them to hold the bun, swap the fries for a salad, and load it up with bacon and cheese. Here’s a picture of the burger I just had from Erukea! here in Dallas, Texas.
I’m sure I have more advice, but that’s a good list for now. Good luck on your keto journey and feel free to write me comments on these blog posts if you have any questions! For the record, I’m around 193 lbs right now at 15.9% body fat. As mentioned previously, I don’t really care too much about my raw weight, but rather I’m more focused on body fat percentage. I started at about 21.0% so you can see I’ve had great progress so far!