Summer often means a lot of social eating. And, social eating can strike fear in many who are trying to stay in the Keto Zone.
But, it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable, difficult, or scary.
Whether eating out or going to a party, you can make Keto Zone work easily.
Here is a step-by-step guide to stay in the Keto Zone at any summer social gathering.
Keto Zone Restaurant Eating: 5 Steps to Summer Restaurant in the Keto Zone
Have a plan ahead of time if possible (many menus are online). Then, don’t be afraid to be picky if needed. You’re paying for it, and you have bigtime health goals!
Step #1: Drinks
Drinks, anyone? Start with water, sparkling water, tea, coffee, or another non-sugary drink (there may be stevia-based options). Avoid soft drinks, lemonades, or sugary-alcoholic drinks.
Step #2: Appetizers
If choosing an appetizer, order a salad or meat and cheese plate (sans crackers). The best dressing option is olive oil and vinegar. Or, carry your own small keto zone dressing with you.
Step #3: Main Course – Omit the Carbs
Time for the main course. Omit any starch, grain, or carbohydrate to start. This means no pasta, rice, potatoes, beans, tortillas, bread, etc. If they come as a side, simply ask the waiter to leave them off your plate. Ask to sub an extra side of vegetables.
Step #4: Focus on Vegetables, Proteins and Fats
Focus on the delicious foods you can have. Choose a nourishing protein such as seafood, steak, chicken, duck, bison, or another option. Add sautéed or fresh vegetables (verify that these are sautéed in oil or butter, without extra sauces). If needed, ask for extra butter, cream, or olive oil to round out your dinner.
Watch out for high-carb sauces: Ketchup, BBQ, Sriracha, Buffalo Sauce, and most gravies contain sugars or flour.
Step 5: Dessert Options
- Cheese plate appetizer, Steak or Salmon over Salad, Decaf Coffee for dessert.
- Miso Soup, Sashimi with grilled vegetables, Warm Jasmine Tea for Dessert
- Grilled Chicken Sandwich or Burger wrapped in lettuce, Side Salad
Keto Zone Party Eating: 7 Steps to Stay in the Keto Zone at Parties
Step #1: Workout?
Consider a short workout within 1-2 hours before you go. A good workout can keep you in the Keto Zone physically and mentally. Here’s how:
One, your body will continue to “burn” extra carbohydrates efficiently, and improve glucose control in the hours after your workout (carb intake should still be minor) (1).
Two, if you consume a high protein recovery snack after your workout, you won’t be as hungry for the party food.
Three, a good workout can be highly motivating and remind you of your goals (but make sure you don’t give into “deserving” to eat extra).
Step #2: Eat Ahead
Reduce “Eating Stress” by eating a Keto Zone meal before you go.
First, eat a moderately-sized keto zone meal. Then, consider anything at the party to be just a small about of “extra” keto zone food Instead of focusing on the food, you’ll have a lot of time to really enjoy the people and any activities. Keep a low-carb drink handy and enjoy the time spent!
Step #3: Bring Keto Zone with You
Bring Keto Zone dishes you want. Others will appreciate it, too. If you’re bringing just one thing, concentrate on the course of the meal that you think will give you the most trouble. For example, bring a Keto Zone dessert or Keto Zone drink.
Step #4: Keto Zone Drinks
Have a plan for Keto Zone drinks.
It’s no surprise that many people completely derail their healthy eating plans with just one sugary drink, whether eating in the keto zone or not.
In fact, a typical sugary punch packs in 30+ grams of sugar and carbohydrates per serving (2).
Opt for a “skinny” cocktail or mocktail, decaffeinated tea, water with cucumber and lemon (always a party pleaser), or another low-carb drink. Again, if needed, bring something to share.
Step #5: Look for a Cheese Plate
Many parties offer appetizers you can eat as a meal. Look for it, or bring a beautiful, festive plate or cutting board of meats, cheeses, vegetables, and a high-fat sauce. This is sure to be a hit and a great addition to the feast.
Step #6: Enjoy the Company and Fun More than the Food
Oftentimes, you can have a great time at a party with less food.
In fact, if you eat ahead of time and then just find a few keto options there, you are freed up to talk to friends, play games, and enjoy festivities without being tied down to a plate.
Step #7: Grace
If your best intentions get derailed, give yourself grace. Get right back on track the next day or meal.
Generally, it’s not the occasional summer party that causes the most trouble for Keto Zone eaters. It’s the continual overeating or allowing over-eating to linger days after a party.
Don’t let it happen to you. Nip it in the bud and get right back on track.
A great tool? Try this Anti-Bloat Celery Smoothie and you’ll feel Keto Zone Healthy again in no time.
Social eating and parties are great experiences in summer. However, for Keto Zone eaters, they may cause anxiety. This summer, stay in the Keto Zone with our step by step tips for restaurant and party social eating.