Sometimes you just crave some fast food. But if you’re following the Keto diet, then you might be afraid that you will have to miss out and just ignore the craving. But that’s definitely not the case.
Luckily, most fast food joints have something very nice to offer in terms of a keto fast food lunch, and even if they do not, you can customize a dish of their menu and still enjoy your nice fast food lunch while on the Keto Diet.
Fast Food vs “Fast” Food
So first of all, to get something out of the way. People can mean two different things when they talk about the fast food lunch. Either they mean going to an actual fast food restaurant and grabbing lunch there, or they’re talking about making a fast lunch at home. Assuming you’re thinking of what to order or you want to know what your options are when going out to a fast food joint on the Keto diet, we will be talking about those.
Keto rules to keep in mind
As a follower of the keto diet, you’ll obviously know the basic rules, which, to sum it up, It’s low carb. When applying the low carb rule to your favorite fast food restaurant, you’ll see that some of their staple ingredients have to be avoided.
First of all, anything that is breaded or fried should be dropped. Obviously, it adds a lot of carbs to whatever it is that you’re frying , so think of KFC for example, with their fried wings. Those cannot be eaten on the Keto diet.
Next, we also have burgers, which is a pretty big one, as the burger is often a staple dish for a lot of fast food chains that we will be listing in his article. And it’s actually the bun itself that’s the problem. So ditching the bread is a good way to make most burgers keto friendly.
Take note, though, that sauces are also pretty dangerous.
Things like mayonnaise and mustard are actually fine. But ketchup and barbecue sauce, for example, have a high sugar content and should be removed or avoided when going for a keto fast food lunch.
Lastly. There’s also actually some sides that you should be cautious of. Obvious ones are anything that are made from potatoes. So fries, hash browns, tater tots should all be avoided. But also rice, beans, and corn are a no-go when following the Keto diet.
And again, be careful with sauces and condiments.
Top keto lunches at fast food restaurants
Let’s dive into the actual list of some nice choices that you have when going out for a Keto fast food lunch, depending on where you’re headed to.
1. The Chicken Colonel
Let’s start with KFC. As we already mentioned above, a lot of the items on their menu are actually fried, which makes them a bad choice for anyone following the Keto lifestyle. But luckily they offer one good alternative, which is grilled chicken instead of fried chicken?
Actually, grilled chicken is a lot healthier than fried chicken, not only for those following Keto, but basically for anyone.
So if you’re heading for KFC, make sure to check to take the grilled chicken. And as a side, you’ll sadly only have one option, which is the green beans. That being said, the grilled chicken with beans is actually a well rounded meal that should power you throughout the day.
You might think that coleslaw also is an option, but actually it contains five times as much carbs as the creme beets. So that’s a no go.
2. Keto Burgers vs. Buns
Secondly, we’ll have a look at the popular burger joints. Think of Burger King. McDonald’s, In-N-Out. Obviously, as we mentioned, the buns are an issue. You’ll either have to avoid any item on the menu that has a burger bun (good luck though) or you can customize it.
Personally we prefer the second option.
You can just remove the bun and any ketchup or BBQ sauce and you’ll have a perfectly good burger that you can enjoy while still having a keto lunch.
Some of these fast food restaurants actually go as far as to offer a lettuce replacement for the bun. Which is always a good idea, because otherwise you’ll be needing a fork and a knife to eat what’s left of your burger. That being said, it’s still very tasty, even without the bun.
3. Sub in a Tub
Next, we’ll take a look at Subway. Of course, as the name implies, the sub sandwich is their staple ingredient for most of their dishes. And that’s something we have to avoid.
Subway has a very nice alternative for this, which basically is a sub in a tub. You can order any of your favorite subs to be made into a salad. So you’ll avoid the bread while you can still eat your favorite composition of sub, with some added some added salad or greens.
Maybe think of taking a chicken salad or turkey breast to keep it as healthy as possible.
4. Bowl Buddies
Finally, you also have places like Chipotle and Taco Bell. In both of these cases, your best option is to go for a bowl.
Both Chipotle and Taco Bell offer a bowl dish on their menu that you can customize yourself. The takeaway here is to replace the rice and beans, as they are both very high in carbs. A good replacement for them is some lettuce or other greens and some guacamole. This makes sure you have a nice protein- and fat-packed meal, which actually makes a very good keto fast food lunch to get you through the afternoon.
One thing that is to be noted is that at Chipotle you should probably avoid the corn salsa as well.
All right. We’ve listed a few of the most popular fast food joints and included some options of how to pick or customize your keto fast food lunch. As you see, if you have a craving for fast food or your friends are going out for fast food, you definitely don’t have to miss out even though you’re on the keto diet.
Just applying the basic rule of keto can get you pretty far. You’ll still be able to enjoy a nice keto fast food lunch.
If you have any suggestions or you want to share your favorite keto dish at any of these fast food joints, make sure to leave us a note in the comments!