Living the Atkins lifestyle can be difficult when you are faced with an array of high-carb meals at restaurants. But with a little planning, ordering low-carb, Atkins-friendly meals as restaurants isn't that hard.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- restaurant menu
Call ahead. Many restaurants are happy to prepare special dishes for visitors if they get a little warning.
For an appetizer, order a salad with ranch dressing. Skip the tomatoes, onions and croutons. Food-service grade ranch dressing is usually lower in sugar and higher in fat (an Atkins must-have) than other dressings. If they don't offer ranch, ask for vinegar and oil.
For your meal, meat is always a good standby. Order your steak with mushrooms or blue cheese to maximise flavour. Instead of potatoes with your steak, try steamed vegetables.
Order chicken without fried skin, or removed the fried skin before eating. Ask for chicken cooked without sugary BBQ sauces or sweet oriental toppings. Sauces and toppings can make an Atkins-friendly meal at your local restaurant an unwelcome surprise.
Fish is also a great Atkins restaurant meal. Again, skip the sauces and fried breading.
Order an Atkins-friendly dessert of fresh strawberries or blueberries at a restaurant, if you are in the stage of Atkins that allows fruits.
Tips and warnings
- Avoid sauces, fried foods, breading, potatoes and bread at restaurants to make your meal Atkins-friendly.
- When in doubt about what a meal contains, ask the wait-staff. It's their job to keep you informed.
- Beware hidden carbs. Adding butter to your steamed broccoli is good. Adding teriaki sauce is not.
- Carrots and onions, while good for you, can contain a lot of natural sugars.