Low Carb Eating – What If We’re Eating Out?

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I posted earlier regarding my low carb life and some of the awesome recipes I’ve found.

But what about those times when you are eating out?  I remember on Valentine’s Day this year when I was still new to the low carb diet, I was so discouraged looking at restaurant nutrition guides.  My husband and I wanted to go on a date but everything that sounded good had such high carbs!!  (I actually ended up getting a somewhat high carb salad at Chili’s…and frozen yogurt….then we went on a big walk afterward.  But, hey!  It was Valentine’s Day!)

If you have gestational diabetes or for some other reason are watching your carbs, you don’t have to write off eating out on date nights!!  I actually printed off several nutritional charts from various restaurants and highlighted things in my low carb range for easy reference.  Here are a few things (beyond the basic “boring” salad) that I have found for eating out.

Chili’s –

  • Several soups
    -Chicken Enchilada Soup (13 carbs)
    -Loaded Baked Potato Soup (13 carbs)
    -Southwest Chicken and Sausage soup (14 carbs)
  • Classic Sirloin steak, 10 oz or 8 oz (2 and 1 carb, respectively)
  • Grilled Salmon w/ garlic and herbs (1 carb)
  • Half Rack of Baby Back Ribs (13 carbs)
  • Margarita Grilled Chicken (10 carbs)
  • Monterey Chicken (11 carbs) – I tried this one last week.  So good!!

Applebee’s –

  • Shrimp ‘n Parmesan Sirloin (5 carbs)  – While definitely more pricey than what I usually order, this is SO yummy.
  • Soups
    -Broccoli Cheddar Soup in a bowl (20 carbs)
    -Clam Chowder in a bowl (25 carbs)
    -Chicken Tortilla Soup (25 carbs)
  • Zesty Roma Chicken and Shrimp (23 carbs)

McDonald’s –

  • Bacon Ranch Salad (grilled chicken) – 10 carbs
  • Bacon Ranch Salad (crispy chicken) – 24 carbs
  • Chicken McNuggets (4 piece) – 12 carbs
  • French Vanilla Iced Coffee (small) – 20 carbs (I order it sugar free)

Obviously, most of these things are in the “Under 25 Carb” range.  That is what generally works for me.  Obviously if you’ve been watching your blood sugar, you know the things to generally watch out for at restaurants…bread, potatoes, tortillas, salad dressing, breaded meat….etc.  These things aren’t necessarily bad…you just have to find what works for you.

Most restaurants or fast food places have nutritional information online.  Definitely check those out! 🙂

-Bonnie

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