Dining out is an important part of our culture. For some people, maintaining a Lower Carbohydrate and Healthy natural Fat (LCHF) lifestyle can appear difficult when you don’t understand the menu. The secret lies in making the right food choices, reining in portion sizes and keeping alcohol consumption in check.

  1. Get to know where carbohydrates are hiding in foods. Once you have this sorted, you will be armed to make the best selections.
  2. Do your homework. Most cafés and restaurants have a menu available on their website. Have a look before you go and make sure they have an option that will suit your preferences.
  3. Be prepared. Carry some nuts or a tin of tuna and a bottle of water in your bag in case you get caught in a situation where there really is nothing suitable available.
  4. Watch the alcohol. A small glass or two of wine is fine, but too much will significantly increase your calorie consumption and weaken your willpower. Start with water or green/herbal tea and refill your glass regularly.
  5. Just ask! Remember, you are the paying customer. The days of feeling embarrassed about saying “no bread, thank you” or “can I please have some vegetables instead of rice?” are well and truly over. You will be surprised at how accommodating chefs can be.
  6. Don’t feel you have to finish your plate. Restaurants often provide generous servings, bigger than a standard portion, it is okay to not finish a meal. You can also ask for sauces and salad dressings on the side so you’re in control of how much you use, or if you use them at all.

LCHF Food Swap ideas:

  • Extra veggies instead of potatoes or rice
  • Salad instead of fries/chips
  • Cauliflower or parsnip puree instead of mashed potatoes (many restaurants are doing this now!)
  • Grilled meat instead of fried or crumbed meats
  • Swap a burger bun for lettuce cups
  • Swap sweet salad dressings for olive oil or fresh lemon juice
  • Cheese platter for dessert can be a great swap if everyone else is ordering desserts, ask for no crackers


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