Konscious Keto Guide to Low-carb Fast Food: Dining In or Out

Keto meals that are easy to make quickly are fantastic if you have a busy schedule; and nowadays, who doesn't?

Having pre-made or packaged meals, or grabbing keto-friendly fare on the way home, are all excellent ways to stay ready for mealtime—with keto-friendly, ready-to-eat, portioned out meals, and snacks, available at all times, to keep it keto through it all.

Staying on a ketogenic with a busy schedule requires forethought and an effective plan, including many culinary options to reduce stress and remain on plan with ease—but no worries, it's doable.

A mix of pre-chopped ingredients, homemade meals, pre-packaged low-carb foods, takeout, or pantry favorites all come together to play an essential role in your keto plan at different times.

We have many nutritious and well-balanced keto meal recipes to share and will below. However, in addition to keto foods you can make fast, we'll also touch on what to order if you're out and need to grab a low-carb bite on the go.

Dining In

Breakfast:

Lunch:

Dinner:

Dessert:

Snacks:

Keto cookie mixes are an excellent option to keep around because they usually only require combining the dry mixture with common liquids found in any keto fridge, like milk, eggs, or oil, and then baking.

Here are a few keto-friendly cookie mixes to try to have warm and beautiful cookies ready in about 15 minutes!

  • Lakanto Sugar-free Cookie Mix
  • Pyure Organic Chocolate Chip Baking Mix
  • Good Dee's Sugar-free Cookie Mix
  • Keto Candy Girl Cookie Mix
  • Keto & Co. (keto baking mix kit)
  • Keto Bakes, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies Mix
  • Simply Keto Nutrition Cookie Mixes (e.g., snickerdoodle and chocolate chip)
  • Kick Kookies Keto Baking Mix (e.g., double chocolate chip or chocolate chip)
  • ChipMonk Baking Mix

Or you can make one of our yummy and straightforward keto cookie recipes, and you'll have fresh, homemade cookies ready in no time!

You may also want to check the brands mentioned above for brownie and bread mixes, as well. They're all excellent sources for keto bases to simplify cooking on keto.

Pre-packaged Keto Foods to Enjoy:

Breakfast:

  • Catalina Crunch Cereal (e.g., fruity, dark chocolate, cinnamon toast, maple waffle, honey graham, chocolate banana, or mint chocolate chip)
  • MCT Co. Snack or Dessert Bars (e.g., banana beautiful, lemon boost, and berry beautiful
  • HighKey Protein Cereal
  • The Cereal School
  • Magic Spoon Cereal
  • HighKey Instant Hot Cereal

Lunch/Dinner:

  • Primal Kitchen Bowls (e.g., chicken pesto, chicken Panang curry, beef & mushroom)
  • Life Cuisine
  • Proper Good Soups (heat-and-eat)
  • Kettle & Fire Soups

Dessert:

  • Lily's Chocolate Bars (e.g., milk chocolate, salted caramel, chocolate, and almond, etc.)
  • Rebel Ice Cream
  • Enlightened Keto Ice Cream
  • Bhu Keto Cookie Dough
  • HighKey Snacks Keto Mini Cookies
  • ChocZero Keto Bark

Snacks:

  • SmartBox Keto Snack Box
  • IQ Bars (e.g., chocolate sea salt, lemon blueberry, matcha chai, peanut butter chip, et al.)
  • Fat Snax Cookies
  • Avocado Chips
  • Moon Cheese
  • Parmesan Crisps
  • Whisps
  • Keto-friendly nuts and seeds

Dining Out

Five Guys Cheeseburgers:

Keto Options:

You can enjoy a lettuce wrap cheeseburger, or a bunless hot dogs, at Five Guys. Also, remember to add some amazing low-carb toppings like the following:

  • Bacon (or double bacon)
  • Extra Cheese
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Green Peppers
  • Onions/Grilled Onions
  • Pickles
  • Relish
  • Tomatoes

Condiments:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Hot Sauce
  • Ketchup (sugar-free)

If you’re craving a bit of crunch with your meal, opt for some roasted and salted peanuts instead of fries, to keep carbs low.

In-n-Out Burger:

Many a keto dieter praises the options available at In-n-Out Burger. You can order any burger choice from the menu and ask for it “protein style” and their team will ditch the bun and provide a salad wrap for your burger instead!

Or you may want to try their “Flying Dutchman,” option, which is two burger patties sandwiching two slices of ooey-gooey cheese—yum!

Plus, you can opt to have your cheeseburger made with double, triple, or quadruple patties on your platter to maximize your fat macros or get enough to share.

Wing Stop:

Virtually everyone loves some savory, sweet, or tangy wings dripping in sugar-free sauce or elevated with seasonings, and, lucky for us, Wing Stop prides themselves on having a wide array of delicious low-carb options.

Keto Options:

  • Jumbo Chicken Wings (plain), 1g net carb
  • Atomic Wings (1g net carb)
  • Original Hot (1g net carb)
  • Mild (1g net carb)
  • Cajun Wings (2g net carbs)
  • Garlic Parmesan
  • Lemon Pepper (2g net carbs)
  • Louisiana Rub (2g net carbs)
  • Hawaiian (5g net carbs)
  • Mango Habanero (6g net carbs)
  • Spicy Korean (7g net carbs)
  • Hickory Smoked BBQ (8g net carbs)

Keep a close eye on any sauces you plan to pair with your succulent wings as they are often a landmine for hidden sugars that you want to avoid.

Qdoba:

Keto Options:

  • Chicken Protein Bowl
  • Keto Smoked Brisket Bowl

You can also create your own salads, and you’ll want to stick to the following guidelines as you make your selections:

  • Add one protein option
  • Include additional portions of available proteins
  • Choose up to four salsas
  • Skip the rice and beans
  • Add in your choice of greens
  • Stick to keto-friendly dressings (e.g., Mexican Cesar or cilantro lime dressing)

Also, it’s wise to have your own optimal keto beverage on-hand at all times, and that is of course water. You can bring along some keto water enhancer drops, such as Stur or Water Drops. You can also enjoy the following zero-carb beverages when dining out:

  • Sparkling water with lime or lemon
  • Unsweetened Iced Tea

Panera Bread (sans bread, ironically!):

Keto Options:

  • Bunless Breakfast Sandwiches (sans bread): bacon & cheese; steak & egg; avocado, egg white & spinach; ham, egg & cheese; or sausage, egg, & cheese)

Plus, there are many lunch options that keep the carbs low at Panera, consider the following:

  • Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT (scrap the bread and have the sandwich contents served on a bed of butter lettuce)
  • Bacon Turkey Bravo Sandwich (ditch the bread and have the sandwich contents served on a bed of butter lettuce)
  • Ham & Swiss Sandwich (replace bread with butter lettuce)
  • Steak & White Cheddar Panini (along with opting once again for butter lettuce to house your sandwich, make sure you pass on the pickled onions as they are quite high in carbs)
  • Greek Salad
  • Cesar Salad, without croutons and BYOD—bring your own dressing—like Primal Kitchen’s Cesar dressing blue cheese that’s only 1 gram of carbs per (2 Tbsp) serving.

Shake Shack:

There was a time where you’d see lines wrapped around the clock, filled with loyal customers and curious customers all looking to get a taste of the Shake Shack magic.

There’s something nostalgic about basic burgers and shakes made to perfection, and these folks appear to have hit the mark. Here are some options that fit general keto macros that you can enjoy:

Keto Options:

  • Single Shack Burger, without the bun (2 net carbs)
  • Double Shack Burger, without the bun (3 net carbs)
  • SmokeShack Burger (3 net carbs)

However, all burgers aren’t in play at Shake Shack. Avoid the following options as they all contain more than 20 grams of carbs per serving:

  • Shroom burger
  • Shack Stack
  • Veggie Shack
  • Chick'n Shack
  • Hot Chikn

Similar to Five Guys, you can incorporate many toppings to your meal and still keep carbs under control. Feel free to add the following to your Shake Shack burger:

  • Bacon
  • Cherry Peppers
  • American Cheese
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Pickle
  • Onion
  • ShackSauce™

Chipotle (salad bowls; hold the rice!):

Keto Options:

  • Keto Salad Bowl (with romaine lettuce, carnitas, red salsa, cheese, and guacamole)
  • Paleo Salad Bowl
  • Keto Salad Bowl
  • Double Protein Bowl (without rice or beans)

Also, feel free to add guacamole or salsa to your meal to boost healthy fat and flavor.

Plus, Chipotle has a useful online nutrition calculator that allows you to see the exact carb content of your meal, so you can plan ahead and remain within your macro budget!

You can download the restaurant’s app and have the macros you will consume at your fingertips at any time.

Wendy's (salads; grilled chicken sandwich, no bun):

This fast-food restaurant has always served fresh and high-quality ingredients and they are mindful enough to offer several keto-friendly options, as well.

Keto Options (all macros noted are sans bun):

  • Bacon, Egg & Cheese (2g net carbs)
  • Sausage Egg & Cheese (3g net carbs)
  • Breakfast Baconator (6g net carbs)
  • Dave’s Single Burger (5g net carbs)
  • Dave’s Double Burger (6g net carbs)
  • Dave’s Triple Burger (7g net carbs)
  • Baconator (6g net carbs)
  • Son of Baconator (3g net carbs)
  • Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger (3g net carbs)
  • Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe (2g net carbs)
  • Jr. Cheeseburger (1g net carb)
  • Double Stack (2g net carbs)

Plus, you can grab a fresh and tasty salad at Wendy’s. Either the garden or Cesar side salad are excellent keto options, both coming in at 3g net carbs per serving. And, unlike at many fast-food chains, there are also low-carb dressing options to couple with your greens.

Stick to the Cesar salad (1 net gram carb per serving), classic ranch dressing (2g net carbs per serving), or Southwest Ranch Dressing (2g net carbs).

Taco Bell:

Thoughts of this late-night drive-thru favorite may conjure visions of carb-laden taco shells or wraps, but it is possible to snag some keto options at Taco Bell. Here are a few items that are easy on the carb macros, and tasty to boot, at Taco Bell:

  • Grande Scrambler (e.g., bacon, egg & cheese (3g net carbs); sausage, egg & cheese (3g net carbs); and steak, eggs & cheese (4g net carbs) - hold the potato bites and tortilla
  • The Chicken Quessedilla Melt (sans bread)
  • The Beefy Frito Burrito (3g net carbs)
  • Chicken Burrito Supreme Salad (4g net carbs)
  • Soft Taco Supreme Chicken Salad (no wrap), 4 net carbs
  • Fresco Chicken Taco Salad (2g net carbs)
  • Grilled Chicken Power Bowl (5g net carbs)
  • Steak Burrito Supreme Bowl (5g net carbs, without beans or tortillas)
  • Grilled Steak Taco (without the tortilla), 3g net carbs
  • Cantina Power Steak Bowl with extra guacamole (no rice or beans)

Checkers:

This location offers a variety of burgers and sides, and there are several items that work well for those on a ketogenic diet.

Keto Options:

  • Buffalo Wings & Blue Cheese Dressing (5 pc), 4g net carbs
  • Extra Hot Classic Wings (5 pc), 1g net carb
  • Parmesan Garlic Classic Wings (5 pc), 1g net carb
  • Baconzilla (no bun), 2g net carbs

Arby's:

This chain has always centered around meat-based sandwiches and classic sides, and there are a number of options they offer that work well on keto, minus the bun.

Keto Options:

  • Classic Roast Beef Sandwich (1g net carb)
  • Double Roast Beef Sandwich (2g net carbs)
  • Half Pound Roast Beef Sandwich (2g net carbs)
  • Beef ‘N Cheddar (no red ranch sauce), 3g net carbs
  • Double Beef ‘N Cheddar (no red ranch sauce), 3g net carbs
  • Half Pound Beef ‘N Cheddar (no red ranch sauce), 6g carbs
  • Fire-roasted Philly Roast Beef (no aioli), 4g net carbs
  • French Dip & Swiss (no au jus), 2g net carbs
  • Half Pound French Dip & Swiss (no au jus), 3g carbs
  • Corned Beef Reuben (no Thousand Island dressing), 3g net carbs
  • Smokehouse Brisket (no onion strings, no smoky q sauce), 0 carbs!
  • Loaded Italian (no red wine vinaigrette), 6g net carbs
  • Roast Chicken Bacon Swiss (no dijon honey mustard), 3g net carbs
  • Buffalo Roast Chicken Sandwich (2g net carbs)
  • Classic Roast Chicken Sandwich (1g net carb)
  • Roast Turkey & Swiss Sandwich (no spicy brown honey mustard), 3g net carbs
  • Roast Turkey Ranch & Bacon Sandwich (no ranch sauce), 4g net carbs
  • Roast Turkey Gyro (5g net carbs)
  • Roast Beef Gyro (4g net carbs)
  • Jalapeño Roast Beef Slider (1g net carbs)
  • Pizza Slider (2g net carbs)
  • Turkey ‘N Cheese Slider (4g net carbs)
  • Roast Beef ‘N Cheese Slider, 0 carbs!
  • Ham ‘N Cheese Slider (2g net carbs)

As we mentioned, it’s fine if you eat a variety of foods on keto. Some foods may be fresh, others frozen, or at times your meals may come in the form of a keto-conscious drive-thru special.

As you can see, there are many keto-friendly foods available to enjoy from scratch, when dining out, or from a macro-friendly pre-packaged option.

However, you can also include premium supplements, such as our Supreme Greens, to shore up any nutritional shortfalls you may be unintentionally missing.

There are many salad options at all fast-food venues, and you can incorporate them into your meal plan, as well—we recommend it.

But if you’d like an extra boost or find yourself feeling sluggish throughout the week; a high-quality greens supplement may be the missing link to feeling more vitalized and energized throughout each day.

Supreme Greens

Look, life is all about balance; drink the greens smoothie and eat the cookie, too! It's realistic to incorporate keto comfort foods and treats into your keto lifestyle and also keep the primary focus on eating mostly whole and organic foods.

We are all for the appeal of fast or packaged keto foods. However, that never overshadows our view that it is especially important to keep an eye on your micronutrient intake to support your immune system and maintain optimal health on a low-carb, high-fat diet.

Our Supreme Greens is a perfect complement to your keto lifestyle, especially if you're not a fan of eating salads—or anything green, for that matter. No worries, hopefully, you'll discover some low-glycemic veggies on your keto journey that you do enjoy and you’ll decide to drink Supreme Greens daily to supplement for the times your cravings seem to lean more toward sweet or savory treats rather than kale.

Online Keto Resources

You can also look to online markets with a large inventory of keto-friendly products to maintain access to keto-friendly fare of all kinds, on a whim. Here are some options:

  • Thrive Market
  • XN Supplements & Smoothies
  • Netrition.com
  • Amazon
  • PBH Foods (Keto Donuts)
  • The Low Carb Market
  • Unbun Foods

Summary

The times we’re living in are often jam-packed with things to do and are equally unpredictable. There are times where we’ll be able to eat from home and others when we’ll need to use wise judgment to buy keto-friendly foods on-the-go.

Instead of a rigid framework that demands all home-cooked foods or eating particular foods that may bust the budget, or max out your energy during already busy days, explore healthy, low-carb, high-fat prepackaged, or fast food culinary options that you can enjoy along with your home-cooked and meal-prepped meals—keeping your diet stress-free and never boring.

Sources

  • Jones, S., Narcum, J., & Mason, K. (2019). Fast Food Strategic Advantage: Healthy Foods. Review of Business Research, 19(1), 5-12. doi:10.18374/rbr-19-1.1
  • Kwon, H. (2016). Eat Healthy at Fast Food Restaurants. A Companion to Interdisciplinary STEM Project-Based Learning, 203-208. doi:10.1007/978-94-6300-485-5_24
  • Low-Carb Diet Beats Low-Fat for HDL-Cholesterol Levels. (2010). SciVee. doi:10.4016/20185.01
  • Boschert, S. (2007). Low-Carb Better Than Low-Fat Diet for Lipids. Family Practice News, 37(3), 11. doi:10.1016/s0300-7073(07)70131-7
  • Antony, F. (2018). How to deal with obesity with lifestyle modified diet. Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy, 08. doi:10.4172/2165-7904-c8-077

Konsciousketo Admin

At Konscious, we channel our passion for elevated living to create the highest quality and best tasting ketogenic products available. Our mission is to empower you to reach your full potential, so you can look and feel your best, every moment of the day. Konscious is a homecoming: a homecoming to you, to the way your body is built to exist.


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