Do you feel let down by the shape of your body? Are you intimidated by the challenge of trying to lose weight? Or are you just frustrated with previous efforts that didn’t work or get you far enough?
The popular diet trend right now is known as the keto diet.
When executed properly, it can lead to significant weight loss, but it can also be hard to stick to unless you know how to do the keto diet when you eat out, especially at places like Arby’s.
Tips for Eating Keto at Arby’s
Arby’s Foods You Should Avoid
Arby’s new Bourbon BBQ Sandwiches aren’t going to be your best bet for staying keto. Image via Arbys.com
Of course, for all the benefits, it’s just not usually possible in a modern lifestyle to prepare and eat all your meals at home.
Eating out is unavoidable for many, and some even eat out more than they eat at home. This means knowing what foods to avoid at Arby’s and other restaurants.
A good keto diet avoids any high-carb foods. This includes sugary foods, which for Arby’s can mean sodas, fruit juices, and ice cream. A
lso avoid grains, starches, fruit, beans, legumes, root vegetables and tubers. Again, for Arby’s, this means going bunless on most sandwiches and avoiding their potato cakes as a side.
What You Can Eat at Arby’s
Arby’s loves to say ‘We have the meats’.
An Arby’s French Dip without the bun makes a tasty keto meal. Image via Arbys.com
That’s a good thing, because protein and fat are what you want most of your diet to be. Red meat, ham, bacon, turkey, chicken, and sausage are all good options. Look up at any Arby’s menu board, and you’re going to see a lot of them.
You can also have fatty fish, such as mackerel, tuna, trout, and salmon.
These are going to be more seasonal items at Arby’s as fish sandwiches, especially tuna, are limited availability. Also, you might have to ask what kind of fish the fish sandwiches are actually made out of.
In terms of condiments, avoid honey mustard and ketchup in favor of salt and pepper, or just regular mustard if they have it.
Bonus Tips for Staying Keto at Arby’s…
1. Avoid the Drive-Thru if You’re Not Prepared
The classic Roast Beef sandwich without the bun is one of my favorite keto meals at Arby’s – I usually get two. Image via Arbys.com
Arby’s has dozens of various sandwich possibilities. This requires sifting through, and if you haven’t done your homework and decision before showing up, you don’t want to hold up the drive-thru line while you have analysis paralysis.
You might wind up just ordering anything because you’re hungry and rushed. It’s better to walk in and take your time, or just know what you’re going to get in advance.
2. Be Wary Of The Gyros
How the word ‘gyro’ is pronounced will be an eternal debate. Their taste and being a good deal are a lot more obvious.
However, they’re messy on a keto diet. You would have to skip the pita or flatbread and quite a few toppings, and then you’re eating what’s left with a fork.
Also, you have to skip the tzatziki sauce that is responsible for so much of the flavor.
If you have to get one, at least go for the beef.
3. Ask for a Lettuce Wrap
Many places love swapping out lettuce for the bun or bread since it’s cheaper for them. Also, tell them to hold nearly any sauce.
4. Don’t Get Crispy
Crispy food is usually fried and breaded. Fried foods are keto-friendly if done in a healthy oil and with the right breading, but Arby’s doesn’t do that. Ask for grilled chicken instead.
5. Side Salads Rule
Arby’s has some of the better salads in the fast-casual industry, with plenty of nutritious greens that come with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. Arby’s does chicken and turkey salads that have a good amount of protein. Just skip the dressing and have your chicken grilled instead of crispy.
6. Sliders Make Great Snacks
Most Arby’s sliders minus the bun can make a great keto snack. Image via Arbys.com
One slider won’t have many calories even with the bun, and from 2-5 most afternoons, they’re only a $1 a piece during Happy Hour.
You’ll still need to ask for lettuce wrapping, though, or just do a dry sandwich without sauce.
Good Keto Supplements that Can Help
Caffeine is sometimes a good keto supplement since it improves energy, performance, and fat loss. Still, don’t get it from sodas at Arby’s. Your best beverage options are likely water or unsweetened tea.
If you don’t see the two tea containers on the beverage shelf, ask at the counter since they can fill your cup from the drive-thru supply.
MCT oil is another great supplement to carry on your own. It provides you energy and boosts ketone levels. Depending on your preferences, you can use it to flavor beverages or drizzled over an Arby’s salad for a healthy fat source.
Beyond that, there are plenty of supplements out there that can help you maintain ketosis, if you know where to to look.
How to Build Your Own Keto Meal at Arby’s
You’ll know your own macronutrient targets based on what specific keto diet variant you’re following. When compared with the constantly changing lineup of seasonal items and specials, it’s best to build your own meal.
Visiting that website is easy to do from the parking lot, given the range of the Wi-Fi in most locations. You can ask for the password inside, but it’s typically just ‘roastbeef’ as one word in lower case.
If you don’t have a smartphone or there is no online access, you can also always ask for a nutritional guide at the cash register.
They typically have a large tear off sheet with data galore they are happy to hand out.
What is The Ketogenic Diet?
The keto diet is more formally known as the ketogenic diet. It’s a diet that’s low in carbs and high in fats, and this diet provides users numerous health benefits.
While there are some decent alternatives out there, more than 20 studies have verified the potential for this diet to help people lose weight, but it also helps people improve their health in other ways too.
Research is ongoing, but there are potential benefits in therms of epilepsy, cancer, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
How Does the Keto Diet Work?
A keto diet shares similarities with other low-carb diets like Atkins, but it’s not totally identical. The core concept is cutting back on intake of carbohydrates substantially and consuming more fat instead. Doing this puts a person’s body into ketosis, which is a particular metabolic state.
In this physical state, the human body is far more efficient at turning fat into energy.
Fat is converted into ketones inside the liver, which is a primary source of energy for the your brain. Other results include significant reductions in the levels of insulin and blood sugar in anyone following this diet right.
Different Types of Ketogenic Diets
Choosing the right balance of macronutrients when eating out at places like Arby’s means knowing exactly what kind of keto diet you are on. At the time of writing, there are four primary versions, but only two you would really be concerned with for the purposes of weight loss.
The standard ketogenic diet, also known as the SKD, is the most popular version. Its normal balance is 75 percent fat, 20 percent protein, and no more than 5 percent carbs.
Closely related to it is the high-protein ketogenic diet. The fat allotment drops to 60 percent so that you consume 35 percent protein. Again, the carbs are only 5 percent of your diet.
A cyclical ketogenic diet, also known as the CKD, schedules high-carb days in intervals, and the targeted ketogenic diet, which is also called the TKD, allows for carbs at workout times.
Both of these particular diets are more likely to be used by performance athletes and bodybuilders, so you shouldn’t consider them until you have hit a weight loss goal and want to keep getting even more fit.
Much of the information provided to you here about eating a keto diet at Arby’s fits the standard ketogenic diet. Having said that, many of the principles do carry over to the high-protein ketogenic diet. That wiggle room is useful when trying to stick to a rigid diet even when eating out at a fast-casual restaurant.
If you need to eat keto at Arby’s it can definitely be done. You just have to know what to order and what to avoid.
Use these tips as a guide, you should be able to enjoy a meal at Arby’s, and keep your ketosis on track!
Mark was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but moved out west to attend Chico State University. He's been in NoCal ever since and currently resides in the Bay Area with his wife and kids. His current passion is the ketogenic diet, and he's eager to share his diet and health expertise with DadQuarters readers. He currently heads up the DadQuarters editing team, and also contributes to the site as a researcher and writer. Learn more about Mark and the DadQuarters team on our about page.