I travel quite a bit which means figuring out how to travel on keto was important to my success. Being part of my social sites focused on the ketogenic diet, I see this question come up time and time again. Is it possible to travel on keto and stay in ketosis? The answer is yes – absolutely! It is actually quite easy to do it and keep your ketone numbers high and burning! I’ll get into options below and things to consider but I would say for myself, it wasn’t the the low carb piece of keto that is more challenging while travelling, it is getting enough of the health fats that I say I had to navigate through while travelling. Especially when restaurants are now charging for a side of mayo or big dollars for a side of avocado.
Here are some tips to consider when getting ready for your next or first trip while on a ketogenic diet:
Travel with Snacks
I am asking you that if you ever catch me on the street, ask to look inside my purse. I always have sugar free chocolate, nuts or pepperoni sticks on hand. I won’t be caught off guard and not have access to foods I can eat. I think being unprepared can put you in a difficult situation and in some cases force you to eat foods that will mess up your ketones and blood sugar levels and worst case, kick you out of ketosis temporarily. Don’t put yourself in that position. There are lots of snack options but my go to’s are Almonds, Pepperoni Sticks, Eggs, Celery & High-Fat dip or a hummus, 85% + dark chocolate and peanut butter packets.
The dark chocolate one for me personally is very important. As I have been in many situations where dessert is on the menu and I never have to feel weakness in those situations as I just pull out my dark chocolate while the groups I am with is enjoying dessert. Doing small things like this will keep you mentally strong too and not deprived. After all, why should you not get to enjoy dessert too? That is what I love about keto! never once have went without a keto friendly dessert.
Here are a list of my key items that I don’t go without while travelling:
Hit Up A Grocery Store & Stock Up!
Make it a habit to hit up a grocery store on your way to your destination or when you arrive. I find building this into your itinerary is very helpful. I have been in every whole foods store across the US. Depending on if there is a fridge in our hotel room or not, I will grab a variety of unsweetened milks, dark chocolate, almond or peanut butter, cured meats & cheeses. If you have these options available to snack on you will be less likely to eat something with hidden sugars or grains.
This not only will keep you in ketosis but it will also help on the pocket book. Eating out can be so expensive while you are on vacation so cutting costs where you can is definitly beneficial.
I also want to mention the impotance of telling the people you are travelling with or visiting, how you eat so they don’t go out and buy a bunch of groceries that you can’t eat. I remember eating a sugary gluten free dairy free cookie because a friend of mine went out of her way to buy cookies I could eat. I considered that my miss that I didn’t update her on my food restrictions and she went out of her way to purchase these expensive cookies. I didn’t have it in my heart to not eat one, so I did. This could have been avoided if I was thinking ahead and made sure who ever needed to know, knew about it. People are so thoughtful and generally are supportive of yoru food restrictions, so be kind to them and give them a heads up to avoid any hurt feelings or wasted effort.
Ordering at a Restaurant
Reference my article Eating Out on a Ketogenic Diet – It’s Not Hard – where I go far more into detail on this topic, but at a high level, most restaurants will accommodate and have the structure of a balanced ketogenic meal with a few modifications. I always stick to the same profile of foods as I do at home and there are lots of options to stick to. Cuisines that have safe options are Burger restaurants, Japanese, Lebanese, Steak House, Seafood. Diners (for their all day breakfast
menu) and Mexican. However, these are just a few to mention, you can find ketogenic meals in most restaurants with a few modifications. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, restaurants are used to accomodating food allergies, but if you end up somewhere that won’t accomodate, don’t be afraid to walk out and chose another options. You can avoid this however if you call ahead and ask about their menu being accomodated or check online to see if they have a menu you can review ahead of time.
Fast As Long As You Can Before Your First Meal
If you practice intermittent fasting you might want to consider holding off as long as you can for your first meal. The one thing about travelling is you are not always fully in control of your schedule and things come up and I personally find that you are likely more up to eating later meals in the day than you normally would at home. By holding off to have your first meal at noon, that gives you a longer window in the evening to accomodate for those later meals. The fasting in the morning while you are moving around willl also help with keeping you in ketosis if you happen to have a hidden sugar in the evening that has raised your blood sugar.
Last Words in Summary
It’s easy to travel on keto and my guiding principles to be successful while are: Plan ahead
- Plan ahead;
- Pack your bag full of keto foods that won’t spoil outside of a refrigerator;
- Check your destination to see if there is a grocery store near by and build it into your itinerary; and
- Be open with servers about what you can and cannot eat.
I’d love to hear about your travelling successes while on keto, please leave in the comments below.