When you think about Chilis Keto, you might think it is the most exhausting thing ever because you are reducing or eliminating carbs from your diet completely. That comes into play when you are eating out, especially when going out with friends or your loved ones. However, restaurants and eating joints are increasingly recognizing the value of these healthy lifestyles, and are even coming up with their own spin on them – so that you do not need to miss out just because you are on a diet.
Among these eating establishments is Chili’s, an American restaurant that has plenty of the southern charm. Since most of their foods take their inspiration from very many burger and steak choices, it is not the first reasonable choice if you are on a Keto diet and in need of a low carb meal. However, even though preparing your own foods is a better option overall, there is always something you can get at Chili’s Keto options.
What to avoid at Chilis Keto
When you are in the midst of controlling your own dietary intake when you are on a diet, eating out is not always the best choice since you cannot control what they put on your plate. The best thing to do is planning ahead – while Chili’s have done well to give you information on the nutritive value of their foods, you cannot customize your choice – unlike other establishments such as Subway.
That being said, you can find great choices to satisfy your Keto needs, using the following tips.
Sauces and smoked meat
The restaurant has its beginnings in Texas, and if there is one thing you should know about this state, it is their never-ending love for generous food portions and bold flavors. The boldest flavors mean that the food has a rich portion of sauces, chemicals and artificial flavors, so that it tastes as appealing as possible.
While the idea of eating smoked meat is delicious, there is plenty of research that shows it is a bad idea due to its high nitrate and salt content that increases the risk of stomach cancer. You are actually better off buying smoked meat at the grocery store, because it does not have high nitrate and salt content.
Another thing is that it is better to consume organic, pasture-raised meat, but many establishments (including Chili’s) will offer you highly processed meat. The sauces, on the other hand, are full of refined carbs and sugar, which is bad if you are on a Keto diet.
There should be no mandarin oranges (these are usually coated in heavy syrup), honey-lime vinaigrette dressing, or cranberries (they are coated with sugar). Avoid pineapple as well if you are ketogenic.
Anything with code words that indicate unhealthy components
The way a restaurant will describe a food will easily tell you if it is low carb or not, if you are paying attention. One word is ‘crispy’, which simply means the food was coated in breadcrumbs then fried in vegetable oil – you do not want to eat that when you are on a Keto diet.
Instead of crispy options, which are in plenty, ask them to give you grilled meat instead. You would rather buy Keto-friendly breadcrumbs then fry your own meats at home.
Other words to watch for are ‘tangy’ and ‘sweet’, which indicate that they added sugar to that dish. ‘Creamy’ is another, as it likely means that flour, milk and cream were added to result in a smooth texture. Instead, go for the no sauce option.
When choosing a dressing, always ask about the ingredients. If you are still unsure, you can choose to go for vinegar or olive oil toppings, as these are the safest option.
Be careful about the side dishes
When you are at Chili’s, you cannot eat your food without a side dish. In the case of Keto dieting, you can choose their garlic-roasted tomatoes, grilled asparagus or steamed broccoli as your side dish. Just make sure to avoid coleslaw, beans and rice options (these contain a significant carb amount).
What should I order then?
Since this restaurant chain is open from 11 AM to 11 PM, it allows you to eat both lunch and dinner, with the usual appetizer. You do need to be careful when ordering though, as it adopts the typical Texan eating style of ‘Go big or Go Home.’ here are some safe and tasty options you can explore.
- White spinach queso – can be without chips, and you can add the guacamole to the main dish. Always ask about the ingredients though, as the information is not present on the website
- Fresh guacamole – as with the spinach, you can get this without the chips and add guacamole to the main dish afterwards.
- Bone-in wings. Avoid the boneless ones as they have breadcrumbs in them
Salads and soups
- Grilled chicken salad, but with vinegar and oil dressing instead of the honey-lime vinaigrette or the black bean and corn salsa dressing.
- Santa Fe chicken salad – don’t get it with ranch or spicy Santa Fe sauce, and avoid the tortilla strips. Instead, go for vinegar and oil dressing.
- Caribbean salad that includes seared shrimp or grilled chicken. Ask for vinegar and oil dressing instead.
- Southwest shrimp or chicken Caesar salad (avoid the tortilla chips and croutons)
- Original chili bowl (avoid the tortilla chips and the beans that come with it)
- California Turkey club – it should not have onions or bread though. 42g protein and 60g fat
- Bacon avocado grilled chicken – get broccoli as a side dish, and no bread. 72g protein, 58g fat
Steaks and ribs
- Original ribs or ½ rack of House BBQ – 10g carbs
- Classic rib eye – 1g carbs
- Classic sirloin with grilled broccoli or avocado slices – 1 to 2g carbs
- Grilled steak or chicken, seared shrimp, fajita toppings
- Pico de Gallo and white Queso
You can order any of the usual Keto-friendly drinks like water, Coke Zero, Diet Coke, sparkling water and coffee. In addition, there are light beers and wine – avoid the sweet wine though.
You do not need to feel left behind when you and your pals go out to eat at Chili’s. As long as you have an idea of what you want to eat, you will still get to enjoy yourself throughout and stay healthy.