That new low-carb diet can be awfully hard to stick to when you rely on eating at local lunch restaurants, but you don’t have to bid farewell to friends and coworkers over your new diet, just make smart choices with what’s on the menu.

Lunch Smarter!

The average American diet contains about 200-300 grams of carbohydrate. A low-carb diet is defined as anything under 150 grams of carbohydrates per day, while a ketogenic diet is defined as being under 50 per day. Where and how you get those carbs is entirely up to you. Try these tips to get you into the low carb range, but not into ketogenic range, which is a very specialized high-fat diet.

Skip the bulkie roll and have whole wheat, pumpernickel, or rye bread instead.

Load up on salads. Salads are great sources of fiber from greens and vegetables, but also protein from toppings. However, skip the croutons made from white bread, and look closely at the dressing for hidden grams of sugars. Remember, one gram of sugar equals one gram of carbohydrates.

Eggs are your friends. No carbs and recent science shows that dietary cholesterol has little or no impact on serum cholesterol.

One mushroom/swiss burger – hold the bun. Your body needs carbohydrates for quick energy and brain function, but make sure that you are getting good carbs like the ones in fruit and vegetables, beans and whole grains and not the ones in white bread, white rice, or other processed foods.

Save your carbs up and splurge. Pancakes rock your world? How about french fries? Does your heart belong to a clam roll? Do it to it as a treat, but don’t make these foods into a habit.

See? You don’t have to give up your favorite lunch restaurants. Pick the foods that are good for your carb count, as well as balanced and satisfying.

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