Social Keto: How To Navigate Being In Social Settings

If you’re first starting out on the ketogenic diet, it may be difficult to navigate social situations at first when not everyone understands what you’re trying to accomplish.

At the end of the day, we want to be supported and understood by the people around us, so if you get resistance or weird looks, you should know how to handle those challenges. 

Here are a few tips to help you smooth over situations without anything getting awkward.

When someone asks why you’re ordering a burger without the bun or why you’re not consuming any carbs, you immediately feel the need to explain your choices to them.

You start to talk about all the benefits keto has to offer with weight loss, increased energy, less brain fog, and citing human and mice studies. But, unfortunately, that usually doesn’t lead anywhere.

Most people really won’t care, or they’re feeling like you’re trying to convert them, and they’ll just argue why other diets are better. You’re going to get nowhere.

Here’s a better option. You just avoid an argument altogether by telling them how eating a certain way makes you feel.

So, in a social setting, when you’re ordering food that’s keto, you don’t have to mention anything about being on keto. If someone ever asks, all you have to do is tell them that eating carbs (or gluten) makes you not feel so good.

You can even lie and say that you think you may be allergic to certain foods based on how they’ve made you feel in the past.

That’s it. When you tie what you’re eating to how something makes you feel, no one can argue that point. 

The conversation will end there, and you can pick up talking about whatever it was you were going to talk about prior to your health choices coming up in conversation.

What To Do When Dining Out

When eating a specific diet like keto, it can get stressful when eating out. Here are a few ways you can navigate the stress:

Eat Before You Go

You may have no choice of the restaurant you’re being dragged to. If that’s the case, then having something before you go out will allow you to either eat less when you’re there or choose something light.

If you choose something light and get asked any questions, you can always just use an excuse that you’re full from the prior meal earlier in the day or you’re craving whatever you got. 

Pick The Restaurant

If you’re just making initial plans, try making the dinner reservations for a place you know will have the food you can eat on keto. 

There’s nothing wrong with taking charge, and most people will appreciate not having to do any leg work to get the reservation or research different places to eat at.

Any high-quality restaurant will have food that’s consistent with your diet, and a lot of restaurants now have keto options right on the menu, making it even easier.

Let Your Server Know

Feel free to call ahead of time, but you can also just let your server know that you’re on keto and ask for their meal suggestions when you’re there. 

They will either have a suggestion for you or not know anything about keto, which is okay. However, if you plan ahead, you’ll be well prepared to know what you’re going to be eating anyway. 

You can also let them know that you have an allergy to grains or sugars and that you need to avoid carbs. 

If you have to make a quick decision in the moment, follow these tips:

  • Plan your meals around a protein
  • Add fats to that. Ask for a side of olive oil or ranch dressing. Anything you know that is high in fat that you can add to your meal.
  • Replace rice, bread, or any other carbs with a salad or extra vegetables (low-carb!)
  • If ordering a hamburger, see if they’ll substitute the bun for a lettuce wrap
  • The condiments can get you in trouble. Ketchup, bbq sauce, gravy, marinara, and others can contain a lot of sugar or flour. Instead, add in guac, salsa, mustard, and mayo which are all keto-friendly.

It’s Just One Time

Sometimes you just can’t avoid it, and you’ll end up kicking yourself out of ketosis by eating a meal filled with carbs. That’s okay, especially if you’re keto-adapted and have been following the diet for some time.

You can quickly get back into ketosis without derailing yourself too much. It’s okay and nothing to get down on yourself about. Just stay committed to the process for the long haul, and everything will turn out just fine.

Related: How To Quickly Get Into Ketosis


There you have it. You can use this guide to help you navigate social situations and not have to explain yourself and avoid arguments.

Also, you’re doing this for yourself. At the end of the day, it shouldn’t matter what anyone thinks about your life choices. 

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